Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ARC Review: Limitless (The Underground Club, #2) by S.J.D. Peterson

Even within the context of the Underground BDSM Club, Joshua’s desires are dark and extreme. Hopelessly addicted to pain and the high it gives him, he has no limits. Joshua would quite literally rather die than use a safeword, and he accepts that might be his fate. As much as he depends on others, he has yet to find a man who can gain his trust, and he has little hope that he ever will.

For Nash, acquiring Joshua from another Dom at the club is only the first step in what will be a long and arduous road to lure the young man back from the brink of self-destruction. He must do the impossible and win Joshua’s trust, and he must be the one to set limits in their exploration—something he’s unaccustomed to as a Dom. But Nash knows dominance doesn’t always mean pushing a submissive’s boundaries. It’s about establishing a bond and fulfilling another man’s needs. In Joshua’s case, he’ll have to strike a balance between meeting the young man’s expectations and drawing firm lines that will save Joshua from himself.

Jewel's rating:

Limitless is the second book in The Underground Club series. Nash was briefly introduced in Override, and Joshua mentioned. Though this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone. The only time we see the MC's from book 1 is when the scene where Nash is introduced is replayed from Nash's POV. So, even if you have not read Override, feel free to read this one first.

I recall thinking as I was starting Limitless that the author was probably saving all the angst for this book. I wasn't wrong, there. Joshua is one messed up young man. He grew up in the foster system and went straight into an abusive D/s relationship when he barely even knew what the lifestyle was. He used pain as an escape and, unfortunately, his low self-worth also left him ripe for abuse. He was brought to Flint, Michigan by a Dom who then abandoned him, so it's really no wonder he has trust issues now.

Nash has been enamored of Joshua since he first laid eyes on him. Master Troy had been bringing Joshua to The Underground Club for a couple months, but their interactions set Nash's teeth on edge. He wants to rescue Joshua but from everything he can find out, Joshua is pretty messed up. He pushes his Doms into harsher and harsher punishments and refuses to safeword. He's a Dom's nightmare. But Nash wants to try where the others have failed, so he agrees to take Joshua if Troy will let him out of their contract.

But Nash had no idea what he was getting into. He really didn't. But then again, neither did Joshua. Joshua was not used to any amount of kindness being shown to him. He's been told how worthless, disgusting, disappointing, etc., he was and he tended to believe that. Nash would have none of that, though, and through a great amount of patience and trial and error, made some small breakthroughs with Joshua. Joshua just broke my heart with every bit of honesty he managed. He hasn't had it easy and he doesn't expect it to change. But part of him still has hope.

“I want to belong. I want to stop feeling like I’m a fuckup, and I want to stop feeling like I don’t matter.”

I want to say, also, how grateful I was that Nash strongly encouraged Joshua to seek professional help for his issues. BDSM was not used as a cure here. There were methods that Nash tried that helped Joshua some, but a kink friendly
counselor is what was really needed, and I was ecstatic when that route was taken. Joshua had been using intense pain as an escape, but Nash didn't want that. So kudos to the author for this!

I am left hoping that Nash's and Joshua's story will be continued. The ending of Limitless felt abrupt and unsatisfying. Joshua is just starting to make progress and I am hopeful that he will continue to get better, but I want something more solid. The ending was a rather tentative, but hopeful, HFN.

All in all, I enjoyed Limitless and found myself more engaged in the story than I was Override. With the abrupt ending, though, I'm giving Limitless 3.5 stars, instead of a full 4.


ARC of Limitless was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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