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Rating: 4 stars out of 5
This is the third book in the Off Stage series. Although I highly recommend that you read the first two books in this series because they are amazing and you will understand the dynamics of this book better, I don’t think that you will be lost without reading them. The author does an excellent job of keeping the reader up to speed into the backstory from the first two books. The story revolves around Kilmer. Kilmer is a very complicated character. We met him in the second book of this series. He is not only the manager of Vance’s ranch but also a good friend to both Vance and Len. Oh, he is also Vance’s former sub. I did say complicated. That is only the beginning. He is also at the end of a four-year relationship with his Dom, Jacko. When Kilmer’s and Jacko’s relationship comes to a violating end. Vance and Len help to pick up the pieces. At their urging, Kilmer goes back home to decide what to do with the house that he shared with Jacko. When he goes to a local pub to embark on a pity party he meets Tanner, the singer who feels compelled to take care of the broken man. When Tanner realizes that Kilmer has a connection to Jacko, the bass player in his band that disappeared, he starts to put the pieces together. Tanner’s attraction for Kilmer is strong, but his own bad experience with a former sub has him moving with caution. There is strong chemistry between Tanner and Kilmer. There is more heat in this book than the other two books, but it is tame for a BDSM story. The story moves along quickly. I love how characters from the first two books make appearances in this story. I can honestly say that I loved the end of this story bringing closure to not only Kilmer and Tanner but Len and Trevor. As with the first two books, the author pays particular attention to character development. These characters are so complicated and we get to see them become strong and comfortable with themselves.
PLOT: 5 Stars
CHEMISTRY: 4 Stars
PACING: 4 Stars
ENDING: 5 Stars
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Mollien from Alpha Book Club
Damian’s story is a mass of complications, misunderstandings, and the heading off of self-destruction. Lead singer of a wickedly talented rock band, Damian is the stage persona donned by regular guy Trevor, and in which he is confident to the point of cocky. Drugs, random sex, and taking chances are all part of Damian’s persona. The problem is, Trevor is a walking disaster. He hates himself with an intensity that is visceral, and his life is a miasma of bad decisions. When he and Lenny have a vicious falling out, Damian finds himself with Stanley, his new agent and the man who wants to put Trevor back together.
The plot is strong, but a touch convoluted. Stan initially is with another character, and that character then takes on the issues of Lenny, yet their story isn’t told here. Damian is initially involved with Lenny, but ends up under Stan’s domination. The character development is very strong, and the relationship is the focus of the novel, with the physical scenes as something of a filler. There is no doubt of the chemistry between Stan and Trevor, though, so not to worry. The peripheral characters are many and create a needed break in the intensity of the main story. This is a brutal battle from start to finish, but by the end you can see things getting lighter in their world. The end is the one part that I wasn’t particularly happy about. It doesn’t really resolve so much as just hint at what is to come, yet it also doesn’t feel like an HFN. It just kind of ends, which disappointed me.
The second story takes place concurrently to the first. This would have been quite nice to know before I started book one because I was baffled at the lack of any storylines for Lenny, thinking instead that both stories ran concurrently through the two books. Let this be your head’s up.
Lenny is the lead guitarist for the band, but he is reeling from the extreme PTSD he suffers as a result of off-page extreme abuse that was the only form of D/s relationship he knew. Still thoroughly submissive but incredibly wary, he has violent outbursts that result in pretty severe damage to whomever crosses his path. Vance is also managed by Stan, and until he saw Lenny he was engaged in a friends with benefits situation with his fellow dominant. Lenny sees in Vance his salvation, his chance to serve as his nature calls him to do. Unfortunately, he’s so broken that their relationship suffers drastically and leaves him floundering.
The plot to this book is better than the first, and I was quite impressed with that one. The character development is again very strong, and while there is only one main peripheral character that stands out, he made me buy into the whole thing. I can only hope that he has (or will have) his own story – he was that important to the whole. Again, the intimacy is more cerebral than physical, but the story is that much stronger for it. Again, like the first book, the ending is what disappointed me. It also trails off into uncertainty for the characters involved.
I voluntarily read an ARC copy of this book for Divine Magazine with no obligation to provide a review.
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This is a two part book that tells the story running along the same timeline but from two different...Read more