Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Rowan Stanton knows he is submissive. He loves to look after people but the country hotel he works at can’t quite fulfill his need to serve. When he succeeds at getting a new role as houseboy at The Retreat, an exclusive BDSM hideaway in the New Forest, he believes it’s his dream job. Inexperienced in many ways, he soon realizes he’s not as prepared as he thought for the demands placed upon him.
Lorcan Wilder is young, rich and successful. He’s also haunted by nightmares and has sacrificed a decade to his business. Selling it gives him the freedom to explore his Dominant side and four weeks at The Retreat are the start of a new life. He doesn’t expect the young submissive employed to serve him will have such a profound effect on him. Exploring and pushing Rowan’s boundaries is exactly what Lorcan needs to separate himself from his past.
Lorcan makes full use of The Retreat’s facilities, from the genuine dungeon to the secret toys concealed in every room. He rediscovers his energy for life and gradually re-engages with the world. However, his efforts to compartmentalize the past ultimately fail and he comes to realize what he’s always known—that true submissives have an inner strength he can only envy.
By the end of his stay, Lorcan can’t let Rowan go, though he thinks he must. What will convince him that he’s allowed a happy ever after, and will he find the courage to accept it?
This is a wonderful start to a new and intriguing series. Rowan’s dream comes true when he is given the position as houseboy at The Retreat and hopes it helps to fill the void he has been feeling. Lorcan wants a new start and break from the outside world after selling his business and staying at The Retreat gives him that opportunity.
I enjoyed these two characters and how they interacted with each other. They have that instant click but being isolated from the world made it hard to see how a real relationship could work. Rowan is so innocent in some ways he needed to know that he would be taken care of while he would be able to care of his Dom and Lorcan and The Retreat were able to give him that security. Lorcan had to learn how to let someone in and even though it takes Rowan doing his own research it gave him the courage to talk about it. I could see how they felt about each other but at the same time didn’t see them really learn about each other either and I’m sure it was in between what was written it made it hard to believe at times. I can’t wait to read more in this series when they come.
The cover art by Cherith Vaughan is wonderful and I absolutely love the visual is gives.
ebook, 151 pages
Published: July 24, 2018 by Pride Publishing
Edition Language: English
Series: The Retreat #1