by Sean Michael
268 pages / 81200 words
ISBN: 978-1-60370-586-8, 1-60370-586-4
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc, paperback
Simon is not sure he'll ever find the right sub for him. His last relationship ended badly, but he's determined not to let it rule his life, so he heads for the Hammer, his favorite members-only club. A man never knows what will come his way at the Hammer, and at least his friends there know and love him.
Big, buff cowboy Jeremy just got a job as a bouncer at the Hammer, and he thinks Simon is the hottest thing he's seen in a long time. He'd never found a Dom who suits him, but Simon might just be the thing to cure his bedroom blues.
Their relationship heats up fast, but just as things seem to be as good as they can get, tragedy strikes. All of their friends from the Hammer gather to support Jeremy and Simon, but all of the support in the world might not be enough to make Jeremy let Simon in again. Can Simon hold it together long enough to convince Jeremy they're worth the effort, no matter what?
Syd McGinley, author of the Lost and Found Chaser series, writes: Jeremy is a big man – he’s muscled and beautiful. He’s ex-military, training as a blacksmith, and working as a bouncer at The Hammer -- the exclusive BDSM club at the center of Sean Michael’s series that began with Bent. Jeremy’s looking for the right partner who can satisfy his particular needs.
When Simon shows up at the Hammer, he’s just split with a man who was just “playing.” Simon’s hoping that “maybe tonight was the night he would meet someone who wanted what he could give them.”
Jeremy and Simon are wonderful and surprising together. We’re treated to many creative and hot scenes as they get to know each other and explore their boundaries. All the usual delicious Sean Michael skills are there, and the men have some fine kinks to explore. With just enough issues between them to stop life being perfect, this would be a satisfying read if Forged stopped there.
However, Michael takes the underlying theme of trust in a D/s relationship and throws it into overdrive with a plot and relationship twist that seems to change everything. In a confident and powerful move, Michael reveals that the power of this relationship, built on honesty and trust, is a healing force able to overcome mighty obstacles (and bitchy exes!)
"Did your friend get his supper in time, sir?" That deep, rich voice sounded, almost surprising him.
Simon stood and offered the man the extra chair at their table. "He did, indeed. He's out dancing now." He pointed, smiling at the sight of Les and Manning waltzing together.
"Oh, excellent. I'm pleased. I've made note of him; he'll have priority, should he need it."
"Oh, wonderful. It's nice to have someone so conscientious at the door." He sat again as the cowboy did. "I'm Simon."
"Jeremy. Pleased." The hat was gone, the dark hair short and neatly kept.
Jeremy. Simon looked into the dark eyes and smiled. Very nice.
"So, what brought you to the Hammer?"
"Well, I came to California for a guy, you know? And then the guy went and I inherited his friends."
"Well if the Hammer is what you mean by his friends, then I'd say you made a good deal. Unless this guy was perfect."
"The guy was... just not happy here, and we weren't a good fit. He headed back to Boston. He'll be better off there."
Now, that was something -- honest and decent.
"Sometimes things just don't work out." He tilted his head toward the stage. "Have you had a chance to see Micah and his boys yet?"
"I'm actually crashing on Rick's sofa right now, so yes. They're trouble, with a capital T."
Simon laughed, delighted by this man. "They are!" He looked back over to the stage. "But very beautiful."
Jeremy's chuckle slid over his nerves like a touch. "You haven't ever seen them first thing in the morning before coffee, have you?"
"No, I never have."
He got a wink, a wicked, mischievous grin. "Count yourself real lucky, sir."
Oh, yes, he did like the way Jeremy said 'sir.' He also liked that grin. "I shall keep that in mind and make sure I keep my seeing of them confined to the club."
Jeremy chuckled, smiled at him again. "I was wondering, sir, if you'd let me buy you another drink?"
The offer surprised him. He wasn't used to subs being so forward. Of course, Jeremy hadn't said he was a bottom yet. Not that Simon didn't believe it. "I believe I owe you one, Jeremy, for letting us in out of order."
Those lean cheeks went rosy, the dark eyes looking down, just for a second. "I could have a beer, thanks."
Oh, how lovely. He wondered if that blush would cover Jeremy's whole body.
He got the attention of the boy serving their table and kept half an eye on the stage. He was watching Jeremy the entire time, though. Jeremy sat easily, settled in his skin.
The man's beer came and Simon leaned forward, watching as the first mouthful disappeared between lovely lips. "So tell me, Jeremy. What are you into?"
"It depends. Are you talking about sex? Or are you talking about scenes? Or are you talking about life?"
"Yes." He nodded. He wanted to know it all.
Jeremy chuckled. "Man, that's a lot of questions. I hope you have time."
"I have all night, Jeremy." He looked the man up and down, giving up entirely the pretense that he was interested in the show going on the stage tonight.
"I'm looking for Mr. Right. I ain't into one-nighters. I like sex -- I like it a lot and I want someone strong enough to make me fly. I don't suck up, and I don't play games. I'm going to school, full-time. Uh. I'm allergic to shellfish."