“It’s a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn’t even know you were aiming for.” ― Lois McMaster Bujold
Author: K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 246 Pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Blurb: Eighteen-year-old Scott Keating knows a whole world exists beyond his parents’ strict control, but until he gains access to the World Wide Web, he really has no idea what’s out there. In a chat room, Scott meets “JeffUK.” Jeff loves and understands him, and when he offers to bring Scott to the UK, Scott seizes his chance to escape his humdrum life and see the world. But when his plane touches down and Jeff isn’t there, panic sets in.
Collars & Cuffs favorite barman and Dom-in-training, Ben Winters, drops his sister off at the airport and finds a lost, anxious Scott. Hearing Scott’s story sets off alarm bells, along with his protective instincts. Taking pity on the naïve boy, Ben offers him a place to crash and invites him to Collars & Cuffs, hoping his bosses will know how to help. Scott dreams of belonging to someone, heart and soul. Ben longs for a sub of his own. And neither man sees what’s right under his nose.
Review: I was so very excited when I got this ARC for review. I loved the first two books in this series, and I couldn’t wait for the next chapter of the Collars and Cuffs story. K.C. Wells has created a tight-knit community in this series, and now Parker Williams has joined forces with her to bring us Scott and Ben’s portion of this series.
Scott had me wrapped around his little finger within the first few chapters of the story. This boy was just about the loneliest thing I have ever seen. He has zero friends and his parents are front-runners for worst parents in the world for 2014. Not only is Scott home schooled, but he is told what he will study, where he will go to school, and who he is going to date.
Once Scott gets access to the internet, he finds out there is so much more than this sheltered existence he has been trapped in. Scott believes he has found his soul mate when he meets Jeff in an online chat room. Jeff lives in Manchester, England, but Scott just knows that they are going to be together forever. When Scott receives a plane ticket to the UK from Jeff, he starts to plan his escape from his parents’ control.
When Ben drops his sister off at the airport, the last thing he plans on finding there is a too-innocent-for-his-own-good Scott. As much as Scott is trying to hide it, Ben sees the tears and the lost expression on Scott’s face. When Ben questions Scott to find out how he ended up in Manchester all alone, he realizes that Scott is one very lucky guy that no one was there to meet him.
Ben convinces Scott to come with him, no strings attached, so he can rest, eat, and plan out what comes next. It turns out that Leo and Thomas have set up accounts to help young men who find themselves in need of help. When Ben takes Scott to the club to meet Leo and Thomas, it is decided, after some drama, that Scott will be staying with Ben until he gets on his feet.
Ben tells himself that Scott is just there so Ben can help him decide what he wants to do with his new life in England. What Ben never expected was for Scott to slowly but surely become an integral part of Ben’s life. Ben and Scott both are in deep, but only one of them realizes this fact, and it takes a pretty dramatic event to get them on the same page.
When Scott begins training as Ben’s sub they both find a happiness they never thought possible, and Scott gives Ben everything of himself, and Ben takes that and holds it close to his heart, right along with Scott. When tragedy strikes and Ben starts to doubt himself, he makes a decision that could cost them both everything unless Ben listens to his friends and gets his head on straight.
This is the third book in the series, and I think it could be my favorite so far. Scott was a very innocent and naive young man, who was drawn into something that he would never even be able to imagine with his sheltered upbringing. Ben was fighting his instincts the entire way, until he just couldn’t fight anymore.
This story was a testament to growth for both of the characters. Scott was the obvious innocent in this, but Ben had his own demons to overcome and the balance between the two men, once it happened, was a thing of beauty. Ben helped Scott to become self sufficient, and Scott helped Ben realize he was a strong and capable Dom. Once they both got out of their own way, they were amazing together.
K.C. Wells and Parker Williams have written a wonderful story that made me laugh out loud, made me cry ugly (more than once), and made me smile. I would highly recommend this story and all the rest of the books in the series. I sincerely hope there will be more books in this universe. I can’t wait to read them.