When Landon Miller and Gregory Douglas were in high school, they fell in love and thought they would be together forever. They discovered not just a romance, but a shared love of kink that they explored together. But life got complicated and things fell apart between them. Now, fifteen years later, neither man has ever really fallen for anyone else. Landon still craves submission and Gregory still is a Dom, but they have never found a partnership quite like the one they had.
Landon is the owner of Rapture, a BDSM club in L.A., and one night Gregory comes in to witness the collaring ceremony between two friends. The men are shocked to see one another, but it is clear the chemistry and connection between Landon and Gregory is still there. However, both men are still angry and resentful for the way things ended between them all that time ago. The two take time to talk to one another and work through their complicated past. Both men would love nothing more than rebuild the relationship they once had, and so they begin to once again explore their sexual and romantic partnership. It turns out that that two are just as compatible as they always were and both men are overjoyed at the connection they are feeling. But when Landon’s doubts once again reappear, the men must figure out if what they have is worth fighting for and if they can truly rebuild what they lost all those years ago.
Worth the Risk is the first book in Kate Hawthorne’s Giving Consent series and it hooked me in right away. It is clear when Gregory and Landon reconnect that the love they shared never really went away, but there is a lot of baggage they have to work through before they can move forward. Both of the men are resentful of the other, and it takes some communication and working through their problems before they can move forward. I appreciated that we see these men deal with their issues before they jump back into things, and we actually see them talking through their problems together. Once they are past this conflict, Landon and Gregory do move pretty seamlessly into all in with their relationship, so things did feel a touch fast after so much time apart. But I still really liked their connection and Hawthorne makes their chemistry really clear. The guys have a pretty intense BDSM relationship and I enjoyed seeing their dynamic and how each get so much from their partnership.
The conflict in the end is a bit frustrating due to lack of communication, but also because it still seems like Landon’s issues aren’t fully resolved. I do like the direction Hawthorne takes things as they work through the problem, but I still felt frustrated at Landon, I’ll admit. That said, Gregory seems to be perfectly happy and able to handle it, so I could see that things were working out for them just fine.
While this is clearly Landon and Gregory’s story, there is a great ensemble cast here made up of both their friends. Since the next three books are already released, I know these folks are all getting their own stories and I was totally drawn in by all of them. Hawthorne sets things up in an interesting way in that their relationships seem to be developing during the timeline of this story, so I’ll be curious to see how their stories play out in their own books. I am really eager to keep reading on and Hawthorne definitely got me hooked on this group in this first story.
Overall, I found this a really enjoyable BDSM, second chance romance and am definitely looking forward to more in this series.