Twenty-one year-old Lane Moredock finally has a normal life. Six months after he was wrongly made a suspect in his parents’ Ponzi scheme, he’s settled down with his older boyfriend, Derek, and is working and attending school. But his happiness is threatened when his mother launches a Christmastime PR campaign to help appeal her prison sentence, and asks introverted Lane to be part of it.
Derek Fields has his hands full taking Santa photos, bird-sitting his sister’s foul-mouthed macaw, and helping Lane prepare for a television interview neither of them wants him to do. As he eases Lane through his anxiety, he worries that Lane sees him as a caretaker rather than a boyfriend, and that their age difference really does matter. He and Lane compensate for the stress in their lives by taking their D/s relationship to new levels–a relationship that Lane’s mother insists he should be ashamed of.
As Christmas draws nearer, the pressure builds. Pushy elves. Snarky subs. A bad fight. A parrot in peril. How the hell is Derek going to give Lane a perfect Christmas when the Moredock legacy threatens to pull them apart before the new year?
My indulgence of Lane and Derek was an uninterrupted immersion in their world. I was flying high with the first book and ran to the sequel as quickly as my fingers could take me. Side note…..there happens to be a small treat in between that’s worth checking out. As we begin this sequel, we find ourselves six months into their relationship. Things are going well. Derek is working. Lane is juggling school, work and volunteering at the shelter. He is doing remarkably well. Their bubble is filled with healing, recovery, and a lot of love. Their chosen family accepts them. But then…their bubble breaks. The outside world returns in a blink and it’s not the same. Suddenly they are faced with judgement and expectations and…it’s too much. They were forging their bond but it’s still fragile. As much as they believe in each other and what they have, it’s too soon to undergo scrutiny. How can they survive the storm of reality if they haven’t confirmed what they are behind closed doors? When push comes to shove, will they split? Or hold tight?
I was grateful things picked up quickly but also allowed enough time to pass for them to grow. I think it’s important for you to get Lane and to do that, you need his history. Reading the first book is necessary in my opinion. I was certain that given the right opportunity, Lane would thrive. And he has. He’s going to school, working on his vet tech program while he manages his Taco Hub job and helping at the shelter when he can. His relationship with Derek has become stronger and he’s more confident with himself and his desires. But then his mother turns up and everything is distorted. She leads him to believe there is something wrong with him and his…need for submission. That he is being taken advantage of. That she only wants to protect him. And now everything is tainted. He’s confused. It doesn’t help that Derek is going through his own internal battles. What if he misconstrued his place in Lane’s life? What if he’s not the partner he thought he was? What if, what if, what if? I’m glad that everything wasn’t perfect but it was real. I’m so glad Brin and Ferg are still hanging around. And the animals provide welcomed smiles and chuckles, especially Mr. Z.
I not only loved the characters but I loved their passion, their connection…them. I found myself very much vested in their happiness. I needed to know what happened. AND I needed them to be okay. I loved how Andy mimicked Lane and his progress with people. If all else fails, look to the dog, he’ll tell you what going on. I loved the holiday season and the traditions that they are starting. I won’t lie and tell you I loved how Lane’s mother attempts to return to the picture because I didn’t. I despised her as much as Derek did. She makes my blood boil. I hate what she tries to do and the doubt and distrust that she brings. But I can’t say I’m upset with the consequence of her actions.
In her endeavor to sway and sever the only effect was to pound them closer together. As it turns out, they melt under pressure and fuse tighter. Gorgeous.
Every BDSM book that I read is different. Which reiterates that every BDSM relationship is different. I’m showing my ignorance when I say I was nervous about the sounding scene because I thought it was about pain. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The age gap is still here…it still doesn’t matter.
I am happy to report that I can share links for this sequel. Yay! If you’ve read the first and haven’t made it to this one yet, I urge you to take the time. If you haven’t experienced the first book yet, I’ll be sure to pass along links if and when I find them. Until then…keep this one on your radar. You won’t regret it.