Sunday, June 14, 2015

ARC Review: For Real by Alexis Hall

For RealFrom the blurb:

Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission. 
Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being. 
Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love. 
The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything. 
It can’t be real.

Heather's rating:

I love it when I'm wrong.

I had started fearing everything that I had loved about Alexis Hall's Glitterland was a figment of my imagination. Perhaps I had dreamed the wonderful, squee-worthiness that was Glitterland? Stranger things have happened...

I tried, with epic failures, to read his other stuff (Iron & Velvet, Prosperity, Waiting for the Flood). Each of those books was a huge disappointment, and I decided to just throw in my Alexis Hall towel and snuggle down to dream my dreams of what Glitterland meant to me.

I was feeling really, really firm in my stance of NO MORE ALEXIS HALL. In all honesty, I hate to be a downer, and constantly posting somewhat negative reviews of his stuff was beginning to wear on me. Even when I read the synopsis for For Real and was oh so tempted by the age gap, the BDSM, and the return to contemporary romance, I reminded myself to be strong and RESIST.

But then... I caved.

Everyone and their mother seemed to be rec-ing this book to me. Everyone. People who know my tastes very well assured me that I would love this book, and so I went ahead and took the plunge.

It was everything that I was hoping it would be and then some. Funny, endearing, lots of emotion, some surliness and some brattiness- I'm talking the entire, well-rounded package. The age difference was lovely and worked perfectly with the story. The relationship had a nice slow burn and felt organic. This is a very long book and it simply flew by.

Now, if you are a die-hard fan of BDSM, I'm not sure how you will enjoy this book. I like BDSM a great deal, but certain facets more than others. I'm a huge fan of power plays, humiliation, submissiveness, and cheeky bottoms. I'm not such a huge fan of pain and impact play. This book was certainly more towards my kind of BDSM in a lot of ways... but yet something wasn't quite right. Toby was a weird Dom for me. I LOVED, and I mean loved the idea of a young, skinny Dom with some insecurity issues, but I often felt like he was in the submissive roll. Now, I'm not talking about sexual positions, because I TOTALLY get how the receiver could be the one in charge (see every female Domme ever), but Toby just wasn't a powerful enough presence for me to get a Dom vibe from him. He had his moments, but I wish his actions mirrored the game he talked in his head.

Same with Laurie. He said he doesn't switch but I often found him to be the more dominant one. I loved the concept of him doing things he didn't want to do in order to please his Dom (a turn on of mine as well), but I think he didn't always follow that stance. It seemed like they were both a little switchy for my tastes.

I also think that the sex could have been a bit dirtier. Maybe it is just my kinktastic side talking, but I love me some dirty, dirty, DIRRRRTY talking. I think the opportunities were there but just underutilized.

However, if you are interested in an offbeat, atypical BDSM book with some fantastic dialogue, multidimensional characters, and really well-paced plot, you MUST pick this one up. Don't let some bumps in the Alexis Hall road turn you off from this goodie.

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

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  1. Yay! Glitterland is one of my favorite books ever, but I haven't read his other stuff. I'll definitely check this one out.


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