Reviewed by JustJen
Title: For Real
Author: Alexis Hall
Series: Spires Universe
Genre: MM Contemporary/BDSM
Length: 470 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: June 1, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.
Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.
Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.
The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.
It can’t be real.
Review: This ended up being a bit of a surprise for me. I’m not usually a big fan of large age gaps, and this story not only has that, but the roles are a bit reversed. It really works here though.
Laurence “Laurie” is a fairly well-to-do guy who is pretty much tired of the scene. He is still pining away for a past relationship which adds to his current depressive state. He hasn’t really met anyone in a long time that has made him want to submit, which for a submissive, I imagine can be somewhat disheartening. Everyone he meets lately just doesn’t seem genuine or serious enough about it, until he meets Toby.
Now, Toby is out-of-the-park different from any dom I’ve ever read about. He’s only 19 for starters. But, while he is lacking in experience, he knows what he truly wants – he has just not been able to get it. Who is going to take a 19 year old seriously or believes he actually knows what he really wants? Lucky for him, Laurie takes that chance. I think the fact that Toby is so very different, Laurie is able to, for the most part, not compare their relationship to his past and even realizes it wasn’t the person but the relationship that he missed the most.
Laurie wants to help Toby discover his dom side, but that age difference plays a big part in Laurie not allowing himself to let things get too personal. It’s only a matter of time, however, before that is a bit out of Laurie’s control. The sex and passion and experimenting is off-the-charts hot and the struggles felt very real. Toby doesn’t just jump into the dom role like he is playing a part. It is a very natural progression, one that he knew he wanted to explore and that set him apart from his peers. He and Laurie are smoking together, and when they let the actual relationship progress, it is deep and meaningful.
This is a long story, but it never felt drawn out. I enjoyed the many aspects involved and ended up truly enjoying the differences – it isn’t the usual BDSM romance. If you like a somewhat non-typical BDSM with passion, angst and romance with a lovely HEA, definitely give this one a try.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*