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For Real

by Alexis Hall

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Spires (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
16217145,429 (4.3)8
Erotic Literature.Fiction.Romance.HTML:

Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he's pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can't remember being.

Toby doesn't know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won't surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have ? ? no matter how right it feels ? ? can't last. It can't mean anything.

It can't be real… (more)

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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A m/m bdsm romance in which an Oxford-educated doctor, who has had his heart broken and is in need of some serious mending, meets a young thing in his twenties, who is somehow full of both snark and sunshine, but also needs a few tender lessons in self-confidence and self-love.
I loved this story. The growing relationship between the two main characters is so lovely and well done, and the moments of deep, fraught truth between them is nicely balanced with bits of humor and steamy scenes. ( )
  electrascaife | Jul 17, 2022 |
Pros: excellent narration, both readers. I imagined Tobey played by Timothee Chalamet. I think it was a brilliant move to make the dominant the younger one. It neutralizes the ickiness inherent to any D/S relationship as seen from outside, because it's so very clear that this is not a powerful older man taking advantage of a boy. There's a lot of sex and it is REALLY good. I mean, from this switchy gal's pov. I am so envious of Tobey's pure and unrepentant sadism.

There were two quotes that I adored. The first is in chapter 6, at 48:30, where the narrator goes "it's not actually very restrictive. Heh...*yet*." That heh, yet is SO GOOD. It conveys all the fun and wicked delight of domming. So so good. And then there's "complicity is your master weapon." That is brilliant. I'm taking that for my own.

Cons: it's LONG. True, most of that is sex (which I don't really want less of). I guess the too muchness comes, for me, in the form of long internal declarations of love, and endless attachment drama. Also, I'm SO tired of jealousy being used as a stand-in for love and desire. It's in character here, but still, I'm tired of it. ( )
  AlainaZ | Jun 5, 2022 |
probably 3.75 stars but I did mostly enjoy this one!

This ended up being a lot more character driven than I was expecting going in. A lot of this book was about the characters, especially Toby, figuring out what they wanted from life and how they fit with each other. Toby's inexperience in kink and their age gap complicate the relationship, as well as Toby's confusion in what he wants to do with his life. This is definitely not a typical dom/sub book. Toby is the dom in the relationship but he is very inexperienced and has some serious confidence issues. All of this was very well written but not what I was expecting at all which effected my reading experience a bit.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Toby and Laurie and how they negotiated their relationship and their different life experiences. This is a nearly 450 page book and while their are side characters, there wasn't much interaction between them and the main characters. I would have loved to see more interaction with Laurie's friends but especially more interaction between Toby and his mom. I found their relationship to be very weird and I think that's partially because they spent so much little time together. For a book this long, I think other characters can have a bigger role.

I know this author released a very popular book this year, [b:Boyfriend Material|50225678|Boyfriend Material|Alexis Hall|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1575987260l/50225678._SX50_.jpg|73590298]. I don't know if I'll read this one. The synopsis doesn't grab me but I did like this book enough to maybe check out another of his books. I'll definitely keep and eye on this author! ( )
  AKBouterse | Oct 14, 2021 |
very good writer ( )
  ika_129 | Sep 11, 2021 |
Toby is so adorable, but he's also a Dom. I don't know how the author was able to create his voice so perfectly: a 19-yr-old, bit awkward manboy, who can't seem to shut up, which makes him very charming; but also a Dom with very deep thoughts. A baby Dom. That's the thing I liked most: one minute he recites some very deep quote from God knows where, and the next he's musing about avocados. ;DDD The author gave this man such a unique voice, and he was able to portray the young man accurately for his age.

And then there's Laurie. At first glance he doesn't act like a sub. He's almost 40-yrs-old, so there's a big age gap. He's tired of the whole club scene. And the other thing I really liked: These men didn't fit into the boxes. A dom and a sub are expected to act a certain way, to follow certain rules. But Toby and Laurie were outside of these rules, not because they thought that they're better than anyone else, but they just didn't feel like they belonged, or that anyone would get them. So they set their own rules, which.... well they didn't have rules, they just did what they liked, and what would please the other. Yes, they have a dom/sub relationship, but it's all murky, not traditional at all.

The writing is just fabulous and spectacular. The descriptions, the words the author uses. Beautiful.
Dual POV. Laurie is first person past tense, Toby present tense. I'm not sure why authors do that sometimes. But I liked both, it fit their personalities.

Let me quote Tanya Chris, who recommended this book recently in one of her giveaway post: "This book is more than a hot, romantic tale of two kinky guys finding each other and falling in love. It’s a literary masterpiece—an absolute manual on how to write distinct voices—that transcends the genre with its cultural and literary references. "

Couldn't have said it better!
Highly recommended! ( )
  Gabi90 | Apr 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hall, Alexisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berton, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guinouet, NathalieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hartley, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melzer, XeniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Spires (3)
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Epigraph
“Take me to you, imprison me,
for I,

Except you enthrall me, never
shall be free,

Nor ever chaste, except you
ravish me

—John Donne”
Dedication
First words
"Look, I've come straight from work, and I've had a really long day, and I simply haven't had time to slip into a spiky collar or a mesh shirt or whatever else you deem necessary, to get into your haven of safe, sane, and consensual depravity."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Erotic Literature.Fiction.Romance.HTML:

Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he's pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can't remember being.

Toby doesn't know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won't surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have ? ? no matter how right it feels ? ? can't last. It can't mean anything.

It can't be real

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