Author: Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock
Reviewed by: Barb
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: M/M BDSM
Introverted college student Lane Moredock is in a bad place. His mother has been arrested for securities fraud, his father is on the run, and everyone, including the SEC, suspects Lane knows where the missing millions are. Lane, with no money and nowhere to live, makes a desperate deal that lands him in trouble and leaves him unwilling to trust a so-called Dom again.
Photographer Derek Fields lost money to the Moredocks, and is as sure as anyone that Lane is guilty despite his claims. A chance meeting with Lane shows him there might be something more to the young man than arrogance and privilege, and Derek wonders if Lane might be just what he’s been looking for: a sub with the potential to be a life partner.
As Lane slowly begins to open up to Derek and explore his needs as a submissive, the investigation closes tighter around him. Lane might be everything that Derek wants, but first Derek needs to trust that Lane is innocent—and Lane needs to trust Derek with the truth.
Twenty year old Landon Moredock, aka Lane, is suspected of being complicit in a securities fraud committed by his parents. He can’t go anywhere without police, FBI, press, and average citizens scorning the very ground he walks on. They aren’t aware that he’s completely innocent and he has also lost everything. Every possession he owned was seized when his mother was arrested and his father escaped to Europe. He was kicked out of their mansion with not much more than the clothes on his back and has only one person to turn to. He heads to the mansion of Acton Wagner, one of his family’s longtime friends and a man that Lane has always secretly had a crush on.
Once there, rather than being invited to attend the party going on that night, he enters a nightmare of torture and abuse as Acton takes out his own anger at losing millions in investments on an already psychologically defeated Lane. Derek Fields, a photographer at the event, accidentally stumbles upon Acton and Landon just when Acton has Landon lying naked over a desk. Something about the scene bothers Derek but seeing that it’s Landon, a man he hates due to his own loss of money in the Moredock fraud, Derek is happy to back off and leave.
These scenes represent the mood for the beginning of the story where there’s so much hurt, depression and despair in Lane, and deep anger and hatred in Derek. At first, I had a hard time reading this story because it was so depressing and full of anger and resentment. However it was a compelling story, and once I moved forward, I was able to see that the authors actually did an excellent job in conveying the characters feelings by setting that stage. Like Derek, it seemed everyone hated Landon and perceived him as a spoiled, rich society brat, yet the real Lane was a shy, introvert who only wanted someone to take care of him and tell him what to do.
Once their two life lines converge, starting with a chance meeting, there’s a very slow progression of Lane’s personality change, an awakening of his sense of self-worth. He has finally found the dom he needs in order to be the sub he’s kept hidden, and Derek is offered an opportunity for love that he had despaired he’d ever find. I loved the way the authors took their time to develop both the relationship and the healing that Lane needed to move forward. It was a powerfully moving story, as Lane had not only deep scarring and physical pain, but emotional pain which ran even deeper.
The journey these MCs take us on is often full of angst, but it does have light-hearted moments, and the secondary characters, from Derek’s mother and sister to his friends Brin and Ferg, were wonderful. In fact, Brin was absolutely delightful and I would definitely nominate him for outstanding supporting role.
I highly recommend this book for all lovers of BDSM and for those who enjoy a rich, slowly developing and deeply moving love story. In fact, I don’t want to leave these guys so I may have to re-read this one again in the very near future.