Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Bonds of Denial
Author: Lynda Aicher
Series: Wicked Play #5
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 281 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: February 3, 2014
Available at: Carina Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: It’s been twenty years since Rockford Fielding’s father punished him for kissing another boy. Now a grown man with a military career behind him, Rock continues to deny his true desires, even while working security at The Den, the most decadent sex club in town. But after a year of watching gorgeous Carter Montgomery come and go on the arms of other men, Rock can no longer resist the cravings he’s denied for so long.
Carter has just four months left on his contract with an escort agency, and he doesn’t know whether to feel relieved or afraid. Being an escort is all he knows. Adding to his confusion is the way his latest client, the sexy but stoic Rock, makes him feel things he hasn’t wanted in years.
One charmingly awkward date turns into two and soon the men are meeting off the clock. But with Rock in the closet and Carter unsure how to pursue a real relationship, how can they build a future both in and out of the bedroom?
I was a tiny bit hesitant to read this fifth book of a mostly m/f series, none of which I read yet. With the exception of book 3, which has a m/m/f ménage, this is the first m/m. While the characters from the previous books do appear, as the stories center around the BDSM club the characters share an interest in, I had no trouble figuring things out, so this can easily be read as a stand-alone. In addition, while the previous books take place with characters more involved in the club, this story doesn’t contain any actual BDSM. I am thrilled to say that I was not disappointed with any of this.
Rockford “Rock” Fielding is an ex-marine who works at the club monitoring the Den’s security cameras. It is here that he sees Carter, the first man he has seen there to stir any actual feelings. Rock has some serious issues of denial and being so far in the closet that he constantly wars with himself for any inkling of gay feelings. There are reasons explaining this, and his inner struggles were extremely well done. This is not an easy road for Rock to travel, but watching him overcome his shame, anger and desires was a real joy. Two guys who have made it a point to not show emotion to other people slowly realize what they mean to each other.
Carter Montgomery is down to the last 4 months of his second 5 year escort contract. He is confident and sexy and not ashamed of his job, although he is ready to move on. He has a fairly steady list of high-paying regular customers, one of which takes him once a month to the Den. Thankfully, Carter decides to help Rock, and he does an amazing job. Unfortunately, Carter is dealing with some problems of his own. It seems he isn’t as confident as he first appears, because he deals with self-esteem issues pertaining to his self-worth outside of his current occupation, as well as whether he has what it takes to make a go of things as a photographer. But these guys are so good for each other. Rock helps Carter just as much as Carter helps Rock.
This is a slow-burn relationship that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. The dialog was very real and believable. The sex scenes were scorching hot and very well done. By the time I ended this, I wanted to run back and read the rest of the books in this series. This was definitely a job well done by Ms. Aicher.
Overall Impression: I loved it.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*