on May 20, 2012
Very short and sexy story about yet another Rawlings man, an English family whose men seem to have two characteristic in common: being constable and gay with a penchant for BDSM kinky sex. But this time there is a difference, this Rawlings man, Dane, is petite and almost feminine; only that you have not to mistaken him for weak, he is also a boxing champion. This time the constable is Ross, one of Dane's cousins colleague and to return the favour to the family he babysits Dane one night when the man is involved in an arson accident. From babysit to dinner to hot sex the time is short and the passion burning brighter and brighter. But with Dane is not possible to have a casual fling, first of all since Ross needs to gain Dane's trust, and it's not simple, and second since, once he goes beyond Dane's barrier, he meets the strong wall that is Dane's family, with them it's full commitment or nothing.
To fully appreciate the series it's probably better to read 2 or 3 of them together.
on November 22, 2011
Inspector Ross (Sully) O'Sullivan knows all about the Rawlings men. He works with most of them on the police force. They're good cops and alpha males and for them family is everything. Meeting Dane Rawlings at the site of a suspected arson throws him for a loop. The blond haired man screams gay but his manner brooks no apology or discomfort when he finds himself in a situation surrounded by hetereo males. Sully is intrigued when Dane immediately recognizes him as a kindred spirit and can't help but respond to the man. Dane isn't really his type but his body's reaction to the younger man's closeness puts him in protective mode despite his rational claim of disinterest. The next day when Dane sends Sully a gift for his kindness of the night before, it's natural for Sully to want to repay him with dinner. The dominant submissive vibe tingling between them is more apparent later that night in Dane's home. Though Dane can obviously take care of himself, there is a palatable sorrow and uncertainty in his interaction with Sully though he is obviously attracted to him as well. Sully is determined to break through that emotional knot and unlock the mystery to Dane's fear.
Handcuffs and Pretty Things is the first book I've read by Kim Dare. Though I haven't read any of the other books in the series it didn't hinder me from enjoying this short, but tightly drawn novella. I loved Dane's easy banter and flirtation upon meeting Sully. I also liked the strength Dane portrays in uncomfortable situations. The memories the author gave Dane of his youth that are conveyed in the story to Sully just made him more of a man's man in my eyes. I really don't know if I can articulate it as well as I'd like. Some gay men are soft and either want to be cared for or project an image of weakness. Some gay men are alphas males and dominant. Dane isn't either. He's a gay male with a soft streak but underneath he has strength, backbone and a knowledge he can take care of himself come what may. Just because he likes kink and is a submissive doesn't distract from that fact.
As a dominant alpha male Sully is perfect for Dane. He's character has equal portions of strength, hotness that sizzles, but beyond all that a discerning compassionate eye that sees what Dane needs. I wish this novella was longer. The chemistry between the two characters is wonderful and the sex is smoking. I guess there's nothing left for me to do but read more in the Rawlings' series and hope that I'll get another glimpse of Sully and Dane. These opposites attract and reel me in as well.