Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for Joseph Lance Tonlet’s extraordinary contemporary M/M BDSM romance. This is a rough read–lot’s of loss and some serious orgasm denial/humiliation as part of the kink, but I LOVED it. (Totally an ADULT book.)
About the Book:
Grif believes he’ll live his life as a virgin. After all, who would want him? How could anyone find him, a guy who came with less than man-sized equipment, worthy of their love?
What he hadn’t counted on were the two amazing men who would change his life. After entering college, he meets Tate, his fun-loving roommate. While years later, with Tate now just a memory, Wes, a handsome, rugged ex-marine who runs his own security firm enters his life.
Both men lead Grif through a twisted mesh of pleasure, pain, and denial, as they force him to see his value, despite his size and insecurities.
4.5 Stars. I finished this and had to sit on the review. It is not a happy-happy book, nor does it have a lot of humor to offset the sincere emotional challenges.
Marcus “Grif” Griffin is a poorly-endowed man. He only recognized his “equipment” was substandard on his first day of junior high gym class when all the boys were naked in the shower and Grif’s stick didn’t measure up.
He is gay–he knows this from a young age–but he doesn’t know how to handle being so deficient. Luckily, Grif has a very understanding and accommodating father who ensures Grif is never in danger of being exposed.
The book shifts time frames almost by chapter, though the entire book is told from Grif’s POV. We can see that Grif is currently in a relationship, with a Dom-type man, Wes. At first, I hated Wes. I thought he was inordinately cruel to Grif, but, as I read on, I could see the development of Grif’s character dynamic. He has a humiliation kink, and Wes has a sadist streak that loves to exploit it.
We get snatches of Grif’s first sexual partner–Tate, his “straight” college roommate and bestest friend in the whole world–even if the sex is all one-sided. We learn about the deep bonds that Grif makes, first with Tate and then with Wes. The sex is not as steamy as other BDSM books, mainly because it is always tempered by humiliation and orgasm denial. As a reader I was totally in synch with Grif’s emotional landscape. When he was anxious about exposure, I was, too. I think that’s the mom in me, but I was thoroughly engaged–which, again, is why I hated Wes so much. All I wanted was for Wes to love and satisfy Grif–but what I didn’t get until, perhaps, the final third of the book was: he was. Wes thoroughly satisfied Grif, in every way Grif desired.
When the timeline flashed into Wes and Grif meeting, and how they took baby steps forward to the point where Grif was able to feel like a total man, not a disappointing or deficient one, I was ready to jump into Wes’ arms and smooch him all over his face.
These two are a really special couple.
About the Author:
Joseph is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.
A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends.