Review written for MM Good Book Reviews
Yeah, I’m a sucker for abused characters and this story had a whole lot of them, too many in my opinion but that didn’t deter me from enjoying it.
So there were many things I loved about this book starting with how the main character Tony literally drags you in his weird life from the very start. His character, his personality is the kind you almost can’t shut your eyes at, being a twenty-seven years old virgin, not having had a single relationship, never having felt wanted by his own family or anyone since and always, always feeling unworthy of love or intimacy, a pervert good for nothing and pathetic he surrounds you in his veil of depression and desperation and you simply can’t escape that. It is almost surreal following him around in his efforts to find a fleeting feeling for which he has no name of, a special place where he can escape his constantly overworking brain, even if it’s for a few minutes every time.
As this story is Tony’s we experience everything from his perspective so it’s a given that his personality and his emotions are everywhere, often distorting reality and events the way he understands them. Sometimes it’s frustrating as, as I said, his view of self-worth is quite low. He is naïve in so many ways you don’t expect a man his age to be. While he has a secret crush for his boss, Aiden, he also dislikes the man. What he understands about him is that his boss hates him, hanging over his shoulder, waiting for Tony to fuck up. Could he be more wrong? I don’t think so.
Yes, we – the readers- do understand how wrong Tony is, but he simply can’t get out of his own head for a second, to be objective about his surroundings. He strongly believes that he is not worth of love, or even friendship. It’s how he allows Jorge to completely take advantage of him and use him as is proven toward the end in the most horrible way in Tony’s head. His once a week encounters with the bisexual man leaves him drained and each time it feels as if he’s missing another small piece of his soul.
But then in the picture comes Tank, a man full of anger and dangerous vibrations that should cause Tony running the hell away from him. Yet we witness Tony not being able to say no, craving those dark fantasies too much, even when things turn ugly and the ecstasy turns to sheer horror and the pleasure to a death-wish, their poisonous allure is too strong for Tony to resist. And if it weren’t for Aiden Caldwell, the white knight in stilettos as Tony refers to him, if it weren’t for Aiden’s blind and unreasonable love for his unworthy self, Tony would never want to escape those dark sensations, the despair, the agony, the shame and disgust for himself that he got out of his encounters with Tank and his ilk.
I will have to admit here that some scenes regarding this pair (Tony/Tank and the gang) were from cruel to downright gritty. It also made an impression to me how Tony escalated from a virgin to a complete slut in a matter of days, some scenes making no sense in the health department and how a body reacts after severe wounds and acts such as being raped viciously by three sadistic bears. I turned a blind eye here.
It is a strange book in so many ways this one. I’m afraid not everything was ok with me, such was Aiden’s love. He took one look at Tony and fell in love with him and that is not explained throughout the story. I suppose I could understand why he fell for Tony. Tony’s character is quite smart when it comes to numbers, he is an honest man, one you can rely on to do his job in a kind of purity you don’t often see, and he has many other attributes that unfortunately were not rightly shown to his advantage. I suppose it’s that that makes Aiden’s love seem so ludicrous, his possessiveness standing no grounds and his all-I-have-you-have attitude making no sense. While the author gave some serious pair-time for Tank and Tony and even for Tony and Jorge, the relationship of Tony and Aiden was left a bit vague and hasty. It suddenly escalated seemingly from one heart-beat to another and before we had time to figure out their chemistry they had jumped into fighting – and boy did they fight- for money and gifts (Tony kept feeling a kept boy-toy) and trying to understand and compromise and make a real partnership work. In the end there were so many things I simply didn’t get about this pair and their reactions toward each other, especially Tony who was a real study in weird behavior.
But, and this is a big but, I still stand by the fact that I loved this book. It was too intense for me not to and I got really invested from the beginning. Add to that that this is also a book containing some very interesting fetishes (sounding [good God, sounding finally in a damn book
] and cross-dressing) and yeah, I’m totally lost. If in any way you gain a guilty pleasure out of cruelty, harsh and vicious sex, fetishes and kinks, well then you might want to take a look at this book. It certainly had me on my toes. ;)