It started some time ago, but ever since I was first introduced to the Collars and Cuffs universe and all the men who inhabit it, I’ve been hooked. In fact it’s been more than that. Every single book has seen me fall in love with the main characters in it while the feelings I already had for the men I had met in previous titles grew stronger and deeper.
Dom of Ages is no exception to that rule. I fell as hard and as deeply for Eli and Jarod as I’ve done for all the others. These two men took me for an emotional ride from the first chapter until the very last word. It would have been impossible not to feel Jarod’s pain and despair. Getting older isn’t easy for anyone, but how much harder must it be when you’re part of a culture where youth and beauty appear to set the standard. Especially if you find yourself starting from scratch after a dramatic loss has ended a twenty-four year relationship that was your whole world.
Eli is a far more straightforward or maybe I should say less complex character than Jarod. And that is perfect. Jarod needs that calm in his life; a rock, strong enough to support him and stable enough to ground him when his fears and insecurities threaten to overtake him. And before you think all these qualities might make Eli a boring character, let me reassure you; he is a delight to read about and the most charmingly flawed character I have encountered in a book in a very long time.
When the story starts Jerod is a recluse, convinced his life ended when his Master died and sure he is just too old to ever serve another. What is heartbreaking is that the thought of friendships doesn’t even cross his mind. His journey until he reaches the point where he realises he is valued and loved, not just by Eli but also by the others he meets at Collars and Cuffs, was a pure joy to read.
What I love about this series is that not only does each book focus on a different aspect of BDSM they also deal with more general issues. In this case we’re looking at grief, a twenty year age difference and the frailties with resulting from getting older. And while BDSM may only be a theoretical indulgence for some readers, the other issues are ones we’re all familiar with in one way or another, making it very easy to get wrapped up in the stories and attached to the characters.
It goes without saying that this book, like its predecessors was smoothly written, a captivating read and incredibly hot. Jerod and Eli smoulder together regardless of whether they engage in a ‘simple’—if there is such a thing—kiss or a full blown scene. And those scenes, as always, are vivid and imaginative. Did I mention ‘hot’?
Most of the time I’m not a very emotional reader; I get chocked up at times, but I rarely cry. There was one scene in Dom of Ages during which I had to stop reading because I couldn’t see the words any more for the tears. And strange as it may sound, that wasn’t a scene centred around Jarod and Eli—although they have plenty of very touching scenes too. I’m not going to mention anything else about it except to say that this one scene lifted the book from very good to amazing. I’m convinced all Collars and Cuffs fans are going to be elated after they’ve read this book. And while I’m sad to think that the next one will be the last in the series, I also can’t wait to read it. I’ve got a feeling we’ve just been prepared for a glorious finale.