By Pauline Allan
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
With a past shadowed in vices, Tony Morretti is finally ready to face his demons. A Dominant surgeon, fearless and desperate, he risks everything to leave his career, the empty relationships, the façade of a life he’s created to attend his brother’s memorial. Guilt threatens to drown any hope of a stable future with his family’s forgiveness when his mother asks him not to attend the service. With a wake of devastating decisions, he has to make one more. Stay and risk falling in love with a man threatening to open every wound in his jaded soul or return home and fall deeper into the darkness he’s created.
A wounded soldier, Dane McNeil, has to once again take a risk. A one night stand with the dark haired stranger standing in his hotel lobby would lead to more broken promises, more offers to kneel at the feet of yet another empty affair. “This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.” An oath Dane has sworn to live by will now defend his young daughter’s life from her dangerous mother. With a hotel and security business to run, his life has fallen into days of coloring books and leaky faucets. While his heart longs to share a bed with the sexy doctor who’s landed on the doorstep desperate for a room, he knows that handsome smile will lead to more sleepless nights and yet another crack in what’s left of his already shattered heart.
Trust is broken when secrets are revealed and Dane must walk away from the only man he’s ever loved. For a reluctant Dominant, Tony is terrified. He doesn’t need another sub to take care of, another lover incapable of keeping the commanding darkness from killing his soul.
But, Dane’s no longer a sub.
Tony, no longer a Dom.
This is an exceptionally well-written book, and the plots and sub-plots weave seamlessly together, adding depth and substance to the well-developed and easy to visualize characters. You can’t help but be reeled in and hooked until the final page.
Dane and Tony. Author Pauline Allan scores beaucoup points in my book for how she masterfully generated two multi-dimensional dominants who simply burned up the pages – not just with their undeniable and scorching chemistry, but with their back stories, vulnerabilities, and true-to-life flaws. These two click, plain and simple, but each one is battling his own insecurities and trying to figure out what he’s feeling for the other and why. Thankfully, what could have been a heartbreaking conclusion is rejuvenated into a heartwarming and satisfying HEA.
The secondary characters in this book are intensely part of the full story. Caroline, Dane’s young daughter, is a hoot without being overbearing. And who else wants to see Eve’s and Myle’s story? Those two are an explosion just waiting for a spark.
This is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the M/M genre.
(originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads, December 28, 2016)