Rune Tooby is a smartass rebel and closeted member of motorcycle gang, The Born Soldiers, who enjoyed casual sex and less-than-legal employment before a pickup truck filled with homophobic white supremacists intentionally rammed into his bike, destroying his hearing and shattering his life. Learning to move forward as someone who is deaf and doesn’t speak presents challenges that quickly overwhelm Rune’s ability to cope, sending him to humbly ask for help from the only place left in which he trusts completely—the rich and powerful Dominants of Manse who once trained him in the arts of BDSM. While Rune desperately searches for simple human connection and kindness, cocky day trader and Dom Oliver Hughes lives a life of indulgent luxury that has left him feeling adrift, unneeded, and without purpose, mostly because his beloved submissive, Jackson Whitney, is happily married with kids, a demanding career as a cardiologist, and little time or attention for his Master. When a meeting between Rune and Oliver is carefully arranged by the men of Manse, it’s just the beginning of the wild ride that carries away everyone who gets too close to the explosive pair, leading them on a path filled with constant communication challenges, rage-filled vengeance, painfully unearthed secrets, Rune’s total willingness to put himself in harm’s way to aid those in need, and Oliver’s horror at having to endure Rune’s quest, or face losing him forever. (MMM)
Though Hush is part of a series, it can be read standalone. I have not read any of the other books in either The Manse Series or The Society of Masters Series and I had no trouble following along.
After being a victim of a hate crime, Rune Tooby lost nearly everything he took for granted - his hearing, his livelihood (it might have not been legal, but it kept a roof over his head and food in his belly), his self esteem, his reason for being. That last one hit him very hard. Rune was a very angry young man and he wanted nothing more than he wanted revenge on the gang that nearly killed him. In a moment of desperation for touch and sex, Rune sought out help from the place he felt could provide it -- The Manse.
Dom Oliver Hughes is a very lonely man. He has a devoted sub, Jackson, but Jackson is married and also devoted to his wife and kids. They will always come first. Their arrangement isn't mainstream, for sure, but it works for all parties involved. But Oliver has a deep need to be needed. He needs to belong to someone and needs that someone to also belong to him. As much as he loves Jackson, they will never have that kind of relationship. When David, from The Manse, called him about an emergency that he was uniquely suited to handle, Oliver - while skeptical - agreed to see what he could do.
Oliver and Rune were very well matched. Both strong and stubborn with iron wills. It took Rune ages to really get that he had people in his corner. Rune was not used to being able to count on anyone and trust did not come easily to him, at all. He also had a tendency to lead with his emotions and he repeatedly did foolish things, in the name of revenge and justice. Rune was a definite challenge to Oliver. So much so, that Oliver enlisted the help of his best friend Adam.
I found the story to be emotional. I was invested in the characters well being and happiness. Not only Oliver and Rune, but also Jackson and Adam. I found their dynamic to be powerful. No jealousy, no petty drama, just feels. Lots of feels and hot sex.
And now that I've read Hush, I can't wait to read some of the other books in the series - particularly Bare, which is Adam's book.
ARC of Hush was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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