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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wendy - Unrestrained - Joey W. Hill

A Review By Wendy

Strong, Commanding, Willing, Released Stars  * * * *

This book was about a lot of different things for me.

Although it was based around the Dominant/submissive relationship and all that entails with clubs;
I got a much more than that from it.

What was so highly attractive from the very start was the fact these main characters were in their late forties. These people had lived lives before meeting each other; they had experienced real tragedies and had to overcome them. They had responsibilities and were full formed. And they had loved; one had married and given everything to him in the way he had wanted it. The other had loved his career; his comrades, county and the satisfaction of being able to make things right.

We meet these two people both handling different issues; but both just as serious.

She lost her husband of 20 years to the ugliness of long term disease. In their day to day life, husband was powerful yet caring, running a multi- million dollar company with locations all over employing thousands. He was her man and she loved him. She loved him in a way that meant she would do whatever to make him feel the love. She showed through her help with fundraising and charity work for the company; doing events and affairs for their friends and then she showed him in the most loving of all ways… she became his Mistress to his need to be the sub. She took on that identity proudly, wore it like a cloak. They would be with their friends at their club and all would admire the way she handle the scenes with him.  Clearly they were the perfect couple… her Dom to his sub.

But now her husband is gone and she is adrift… she has mourned his loss as best as she can… she has come out from the fog which she was lost in for over two years; she is here at the club watching from a distance. She doesn't feel the pull to be the Dom with someone new. She is here because it was a place of very happy memories with him and yet nothing is really right. 

It is during this casual visit she sees Him. He is known as Master Crafter and he is doing a scene with a young wisp of a thing, Willow. He is working this like a conductor; ebb and flow… murmuring in her ear when needed, taking her to levels of bliss for her through all manipulation he see fit. She has given herself to him, the Master, willingly and has been rewarded for it.

This stirs something in Athena; recognition she cannot put her mind around. She watches; wishes it was her being handled by the Master and it is confusing. She leaves and ends up being accosted by thugs at the gas station right in view of the club.  She is fighting them off as they try to take the rings her husband had given her. The fight is at the point where she is in real jeopardy and Master C steps in and handles these thugs easily. She is very disoriented and he takes care of her; she ends up at his home, sleeping in his tshirt with the overwhelming feeling of safety surrounding her.

As they both talk with one another, Athena learns Dale was a navy Seal; he is now retired and devotes his time to training dogs in need of homes.
Dale sees who she is; he senses right away her confusion and uncertainty as he knows she is truly a sub not Dom at all. They have a connection; she is scared yet so drawn, she cannot stop her wanting to see if there is something for her to experience. Dale is open to see what she is about and how this will go. He agrees to meet with her at her home for a lunch to talk.

The lunch launches the rest of this story; and for me I liked all of the issues Joey W. Hill addressed through it.

Yes, there is lots of sex with a Capital S. Yes, there is serious BDSM scenes; lots of them, varying in intensity. Yes, there is the terminology of Master and sir and all that surrounds it. This is a book by an author know for excellent writing in this genre.

But what really struck me about this book was the addressing of people with life experiences; older people trying to be open to love again. It is hard today being older and trying to meet new people. 

Athena falls hard for Dale and starts to act as if she has the brain sense of a 16 yr old when it comes to her feeling for Dale. It is so hard for people to put themselves out there and all of these NA books demonstrate that over and over again… so imagine how scary it is for an older woman to risk her safely to experience this kind of bliss…. She self sabotages numerous times… because she feels she doesn’t deserve it. Eventually things happen for her to feel secure in Dale’s heart and that is huge.

Yet what is even more stirring in this book is Dale.
An Alpha if ever there was one; Seal of the highest order, Major Dom; yet he has his own hurdle to deal with…. He was injured and lost the lower half of one of his legs. He wears prosthesis and has adjusted through diligent therapy and hard determination. He has learned to live with it and makes no apologies for it. But even though he is confident in who he is as a Seal; a friend; a man and Master, he still can be hit with insecurity, too. To allow Athena to help him in any way or care for him in any loving way regarding that part of him is difficult and he works hard to overcome it.

The creation of Dale and his life experiences were masterful. We received insight and a sly education about what our men and women in service experience when dealt this type of hand. I felt for Dale; I understood more of the challenges and made me take a moment to thing of all the others experiencing the same type of thing.

These two are perfectly matched. They have their HEA in their own way. It is their love story with all of the ways they love each other and one of the continuing themes was just be who you are and your soul mate will be there for you as you need them to be.

Arc received in exchange for an honest review.

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