Needing A Strong Hand by Tamsin Baker
Melbourne Men book 2
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Length: Short Story (75 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern
Tommy needs a man, but what sort, he has no idea. He knows he’s bored of one-night stands and he’s lonely, but what type of guy can handle him? And will any of them bother to look beneath the blond exterior to the heart beating beneath?
Ben has ticked off most things on his list. His company is doing well, he’s physically fit, and money isn’t a problem, but he’s still looking for that elusive thing—his perfect man.
Two men looking for love in the wrong places may have just found their perfect match.
This is a previously published work. It has been revised and edited for Evernight Publishing.
It’s Tommy’s birthday and he’s struggling to hide his jealousy over his best mate Marcus being blissfully in love with his new boyfriend. Tommy is happy for Marcus, really, but it’s difficult for him to be in the mood to celebrate. Until Ben comes along. Suddenly Tommy’s not upset about having to share Marcus – not when all Tommy’s attention is consumed by big, strong Ben.
I was a little surprised at first by the amount of friction between Tommy and Ben. I found Tommy to be quite a complicated character, one minute appearing petty and jealous, the next venerable and intelligent. Tommy is not some perfect, white knight hero who is up on a pedestal; he’s a real man with flaws and a temper. This more realistic characterization actually made me like Tommy a lot – even when I frowned at his antics or less likeable qualities. I also though Ben was exactly the sort of boyfriend a guy like Tommy needed: strong and slightly older, confidant and sure of himself. It was a real pleasure to watch these two men come together. Even during the times they weren’t on the same page, the chemistry and attraction was clear to me really enjoyable.
There’s a bit of kink/BDSM play – spanking and a bit of Ben tying Tommy up – but nothing too envelope-pushing and I think most erotica readers should find there’s nothing very hard-core in Ben and Tommy’s light play. I found it interesting that despite Ben feeling his was a Dom, he clearly hadn’t had much experience acting on that side of his nature. I can’t recall reading a book before where it was the Dom (and not the sub) who had so little experience – so this was strange but also quite refreshing. I felt it tilted a bit of the power play between Tommy and Ben, as while Ben was dominant in bed, Ben’s lack of experience and uncertainty of just how to be dominant outside the bedroom let Tommy initially run rings around Ben. I found this aspect of the plot equal parts frustrating (wanting Ben to be as confidant and controlling as the Top in the relationship) and intriguing, as it’s not something I’ve come across before. Overall I’m glad this uncertainty didn’t last too long with Ben, and it truly was different and interesting, but I can understand this might not appeal to some readers as I felt it diminished some of that control and dominance Ben’s character really should have held.
I found this to be quite a fresh and very interesting read. I personally enjoyed it all the more for the complications and slightly different look upon a BDSM relationship. A good, sexy read that kept my interest and delivered on a hot M/M story with some light kink thrown in for good measure.