The Reluctant Dom (Siren Publishing Menage and More)
What!? The Reluctant Dom? Yup. It *is* what you think it is. And yes, I’m reviewing it. Consider me “The Reluctant Reviewer” today, because this is completely out of my comfort zone. But I have to tell you about it. It was recommended to me by a fellow book friend (thank you T!!), and since I had already come across it on Amazon (and it’s amazing reviews), I was already intrigued. Her gentle nudge was all it took.
And I’m going to tell you a secret. I read another one of this *type* last year, that I also loved, but I kept it quiet and hidden in the back of my brain somewhere. But I remember everything about it, and how I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days. So I’m out of the “dom-book closet”, and I’m going to review that one soon too. Now don’t get me wrong. There are PLENTY of things in this “alternative” lifestyle that I don’t get and can’t quite relate to. So don’t go and get any crazy ideas about me!! I will reiterate. It is the BOOKS that I am enjoying, not necessarily the reality of it 😉
Okay so now that I have that out of the way… I’m writing about a book that made me, okay yes, cringe A LOT, but also, made me feel A TON. I even cried. Wanted to sob, really, but my husband was in the room and trying to explain that a book of this *subject matter* was tearing my heart out, well. I didn’t want to go there with him, so I suffered in silence. OMG, do you even know how hard it is to sob quietly?
So how does a book about whips, ropes, and other stuff make one cry, other than in pain?
Kaden and Leah have been married for years, living a typical upper-class public lifestyle. Both attractive, friendly, outgoing and social, Kaden is a successful lawyer, and his wife Leah is a volunteer for many fundraisers etc. Their private life, however, differs significantly from what their friends and relatives know of them. Even Kaden’s absolute best friend, Seth, closer to him then a brother, gets the surprise of his life one day, while having a drink with Kaden. Kaden needs him for something extremely important, and reveals some very dramatic truths.
- Kaden is dying
- Leah requires a certain private *lifestyle* to cope with her traumatic past. One Kaden had to learn through trial and error over their many married years. He is afraid that if he can’t find someone he can trust and teach to take over his “Master” role in her life, that a future downward spiral for her is inevitable.
Now, not only does Seth have to deal with the eventual loss of the one person that he loves more than anyone else in his life, he will need to make a major decision for his future.
Seth felt numb and wondered when the hell he’d wake up. This could not be real. His brain was not accepting that this was really happening. He knew his voice sounded week, emotional shock creeping in.
“What are you asking me dude?”
Taking on a role in a lifestyle that he has never even contemplated. But he loves Leah as much as he does Kaden, and he wants to believe he’d do anything for them. After a few visits with the couple interacting in their “other” life, he reluctantly accepts to do this for them (despite his discomfort with what he witnessed).
“Leah’s healed because of it. But she needs things, Seth. She’s always going to need certain things. I’m worried that when I’m gone, if she goes looking to others who don’t know her, who don’t care about her, it’ll hurt her and put her back in that bad place emotionally where she could have died. If she doesn’t kill herself to start with.”
I completely connected with Seth. I cringed when he cringed. I gasped when he gasped. It was as if I wasn’t alone, experiencing all these strange, and bizarre moments with this very experienced couple. Seth was right there with me, and we were both confronting something that we could not comprehend. But Seth had it worse than I did. He actually had to learn to use the tools, understand the signs, the language, the rules.
“Can’t I just shoot you in the ass with paintball pellets?”
Tee hee!!! Loved him! Oh boy did he have some issues adjusting. And his learning didn’t stop there. He also had to learn “Leah”.
As sweet and normal as she could appear to be, Leah had deep emotional scars that needed to be released or she’d find very destructive ways of doing so herself. Seth was now forced to learn her emotional voids, her vocal tones, and anticipate her needs before she spiraled too low.
This book definitely touched on issues of control, and… other things (ummm… yeah, the steamier stuff. And again, not quite the norm). In time, I came to *get* it, and at the same time, felt bewildered. But Seth made it easier for me, and brought a sense of “normalcy” to my reading experience, in a world that was beyond my comprehension. And let me tell you, there are plenty, PLENTY of “normal” and sweet, relatable moments for the reader. You won’t be able to help but love them all.
So yes, overall, despite my reluctance, I did love it.