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Bonds of Denial

Bonds of Denial - Lynda Aicher

4 Stars
A "Live Your Life, Buy The Book" Review

As is stated in the blurb above – this book is part of an ongoing series. I haven’t read any of the previous books, and I managed fine – no more confused than I normally am :-P What I do know is that the first few books in the series were solely m/f; then the last book (prior to this one) was m/f/m. Was this a testing of the waters before the author went all out with an m/m? Maybe. Did she pull it off?? hmmm, not so sure …..

Carter is a highly paid and sought after Escort (I LOVE rentboy stories!!) he is almost through with his second 5 year contract (10 years is a loong time in this business) and he really is well and truly over it. The previous owner treated his employees with respect but the new boss, Hank, seems to be a total prick, and he really does see them as prostitutes. End of. As a result Carter too feels dirty and used, nobody would ever want a proper relationship with him. Surely? One of his regular clients has a thing for BDSM, so their standing “date” is always at The Den – a BDSM club downtown. This is where he catches the eye of Rock Fielding.

Rock is well and truly in the closet. His father had caught him kissing a boy when he was quite young, lashing out at him leaving him scarred, both emotionally and physically. So that was that – he just shuts out all his true feelings from then on. Now, years later, when he sees Carter at The Den he wants him. Pure and simple. He has to have him. So he does the obvious, and books Carter’s services for the night ;-) Their date is cute. Even though Rock has booked the escort services of a male he still denies that he is gay. Carter is confused, rightly so. But a connection is made between the two of them and there really is no turning back. The rest of the story just deals with how the hell they can make it work! Carter has to accept that Rock wants him even though he is an escort, and Rock has to step out of that closet once and for all. If Carter leaves his job, what will he do? All of these questions are answered – and there are some wonderful moments between the guys, with some beautiful lines. And there is a lot of angst. A lot!!

There are so many elements in this story that I normally adore – so why this book just didn’t fully click with me is a bit of a mystery. As I stated before, the author has previously written mostly het – and I think it shows. It didn’t have that edge to it that most m/m authors have – certainly the books I enjoy reading, anyway. Carter came across somewhat weak, and certainly whining – I am loath to say “like a woman” as that is too simplistic, but he definitely frustrated me! Especially toward the end where I feel the author was overly reliant on angst to move the story along. I skimmed a fair bit :-( For those that do not like BDSM that much, don’t worry – it really doesn’t feature despite the fact that the protags effectively met through the club. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I definitely would. If you like sweet with a healthy dose of angst to sharpen up the sweet – then you really will love this book!