Sawyer Burroughs is a 32-year-old widower whose husband, and Dom, died five years ago. He hasn’t been held or touched by another man since his hubby got leukemia, so it’s been nearly six years. Still overcome with grief and needing to turn his despair around, Sawyer sells his home and all the furniture and moves across the country to an apartment in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He arrives with some duffels of clothes, folding chairs, a cot, and little else—and his new, young, sexy neighbor, Derek, is eager to help Sawyer move in.
The apartment house is really a converted huge Victorian mansion, with four units. Derek and Sawyer have two units on the first level, while Luke and Benny have the two upstairs. While all have kitchens, living spaces, and the like, Derek tells Sawyer that he, Benny, and Luke often grill out on the back deck—and that Sawyer would be most welcome to join them for food… and fun. What Derek doesn’t immediately tell Sawyer is that Luke and Benny are into BDSM and sometimes Derek joins them for playtime.
Derek’s instantly attracted to Sawyer, but he can tell there’s trauma behind his shy demeanor. Luke senses that Sawyer’s in dire need of a Dom—and feels like with some training, Derek could be the perfect Dom for him.
Let’s be clear: there are sexytimes here from almost the first moment. At twenty-two, Derek is young, but his attraction to Sawyer makes him willing to take Dom cues from Luke. Derek’s constant attention and tenderness is a balm to Sawyer’s needy soul, and helps Sawyer overcome his guilt regarding his grief. As Sawyer begins to share his history, it’s clear that he’s missing the 24/7 life of service he had with his husband, so Luke begins training Derek into being the Dom Sawyer needs. It’s actually a lot more subtle than I’m stating—and they organically fall into a pair, who sometimes plays with Luke and Benny. Benny, for his part, is a big bruising mover, but Luke’s bigger and takes him in hand whenever necessary. Still, Benny thinks he’s not as good a sub as Sawyer is—and he wonders if Luke will eventually prefer Sawyer. So, there are growing pains to this dynamic, but Luke’s good at shutting down Benny’s fears, and Derek’s good at reading Sawyer’s needs and taking control of his pleasure.
There’s a whole lotta sexytimes going down and it’s often couples with an audience, or a directed session with the subs being well cared for while the Doms get loved up. I thought it might get confusing, but the point-of-view is always clearly demonstrated. Derek and Sawyer are the main focus of the story, but Luke and Benny—and their relationship—are important to the whole dynamic. These are two couples who are living the D/s life and finding pleasure with some low-level sharing. Sawyer’s not into pain play, while Benny sometimes needs his love rough. They all seem to have a deep affection for one another, by the end, and the happiness is off the charts. I really enjoyed the absence of conflict, and felt the emotional growth for each character was enough to keep it interesting, and still full of tenderness.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.