Author: Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock
Reviewed by: JustJen
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: M/M BDSm
ISBN 13: 9781623006068
Summary: Twenty-one year-old Lane Moredock finally has a normal life. Six months after he was wrongly made a suspect in his parents’ Ponzi scheme, he’s settled down with his older boyfriend, Derek, and is working and attending school. But his happiness is threatened when his mother launches a Christmastime PR campaign to help appeal her prison sentence, and asks introverted Lane to be part of it.
Derek Fields has his hands full taking Santa photos, bird-sitting his sister’s foul-mouthed macaw, and helping Lane prepare for a television interview neither of them wants him to do. As he eases Lane through his anxiety, he worries that Lane sees him as a caretaker rather than a boyfriend, and that their age difference really does matter. He and Lane compensate for the stress in their lives by taking their D/s relationship to new levels–a relationship that Lane’s mother insists he should be ashamed of.
As Christmas draws nearer, the pressure builds. Pushy elves. Snarky subs. A bad fight. A parrot in peril. How the hell is Derek going to give Lane a perfect Christmas when the Moredock legacy threatens to pull them apart before the new year?
Review: Laney and Derek are back, six months later, still working through Lane’s issues and trying to heal and be a couple. In this segment, Lane is continually struggling with his insecurities and coming to grips with what he needs and wants from Derek. Sometimes, those two battle each other in his mind. He still has trouble understanding that his feelings and needs for the D/S part of their lifestyle are ok and not just his replaying of the scenario with Acton.
On the other side, Derek is trying to anticipate what Lane needs as opposed to what he is asking for, i.e. the pain he is asking for isn’t necessarily what he really needs all the time. I love how Derek finds new ways to give Laney what he asks for. But, Derek isn’t perfect, and he begins to question their relationship when he realizes Lane will never be the guy who will ever really stand up to him. He is also questioning their age difference and what they each are to the other.
So, these guys are working stuff out, but unfortunately, Lane’s sorry excuse for a mother comes back into the picture to mentally screw with him all over again. No good could ever come from anything involving her. It was really good to see these guys communicate more successfully, which Lane does in leaps and bounds compared to when we saw him in the last book, and to see him take more control over his life, especially where his mother is concerned.
Brin and Ferg are back as well, as crazy as ever. Brin is still as big and shiny as ever, and it was great to see them again. A shout out also has to go to Mr. Zimmerman, who Lane and Derek are watching while Derek’s sister is away with her boyfriend. He is just as mouthy as ever, and it was great to see/hear him again.
This is a very good solid story that pulls you in. It makes you feel and really want to see Lane thrive, for himself and with his relationship with Derek. Lane doesn’t seem like he is ever going to be strong enough that he won’t take steps backwards when his insecurities are challenged, but he definitely does some growing which is nice to see. I really enjoyed this and look forward to seeing where these guys are headed next.