David Taylor has never quite figured out how to find that spark with a partner. He finds the women he dates attractive, but things never work out and he never feels the connection he is hoping for. He has long known he is bisexual, but never had anything serious with a man; it has just seemed easier not to with his conservative parents when no one has really caught his attention. But when Dave is flustered at the bank and the sexy teller calls him “puppy,” it calms Dave in ways he couldn’t have predicted. As he begins to chat more with Arthur Yuen, Dave realizes that not only does he really like Arthur, but that he likes the idea of puppy play as well.
Arthur has never explored a puppy/handler dynamic, but something compels him to call Dave “puppy” and it just fits. As the two men begin exploring a personal and romantic relationship, they also being to explore puppy play together, and find it fulfilling in ways they never imagined. Arthur loves being able to provide Dave with comfort and support, loves being able to gentle and calm his high-strung boyfriend. And Dave finds a sense a peace he never knew he could experience. When he is in his puppy head space, Dave can just relax from all the expectations and follow Arthur’s lead.
Dave and Arthur begin falling hard for one another and growing ever closer. But suddenly tragedy strikes and their world is turned upside down. The men have been building something wonderful between them, something that has turned into love, but now they must fight if there is any hope of their future together.
Only Keep You is the fourth book in J.D. Chambers’ Only Colorado series and I have to say, I really enjoying this series so much. The books are a nice balance of humor and fun, kink and sex, and really sweet tenderness. This story, in particular, just has such a lovely warmth to it and I couldn’t help but totally fall for these guys and want to wrap them both up.
The focus of the first part of the book is on the developing relationship between Arthur and Dave. The two take things slowly, as Dave is kind of a high-stress guy and the idea of dating Arthur, as well as exploring puppy play, is sort of overwhelming to him at first. I loved the sweet and patient way Arthur helps build the relationship between them, always making sure Dave is comfortable and happy. They take things slowly, exploring both their romantic and sexual partnership, as well as learning more about puppy play and figuring out how it will work for them together. There is such a sweet sense of nurturing and care to their relationship, even as there are sexy and steamy scenes. I also really liked the exploration of puppy play here. I think Chambers does a great job really showing us Dave’s puppy headspace, and how he sees and reacts to the world differently when he is “Blue” versus as Dave. I could completely see how this type of dynamic was so fulfilling for both men and these scenes are fun and playful, as well as showing how loved and cared for it all makes Dave feel.
The second part of the story focuses on a horrible tragedy that totally shakes everything up between them. I don’t want to give anything away here, because not only is the event shocking, but the way things play out in the story is really dramatic and well done. Dave has long struggled with his domineering parents who try to control his life, and here we see him finally putting some of those issues to rest. We also see the bond of the found family he has made with his fellow Game Over employees and the group of friends he has built. And when it all comes together, there is just such a lovely sense of warmth to see how much love and support he has, and how much he and Arthur have come to mean to each other.
So I really loved this installment of the series and continue to enjoy these books. The tone of this one is a bit sweeter than some of the others and just made me want to hug these guys tight. At the same time, there is the same light and humorous tone, as well as some light kink and sexy scenes. So this story has a great mix and I am really looking forward to reading the next book.
P.S. We have met Dave casually in other books in the series as he works for Game Over with a lot of the other MCs, and Arthur makes a very brief appearance in the previous book. But story-wise, this one stands alone well. However, there are side characters from other books who show up here, so if you have read them all, you will likely enjoy this one a little more.