The blurb is a rather thorough summary of the book with very few added surprises so if it sounds good to you, you most likely will enjoy this quick anThe blurb is a rather thorough summary of the book with very few added surprises so if it sounds good to you, you most likely will enjoy this quick and easy read. Although this is technically a book set within the “Hammer” series, the BDSM aspects of the book are very light and almost negligible. The book focuses on the renewed sexual connection between Kendall and Eric as they rejuvenate their relationship after a cancer scare. Written with Michael’s trademark emphasis on lots of hot sex with just a hint of kink laced in with likable enough characters, fans of the author will enjoy this fun read while those new to the Hammer series can easily pick this story up without having read any prior books.
The plot is somewhat weak considering there is not much of one. The book focuses on the sex between Kendall and Eric, and there is a lot of sex. Jumping from sex scene to sex scene with a good bit of dialogue and lack of angst make for a very fast read but leave little in the way of plot progression. Eric mentions his fantasies to Kendall, which revolve around light bondage and use of sex toys but nothing that most fun, semi-adventurous couples wouldn’t explore on their own. The mere mention of these fantasies seems to add excitement to their sexual escapades without actually doing them. There is a bit of power play hinted at but it’s more so delayed satisfaction than focus on the actual power dynamics inherent within dominance and submission. Both Eric and Kendall openly admit they are not interested in power plays as much as an added sexual thrill to their relationship. The incorporation of the Hammer BDSM club and individuals within provide more of a friend basis that both characters lack than the addition of BDSM to the couple’s sexual exploits.
Due to the emphasis on sex within the book, there is also very little character progression. The story opens after Kendall and Eric have been together nine years and been through quite a bit, including Eric’s fight with testicular cancer. Because of the established nature of the relationship and characters, the book focuses on their renewed sex life and infuses new energy and vitality to possible doldrums. The relationship actually reads as if they were starting over with the fresh excitement to see each other, whole weekends lost to sex, and the rush of heady emotion. Both Kendall and Eric reiterate, almost ad nausea, their overwhelming love for each other. While there is no question they are committed to each other and yes, love each other, the repetition grew old after a while when it seemed to be one of the only things they did say to each other.
Eric comes across as a rather selfish character with his emphasis on living life, without his partner. He later blames his sudden desire to be out and about with friends on his growing need for something more out of their relationship and reveals his sexual longings. Eric seems to entirely drop all his extracurricular activities such as sky diving once the bedroom antics between he and Kendall heat up. However, the implication is still clear that without the added sexual adventure, Eric would be off seeking his thrills another way. He does redeem himself somewhat with the realization of his selfish behavior but whether he has changed is questionable as again, the story focuses on their sex and not so much on character development and progression.
Kendall for his part is likable enough as a brainy librarian who is rightly worried that his lover is seeking fun elsewhere. In an attempt to keep Eric happy, Kendall eagerly agrees to the sex games Eric wants to play and surprises himself by getting into them as well. However, Kendall constantly needs reassurance that Eric loves him, needs him and is happy with him. This might stem from the recent activities Eric has taken up, but also seems to be a part of Kendall’s personality that he needs almost constant reassurance. There is an additional side story about Kendall changing jobs, but it’s abrupt as Kendall is depicted as quite happy in his job at the onset.
Although the two men never really talk about anything other than sex, when to have sex, what to try next, what turns them on and the friends they’ve made that also like kinky sex ~ the story is easy to read and the sex is yes, hot and kinky. With the overuse of nicknames and “babe” and a questionable plot, this slides more onto the side of erotica with a heavy dose of romance than an erotic romance. The writing is decent and fun to read making for a quick story that will please fans. It’s not the best book in either the series or Michael’s backlist but it’s pretty typical of the author. Be sure to ignore the medical aspects of the MRSA, which are utterly ridiculous and show the absolute lack of any research done for the book. The whole aside can be cut from the book, which would actually improve the story. But if you’re looking for a guaranteed hot read without much in the way of story or character progression with an emphasis on sex, this is exactly what you’ll want....more