Saul Reynolds is a 25-year-old Dom looking for a lover and sub. He’s a co-manager of a bike shop building custom mountain bikes for the folks of Boulder, CO. A chance accident brings Saul in contact with a Dom named Carter who runs one of his favorite diners. And, that’s how Saul meets Troy, and older, unattached sub who’s the chief cook at Carter’s diner.
Troy Finch was a bull rider in the rodeo circuit at a young age. He met his only steady lover, an older man named Arnie, when he was a teen. And, while Arnie was a bit of a Dom, he was also way deep in the closet. Troy, who had been disowned by his father, constantly feared losing Arnie’s love and attention and it set up a dysfunctional dynamic. Arnie died twenty years ago and Troy has been unpartnered since. He cannot believe that a sexy young man like Saul wants anything to do with him, but he’s willing to give Saul service in the chance he might find a true partner.
This is the first book in a new series of BDSM stories, and I think it’s off to a good start. It seems like Saul and Troy are an odd couple because of the age gap, but they really connect both as men and as Dom/sub. Troy has been studying sub life for two decades through his close friendship with Carter and Carter’s husband/sub, Geoff. Geoff has been serving a bit of a Dom role for Troy by means of tattoo work he does for Troy, inking artistic triskelions all over his body. Troy is primed for a Dom, but his friends in the life are a little wary about him being with a young Dom. They have a close-knit community that really serves as surrogate family for many of the Doms and subs in Troy’s acquaintance, including himself. But Saul seems to fit with them—even standing up for Troy’s needs after a serious medical crisis makes him reconsider that diner cook job.
This is a more emotion-laden romance than hard core BDSM story. The dominance and submission angles are kind of downplayed, which seemed appropriate with these men only just meeting one another and having to take the time necessary to get to know each other. That said, they have amazing sexual chemistry and each is astounded to have found a man to fill both roles of lover and life partner. Their romance grows quickly, with very few dates before they both admit there is something extra brewing for their path together.
I really liked getting to know Troy and Saul as people, as they both carry the story in alternating POVs. Troy’s insecurity regarding the age gap is palpable in the first quarter of the story, but the more he leans into Saul’s supportive embrace, the less he’s troubled by his age—until he’s sick. And then, he’s so dang grateful at Saul’s ability to bring peace and clarity to his life that he’s willing to believe that what they have is truly the real deal.
Troy is a Texan and Saul is from the Philly area, but the language really conjures the Coloradan dialect, and I love that. Also, I really enjoyed the settings of mountain bike rides and camping out, because those are fun experiences I’ve enjoyed in Colorado, too.
The health setback causes some tension for Troy as he rethinks his life and career. Saul is eager for him to make a change, to find a career that is more soul-satisfying, even if it might mean stepping even farther from Carter’s protective care. But, as he and Saul build the life Troy has long-since given up dreaming for, he recognizes that happiness is only available to those brave enough to chase it.
I liked this story, and I look forward to the delving deeper into the love lives of other couples in this series as it grows.