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Ratings and Reviews (1 12 star ratings
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4.3 out of 5
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    BDSM romance with interesting characters

    This is my first time reading a full length Vanessa North story (and definitely not the last) and this particular tale is second in a series, but easily read as a standalone (and I'll be looking for the first one now that I've dived into this one). Eddie is a forty something successful businessman, queer and happy being out of the closet with some particular bedroom kinks that fuel his sexual encounters but don't lead to long lasting relationships. When he meets Wish, twenty years his junior, it's a match made in - well, just the bedroom at first as they have a mutual interest in the same kink. But that's it for Eddie - he's too old for young, hot Wish and they are definitely at different ends of the financial and life lesson spectrum. But Wish is not only persistent, he's got the maturity to deal with all of Eddie's insecurities. What he won't do though is put up with being second choice. When Eddie's lifelong friendship with his best friend Ben threatens to derail the best thing that's happened to him in a long time, will Eddie make the decision to live in the past or move into the future? It took me a little bit to decide if I liked Eddie or not - he's a very outspoken, flirty, gay man who has a sado-masochistic streak in him that isn't to my particular taste. As a result some of the sex scenes were a little beyond my comfort zone. But I warmed up to him, his loyalty to his friends and family and his insecurities making him a well rounded if flawed character. Wish comes across as young, definitely, but also confident and strong. He's doing his best to support his family with his manual labour construction job, a job that is threatened by Eddie's stance on an upcoming construction bill. Despite their opposing sides, he's willing to put it aside to further a relationship with Eddie. One thing I really enjoyed about this story was that both men had positive relationships with their mothers, a scenario that doesn't always happen in gay romance stories and I appreciated that while there was still some of the usual in/out of the closet issues in the workplace, there was no angst or drama associated with it. These men were both comfortable with their sexuality and expressing it, and together they had some steamy scenes that like mentioned above weren't always to my taste, but definitely showed how compatible they were. Sex isn't enough though, and it's trust that is at the heart of their relationship and whether they can make something that will last long term. I liked how Wish was clear to Eddie that he wasn't going to let someone else support him (despite the fact that Eddie clearly could) but wanted to contribute equally. This makes Eddie realize that throwing his money around isn't going to be the way to keep Wish happy. The fact that someone wants him, just the way he is, is the difficult part for Eddie to accept. But when he finally does, it makes for a sweetness to the romance that transcends their age difference. Eddie's friendship with Ben is one of loyalty and sacrifice and one that he's never realized before is hampering him from moving forward in another relationship. Realizing this, and the fact that he wants things with Wish to be long term is part of his struggle, but one that made him an empathetic character in the end. Overall, an enjoyable and interesting story. 4 stars.

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