When Arlo boarded a bus to Philadelphia to turn himself over to a master he’d never met, he thought he was on his way home, that he would finally have both the sex he craved and an authority figure to care for him in a way his parents never had. But what he got was worse. Much, much worse. Now he’s been rescued, but where does that leave him?
Officer Cade Brixby immediately bonded with the young sub they rescued—a curly-haired, blue-eyed cherub who needs to be taught the right way to engage in power exchange. But not by him, and not until Arlo has had a chance to process his traumatic past. Brixby’s only taking care of Arlo for now, keeping him safe and making sure he eats. He has no business playing with the boy. Even if Arlo asks. A lot.
Professionally, Brixby is off the case. Or so he’s been told by his captain. But he and his band of vigilante kinksters won’t rest until every kidnapped sub has been found and the kidnappers brought to justice. Arlo might be able to provide them with some valuable information.
Or he might be bait.
Content warning: the opening chapter details an abusive situation that may be disturbing to some readers.
“Shh, Arlo. Don’t cry, angel. It’s okay.” Brixby’s own voice woke him. For a moment, he wondered if he’d been dreaming that Arlo was crying, but no, Arlo was really crying—still asleep but whimpering, curled on his side facing away from Brixby rather than half on top of him like usual.
“Arlo? Come on, angel. Wake up for me.” He nuzzled a kiss behind Arlo’s ear as he stroked soothing circles into the warm, bare flesh of his stomach. Arlo gave a wild jerk and then settled, the rhythm of his breathing letting Brixby know he was awake now. “Bad dream?”
“I don’t remember.”
Brixby could guess Terzini had been involved, but was Arlo haunted by what Terzini had done to him or sad about him being dead? Or maybe Arlo was afraid the people who’d murdered Terzini would come for him next.READ MORE
“Well, whatever it was, you’re safe now.” He pulled Arlo into a spoon only to realize he was hard, probably from his own dreams. His cock was now firmly wedged between the pert globes of Arlo’s ass. He started to ease away, but Arlo clung to him, holding him in place.
“Arlo.” He meant no, but his tongue tracing over the shell of Arlo’s ear sent a different message.
Arlo squirmed around to face him. “Please can we? You don’t have to be my Dom, just…” He took a deep inhale, then let it out with a sigh of longing that went straight through Brixby’s soul. “I just want to feel good.”
It was too dark to blame Arlo’s blue eyes or golden curls, but an image of how Arlo would look if Brixby could see him came unbidden. His cheeks would be lightly flushed and his mouth would be hanging open with soft vulnerability. A mix of lust and need would gleam in his eyes.
Brixby groaned in desperate refusal even as he leaned forward, surrendering to the inevitability of this mistake. His mouth found Arlo’s unerringly. Arlo’s lips were soft and sweet, so willingly parted and accommodating. Brixby licked over them, mapping their every curve. There was still time to stop this. He’d kissed Arlo before, gently and kindly. He could call a halt here—on the dangerous edge between caretaker and lover, between friend and Dom.
Or he could take.COLLAPSE
Susie Umphers on Amazon wrote:
After finishing the first book, I just couldn't wait to read more and I wanted Arlo and Brixby's story so much, but I didn't know this book is going to be this good! It was just perfect. From the first letter to the very last, perfect!
Karen C on Amazon wrote:
I love a good hero story and this one is definitely that. Officer Cade Brixby is just the man you would want to rescue you from a bad situation and they don't get much worse than the situation Arlo finds himself in. As always, Tanya Chris gives us characters we fall in love with and want to see together. What I also appreciate in the books in this series is the way Chris gives information about the appropriate behaviors in a bdsm lifestyle and the emphasis and care given to consent, aftercare and all the things critical to the respect of persons. You know that while the scenes are going to be incredibly hot, they are also going to be loving. The continuing plot thread of the trafficking ring is expertly handled as we unravel the mystery piece by piece in each book. I can't wait to see it all come together in book #3.
Arlo’s journey from apathy to confidence gave me hope while Brixby brought all the bossy-sweet feels, each bringing out the best qualities in the other as the spark between them smolders into a slow, satisfying burn. Arlo and Brixby made me laugh and sometimes want to strangle them but seeing them learn the best ways to take care of each other while never losing track of themselves was a pleasure.
A big shout out too for a vibrant cast of supporting characters who embody the vibe of found family, and the hilarious Mrs. Zhao, outwardly surly but secretly caring, who brings life lessons and a side order of dumplings to those who need them most.