I love Susan Mac Nicol’s books so it was wonderful to be asked to participate in her Two Year Anniversary celebrations. CONGRATULATIONS, SUSAN! ❤
It got me thinking about Susan’s books so I thought I’d pull a review from the vault and share with you. Here’s my review from November 2013, for one of my favourites, Saving Alexander.
Punishing himself for a horrific past that is not his fault, bestselling author Alexander Montgomery seeks redemption and love—and perhaps he will find it.
Famous author though he may be, Alexander Montgomery is not someone you take home to meet Mother. Seriously flawed, damaged by a horrific past, he’s trying hard to claw his way back to normality. But how can anyone respect what he truly is? His therapy involves regular sessions at Study in Scarlet, an exclusive S&M club.
Then comes Sage. Tall, with black hair and blue eyes, an up-and-coming actor with impossible charm and boy-next-door good looks, he’s the perfect choice to play the leading man in a TV adaptation of Alex’s last best-seller. Even more, he is a man you introduce to your family. Which Alex would do—if he weren’t taken by another man who offers the punishments Alex prays will wipe away the past and make him the person he wants to be. Yet, perhaps there is another path to redemption. If only the solution would reach out and touch him.
It feels a little strange to be saying how much I loved a book about a man punishing himself for the sins of others but I so much enjoyed this story! Susan Mac Nicol tells a wonderful tale as she pairs a very broken man with the one man who can deliver him a future.
It was heartbreaking to read of Alexander’s torment, of his traumatic past and the way he viewed himself due to the actions of others.“I’m so scared I’ll never be able to have a proper relationship, that I’ll always be on my own because no one wants damaged goods.” As well as seeing a professional psychologist, he chooses to punish himself physically during regular S&M sessions with Eric. These ‘therapy’ sessions are violent and savage and provide a direct contrast to the physical relationship that Alex shares with Sage.
Sage is gorgeous. He is also caring and very compassionate. He is so accepting of Alex’s situation, seeing the man behind the emotional and physical scars. He does make the perfect saviour.
Jealousy does play a role in the story as Sage battles with Alex’s dependency on Eric and there are ramifications as a result of Alex’s changing needs.
The plot is unique with the romance between Alex and Sage paralleling Alex’s involvement with Eric, while events occur putting lives at risk, all set against a backdrop of a TV series film set.
From my heartbreak for Alex, my pure hatred of Eric and my admiration and respect for Sage, this was an emotional journey. Highly recommended!
Do check out the book trailer!
Sage moved toward Alex swiftly and Alex flinched as if he expected him to hit him or worse. Instead, Sage pulled him close, kissing him with a hunger that he hadn’t ever felt before for a man. Alex stiffened at first and then finally relaxed into him, his arms wrapping tightly around Sage’s neck, his mouth devouring Sage’s in a kiss that seemed to swallow him whole. Alex’s hands wound themselves tightly into Sage’s hair as he ground his mouth against his, pressing his body against Sage’s, leaving no doubt how the man felt.
Alex seemed to want to meld them together as one. Eventually they needed to come up for air and when they did, they were gasping at the intensity of their passion for each other.
“Jesus, Sage, I wasn’t expecting that. I didn’t think you’d want me after that story,” Alex breathed against Sage’s mouth, driving him even crazier with desire.
Sage thought he might explode there and then. “Does this feel like a man who doesn’t want to be with you?” His voice was low as he ran his hands over Alex’s hips, pressing himself against him.
Both men moaned at feeling their hardness against each other’s stomachs. Alex reached down to caress Sage’s groin.
“God, don’t do that,” Sage groaned. “I’m barely holding it in as it is.”
Alex’s low chuckle made Sage’s control even more difficult as Alex reached out first to turn out the light Sage had originally come to switch off, then to pull Sage over to the two -seater couch in the corner of the office. The room was now pitch dark with only the dim streets lights from outside shining through.
“It’s not the Ritz but it’ll have to do. I so want you to fuck me, Sage. It’s all I’ve been thinking about for weeks,” Alex murmured, unzipping his jeans, tugging them and his silk boxers down over his hips.
His erection sprung out, ready and glistening with moisture. Sage couldn’t take his eyes off it as he yanked down his own pants. Alex reached out and pulled Sage’s shirt over his head, then slid a hand through his chest hair and his shoulders. Sage closed his eyes at Alex’s touch, feeling himself stiffen even more, his breath ragged and deep.
“Christ, Alex,” Sage murmured, knowing his limits and conscious that he’d reached most of them. “I’m not made of bloody steel, and you’ve been driving me crazy for weeks as well.”
“I have to leave my shirt on, Sage.” Alex’s voice was filled with resolve. “I’m not ready to take it off yet.”
Sage nodded. “If that’s what you want.” His hands stroked Alex’s back through the fabric, feeling the play of the man’s muscles beneath his eager fingers. He pushed Alex back onto the studio couch, covering him with his own body, so the men’s cocks were sandwiched together, skin to skin, slickness to slickness.
“No foreplay needed,” Alex whispered in his ear, his breath tickling the sensitive skin . “I just want to feel you inside me. It’s all I want right now.”
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Susan Mac Nicol is a self confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…
She is never happier than when sitting in the confines of her living room/study/on a cold station platform scribbling down words and making two men fall in love. She is a romantic at heart and believes that everything happens (for the most part) for a reason. She likes to think of herself as a ‘half full’ kinda gal, although sometimes that philosophy is sorely tested.
Lover of walks in the forest, theatre productions, dabbling her toes in the cold North Sea and the vibrant city of London where you can experience all four seasons in a day , she is a hater of pantomime (so please don’t tar and feather her), duplicitous people, bigotry and self righteous idiots.
In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.
Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK.