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When this book dropped a little while ago, it immediately went to the top of my want-to-read list. Now, I don’t like to read anything about the book before I listen to it. I like going in without preconceived ideas.
That being said – to potential listeners – READ THE SUMMARY. I have read dark erotic m/m BDSM with dubious consent before, but I wasn’t really prepared for this book. And just to be clear, I never blame the author because I choose not to find out what I’m reading.
This is the first book I’ve read by either Brooke Blaine or Ella Frank. The book was well-written and Biff Summers certainly did a competent job of narrating the book. The contrast between the two main characters was unquestionable as Wolfe is described as having a deep voice. So Biff was a good choice for this book.
So, that leaves content. Specifically, the non-consent consent. This occurs when the submissive agrees to let the dominant do whatever he (or she) wants. It is growing in popularity as writers push the envelope of what is acceptable.
The thing is, in BDSM, consent is critical and you could argue Jesse provided consent, but it wasn’t informed consent. I’m specifically thinking of the scene with edge play, although several others come to mind. And why does this matter? Most readers would feel it doesn’t – because this is fiction. And as long as the reader and writer agree to that distinction, keeping these activities on the pages of the books, then there is no real harm.
So why does Jesse subject himself to this? Over and over it’s about Wolfe’s magnetism. There is a bit of the ‘wounded soul’, but that hardly justifies how Wolf treats Jesse, whom he refers to as his ‘lamb’. We all know the story of the big bad wolf and the innocent lamb. This just happens to be an extreme example.
The other disturbing aspect of this story is Wolfe pushing Jesse and isolating him, impressing him with his 5-level BDSM club/dungeon, as well as his obscene wealth. Fortunately, Jesse isn’t swayed or impressed by money and he also maintains his friendship with Brayden. Another tenet of BDSM is that isolating a submissive can be dangerous. Subs need to have people outside the relationship who can view it for what it is. And Brayden sees Wolfe for what he is – a predator. But Jesse is too dazzled by the sexual prowess and enjoys the pain infliction, which is totally legit. There are plenty of masochists who derive great pleasure from being in pain. Often, though, there is so much going on that Jesse can’t process everything.
So while Wolfe is protective of the subs in his club, his obsession with Jesse blinds him to his own inappropriate behaviour. Manipulating people and growling at them are not acceptable behaviours.
But that is the point of this book.
Back to the blurb. Wolfe admits he isn’t a good guy and is, in fact, a stalker. So readers who have encountered someone like Wolfe in real life may find this story distressing.
And, as promised, this book does NOT have a happy ending. In fact, the ending is as disturbing as the rest of the book. Will there be another book? It is a stand-alone, but it leaves the question open. Brooke and Ella swear not, but I, for one, am saying I wouldn’t mind seeing more.
So why am I giving the audio 10 Pots of Gold? Because the book is pretty much as advertised and for all its faults, it is an interesting read. Fun? Absolutely not. Disturbing? Very much. And there are times when that is what listeners are looking for.
So if you’re willing to heed the warning, enjoy. I’m interested in finding out if we haven’t seen the end of Wolfe and Jesse.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Ok this book was not that believable to me ,
I tryed to like it but it just did not do it for me .
I like a great dark stalker storie but this was
Almost laughable to me . The characters sounded so funny to me, at any moment
I expected the stalker to start the kreapy heavy breathing.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful