the good boyRating: 5 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

Photographer Derek Fields lost $15,000 when Laura and Stephen Murdock committed securities fraud and ran off with millions.  Derek knows many people ended up a lot worse off than him, but that is money he can’t afford to lose and Derek is struggling to keep his studio afloat. With Laura in jail and Stephen rumored to have fled to Spain, all attention now has turned to their college-aged son, Landon.  Knowing this rich, spoiled brat is still living the high life while others suffer infuriates Derek, especially since everyone seems to believe that Lane knows where the money is hidden.  And when Derek sees Lane at a party he is photographing, drunk and about to have sex with an older man, it just reinforces his beliefs that Lane is getting away with something.

As it turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Lane knows nothing about his parent’s business or what has become of the stolen money.  All he knows is that one day the FBI showed up, told him all his belongings were being seized, and kicked him out of his house.  Lane is now living in a seedy motel, desperate, broke, alone, and terrified.  His parents have abandoned him, and when he turns to a family friend for help, the man violates him even further, practically breaking Lane.  No one believes that Lane knows nothing about the money, and the FBI, the media, and public opinion have all but convicted him.

When Derek stumbles across Lane once again, he begins to see that there is more to him than a rich party boy. Derek sees Lane’s pain and can not help but want to make it better.  All of Derek’s Dom instincts come out when he sees that Lane has been hurt, both physically and emotionally.  Slowly he begins to help Lane heal, first by caring for his physical wounds, and later by exploring a romantic and sexual relationship that meets Lane’s needs for submission, someone to care for him, and a chance to face his fears with strength.  But even as Lane slowly builds a support group with Derek and his friends and family, the FBI’s case against Lane is growing.  And just when it when looks like Lane and Derek have finally found something wonderful together, it may all come crashing back down.

OMG, you guys, can I just say this book was amazing and leave it at that?  It is fabulous and wonderfully written and go buy it right now?  No? Usually when I finish a book, I have an idea of what I want to say about it.  I feel like I know how to convey my thoughts and feelings about the book in a way that will help you guys get where I am coming from and help you decide if it is a book for you.  But sometimes I finish I book and I feel like there is no way I can do it justice. Not with my plot summary, not with my explanation of why I like it.  And this is one of those times.  So bear with me as I babble a bit here and attempt to explain all the reasons you should read this book.

Ok, so first of all, Lane is an incredible character, unlike any I have ever read.  There is such a wonderful mix of that extreme vulnerability, of fear and terror and self-doubt, mixed with just that thread of inner strength that slowly builds throughout the book.  When we meet Lane he is terrified.  Alone and penniless and scared and left with nowhere to turn.  He finally seeks out help only to see his savior turn into a monster.  I don’t want to say Lane is broken, because there is a strength inside him all the time.  But the physical pain, the emotional stress, they are almost too much for him.  Lane is a good boy.  He likes rules and order and to know what to expect.  He doesn’t like crowds and is unsure when he talks and never feels like he is quite measuring up.  So the chaos and uncertainty and finding himself in the public spotlight is incredibly difficult to handle.  And just as he is on the brink of collapse, Derek comes along and helps Lane find himself again.

Derek opens his heart to Lane and helps him find what he needs to grow that inner strength.  Derek is not a magic Dom who cures all ills and solves every problem overnight.  He is feeling his way through this process along with Lane.  But Derek sees the needs in Lane, for someone to give him rules and structure, for someone to care for him, and most importantly, for someone to have faith in Lane’s inner strength so Lane can believe it in as well.  It is all so beautifully done — sexy, romantic, loving.  And as their relationship grows, both men find exactly what they want from each other.

This book is also filled with great secondary characters.  I just adored Derek’s friends Ferg and Brin.  Brin brings that lightness and comic relief that helps ease the tension and intensity of the story.  He is a total, unrepentant brat and I completely adored him.  When Brin and Lane first meet, Brin is sort of awful to him.  But as the story continues and they get to know one another, Brin becomes a confidant and a fierce protector to Lane.  I loved when Brin teaches Lane “Brat 101” to help Lane show Derek what he needs, but is still unable to say.  It is such a fun scene as he shows Lane how to throw a good tantrum, but underneath it also shows that Brin understands Lane and wants to help him find his way.

There are so many other things I could say about this story.  The writing is beautifully done and it is unbelievable to me that this is the authors’ first partnership together.  I loved the way Derek’s friends and family take Lane under their wing, at first wary, but quickly embracing him fully and giving Lane the true love and support he never had with his own parents.  I enjoyed meeting Derek’s sister and her menagerie of rescued animals, and Lane’s bond with one particularly fearful dog.  Everything just comes together so well here and I could go on and on.

So I will leave you with his.  I loved it, couldn’t put it down, and highly recommend The Good Boy.  Now go forth and enjoy!

Cover Review: Ok, any Veronica Mars fans out there? Because this cover made me giggle just a bit because the guy on the right (who I assume is supposed to be Lane) looks so much like Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen)! I think it is the lips (which are totally yummy).  What do you think?

P.S. Lisa and J.A. were here yesterday talking to us about puppy play.  Be sure to stop by their guest post and check it out!