Friday, April 30, 2021

ARC Review: Double Shot by Gwen Martin

Double Shot (Bold Brew #10)From the Blurb:
Coffee, with a double shot of desire....

West is still floundering three years after a failed relationship spun his life out of control, and forced him to move back to his hometown. When he meets Rhys at Bold Brew, his curiosity sparks, and he wonders if the alluring photographer could be his shot at embracing the inner Little he suppressed in the past. Rhys's photos are a passionate exploration and call to West's needs and desires.

Rhys loves to guide and nurture partners—then send them on their way. But something about West is different. The quiet man responds to Rhys's Daddy dominance in beautiful ways. And the camera loves him, too.

When West agrees to a photoshoot, their chemistry ignites. Rhys and West are a perfect complement to one another's cravings. But can this double shot at love last as long as one of Rhys’s photographs, or will they drink their fill and move on?

Potential Trigger Warning for a character discussing issues with alocholism. There is no relapse on page.

Ky's rating:

When I started reading "Double Shot", I was intrigued by the narration. Reading Rhys's chapters was exciting because we got to see the world through his eyes. He paid attention to the little things that would most likely go unnoticed by most. He had a unique way of focusing on specific details and he reveled in observing them. He was a photographer and he focused on details that he felt would bring out his subject, even when he wasn't holding a camera. I liked his "voice" and the way he saw things.

West, an alcoholic who moved back to Laurelsburg three years ago, decided to make a change in his life, after hitting rock bottom, in an attempt to have a new start, stay sober and save his life. So far, he has achieved the sober part by attending weekly AA meetings, having a sponsor and building walls around himself. He lives his life in solitude, sheltered and scared to venture further from his comfort zone, fearing that if he does, he might find himself in the bottom of a bottle again. He wants to avoid that at any cost.

When Rhys and West meet, they stike up a conversation, exchange information and soon, Rhys invites him to his studio for a photo session. West shows up determined to revisit a part of his past that he had given up for three years, while he was trying to put his life back together.

From reading the blurb, I was under the impression that this book was supposed to have a Daddy/Little dynamic, so I went in with that mindset - after all, it's stated pretty clearly there. It might not be my favorite trope, or one that would make me want to read a book for that reason alone, but I have read books with this relationship dynamic before and here I didn't see it.

What it turned out to be, was more of a fetish about wearing Little clothes instead of actually being a Little. There are some outfits and a few times of West calling Rhys Daddy, but I don't know how West was supposed to be a Little. Sure, he had a thing for wearing those clothes and Rhys had a thing for seeing him in them, but other that that, there was nothing to hint at a DD/lb dynamic. In my mind, I kept thinking that what I was reading was more like a lingerie kink than anything else, but with onesies and overalls and cute shirts instead of lace and stockings.

Anyway, when I realised that nothing was going to change, I decided to ignore that part and focus on the rest of the story, and I actually enjoyed it up until 65-70%. After that point, there was some drama and the mandatory break up near the end. That's beyond frustrating to me, especially when there's no good reason for it, which, here, there wasn't.

I liked the epilogue and I liked that there were some side characters from other books in the series, so all in all, I had a nice time reading this story.

~ I read an ARC of this book. ~

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