Series: Book #1
Author: A.J. Rose
Genre: MM / Action-Mystery / BDSM
Length: Novel (212 pages)
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press (September 15th, 2013)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥2.5 Hearts
Blurb: From the moment Detective Gavin DeGrassi steps into the world of BDSM to solve the brutal slaying of Dom George Kaiser, his course is not his own. Mesmerized by the context in which the victim lived and the images of the lifestyle seared into his soul, Gavin must find a way to navigate these unknown waters. With his personal life in upheaval due to marital trouble, and his professional life uncertain with the assignment of a new partner, Gavin needs all the help he can get understanding the case.
Enter Ben Haverson, a psychologist and a well-known Dom. With Ben’s help as a consultant and attention to Gavin’s own murky truths, Gavin delves deeper than he ever thought he would into the world of restraints and paddles. Forced to scrutinize his true nature and his innermost desires, Gavin has a choice: keep the fear of submitting at bay, or dive in and solve the case with the knowledge he gains. When another victim is discovered, Gavin’s choice is made for him, and he’s pulled headlong into the deepest, most emotional journey of his life.
Unfortunately, for him and Ben, a killer has noticed, has taken stock, and has set his sights on the D/s pair. Can Gavin outwit him, or will his first exchange of power be his last?
Review: I love reading BDSM related books but this was an odd one for me. We have a murder case that escalates into serial murders BDSM related. We have a Detective who upon investigating for the murder/s he gets intrigues by the lifestyle. We have a lifestyle Doctor who is consulting the police, who falls for the intrigued Detective and decides to show him the ropes. And we have a murderer who seems to get into the victims houses as a guest, slowly closing in on the Detective and the Doctor.
The basic line of this book is pretty awesome. The idea behind it all is fantastic, intriguing, gripping even. But the end result just slipped from my fingers as elusive as water. There were passages and scenes that I loved and had me either laughing or gasping or simply enjoying. But as many such passages there were, there were more to make me halt and think “seriously” disbelieving what I’d been reading, or even making me feel bored.
First of all my huge issue was with the detective work for this story. The murderer was obvious to me the moment he was mentioned. The conviction he did it was made stronger when Detective Gavin finally got around and questioned him. From that moment on I simply couldn’t stand the police work, or lack thereof. There were glaring events, evidence that should have the police pressing on the murder and cracking him way before the half of the book was reached, and the result was that it got tiresome waiting for the inevitable. The ending itself was no surprise and cause only an eye roll from me. Annoyance and frustration were the main emotions caused by the entire police plot.
Second issue that had me reeling was the lead character himself. Gavin started as a deeply closeted man, never one having tried even being with a man, married and not even thinking of shattering that illusion. In the matter of a week, or was it two, he goes from married to divorced and from virgin/closeted to diving into homosexuality and submission vigorously. He had never once told a soul about his sexuality for thirty years, yet he not only confides in his new partner, whom he knows nothing about and has just met, but he also goes ahead and tells her about the lifestyle he’s agreed to. The inconsistency of that had me quite unbalanced trying to figure this character out. In addition, with his horrible detective work, he never much gained higher status than plain stupid in my eyes. As for his submitting to Ben, the way he went from total newbie to “yes, Sir” in seconds, oh Dear Lord. What a turn off.
The rest of the book simply felt like a big textbook on BDSM, too clinical and detached to get into and with so many rules and justifications of everything being done and said that had me bored and yawning endlessly. As I said there were, only few scenes that made me feel something other than boredom in this book and it was such a shame.
Bottom end I didn’t got close to the characters at all. There was a wall keeping at arm’s length despite the book being narrated by Gavin. I didn’t get to feel his feelings or get into what he was getting because the language use for the narration was as I already mention quite clinical. Even when the most gruesome event happened that should have had Gavin’s mind reeling and us shaking with pain and despair it failed to ruse more than an eyebrow. What should have been the highlight of the book, the point that would break any reader into sobs and skin crawling and gut wrenching was lost in a lack of passion and a detachment you could not overcome.
For me this book failed its mission leaving me an odd taste and feeling as if I was in school and being forced to read a subject that while I’m interested in, it can’t hold my interest for more than five minutes.