Review: Hesitant Heart (The Hampton Road Club #1) by Morticia Knight

February 5, 2015 Review 1

Review: Hesitant Heart (The Hampton Road Club #1) by Morticia Knight

Sam is a naïve young man who arrives in Hollywood to escape his brutal father. When the older, sophisticated Aaron rescues him, Sam discovers what it means to fully surrender himself to another.

Eighteen year-old Sam Cunningham is used to living with lots of secrets. He’s had to hide his true nature his entire life or else incur the wrath of his strict and abusive father. When he’s faced with a horrible ultimatum, he flees to Hollywood where he hopes he can escape the fate his father has planned for him.

Aaron Rubenstein is a wealthy and sophisticated man who loses himself in painting portraits of bound men to help stave off his loneliness and despair. Unable to find a lasting connection with anyone, he’s had to resort to paying lovers not only for their affections, but to be allowed to indulge in his darker passions. Aaron’s only respite is his nights at the Hampton Road sadomasochism club where he’s a respected Dominant.

Naïve and inexperienced in the ways men can please one another, Sam takes a job at a bathhouse where he first glimpses a beautiful older man. Aaron notices the sweet towel boy watching him with interest every time he patronizes the Temple of Eros bathhouse. A traumatic incident for the innocent towel boy triggers Aaron’s protective tendencies and he’s compelled to rescue the gentle Sam from the clutches of the Temple’s manager.

They embark on a journey together that teaches them both things about themselves that they never knew. As their bond deepens and Sam is trained for his first night at the Hampton Road Club, an unknown danger lurks. Will Sam’s father find him and destroy both men’s chance for true happiness together? Or will Aaron protect his boy and keep him for always?

Reader advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

Title: Hesitant Heart
Author: Morticia Knight
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Dangerous Wish, What's His Passion?, All Fired Up, Hard Riders Anthology
Series: The Hampton Road Club #1
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: The Rules of Love, The Fear of Surrender, Mastering Love
Published by Totally Bound
Source: Publisher
Published: November 17, 2014
Genres: BDSM, Erotic Historical Romance, Male Male Romance, Suspense
Pages: 174
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: five-flames

Let’s get the warnings out of the way first.  If you are the least bit squeamish about kinky sex in your stories, run – don’t walk – run away right now!  This is not only an m/m romance, but it is heavy on the BDSM.  Not only is there the total power exchange going on, but definite sadomasochism as well.  Do not say you were not warned then rant at the author.  The author did an amazing job telling this story.

I loved the little twists that were put into this.  Like the fact that it took place in 1925, making it a bit of an historical.  The hero, Aaron, drove a Stutz Bearcat.  Talk about the “bee’s knees!”  Suspenders were on the way out and the belt was becoming the thing to wear, which pleased Aaron to no end.  He found it rather handy.  Prohibition has created the speakeasy and gay men went to bath houses or “pansy houses.” (Not terribly fond of that designation.)

For historical reference – the term BDSM had not been coined yet.  It was simply sadomasochism and illegal.  Being gay was also illegal.  Some interesting measures were taken to hide both.  Therefore the concept of a “club for like-minded men” that dealt with both was not only novel, but had the potential of being quite dangerous.

That brings us to the story.  Boy sees man.  Man rescues boy.  I enjoyed these characters.  As in many contemporary BDSM romances, both are damaged in some way.  The Dom has pretty much given up on finding his one.  The sub comes from an abusive situation.  You know, the usual.  Nothing terribly new there, but the time period made it seem so different.  Not being able to so much as touch in public for fear someone might notice, made for a tense moment or two.  Also, I don’t know if is the time period or the M/m feature, but the sadomasochism was so much more intense.  Add to that the characters actually preferred a 24/7 type arrangement and well, the heat factor was through the roof.

So, dump this kind relationship into 1925 and you can imagine there is going to be problems somewhere.  Some interesting, unexpected, and unique action takes place. Completely area appropriate.  I loved it.

The Hampton Road Club – fascinating place.  I loved how it was set up to service the needs of its members.  Much like the contemporary clubs, but a bit more on the lawless side.  Deliciously decedent.

In spite of the sadomasochism and 24/7 aspects of this story, it was still on the sweet side.  The relationship that develops between Aaron and Sam was so trusting and giving.  It was beautiful!  *sigh*

In conclusion, if you don’t mind a walk on the dark side, this is a beautiful read. The author did an excellent job of portraying characters and situations in a different time period.  It kept me glued to my reader, not wanting miss a detail.

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