MtSnow reviews ‘For Real: Spires Universe’ by Alexis Hall ; Released June 1st 2015 by Riptide Publishing, 437 pgs
Why MtSnow Read this Story: a May/December BDSM, with the ‘little AND much younger guy’ being the Dom?! I just had to see how this was gonna work. And it did. Spectacularly.
Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.
Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.
Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.
The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.
It can’t be real.
This story. What can I say. I’m not typically drawn to May/December romances, and the cover of this story really threw me off. But the idea of a 19-yr-old Dom and a 37-yr-old Submissive, AND you add in their size difference, let alone the gap in experience levels, well, let’s just say curiosity got the better of me.
This book had so many delicate layers, vulnerability and special moments in it, and I would be just reading, and a little gem would be revealed that would bring tears to my eyes. The BDSM element was there, (and I just HAD to look up an anal hook, and a Gates of Hell sex toy) but it was more of the trust/trusting and love/loving that was being bandied about then withdrawn that had me wonder how these two could ever meet on equal ground.
Well, the author did it very well. It all tied together nicely, and I think by the end both MCs learned a lot about themselves AND each other. There was much growth here, and the relationship by the ending chapters felt very rewarding. They were both, in my opinion, able to meet each other as equals, and take care of each other without smothering, or in an odd father/son way which would’ve ruined it for me.
Toby, to me, he just had an old soul. He loved Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He definitely had some hidden depths that we were able to see unfold throughout the chapters. And yet, he was so good for Laurie, bringing out more of a fun-loving, carefree and happy side to someone that has seemed to carry the world on his shoulders, especially after losing his first love of two decades due to no fault of his own.
There was another positive for me in this story. They read like REAL people! Acne-covered youth; craggy, not overly handsome features in the older man. Just basically two regular guys, that just so happened to be what the other lonely heart needed. Bravo! It’s nice to not see perfect people. Like there’s a chance for the rest of us. We meet some interesting supporting characters, and I am already looking forward to the next in this series!
By the way. I will never be able to look at Lemon Meringue pie again without picturing this story, but yum! AND the recipe is generously offered at the end of the book. Yay! Highly recommended.
9-1/2 of 10 pots of gold
Where to Purchase:
Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.
He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car.
He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.
Oh, and you can also find him on Booklikes if that’s your preferred book-based social media product 😉