Author: Kelly Wyre
Publisher: Loose Id
Rating: 3.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Ellis Parker is a lucky man: he escaped his persecuting family, survived his tour of duty, and met Maxwell Clark in the city of New Amsterdam. Clark showed Ellis more than the ropes: Clark helped Ellis figure out who he is – a gay submissive with a massive fixation on a beautiful, mysterious ballet dancer named Bryn Rothe. Ellis knows a Good Man when he sees one, and he wants nothing more than to score a first date with Bryn.
Little does Ellis know that Bryn has a violent past that is crawling out of shallow graves to haunt him. Even his hectic schedule and beloved stage aren’t enough to distract him. It’s impossible for Bryn to figure out how he feels about Ellis with his demons between them, but when Ellis saves Bryn not once but twice, Bryn is forced to admit that there’s something about Ellis that Bryn might not merely want but need.
Together, they journey to the scene of Bryn’s original crime – Charles Towne, South Carolina. There they will dig up secrets that might explain Bryn’s tortured life but might also be his – and Ellis’s – undoing.
Note: This ebook also contains the bonus short story, “Luck in the Making.”
Review: I admit I might have liked this a tad more if I had read the others in the series first. I was certainly intrigued enough by the characters to go back one day to read at least Lucian’s story. I’m sure there’s a lot of Ellis’s, one of the MCs from Earthquakes, history I missed out on but I do feel like I had a good grasp on who he was as a character. His history may have helped me understand why he was so willing and able to fall for someone as damaged as Bryn. Totally my fault for reading out of order but I never felt lost. Just like there was back story that might have helped me connect to the group of friends that Ellis has supporting him.
That group of friends are part of New Amsterdam elite. Not only are they rich and somewhat powerful, they’re also part of an exclusive BDSM club. The premise is they’ve all helped each other work out their issues through BDSM and friendship. They may have all hooked up at some point. It may have been sex or just a scene. Either way it was intimate and formed bonds between them all that they take very seriously. This may be the part that had me disconnected from them as I missed out on how their dynamic came to be. It’s obvious they’re very close. Almost family like. Ellis basically was adopted by this group through a support group for veterans.
Ellis is an ex-military man works at a gun range. He’s got a good job. Great friends. A healthy sex life. Now that he’s worked through his issues he’s decided to face what everyone else seems to already know. That he’s got a big crush on the enigmatic ballet dancer that comes to his shop once a week. Ellis tries to chat him up but Bryn wants nothing to do with making friends. Ellis finally pushes for more and intrigues Bryn despite the walls he’s built around him. Ellis gets an invite to an event where he plays savior to Bryn after he mixes cocktails and pills. It’s at this point Ellis realizes that Bryn has real deep issues and demons he’s battling. Ellis realizes just how much he cares for Bryn and that he wants to be there for him. No matter what it takes.
Ellis was a very likable guy. Again I think I missed out on some of his back story and the struggle that made him who he is. I still really liked him. Bryn on the other hand wasn’t very likable. He was cold and brash. Always self medicating despite being a disciplined successful dancer. Bryn’s character was an overabundance of drama and angst. For the majority of the book I wanted to know what was so bad that this poor man tortured and punished himself so badly. When we finally get to see into his past it’s a lot to process in a short time. It was also all resolved way too easily IMO considering how messed up he was. I guess it all didn’t piece together for me. I went from intrigued to drowning in drama with a too tidy ending. There was also a BIG bomb dropped on us that for me was never really resolved in regards to Bryn’s history with Jared.
Another issue I had with this book is the sexual healing thing. I’ll admit to it being a pet peeve of mine. It kind of works with the BDSM theme but Ellis and Bryn barely explore the why’s behind their kink and how it works into them being who they are as individuals and as a couple. I got the feeling other characters in this series may have had more in depth explanation in regards to this. While I liked the characters and was intrigued by the bond between the friends I can’t say I loved this story. I liked it, but for me it had problems.