I took a break around the 50% mark but it has been a much much peaceful ride. The whole thing still sounds like a cult rather than a fantasy, but I must be resigned or something because I didn't get mad once. Annoyed by the stubborn denying of sexual kinks, amused sometimes by the ambiant goodness (even snakes are kind and gentle), but not mad.
I found it a lot easier to overlook the flaws and the questionable ethics to focus on Dale's journey from broken CEO to David and Philip's spiritual offspring. Both ends of the journey are a bit unsubtle, but the development in-between is once more full of insights and very interesting. Of course, I liked that it was so difficult for him to give in because it's something that I can easily relate to, but I also found that there are many, many things readers can relate to or ponder over beyond the fantasy. Being stuck in a job or even a social role that makes you blind to who you are, being defined by said job or social role, how hard it is to take the time to simply be, to find a balance, to let go...
On the domestic discipline front, there were moments when I could understand how beyond the sanction, punishment is also a way of giving someone what the transgression is calling for. And there were moments when I still didn't get it, but that's not my fantasy, after all.
I'm not sure that I understand the polyamorous relationship either, because it seems to me that Dale has an amorous relationship with one person only, and that he got into the polyamorous marriage only because he wanted Flynn. His relationship with Riley sounds (admittedly a bit incestuous) brotherly, his relationship with Paul sounds filial, and his relationship with Jasper is a mystery to me. I guess that the next books will develop that.
The humor was a nice plus, and Jake & Tom lightened my read. They are such a contrast to the Falls Ranch Church!
I don't know how to conclude my random thoughts....I got more of what I was looking for or I was short on indignation, but I enjoyed the read.