Title: Before You Break
Series: Secrets #1
Authors: KC Wells | Parker Williams
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Available Now
Cover Design: Reece Dante
Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.
There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.
Before You Break is the first book in the new Secrets series and I wasn’t aware until I had read it that it is a spin-off of the Collars and Cuffs series (so that’s where all the other characters were from!) which I have not read (gasp!)
I’m not a big fan of BDSM and although I have read a few books only a handful have been at the level I could relax and enjoy and not hide behind the cushion whilst reading it. Luckily this is one of them I could enjoy as there was no hardcore D/s or pain play involved (ish).
Wayne and Ellis have been best friends for over six years and are partners in the Special Ops unit in the Metropolitan Police in London. Wayne is an openly out gay man with the support of his unit but there is one element of his life that he keeps secret. Ellis on the other hand is straight although he doesn’t overly push himself with the ladies in the bars he goes to with his team after work. Lately Wayne has noticed some worrying changes in his mate and a few close calls whilst on the job. He sees his friend losing control but knows a way he can support Ellis. First though he has to reveal his secret side.
Ellis has lead a troubled life since his teens with a strong focus on him being the support for his family. Over the years the pressure has built up to now him feeling stressed and close to exploding. When he finds out Wayne frequents a certain type of club, his interest is piqued or is it more that he is not saying?
This was a little complex to get into but I think that is mainly not knowing the foundations of this series (having not read C/Cs). There were lots of names been thrown into the mix and then men being called by their surnames that I was lost? However it didn’t take me long to crack on and start engaging in Wayne and Ellis’ journey to happiness together.
It did feel at times that Wayne was coercing Ellis into becoming a sub and it just didn’t gel with me. I think it would have been better to have the understanding of Ellis more earlier on. The reader was let in that he had something to hide and once that was revealed it did help me understand his easy acceptance of Wayne and how they fell into a relationship of sorts.
However once all that murkiness of sorting out what had gone on and the secrets revealed this was a lovely romance with that soupçon of kink to make it all the more raw (or RAWR!) that I loved. The connection between Wayne and Ellis was easy to feel and their passion was steamy hot. I did wonder how they both could have held all these secrets after six years of friendship though and not know these about each other. Maybe I just thought they were BFF whereas they were just good work colleague type of friends. Anyhow no matter as once they got it on (or off!) it was enticing to read about.
Overall this was an enjoyable read and I liked the characters (apart from Ellis’ weird parents!), the background and the setting. A good start to what I know will be a great series. Four stars.
*ARC kindly provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….
K.C. loves to hear from readers.
Happily Ever After Comes With A Price Tag. Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family. Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.