Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ED & MARCHANT by Sue Brown


Publisher:               Dreamspinner Press                    
Published:               November 12, 2014
ISBN:                     978 1 63216 497 1
Genre:                              Romance, M/M, BDSM
Book Format:                    E-book
Obtained via:                    Publisher
Reviewed by:          Helena Stone,

Rating:                   5       

Ed Winters hates his life, despises his job and can’t stand the people he works with, especially Frankie Mason whose out and proud attitude enrages Ed, as does his happy love life. Ed spends his day resenting everything and everybody while wishing he could dance.

One Saturday morning while shopping Ed ends up soaked in coke and ice cubs when Marchant Belarus spills his drink all over Ed. And that is only the start of Ed’s humiliation. When Marchant recognises Ed as a - very closeted - sub, Ed just wants to deny it, except he finds he can’t. Under Marchant’s guidance Ed learns to come to terms with the years of abuse his mother and grandmother inflicted on him and to release the anger, pain and shame he’s held bottled up for as long as he can remember.

While Ed slowly learns to accept his homosexuality as well as his submissive side, it isn’t until Marchant discovers Ed’s love of dancing that Ed starts to crawl out of his shell and dares to embrace everything he is.

Before I start my review I have to confess to not having read Frankie & Al, the first book in this series. It is quite possible I would have had a tougher time getting to appreciate Ed if I had the earlier book first. As it is, Ed is a very unsympathetic character when we first meet him in this book. And I wouldn’t say he’s suddenly transformed into a ray of sunlight when he meets Marchant. But he does gradually mellow and, as we find out about his past, it becomes ever easier to sympathise with him. In fact, by the time I was half way through the book I’d started looking at him not as a horrible man but rather has a scared and scarred little boy, doing what he had to in order to keep his head above water.

Marchant was a wonderful character from the moment he was introduced. Smart, sensitive and kind he also has a huge bull-shit radar and figures Ed out in no time at all. The way he manages to slowly draw Ed out of his shell and teach him how to look at his past and the world around him in a new light was breathtaking.

Much as I loved Marchant, Ed was the man I fell for in this novella. His journey was frightening (for him) and difficult. Yet, as soon as he’s given permission to be himself he starts showing his good and human side. His transformation kept me mesmerised from start to finish and I was sad when the end of the book forced me to say goodbye to him.

For a book with relatively little explicit sex in it, this book was incredibly hot. The slow seduction of Ed and his courage when he gives and receives what he’s always considered wrong, perverted and deviant was more enticing than any detailed sex scene could ever be.

My admiration for Sue Brown’s storytelling talent grows with every book by her I read. I’m lucky because there’s still a long list of titles I haven’t read yet. Catching up is going to be fun.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.


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