The Guards of Folsom series
- Pup (book #1) – click here for review
- Tag Team (book #2) – in this review
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Following the death of their sub, the former owners of the Guards of Folsom, Robert “Bobby” Alcott and Rig Beckworth, were left to pick up the pieces as best they could. After seven years, these two Doms are ready to move on and find the boy who will complete them. Their painful past comes crashing back when they meet Mason Howard, a submissive who just weeks ago lost his Doms in a car accident.
Reeling from overwhelming grief that’s complicated by a severe social anxiety disorder, Mason can barely leave his home. When Rig and Bobby find him, he’s hit rock bottom, believing life is no longer worth living. Bobby and Rig set out to prove the younger man wrong. Fate has brought the three men together, but they’ll have to face fear and loss head on before they can all truly live again.
So what did I think?
This book was unexpected in many ways – such a powerful portrayal of grief and the effect loss has on someone not prepared to go out into the world.
From the very beginning the grief is palpable as Mason faces the trauma of losing both his Doms in one horrifying accident. Alone and suffering, Mason finally decides he can’t face the future until fate intervenes.
Mason appeared much younger than his thirties, perhaps due to the circumstances of his anxiety disorder, and he is certainly in need of care. Bobby and Rig stumble on Mason while they are on holidays and are immediately drawn to him with a strong desire to protect the fragile man.
“What were the chances these men would show up in his life when they did? What were the chances that he’d respond to them the way he had? What were the chances that he’d feel calm and safe within the presence of these men, when his entire life he’d been so afraid of strangers?”
The building of the relationship was handled beautifully with a couple of key strengths that provided a sense of realism and permanence to the bond between the three men. Firstly, the sexual elements were not rushed and secondly even Mason himself questions the reason he can move on seemingly so quickly “Was he grasping on to something that wasn’t real? Hoping to replace the irreplaceable?” There is a sense of trust and deep caring that gradually becomes more…“A connection born out of pain and loss was solidified while standing under the spray of the cascading shower, or maybe he just hadn’t realized that it had been growing stronger and more complete each day they spent together and only now comprehended the significance of their relationship.”
This book treats the Mason’s mental and emotional problems with seriousness, both Bobby and Rig insisting that Mason needs both adequate supervision (to ensure he doesn’t do anything silly) and also proper professional assistance. This is not a quick fix situation but a long term plan to ensure his full health, addressing the grief but just as importantly finally addressing the long term anxiety suffered by Mason.
The Doms were both gorgeous, fussing over Mason and being so loving. Both Bobby and Rig are just big softies at heart! I loved the way Bobby was described as being “the nurturing type, the one who cooked, fussed over dusty baseboards, and the one to tend a red ass or put salve on a flogged back.”
This is not so much a book about dominance and submission but more a story of overcoming grief and learning to love again.
It was also very special to read the author’s note. My heart broke a little as SJD (Jo) Peterson shared a little of her life with us. I do hope her experience and words of advise are able to help anyone who is suffering such loss and heartbreak.
To find out more about S.J.D. Peterson and her books visit her website.