I freely admit to being a big Hammer series fan. This latest entry was a 4 star read for me up until page 169 when I really felt there was an opportunity lost that dropped it a star.
I was enjoying having Nick as a supposed harder edged dom than others in the Hammer series. Nick enjoyed canes, cages, whips, etc. in addition to the typical Hammer doms enjoyment of bondage, sounds and fisting. Our insight into Francis seemed to indicate his masochist needs which would make him edgier than most Hammer subs who tended to be more on the lighter side of BDSM once he was able to move forward from his past abuse and trust a new dom. I was looking forward to reading about how these guys addressed those edgier BDSM needs given Francis' past abuse, how Nick built the trust with Francis and, given the whip scene, I expected we would see Francis and Nick moving toward that style of BDSM. Unfortunately, that's not where the story went. Instead, it seemed to take a quick and easy way out with a crazy, and clearly stupid, relative of an ex and a friend's kidnapping which resulted in a lot of guilt for Francis. I mean, for the brother of Francis' ex, to go after him didn't make a lot of sense despite the reasons given to try to justify it. In the end, Francis had to overcome this guilt, rather than his past absue and BDSM needs. We are left with Nick and Francis going so far as sounding and fisting - which is the typical for Hammer doms - and usually very entertaining. I just expected a different twist with the character set up we had.