Christmas is a time for goodwill to all, but Collars and Cuffs co-owner Thomas Williams receives an unexpected gift that chills him to the bone. A Dom from another Manchester club asks Thomas for his help rescuing an abused submissive, Peter Nicholson. Thomas takes in the young man as a favor to a friend, offering space and time to heal, but he makes it clear he’s never had a sub and doesn’t want one.
Peter finds Thomas’s home calm and peaceful, but his past has left him unwilling to trust another Dom. When Thomas doesn’t behave as Peter expects, Peter’s nightmares begin to fade, and he decides he’d like to learn more about D/s life. A well-known trainer of submissives, Thomas begins to teach Peter, but as the new submissive opens up to him, Thomas finds he cares more for Peter than he should. Just as he decides it’s time to find a permanent Dom for Peter, they discover Peter’s tormentor is still very much a threat. With their lives in danger, Thomas can’t deny his feelings for Peter any longer. The question now becomes, can Peter make it out of the lions’ den alive, so that Thomas can tell his boy that he loves him?
All right. Again, another winner in the Collars & Cuffs series. In book 2, we get a Thomas story – YAY! Thomas has never had a sub of his own. At 55, he has spent countless years training doms and subs alike, but has never collared his own. On New Year’s Eve, he finds himself the protector of Peter, a sub who was damaged and abused by a man who called himself a dom.
Thomas has to bring all his knowledge to the fore to handle the scared young man now under his care. A scared young man who was abused and suffers from intense agoraphobia.
I loved the fact that in this book, pain took a side step. So many books focus on whips, floggers, spanking… aka Pain as if that’s all that exists in a BDSM context. Peter cannot handle pain after everything his former master did to him so Thomas works on the sensual side. As a sub who loves to soar, I applauded this look into the fact that pain is not needed to achieve subspace and joy.
The only thing I did not like about the story is the fact that the author hit a trope I’ve become tired of – and that is in a BDSM romance, there has to be a group they are fighting who sells slaves and abuses them.
Narration: Again, I purchased the audiobook after reading the book. I’m glad the same narrator was used. However, this series takes place in Manchester, England. In the first book, all the characters had American accents. In book 2, the original characters sound the same, but all the new characters suddenly have English accents. (Several of them made me wince.) I wish Russo had just kept to all American accents as that was what he started out with. That strange change took it from 5 to 4 stars.
Over all 5 stars.
Story Rating: 5 stars
Audiobook Rating: 4 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars.