STRIPED BARE by Eileen Griffin & Nikka Michaels
Details: No. 1 Cooper Mountain
When Donovan Ramsey comes home from yet another business trip he realizes he and his long-term boyfriend, Nate Pearson, have drifted apart. Donovan is used to engineering solutions in his career, but he’s stumped on how to fix his dwindling sexual relationship with Nate.
After a late night internet search, Donovan finds a place that might be exactly what they need to rekindle the romance in their relationship. There’s just one catch: the idyllic Cooper Mountain Bed and Breakfast specializes in BDSM for couples.
Over the course of the weekend, the two men experience a taste of what the BDSM lifestyle has to offer. Will that taste lead to a stronger connection between Nate and Donovan, or will it ultimately be their undoing?
“The Control and surrender are just other expressions of your need and desire for each other.”
For the sake of full disclosure I should start this review by saying that I’ve adored the words Eileen Griffin and Nikka Michaels produce together from before they ever published their first book. The love has only grown deeper and stronger with every subsequent title they released, both together and separately.
Stripped Bare once again confirmed these authors’ talent for telling a good story. As always they brought me men I could love and sympathise with, in a story that captured my imagination and left me hot and bothered on quite a few occasions.
When we meet Donovan and Nate they are a hardworking couple with little time for their relationship. It is not that they’re no longer in love, more that work pressures have allowed them to take their eyes off each other. With both men tired and stressed at the end of the day, romance has fallen by the wayside.
I loved that Donavan refused to accept the status quo. He misses the man he fell in love with and the intimacy they used to share frequently. His decision to book them a weekend away to rekindle the passion is fabulous. The fact that the Bed & Breakfast he picks for their time together specialises in BDSM both adds excitement and a dangerous edge to Donovan’s plan.
If you’re familiar with my reviews and reading habits, you will know I love a good BDSM story. Stripped Bare is definitely one of those. Donovan and Nate’s explorations are shown as a joined venture. Donovan may be the Dominant partner but he doesn’t do anything without making absolutely sure Nate is a more than willing participant. Nate on the other hand may have doubts about what his need to submit to Donovan means, he can’t deny the pleasure and relief he finds in their encounters.
I love it when authors take their time to explain the dynamic to their readers.
“Just acknowledging what you need shows strength. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.”
For me the beauty in BDSM is found as much in the emphasis on trust and communication, the fact that true submission requires a deep strength, as it is in the very sexy scenes it tends to lead to. In this book Toby and Logan, the two men who run the Bed & Breakfast, provide a shining example of the true dynamic in this relationship format.
“Whoever said submissives weren’t in control obviously hadn’t met Toby or Nate.”
No cliffhanger at the end of this book...or is there? Let’s just say I can’t wait to find out who the main characters in the next book will turn out to be. Logan and Toby will be back, of that I’m sure since the stories take place in their Bed & Breakfast. But, will we meet Donovan and Nate again or is there another couple in need of assistance. I can’t wait to find out.
“Time for whatever helps us relieve stress and keeps us focused on what matters most. Us.”