Can a new beginning be found in leather and chains?
Kai Smithson’s life changes dramatically with his first glimpse into the world of BDSM. Completely innocent, Kai can hardly believe his eyes, but he knows what he likes and apparently that’s hot, dominant men in leather. He isn’t sure if he’s a submissive because he doesn’t really know what that means, but the feelings he is experiencing are exciting and new.
Harry Croft, bar manager at The Underground BDSM Club, believes in insta-lust rather than love at first sight. And when he agrees to train Kai, the contract between them has one condition—no sex. But Kai has some very definite plans about losing his virginity and a piece of paper is not going to stand in his way. In his new friends at the club and at The Edge, Kai has a ready-made support group of subs that show him that the only rules in a D/s relationship are those he wants to make for himself.
The old saying that you can choose your friends but not your family is proved horribly true for Kai, as the mysteries of his past are revealed. As he and Harry start out on their journey together, they must contend with bullets as well as bondage, danger alongside domination, and it’s not easy to establish trust when the whole world is going to hell.
Reader Advisory: This book contains characters who have extremely prejudiced views and scenes referencing physical abuse.
Publisher's Note: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.
General Release Date: 20th February 2015
The moment Kai walked into The Underground clutching Olly’s hand, he knew he’d found his place in the world. The club smelled of leather and polish and men. The low light soothed his eyes and made him feel less visible, which suited him just fine. He liked to disappear into the background—it was safer that way. Joe steered them toward a table ringed by comfortable low chairs but they couldn’t sit down straight away as there were so many people milling around them that it took a while to get through the throng. Kai lost his grip on Olly and grabbed hold of Joe’s sleeve instead while Olly held onto Joe’s other arm—it was the only way to avoid being swept away.
“Cut the crowding, people!”
Kai turned around. Someone was standing on the bar, yelling.
“Give them some space. You’ll hear all about it soon enough.”
The crowd thinned as people went back to their tables and settled down, though the level of chatter and sense of excitement remained high. The man from the bar hopped down and came across to speak to Joe. Kai earwigged shamelessly and caught a little of their conversation.
“Why don’t we let Carey and Alistair get reacquainted and I’ll get the three of you some drinks?” Though he was talking to Joe, the man—who Kai figured had to be one of the bar staff—kept his gaze firmly fixed on Kai.
Kai examined the floor, afraid that if he looked back, those stormy gray eyes would mesmerize him.
“Sounds good,” Joe answered. “It was a long drive. Fresh orange juice for all of us please, Harry.”
Now Kai knew the man’s name. Harry. He liked it. It sounded strong and confident, just like the way the man appeared. Joe took a seat at the table and Olly immediately clambered onto his lap. Kai didn’t sit down straight away—he stood and took in the view. Everywhere he looked there were gorgeous men—all shapes and sizes, all colors and ages. Men who seemed comfortable in their skins.
His eyes widened as he realized just how little some of the club’s members were wearing. He spotted latex and leather in a variety of colors, though black was in the majority. Most of the chairs were occupied, but there were also men sitting on cushions on the floor or kneeling, with their heads bowed. It was a feast for Kai’s eyes. Belatedly, he realized that he was staring and that his mouth was open. He snapped his lips together and cast around anxiously to see if he’d offended anyone. If the winks he got when he made eye contact were anything to go by, apparently he hadn’t.
Kai checked the whereabouts of his new friends, needing the security of knowing where they were and that he wasn’t alone. Alistair stood a few feet away, wrapped in the arms of a handsome older man who acted like he’d just won the lottery. Kai assumed that must be Carey, Alistair’s Dom. Just behind where Kai loitered, Olly sat in Joe’s lap, chattering away while Joe listened, looking cool and serene. Kai felt a little pang of envy at how happy they all seemed. Still, he should be grateful. He’d just been rescued from a terrifying ordeal. Alistair had said he could stay with him and Carey for as long as he needed. He was safe. He had somewhere to go, people who cared about what happened to him. He had much to be grateful for.
“I’ve never seen so much leather in one place before,” Kai whispered. He hadn’t addressed the comment to anyone in particular. It was just an observation but Olly grabbed his hand and tugged him to a chair.
“You should be here in the evenings. There’s considerably more bare flesh to ogle then. Though it’s hard to beat hot men in tight leather at any time of the day. I don’t think there should be time limits on visual stimulation, do you?”
Kai shook his head hard. Olly made a good deal of sense.
“You shouldn’t be eyeing up other men,” Joe snapped at Olly. “And they shouldn’t even be glancing in your direction. You’re mine.”
Kai stared. It was the first time he’d seen Joe’s icy-cool demeanor slip into something more emotional.
Olly chewed his lower lip and gazed back at him adoringly. “You’ll just have to punish me, Sir.”
Kai giggled. Olly was so naughty. He liked him enormously. They could have loads of fun together. He perched on the edge of his chair and people-watched for a couple of minutes. There was so much eye candy to enjoy. Not that I’d have the first clue what to do if one of these men approached me. Olly and Alistair seem to think that I’m a sub, but what does that mean? I’m not sure I want to be spanked!
Word Count: 45,056
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Genres: BONDAGE AND BDSM
Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.
She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.
Reviewed by Christy Duke
Another very steamy, funny, and adorable addition to the series. Lu, you're amazing, and I love each of your men. Kai is the perfect blend of naive innocence, and cheeky insubordination, just dying to...
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Reviewed by Becky Condit
This book is an introduction to the D/s lifestyle, but there is an addition that keeps it from being just a textbook, which would be boring. Oh, no, Ms. Somerton is too good an author to do that to he...
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LM Somerton - Rainbow Book Reviews featured author
Has it been everything you thought it would be or not?
Writing is much harder work than it might appear. It takes a lot of hours, which I have to fit in around a full time job and family. I love it though and couldn’t give it up now. I need to get all those chattering characters out of my head and on to paper.
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LM Somerton - USA Today feature
Three of my favorite fellow romance authors:
• Sean Michael. I confess I am a bit of a fangirl when it comes to Sean. His were some of the first M/M books I read and I'm still an avid collector of his series. Being published in the same anthology (What's His Passion) was a real writing high.