**ARC Provided by NetGalley for honest review**
I honestly chose this book partially for the cover, it caught my eye but the story line intrigued me. An unknown author to me, I took the leap. It was worth it. What an amazingly deep story. One that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was introduced to deep BDSM after reading Fifty Shades, found an author who excelled at writing BDSM and through her, I learned the ins and outs of BDSM play so my previous knowledge helped with this story.
After reading this story, I investigated the author and found this is book four in the Neighborly Affection Series. Obviously this is a stand alone, otherwise I would be lost, but I am now eager to go back to book one and begin this series and learn more about Jay and Henry.
Jay, a young man abused by an egotistical bully of a dominant. Henry, a Dominant, a Master, who respects the rights of the submissive and dominant relationship. Victor, the club owner who sees the need to pair the two men together, not just to help Jay heal but to help Henry as well. Henry finds Jay in his greatest time of need, more than once. How many times will Henry save Jay though?
This story is deep. The more I read the deeper I went into the story with Ms. Barber. The deeper I fell for Henry and Jay. Ms. Barber describes the relationship of the dom/sub in a marvelous way, laying out the importance of the submissive to protect themselves. Henry teaches Jay to be safe and negotiate in a way that he has final say in the scene. One might think of a dom/sub scene as dominant controlled when really, as Henry teaches us, the submissive gives him or herself to the dominant and the submissive controls the scene. I really enjoyed Henry reaching Jay to be safe and protect himself, before the healing from the trauma began.
The struggle in Henry’s heart was a fascinating one, I truly wasn’t sure how this struggle would play out. I hoped for the happy ending, but that could have gone in two different directions depending on the “happy” I was hoping for. Henry tried so very hard to keep his feelings aside, knowing that Jay’s safety was his focus. I admired the way he was able to do that. Not easy separating oneself when you are so close, physically, to them as Henry was. Henry obviously is a strong character, and while I though Jay was the weaker of the two, I was pleasantly surprised when Jay found his voice and shared his feelings, finally.
This book was a pleasant surprise for me. I have already ordered book one to start from the beginning. I do not mind BDSM or M/M books and this was written very well. Another new favorite author for sure!