La Crimson Femme
Review: If It Drives by L.A. Witt
Sexy bosses abusing their authority with their subordinate is alluring. In If it Drives, there is no power struggle or abuse. Instead it's a seduction by the subordinate. James's life is in turmoil. He's stressed. His wife divorced him. The rent boy he enjoys on occasion no longer works at Market Garden, the speciality m/m brothel. A bit lost, he doesn't notice Cal, his driver's crush. Cal's been working for James for a while now. Cal develops feelings for James and isn't sure how to act upon it. When he finally gives in to his urge, it doesn't turn out as he expected.
Duos Witt and Voinov do it again. In this novel, they bring a fresh perspective to why someone would go to a brothel. They also show it from the perspective of someone who is in love with the person frequenting the brothel yet not able to act upon his desires. The character development for this series is becoming better and better. With each character receiving their own story, a reader becomes more addicted to this series.
The reader will grow to feel something for both Cal and James. Their situation isn't ideal. How will they make it work? This is the beauty of team Witt and Voinov. Their conflicts are realistic and heart aching. Cal yearns to do so much for James. He wants to be "the one". James is not used to someone meeting his desires and keeps people at arm's length. One of the saddest commentaries about James is why he pays for sex. When James' reason is revealed, it is a sharp stab into Cal's heart. I gasped in sympathy when Cal's heart breaks.
The relationship building between these two characters is so good to watch. It's not perfect. They move forward a step and then back several. The ups and downs make the story more relatable. It injects more emotion which in turn causes the reader to become more invested in a happily ever after outcome. There is more to just these two men getting off. A favourite character in this series makes a guest appearance to help these two men. Nick, the rent boy who is a dominant is here to help Cal learn the basics in a power exchange.
One of my favourite lines from Nick also makes me shiver with arousal. It also makes me appreciate how well both authors understand the kinky lifestyle.
“I’m a sexual sadist. That’s my reputation at Market Garden, and it’s who I am. The only difference between me and somebody who goes around hurting and maiming people to blow their rocks is that I understand consent and make sure I have it. And I don’t actually deal real damage.” He leaned back. “It can be unsettling, especially when you’ve been indoctrinated about what’s acceptable in bed, but all that is a cultural construct anyway. (loc. 1414-1417)
The BDSM in this story is intoxicating. There are little to no toys involved in the BDSM scenes. It's a lovely view of a baby dom being mentored by an experienced dominant. The authors capture Cal's nervousness and expose his elation as he goes through his first scene. This erotic power exchange is smoking hawt and yet sweet.
This m/m romance is recommended to kinky readers who like their happily ever afters.
*provided by NetGalley