Hunter Callahan loved being a merc. As an explosives expert for Lawson & Greer, he?s dealt with everything from IEDs to rogue nukes. But when a suicide bomber in the form of a seven-year-old boy walks into camp, Hunter learns there are some fates far worse than death.
Payne Gibson recognizes the ?thousand yard stare? of the PTSD Hunter refuses to acknowledge, and as a natural caretaker, he can?t resist when his boss, Cade ?Hercules? Thornton, asks him to help. Hunter is resistant until their surveillance assignment turns dangerous, and Hunter realizes he?s in danger of losing his career, the only thing in his life that matters to him anymore.
Conventional therapy hasn?t worked, so Payne suggests an unorthodox form of therapy: BDSM. As a Dom, Payne thinks he can help Hunter face the issues he?s been avoiding. Having come to trust Payne and knowing his career is on the line, Hunter agrees to try.
Their relationship as Dom and sub deepens more than either of them expected. Payne knows adding emotions into the mix is dangerous, but he can?t help it when Hunter is both the man and the sub Payne has hoped to find. But Hunter doesn?t feel he deserves love, not when his best friend is dead because of him, leaving behind a wife and child to mourn — and to blame Hunter for their loss.
Payne can help Hunter to stare into the abyss? but what stares back might be more intense than either of them can handle.
This is not your usual body guard falls for his client story, nor is it jock dominates geek/nerd stereo type story.
No, this story revolves around Hunter a hunk of a man, who is suffering PTSD and survivors guilt. He has been sent to Herc?s Mercenaries, to work as a body guard whilst he recovers before he can return to the field of action in Iraq.
Payne is charged in trying to get Hunter to open and deal with his PTSD and guilt. Payne hits a brick wall until Hunter freezes on a job and realises he does need help.
Payne believes he can help Hunter by using BDSM, to force him to deal with his issues. Once again Hunter is surprised by Payne?s personality, first he was shocked by his strength, and now by his authority?s attitude and being a Dom.
I think the author has done a great job, they have broken the molds of the character types. Big Butch Hunter the sub of Geeky Small Payne. If not written as well as this book is, the characters could have felt so false. Yes, there are big muscled subs and squarny geeky Dom?s in real life. But in general readers expect the muscle man to be the Dom.
You really feel for Hunter as he works his way through his issues, expect to have your heart broken and to shed a tear or two.
About The Authors
Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc?s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.
Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.
McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she?s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.