by Violet Summers, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-475-9
Yikes, Daniel Ellis is going to be one of the guys in this ménage à trois story? I've never liked that guy since he showed up in Carrie's Answer. He emanated creepy possessive vibes back then, hating women with a vengeance and abetting the hero in his misogyny, no doubt because I bet he'd like a piece of that man's rear end for himself.
Imagine my complete lack of surprise when I read Daniel's Awakening and realize that he has a thing for the Worthington men. This time around, he has his eyes on Matthew Worthington, the younger brother of his best friend Marcus. Matthew, on his part, imagines that he likes women, so he doesn't understand why he's getting too excited for his good whenever he sees Daniel. Alas, all he has from Daniel was a quickie oral sex session, after which Daniel announces that letting Matthew service him is a one-time deal only and that will be the end of their "relationship".
The story is far from over, of course. We skip forward to six months later where Matthew hooks up with neighbor Shannon Whitney. Matthew, however, soon gets it on with Daniel again and Shannon realizes that she likes what she sees when she walks in on the two of them. Can both she and Matthew make Daniel less of a jerk than he already is?
As you can probably tell from my synopsis, the plot isn't really important in this story. The sexual hook-ups are more important because this story is so sexy that way. As you can also no doubt tell, I begin reading this story detesting the crap out of Daniel. To my unexpected surprise and delight, by the end of the story I'm actually... er, don't tell anyone, but I think he's pretty hot in a guilty pleasure kind of way. Matthew and Shannon are likable characters who act as a catalyst in this story for Daniel's beautiful thawing. Yeah, Daniel is an ass and a jerk, but when he grovels, I have to say that I love the way he puts those words to Matthew and Shannon.
Daniel's Surrender, like the previous two stories in the same series, is a mix of soap opera campiness and unexpectedly hard-hitting emotions. In this case, the alpha caveman is put through the emotional grinder and the result is just beautiful. Shannon, Daniel, and Matthew all have enough distinct personalities to make them come off as unique characters rather than meat puppets putting on a sex show to titillate the reader. Of course, the titillation factor is in here. Yes, really - the titillation factor is off the roof here. The sex scenes are really hot to the point that I'm half-expecting smoke to come out from my monitor.
Really hot sex scenes, unexpectedly effective and cathartic emotional drama, and... oh yeah, really hot sex scenes. What can be better than this, eh? Okay, I'm tempted to deduct a few points because the author never let Matthew top Daniel at the same time that Shannon is using her favorite oversized strap-on on Daniel. It is never a surrender until the alpha caveman is truly skewered like a pig on a pike, no? Still, all things considered, I think Violet Summers has made me a believer.
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