My rating: 5 of 5 stars
BONDS OF DENIAL is one of my favorite books I’ve read so far this year, and I am definitely listing it as one of my favorite m/m reads for sure. Although this is part of the Wicked Play series, I think this one stands on its own so you don’t need to worry about reading the others first (but you should because they are great reads as well *winks*). I have so many different things that I loved, but what it really boils down to is that I just adore the way Lynda Aicher writes. I really appreciate her ability to express such deep emotion in her characters, and how she is able to focus on the connection between the characters beyond their physical intimacy. Now don’t get me wrong here, because these books are still scorching hot reads! I just think that she builds a strong emotional foundation for her characters to fall in love, and BONDS OF DENIAL was one of her best yet.
Rockford Fielding (aka Rock) is former military and works security at The Den, which he is now part owner of with his friends. Although he doesn’t live the lifestyle the same way his friends and business partners do, he definitely harbors his own secrets that he won’t even admit to himself. Rock’s denial of who he is inside has been a direct result of not only an incident when he was 14 years old with his father, but also each time he has attempted to be himself as well. Because of these deep emotional scars (and one physical), he has led a very solitary life, but all that changed when Carter started coming to the club with a client. Rock has watched him from afar while he monitors the security of the club, but he can’t fight his intense attraction to the male escort anymore.
Carter Montgomery (who made an appearance in Bonds of Desire) has been a male escort since he was forced to quit college nearly 10 years ago, but his most recent contract with the agency is about to come to an end. He is scared of what the future may hold if he decides not to continue in his increasing dangerous business, but he has denied his own self-worth for far too long to see any possible future for himself. He has prided himself on being exactly what his customer needs, but a new client is proving to challenge him in more ways than he ever expected.
The connection between these two characters is very powerful as they learn to love themselves for who they are from the strength and support they provide each other. I was really happy that we didn’t get a huge black moment, and that the story was so strongly rooted in just being about the two of them falling in love and the struggles they face within themselves to accept who they are and to realize just how strong they are together. I thought the ending was beautiful and to put it quite simply… BONDS OF DENIAL was wonderful to read and I highly recommend it.
✳✳ Copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
✳✳ Reviewed on I ♥ Bookie Nookie Reviews by Tabatha