Stealing SerenityRating: 4.25 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novella

Daniel is a master thief, and he is an expert at the long con in order to obtain his target.  Taking a job at Gerard Photography is just a ruse so he can find out who owns the multi-million dollar digital photograph, Serenity.

When he captures the attention of his boss, Kearin Gerard, Daniel thinks that it’s just one step closer to finding out who has the photo he needs to steal.  But Kieran has other things in mind.  A successful photographer, Kearin has been putting together a portfolio of men bound in intricate knot work.  He shows the portfolio to Daniel, and it sparks something inside Daniel.  He wants the peace he sees on the model’s faces and he agrees to model for Kieran.

The peace and headspace Daniel finds when Kearin binds him is something he has never known.  It threatens his ultimate goal of stealing the photograph.  The attraction between Daniel and Kieran is something that can’t be overlooked, even though Daniel knows that Kearin doesn’t sleep with his models.  That doesn’t diminish his need to be with Kearin.  But when the final photo shoot makes Daniel uncomfortable, Kearin stops everything.  Daniel knows he needs to make the choice: either steal the photograph he’s supposed to, or let it go in favor of winning Kearin over.

I’m going to be honest here, this is a really tough one for me to review.  There were parts of this book that worked exceptionally well, and other parts that left me feeling unsatisfied.  The writing was really great, and I applaud the author’s attention to detail because it really immersed me in the world.  But there were times when I felt removed from the action.  Also at times, though not always, it felt like there were two separate stories going on.

We spend the majority of the book in Daniel’s head and this worked really well.  This is his story.  He’s a thief, he has a goal, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it.  I was impressed with his dedication to the job.  Through backstory, we learn the lengths he went to in order to set himself up to get the information he needed.  We get to see his skill in action and it was really well done and believable.  I enjoyed seeing Daniel using the tools at his disposal to break and enter, and find out what he needed to know.

Kearin is a little harder to connect with because what we know of him is all colored by Daniel’s perception.  Daniel, however, is a very insightful man; he has to be in order to con his marks.  Kearin’s raw power and dominance come through loud and clear.  And when Daniel realizes that Kearin was playing him from the start in order to get Daniel to model for him, it was as much a revelation for me as it was for Daniel.

The parts I truly enjoyed about this book were the bondage scenes.  The author describes them in such vivid detail that I felt like I was right there with Daniel, feeling the ropes and sinking into subspace.  I really appreciated that.  The arousal simmering between the two men was so visceral, it practically leapt off the page.  Kearin was constantly aware of Daniel’s headspace and took care of him when he was in Kearin’s ropes.  In fact, when it got to a point that Daniel was not comfortable, when he couldn’t get to the place they both needed him to go, Kearin did not hesitate to stop the photo shoot immediately, even though it could be detrimental to his career.  This was in keeping with Kearin’s character and I expected nothing less, but it was really refreshing to see.

As I said, sometimes it felt like there were two separate stories going on here, however.  There were the parts where Daniel was planning his theft and the parts where Daniel was a mild mannered employee and model for his boss.  Though both aspects of the plot were well done, they didn’t often always mesh well.  There were several times when we moved to back and forth between the story lines that were jarring for me.  There would be an intense scene during which Kearin bound Daniel and we’d be fully immersed in that, only for the next scene to be Daniel working on the heist almost as if the other thing wasn’t happening.  I would have to completely readjust my mental landscape, and it threw me out of the story.

These guys never have sex, though the tension between them is insanely intense.  It is, in part, in keeping with the story because Kearin doesn’t sleep with his models.  But it was clear from the beginning that the relationship between the two men was more than just that.  Kearin himself took it to another level when he exerted dominance over Daniel as if they had a true D/s relationship.  To never see them together left me feeling unsatisfied.

Though we are left with the idea that they will, in fact, get together, I felt like the whole thing ended abruptly.  It was like I’d been brought to the edge, and then left dangling.  Not to mention, in the last chapter, we jumped into Kearin’s POV.  It was startling because we’d only ever been privy to Daniel’s thoughts up until that point.  So the end of this book left me wanting.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good and realistic bondage.  For me, those were the most well-done parts of this book.

Cover: I love this cover as it encapsulates all the important aspects of this book.  It definitely caught my attention.

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