Rowan Stanton lives to serve and while he gets to do so in a limited capacity at the hotel where he works, he longs for a deeper and more meaningful submission. When he takes a new position at the exclusive Retreat, he finally has a chance to serve and submit in every sense of the word.
Lorcan Wilder has enough money for a dozen lifetimes and he’s spent the last decade working himself to the bone. Now he has time to relax and engage in his need for dominance. The Retreat offers a month away from the world with beautiful Rowan and no other expectations other than caring for himself and for Rowan.
Lorcan and Rowan connect on nearly every level and Lorcan finds himself falling for the boy who seems to love nothing so much as serving. But the Retreat is an oasis in the midst of chaos and Lorcan is well aware that it can’t last forever. Yet leaving Rowan seems impossible and both men will have to decide what they want from the future and from one another. For Rowan, it means embracing an uncertain future. And for Lorcan, it means letting go of a terrible past.
There was a lot of giggling in Serving Him. Just giggling all over the place. But only by subs. Apparently Doms never giggle, nor anyone else. Just subservient men. This annoyed from the outset because it felt somehow belittling and playing to outdated stereotypes. I have no doubt the author didn’t mean this to be the case, but it turned me off right away. I can’t say my overall impression improved much.
The book is written adequately, though it’s somewhat simplistic in its execution, and it’s a quick read. Pacing isn’t an issue in the least. Serving Him is listed as the first in a new series, but there were multiple Dom/sub pairings that were written as if they were previously known characters. So I don’t know if they came from another series or what, but they seemed well established. Knowing them isn’t critical to the story, but as a reader, I felt somewhat out of step with the relationships for the first few chapters.
If you want a chapter by chapter checklist of kinky BDSM sex acts, then look no further. Everything from slings, to chastity devices, to crops are all in play. But that’s about all there is. There is no passion behind these encounters, the emotional connections feel stifled, and there is very little by way of a plot. The sex reads as rote and uninspired and it’s hard to look at either Rowan or Lorcan as fully developed characters. They feel somewhat cardboard-like and stock standards without much depth. Even Lorcan’s horrific past is glossed over and resolved within about a paragraph.
I don’t mind a book that may be weak on plot and heavy on the sex, as long as that book knows what it is and makes good use of what it can offer. Serving Him fails to do that. The plot is flimsy at best, but instead of steamy, passionate sex scenes we get rote, catalogued encounters that lack any emotive response at all. I wanted to like Rowan and Lorcan. Heck, I wanted to feel something, anything, for them but Serving Him felt flat right from the start. For anyone who enjoys BDSM, I’d have to recommend giving this one a pass.