Decades of personal demons, I thought I had successfully suppressed, were beginning to tear at me again. Wounds I never even realized I had, were opening. I ached for something more. Something deeper. And I had a feeling that Russell, the “Top of all Tops,” the so-called “Dom’s Dom” just might have the answers to helping me find what I so desperately needed.
Curiosity and the hope for something more put him on the doorstep of my home. Ryan Hudson. I said I was willing to mentor him as he began to explore his darker longings. I know I'm asking the impossible by asking him to let go. To trust me. But that is precisely what draws me to this beautifully scarred young man. The challenge. As for my darker longings where he's concerned...well, I will just have to steel my heart against those...for now...
Russell said that I needed to trust him, but could I do that?
Ryan had nothing left to lose, but possibly everything to gain.
This is our story…
**Author’s note: Steel is a dark novel with intense scenes that may trigger some readers. Please read with caution.
Cole Denton is an ocean lover who finds joy in almost all physical activities. He is especially passionate about baseball and surfing, indulging in them every chance he gets.
His other passion is writing. It began at a young age and followed him through to his time at a university in SoCal where he majored in screenwriting.
After moving to Sin City, Cole has put his knowledge and talent as a writer to work by pursuing a career as a dark fiction author. Cole is enjoying testing his kinky side, in pursuit of all things pleasurable.
Russell is the light at the end of an extremely long tunnel. He means relief and healing. I can’t wait for him to tear down the fortress that Ryan had to build around himself.
He wears baggy clothes for the same reason some women do. It’s an armor, protection because he’s been used and demoralized due to his physical beauty.
Power play is something I struggled with learning for my own writing. Both the Dom and the sub have power and/or control. At the end of the day, the final say comes down to the sub.
My only issue with this book is the repetitive nature. For example a character would think something and then say it out loud verbatim. I’m not sure if this was done for a purpose, but it drove me to skim most of what wasn’t dialogue.
Also, at times it felt too clinical. I understand that’s there’s a steep learning curve. Obviously this relationship between Russell and Ryan isn’t romantic at this point. But I still wanted camaraderie and affection.
Having said that, as I reached the end of book two, when Russell said he was gonna do it “his way,” it all became clear. I believe Russell wanted to show all the affection but he had to walk on eggshells. I was wrong.
Because the way Russell handles Ryan’s pain, the obstacles stunting his emotions is like watching art in motion. He’s a freaking painter for the human psyche.
This series is so smart and interesting. Not to mention how it likes to drag your heart through gravel before Mr Denton slowly, but methodically heals you.
One of my favorite things in life is finally getting to that book or series by that new author you've been saying you are going to get to and when you do all your expectations are shattered. Everything you expected the book surpassed tenfold and you are left with this craving for more. Cole Denton is that author and the Trial by Fire series is that series for me.
Ryan's journey continued exactly where Forged left off. He is still very much the broken soul we met in book one but now he has something he didn't have before, he has hope. Hope for a future where he could want more and become more than he was ever given the chance to be.
"Submission isn't a sign of weakness- it's strength. It's trusting someone that you select to meet your needs."
Russel coming into his life is either going to be his undoing or it is going to be his second chance. Fear has a funny way of making you second guess every single thing you have done but for Ryan that fear is much worse. Growing up the way he did he was conditioned to believe these tragic things about himself that just aren't true. Can Russell be the one to show Ryan he is worth more than he ever thought he was?
"You need all of that, Ryan. None of your partners or lovers knew how to touch you or love you. I do."
Seriously, I don't even know what to say to express exactly how much I love this series. Saying too much will give things away that don't need to be given away. This series deserves to be devoured with minimal information. Go into it with no expectations and keep an open mind because I promise you Ryan will endear himself to you in such a way that you will never get him out of your head or your heart.
Book three is sure to be just as heart aching and fulfilling as the first two books of this series and I can't wait to see how Ryan takes to this new life he is creating for himself.
You know how sequels are rarely as good as the first where books and movies are concerned? Well, that is not the case here!! STEEL, the much anticipated sequel to FORGED, is every bit as engaging, engrossing, and downright life changing as the original. If not more so!! Being able to continue watching Ryan's journey is an honor and a privilege. You can feel every ounce of the struggle, as well as of the shining hope as he searches for his "something more". Forged was a coming of age story, but Steel is a story about coming into your own. And the cast of characters that are now supporting Ryan, and helping him along his path to become who he truly is, are just as loveable as the man himself! Where FORGED was full of darkness and sadness, with only a small glimmer of hope. This is full of brightness and hope, plus a nice sprinkling of naughty sexiness. Which, I'm excited by the prospect of being able to see much more of that in the next book, PHOENIX. Yet again, I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. Cole Denton is a superlative storyteller, and is showing potential to grow into a truly visionary writer.
“In order to take control, you must give up control.”
I didn’t think that anything could affect me as much as reading Forged did but I was so very wrong. Steel is just as impactive and emotionally driven. I actually find it more so in certain areas because while living life as a confused and emotionally damaged adult Ryan still has to deal with the horrors of his past. Ryan’s struggle to come to terms with his past and his need for certain sexual kinks are what led him down the path to want “something more”. Russell Moore is the man he hopes will help him find it. This book is such a rainbow of emotions to read. It is full of hope, pain, yearning, fear, friendship, despair, love and of course - kink. It also offers a very authentic insight into the BDSM community which Russell plays an important part in. Cole Denton slayed me with Forged and he’s managed to do it all over again with Steel. The tone of his writing while direct is honest. His words though a lot of them hard hitting resound with me in the darkest parts of my soul. This enthralling book series is a must read. I am so looking forward to the third book, Phoenix, so I can read more of Ryan’s story.
Cole Denton did not disappoint with the second book in the Trail by Fire series: Steel a very well written emotional read worth every one of the 5 stars given.
Ryan's journey continues right where it left us at the end of book 1, Forged.
I felt like I was going through Ryan's journey, felt his pain, his tears and the reassuring touch, patience and understanding given by Russell.
What I really loved about Steel, is the way labels are scrapped, a full understanding into the BDSM world is shown through trust, friendship and total understanding of each person's needs, and then ultimately how the BDSM lifestyle can help repair and rebuild those lost, alone and feeling scared of their desires and history.
I cannot wait for the final book in this series, to see Ryan shine and show that you can knock down those walls, labels and decide how you want to live.
As Ryan begins to open up to and trust Russell things from his past work back into his nightmares. I truly believe that Russell is beginning to have feelings for Ryan. To what extent, that is remained to be seen. I'm so looking forward to see how Ryan's story plays out. Cole Denton has delivered a spectacular series. It will truly touch your heart.
I'm totally in Awww your writing the this book what you shared with us . Cole your writing is awesome. I have no doubt about what is to come from your future writing will continue to blow me away. You put us in the book with you. I felt every emotion through your words . Russell was awesome I didn't anyone could have cared more about Ryan than he did and it filled my heart with absolute joy and happiness for Ryan to find someone who cares about him regardless of all the stuff he went through. Do I recommend this awesome book most definitely . Great things are to come from Cole Denton. Grab your hot copy today.
In this, the second book of the series, Steel, we learn more about Russel “only-the-brave-find-hope-in-a-second-chance” Moore when he takes on mentoring Ryan into becoming a service top. Russel observes Ryan and detect walls he has built around himself that Russel has the ability to tear down, his degree in psychology not needed. When someone pays enough close attention to who they are with, they are able to detect what’s not being relayed to them. Mannerisms tell a story all on their own.
Ryan is still being drawn into communicating with, and helping, his brother and mother. And they are still trying to screw him over. Whenever he deals with his family, Ryan closes up and regresses, but this time, Russel is there to help guide him, and as Russel has come to know Ryan, and what he’s dealt with all his life, he is better able to care for him.
All the emotions that affected me in the first book, Forged, are also present in this second book. It is rare books bring out the emotions inside of me as much as this series has. I have pre-ordered Phoenix, the third book in the Trial by Fire Series. I can’t wait to see how the mentorship, friendship, possibly relationship, plays out between Ryan and Russel. And I hope to see that Ryan’s loathsome brother, Chad, and his dementia ridden mother are dealt with by Karma. Perhaps the dementia is Karma at work. I really hope it deals something out to Chad – there’s never been a person who deserves it more than Chad.
I recommend you begin this series with book one, Forged, before you read this second book. They really need to be read in order to garner the whole story. For Cole Denton’s debut series, this one is memorable. The writing and storytelling is simply superb. Wonderful series.
I ha e fallen in love with Cole's words. Russell is exactly who Ryan needs to help him get past his demons. It has been awhile since I have eagerly invested in a couple. Awesome book Cole. Now on to the finish with Phoenix
To be more honest this is not my cup of tea but I stuck it out because I can't not finish a book and I rarely not finish a series. Maybe it's the Virgo in me. That said, I didn't want to rate it badly because it was still good writing and a good story. I couldn't penalize the author for me not researching the book like I should've. I didn't even read what it was about, just read it based on the rating (der).
I couldn’t wait for this book to come out and find out how Ryan’s journey with Russel was progressing. I fell in love with Russel he blew me away the first time Ryan went to his house. you could feel how much Russel wanted to help Ryan and the concern he had for him. Russel could see how tormented and nervous Ryan was and tried his best to calm him in a way Ryan had never experienced before. Once Ryan opened up to Russel bit by bit you could feel the connection these two had but Ryan’s doubt always came back to the service ones he was alone with his thoughts and about himself. His brother once again intervenes in Ryan’s life sending him videos that were made when Ryan was younger making him aware that his brother will never stop , Russel sees how distressed Ryan is and looks at the videos. Ryan can’t believe that his friends are not disgusted by what they see.and stand by him. I hated that his brother still had that kind of hold on him and his mother I thought maybe after being away from them for so long they wouldn’t. The way Cole Denton describes everything that Russel feels and knows about Ryan, the way he goes into all the details and thoughts Ryan has and feels it’s just phenomenal, another book written with so much passion and emotion by this outstanding author and I just wanted more I did not want this book to end , I’m hoping that Ryan will get his closure he so desperately needs and deserves and whatever mr Denton has in store for Ryan and Russel is fine with me I just want to see Ryan happy. I highly recommend this book to be read and give it 5*****
After reading Forged I fell in love with Ryan. Now that I read Steel I fell even more in love with him if possible. I love the road the writer set out for him to walk. And my heart aches for the terrible things that have been done to him. I stalled my reading because I did not want to end this book. I think the writer did a good job by letting him walk the road he needs to go slowly. I can not wait for the next story of Ryan. Wow what a great read.
Talk about a cliff hanger ending!! Brilliant. I loved Forged, and Steel obviously wouldn't be here without it, but I have to say I think Steel has just topped it! I absolutely love the two points of view writing style, showing Ryan and Russell's internal dialogues and perspectives. It is beautiful seeing their relationship develop and witnessing Ryan flourish in the presence of love and compassion.
I have no words. This book will have you feeling every emotion. Ryan is a tortured, yet beautiful person, and Russell will do everything to help Ryan through his struggles. Cole Denton is an amazing author, and the way he writes just pulls you into the story. I am looking forward to hearing the rest of Ryan’s story in Phoenix.
I am speechless after reading Steele. Truly an amazing journey. So many emotions that I am feeling for Ryan. I absolutely love Russell for taking the time to guide Ryan through his maze of emotions and showing him he deserves love and be loved. Can't wait for next amazing book. Your are amazing Cole Denton.
Ryan Hudson is a 35-year old man who has suffered great indignities through the physical and sexual abuse from his parents. He does not know what love and affection is. All he knows is that he wants to be something to someone. He wants something more. At a friend’s home he meets an older man, Russell who agrees to mentor Ryan, and teach him about the kinky world of BDSM.
Russell learns about Ryan’s young years by always asking the right questions and Ryan is very honest with his answers. A relationship develops between the two as Mentor and Apprentice in this world of kink, but Ryan is still so unsure of the friendship and hope that Russell offers. He begins to slowly respond to Russell’s words and touch. And Russell too finds that he is losing his heart to this young man who is so needy and unfulfilled.
This book is beautifully written. As the words jump out at the reader, we can see how this young man comes ‘of age’ under the tutelage of a man who wants to free him and care for him. This author made me feel that there was so much good in this world that we could not see. Here was a man that was giving of himself to make another one whole. Cole Denton is able to write in the voice of the character that is telling his story. Russell, so crisp and businesslike, always polite and careful with the words he uses; Ryan, polite and forthcoming with his answers but still showing his young and childlike ways with his use of words like ‘cool’. The author knows how to express himself when describing his characters. The pictures he writes, and that is what he does—his words are the camera—let us see how Russell starts his day as he prepares his breakfast or how Ryan get ready for his bed as he texts with his two female friends.
The reader is thrown into the bizarre and unusual world of BDSM and we learn that it is not as twisted and warped as many of us believe. There is compassion, empathy and understanding and finally love for someone who is broken; mind and body both. But will that love heal this broken soul who has so many demons inside him? I am hoping that “Phoenix” will answer all these questions. A heart-warming yet heart-wrenching story I suggest you read to better understand another world of love.
Steel is the second installment of The Trials by Fire Series. The beginning of Ryan’s journey into the BDSM lifestyle. Russell takes on Ryan as his apprentice and agrees to mentor him and help navigate Ryan into this community for all tense and purposes. Russell learning little by little how complex Ryan’s case really is. It’s not just helping Ryan with his BDSM journey but needing to change Ryan’s perception of himself, everything that was taught to him, and also what he thinks to be true about certain behaviors.
Ryan my heart goes out to him. He is a complex character, in so many ways he is mature, but in other ways he is a little boy trapped in a man's body. Russell is a strong character that is an emotional wall buster. He is meticulous in the way he lives and by the way he deals with Ryan. The plot thickens and this story just get better and better. Once again Denton has over worked my brain, and gave me profound thoughts. Sure this book has BDSM, but by far is not the focus of this story. This tale is about a young boy who went through horrific events. About a man trying to help him deal with this, trying to recondition his thought process, also to help the young man get rid of his self hatred, learn how to trust people again without seeming like his control is being taken away again by another and making Ryan realize he is gaining back what was stolen from him. It just so happens the lifestyle helps bring its out of Ryan. He has been so traumatized that he needs to feel pain to get his emotional release. I love the fact that Denton uses this as an implement and just don’t put a kink factor into the story to make the story hot and steamy. There is reasoning behind all of this, and that shows you what an incredibly talent author Denton is.
**This book has dark intense content so please be advised***
Ryan's story continues into a whole new world and it's intense! Wow! Cole is such an amazing and talented writer who has once again captivated me with this continued story about Ryan. Poor Ryan who had suffered unimaginable abuse from his family in book #1 is now 35 years old and exploring his kinky side. But, it's so much more than just a sexual need as this book will take you into his emotional needs that have been suppressed for so long. His mentor Russell is kind, caring and loving and above all patient and understanding with his young apprentice as he guides him along the way to discovering what he needs both physically and psychologically. You can tell that he truly cares for Ryan and wants to not only teach him about his lifestyle,, but wants him to be emotionally good as well. Ryan has such a deeply troubled past and even as his brother and his mother pull at him and try to continue to hurt him, you can tell that he's getting stronger and fighting those deep emotional scars. It's a fantastic book that you truly won't be able to put down until you've read every word.. Get it, read it, love it!
Book 2: Steel is easier on the senses but a tear-jerker
Where book 1: Forged made me angry at the injustice, book 2: Steel just made me weepy. The intense emotions I get from just the first two books in this series is a healing process of an abused tortured soul seeking love, help and acceptance. Its a tragically beautifully told story that makes the reader FEEL. Although it may contain some triggers book 2 is written more to placate and calm the anger caused from book one. Russell becomes Ryan's mentor in the new exploration of BDSM, but Russell has his work cut out for our Ryan as his psychology comes into play in aiding Ryan's healing. We see the progress being made and I am loving the friendship and care exercised between mentor and apprentice. The attention to detail in Ryan's needs is carefully crafted in Russell's care plan. I feel much better in this love-hate relationship I have with the series. Several great lines with my favorite being, 'Fate had washed this young man up on my shore.' Continuing on to book 3 because now I am fully committed to Ryan and Russell's patience in Ryan's healing.
Ryan breaks my heart. He is so damaged from all the abuse he has suffered that he just can't go past the feeling of being nobody. For once in his life he wants to just feel, be somebody to someone. When Russel takes him on as an apprentice Ryan can finally starting to let go of the hurt he's been carrying around for years. Russel pushes him to release the hurt and Ryan is slowly finding himself. When his cruel family suddenly steps back into his life he is afraid he might fall but as always Russel is there to catch him. This book is beyond emotional and beautifully written. It really gives you an inside look into the world of BDSM and what it truly is all about. I wanted to jump into the book and just hug Ryan. He is so innocent and all he knew was abuse. He never knew what love is all about. "Steel" is book 2 in the Trial by Fire Series and I'm just blown away. An incredible book by an incredible author. Most definitely one of my top books this year.
STEEL (The Trial by Fire Series Book 2) by Cole Denton I am so caught up in this compelling yet heart wrenching story. Ryan has had curiosities about kink and BDSM since meeting some new friends involved in it in Vegas. Russell meets Ryan through these friends and he has suggested using it to mentor and help heal Ryan. Ryan is sensitive, honorable, with childlike naivety in some things and so very emotionally traumatized by the family that should have loved him most. Russell is so patient, so caring, so drawn to this damaged young man and determined to help him. Cole Denton has written a beautifully, poignant story that will stay with you long after you finish it. It has captured my heart! I have spent the whole day trying to decide how to review this story. I am also well into Phoenix. Congrats Cole, on such a very well written, addictive series! I will definitely be following everything you write. I wish I could give this more than 5 stars as it is certainly worthy of more!
I’m left feeling speechless, I’m in awe of the writers ability to place you in the book. This book picks up from the aftermath of Forged which left me feeling an emptiness from the shock. This book was delivered in such a cleverly written concept to have a mentor and an apprentice. Russell willingly takes on Ryan as his apprentice to introduce him to the world of kink and BDSM. It felt like I also was an apprentice, misconceptions were explained, a reverence was built to the mentoring process. It would appear “trust and communication” are the key to success. As an abuse victim he’d had it drummed into his young mind that he was only useful for being beaten and used. Through Russell’s tutelage Ryan began to learn how to find his worth. This is just the beginning I can see Ryan will exceed all of my expectations as he rises from the ashes.
Cole Denton brings the next installment of the Trial By Fire Series. STEEL picks up where FORGED left off. Ryan, broken and afraid knocks on Russell’s door ready to take control of his life.
Ryan’s life has been nothing but pain and darkness. A victim who needs the strength and caring of another. Russell, a seasoned veteran in the BDSM community agrees to mentor Ryan. Ryan finds himself at ease with Russell. Russell delves deep into the demons that haunt Ryan in a daily basis. As he breaks down his walls the two form a special friendship, a bond that is undeniable.
This book flayed my heart open for Ryan. His past damaged his soul and you could feel the angst and pain that he harbors. Truly I felt my gut twisting when Ryan grabbed at his stomach. I heard his cries.
Cole Denton does not hold back. The power and emotion make this a tremendous read. I cannot wait for Phoenix and see how Ryan rises from the ashes!
Ryan Hudson's broken soul awakens in book two of The Trial by Fire Series. Mr. Denton continues to spin my emotions but, the light starts to shine through the heavy darkness I was left with in book one.
Russel! Oh, how I love Russel! He sees every piece of Ryan. He embraces his shattered soul and guides Ryan away from the disgust and shame he tortures himself with. He gives Ryan a sense of peace and understanding that his needs are not wrong or anything to be ashamed of. Russel shows Ryan what his heart and soul craves, things Ryan never allowed himself to feel... comfort in one's touch, the warmth of an embrace, the kindness and caring of another, and most importantly genuine love!
There's so much more to Ryan's story and I can't wait to continue with Phoenix. Bravo Mr. Denton! 5 Solid Steel Stars!
This is the second book I'm the series and what I love about this authors writing is that he is so painstakingly detail oriented. Where he left off in the last book, you didn't feel as if you where left on a cliffhanger. Our hero Ryan was simply closing one door and entering a new one that lead you into this world....a world with Russell, his mentor, his teacher, his friend, his protector. Ryan is introduced to a whole new way of life and a whole new way of valuing himself. This was beautifully written and it was at times hard to read the pain that the characters had endured but at the same time to watch the barriers break down between the both of them to reach the point at the end of the story where now they are at that next door....close that one and walk through the next together.
Steel, book 2 in the Trial by Fire series, picks up where Forged left off, with a now 35 year old Ryan wanting more, wanting to be “something to someone” and seeking it through the BDSM lifestyle, and a mentor named Russell. The story takes the reader on an emotional journey as Russell uses his BDSM and psychology backgrounds to help Ryan heal, trust, and release the agony he’s carried with him his whole life. For Ryan, it’s a journey wrought with uncertainty, insecurity, shame, and fear. As Russell’s and Ryan’s friendship develops, Cole Denton’s words made me feel ALL the feelings of these amazing men. The final scene had my shoulders sagging in relief and my eyes full of hopeful tears that Ryan realizes that what he’s looking for, may not be what he exactly what he needs.
WOW!!!!! this emotionally charged book had me right at the get go..... With everything that Ryan has endured through his life by those who were meant to love and protect him, he's left with scars deep down into his sole. He wants so desperately to mean something to someone and in turn be loved by someone, he want's to be able to trust that that person won't hurt him or make him feel ashamed of himself. Heartbroken and devastated are a few of the feelings I felt reading this story. I Loved Russell and his guidance with Ryan, introducing him to BDSM and teaching him how to love himself and his body. This is a Beautifully written story sure to pull at the heartstrings, I thoroughly recommend this 5 star read....
Russell was a man you were drawn to and he and Ryan were on an adventure you definitely wanted to follow and get to know. Ryan was a broken sole and you wanted to hug and care for him, you rooted for him in every way and broke when he broke. Ryan pulled my heartstrings and when he fell into Russell's path my heart started to mend for Ryan and felt this was a good path for him. This story was full of powerful emotions, love and compassion, things that Ryan never felt and had a hard time believing what Russell had to offer. I truly loved the continuation of this series and the Author's way of telling the story, while capturing all the feels and moving you into a space to continue an open mind and believe, while feeling the words and watching the connection unfold.
Book Hangover, a term I saw the other night. Book Hangover is defined as the inability to start a new book because you're still living in the last book's world. Oh yeah, I need some time to slip out of Ryan's world. The raw emotions and feelings Ryan has are truly heartbreaking. The first book, Forged dove into Ryan's past and I was left completely wanting to hug Ryan and tell him I feel for him. This book just grabbed my emotions and continuously tugged at them. Ryan's journey with Russell is so emotional and powerful. Once you start this book, you will not put it down till you finish it! Cole, You truly truly are amazing writer!
To say that I truly loved this book would be a vast understatement. Ryan and Russell’s chemistry is so strong it’s damn near electric- I felt the charge from page one to the last! To see Ryan’s spirit come to life under the mentor ship of Russell is beautiful. You cannot help but become completely invested in these characters, they’re so well rounded and in my opinion masterfully crafted. The storyline draws you in from the onset and it’s a undeniable pull to the end- I read this book in one setting... I just couldn’t put it down! I cannot wait until the next installment to find out what happens to these two men I’ve come to love!