Story Rating: 3.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars

Narrator: Michael Dean
Length: 6 hours, 46 minutes

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Peter Kelly’s parents were murdered by their drug dealer when he was 14, and he was raised by his Uncle Mac, who owns a bar in south Boston. Peter had a good job, but the company closed and he’s been temping since. His cousin, Jimmy, who’s a nefarious guy, tricks Peter into turning up as an office assistant to a mob boss. Instead of a job, he finds Lucien Marchesi’s infinite gaze upon him, and his ordinary world turned inside out. Soon, Peter’s kneeling for his new Master, and giving in to his basest desires of being dominated by a man who will punish him as needed, but will also see to his every physical and emotional need. It might be heaven, if his savior wasn’t a murdering mafioso.

Unfortunately, Lucien finds his perfect submissive partner at just the wrong time in his life. Sure, he’s 32 and running his family’s operation, with little help from his brother or cousin, and he’s opening legit businesses at which beautiful, innocent, Peter could help out. But, a competitor has been encroaching and all out war is likely to erupt between their families. Lucien knows anyone he might care for is at risk, and Peter, though he’s only been in his care a short time, would be a critical target. Lucien wants to protect him, even when Peter is begging for that punishment he takes so well.

This is a dark romance with lots of bad blood, posturing, and some double crosses. Peter and Lucien seem to fall for one another immediately, which generally feels off, to me. The narration by Michael Dean gave the story more gravitas than I think I would have felt had I read it in text. I could really sense the emotions through the narrator’s voice, though I rather expected a bit more Boston in his accents. The fast romance between Lucien and Peter was slightly outpaced by the battles being waged with the Marchesi’s rivals, which seemed to come hot and heavy in the second half.

The big growth point for Peter remained for him to finally hold his ground when times were toughest, and he does this at the exact moment Lucien needed him. I liked how the Marchesis are not about brutality, or harming innocents. They’re “good” mafia, I guess. Lucien’s life has been pretty emotionless for a long time, so falling hard for Peter is practically cause for celebration for the people closest to Lucian, those who want to see him happy. Peter and Lucien have some very steamy moments, which, again, seemed more natural in the narration. I sometimes find domination to seem too austere and imperious, yet the narrator’s inflections gave Lucien a humane quality text often lacks.

I liked this one, and am intrigued to hear the next stories, which feature Lucien’s brother, and later his cousin, finding lovers of their own. Expect lots of steam, and some silliness–what 25 year old man needs two ponies, am I right?