SJD Peterson
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Release Date
December 2013
Book 3 of Guards of Folsom
BDSM, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ, Western Romance

Grant Maxwell, aka Max, wakes to find his coffeepot has died in the night. Not one who can start his day without his favorite brew, he heads to the local coffee shop. Max finds something even more appealing than caffeine in the form of twenty-six-year-old hottie Aiden James. For the first time in his life, well-established, confident and respected Dom Max finds himself sputtering and unsure in the face of Aiden's charms.

Aiden lives with three roommates, works a dead-end job, and isn't sure where his life is heading. That is until he meets Max. Max introduces him to a foreign yet intriguing lifestyle, and they soon discover they have something more than mutual attraction in common.

A shared kink is one thing, but Aiden's past vanilla sexual experiences as well as his fear of losing himself in Max may keep Aiden from experiencing his fantasy. Max has an obstacle of his own to overcome. He must somehow figure out how to help Aiden explore his submissive side when, for the first time in his life, he's head over heels in love.

Book Review by Pat Henshaw (author,reviewer)
Jan 21, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
136 people found the following review helpful
Even though readers usually like it when authors mention characters from older books in newer ones, sometimes melding series doesn't work out as well as an author would like. A case in point is this book that merges SJD Peterson's Whispering Pines Ranch series with her Guards of Folsom novels.

Bisexual Aiden James, the older brother of Lorcan from the Whispering Pines Ranch series, meets psychologist Dr. Grant "Max" Maxwell, who was called in to help Bobby and Rig in the previous Guards of Folsom book, Tag Team. Aiden and Max immediately click.

When 26-year-old Aiden discovers that 35-year-old Max has been a Dom at the New York City Guards of Folsom Dominant/submissive club for ten years, Aiden is curious about the lifestyle, and Max is delighted to teach him what the life of a submissive is all about.

After Max tells Aiden that the D/s relationship is "about fulfilling fantasies, having fun, or connecting on a level that is much more than physical" and that "pony play is one of the hottest kinks" he has, they decide to enter into a 60-day contract even though Aiden has some misgivings that he might lose sight of himself while being Max's submissive.

Neither of the men count on love entering into the relationship and making their wildest dreams come true.

On the surface, this looks like another of Peterson's hard-hitting novels about love and non-traditional lifestyles. All the other books also featured men working their way from short-term relationships based on lust to happily-ever-after commitments based on love. And this novel is no different.

What is different are the players who this time are lackluster and difficult to like because of their bland personalities. Max, the Dominant, is so controlled and cold that he doesn't exude trust and caring. In fact, at one point in the book, Max realizes that he's let Aiden down and is blaming his sub for his own mistakes.

Aiden is even more wishy-washy than Max. He came to New York from Indiana for reasons unknown, even to himself. The city noise and hustle bustle bother him enough to make him nervous, upset, and downright unpleasant. Unfortunately, he never gels into a character with a solid personality and goals. He's always just a cipher submissive.

As a handbook on what the ideal Dominant/submissive relationship should be, this is an interesting and informative read. However, as a gay romance novel, it falls flat without the interesting and compelling characters that all the other Peterson novels have featured.
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