Controlled Asher didn't expect to fall for free-spirited Daniel, but they'll find what they desperately need in one another.
Police captain Asher Penaz's staunch professionalism bleeds into his home life, down to his neatly pressed attire and Spartan apartment. He enjoys being in charge and in control, so his sudden and powerful attraction to the lighthearted, free-spirited Daniel Tover throws him for a loop. In his entire life, Daniel has never gotten what he needs, so he moves to the next place, the next job, the next attempt to find something worth staying for, always landing at the top of his game, but never feeling like he belongs.
The chemistry between Asher and Daniel sizzles, but with all that fire comes the risk of getting burned. As both men struggle to learn themselves while getting to know each other, the lines of desire and control blur. If Daniel and Asher can walk through the flames together, they might find what they desperately need.
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Ezekiel Robison is a phenomenal narrator. He brought these characters to life for me. Seriously, he made these characters real for me. My heart pounded, my stomach churned, I waited with bated breath to see what would happen next...and this is all because of just how phenomenal a writer Cardeno C. is. The story is so vivid and realistic for me that I was constantly on the edge of my seat the whole time.
I was totally invested in these characters and this story. Even though I am at odds because I absolutely love and adore Daniel...and just as vehemently hate Asher.
I think Asher is a selfish, inconsiderate, insanely jealous and possessive alpha male (in the worst possible way) asshole who I kept hoping would redeem himself in some way, but who ultimately let me down time and time again. I won't deny I was disturbed by Asher's behavior. The jealous possessiveness and rage-filled outbursts really concerned me. Why I continued to read the story is because of Daniel. Daniel is a treat.
Even though almost every single time Asher does or says something horrible we are assured almost immediately how much Daniel loved it or was turned on by it I didn't buy it. It didn't work for me. I just kept thinking, "Run, Daniel! Run!"
Robison perfectly narrates the whole thing. He brilliantly conveys the growly tones of Asher and the softer, more subtle nuances of Daniel's character. His narration held my hand through the ups and downs. Eventually Asher and Daniel get their hard-won HEA, but I'll admit it's one of the only times I have actively wished for a different ending.
This Alpha Male has met his match!
Listening to Asher as he mellowed and grew as a person the more time he spent with Daniel.
The relationship between Asher and Daniel. How Daniel could calm Asher with a touch, while Asher's touch set Daniel on fire. They really complimented each other.
Emotions, every single one of them can be heard in his voice.
Their first time having actual sex, what happens just before, during and right after.
Asher Penaz commands complete control in every aspect of his life. He is a no nonsense police captain when he's on the job and a brash, sharp, meticulous DOM when he plays. He doesn't do relationships, kisses, romance, boyfriends. No. Asher is confident in his life, until he meets an adorable blonde that blushes, has freckles and trips over his own feet in the middle of an empty room. Daniel Tover stumbles into Asher's life and neither of them will ever be the same. But when push comes to shove, can the cute guy that is most comfortable in his baggy jeans and flip flops, soften the rough edges that constantly surround Asher Penaz?
I was drawn into this book from the first stumble in the hotel lobby in Vegas, and pretty much listening intently with bated breath from that point on. Asher is the proverbial alpha male type. Large, brooding, commands compliance as well as your undivided attention. Daniel couldn't be more opposite, polar, in fact. The very definition of twink to an extent... short, slender, beautiful, blonde and clumsy. Asher has these rules he lives by and one by one, Daniel has him breaking them all. The rude, crude and usually socially unacceptable Ash begins unknowingly readjusting his life to accommodate Daniel. Cuddling, kissing, dating and shock of all shocks, he isn't tying anyone up and inflicting sweet torturous pain on them. It was an absolute pleasure to sit back and listen as Asher went on this journey of self awareness he didn't even know he was on. There was an almost constant monologue of Ash's inner thoughts as his relationship with Daniel continually grew and evolved. But with the sweets, come the sours. About six months in a small lack of communication causes a rift, and Asher does something Daniel may not be able to forgive him for.
At first glance, you might think this is going to be either an insta love story since Asher commands Daniel come home with him after only 48 hours of knowing one another, but it is far from. They fall into a comfortable existence, yes, but with each passing day they learn more about each other, grow closer and start to depend on each other. The whole of this book really is the relationship between Ash and Daniel in great detail. I think my favorite aspect of this story was how Daniel had this kind of calming influence on Ash. A man can't go from one extreme to the other over night though, so there were understandably some speed bumps along the way.
The story was narrated by Ezekial Robison and as I've said before, what he lacks in dialect, he makes up for with emotion. He had this big, loud, brash tone for Ash that was absolutely spot on. Daniel was never able to hide anything from Ash, even from the start; he is very much an open book. Robison was able to clearly express Daniel's moods with differing tones and inflections.
I will say, Asher does something toward the end of the story. It's a compilation of a bad week at work and that slight lack of communication I spoke of earlier combined with Ash's jealous streak the size of Texas when it comes to Daniel. This is probably the worst mistake I have ever seen a fictional character that I liked make. Up until this point, I had been so engrossed in this book that hours would fly by and it felt like 5 minutes. This really pulled me out of the story and had me thinking, what if that had went the other way, would Ash have put a stop to it? That is the only reason I knocked off a notch on my review. Sorry, I can't say, that would be a spoiler.
Overall, this was such a fun read. I was so engaged from start to finish, riding along as Asher learned the meaning of the word Love.
- Tams (TTC Books and more)