Rating: 3.5 stars
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Eldridge Cristoff, after much pleading, has finally agreed to meet with his best friend, Isabella, and her lover, Johnson, at a club. It’s a BDSM club, well-known and with a discrete and powerful clientele. It’s not the first time Eldridge has flirted with the idea — or the fantasy — of bondage, of giving himself over to a more dominant partner; the club is exciting and just a little alarming. What he’s seen online or in internet videos is only a brief glimpse into the reality being played out before him.
For Dalton Peters, an owner of the club, being set up to be introduced to (and probably babysit) Eldridge while the besotted couple goes off to play is nothing to look forward to. One look at the slender young man in front of him, however, and he knows he is lost. Dalton wants nothing more than to dominate the shy, skittish man; he wants to make Eldridge his. Given the way Eldrige’s hand lingers in his, the way the young man meets his eyes, hints that Eldridge is just as caught by Dalton.
The spark between them takes on a life of it’s own as a natural submissive and a born dominant meet in a club meant for lust and pleasure. As much as Dalton wants to collar the young man, he knows better than to rush. Eldridge is meant for savoring, and Dalton intends to claim not just his body, but his heart. Unfortunately, Eldridge isn’t certain he’s ready for Dalton’s lifestyle, even as it draws him like a moth to a flame.
While in college, Eldridge convinced his then-boyfriend to try some light bondage. Unfortunately, Ned took it too far, using a belt and hurling insults and heaping shame on Eldridge, calling him a pervert and telling him he needed to be punished as he beat him. It left Eldridge ashamed and hurt and reluctant to try again. He feels an instant spark with Dalton, but memories of the past are holding him back.
Dalton is not an aggressive man and almost never an angry one. He wouldn’t be a very good Dom — and he is a very good Dom — if he let emotions get the better of him, but if he had the chance to get Ned in a dark room… well, but that’s a different story. Recognizing when someone needs a bit more time or simply needs encouragement to let go is part of what makes him good at what he does, and for Eldridge, Dalton is willing to give his full attention. His first steps in seducing Eldridge are barely sexual. He gives the young something to eat, encourages him to take a nap, and when he wakes up, just talks to him.
Dalton isn’t in it for the sex (well, not only the sex), he wants to make certain Eldridge enjoys every bit of it. The touching, the talking, the bond between submissive and dominant. There is no growling, chest thumping masculinity. Instead it’s the honest joy of giving someone else pleasure, of watching Eldridge fall apart under his hand. It’s the growing trust that turns a spark of attraction into something stronger and nurturing it until it becomes love.
This short story is a sweet, sugary love story with an emphasis on passion and only a hint of reality. It’s a display of the sort of trust and love that can grow between a submissive and their dominant. The author shows us a different sort of alpha male, someone who will take charge and care for his partner. It’s a quick little read with a happily ever after and a nice introduction to the BDSM lifestyle, even if that glimpse is a little too picture perfect.