As Gould uses kink to mourn his ex-boyfriend Hal's death at the hands of a negligent dom, he has to decide what he wants from his relationships with Kel and Greg, the married owners of Riddle, the club where Hal died.
While Gould finds himself fulfilled deeply by his submissive play with Kel and Greg, he's holding a grudge over their part in Hal's death and their decision to let Bill, the dom who left him tied up unattended, back into their space. Kel is a plus-size mistress who values trust and communication above everything else, which is hard for Gould. He lives in his own head and uses submission as a way to try to stop his overly analytical mind from assigning meaning and blame. Author Rock (Manties In a Twist, 2016, etc.) is inspired in the way she positively represents a richly diverse community of nuanced characters. She's done her research about various fetishes and aspects of the kink community, and there's a sweet wholesomeness to the way the characters care for one another. Gould's friends are bound (no pun intended) by their histories and commitments to protecting their peers. The well-rounded characters and compelling plot don't require that the reader bring any knowledge of BDSM to the table or even that they share any fetishes. This is an unexpectedly great book. It would be easy to approach it only as kinky erotic fiction, but it's also an incredibly well-written story about friendship, unconventional love, grief, and finding a community. It's as funny as it is touching, and in the end, it's about finding the love that challenges and encourages you to be your best self.
Rock's happily-ever-after is bittersweet, beautiful, and deeply satisfying.