Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 120,000 words
Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins.
Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees.
What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure—at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.
As the trust deepens and their bond strengthens, though, Ryan retreats because that sham called love left him jaded long ago. Cynical beyond his years, he’s not letting his guard down, least of all for a thrice-divorced man twice his age.
Now Misha has to find a way to crack through those defenses…or accept defeat and walk away from the submissive who might just be the love of his life.
This is one of those stories that’s slow and heat and sensual right from the start. Cocky 26-year-old college student Ryan needs to be knocked down a peg or two when it comes to how he fences and 45-year-old College professor, Dominant, and master fencer Misha is just the man to do it.
They didn’t start out on a good footing which, for me, made their journey all the better. Ryan comes from a family that treats him as though he shouldn't exist but insists he always is present for their attacks. Misha is a bi-sexual guy who’s been married three times each ending in utter failure, but he still hasn’t lost that romantic soul, even when he has a man on his knees and flogger in his hand.
I loved the byplay between these two characters, watching it move from combative on the piste to power play in the bedroom, was fun, sexy, and heartwarming. The first part of their story focuses heavily on their BDSM relationship developing, which makes sense since Ryan is very new to the lifestyle and has a lot to learn. Plus that is what they agreed their relationship would be. As their feelings deepen and they find out more about each other emotions start coming out that Ryan isn’t ready for and Misha has to be cautious of, or he could scare off the man he loves.
My heart broke for Ryan so much during this story, watching his family tear pieces off of him with every call and visit. Misha was his rock throughout so much of this and even a helping hand in making Ryan realize his worth and how strong he is. Their connection and chemistry I loved, and their heartbreaks gave me a fuller heart when it all came together in the end.
Yes, there’s an orgy scene where Misha brings to life Ryan’s fantasy. It was hot and even though Misha and Ryan didn’t touch the whole time I felt their connection every time they made eye connect. The author handled the scene and the aftermath of it perfectly!
I love L.A. Witt’s writing, and this one was a hit for me!
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