I’ve sat on doing this review a few days and I honestly still don’t know how to rate this read. This is probably more of a part 2 to the first book although this book focuses ma lot from Kyle’s point of view but there is also plenty of Gabe-Derek.
I loved Kyle and Ben in the first book – they stole scenes for me. I went into this book thinking it was going to be their turn at an HEA and I’m not really sure where I am at at the close of the book. This book was more of a continuing story for Kyle but not really a romance. It’s Kyle finally voicing some things that happened in his life. He’s unable to tell Ben and the reasons he gives for not being able to tell Ben worked and didn’t work for me. Ben couldn’t get Kyle to talk to him and ended up hurting him emotionally and recognized it so tried to help him by sending him away. Broke my heart how far apart they grew and how far Kyle fell into his pain.
At Ben's request, Kyle ends up in Gabe’s care who does a pretty good job in helping Kyle initially. However, when Gabe asked Derek for help, that’s when things go down hill and it bothered me that Gabe didn't recognize the problem or potential danger. Yeah, there were clues but then Kyle hid things well and Derek was suppressing some secrets. Kyle is hiding things from Derek and can’t tell him what they are and each time Derek touches him it causes Kyle incredibly emotional harm that he just takes and takes and takes until a scene in which he finally breaks. Heart wrenching and I hated Derek a bit as a result.
Throughout this book, I felt that Gabe and Derek’s relationship probably had the strongest footing in how they interacted with each other and understood each other’s needs. Kyle and Ben, though, at the end of the book, felt pretty strong. Ben clearly loved Kyle unconditionally and I think Kyle was finally believing in that and trusting Ben and believing Ben would keep him safe because he had now figured him out. Junior was a really cute gift after the name wore off for Kyle - Junior clearly gave comfort. At the end, I felt so good that Kyle had all his secrets out so maybe he couldn’t be harmed anymore.
This is a BDSM book and there are several scenes involving different characters including Gabe working through more issues from his past. Daddy kink, some medical kink, etc. Partner sharing as well.
At the end of the book, I was left not really knowing how I felt about Derek anymore. I think Kyle and Ben are in a good spot but then not completely sure, I think Gabe and Derek are in a good place for them but Kyle and Derek seem pretty torn apart and I'm also not so sure about Kyle and Gabe. Kyle is clearly questioning their future interaction and I for one can see his concern. I think Gabe-Ben-Trace have things figured out, but then again, I'm not sure. The book ends with some things hanging which may mean a book 3 or may be the author's intention to have the reader draw their own conclusion.
If this review seems like a long ramble of incoherent thoughts, it’s because I end it completely confused about how I feel about it. Draw your own conclusions on this one.