Colton Prier doesn’t have a sub of his own and when he wins a bet with his best friend, Lee, and gets the man’s sub for the weekend, Colton doesn’t expect much to come from it. But when he meets Tate Nicholson, their connection is incredibly intense. Tate is a natural submissive with an abiding interest in rope play. He’s wanted to work with Colton for some time, so his Master’s failed bet works to his advantage. Tate isn’t exactly unhappy with his current Master, but with Colton he discovers how truly fulfilling submission can be. Colton won’t betray his best friend, even if means walking away from the sub of his dreams. And Tate can’t help feeling guilty as he finds himself torn between two Masters. But when the situation comes to a head, Colton and Tate must decide if what they have is real enough to bind them together permanently.
Reckless was an enjoyable, though uneven, BDSM romance focusing on rope play. Colton and Tate are engaging and they work as a sweet couple that understands they have something important, but that keeping it won’t be easy. While I would have preferred each character have a bit more depth, they are generally well rounded and their actions are in keeping with what we know about them. Tate is far younger than Colton, but you never get the impression that he is immature or in over his head. He knows what he wants and I found that refreshing. One of the best things that Reckless does is remind readers that BDSM is like any other lifestyle, complex and rewarding and far from one size fits all. Colton and Lee are radically different Doms and their individual expectations of Tate highlight how being a submissive doesn’t mean any Dom will do. And vice versa. Lee isn’t a particularly bad Dom, but he and Tate clearly have different needs and a result their partnership isn’t very fulfilling for either one of them. Reckless does a great job of exploring the importance of getting it right, not just because of romance, but so everyone’s needs are met.
The first half of Reckless has a natural, even pace and the evolution of Tate and Colton’s relationship feels realistic. But at about the halfway point, everything jumps into overdrive and the pacing goes out the window. What was a faithfully portrayed relationship starts feeling strained and somewhat slapped together. It’s almost as though the author felt the readers needed to know that X, Y, and Z happened and was determined to cram it all in, even if meant forcing it onto the page. Tate and Colton stop feeling quite so relatable and I think its because their relationship just slumps into both the predictable and the unnecessary. It doesn’t make much sense and doesn’t fit the pattern already established by the characters. Had the author either expanded the book or pushed the story into a sequel, I think it would have continued to evolve naturally and been a much better story. As a side note, given this book is about rope play, I would have enjoyed reading a few more scenes where this was the focus. There is some bondage but overall, given the depth of both Colton and Tate’s interest, it seemed to be a bit lacking in true scene building.
Reckless has some very enjoyable moments and its protagonists definitely pull you in right from the beginning. Unfortunately the latter half of the book starts moving too fast, becomes rote, and derails what was a very engaging romance. Despite its issues, Reckless is still a nice read for anyone who enjoys BDSM and two protagonists who are meant to be with one another, no matter the obstacles in their way.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.