Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Book review - For Real by Alexis Hall (m/m BDSM romance) 5 stars

I'm For Real by Alexis Hall
BDSM romance 
5/5 stars 


Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.

Word count: 125,000; page count: 437

Purchase Links 


Wow! For Real is an absolutely fantastic book, it's truly unforgettable and the characters will stay with me for a long time.  For Real is a great title for this book, as the characters and their emotions did feel realistic.  It is an emotional roller coaster - it made me laugh, it made me smile and it had tears running down my face.  It is also really hot! Alexis Hall is obviously a very talented writer, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Laurie is thirty seven years old and is still reeling from the break up of his last relationship six years ago.  He is submissive but is jaded by the whole BDSM scene, and goes through the motions of submitting to anonymous Doms at clubs.  Until he meets nineteen year old Toby.  He's young, eager, strong yet also vulnerable. He also knows what he wants - Laurie on his knees submitting to him.  Laurie will submit to him, but he won't give Toby what he really wants - his heart.

The interactions between Laurie and Toby are often awkward, but there is also a strong connection between them and the chemistry is undeniable.  The age gap is a huge problem for Laurie, who often seems older than his years.  This and his past relationship break up causes him to put a barrier up between him and Toby, and it was heartbreaking seeing Toby's distress when Laurie refuses to return his love.  The lack of communication and trust on both sides causes them problems that they have to work hard to overcome.  I instantly fell in love with Toby, he is so sweet and endearingly awkward.  It took me a little longer to understand and like Laurie, he's a complex character with many layers, but in the end I was really hoping that he would open his eyes and see how special Toby is.

The BDSM scenes in this book are varied, steamy and feel realistic. Initially I felt a little uncomfortable with Toby's inexperience and over enthusiasm, but everyone has to start somewhere and he really wants to please Laurie.  His instincts are good, and his love for Laurie shines through. My favourite scene has to be the cooking of the lemon meringue pie, it was so hot and so funny at the same time.

Alexis Hall's writing is fantastic, the quality shines from the page. For Real is now one of my favourite m/m books, so obviously it gets five out of five stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

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