Length: 115,247 words
Cover Design: Reece Dante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends.
When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.
There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.
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‘Before You Break’ is the first book in a new series by K. C. Wells and Parker Williams entitled ‘Secrets’. ‘Secrets’ is in fact a spin off series from the authors’ very popular ‘Collars & Cuffs’ series. While it really isn’t necessary to read that series in order to enjoy this first book and I’m proof of that as I haven’t read the original series yet.
I have to admit I can see where parts of this book would have been more enjoyable had I read the original series…like the scene where a group of the characters from ‘Collars & Cuffs’ visit ‘Secrets’ on it’s opening night…not really required to know the background on all of these characters since, with the exception of Eli and Jarod, none of them factor into the main plotline between Ellis and Wayne, the MCs in ‘Before You Break’.
I admit it’s just a quirky little thing of mine that I love it when characters from books that I’ve read previously show up in the book I’m reading at the moment, it makes me all happy and bouncy…so, had I read ‘Collars &Cuffs’ I would have had my happy bouncy moment. However, it still made me smile and want to read Collars & Cuffs as soon as possible…so not a fail.
‘Before You Break’ is a steamy friends to lovers story and starts off around the same time that Eli and Jarod arrive in London to begin the next step in their lives together as the owners of London’s newest BDSM club, Secrets. I really liked this couple and look forward to reading the book that covers their story, but enough about them. I want to talk about Ellis and Wayne.
Ellis and Wayne are members of London’s Specialist Firearms unit and best mates they have been for the past 6 years. Their friendship was immediate from their first meeting when they were partnered together. But what Ellis doesn’t realize is that Wayne’s also in love with him and Wayne’s a DOM. Ellis knows that Wayne’s gay and while Ellis is supposedly straight…sexuality isn’t what defines their relationship.
I felt a little skeptical as to how this was going to be even slightly believable and was pleasantly surprised when I realized that in general this story was working for me.
One of the main things that made this all come together for me was the fact that while Wayne may have been gay and a DOM and in love with Ellis, I also felt that Wayne’s heart was in the right place. Sure, he wanted it all with Ellis but his first priority for me felt like it was Ellis’s well being. He wanted to help him get himself back on track because as Ellis’s best friend he could see how out of control Ellis was spinning and while he didn’t feel that a D/s relationship was or should be a replacement for any kind of therapy he also knew that his friend was resistant to the idea of therapy so it felt like his hope was that he could help get Ellis grounded and put some discipline and structure back into his life. It felt like Ellis’s well being was what came first for Wayne.
I liked the changes and growth that came between these two men as Ellis learned to trust Wayne in ways that he had never really considered before and I loved seeing Wayne step up not only as he introduced Ellis tot what it meant to truly be in a D/s relationship but as Wayne’s protective instincts took over and he helped Ellis navigate the minefield that was his family.
Ellis’s family…as families go was more than a little messed up and it was the strength of Wayne’s love, trust and faith in Ellis that helped him to make the changes necessary to preserve his well being both mentally and physically.
‘Before You Break’ was a solid start for this series and I look forward to seeing what happens next for all of these men, Jarod and Eli, Ellis and Wayne as well as any new characters that are introduced and taking a jump back and getting myself caught up with ‘Collars and Cuffs’ where it all began. If you’ve read, Collars and Cuffs’ I think you’ll enjoy this next part of the journey and, if like me you haven’t, you can jump in here and go forward without reading the first series but if it’s as good as this why miss out? I know I’m not going to.
An ARC of ‘Before You Break’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Happily Ever After Comes With A Price Tag. Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family. Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.
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