The Gay Rider’s Carnival. Whip’s favorite weekend of the year—a time to join, bond, and fuck like-minded men. Planning his first day out as he walks to his cabin (this isn’t his first rodeo; no way he’s fucking in a tent), Whip finds an unexpected, unwelcome surprise there. The guy is battered and bruised, if not broken. Whip’s first instinct is to get rid of the pup—he has plans this weekend of the big, burly kind—but something about the way Nick shies away and then his story about his abusive Master has Whip wanting to keep him around. At least until he can make sure the pup is in safe hands.
Nick came to the Gay Rider’s Carnival with his supposed Master, but when the guy and his friends crossed the line, Nick left. Now he’s apparently property of Whip since the big biker refuses to let him leave. But the more time he spends with Whip, the more he discovers what real safety and real domination mean. Maybe even real love.
Together, Nick and Whip experience the carnival and find something neither of them knew they were missing, but when Nick’s Master shows up again, Nick and Whip realize they’ll have to fight if they want to keep the connection they have… even if it’s only for the weekend.
Hmm… well, it’s taken me a bit to sit down and write this one because there’s a lot to say. I am a sucker for a man on a bike. So now that biker books are popping up in the m/m genre, I am salivating. Which is exactly why I chose to read this book. This was not my favorite biker romance. It wasn’t horrible, but there was so much that was just meh that I had a hard time focusing on the rest.
Let’s take the carnival for instance. This is a major example of needing to suspend disbelief. I won’t bore you with details of motorcycle clubs and their notorious bigotry, and I’ve read plenty gay biker romances where one or both partners have been out. But a Gay Rider’s Carnival? I just don’t see it.
As for the characters, I found Whip inconsistent. First, he wanted to spend a weekend with at least one big guy (about his own size) he could overpower. Then Nick shows up and at first he wants to get rid of the kid—after he makes sure Nick’s safe—but the next thing I knew Whip is ready to move Nick into his place after the weekend. Talk about break-neck speeds. Nick wasn’t much of anything. I mean, he was okay, but the way he cowered at everything instead of standing up for himself or what he wanted—I was over him pretty early in the story. These guys aren’t the only characters I had issues with. The antagonist was crazy, don’t get me wrong, but he wasn’t villainous enough. Why make a threat and not carry it through by yourself, or at least be among the thugs you have working with you? And then the way Whip jumps to the conclusion they were working with Nick’s old Master—like it should have been obvious. It wasn’t. It was possible, yes, but not certain.
The BDSM aspect of this story is even lacking. I mean Whip and Nick sort of skim the rules. Whip has no idea what Nick is even into—other than not having his dick nailed to a board. It was all just so fast. The author tried to fit so much into a short novella—including three sex scenes.
Overall this was more fairy tale and less believability—white knight rides in on his Harley and protects the damsel in distress then spoils the heck out of him. Not a bad concept, just not written in a manner that made me want more, and not in the good way.
Cover: This cover, while lovely to look at, is absolutely not how I pictured the characters. The guy in the back… that’s supposed to be Nick, except Nick is slighter and his hair is way longer and he’s pretty much hairless everywhere else–including his face. The guy in front portraying Whip isn’t how I pictured him either. Don’t get me wrong, the guy (from what I can see) is gorgeous, but he’s not Whip. Overall, a great cover for another book in which the characters match those cover models.