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The Retreat #1

Serving Him

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An escape from the real world can only ever be temporary.

Rowan Stanton knows he is submissive. He loves to look after people but the country hotel he works at can’t quite fulfil his need to serve. When he succeeds at getting a new role as houseboy at The Retreat, an exclusive BDSM hideaway in the New Forest, he believes it’s his dream job. Inexperienced in many ways, he soon realises he’s not as prepared as he thought for the demands placed upon him.

Lorcan Wilder is young, rich and successful. He’s also haunted by nightmares and has sacrificed a decade to his business. Selling it gives him the freedom to explore his dominant side and four weeks at The Retreat are the start of a new life. He doesn’t expect the young submissive employed to serve him will have such a profound effect on him. Exploring and pushing Rowan’s boundaries is exactly what he needs to separate himself from his past.

Lorcan makes full use of The Retreat’s facilities from the genuine dungeon to the secret toys concealed in every room. He rediscovers his energy for life and gradually reengages with the world. However, his efforts to compartmentalise the past ultimately fail and he comes to realise what he’s always known – that true submissives have an inner strength he can only envy.

By the end of his stay, Lorcan can’t let Rowan go, though he thinks he must. What will convince him that’s he’s allowed a happy ever after and will he find the courage to accept it?

General Release Date: 24th July 2018

151 pages, ebook

First published July 24, 2018

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About the author

L.M. Somerton

71 books177 followers
Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 38 reviews
Profile Image for Elena.
826 reviews83 followers
November 24, 2019
Dnf at 46%

I was in the mood for a BDSM book and this one had just the right premise for it. After spending almost half the book waiting for the MCs to meet for the first time, and getting bored in the meantime with all the scenes with secondary characters from another series by the author, though, the relationship fell on its face pretty quickly. I’m not feeling the chemistry and the sex scenes felt so mechanical to me that I skimmed for the most part. Since everything else is average at best, I’m cutting my losses here.
Profile Image for Trio.
2,926 reviews171 followers
July 27, 2018
Tender and salacious, L.M. Somerton’s Serving Him is a romantic escape to a kinky paradise. The story is compelling, with enough drama to keep it moving along, and the BDSM scenes are refreshingly creative. Low on angst and high on passion, Serving Him is the perfect getaway.

This is my favorite kind of romance, where the characters are clearly perfect for each other and waiting for them to figure it out is the best kind of torture. At 21 and 29 respectively, while there isn’t a big gap in their ages, Rowan and Lorcan are as different as two men can be. Rowan is poor but happy; surrounded by a few loving friends he has a sunny outlook on life. Conversely, Lorcan has been dissatisfied with his life for a long time. Knowing it’s time for a major change, Lorcan sells his multi-billion dollar company leaving everything (and everyone) he knows behind.

Rowan and Lorcan do have one thing in common. They know they want a fulfilling life, and they are determined to do whatever they must to attain it.

For Rowan, the first step is to secure a job where his service is valued, and he is truly cared for in return. Though he is shy and inexperienced, Rowan is confident in his role as a submissive and longs to embrace a BDSM lifestyle. Knowing he’s a country boy at heart, when his chance comes to interview for a job at The Retreat in rural England, Rowan packs his sexiest underwear and jumps at the opportunity.

A BDSM dreamland, the staff at The Retreat service every need and indulge every whim. This sounds like the perfect way for Lorcan to kick off the next chapter of his life so he books in for a four week stay. As Rowan is a perfect match for Lorcan’s specifications, he is hired to be Lorcan’s full-time, personal submissive.

One of the sweetest parts of Rowan and Lorcan’s relationship for me was watching their connection grow. I love a BDSM novel where the characters are learning together and discovering each other… there’s nothing sexier for me than a Dom/sub relationship where the characters are figuring out how to please each other.

There are some wonderful scenes in Serving Him, which include characters from the Tales from the Edge series. While it isn’t necessary to read those books first, you’re definitely going to want to give that series a try. I’m warning you though, L.M. Somerton’s elegant writing style is completely addictive. Everything from the fountain where Rowan throws his wishing coin, to the sumptuous food and decor, to the various BDSM equipment is described in stunning detail.

Serving Him is a great start to a promising new series. There are some intriguing supporting characters introduced, and I’m looking forward to finding out who the next visitors to The Retreat will be.
Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,165 reviews1 follower
July 24, 2018
Rowan and Larcon
Thát was fun. I enjoyed this story a lot.

Rowan, a pure submissive young boy, gets a job as a houseboy at The Retreat an exclusive BDSM resort where all his dreams can come true. His first Sir for the next four weeks will be Larcon a rich business man.
Larcon freed himself from all the business he had and wants to dedicate his future as a Dominant, The Retreat is an excellent start.

We are witness of a beautiful relationship with nonstop D/s scenes. Larcon explores every limit Rowan has... and Rowan seems to need Larcon more and more.
The story is appealingly written and has a positive vibe, a lot of fondness and all the emotions from both dedicated men.
Their personalities are enough developed for this story, it’s all about them and that’s really nice done. I loved it how this relationship deepened and their dynamic was great.
The Retreat with all their facilities is just one dream resort.
This story is a great start for The Retreat Series I’m looking forward to #2

Read and reviewed for Gay Book Promotions
Profile Image for JenMcJ.
2,110 reviews313 followers
July 29, 2018
This book starts off with the first 30% setting up what the retreat is, letting us meet Rowan and then a small amount of time getting to know Lorcan, Mr. Wilder. That's a huge chunk of this book that the main characters don't interact with each other at all. Add in that the time Mr. Wilder is scheduled to be at the retreat is only for 4 weeks, you can imagine how rushed this relationship feels.

The part that is really frustrating is how clinical the writing is. All the BDSM scenes are explained to us through Mr. Wilder or explained through Rowan and we hardly know how any of it feels. A maintenance spanking may last only two or three sentences and then we are off to another part of the day. There is no lingering emotional connection to the reader. The scenes are both perfunctory and yet fairly detailed enough that they should be riveting and yet, there is no sense of connection at all to what's going on. On top of all of that, Rowan comes in this book, truly, every time either with no stimulation to his cock at all (maybe a flick at the tip) or after literally, one stroke. This boy has no staying power whatsoever and just comes the second any stimulation to any part of his body seems to happen. It was distracting.

I wish I knew the formula (as I'm sure, most authors would too) that makes one sex scene better than another or bdsm scene for that matter, but I don't. I just know that no part of this book managed to get my heart rate up at all.

I did like the characters in this book. The side characters that are set up for future books seem to be interesting and ready to find their own boy. Sadly, Rowan and Lorcan, didn't stimulate my.... imagination at all.
Profile Image for Ed Davis.
2,265 reviews65 followers
April 5, 2019
3 and 1/2 Stars. I should have loved this book, but there was something about it that didn’t quite touch me. I could never really put my finger on what it was that bothered me. I liked both Rowan and Lorcan but reading this book wasn’t a great pleasure for me.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,376 reviews418 followers
July 26, 2018
A Joyfully Jay review.

2.5 stars

There was a lot of giggling in Serving Him. Just giggling all over the place. But only by subs. Apparently Doms never giggle, nor anyone else. Just subservient men. This annoyed from the outset because it felt somehow belittling and playing to outdated stereotypes. I have no doubt the author didn’t mean this to be the case, but it turned me off right away. I can’t say my overall impression improved much.

The book is written adequately, though it’s somewhat simplistic in its execution, and it’s a quick read. Pacing isn’t an issue in the least. Serving Him is listed as the first in a new series, but there were multiple Dom/sub pairings that were written as if they were previously known characters. So I don’t know if they came from another series or what, but they seemed well established. Knowing them isn’t critical to the story, but as a reader, I felt somewhat out of step with the relationships for the first few chapters.

Read Sue’s review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for The Novel Approach.
3,073 reviews135 followers
August 22, 2018
~ 4.5 Stars ~

Serving Him is book one in a new series for Somerton that is a spinoff of her popular Tales from the Edge series. Right from the beginning, we get to see some of our favorite characters from those stories, and it immediately makes you feel at home in this new one. Because this is the first of the series, Somerton does quite a bit of scene work or giving this new series a place to unfold. She does a great job of laying the groundwork for future books while keeping us focused on our spotlight couple. I am incredibly intrigued by this new series.

Much as The Edge provided us a framework for that series, The Retreat will do the same in these books. It’s an interesting concept—not a hotel, not a spa, but in essence truly a retreat. A place where, if you can afford it, will provide for your every BDSM want or need, even the sub, as in this story, or maybe even the Dom. Who knows where Somerton will take us to next?! The Retreat is an exclusive estate outside London, located in the New Forest; it was conceived and is run by a handful of Doms from The Underground Club, the club from the original series. This creates a touch point for familiar faces to pop in and out, and provides continuity for us as readers. Each room holds its own set of deliciously naughty delights and tortures, and if that isn’t enough, there is also a full dungeon and an attic loft which comes complete with bondage capability. The chef and the caretaker are Doms from The Underground, and the new subs we meet, who work in the kitchen and chauffer the guests, are quirky and cute and also from the club. All in all, a great skeleton crew of secondary characters who will hold our interest through each story as it comes along.

This first story is about Rowan and Lorcan. Rowan is a young submissive, though inexperienced in a lot of ways, he still has his head on straight concerning the direction he wants his life to go in and the kind of relationships he would like to have. Rowan is the consummate service submissive. He longs to take care of someone and serve all their physical and emotional needs. Rowan is a sweet character who has not so sweet desires and that makes him a delicious dichotomy. His personality will draw you in and Somerton has given Rowan a great support system in his aunt and best friend, both of whom are characters I totally enjoyed meeting. Rowan is also highly intelligent; it’s refreshing to see a young man drawn as a submissive who doesn’t have some kind of character flaw that a Dominant needs to take care of them for. Rowan holds his own as a young man who longs to serve but can also make his own way in the world if this opportunity falls through for him.

Lorcan has been a Dominant for many years. He hasn’t had the opportunity to enjoy that side of himself because of the demands of his day job, but he longs to take his fantasies out of his head and actually apply them to a willing submissive. Learning about The Retreat at The Underground, where he has been a member for years, seems like the perfect opportunity to make his dreams happen, and the timing couldn’t be better. He has worked for years to back himself out of the business that he started, and now that it has finally sold, he walks out of the boardroom and gets in a car bound for The Retreat, leaving London and all it holds behind. At least for a blessed four weeks. Unfortunately, Lorcan has ghosts from his past that he cannot run away from as easily as he did his business. Tormented by a horrific attack from his teenage years, Lorcan has spent years in therapy learning to separate what he wants to do to a submissive from what was done to him against his will during the incident in his teens.

I personally think these two were the perfect first couple for the series. It was a bit of insta-love on Rowan’s part, but even in the story it is explained, and true that Rowan is not built to serve many men but just one. Somerton has written the perfect send-off for the two, with a solid future mapped out for each man, both individually and as a couple. I absolutely recommend this book, especially for those wishing to continue similar storylines like those from The Edge Series. Even though there are some darker issues here, Somerton has kept it light, and the characters have a witty banter and rapport. It was a great story and I’m really looking forward to the next one.

PS: I do love the cover on this novel; I only wish it didn’t look so dark. I was expecting an almost Goth or medieval feel to The Retreat after seeing it, and that isn’t the reality of the storyline. The dappled, lush green of the New Forest is a stark contrast to the cover.

Reviewed by Carrie for The Novel Approach
Profile Image for JustJen "Miss Conduct".
2,270 reviews151 followers
August 1, 2018

The owner of The Underground BDSM club (from the Tales from the Edge series) is opening The Retreat, an upscale getaway estate where guests can stay for extended lengths of time (think vacation with BDSM themed accommodations). Lorcan is using his stay at the Retreat as a way to recharge and change the direction of his life which, up until this point, has been solely on his business. He’s now selling the company and ready to live life for himself.

Rowan is a young guy who likes to serve people, but he just isn’t getting everything he wants out of his current hotel job. He wants to mist that with exploring his submissive side, and when the opportunity comes up for a job at the Retreat, it seems perfect for him. He’s not entirely sure what it will all entail, but he’s looking forward to finding out. He is assigned to Lorcan’s stay, and while there are others on staff, Rowan is the one spending most, if not all of his time with Lorcan.

This is a dream job come true for Rowan. He can take care of someone who appreciates it and who takes care of him in return. He is able to explore his submissive side at the same time, and Lorcan turns out to be the perfect Dom for someone without a ton of actual BDSM experience. It doesn’t take too long for the to both realize they are a good fit for each other. Rowan was really sweet and I loved watching him grow into his role. Lorcan was interesting as well. He pushed Rowan a bit but was never too over the top. It didn’t come as much of a surprise that they they would both want to continue on together after Lorcan’s time at the Retreat was up. We even get see a nice glimpse of them a bit down the road.

I found this to be a really enjoyable story that can easily be read on its own. For those who have read the previous series, I’m sure it will be nice for them to see the other characters again. There are some minor bumps for these two, but it doesn’t take much for them to work through and get back on track. Lorcan’s nightmare issues seemed somewhat unnecessary, but it is dealt with fairly quickly. I liked this spinoff series starter and am definitely looking forward to seeing where it goes next.

Review written for Love Bytes Reviews.
596 reviews7 followers
August 1, 2018
4 Stars!

I've been wanting to read this author's books for a while and I was happy to give this one a try. I will say that for as a new reader, the beginning of this book was a little rough for me. This book must be a spin-off from the Tales from the Edge series and the first part of chapter one felt like I was walking into something I should have known more about. However, once we meet Rowan, things got much easier for me.

Rowan knows he is a submissive, but he is pretty inexperienced. He likes his current job, but finds it too impersonal. He applies to work at The Retreat and is surprised after his interview to find that he is hired. Rowan is smart and loves to serve. I liked him and his aunt is a hoot.

Lorcan is young and successful. He walked away from his business to give himself a chance to live his life as he wanted. The Retreat was a great way to get away and explore his dominant side in-depth. Lorcan is a good man and dominant. He pushes Rowan, but never too much. I loved how Lorcan takes care of Rowan, but as their bond deepened, I was hoping to see more of them sharing of their lives outside BDSM. Lorcan eventually offers Rowan a position outside of The Retreat, and I could see why Rowan was hesitating when Lorcan really didn't discuss his life much. The resolution of the employment question as a little odd and didn't make total sense to me, but I was happy to see them get the time they needed to get to know each other better in the outside world.

I loved that The Retreat has all these great characters there to help both men as needed. I really hope that we get a book about Luke soon.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
Profile Image for Christina.
627 reviews22 followers
July 27, 2018
Well well well....this is the first time I've read this author and I have to admit that I really like the writing style. Although this is a shorter read, it's very well done and kept me glued to my Kindle.

Rowen is a submissive by nature. No, really. He's in a comfort zone when he's serving others, making them happy and feeling useful. After working in the hotel business for a while, he's applied to an exclusive club that created The Retreat for only a selected few. Leaving his job, aunt and best friend behind, he embarks on a new adventure that will hopefully fulfill his every being. Being a submissive.

Lorcan has been working his arse off for years. He's literally made his work his life and is now looking for something new. So he's sold his multi-million dollar company and is heading to The Retreat for some well deserved R&R, or better yet, some BDSM with a sub that's been specifically picked for him. And what a sub he gets, he's pretty much made for him. But will a month be enough time or will he want to keep him?

This was a relatively short read, but it didn't feel like it. Although this takes place a little over a month in time, it moves seamlessly, keeping you up to date and feeling current with the time. The way the relationship progresses (I felt) was perfect. After all, everyone knew what the expectations of The Retreat are. But what I liked most about this story is that it felt genuine, not forced, and definitely not fake. In fact, I found that even though "words" weren't necessarily spoken out loud to each, their emotions/feelings spoke volumes.

This was great....bring on the next installment!!!
Profile Image for Carra.
1,672 reviews25 followers
July 24, 2018
The concept of The Retreat in general is quite interesting, and makes for a great backdrop for this new series. You do not need to have read the series that preceded this (from which this one spun off) in order to enjoy this one—I didn’t—though once you finish Serving Him you’ll probably find your interest piqued for it as I did.

Rowan is a submissive who has an intense need to serve, so landing a job as houseboy at The Retreat seems like the perfect situation for him. He’s attentive and anticipates Lorcan’s needs, and while Rowan is a bit clumsy that is not at all an issue when he’s displaying his submissive nature. He is very well suited for his role, and I found him to be an easy character to like.

After Lorcan makes a clean break from his business to set himself on a new path, he treats himself to time at The Retreat. He’s definitely a strong alpha male dominant character, and he and Rowan fit together perfectly right from the start. They quickly form a bond, which grows rapidly in the short time the story covers.

The story is well written and flows nicely, something I’ve come to expect from this author even after only reading two other books by her before (the Warlocks series). The BDSM scenes in this story are just right in intensity, and contribute to showing the growing bond between Rowan and Lorcan.

Serving Him is a very good start to this new series, and with the supporting characters that were introduced, I’m definitely interested to see where the author is going to take us. This book was a solid 4-star read for me, and I would recommend it to fans of M/M BDSM romance. It is meant for readers 18+ for adult language, sexual content, and mention of past assault.
Profile Image for Abrianna.
Author 18 books185 followers
July 24, 2018
When I read the blurb I was intrigued by the premise and the characters. I enjoyed reading about Rowan and Lorcan, though I wanted more. There was something missing from their relationship and it didn’t feel entirely real to me. When I read BDSM I need to feel the connection between the characters to believe the relationship. There are so many aspects of the lifestyle that is based on trust and I need to be able to see that.
While I could feel the connection between Rowan and Lorcan I felt like there wasn’t enough on the page to experience it.
There are some great scenes in this book. L.M. Somerton explored a more heavy side of the lifestyle and I had fun reading what the characters got up to in the dungeon and bedroom. Outside of that, I wish there was more on page time with the characters.
Rowan and Lorcan are great and have well-rounded backstories, but there wasn’t enough, in my opinion. Lorcan has a history and while I was surprised to learn about it I would have liked more depth. Based on the blurb I felt like there was more hype than was necessary, since the conversation in the book didn’t reveal much.
Rowan was a fun character and I loved his support system, even though we didn’t get to see much about them.
I think, if the author fleshes out the characters in the other books of if this series, if she spends more on page time building the emotional connections then it’ll be great. Because I liked the story, I like the characters and the writing, but there’s so much more potential.
I can see multiple stories coming from the secondary characters and I’ll consider reading more.
Overall this book is a pretty quick read with some sexy scenes and a lot of BDSM. The characters are nicely thought out, even if there wasn’t a lot on page they still had plenty of personality to go around. Despite wishing for a little more emotional connection, I thought it was a good book.
Profile Image for Xanthe.
1,761 reviews27 followers
July 14, 2018
What an unexpected delight this book was! I loved the location, setup and characters involved in this story.
Rowan needs to look after people, it's all he's ever wanted to do and his new job at The Retreat, a BDSM hotel in the country, allows him to do that for whatever Dom pays for his time.
Lorcan has just sold his business after losing ten years of his life to it and now wants to immerse himself in his dominant side which has been neglected for far too long. A four week stay at The Retreat is just what he needs, as is Rowan.
The two men click straight away, they are very attracted to each other and they both easily fall into their roles of dominant and submissive. But it's not just their roles that they are acting upon, is it possible that their hearts are involved too?
Firstly, I want to say how well the setting and location of this book was written. I could actually picture myself in the environment that L.M. Somerton was describing, both in The Retreat and on the grounds of the estate - such beautiful English countryside.
I instantly fell in love with Rowan, he is just so adorable and wants to care for everyone. But also with Lorcan, someone with hidden pain and hasn't had the chance in the past few years to just be himself. The freedom that is offered at The Retreat is amazing for both of them, allowing both men to fully settle into their preferred roles and make the connection that soon becomes so strong.
The story moves along at a good pace, there are occasions where a couple of days are skipped but it's clear nothing is missed. The BDSM scenes between the two are very well written, it's clear that it's what both men want and that consent is an important aspect.
I think that this is a fantastic start to a new series and I can't wait for the next book to arrive.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Josh Dale.
225 reviews5 followers
July 30, 2018
Rowan Stanton Knows he is a submissive, and is at ease with himself. He is adorable. Nieve but in the cute way With an inner strength.

When Rowan hears of a job at an exclusive BDSM retreat as a House Boy, he knows he has to apply for the job. At his interview the owner is impressed with him, and offers him the position.

Lorcan Wilder, Has soold his company tht he has built up over the years at the expense of his personal life, and decides the first place he will visit is The Retreat, He wants to explore his dominaint side more.

Both characters are strong in their own roles, and compliment each other. They explore their D/s lifestyle together and learn new things about each other and themselves.

They soon become more than client and house boy. The BDSM scenes are hot, but they care and respect for each other.

I loved Rowans eagerness and total ease he is with himself and his submission; he knows what he wants, well what he needs and craves and gets it. For all of Rowan’s in experience as a full time submissive, he comes across as the more self confident character. Not that Lorcan is weak or unable to dominate and be confident in his role. He just has not found his way forward yet.

They both know their time together is supposed to end after a month, but They both bond and hope for more. Can they defy the odds, and find a way to be together.

This is the first book in the Retreat series, and I am so looking forward to the future books, There's plenty of minor characters that have colourful personalities of which I am eager to meet.

L M Somerton is a new author to me. How I have not read any of her books before now.
Profile Image for Tj.
1,491 reviews17 followers
July 29, 2018
If you eat instant potatoes, yow will not starve. However, it is not the same as mashed potatoes made with fresh potatoes, butter, cream, time and effort. This book is more of the instant variety.

Feelings develop too quickly. Lorcan the dom is also a bit clueless. He asks Rowan to leave his job at the Retreat and work for him as a PA and live with him as his sub. Other than sex, they know very little about each other. Someone else in the book has to point out to Lorcan that Rowan is in love with him. Lightbulb moment. Lorcan realizes that he too might be in love.

The ending needed a major injection. These two never exchange an I love you. They are going off to work and play together and see what happens.

The worst was the condoms. The second time the MCs have sex, they stop using condoms. Both have been tested as a Retreat requirement, but they never had a discussion about such a serious topic. Rowan didn’t have a clue about Lorcan’s identity at this point. A Google search toward the end will provide him with more information than Lorcan ever does.

Somerton has a good writing style. It flows easily and isn’t bogged down with clunky phrases or wordy long running sentences. I just wish she had skipped the instant version. The book needed to be longer and have character development. Rowan and Lorcan needed time to become a couple separate from the sex charged BDSM retreat.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ayla.
618 reviews
July 31, 2018
3.75 stars
Overall, this was a sweet book with some steamy sexy times and a nice HFN at the end. We meet Rowan and I was immediately drawn to him. He is super sweet and endearing. The author did a great job of making him human and easily relatable with his infectious personality. He is charming in an innocent and accident-prone sort of way.

I like Lorcan as well, but wanted to get more into him outside of him being a dominant. We did get both MCs POVs but I am pretty sure we got more from Rowan and when we did get Lorcan's, it was focused more on his reaction to Rowan than to who he was and his needs. They were both sweet with each other but I wanted to see more of their relationship develop and them get to know each other outside of the scene.

I liked the first chapter and getting the POV of the owner to The Retreat, though I felt like it was a little bit of a detail dump and I was trying to keep up with names and information. Sometimes I felt that the dialogue did not have a completely smooth transition from person to person, but other than those two small things, I think this was a good book with an incredibly interesting storyline and setup! The author has a lot of room to make a good series out of The Retreat.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
450 reviews8 followers
June 29, 2018
I was given an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
When I was offered the chance to read this book early I jumped at it. I have all of L.M. Somerton's books and I love each and every one of them. Her writing gets me in every time and I thoroughly enjoy the storylines.
Serving Him - book 1 of The Retreat - is a new series but it is a spin off from Tales From The Edge. At the very start of the book some favourites from The Edge appear but when we move further in to the story we are dealing with all new characters.
Rowan is a submissive who lives to serve. He succeeds in getting a job at The Retreat, an isolated and very exclusive BDSM retreat. Lorcan is a dominant and, after a very successful business career, he sells his business to explore his dominant side. He is going to start this off by staying at The Retreat.
What follows is romance and plenty of BDSM scenes. They are not hard core, in my opinion, but they are reasonably graphic. Both Rowan and Lorcan love every minute of their time together. They have to overcome some difficulties and challenges but it happens. The story is complete within itself but I know that I will be reading the next book when it is written.
Definitely recommended.
Profile Image for Lisa.
760 reviews
May 20, 2022
This is a very enjoyable and entertaining D/s BDSM book. There is quite a bit of setting the stage for the romance portion of the book, as the MCs don't meet until about a third of the way through the book. The build-up seems to work in this case to cause anticipation for their eventual meeting. Rowan is a natural submissive who has never had the opportunity to enact his desires in more than just scenes. When he is given the opportunity to work at The Retreat, a BDSM getaway, as one of their submissives, he jumps at the job offer. Lorcan has been extremely successful in the business world and just before age 30, he makes the decision to sell his business and to take a break from that life. He wants to use some time to exercise his dominant side while taking a month at The Retreat. When Rowan and Lorcan meet, there is an immediate attraction and as they spend time together, they both begin to hope they can have something more. This book is heavy on their physical interactions with sprinklings of time spent talking about other parts of their lives. It's a fun read and I hope to hear more of their story in upcoming books in the series.
Profile Image for Sarita Chapdelaine.
1,172 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2018
I looked forward to reading this book after I read the blurb but unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations. Rowan is sweet, accident-prone, innocent and very likeable but I want to know more about him and his past. He doesn't have a lot of experience as a submissive and seems to be out of his depth with Lorcan. Their relationship didn't feel real to me and the lack of emotion from Lorcan is weird. They don't have much of a connection and the BDSM scenes are very clinical. I don't like Lorcan very much until the end of the book when we learn more about his past and his reasons for being a Dom. More background information on both of them earlier in the book would have made this story more engaging. The best part of the book is in the beginning when we meet all of the secondary characters. I like Luke, Ed and Rory as well as the people Rowan meets when he interviews for his new job and the other staff at The Retreat. This book just isn't for me even though I have enjoyed other books by this author.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,719 reviews105 followers
August 10, 2018
3.5 Stars ~ I am ecstatic that the author decided to write a crossover series based on the BDSM retreat created by Carey and Alistair, two of my favorite characters from L.M. Somerton’s ‘Tales from the Edge’ series. Since that series continues to reign as one of my all-time favorites in the Dom/sub genre, I was delighted to see some favorite characters (Olly!) plus watch as The Retreat took its very first client. The Retreat is different from The Edge in that it is designed to handle one client at a time, to fulfill all of their requirements, and provide them with efficient staff to each client’s specifications, especially in terms of submissives. I found that entire concept to be utterly fascinating so I was really looking forward to Lorcan and Rowan’s story.

I enjoyed getting to know Lorcan. The intrigue revolving around something that happened to him in his earlier years was a part of his storyline but it didn’t overtake it, in my opinion. Lorcan is young, not quite thirty, and he started his own business at nineteen, worked extremely hard, and now ten years later he has sold the company and can focus on himself. Most of that focus involves immersing himself in the Dom/sub lifestyle which he has neglected, except for random evenings here and there, so Lorcan is determined to make the most of his month stay at The Retreat. The owners have provided him with a sub, a perfect one to match his desires, and Lorcan can’t wait to experience everything with Rowan.

Please find my full review at Rainbow Book Reviews
Profile Image for Terri.
1,331 reviews
July 25, 2018
This book is a strong start to a series I expect to enjoy greatly. Rowan is sweet and almost innocent, and he is also a submissive who enjoys pain. Lorcan is a young self-made tycoon, who is ready to take a break from business and learn to enjoy life. A big part of starting his new lifestyle is focusing more time enjoying the pleasures of BDSM that he gets from dominating a sweet sub. At The Retreat, a new kinky hideaway, these men are brought together as Dom and sub. Lorcan has an entire house designed especially for torturing a needy sub at his disposal. Nice! The arrangement is for four weeks, and a lot happens in that time - hot sweaty scenes, witty conversations, and sweet emotional moments.
Other characters are introduced who I look forward to seeing in future books, but the main focus is definitely on Lorcan and Rowan. I loved both men, who made me smile often as I read, and I hope they continue to show up throughout the series. This story is terrific!
Profile Image for Renee.
344 reviews10 followers
April 27, 2019
L.M. Somerton did a great job with this book. I found it sweet with a respectful representation of BDSM. It definitely is a great start to the series.

The character development could have used a little more. I wanted a better connection between them instead of just revolving around the BDSM aspect. However, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. It was a lovely read with these two. The world building was excellent. I’d definitely love to visit the retreat and the world the author created.

The storyline was engaging and has me interested to see where the author goes. There’s quite a few characters I’d love to see have their own book. I’m looking forward to book two and hopefully a little more depth. Overall this series has my interest and I’m ready for more.

4 starts for a solid beginning and sweet story.
411 reviews9 followers
September 6, 2020
I Forgot How Good L. M. Somerton's Books Are

I haven't read an L. M. Somerton book now for a couple of years and forgotten how good they are. This series is a spinoff of The Edge series which featured The Underground while this one features The Retreat. Rowan and Lorcan meet at The Retreat where Lorcan is decompressing for 4 weeks while Rowan services him as a houseboy and submissive. Of course such intense and in depth involvement quickly deepens their connection and Lorcan proposes a work/personal relationship at the end of the 4 weeks. Rowan of course agrees and they live HEA. This book has very low angst compared to The Edge series but still contains enough to keep you wanting to read. This also has an epilogue which is something I like in my books. I highly recommend this series and I'm glad I got to reconnect with an author I enjoyed reading.
2,319 reviews8 followers
July 25, 2018
Great start to a new series. Rowan is a beautiful submissive who truly loves to and needs to serve. Getting the job as a houseboy at The Retreat gives him the perfect dom for him, Lorcan. They truly are perfect together, Rowan and Lorcan fall into a perfect rhythm. Lorcan knows just how far to push Rowan in his submission. I love watching their bond grow stronger and stronger throughout the story. Looking forward to more from this series.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Profile Image for Faye K.
2,442 reviews30 followers
August 6, 2018
🔥🔥🔥💖 Hot..LOVED this. Lorcan and Rowan are beautiful together. I loved Rowan for his innocence and sparky personality. Lorcan was a Dom with a compassion and wasn't expecting to find Rowan at the retreat.  This was a first read for this author and couldn't put this down.. Highly recommended for lovers of BDSM.
Lorcan wanted to stay at The Retreat lodge as a reward for his business dealings. A Dom and was wanting a sub to play with only his needed to be blonde.
Rowan 21 and accident prone, was excited to get a letter from The Underground a BDSM club. A houseboy is what he'd wanted very much.
Profile Image for Tessi4M.
495 reviews21 followers
September 15, 2020
I haven't read a lot of BDSM recently and I enjoyed getting into it again. This one was a nice start to the new series with likeable characters all around. I did like Rowan and Lorcan together but I confess to being even more intrigued by what will be in store for Luke in the next book.
And the ending 'cost' this book a star. I really do want happy endings in my books and this one was only a HFN in my book.
Profile Image for Lorraine.
953 reviews8 followers
July 26, 2018
A really enjoyable read

This is an excellent story set in a prestigious BDSM retreat centre where Lorcan, an American Dom who needs space, meets his sub for the month, Rowan. The building of their relationship, the description of the setting, and the side characters was really good, and I hope that there will be more in the series.
Profile Image for Vicki.
728 reviews17 followers
August 15, 2018
I love L.M. Somerton's work. I know that when I buy one of her books I will get a well written, solid story with interesting characters and some solid heat. The Retreat series is a spinoff from The Edge series and many characters from The Edge appeared in this story and will, hopefully, be in other books in this series.
Profile Image for Doreen Frantz.
328 reviews4 followers
July 24, 2018
LOVED IT!!!!! Mr. Lorcan Wilder is super hot (and that name…hot as well) and the way he cares for Rowan is awesome. Loved Rowan's quirkiness and the support characters were good….quite a few had me giggling. A very good, light-hearted novel.
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