Before You Break
Secrets: Book One
Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.
There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.
A Strong Start to this SpinOff Series
✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ FOUR-STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩
> > Judging a Book by it's Cover < <
Two men in what appears to be a heartfelt, intimate embrace. Subdued coloration. Strong title and authors fonts. Synopsis piques the curiosity.
> > Looking Deeper < <
POV ~> Third-person.
Setting - England
Wayne and Ellis work together. Wayne's a natural leader, that carries over into his personal life. When he sees Ellis starting to fall apart, he decides he needs to do something before his friend is lost to him for good.
I enjoyed both men as individuals but noticed several times where it seemed almost as if Ellis was trying to top from the bottom and I found it hard to believe that Wayne would have just let it go without some sort of punishment or reprimand - neither of which occurred. So, at times, it did not feel cohesive because of that. Ellis' family were incredibly horrid and very easy to dislike. Their coworkers were entertaining. I loved the Collars and Cuffs cast cameos and the (what felt like an eternity) long-awaited return of Eli and Jarod! Dialogue and Interactions were believable. The plot conveyed a wide variety of emotion and dynamics, but as with any series pilot, there was some more foundation work than what will be in following stories in the series, so it did not read as "just Wayne and Ellis" although it primarily was. A work-related incident created choices and the need to make changes, many emotions were pulled upon during that. The offered opportunity was predicted from the first time it was mentioned but did not take away from the story as it was hard to predict how it would end up being presented. The ending was concluded in a flash-forward epilogue with a solid and satisfying HEA, but I can't help but believe that we will see more of them as the series progresses.
Overall, this was a very strong start to a new series. It was wonderful seeing a few of the C&C cast and I am thrilled to have Eli and Jarod back, even if only as the foundation for the series. The new cast is enjoyable and I look forward to getting to further know several of the other members of Secrets as we go along.
Rating: [R] ~ Score: 4.2 ~ Stars: 4
⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from Signal Boost and the Author/Publisher with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐