I deserve a medal!
For the positive aspects of the story - they are undeniably there - please read MandyM`s review here
But just one star from me, I know it`s harsh but let me explain...
Story started out promising with likeable characters or I wouldn`t have made it to the point where - at first the writing,short time later the story really started to rub me the wrong way...big time!
At 40% I was debating to DNF the book but I decided to read on...and deeply regretted it.
Overall good writing but with one major issue...and a major pet peeve of mine.
The overuse of terms like "the smaller man", "the bigger man", "the older man", "the other man" as replacements for character`s names. Especially the term "the other man" - now that must be a new record! Number of times the term was used = 197!
It was bearable at the beginning but the "horror" crept up slowly the terms were coming more frequently to the point where I dreaded them and was wincing when they popped up.Ugh...
The second major issue was Christo`s inconsistency. Unfortunately the POV - being in his head was NOT a pleasant place,let me tell you! Sometimes just a jumbled mess of thoughts that truly lacked sense!
Here the book title fit perfectly - "What He Wants" - truth to be told...I had NO idea...
Christo relished being the passive/submissive part in his RLS with Damien because in his former RLS with John he was to 99% the TOP.So far so good but 20 pages later this here:"He’d never thought of himself as a particularly kinky person, but something about Damien brought out the dominant in him. Making love to John had been more about personal preference than filling any pre-determined roles, it was just another way they fit together. With Damien it was different, it felt different. It was about power, submission, strength. Christo admitted to himself that the idea of owning Damien, of possessing him totally – even if only for an hour or two – was thrilling. Ruling a man as strong as Damien, bringing him to his knees, making him tremble and beg for more… Make Damien need Christo the way Christo needed him back.
But no worries...he went back to being passive/ submissive BIG way in the infamous chapter 10 (will come to it soonish...) and in chapter 12 back to DOM (including safeword!). Well,yes...why not....meeeeerrrrrry-go-round.......
And now the truck-size issue or the "infamous chapters 10,11 and 12" and nearly everything what came after that!
I`ll do it short - a rape!
A rape in a domestic relationship with Damien`s (the culprit) 5 year old daughter sleeping in the room next door(!).
And now guess...Christo let him because Damien "needed" that! (the first WTF!??
No lube,forced penetration and the bedsheets full of blood don`t tell me anyone this was less than a rape!
Rape happens in m/m romance (but very rarely in relationships with the love interest!) and usually I don`t mind reading about it but the problem I had with this one here was how the "problem" got handled and glossed over!
Insensitive and implausible can`t even begin to describe it!
The second WTF!??
moment and the final straw what led to my one star rating - the infamous chapter 11...EXCUSES!
An excerpt:He shifted his weight gingerly in his chair, still sore three days later. Why the hell would he want anything more to do with Damien after that little performance? What the hell had he been thinking to allow it? In a flash he saw Damien’s expression, his haunted eyes, and he knew he’d do it all over again. That hadn’t just been rough sex, it had been therapy in its crudest form. It was primal, animalistic, instinctive. It had been a cry for help from a desperate man so lost he couldn’t see a way out. Christo burned to know what fuelled it, what had damaged Damien so badly. He wanted to take him in his arms and hold him and kiss him and make everything better.
What? WHAT? WHAT?
THERE ARE NO EXCUSES FOR RAPE!!!!!
This is a victim of domestic violence talking, sitting bruised up,raped and beaten in the ER and already making up "excuses", over justifying - the circle of violence! Usually with a long history of abusive relationship(s)!
But Christo? There was no abuse - not as a child, not as an adult...so WHY the excuses?
His relationship with Damien with its messed up power shiftings is doomed to fail IMO...
Btw - Damien - damaged? Was it the accident where he lost his parents and thought it was his fault?
I didn`t know if I should laugh or cry or be angry....I went with being angry! Well and truly pissed off!!!
So how to kiss it all better?
The infamous chapter 12....
With sex of course! Christo (back in Dom-mode) tying poor
Damien down, showing him how good they are together and comforting the poor
guy.....that made me gag...!
Needless to say I couldn`t read the sex scenes and affection bullshit that came after these chapters it bordered on being disgusting!
So lots of skipping to the final...HEA?
Well, good luck you two!
Long review,sorry - but I`m done now....