Synopsis: From her perch on a shelf above my bed, the doll accuses me with lifeless eyes of failing Juliette in the most heinous way imaginable, forcing me to crave the bite of his whip and the steel in his voice to drown out the ache in my chest.
For his entire life, Benjamin Martin’s parents drilled into his head that he must watch out for his little sister, but one horrific night, he failed. Now, the bite of a whip, cuffs digging into his wrists, his arms and legs stretched beyond endurance, these things give him what he needs to forget his sister’s violent death, at least for a while.
When Ben’s latest Dom casts him aside like a broken toy, he manipulates his best friend, Jude Archer, into picking up the pieces. Jude has been in love with Ben for years, but his fantasies about his friend never included whipping him. He doesn’t understand why Ben needs BDSM and he worries about Ben’s addiction. Most of all, he fears losing his humanity because he’s already lost himself in Ben. When he’s forced to trade the marks upon his soul for the pain that ravages Ben, Jude learns the real definition of submission
Review: I loved this story. Two men with very broken hearts, for very different reasons.
Ben is broken from his little sister’s death. She was raped and murdered when he was 18 and blames himself for not being there to pick her up from school like he was supposed to. He’s constantly lost in his head visualizing her brutal death.
His roommate and best friend, Julian, (Jude) has been in love with Ben for years, barely able to cope with the fact that he’s never been enough to earn a second glance from Ben. He stands by while Ben moves from one guy to the next. Little does he know that the men are actually Dom’s, or that Ben copes with his pain by weekly floggings and inflicting a very different kind of pain upon himself. His Dom, Kage, is the only one who is able to keep the nightmares at bay.
After the accident, all their secrets come to light during the time that Jude cares for Ben. The two grow so much in this story. Ben begins to heal and Jude grows into his new role as Ben’s Dom. It’s a rocky road at first, but he eventually becomes what Ben needs, even finding that he truly enjoys it. The love that grows between them is touching and sweet to witness.
This book was a joy to read. It was hot, sweet, heartbreaking and beautifully written.