This is the second book in Silvia Violet’s Thorne and Dash series, and likely best enjoyed when read after Professional Distance.
Thorne and Riley met several months ago, when Thorne hired Riley as his Friday night escort. Thorne was closeted at that point, and really enjoyed being dominated by a discreet hired lover. “Dash” was so fantastic at caring for Thorne that Thorne needed him more and more frequently—and they developed a personal relationship, one where Dash dropped his Dom persona and Thorne grew to love aspiring culinary student Riley even more.
In this second book, Riley and Thorne have gone full bore, making their relationship official and moving in together. Riley is attending culinary school, but he’s not loving it. He’s 85% sure that he should just quit school and open a catering business with his mentor and cooking partner, Susan. The thing is, Riley doesn’t want Thorne’s help, and that includes a loan to open the business. Riley wants to make himself successful on his own merit and hard work.
Riley’s already feeling majorly outclassed in his relationship with Thorne, who’s twenty years his senior and so wealthy. Riley feels like he’ll never catch up, or be a relevant, contributing, partner to their life, and Thorne doesn’t know how to handle Riley’s insecurities. I totally identified with Thorne’s desire for them to be happy together, forever. But, Thorne’s fears over Riley deciding hanging with an older man will get, well, old were a little presumptuous. He tries to balance his need to take care of Riley with his tendency to take over, and this leads to problems because Thorne’s not really good at that level of balance. Thorne’s used to making suggestions that are followed, and compromise is not his strong suit.
I really loved the tenderness here, and how closely Thorne listened to Riley, and tried—almost all the time—to do exactly what Riley asked. Naturally, these guys make mistakes, and overstep boundaries, but their love is never in question. They are so in sync with their love, and their sexytimes, but they struggle to express themselves verbally. This is particularly problematic regarding Riley’s future business plans, but is rather easily remedied. I loved how they took a *brief* break to reassess their relationship because it gave them so much appreciation for each other—and allowed them to really work at being better partners. These guys are so filled with love for each other, I cringed over every single misstep. Riley recognizes that his pride is a major stumbling block to his happiness, and the way he handles this is mature and endearing, eventually. I do love that the book is written from dual POV, because it would be easy to mistake the motivations of each man if I didn’t have a front row seat in his head, and heart.
It’s completely an HEA, yet it’s clear to me that we’re going to see more of Thorne and “Dash”/Riley, as well as a spin-off book (or more) featuring Riley’s bestie, Marc and one bossy, British tailor. As for this book, it’s a scorcher. Deliciously sexy as-all-get-out, as well as sweet. I enjoyed the ride and eagerly await the next book.