Series: Souls in Bondage, Book #2
Author: Lex Valentine
Length: Novella (word count 30,000)
Publisher: Winterheart Books (June 10th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate to Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Dominant Jake Conrad isn’t going to get involved in another relationship with a submissive. Burned by two former submissives, Jake vows never to collar one again. Then his best friend Ray brings him a sub like no other. Finn is damaged and bitter, although not as bitter as Jake. The white haired submissive has secrets and talents Jake never dreamed of and the lure of Finn’s need to submit calls to Jake’s soul.
Everyone Finn has ever loved walked away from him. He fears caring for anyone when he knows the outcome will shatter his heart again. When Finn falls for Jake, he gives his lover the ultimate gift, a chance to have the dreams he set aside years before even though he knows that if Jake accepts the gift, he’ll walk out of Finn’s life forever. A slave to his love for his Dominant, the submissive finds his true strength in easing Jake’s bitterness even at the cost of his own happiness.
Review: Short, Sexy, and Steamy… my three favorite colors. Bitter Bonds is the story of two emotionally bankrupt men that can only be themselves and be accepted for who they are with each other.
Finn finds himself at a local BDSM bar with all intentions of selling himself to the highest bidding dominant. He’s exhausted, lonely, malnourished, and broke. To spite everything he still has a haunted beauty in his presence. Tall but slender due to the neglect he’s suffered, his white blonde hair and steal grey eyes still draw attention.
The story starts with Ray, a Dom and co-owner of the bar, taking Finn to his friend’s house for shelter and a job. Jake has his own recording studio and is need of someone to help him and he has a safe environment for Finn to get back on his feet as well. Ray has more in mind for the young submissive though; he thinks Finn and his friend and fellow Dom Jake would be the perfect fit. But Jake refuses to dominate anyone ever again after two failed relationships. Not to mention Finn still carries the scars from his previously abusive dominate, and Jake refuses to take advantage of the beautiful young man, no matter how badly his body aches for Finn.
Finn falls in love with Jake almost immediately. The tall muscled man with dark hair and amber eyes makes him feel safe, that alone is reason enough to love him as far as Finn’s concerned. The two enter into a consensual ‘vanilla’ relationship while each one secretly wants more. When Jakes friends point out how willing Finn is to submit and push him on the subject of making him his submissive, Jake panics and runs. Will he be able to push past his issues with being himself? Being the dominate, he wants to be, the dominate Finn needs. Or will he end up breaking the young sub’s heart like everyone Finn has ever loved has done?
I’m not usually a BDSM fan, but Valentine hooked me! I was engrossed in this story from the first page; I was invested in Finn’s character and wanted him to be safe. Valentine did an excellent job of creating a back-story of abuse and misery for him, all the while weaving a present and future full of love and happiness. Jake was conveyed as a big teddy bear with a dominate side that just wanted to wrap Finn up in his arms and protect him, keep him safe regardless.
Highly recommend this book. Even if you aren’t a fan of BDSM it’s conveyed to the reader in a non-violent way, it’s more of a love story between and Dom/sub than a chains, whips, and flogger kind of story. Valentine has a new fan and I can’t wait for book 3!