Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5
As the author acknowledges, she had a limited knowledge of BDSM when this was written. While this story was originally written in 2009, this is a re-edited and re-released version for 2019. It does jump right into a rough sex scene between strangers with no real concern for trust or safety, not really enough lube, and no prep.
Scott Gregory has bought into a periodontal practice in San Francisco. Knowing his partner Ron is conservative, he decides to stay in the closet due to the trial period in the contract before he becomes a full partner. His hookup with Red, from a BDSM club during his vacation, turns out to be Robin Kennedy, his new dental hygienist. Of course he is in the same boat–working for a homophobe and worried about being fired. Scott’s best friend from school, Susie ends up being hired to be his assistant. I’m not sure that having Susie or Ron’s point of view helped this book.
As soon as Scott and Robin see each other, they want each other again even though it’s a terrible idea. Then they go straight to Scott calling him Master for their second scene and swiftly into a contract. The encounter where Scott tops Robin is uncomfortable; he’s a virgin and doesn’t bottom, or as far as we know even use toys and there is no prep at all! Robin says he would never risk exposing Scott, yet that’s exactly what he does. If you read the blurb and thought, what could possibly go wrong…then you know exactly what goes wrong. Of course, they get caught. Then there is an OTT (over the top) ridiculous plot twist!
Susie doesn’t come across as the most likeable character. She also can’t be that close of a friend if she doesn’t know about Scott. Now all of the sudden she gets introduced to BDSM. I found this whole plot point rather irritating to be honest. She obviously has trust issues, hasn’t seen a loving relationship, and treats men as disposable…but now all of the sudden that makes sense because she might be a Domme? The other dental assistant Jenna, Ron’s wife, and Ron’s daughter are not pleasant either. In fact, the only likeable female character in this is actually Robin’s mom.
I guess this is frustrating because I liked elements of this and it flowed well for the most part, but there were just so many things that didn’t work for me. After such a major conflict, everything gets wrapped up with a bow without really working things out properly in my opinion. It ends abruptly. I must be in the minority in my view because there are five books in this series, with Bonds of Love being the sequel that still focuses on this couple. I’m torn about whether to read it or not because I know these guys now and I want to see them progress emotionally and deal with things more maturely. I want to know what happens with Ron. However, I am annoyed with Jenna and she’ll likely feature in the sequel. I personally have no interest in Susie’s storyline going any further. I don’t see how Ron could be redeemed and I don’t have any interest in what that would look like. I have to decide if this HFN is enough for me, or if I want to read about what Scott and Robin’s relationship is like now that they are out of the closet. Also, there are some soap opera elements that should be wrapped up in the sequel.
The cover art is by Kanaxa. I don’t know who this is. Scott is described as having honey colored hair and green eyes. Robin is a natural redhead with freckles. This cover has no connection to the story at all.
ebook, 234 pages
Published August 3rd 2009 by Dreamspinner Press (first published August 2009)
ISBN 1615810234 (ISBN13: 9781615810239)
Series Bay Area Professionals #1
settingCalifornia (United States)