Rating: 4.25 stars
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Jonty Trelawn’s whole world changed after one awful voyage on his family’s yacht. Fierce storms and turbulent seas wrecked the boat and he was the only survivor. Unable to cope with the reminders of his parents and sister, Jonty sold nearly all their properties, saving only the sea house in Cornwall overlooking the patch of ocean where he lost them all.
The first anniversary of his tragedy is approaching, and Jonty’s spent the year in near isolation painting pieces that sell for large sums. He has plenty of his own money, but wants to organize a tribute to his family by raising money for the lifeboat station. That volunteer operation, boat and crew, fought a miserable storm to rescue him and tow his family back to shore for burial. Unfortunately, despite living in the sea house all this time, Jonty knows hardly anyone in town. He inquires with the proprietor of the local eatery, where Jonty sometimes eats when he’s been too consumed with grief and painting to prepare his own meals, and is directed to Jed Curnow, deputy coxswain of the lifeboat crew. Jonty doesn’t know that it was Jed who pulled him to safety almost a year ago—but Jed couldn’t forget him.
Jed’s a mountain of a man, but with a quiet, dominant demeanor. He makes bespoke furniture and is a carpenter and craftsman by trade. Hearing Jonty’s idea for a fundraiser, Jed’s interested in helping organize, as well as contribute. Seeing the state of Jonty: rail-thin, withdrawn, and self-neglecting, Jed’s also interested in taking Jonty in hand. The attraction is mutual, but Jed’s always looking for a submissive, and he’s not sure if that works for Jonty. As they get to know one another, it’s clear that Jonty has been more than needing someone like Jed to help him cope with life and develop the skills to break through his reclusive nature.
I really liked this one. There’s a bit of bondage and D/s behavior, but no real sadism—some orgasm denial and spankings are all the pain Jed’s into. Jonty is young and petite compared to Jed, who is a fierce protector to Jonty almost from their first meeting. The love story picks up rather quickly, with Jed asserting his dominance from the beginning, and I did like how Jonty responded to him. The tragedy of his losses rang through his behavior, and Jed, as well as his large furry familiar, Marmite, do much to fill the void in Jonty’s life. Jonty also makes tons of friends through Jed’s connections, spouses of other lifeboat personnel, as well as local craftsmen and women who donate items for the charity auction. In the six weeks or so that it takes Jonty to get the benefit organized, Jonty’s life changes yet again—this time for the better.
There is a passionate and considerate D/s dynamic set between Jed and Jonty and his once-solitary days and nights are filled with companionship and love. It’s a sweet, tender, and sexy story about starting over and learning to love again after deep loss. After the opening catastrophe there isn’t a lot of tension, just a slow blossoming of Jonty under Jed’s watchful eye and diligent care.
Thanks so much for the lovely review, it’s much appreciated. LM xx