The Good Boy

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imageTitle: The Good Boy
Author: Lisa Henry & J. A. Rock
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher Buy Link
Amazon Buy Link: The Good Boy
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance / BDSM / Fetish
Length: Novel
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 rating stars

A Guest Review by Raine

Summary Review: Sometimes an uncomfortable read, always compelling, eventually heart warming – the cast of characters reveal varying and realistic degrees of being good, bad and ugly.

Blurb: Introverted college student Lane Moredock is in a bad place. His mother has been arrested for securities fraud, his father is on the run, and everyone, including the SEC, suspects Lane knows where the missing millions are. Lane, with no money and nowhere to live, makes a desperate deal that lands him in trouble and leaves him unwilling to trust a so-called Dom again.

Photographer Derek Fields lost money to the Moredocks, and is as sure as anyone that Lane is guilty despite his claims. A chance meeting with Lane shows him there might be something more to the young man than arrogance and privilege, and Derek wonders if Lane might be just what he’s been looking for: a sub with the potential to be a life partner.

As Lane slowly begins to open up to Derek and explore his needs as a submissive, the investigation closes tighter around him. Lane might be everything that Derek wants, but first Derek needs to trust that Lane is innocent–and Lane needs to trust Derek with the truth.

Review:

There were sections of this book that made me want to hide behind my imaginary sofa. Lane, who is displayed with some brutal honesty here, is perhaps one of the most openly vulnerable characters I have read. He suffers at the hands of people who have a duty of care to him and still betray him. Happily the other characters in the book balance this abuse with various displays of kindness, but they also show a full range of genuine human emotion, including anger, resentment, bitterness, jealousy, but best of all compassion. Against a very emotional backdrop there are family scenes, involving unprepossessing rescue dogs, a rude bird, an even ruder brat and an outspoken but well meaning mother, which are very warm and funny.

Derek is a complex man with a beautifully written personality. I was very relieved when he started to look after Lane so that I could relax a bit. He gently works at understanding Lane’s layers of complicated needs. I loved his bone deep kindness and his uncertainties. He has conflicting but completely understandable reactions to Lane which revealed his essentially admirable character but were never exaggerated to amp up the existing tensions.

We share most intimacy with Lane in his confused introspection as he tries to make sense of his instinctive emotional and sexual hopes. For all that Lane is treated badly, which we see in some flashback scenes, he is not a simple victim or a ‘ wet noodle ‘. He takes responsibility for his life. The tentative scenes with Derek are gently revealing. Lane’s attraction with and repulsion from the Dom / Sub relationship is explored very carefully as their trust grows. I have not read ‘ puppy play ‘ before that made sense to me, but here it reveals much about Lane’s needs. It also quite gently parallels his own relationship with Derek’s sister Christy’s rescue dogs.

I really liked the other well rounded characters in this story. Brin brings in a lot of tart humour as an enthusiastic brat, but was not a cliche, showing in his changing attitude to Lane that he is more than a tantrum throwing extrovert. We hear Derek’s mum as she enthusiastically suggests subs for him, springing BDSM out of the kink closet into every day conversation. However while I could see that the writers did not want to portray Acton as an black hearted villain I never managed any sympathy for him. For me his treatment of Lane had the smell of child abuse about it. As for Lane’s selfish charming dishonest  parents, I agree with all the other characters said about them. The wide range of characters fully engaged my emotions.

There is a thoughtful discussion underlying the story about the nature of differing BDSM relationships, which added to the impression that life is about complication and variety, so much more than a simplistic jigsaw of matching alphabetic needs. Lane comes to recognise that his relationship with Derek is about giving and sharing. He and Derek find each other a match in this well written, not always comfortable but eventually very satisfying read.

Recommended

20 thoughts on “The Good Boy

  1. Leslie S

    Great review, Raine. I enjoy Lisa Henry’s books but am always wary about co-written stories, but this sounds like an excellent read so I’ll be picking it up as soon as I get home :smile:

    1. Raine

      Hello Leslie,
      I have only read one other book by Lisa Henry and found it rather more hard edged than I like….being a wuss…..so I came to this one as a J. A. Rock fan. I think they work this one well together. It is a quality read. :grin:

      1. Leslie S

        I read it last night and really enjoyed it. I felt so much for Lane and Derek was great! I also loved Mr Zimmerman the parrot, he cracked me up. A fab read, I must check out JA Rock’s other books now. Thanks again for a great review :grin:

        1. Raine

          Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed it.

          I reviewed J. A. Rocks’s Calling the Show, which I also really enjoyed, very different to this one too.

  2. rdafan7

    I liked this story also, and agree that altho there were parts that made it difficult to read, they were balanced by the care and concern that Derek (and others) displayed for Lane. I really didn’t like or feel sympathy for Acton.
    Also agree with your comment about the differing degrees/types of BDSM, learned some new things here!
    Also, I loved the Parrot! :grin:

    1. Raine

      Pleased you had similar thoughts to mine rdafan7. I really got a hate on for Acton it is rare I react so strongly to a character. :eek:

      Of the animal characters it was the dogs that got to me, the steam punk comment about the split eared boy made me really giggle. :grin:

  3. Mercedes

    I just finished this last night and really enjoyed it. I am not intimate enough with both writers’ style to be able to say who wrote what. So to those who may have qualms about co-written stories I can tell them that I at least didn’t feel this story was disjointed.

    I loved the parrot and Brin as well LOL! Actually there were tons of characters to get t love in this book: Andy, Erin even patient Ferg and fiery Christy. But of course most of all I loved Lane and Derek. I love Derek’s care for Lane. Yes the book was a bit hard to read at time but it was all balanced nicely.

    Great great book!

    1. Raine

      I agree Mercedes, these two writers are a class act together.

      It will be a reread for me, but I will probably speed read some of the stuff Lane goes through.

  4. Raine

    I thought this was a formula free zone, I haven’t read anything quite like this. The family take on the BDSM was a particularly nice touch for me. :grin:

    Thanks Val.

    1. Mercedes

      I was just coming back to comment on this. This was the first BDSM book where I see the person is out to the family in terms of their BDSM lifestyle (coming out as gay? that is SO yesterday, lol). Everyone was so open about it (except Lane, haha, and it was funny to see the mom and sister try to find a sub for Derek. First time I see that in a book.

      1. Raine

        It was a good way of getting across Derek’s thoughts on relationships as he dealt with his mum’s comments. Yet as you say it was the humour it brought with it that really worked. Good stuff. :grin:

  5. cloudless9193

    Thank you for the review. This was one of the books I would have read non-stop if there hadn’t been such minor things to consider like working and sleeping. It’s definitely one of my favourites. :-)

    1. Raine

      Aunt Lynn sent me the book at about 1am my time and I was still awake at 3 am……then I couldn’t sleep cos I was thinking about it all!

      I have read some fine BDSM books recently, they are bucking the trend for my other reads.

      Very pleased this was a hit with you. :smile:

  6. Luce

    FTR, my wallet HATES you! ;) This review totes sold me on the book so I’ve gone ahead and bought it. In all truth, it’s been a while since I’ve read any new BDSM books. After the rise of 50 Shades, the market’s been flooded with really shoddy novels. Although I do enjoy reading M/M in that genre, it’s been hard to find something that wasn’t written “by the numbers” so to speak.

    Thank you for the wonderful review. Though I’m really unfamiliar with either author, this book sounds like a worthy read. :)

    1. Raine

      Hi Luce,

      Hope you really like it, as I mentioned before it is not the usual flavour of BDSM, so fingers crossed it will be okay for you. :grin:

      If you want another BDSM book, Sammy reviewed Fettered by Lyn Gala, which is really good too.

      1. Luce

        If you want another BDSM book, Sammy reviewed Fettered by Lyn Gala, which is really good too.

        As it happens, I saw the review for Lyn’s book and snatched that one as well. LOL

  7. Wave

    Raine
    On your recommendation I will definitely be reading The Good Boy. I have been so incensed at all the BDSM stories released since Fifty Shades where there was no research done about the D/s lifestyle, and the information in the books was sometimes dangerous. It seems that The Good Boy is a game changer and I look forward to reading this story.

    Wonderfully written review.

    1. Raine

      Thank you Wave, I hope it is one BDSM that you can enjoy. :grin:
      I have had a good run recently, but they have been books by some of our best authors, I would have been truly disappointed if they were not up to scratch.

      1. Wave

        I have one BDSM book written by one of the best writers of the genre that I haven’t reviewed as yet because I’m so disappointed. I’ll have to “man up” soon.

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