This story is different from the first two in that the two main characters are already in a committed and very close relationship when the story starts. In fact, the reader is almost lured into a false sense of security in the first few chapters of swoon-worthy love and steamy scenes. Alistair and Carey are clearly made for each other and their issue isn’t whether or not they’ll get together but whether they’ll manage to stay together when faced with Alistair’s father who is very determined to not only break them up but also cure his son from his gayness.
And that brings me to the second difference between the earlier titles and this one. This book is heavier on the angst and feels than the first two stories were, or maybe it is just that the tension lasts longer. But my heart bled for Carey as he barely manages to keep himself functioning without Alistair. As for poor Alistair; his situation hurt me as much as it infuriated me. To know that there actually are parents who would put their kids through torture as described in this book, that there are people who believe that reversion therapy is actually a viable option, is almost impossible to believe.
Mind you, this book isn’t all angst and fear. We get glimpses of all the other characters we’ve come to love in this series as they all work together to save Alistair and see two new relationships starting. And I especially appreciated the emphasis on the strength of submissives in this story.
““Carey, who is the stronger in a D/s relationship?”
“The sub”, Carey responded automatically.
“Who holds the power?”
“The sub,” Carey cursed as her realised what Joe was doing.”
While this was very much Alistair and Carey’s story, Olly—as always—played a starring role and managed to be both endearing and totally hilarious in the process. In my previous reviews of books in this series I have more than once referenced Olly’s bratty and oh-so funny attitude towards life and submission. I think the time has come to back my words up with an example, even if he does make a valid point.
“Olly snorted. “Doms like to think they know best, but half the time they are too blind to see what’s right in front of their alpha-male noses.””
While I loved the first two books in this series I have to admit that this one is my favourite so far. For me this story held just about the perfect balance between wonderful love story, hot scenes, angsty moments, and intriguing suspense. I’m so very happy I still have a good few (long and shorter) titles to go in this series. This is, for me, reading delight at its best.