Noah’s life just keeps going from bad to worse. He thought he finally found someone special, someone who might actually want him for more than his pretty face, his money, and his spectacular skills in bed; someone older, hot, and hung who could take care of him, care for him, fill the emptiness in his life … but it turns out the guy (who he picked up at the bar two nights ago while drunk on shots) is married. Fuck. Fuck Noah and fuck his life, right?
The annoying twerp who’s followed him around since middle school wants to throw a party at Noah’s house. He’s already invited a DJ and a bunch of people. It’s too late to say no, now — and too much effort — since Landon’s already set things in motion, and it’s not like Noah’s uncle is even going to be home (again) to do anything about it. Which means getting high and getting drunk, and maybe getting fucked. So, life as usual, then.
What isn’t usual are the cars parked in the driveway when Noah gets home. Or the men with guns. Or the guy telling Noah he is being held hostage for Uncle Patrick’s crimes, which include killing one of these mafia guy’s friends. Noah reacts to being told what to do with the same grace he always has, by opening his mouth and smarting off. This time, though, instead of getting angry, the old guy hauls Noah over his lap, strips his ass bare, and spanks him. In front of everyone. And Noah … finds it hot. Really, really hot.
Alistair Star has been around the block. Hell, he’s been around the city. He knows how to bend people to his will and how to work a situation to his advantage. And, taking one look at Noah, he sees right through the bluster and the defensive attitude to the wounded young man in front of him. Alistair hasn’t had a boy for over two decades, not since he and Cold ended the romantic side of their relationship in favor of a working friendship. But when he gets a look at just how much Noah needs someone to take care of him, Alistair’s needs and wants rise up to the surface. The urge to take a broken boy and turn him into a young man who knows his own worth, to take Noah as his boy, to cherish him and comfort him and fuck him until his pretty mouth stops talking … it’s hard to remember what he really came here for.
Noah’s parents were wealthy, fond of parties and travel and fun, and uninterested in raising a child. Their early death left Noah in the care of his uncle, who preferred to throw money at a problem rather than to have to deal with getting his own hands dirty — part of the reason Noah is certain his uncle is innocent of whatever it is Alistair thinks he did — leaving Noah knowing more about the value of his Gucci belt than himself. Noah turned to drinking and sex to fill the emptiness inside, all but begging someone to love him, to want him. In the end, they usually wanted his money or his body, but never him, never willing to take the time to look past the smart mouth and petulance to see the wounded and lonely person inside. Until Alistair.
Alistair doesn’t let Noah get away with anything. From language, to throwing a glass, to flaunting his ass in front of him. When others try to humiliate Noah, Alistair is quick to shut them down and quick to offer comfort. And when Alistair calls him good, calls him his boy, Noah can’t help but feel it, bone deep.
This story’s plot is surface deep with a fairly straightforward thread to follow. Because it isn’t about the mystery of who did what to who. It’s a story about Noah and Alistair, and about Noah learning to trust his own instincts, learning to think about other people, and learning that he can make mistakes and not be shot down for it. It’s about sex — and lots of it — and that Alistair won’t toss him out of bed in the morning.
While this book takes place in the same world as the Cold Hard Cash series, it is a standalone, featuring some of the same henchmen as in the previous books and the mysterious Alistair Star. It features the author’s skilled writing, steamy scenes, and the confident, domineering love interests taking charge and care of a confused, hurt, and broken young man, coaxing him into a loving and healthy BDSM relationship. If you’re a fan of the author, of mafia romances that are on the lighter, fluffier side — though still with graphic and intense sex scenes — you should very much enjoy this book.