The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton
WARNING: SLIGHT SPOILERS
I had bought this book a while ago but never read it because of various reasons. And I’m glad I waited because this book packs an emotional punch that doesn’t let go of you for a long time. I connected to the characters of this story, not because of the BDSM theme, but because of the raw emotions Ms. Dalton managed to capture beautifully with words.
Kaden is dying and he turns to his best friend, Seth, to take over being his wife’s (Leah) Master. Seth is completely surprised by their lifestyle, living the BDSM way 24/7, and he’s not sure if he can cope. But Kaden needs him and he agrees to move in, not only to help care for Kaden but to learn. And he has to learn everything from the ground up, from all the lingo to handling the different whips to dealing with his guilt over loving Leah. They have to cram a lifetime of learning into a little more than a year.
And they also have to cram all the love in that short amount of time too. Ms. Dalton handled a very traumatic and heartbreaking turn of events for Kaden into an amazing love story. Within the first few pages you understand immediately the depth of love Seth and Kaden have for each other. It’s not a male/male romantic thing but more of a twins-brotherly love. And Seth loves Leah while Leah has always loved Seth.
The journey is sometimes difficult to follow...not from context, but from the tears that will flow. Ms. Dalton wisely told the story from Seth’s POV, so those of us who don’t quite understand the BDSM lifestyle or the need to feel the “bite”, we learn to relate as Seth learns. We grow to see why Leah needs to have a Mastier, why she needs the bite of a whip across her ass. But this story is less about Leah and more about Seth’s process of dealing with the impending loss of his best friend, how he feels about “stepping” into Kaden’s shoes, and coming to terms on how strong he needs to be. He goes from being a fuck-up in life to a Dom. And it’s told absolutely brilliantly!
I recently lost my father and I sat by his bedside, holding his hand, watching as he took his last breath. I know how it felt and the eventuality of Kaden’s fate hit my heart like a ton of bricks. All the while I knew what was coming, but like Seth I kept hoping for a miracle. I’m sure Ms. Dalton had a box full of Kleenex next to her as she wrote this book, and I can’t sing her praises enough.
I’ve always admired Ms. Dalton’s work and she’s a writer I aspire to be like one day. This is one book I’ve got to have in paperback so it’s a permanent addition to my personal collection. Put down “Fifty Shades of Grey” and pick up a real book…this book!