Author: Lynn Kelling
Rating 5 scorchers
Genre: BDSM, Gay, Erotic Romance.
(Discliamer: I wrote this review before Ms Kelling and I had spoken and agreed to our merged-world projects.)
Okay, where to start without resulting to my initial response, which would probably get a few raised brows from anyone reading this (spoiler: there were a few swear words, a lot of shifting to adjust the heat under my collar, and a lot “phew, they’re doing what?”).
Hands up, I have to admit, Deliver Us touched on a few taboos. Ones that I’d not come across before. That’s a strange place to start a review, with a list of likes and unknowns, but it becomes important when you put it in context with characters, plot, and pace.
The two leads in this, Darrek and Gabe, especially because of their histories, they needed an explosive sexual creativity when they were together, that ability to just let go and experience, as life in general had forced them to close down in their own ways. They needed that extreme level of intensity to allow each other the ability to trust when it then came to going beyond the physical.
Darrek is your sensitive straight, who having being left by his ex lover is given a number to a BDSM club. Fully expecting to explore a female D/s relationship, something he has nibbled at in the past, complications over the forms he signs puts Derek under the experienced hands of Gabe, a male Dom with just the right touch to throw Darrek’s world into a heated rush of sensation overload, submission, and the even more dangerous possibility of being Gabe’s lover.
As Dom and sub, Gabe and Darrek seem the most unlikeliest pair to meet, let alone become lovers. We have Darrek, the lonely lovable giant who stumbles away from a shattered relationship into the BDSM scene and a gay love life in general. There’s a will and determinism to try everything, to find his body’s limits and test whether he can push through them, all underwritten by his growing feelings for Gabe that seem to give him the drive for pushing his mind and body.
Then there’s Gabe. His troubled history has taken him into the role of a Dom, one who only ever touches, never allows to touch, and who also comes with one hell of a protective group of Doms who get just as aggressive with anyone threatening to touch Gabe (a protectiveness that I loved seeing play out).
It seems a relationship that’s doomed to fail, either through Darrek’s and Gabe’s destructive histories, the intensity of a D/s relationship, or the protectiveness of friends. It’s certainly one relationship I was skeptical to in the beginning, the whole straight to gay/vanilla to SUB seeming a wide gap to fill.
Yet it’s that understanding you reach with both parties, how you can see Gabe seeming to find a certain level of security in knowing Darrek stumbled into the gay BDSM scene, that there’s an innocence to how Darrek breaks down the barrier to Gabe that Gabe forced around himself a teen. You come to see that Darrek wouldn’t have had the same reaction with any other Dom, and that Gabe would have just gone through the motions given any other sub. It had to be Gade; it had to be Darrek for this to work.
But, on a level of kink beyond the taboo, I loved this relationship from a language pov too. It was intriguing to see Gabe and Darrek live the D/s lifestyle, but have a narrative prose that showed equal dynamics. Equal weight is given to Darrek and Gabe in and outside of a scene, so both work together, neither really claiming linguistic dominance, and it’s that subtlety that helped cement their relationship, for me anyway.
And a lot of that is why it has taken me so long to read this novel. There were so many things going at so many levels, I had to back away, force myself to pull out at certain points for fear of sensory overload. Not a bad thing at all. In fact, I had to go buy a hard copy for my… collection.
This one is a definitely a keeper and one I’ll be reading again