Author: K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Book: An Unlocked Mind
Series: Secrets, Book #2
Page/Word Count: 316 pages, 110K words
Categories: Gay Romance, BDSM & Erotic Romance
Release Date: December 11, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
4✨s – Secrets #2, in the spin-off series of Collars and Cuffs by this wonderful author duo, harks back to the very first book, An Unlocked Heart. Rob is Alex’s brother, who treated Alex horribly before he moved out to be with Leo. Five years later, Rob has made some attempt to better himself, so far without promising results. In part, his efforts stem from observing Alex and Leo together along with his glimpses of the BDSM lifestyle. In spite of his fascination, he’s in complete denial of both his desires and sexuality. Meeting Vic sets him on course to truly change his ways, with emotional support and constructive feedback. There’s a very slow burn, nearly half the book passing before any other progression between Rob and Vic, either physically or romantically.
I do know these authors like to build strong foundations for their characters and relationships, which the slower pace accomplished. It was a bit too slow for me in the first half and Rob’s internal struggles with himself were kind of repetitive. The second half moved along better, as Rob follows Vic’s guidance, before agreeing to D/s interaction. I liked the gradual improvement, even when it took forever to get things through his thick head. There’s very little of the more common BDSM play, as most is more mental than physical. I really appreciated that Rob never loses his assertive, “bratty” nature, although his anger became childish at times. Jarod is featured once again, at first hostile to Rob’s entry to the club, but that changes later. Sometimes, the timeframe seemed muddled, where it seemed like months passed, only to find it was just a few weeks. It bothered me but I guess that’s a subjective thing.
Although these stories have a formal club setting, it never descends into formal, stuffy activities or characters. Rob’s personality is a departure from subs depicted in typical BDSM stories. There’s a different take on BDSM too, the focus less on scenes and equipment, and more on the feelings engendered by aspects of the lifestyle. It works as a stand-alone, with details from Alex’s book explained as needed. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book and the characters to be featured.
About K.C. Wells:
K.C. Wells started writing in 2012, although the idea of writing a novel had been in her head since she was a child. But after reading that first gay romance in 2009, she was hooked.
She now writes full time, and the line of men in her head, clamouring to tell their story, is getting longer and longer. If the frequent visits by plot bunnies are anything to go by, that’s not about to change anytime soon.
Parker Williams believes that everyone deserves a chance at happily ever after. He also knows that it seldom comes without a price tag. He writes men who are flawed, but redeemable by love – usually. He writes m/m romance in several sub-genres, but one thing remains consistent: Love is power, no matter who you’re in love with.
Where to find Parker Williams: