Today we're kicking off the tour for K.C. Wells' latest release
Make Me Soar
(Collars & Cuffs #6)
Anyone who frequents Collars & Cuffs knows Dorian Forrester is built for pain, including Dorian himself. But everyone has it wrong. For six years, Dorian’s chased a feeling that remains tantalizingly out of his reach. Unteachable, Dorian can take anything and everything a Dom can throw at him. Still, it’s not enough. Dorian needs… something more. Something he won’t find at Collars & Cuffs.
Dorian’s search takes him out of the safe environment he’s known for years, out of his depth, and into a realm of deep, dark trouble.
Alan Marchant has been watching Dorian with interest for a while and knows there’s more to Dorian than his label of “pain slut” suggests. When Dorian disappears, Alan and his friend Leo set out to find him. But the disoriented young man discovered cowering in a hotel room is not the Dorian they know and love. That Dorian is shattered. It’s up to Alan to pick up the pieces and show Dorian there are better ways to fly.
They may be off on a new journey together, but their destination will rock them both to the core.
I wish it were me.
That thought had been bouncing around in Dorian’s head since he got the call from Master Leo to attend Ben and Scott’s wedding. He didn’t really know them, beyond seeing them at the club, but a call from Leo was something Dorian just couldn’t refuse.
Except it wasn’t Ben and Scott’s wedding, was it?
Leo Hart had got down on one knee and asked Alex Daniels to marry him, right then, right there, and suddenly that made it so much more personal. Dorian had watched them be joined in marriage, a smile pasted across his face like all the men around him. He listened to the applause, the whistles, and the shouts from the club members, saw their expressions of joy, and all the while he felt hollow inside. Oh, he wished the couple nothing but success. They were obviously meant for one another, but….
There it was again. Surrounded by genuine happiness, all eyes on the happy couple, and yet that one thought was still hammering in his brain.
I wish it were me.
He watched Alex at Leo’s side, laughing and smiling, drinking champagne and accepting all the congratulatory wishes of their guests. Leo hadn’t stopped smiling since Alex had said yes. His face glowed with love for his new husband. Dorian had sat through the whole wedding, transfixed by the looks that passed between the two men—and wishing he could feel what every other man in the room seemed to be experiencing.
Damn it, I need another drink.
Dorian turned away from the joyful scene and looked around for one of the waiters who were circulating, holding trays of champagne flutes filled with golden bubbles on high. Dorian stopped the nearest waiter and took a glass, placing his empty one on the tray. He took a long drink, enjoying the dryness of the champagne. He couldn’t help himself; he turned around to take another look at the happy couple.
All the best, Sir, he silently toasted Leo in his head.
“How many of those have you had?” Pietro’s voice broke through, making him jump slightly. Dorian could hear his friend’s amusement in every syllable. The slim sous-chef looked relaxed, a half-empty glass of champagne in his hand.
Dorian raised his glass and gave him a grim smile. “Not enough.” He drained half the glass.
“Whoa there, go easy. Are you feeling okay?” Pietro placed his hand on Dorian’s arm.
Dorian’s throat tightened to see the genuine concern reflected in Pietro’s voice and expression. Pietro’s gaze flicked over to Alex and Leo and then back to Dorian. The look of understanding in Pietro’s eyes made his gut wrench. Of all the subs at Collars & Cuffs, he was the one who knew Dorian best. And right then that was not a good thing.
“It’s not what you think,” Dorian blurted out, his stomach churning.
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I've read almost every book in this series, except #5, and Dorian was a side figure in all the ones I've read, his reputation as the club's resident pain slut preceding him. He's the one who tried to break up Leo and Alex in book 1, and the same sub who featured in a rather tame Shibari scene with Andrew Barrett in book 4.
I didn't think much of Dorian until that scene, to be honest. I didn't like him because of what he tried to do in book 1, and then basically adopted the same kind of attitude that is displayed by most people in the club - a well-known member, but really not important.
Then this book came out, and I realized that I had maybe misjudged Dorian. Or perhaps the author had me exactly where she wanted me - unprepared to see beyond what Dorian shows the world, and the people in the club.
But K.C. Wells took me beyond my preconceived notions and changed my mind about Dorian.
At the root of everything, Dorian is looking for the one thing that has eluded him all his life - love. Growing up with parents who gave him everything he asked for, except that what he needed most, namely affection, hugs, physical closeness, Dorian doesn't realize that his search for 'more' is based on what he missed during his formative years.
And his search for that elusive high, that 'more', leads him to a club in Berlin, and to something beyond what he signed up for, something that breaks something in him completely.
The details of this experience don't make for an easy read, and it took me a few tissues to get past those, some deep breaths, and the hope that the author would lead Dorian on a journey to find what he's been looking for.
She didn't let me down.
Alan Marchant, a Dom who is also a member at the club, rescues Dorian with Leo's help and takes him home.
I was immensely moved by the tenderness that Alan displays toward Dorian, how he calms the sub who's retreated mostly into himself, how he finds ways to show Dorian that the egregious mistake made in Berlin doesn't have to define him, how he can grow beyond it.
Of course, it's not all smooth sailing, and there are setbacks, but I could see Dorian grow into the man he was meant to be, under Alan's kind and strong hands and deeds. They talk a lot, haltingly at first, but their communication grows with each day and week they spend together, and both men learn about the other. Dorian reveals some of his closely held secrets, and eventually allows Alan to see all of him. Alan is more open from the beginning, but it's very clear from the start that he is utterly focused on Dorian's well-being, on healing him, and showing him that he understands what the sub really needs.
A lot of the book takes place outside of the club, necessary to let Dorian heal and bond with Alan, but there was one scene, when Dorian first returns to the club with Alan by his side, that made me cry - it was so gorgeously done.
The ending was perfect for them. I loved how Alan found a way to turn the brand into something new, something meaningful and how Dorian was finally able to fly.
With emotional writing, and with excellent and accurate descriptions of true BDSM, this author took these characters (and this reader) on an amazing journey. I love how the author explores various aspects of the lifestyle in her books, and showcases the variety that it offers, without ever getting preachy about it, without ever making the uninitiated feel dumb, but clarifying what the letters mean, what it is about. Because Dorian's experience in Berlin prohibits any further exploration of pain, Alan has to be creative to come up with ways to draw the sub out of his shell, to take him beyond what happened to new heights, and that was wonderfully done. The men are so very suitable to each other, not only as far as the lifestyle is concerned, but also from a personality and intellectual perspective.
I loved that Dorian was able to not only learn to soar, as the title indicates, but also found a fulfilling occupation outside of it. His character was thoroughly explored, and there were nuances to him that I didn't expect. K.C. Wells took him from this insecure and unfulfilled sub to someone to be proud of himself, someone who had gone through hell and come out stronger on the other side.
Some of the scenes in this book made me choke up because they were simply beautifully emotional.
I think this may be my favorite C&C book to date. I hope there'll be more.
** I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **
About the author:
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….
K.C. loves to hear from readers.
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