Short version: FOR REAL is a m/m BDSM erotic romance by Alexis Hall. You have here a smaller, younger dom (think Ben Whishaw) and an older, taller hunkier sub. Go buy it.
Seriously –it’s a great romance, it’s got great sex, and great BDSM. The writing is (I kiss my hands.) I mean, it’s superb. Click HERE to go to Amazon.
Long version: Raving here.
It’s so very romantic and sweet – and yes, filthy. Like Charlotte Stein—if she wrote m/m.
I still consider myself a new reader of m/m. Read some Daisy Harris in the past and was like ‘aw, so sweet.’ At the same time, I’m eyeballing how much sticky fluid mop up is required at the end of every sex scene. (Like: wow.) Yet this book was not just best m/m I’ve read, I think it has to be the best BDSM book I’ve ever read as well.
Why? Well, I really liked the characters – physically AND emotionally. Laurance is a 38 year old sub, suffering the slings and arrows of being dumped by his One True Love. At this point he is so dead inside that every kind effort from others to engage with him is much more a torture than a kindness.
Toby, a puckish would-be dom who’s all of 19 on the other hand, brings an infectious energy and spirit into Laurance’s life. They’re perfect for each other, but the age difference and Laurence’s eviscerated heart makes him put brakes the brakes on. Hard.
Yet Toby climbs the barricades to Laurence’s heart.
We adore him for doing so, even though he’s got his own suitcase of insecurities to manage. We also adore Laurence as he patiently guides Toby through various new levels of BDSM in a mature and calm way.
We watch Toby bring Laurence alive again, and find his way with his kink, learning the complicated wrinkles of BDSM. There’s everything from the tricky stuff with rope tying to club politics. Yet it wasn’t all wide-eyed newbie protagonist as a blank slate stuff. Alexis Hall explores the contradictions of Toby’s life and paints a rich, interesting history that gives Toby his pliant strength and spritely energy.
I’ll admit I’m often a fence sitter about BDSM. Yes, when it’s good it’s yummy-yummy. But. Sometimes the emotion drops out of BDSM-y parts. Suddenly the BDSM seems clinical, or the romance aspect is lost entirely. When these moments happen, I don’t know, I feel like I lose the humanity of the characters, and I even get creeped out a little.
Not so in this book! Not ever. There are excellent depictions of the core need for BDSM in the character’s lives, there are excellent presentation of the juicy power plays between the guys with just plain sex involving nothing fancy, no props. Then there is a well done depiction of the lovers escalating their sex life together by trying out all the toys the big boys use.
So at a certain point, one is getting the full on BDSM experience – there’s snowballing, something called an anal hook, and even a glancing mention at sounding (which if I didn’t have Adriana Anders as a friend, I wouldn’t even know what that was.)
I don’t even wanna know, really—and you might not either. Yet Alexis hall has written these scenes so well that if you kinda don’t wanna know, you can read right past it or over it.
The most OMG moment comes when they’re in the kitchen and Toby is making a pie at the same time he’s using an implement on Laurence who’s tied up on a table. You can read this scene on two levels – one level where you keep your readerly focus on Laurence sucking lemon curd from Toby’s from fingers, skating past the references to the anal hook, and then if you google anal hooks (okay, I finally just had ta) you can read the scene on another level where Laurence is preoccupied by the metal sexual implement Toby decides to use on him.
But what I loved best is the romance between the two. I loved their sex in bed.
I loved it –(waving hands…without words to even express how much)– just loved it.
Meanwhile, follow us at Lady Smut where we lurv male male smut as much as the next gal.