If you are looking for a good BDSM novel with a twist, then look no further than Grace R. Duncan’s Turning His Life Around. Two best friends since the tender age of six, Kane and Ian have been on again, off again fuck buddies as well as roommates. Both self-professed geeks, they have that rare friendship that seems able to accept the fact that they are not destined to be anything more than best buddies—or do they? When the two begin to explore their D/s roles with Ian taking the more dominant position, their relationship slowly begins to morph into something else.
As they weather life changes, with Kane losing his job only to be offered the opportunity to set up his own business and bring Ian with him, Ian finds himself needing more. He is no longer content just being fuck buddies with Kane; in fact, he has fallen in love with his best friend. However, an abusive past has left its mark on Kane. Not being sure what love really is and fairly positive it is not meant for him, Kane fails to recognize the signs Ian is giving off. Now they stand at a crossroads—can they be just friends?
This was an excellent study of a developing D/s relationship and a glimpse into what happens when friends cross the line into something more. While I understood the need for the fairly continuous sex, I felt that the story actually suffered overall. In fact, at times, it felt like the plot existed only to serve as the next jumping off point for heated and intense sexual encounters between the two main characters. I really enjoyed the moments when the author allowed us to take a break from the intimate moments and get a peek at what her characters were like. Ian was so invested in Kane and vice versa—their friendship was so convincing and their growing need to be more than just friends was well done. Each time that Kane missed those obvious cues that Ian was falling harder for him, you wanted to just shake the man and scream, wake up!
All in all, Turning His Life Around was a good novel that could have benefited from a bit more time spent on furthering the plot and a little less time in the bedroom.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.