Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Finders Keepers by Jaime Samms

Book two in the Tales from Rainbow Alley Series

All his life, Rory Sanders just wanted please the people he loves and always thought he failed, until the day Gabriel Stark rescues him from Kane's abusive hands and Rory's own misconceptions of what it means to be submissive.

His search for a way into the world that lets him live out his need to serve others has left Rory Sanders estranged from his family and without a lot of friends. When he meets Kane, he thinks his dreams have come true. Those dreams are shattered when he discovers Kane is less interested in his submission than his total subjugation and humiliation. Unable to figure out how to please Kane, Rory is left in a dangerous and humiliating position, bound and helpless in a fetish club where he at last meets people who understand.

Gabriel Stark is not only the private investigator called in to figure out who Kane is and why he has been abusing submissive men, he's also a professional Dom and the man of Rory's dreams come to life. It remains to be seen if Gabe can overcome his own losses and mistakes and be the Dom Rory needs, or if he will let his own past be the ruin of yet another submissive who needs his help. That Rory is physically, emotionally, and intellectually everything Gabe has been looking for only makes Gabe more determined not to get emotionally invested in Rory's recovery.

Keeping Rory safe from Kane might be more than Gabe can manage on his own, and the result of failure could cost the submissive his life.

Rory is absolutely broken when Kane leaves him tied up in a club. He’s gone the lowest he can go mentally, and his levels of trust are zero. Kane was supposed to love him, to be the perfect Dom but instead was a monster intent on using Rory in any way he saw fit. Kane played on Rory’s kind nature, his submissiveness, and I hated the man with a vengeance. What he did to Rory was inexcusable, but these things go on in life, and I had my eyes opened wide.

Gabriel Stark (magnificent name!), a man intent on finding Kane and ending his reign of terror on submissive men, takes Rory under his wing. He’s attracted to the willowy guy, wants to nurture and protect him, which means he’s treading on dangerous ground. Gabriel is good at fixing people but has always been able to keep emotions out of it in the past—emotions that could lead to a relationship, that is. He can separate his mind from his body when having sex, doesn’t tend to get invested relationship-wise to the men he has relations with, but he knows full well that Rory is different. Gabriel struggles to maintain a distance between them but at the same time being caring enough to teach Rory he can trust again.

Rory is a man who you just know, although broken at first, can come around and grow in mind and spirit. With Gabriel’s help, he changes, learns to trust, and that journey, reading about it, was one of the most beautiful things. The level of abuse in the book is there for a reason—as a reader you need to be aware of just how bad things were for Rory in order to appreciate the triumph with him when he overcomes the obstacles in his life.

I cried, I worried, I invested one hell of a lot of emotion in these guys, and when the shocking conclusion slaps you in the face, when you realise that my God, if what happens happens, things could just be turned upside down, you’ll find your heart thumping and panic growing. I honestly felt these things, didn’t want the bad part to be as bad as I imagined it would be, and to find out whether it is, you’ll have to pick up this book for yourself.

Jaime Samms is an exquisite author who gets right into the characters’ psyches and displays them on the page with beautiful wording. She has a knack of showing vulnerability, of having true-to-life people who have mountains to climb that seem too high, but with her obvious compassion for the needy and wanting to fix their cracked and jagged lives, she takes her characters to the place they need to be in order to rest easy.

…telling myself I didn’t ache inside because it wasn’t Kane saying it, wasn’t Kane there taking me down and comforting me. He’d hurt me, and he obviously didn’t give a shit. That shouldn’t hurt more than the physical side, but it did.

The tall stools around the periphery perched, upturned like a flock of confused cranes, legs in the air, on the tables and counters.

I picked up my mug at last, a woefully inadequate bit of ceramic to hide behind…

I didn’t imagine his chest puff out a tiny bit…

The dull words thudded into me like fists, leaving bruises.

It was a relief to know I was still in there inside my own skin somewhere.

The geraniums by the door dipped sadly, almost kissing the lips of their pots.

Itty bitty, skinny little fucker size.

“…Scratch and dent sale. You Want?” (This made me cry—a LOT.)

A beautiful, heart-rending tale that shows one man’s journey to overcome the utter devastation his world had turned into. Learning to trust again after such a horrific time is difficult, but with Gabriel’s help—and he is an angel!—Rory can at last look forward to a brilliant life of love and happiness.

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