Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Moderate Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/m, BDSM
Series: Bad in Baltimore #5
Reviewed by Anne
Beach (David Beauchamp) is on probation awaiting trial for a series of bad decisions he’s made. Despite the “no alcohol” rule that goes with his probation, he goes to a bar and looks for a hook up. Fortunately for him he finds one with a sexy and bossy man who leaves him with wishing he could see him again. Unfortunately, he does see the man again – he’s Officer Tai Fonoti, Beach’s parole officer.
The connection between them is still electric, but Tai knows it would be unprofessional to see Beach again. He even arranges to have Beach’s case transferred to another probation officer. He doesn’t plan on the temptation that comes when Beach reaches out to him for another taste of the dominance he got in the bar. Beach knows nothing about a D/s relationship, but he knows he wants more of what Tai has.
I enjoyed this story. It made me majorly book cranky – I didn’t want to put it down. It also puzzled me, and put me in a bit of a dark mood. Beach has a pretty messed up life, and it’s amazing that he’s still around after all the self-destructive choices he’s made. He seems to roll through life with a cute smile and lot of money and not many friendships. He comes off as pretty naïve, bordering on stupid at some points. He does change and mature throughout the story, but it came off as motivated by Tai and wanting to please Tai more than it was about him really maturing. Whereas Beach seemed self-destructive and oblivious at the beginning of the book, by the end he was reliant on Tai and seemed nearly unable to function without him around. There were times that it felt like Tai had a parental role over Beach, and I didn’t like that.
Tai was comfortable as a dominant. Comfortable enough to seek advice from a mentor and to question himself and his choices. I really appreciated that – I’ve read too many omniscient doms that just didn’t seem realistic. At the same time, I felt like he and Beach didn’t do enough talking. They seemed to be moving toward a 24/7 D/s relationship, but the two of them never talked about what they wanted.
However, their relationship was well written. Even though I didn’t necessarily like where it was headed (without them discussing it) it was understandable and believable that these two characters would handles things in the way they did. The sex scenes – and there were many! – were very hot and very well written. There was some D/s that was not sexual, and that was a new thing for me. I thought it was well written, because I understood what they each got out of the relationship and why they’d want such a relationship.
There are some snarky comments to lighten up the story – I especially enjoyed Tai’s struggle to find commands for Beach that wouldn’t confuse his dog. Snarky characters from other books were also enjoyable.
This is the fifth book in the Bad in Baltimore series. I read the first and second books several months ago (and enjoyed them!) but then skipped ahead to this one. I could tell that I’d missed some character backstories, but it was easy to read this one on its own.
I’d recommend this book for readers who enjoy some intense BDSM. It was a little past what I’m comfortable with, but still a good read.