Zany PNR Addict











{March 23, 2012}   The Days Progress …

Okay so after I got my lazy tail out of bed and attempted to tackle my “To-Do” List I managed to conquer the following …

  • Return cat carrier to bestie … √
  • Purchase new bookshelf … √
  • Bookshelf put together and installed … √
  • Bookshelves arranged … not so much
  • Post a Review … Can I get a HALLELUJAH!!

The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton

Brief Summary

Love hurts … if you’re lucky.

Kaden’s dying, but before he goes he has one problem to solve …
he must ask his oldest friend to take over as his beloved wife’s Dom and Master.
Seth has always seen himself as the perpetual screw-up and Kaden as the strong and steady one, so the request rocks his world.

Now Seth finds himself immersed in a role he’s far from comfortable with …
inflicting pain to provide emotional comfort to the woman he’s secretly loved for years.
Can he deal with his crushing grief and still learn the skills he must master in time to become The Reluctant Dom?

WARNING: Explicit m/f sex and m/f/m menage, anal sex/play/toys,
BDSM, bondage, M/s & D/s relationship, and the lesser-known “normality” of the world of BDSM.


My Review

This book in 8 words of less
BEYOND EMOTINAL … TENDER-HEARTED AND BITTERSWEET

Have you ever had that feeling, you know the one where you are so filled to the brim with overwhelming emotions and are sitting down to write your thoughts on what you just read but just can’t get past the tears to begin writing. Well if there has ever been a book that I have read that has put a smile on my face and tears to my eyes from beginning to end it would be this book here. I find myself literally kicking myself in the ass for putting this off for the last couple reads.

Ms. Dalton put so much detail into these characters that there is no way that you can read this book and not connect with them. the level of compassion, care and love that is captured in the pages of this story is truly breath-taking. We know all along what is going to enviably happen but are not quite prepared when chaos and pandemonium strike. That is how connected to these characters you become. It’s like you were are physically a part of it all from beginning to end (at least for me). And as you may or may not know I am the type of person who is very in touch with my emotions, especially when I get lost in a book … therefore I am the first to admit to crying. While reading The Reluctant Dom, I was drawn and hooked from page one. Oh and I’m not talking light water works here … I’m telling you that when things got deep (and trust me they get deep) I was straight out bawling … FULL BLOWN TEARS with SNOT and ALL!! Yeah I know you are picturing a hot mess that is not a pretty site at all! The Reluctant Dom is the first culprit to causing me such anguish. Okay, okay that is not the whole truth the first one I honestly have to say was Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon. (I’ll post my review of that later.)


The Characters

Kaden and Seth have been friends their whole lives (a scan of 40+ years) which in my opinion is phenomenal. Kaden has always been there to lend a hand for Seth through life’s ups and downs and in Seth case many many downs … three marriages and divorces on top of the untimely catastrophe of the construction company which not only affected Seth financially but mentally as well. With Kaden, his wife Leah has also been along for the journey of their friendship for the last 20 years of her marriage to Kaden. She took care of Seth after a hernia surgery that left him bed-ridden and dealt with his moodiness after numerous marriages/divorces all while enjoying rides on the back of his bike … well that was before wife #3 put an end to that simple pleasure.

But now the tables have turned and it is Kaden who needs Seth’s support in many ways … with Kaden dying he needs to break Seth into his Master/slave lifestyle to aid in the care of his wife Leah after he is gone. While struggling to accept this heart-breaking news Seth is asked to step up and discover the lifestyle he never knew existed between his two best friends and what will be required of him in ways he never would have expected when it comes the the wishes of his best friend and the woman they both care for. To Seth’s surprise he learns that how he views his friendship with Kaden over the years is exactly how Kaden has viewed his friendship with Seth. It is beautiful how you discover that Kaden though being the successful one in the relationship highly values his friendship with Seth. Seth has never asked for anything in regards to Kaden’s success unlike his vulturous family … namely his sister so in Kaden’s mind Seth always saw him as just Kaden … his friend, not the meal ticket his sister hopes to cash in on someday. Kaden quote … “he could be a bum and Seth would still love him as a friend”.

As the story unfolds we learn that Leah has always loved Seth and not just as a friend … he has starred in many of her naughtier fantasies. This came about from her dislike of Seth’s wives. They were just not right for him. And Kaden has made sure Seth knows this and that he is more than fine with him that Leah acts on her fantasies. Seth needed to know this in order for Kaden to start him on this journey of becoming the strong and physical lover that Seth will need to be in order to maintain the health and well-being of Leah. So I really respect and love that Seth never assumed that it was okay to just act on his lust for Leah no matter the situation that he was in. He saw her as what she was … his dearest friend’s wife. Seth’s lust was a desire he wanted to explore but at the same time truly frightening to feel. Because for Seth the feeling of wanting to be desired by Leah meant it had to be at the expense of Kaden’s life, which he was not ready to let end. Although Seth and Leah’s romantic involvement was slowly coming together I felt it was handled brilliantly. The sex was never gratuitous or unjustifiable … the feelings these three characters have for one another is astonishing and beautiful while truly genuine and heartfelt … for them it just felt real if not prefect.

Even though we are dealing with death as one of the main focal points of this book the knowledge we gain through the relationship of Seth, Kaden and Leah shows us that dealing with the death of a loves one is never easy and by far never at the top of anyone’s bucket list. Seth has realistic moments of grief and confusion when trying to accept that he is not just losing his only true best friend but also part of his soul. But Kaden being true to his character controls everything up to the very end and then beyond. With Kaden’s guidance Seth and Leah manage to carry on but still feel that Kaden is part of their lives.

The epilogue was extraordinary and by far one of my most favorite scenes told from their friend Tony’s point-of-view. Which in my opinion is nice because we get to see from an outside perspective on how Seth and Leah are truly making out after losing Kaden.

A small snippet …

We had a great dinner. Seth accidentally dumped wine on his shirt and went to change. To make conversation more than anything, I said to Leah, “You two looked good the other night.”
She blushed a little, but smiled. “It’s been an adjustment for both of us.”

“He’s really standing up to you.”
She grinned. “You noticed that, huh?”

“Well, the way you led Kaden around. He let you get away with murder. You and I both know that.”

She dropped her voice. “Seth put his foot down. He told me if I wanted to get naked in public, other than teaching classes, then I would have to wear a chastity belt for a month first.”
I laughed. “He’s territorial.”

She blushed again. “It’s okay though. I mean, he’s so different than Kade but he’s not jealous in a bad way. He’s protective in a different way. I just wish the three of us had had more time together. I feel bad for him. I sort of get a second chance. He doesn’t get another best friend.”

“He’s got you.”
“Yeah, but I’m just his wife. I can never be for him what Kaden was. I don’t think anyone can.”

Seth returned. After we finished eating, Leah cleared the table and shooed us into the living room. I noticed Seth walked by the bookcase next to the TV and reached out, gently stroked Kaden’s urn before taking his seat. It looked like an automatic action, something he probably wasn’t even aware he did anymore.

We shot the shit for a while, then I reached into my back pocket and handed him the envelope. I’d put off doing this for a couple of weeks, considered mailing it to them but it was as if seeing them at the club the other night was my nudge from the hereafter to make sure I kept my promise to my old friend.

He stared at it for a long moment without speaking before he finally, carefully slipped his thumb under the flap and opened it. Inside, an index card and six small, silver ID tags. Slave collar tags, I suspected.

I never asked Kaden what was in the envelope. It wasn’t my business.

Seth wiped his eyes as he read the index card, then laughed and fingered the tags. Then he looked at me, shook his head, and smiled. “I wonder how many more of these he’s salted all over the place.”

I shrugged. “That’s the last one I had.”

He rubbed his thumb over the tags. “Kaden the control freak strikes again. How the hell did he know?” he mused.

“Know what?”

He handed me one of the tags. Two sets of initials, Kaden’s, and … but Seth’s wasn’t right. I handed it back to him. Seth smiled. “I changed my last name when Leah and I got married. I wouldn’t let her change hers. I added Kade’s last name to mine, hyphenated it so it wouldn’t fuck up my VA benefits.” He shook his head, rubbed his thumb over the tags again.

That explained it. How had he known? Kaden gave me the sealed envelope months before his death.


Final Thoughts

But regardless of the tears The Reluctant Dom is a book that I will cherish forever not because it’s about BDSM, not because its considered erotica romance, not because the heroine has suffered a traumatic and abusive past and not because its about true relationships but because of the deep-seeded love and selfless sacrifice, the living and dying of how you want, on your terms regardless of society’s acknowledgements and what is deemed normal. This be a future re-read for many a years to come. The Reluctant Dom has wormed its way into my heart and my top favorites. It is my hopes that Ms. Dalton will plan a sequel because I would really enjoy seeing the return of these well loved characters. Perhaps Seth and Leah can help Tony find his ‘right’ woman.

Favorite Quotes

“In a fit of Christmas spirit, Kaden had equipped her with a red and green holiday collar, complete with several jingle bells.
Their own little pornographic elf.”
― Seth – The Reluctant Dom

“I love you, bro.”
“I love you too. Still not doing you.”
― Kaden and Seth

Heat Index …

Romance Index …

Overall Rating …

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smittenwithbadboyheroes says:

What a great review luv! i welled up reading your review. i imagine the book would have me in full out ugly cries! i’ll remember to pull this one out for a time when i’m in the frame of mind to appreciate its depth. thanks again for the review. its beautiful!



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