Aled and Gabriel have been together for five years now. They live together and, while their relationship encompasses the day to day, Gabriel still also has relationships with Chris and Kevin and they are important to him in different ways and give him all the things he needs and craves. Aled is restless, however, as his family has moved away and the job that he used to love is suffocating him. He might be ready to make a change, but he can’t—he won’t leave Gabriel.
Chris has inherited his childhood home after his mother passed away. While he’s happy to have a place to live, the village he grew up in never felt like home. He also misses Gabriel and even misses Aled, as he got used to having the other man around while Gabriel was recuperating. Chris doesn’t know what is next for him, but he does know that he wants to live closer to Gabriel.
Gabriel knows what the answer is, he just has to let Aled figure it out, and he knows he will. Gabriel never thought he could have a job for Aled closer to his family and a move for all three of them. But he knows that having both Aled and Chris close by is where his home is and it will be a new beginning for all of them.
The Beginning is the end of a long journey for Aled and Gabriel and Chris. It is book five in The Starting Over series and the books work best read in order as it is a continuing story. Gabriel and Aled are more settled than either of them ever thought they would be. Gabriel is feeling more settled with himself and Aled is a great support for him. The have a unique relationship and give each other what they need and Aled knew from the beginning that Gabriel is not monogamous. While Aled likes to play rough, Kevin, Gabriel’s other dominant partner, plays even rougher to give Gabriel everything. Gabriel has specific tastes, specific kinks, and there are scenes of rough sex, BDSM, and RACK that give all of the players what they need and that is the heart of this series. There is no jealousy and there is incredibly clear communication between all of them.
Chris became more important to Gabriel over time and he is now a permanent part of Gabriel’s life and therefore a part of Aled’s life. Except for one shared scene in the last book, there is no intimate relationship between Chris and Aled, but they have become a family through Gabriel.
The focus of this book and the continuation of their story has life moving along for them. Aled likes the money he makes from his job and the the things that affords him, but he’s burnt out and wants more time with his family. The book moves at a good pace showing the progression of Gabriel’s relationship with Aled, Chris, and the bond he will always have with Kevin. It also allows for time to show how Chris is evolving and getting to know himself and his desires better. The scenes Gabriel participates in with Aled and Kevin, while rough and at times extreme, demonstrate the trust they all have with each other. While that was great to see, not all of the scenes moved the story along for me and some felt like repetition from previous books.
There are not many relationships like this in the genre and these characters are fully drawn and their relationship is well explained, demonstrated, and defined. Gabriel is the central point that makes all of this work and it’s interesting to see how he navigates the relationships to give himself and the men in his life all that they need. This is the series to read for character diversity and heavy kink, set to the tune of strong bonds and strong relationships.