Dillon Spade is a Dom who lost his last submissive lover going on six years now. He has struggled to find a compatible lover in the interim. Leaving Harte’s, a BDSM club, Dillon is propositioned by Mike, an attractive younger man who’s interested in selling his services as a sub for a night. And, Dillon agrees.
They go to Dillon’s home, where he lays out his expectations so they can strike a bargain for one night of safe play. Mike is happy with Dillon’s forethought and attention to detail. Their play becomes far more deeply connecting than Mike’s previous pay-for-play experiences have ever been. He agrees to meet again, and again, for his same sum. In the intervening time, Dillon and Mike develop a rapport that gives Dillon hope for one day regaining a lover and relationship similar to his first one. Dillon sees the same kind of strength in Mike as in his lost lover—and he wants to move past pay-for-play into real life.
Tricks and Bids is an alternating POV story, so we really have the chance to experience Mike’s confusion and intrigue. We also get Dillon’s reticence, and long-standing heartache. I think, for me, the biggest issue was time. Why did Dillon wait six years in grief? He had the support of Harte, who is a childhood mate. It seemed inexplicably long. Then, Mike and Dillon get serious really fast. Dillon’s lover had been a full-service sub, and that’s what he truly wants. With a few nights of hired work, Mike seems ready to jump into this role. Again, why so fast? I get that they have dove-tailing interests—with Dillon willing to support Mike as Mike figures out his life plan—but it seemed conveniently timed.
This is the first book in a series, so maybe books down the line will have glimpses of this couple as they make their way forward into love. Right now, I think there’s a growing regard and a flame of lust fueling the beginning of this relationship. The BDSM sexytimes weren’t super intense, or particularly physical. I never felt Mike was in any danger, or that Dillon would ever lose his composure. They had deep talks in the night that allowed Dillon to share his memories of a tender love, and Mike yearned to be loved in such a way—which may be the way it all ends up. Time will tell, and I’d be eager to read on.