Saturday, 19 September 2015

Submitting to the Darkness by K.C. Wells


Pages: 278
Date: September 19, 2015
Details: No. 3 Island Tales       
             ARC received from the Author

The blurb:

Three weeks after being diagnosed with acute glaucoma, Adam Kent lost his vision. Two months down the line, and he’s left behind his life in London as an author of political history books and retreated to the Isle of Wight, to live in the house he inherited in Steephill Cove. But that’s not all Adam’s left behind him: the trappings of his life as a Dom are packed away into three boxes and stored in his attic. After all, he’s never going to need them again, right? Who’d want a blind Dom anyway?

Paul Vaughan is employed to be a live-in companion to Adam, but his new employer makes it very clear he wants to be left alone. Paul can see Adam is hurting and struggles to help him, even though Adam resists him at every turn. Thankfully, Paul’s friends Taylor, Mark and Sam are there to lend an ear when he needs to vent – and also to try setting him up with a guy or two. It’s not that Paul doesn’t appreciate their efforts, but the guys they keep sending his way are way too… nice. A chance visit to a club had already shown Paul a side to him he’d never expected: maybe his tastes are a little kinkier.

Two events occur to rock Paul’s life: he discovers his boss isn’t as straight as Paul had thought, and he takes a peek into a box….

My thoughts:

My second book by K.C. Wells in as many weeks and it is another winner. Unlike First, Submitting to the Darkness doesn’t quite reach the levels of ‘extra special’ for me, but it sure comes close.

This book gave me two characters I could relate to. Paul Vaughn is kind, good hearted and not altogether sure of himself. While he may be curious about submission and playing with the thought that he might to explore that, he is nobody’s pushover and stands up for himself and what he knows is right just as easily as he’ll push his own needs away when he feels somebody else’s needs are more urgent. All of these qualities make him the perfect caregiver for Adam Kent.

When the book starts Adam is the polar opposite of Paul. Cantankerous, easily irritated and angry with his body and the unfairness of life in general, he just wants to be left alone so he can wallow in his depression. This might have made him a horrible character, except that his feelings and reactions make perfect sense. Of course Adam is upset and angry. He lost his eye-sight over the course of three weeks and as far as he’s concerned, the rest of his life went with it. How can he be independent, a writer or a Dom if he can’t see? He’s made up his mind that he’s better off on his own and determined to make sure nobody sticks around to try and take care of him. Of course, he wasn’t prepared to come up against a force named Paul.

I loved the way Paul’s quiet determination slowly but carefully coaxed Adam out of his depression. Maybe Adam has to push his way through anger before he can start on the road to recovery, but Paul is prepared for that – even if knowing what is happening and why doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to deal with unreasonable outbursts or the conflicting signals Adam is sending him.

I loved the process these two men went through. I hurt for them when they thought they were wrong for each other while I, the reader knew, exactly how perfect their fit was. And I adore the way that particular issue was resolved.

I should probably say something about the title, because I think it was rather cleverly chosen. Paul has caught a glimpse of the world of BDSM and thinks he might be interested in a closer look at what he privately calls ‘the dark side’. So, does the title refer to his journey down that particular road? Or does the title reflect Adam’s very literal need to submit to the darkness which has surrounded him ever since he lost his eyesight? I won’t tell, of course, but I will say that I liked the way this title and all its nuances played out in the book.

And then there is something I’ve loved in most if not all of K.C Wells’s books This lady is a genius when it comes to giving the reader angst which is neither contrived nor drawn out. In fact, in this book it wasn’t the conflict itself that had me on the edge of my seat but rather the certainty that conflict was coming - and knowing exactly why - while not knowing what form it would take and how long it might take Adam and Paul to fix the issue. For me, who isn’t a huge fan of angst, it was a perfect scenario.

And then I come to the heat levels in this book. I’ve read plenty of hot books in the past. This has been the first time ever I’ve felt the need to contact the author mid-read and have the following conversation (and this is an exact copy from Facebook messages):

Woman, that book of yours needs to come with a health warning. Js


I'm sure I don't know what you mean.....

Let's put it this way. Yesterday afternoon, flying back to Ireland ad reading Submitting to the Darkness I had a thought I've never had before; as in, 'just as well I'm not a man and don't have a cock'.


That would have been very uncomfortable. Especially since I was wearing tight trousers.

So yeah, I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I had to take my time reading it because of other commitments but knowing the story was waiting for me gave me something good to look forward while I went about my business. In K.C. Wells I may have found the M/M romance writer who comes closest to my personal set of reading requirements, which makes me a very lucky, happy and satisfied reader.


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