Saturday, 20 April 2013

Review: From Temptation by Lynn Kelling

     “Sometimes I want to do the wrong thing.”



This novel, where the hell do I start? It took my heart and soul, threaded it so intricately through a tiny needle, and used everything that I am to spell out oh, so, very, slowly:

      The one bad place, the only one “BAD place”— is your mind.

Deliver Us. From Temptation. It’s not hard to make the connection between Kelling’s first novel, and her sequel. What is hard hitting is everything that comes between covers and back pages.

So, where the hell to start? It has to be Kyle. Kyle. Oh my sweet, sexy sub, someone who just purrs his way over the pages and curls up for petting in just the right way. He’s a clever sub, a manipulative sub, one who manages to bring his Dom to his knees every time—and boy does his Dom know it—and let him. Hard as nails Ben Knox, who only ever wanted a body to break, has fallen head and heart for his sub. But Kyle holds a secret, one that’s making Kyle scurry into the darkness of his own mind, forcing Ben to cry frustration and chase right in there after him in the only way he knows how: Dominance, pain and a submission from Kyle, which only breaks Kyle down further.
                               “Sometimes I want to do the wrong thing.”

Darrek. Oh Darrek. What the hell happened to you, baby? From the last book to this one? My lovable giant, Gabe’s lover, Gabe’s protector despite Gabe being your Dom—best friend to Kyle, yet light opposition to Ben Knox. Darrek’s usually so sweetly wrapped up in his feelings for Gabe, nothing matters but the peace and security of the people around him. Only Kyle’s acting strange, and it’s starting to get to Darrek. Kyle’s there, broken, huddled in the corner, hiding  from the world, yet at the same time—he’s scurrying, itching at the inside of Darrek’s mind, stirring bad things—and dark, dark… places.

                    "Sometimes I want to do the wrong thing."

Caught in the middle? Gabe. Oh babydoll, you don’t know what the hell you’ve set in motion, do you? Cautious in heart, all scars open—a hard Dom who only ever touched, never allowed to touch, until Darrek takes his mind, body, and soul and keeps it held so gently in those giant hands of his. Knowing Ben’s terrorised Kyle to breaking, Gabe steps in with the cool but sensitive hand to take care of Kyle, as Kyle’s Dom. Only he’s missing the secret—all the signs. Completely unaware of the psychological pressure that’s building from so close to home, through his need to protect and care for Kyle, he’s unwittingly threatening his relationship, his safety—and every part of his own sanity.

    “Sometimes I want to do the wrong thing.”

And back to Ben Knox. The surprise: one of the hardest Doms—the LAST one to step back and offer a reprieve. Christ. By the end of all this? I friggin loved him. All his:

   My love, my soul—my ability to try and make you all whole: fucking test it, Kyle. 
I’m staying here right by you.

This book, this book dragged me to dark, dark places. One person’s actions acted like a bowling pin to everyone else, and their actions helped define all the characters around him. Even when in Gabe’s life, this was about Kyle, this was about Darrek, this was about Ben, this was about Trace, this was about Micah. Everything was just intricately interwoven, all tied together by a secret—one that tears open the mind and exposes all dark faults, dark needs, and darkest desires. And all just to help glimpse how people try and stay sane as they stagger away from, or back into, their darkest impulses.

Does it make you crumple? Yes. Does it make you want to hide from what’s happening on page, even though you can’t look away? Yes. But in a way that goes to explaining part of the novel:  you’re compelled to follow and not to let go, and that’s the gut-wrencher. You understand Kyle’s relationship with Dare on a deep level, how compelled he his to follow, to “love”, how his own psychology has conditioned him to seek out Dare’s own darkness and ignite it. And how Dare then, in turn, ignites Gabe’s.

I read this in just over twenty-four hours; it gripped me that much. It’s so complex — so heartbreakingly complex — yet there’s a lot of strength and recognition of loving souls for what they are. It makes you want to jump into the page and grab everyone into a hold, or hit certain people, at times. I’m still up in the air with how I feel about Dare, about how safe Gabe is. Just so many emotions that I need resolved. Like — now. *Coughs loud enough hopefully for Ms. Kelling to hear, then grins* “You got the “now” bit, right?”

But overall, just such a stunning a read.

Title: From Temptation
Author: Lynn Kelling
Genre: BDSM Gay Erotic Romance

Link to Author's work: From Temptation by Lynn Kelling

(Disclaimer: I have a shared-world project Ms. Kelling in our next novels. But as it stands, I have had no input into this story or its characters. I'm not officially rating this novel as our relationship for these projects is now underway.)

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