Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
We met Kilmer briefly in a previous book in this series. His best friend Vance is a country music star who came out publicly for alternative rocker Lenny. Vance and Lenny have a fairly new, but healthy and consensual D/s relationship. Something Kilmer wants. But Kilmer is in a very toxic D/s relationship with Jacko, but he doesn’t see it. Until Jacko pushes his limits just a bit too far.
I really enjoyed that this book showed a couple of different sides to D/s relationships. From really bad ones to really good ones. And how what works for one couple doesn’t necessarily work for another. There is quite a bit of BDSM books out there that don’t necessarily portray the lifestyle accurately.
And while this was obviously not a psychology book, we really get into the mindset of both a Dominant and a submissive. What makes them crave either role and why it fits them so well. Jacko wanted a submissive that Kilmer tried to be, but ultimately couldn’t. Just as Kilmer needed a Dominant but Jacko just couldn’t fill that role.
Slowly but surely, another musician, Tanner, shows Kilmer what it can and should be like to live with that kind of relationship. Tanner takes the time to nurture this broken man, to show him his worth. But his best friend Vance also pushes him to repair his house to exorcise the memories of Jacko, and to pick up the bass guitar again to lose himself in music.
Kilmer has to learn to love himself, let go of what could have been with Jacko, to accept that his best friend won’t abandon him, and to trust Tanner. Quite a lot for one guy.
We even got a little bit of closure with Lenny and his band from the previous books, which was nice to read. There was a good mix of on and off page sex so it wasn’t overwhelming as it can be. While this was a long-ish book and I think it could have been edited down quite a bit, it is still a good read.
Cover art by Aaron Anderson is gorgeous and works for the story.
Expected publication: June 12th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
SeriesOff Stage #3