... And I could live it at that, because this story lost very quickly all the credit its title and cover had earned it and kept on losing it steadily until the very end that was frankly totally lame.
It started like an educational brochure about BDSM and moved on being a showroom aiming at showcasting as many scenes as possible. Bits of story were thrown in the mix, hastily put together and just as hastingly sorted out when the author found it convenient. It felt like A.J. Rose was so intent on not missing anything of the BDSM lifestyle that she (he?) forgot to actually tell Ben and Gavin's story and, in my opinion, missed the mark.
Because I have never felt any power shifting or being exchanged.
But perhaps I lost focus because of the incalculable number of times I thought "oh pleeease!" when pieces fell oh so neatly and miraculously and conveniently into place without making any sense whatsoever. The pattern repeated itself again and again :
1 - throw clue
2 - throw angst
3 - throw something for shock value or titillating effect
4 - oops, need resolution, let's throw something...
5 - tada! resolved!
Until Gavin and the story became too stupid to live and I was actually offended on the character's behalf!
The 1st person POV didn't help, the educational parts and some preachy statements here and there were annoying but could be considered as merely awkward. The story telling, however, is plainly loosy.
Now, is it objectively as bas as I make it sound? Yes and no. There were moments when I warmed up a bit to the characters. I found for the most part that it was an easy read, too aggravating to be really enjoyable but not totally awful either. Still, the accumulation, the last 25% and something in the murders not quite fitting the killer's profile and making me suspect shock value made me angry. I've just finished the book and I am still stuck on that feeling. I might round it up to 2,5 stars depending on what sticks once I've slept on it.
I've read that book #2 is better. I will perhaps give it a try since I already have it, but I am in no hurry.