College freshman Shane Hahn finds himself unexpectedly shuffled to a new dorm room--which is fine by him, but his over-involved mother takes one look at toothpick-chewing, motorcycle-riding Derek McClain, his new roommate, and gets on the phone with the school. The school requires that Shane be the one to file the room-change paperwork, but Shane's reluctant.Todd’s rating:
He's attracted to Derek's independence, even though that independence means Derek has to pay his own way through college, which he does by making leather products (you know: belts, wallets...bondage gear) and selling it online. Shane isn't even allowed to work while he's in school, much less join a band, which is what he really wants to do with his life. Unfortunately, his parents are holding his guitar hostage until he can prove he's taking his future seriously.
When he decides he needs a way to come up with cash--the kind his parents won't find out about--so he can buy a guitar his parents can't take away from him, he turns to Derek with what sounds like a win-win solution: he'll model bondage gear for Derek's online store photos, Derek will get more sales, and Shane will get a cut. The one thing he doesn't factor into his plan is the giddy stomach-flip feeling Derek McClain causes whenever he walks in the room--and what that might mean for them when Derek starts locking leather cuffs on his wrists.
The blurb for this one looked really good and I'd wanted to read this story forever, so I finally made the time and thoroughly enjoyed it.
This book was way different than what I typically read, in that it had a definite BDSM (ish) element to it. I normally avoid that genre like the plague, as it isn't anywhere close to being my thing.
Eighteen year old Shane is forced to move out of his freshman dorm when his antisocial, disturbed roommate commits suicide.
Enter twenty year old Derek, Shane's new roommate in a dorm for upperclassmen. Shane is a junior, paying his own way through college by making and selling hand-crafted leather products on eBay.
Bit whoop. Belts and wallets. Whatever. But most of Derek's sales are from his erotic leather line, which include harnesses and cuffs.
Now that I have your attention, heh, Shane offers to model the bondage gear for a small cut of the profits, which works out well for both boys.
Also, from the moment that the first cuff is locked into place, Shane immediately realizes that fetish gear makes him crazy. In the very best sort of way. *Schwing*
Then when both boys, neither of whom have ever been with a man before, fell into bed and began testing out said fetish gear, things got extremely interesting. And surprisingly hot.
What I loved about this book was that the bondage stuff was more like 2 guys horsing around. It wasn't a serious "Me Tarzan, you Jane" kind of domination power trip and they didn't want to turn it into a huge lifestyle sort of thing. Just two guys getting a bit kinky, pushing boundaries, exploring. And role swapping, so hello!
Like I said, HAWT.
The majority of the conflict in this story came from Shane and Derek's mothers, who were polar opposites in regards to raising their sons.
Shane's mother is controlling and extremely manipulative, ensuring that every life decision, major or minor, are precisely what *she* wants -- not Shane.
Derek's mother abandoned him when he was 3 years old, making disruptive reappearances over the years. Now she wants him to uproot his life to move across the country with her in order for *her* life to look more like the picture in her head.
One thing that I truly enjoyed was that both young men never hesitated where the other was concerned. They were blazing new territory, with both their sexuality and their feelings, but it was a complete non-issue.
My one niggle about the story was that there was no actual consummation of the relationship (read, 'backdoor action',) although both guys discussed their possible 'future' willingness to take one for the team, if you will.
The story does end on a strong HFN, with much, but not all, of their mutual support systems behind them, which left me feeling both up-beat and hopeful about their prospects for the future.
So 4 very strong “Well, that was unexpected” stars this time around.
This was my own copy of the book.
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