Taking the Gardener by T. J. Masters

TakingtheGardenerLGTitle:  Taking the Gardener

Author:  T.J. Masters

Genre:   BDSM

Length:  Novel (189 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (January 31, 2013)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥2½Hearts

Blurb:   Mourning the sudden loss of his parents in a car crash, experienced Dom Eric Broderick escapes London society and his high-pressure law firm and retreats to Glebe House in Pittlesburne, a small village in Buckinghamshire. He tours the nearby woods and the charming village, but it’s really the guesthouse’s garden he’s taken with—or, rather, the gardener.

Tom Bestwick maintains the grounds of Glebe House for his fiancée and does odd jobs around the village. With little experience outside Pittlesburne, Tom finds fulfillment through his true passions, rugby and art. He has just one unrealized desire—one the guesthouse’s new occupant would be happy to help him with.

Late one night, while walking through the garden to clear his mood, Eric spies Tom enjoying a BDSM video starring two men. Having a sub to train might just help Eric forget his troubles, but as their feelings deepen, the real world intrudes. Eric can give Tom everything, but not until Tom decides where he’s meant to be.

Product Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3547

Reviewer:   Any

Review:  Hot and intriguing sex, but lacking in romance.

Let me start with the hot & intriguing part:

There is a lot of sex in this book, and not too much lead up before it happens. For a moment, I saw a glimmer of an interesting conflict that could really propel this book on a more mental level (Tom is engaged to a woman), but this is treated more as a simple circumstance that, other than the occasional ‘feel-bad’ reflection, doesn’t mean anything.

If you are put off by cheating, this is not the book for you.

However, if you can get past this, and you are reading to have a little carnal pleasure—or are super curious at an insight into the BDSM lifestyle—then this book has a lot to offer. Because, yeah, the sex is hot and a little mind bending too; I often found myself frowning and cocking my head while turning the screen around as I was reading, as if that would clarify the mental images of exactly how some of this sex worked. (On occasion there were more than two good-looking men involved.)

I think this was the most fascinating part of the story for me; especially considering the author has thirty years personal experience in the BDSM lifestyle. That gave the story/sex elements more credibility. So that is a definite plus.

Now on to the lacking in romance part:

It’s not that there’s no romance in here, in a way, there is a touch of care/love that simmers through between Tom and Eric, but I felt this development grew much, much too quickly. Eric is drawn to Tom from first sight and falls in love in the blink of an eye.

I guess it suits the more erotic story line just fine, but there are glimpses of some really nice writing in the story (especially in the first part of the book) and I can see this author could possibly offer a bit more than mostly mind-bending sex in his stories. (For example, there was so much potential for conflict with Megan, her father, maybe even some of Tom’s rugby players.)

So yeah. Hot and intriguing sex, but lacking in romance.