Since the death of his submissive lover two years ago, Leo hasn’t been living–merely existing. He focuses on making Collars & Cuffs, a BDSM club in Manchester’s gay village, successful. That changes the night he and his business partner have their weekly meeting at Severinos. Leo can’t keep his eyes off the new server. The shy man seems determined to avoid Leo’s gaze, but that’s like a red rag to a bull. Leo loves a challenge.
Alex Daniels works at Severinos to scrape together the money to move out on his own. He struggles with coming out, but he’s drawn to Leo, the gorgeous guy with the icy-blue eyes who’s been eating in his area nearly every night.
Leo won’t let Alex’s hesitance get in the way. He even keeps him away from the club so as not to scare him. And as for telling Alex that Leo is a dom? Not a good idea. One date becomes two, but date two leads to Leo’s bedroom…and Alex discovers things about himself he never realized and never wanted anyone to see.
I purchased the first 6 books of the Collars & Cuffs series as I found them on Dreamspinner Press’s website on sale for $1/piece. I’m warry of BDSM books, mostly because I’m in the lifestyle and find most BDSM books are entirely too unrealistic or the author has no concept at all of what goes on. So imagine my surprise and pleasure when I read An Unlocked Heart.
The Dom – Leo – doesn’t know everything. After 15 years of experience he knows the tells a body can give, but he doesn’t automatically know everything Alex needs/wants. I loved that. He made mistakes. I loved that too. But also? He was what to me makes a great dominant. He was kind, loving, and wanted a lover as well as a sub. I loved the way he backed up Alex and helped him through the minefield that was his home life.
In a great romance – to me – there has to be more than just the couple or the story runs flat and Wells does a fantastic job at introducing us to some amazing secondary characters. Sev, Pietro, Thomas, Adam, & Vittorio, not to mention Miles and the rest of the crew at Collars & Cuffs. We get Alex & Leo’s backstory but in wonderful small bites so it all comes together toward the end.
Narration: I bought the books first but after I fell in love with this book, I also bought the audio version. I was excited the narrator was Nick J. Russo as I like other books he’s done. I love how he is able to give the characters a different voice so that for the most part, I could always tell who was talking. The only negative I have to give is that this book takes place in Manchester, England. And all the characters have American accents. However, that said, I prefer if a narrator isn’t good with accents for them not to do them. Bad accents are just bad.
So 5 stars all the way around for Book 1.
Story Rating: 5 stars
Audiobook Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars.