July 19, 2012

Review: Cleave by Mickie B. Ashling (18+)

By Mickie B. Ashling
Paperback, First Edition, 230 pages
Published May 11th 2012
by Dreamspinner Press

Sequel to Vessel

On New Year’s Eve, Cole Fujiwara stands vigil at his father’s deathbed while his surrogate wife, Noriko, gives birth to twins. As Cole contemplates his future, he acknowledges that he’s living his father’s dream… and that he’s probably destroyed his chance at happiness with Sloan, the love of his life.

Finding harmony in an emerging D/s relationship has not been without issue for Sloan Driscoll and his Master, Trent Hamilton. Their journey has been littered with mishaps, but their powerful love and sexual connection continue to bind them together—until Sloan comes face to face with Cole for the first time in nine months.

The meeting means different things to each of them. To Cole, it’s the first step on the path to a reunion. To Sloan, it’s a terrible mistake, one he confesses immediately. As for Trent, the bitter realization that a connection between the former lovers still exists forces him to issue an ultimatum. Is Sloan willing to do anything to prove their relationship is worth saving, including becoming Trent’s 24/7 slave? And if Sloan stays with Trent, how can Cole ever hope to find happiness again?

This book was HOT and emotional at the same time. This is the third book in a series, while I did not read the first two, I think it helps to understand the complexity of each relationship. I don't however think it is necessary to read the first two to love this book. I think the past is easily explained so anyone just picking up this book would understand the pain in both Cole and Sloan's past love affair.

This was a story of the raw and emotional aspect some gay men live through. Trying to please his father Cole decides to marry a woman and together they have twin boys. But Cole want to have his cake and eat it too. He wants his wife and kids, but Sloan on the side. Sloan has moved on from Cole knowing it would only end in disaster anyways. You see Sloan is very happy in his new relationship with Trent.  But Cole can't let go of the past and tries with everything he has to win Sloan back.

Trent I love!!!! This man had the patience of a saint. Sloan makes a big mistake the first time he sees Cole after their break-up, but runs home to tell Trent the truth. Hurt beyond imagination Trent just leaves to calm himself down before he takes it out on Sloan. Trent come up with the only punishment he can for betrayal. Make Sloan his 24/7 slave. Make Sloan prove his love and worth to Trent. And boy does Sloan ever!

Over the course of the book, you see not only how patient Trent is but how much he loves Sloan. It is clear how deep a connection there is between Trent and Sloan. But Sloan can't just move on and forget Cole. Sloan feels the need to help Cole heal and move on without Sloan. Trent is there by Sloan the whole time showing him it is ok to care and help Cole, but that Trent is the better man for Sloan.

A scorching love affair filled with drama and past horrors, but through it all love will find a way. A touching tale of powerful men willing to do whatever it takes to make his partner happy. Some really erotic and heart pounding sex scenes. Even though this was the first strictly M/M book I have ever read, I found the romance so amazing, I looked forward to the amazing raw sex and was routing for a happy ending. Is this the end of the series? I am not sure, but I would not mind reading more on these three men!

4 out of 5 stars.

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