Nash can’t help but be drawn to Joshua, a submissive he has seen at The Underground Club. The pull is even stronger as Nash sees how unhappy Joshua appears with his current Dom. In fact, the man seems unhappy in general, and as Nash asks around, it is clear Joshua has a troubled past and often pushes limits with pain and no safe words. Nash can’t help but get involved and soon he is taking Joshua on as his own submissive.
It has been a while since Nash has had a live in sub, but he knows that being with Joshua and helping him through his issues is the right thing for him. It is not easy though. Joshua’s issues with pain are even more severe than Nash imagined. Joshua craves the high from pain so much that he is willing to be lead to dangerous extremes. It is clear that Joshua is still haunted by his past and can’t even begin to address his emotional issues without panicking. He still has a long way to go, but with Nash’s love and guidance, Joshua is slowly beginning to heal and the men are taking steps to build something lasting between them.
Limitless is the second book in SJD Peterson’s Underground Club series, although the book can stand alone just fine. The series is linked by the connection to the club, and the MCs from the first book don’t even appear here, so you can easily pick this one up without the first.
What drew me most to the story is Joshua and his issues with pain and his emotional health. I think Peterson does a nice job exploring that here. We see right away that he has some considerable mental health issues and, in particular, a problem addressing anything from his past. We also see how he is basically just surviving, going from Dom to Dom to have someone to look out for him, but never really getting what he needs. In fact, Joshua has trouble even articulating what he needs (even to himself). So I liked the way we see his growth and how he improves over the course of the story. I appreciated that we see him getting some therapy in addition to his role as a submissive with Nash. And I really appreciated that things aren’t magically fixed right away, or even completely fixed at all at the end of the book, given the severity of Joshua’s issues.
On the other hand, I did feel like the book ends a little bit unresolved. Again, I wasn’t looking for a magic cure for Joshua, or for things to improve unrealistically fast, but I also found myself at the end of the story and feeling like there were a lot of loose ends. For example, we know that Joshua had this terrible experience with his first Dom, so bad he ended up in the hospital and is still emotionally scarred. But this is just barely addressed and we never learn any details. I kept waiting to learn the history, and the book ends without ever giving the background.
I also didn’t always totally love Nash. I never doubted he comes to this from a good place, and from a genuine desire to help Joshua. And I appreciated that he clearly understands the need for Joshua to seek therapy and, in fact, pushes him as much as possible to get it. But there was a sense of arrogance there that still was a lot to handle for me. We come in kind of in the middle in the sense that Nash is already infatuated with Joshua but we don’t see the start of things. So Nash is convinced that Joshua is not happy and that he should leave his current contract with his other Dom, but we don’t see much to understand Nash’s almost obsessive feelings for Joshua or why he is sure he knows best. Nash also comes across as smug at times, sure he knows how to solve things with Joshua, noting that his style or technique or whatever is working where others failed. I actually kind of expected it to come back to bite him for his arrogance, but it never does. So not a major thing, but at times he was a bit much for me.
Overall I enjoyed this one and am liking the series. I liked that this story explored a bit of a different type of relationship and a sub who had some unique challenges. And I found it rewarding to see the progress the men go through. I am looking forward to more in the series.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.