Even a repressed, anti-everything sub can find his Master.

Ed & Marchant (Frankie's Series Book 2) - Sue Brown

A Hearts On Fire Review

THREE & A HALF HEARTS--Even a repressed, anti-everything sub can find his Master.

I haven't read the first book in this series but I was able to follow along.

Ed hates everything and everyone, including his flamboyant coworker Frankie. Especially him. Ed pushes everyone away, he exists on sparkling water and spinach salad alone and watched old school dancing movies from the '30's and '40's for fun. He hates himself. He knows everyone else hates him too and he's fine with that until one Saturday when a coke is spilled on him and he meets the man/Dom who will change his life. The Dom, Marchant, is bigger, younger and can read Ed like a book. He knew from the moment he met him that Ed's gay and s sub. Ed, of course, is so far in the closet there's a closet in his closet. Through a series of events, the men form a bond and Ed finally starts living the life he wanted.

I don't know if the story was supposed to be tongue in cheek in the beginning, because Ed is a bigot and a jerk, but I couldn't stop laughing at him. I had to stop reading a few times because my eyes were crinkled from laughing at his thoughts. He was mean and it made me laugh.


Not at his abuse. That was very sad. That is why I can't rate the story just a three. His turmoil was good (not great). And the way Marchant read Ed was great. I have issues with the speed of their connection but once I sort of got over it, I liked Marchant. I don't see what he saw in Ed. But he wanted a "boy". And he got it in Ed.

Also thank you for an older, virgin sub! Because I love older subs/ younger Sirs. It was a 5 year difference in this one but Ed is a silverfox so, score for that. I liked that it wasn't a sex fest. If this went into PWP land, I'd have rated this lower. I also love a hulking, possessive main character...in RL? Not really. But gimme, gimme in fiction. And Sue Brown can give good possessive heroes. But this book wasn't a slam dunk. The main elements were solid but the story failed at being stellar.

My issues:

- the Taming of Ed(?) - I can't speak for all abuse victims, everyone reacts differently, processes differently, copes differently etc. But I can't imagine Ed, who is very tightly wound, repressed and angry, who never went to therapy in fear of being judged and festered for thirty-seven years to share so quickly to another soul, even if it is Marchant, a Dom who can read Ed so well. It just didn't jibe with me. You can't go from Lockdown Larry to Chatty Cathy with a few direct orders. There was some reluctance mixed in with Ed's angst but overall, the story was too short to encompass the change he should have went into becoming this human being.

- Insta-love Central - the "I love you" waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too soon. Really? It took away credibility in their relationship for me. I expected more restraint from Marchant. I especially expected more reluctance on Ed's part. The fast dive into love made me question the entire story and for the most part I was more satisfied than dissatisfied. I enjoyed the hesitation into sex but the love? If this story was a novel (which I think it should have been), where more time was given for Ed to break through the ice around his heart, be more of a conductor on his healing than a passenger, then I'd have bought it.

Overall, it was good. A loner finally starts living life, changes himself to be happy and finds love (too quick though). I wished Ed went to therapy instead of a brief mention. Not saying all abuse victims go to therapy (because they don't) but for Ed's level of PTSD, he should've. I don't want to say BDSM was used to cure him but it read that way.