Now I love this series and I keep rereading the first and third book. However, this book was my least favorite of the trilogy. So much of it turned me off to the point where I ended up skimming a majority of the book. Apparently a lot of people liked this book so maybe it's just me but I had huge problems with this book.
First, this book made me dislike Alex greatly. I mean, punching a defenseless kid half your size just because he told you to fuck off after you made him all emotional? And then to say you shouldn’t have pushed him? Really? Blaming the victim? That makes me think of a domestic abuse victim saying that if only I had been better… You don’t blame the victim for your anger issues. And then for Drew to get upset at Petey and blame him when Alex deserved to get his butt kicked? Again, you don’t blame the victim for something they couldn’t control. As Matt would say, you deal with the consequences of your actions. Alex did the crime, he does the time. And I get that Drew was siding with his Master but to turn on Petey after saying that you love him? When your Master was in the wrong? That definitely marred my image of Drew. To turn on someone you supposedly love like that? I get that he was emotional, but that seemed so left field to me that it changed my impression of Drew, and not for the better.
In fact, I spent most of this book feeling sorry for Petey. First he has to deal with Ryan and while that turns out okay, then there’s the crap Matt made him do in the mall just to see if he’d do it. I mean really? Petey could have been arrested or gotten into serious trouble. And that was way more than extreme. I had to skip that part as it just made me dislike Matt even more. To make Petey do that and then tell him that he’s going to keep returning to that mall to work out in the gym? People remember stuff like that and what happens if he runs into one of them in the future? I think there were other things Matt could have done to provide the same effect and that what he did was not just humiliating, but also unnecessarily cruel.
Then, Petey gets punched so hard, he gets a broken nose and a black eye. From his Master’s best friend of all people, someone he should be able to trust. Then, Matt severely punishes Petey for telling Alex to fuck off (and btw, he has an injured nose and a black eye already) by giving Ryan (same one from beginning of book who Petey hates) temporary control of Petey. Which then leads to Petey getting beat up again and raped, and back to the hospital he goes. And finally, to top it all off, Matt breaks up with him after getting Petey to rely on him and trust him so much. When you have a sub in that deep, you don’t just abandon them because you think it’s for the best. A true Dom would at least make sure they were taken care and had someone who understood their mindset of a full time submissive (and while Matt and Petey don’t live together, Petey is always on call and is always submissive when with Matt and follows his orders even when he’s not around and therefore in my mind is a 24/7 sub).
I’m kind of glad that I skipped the second book and read the third book first because if I’d read this one first I’m not so sure I would have finished the series. At one point of the book, I disliked 3 of the 4 main characters and I wanted to yell at Petey and tell him he deserved a whole lot better than Matt. I mean, I get that Master is superior, yadda yadda. But come on. Petey is constantly saying how he doesn’t deserve Matt and he doesn’t deserve to have his cum, etc. and that the only reason he deserves it is because Matt says so. In the first book, it made sense for all this as Matt was training Petey and was trying to get him into the mindset of a sub. But to have it continue on top of everything else that happened in this book to Petey? I just felt sorry for him, and if I was Kathie I would have gotten a restraining order against Matt for Petey. While reading those scenes, I just kept thinking, no Petey, you don’t deserve Matt you deserve better than him. I started wishing he’d trade Matt in. I was kind of happy when Matt broke it off because I was praying Petey would trade up but of course, knew that wasn’t going to happen because I’d read book 3.
The plus side? We got to see a bit of heroic Petey in the beginning and Petey getting raped did lead to Matt becoming a better person and Master. But the sad part about that is it took such a horrible thing to make Matt a better person. There were a few hot sex scenes but even those weren’t worth it. The only other plus side was I did like Matt defending Petey after Alex punched him which Matt then ruined with the punishment he chose. I think Petey was already punished plenty by Alex but at most Matt should have only spanked him, not done what he did.
Honestly, a huge portion of this book didn’t have to happen. And you know, it’s very rarely that I wish I hadn’t read a book. Even bad books can serve a purpose and you learn from your mistakes. However, I truly regret reading this and if I could go back in time, I would have told myself to just read the 1st and 3rd books and maybe the very beginning and the end of book 2 after Petey’s rape and to skip the rest.
The only thing saving this book from getting 1 star is that I do like this author and I did read the 3rd book first so I know it gets better. And there were plus sides, though very few. However, if I hadn’t read the 3rd book first, I don’t know if I would have even bothered after this book, which is a real shame considering the 3rd book is the best.
In fact, in my mind, this book reminded me a lot of the second Twilight book. Didn’t need to happen, spent a majority of the time telling one of the main characters to get over the loser who mistreated them, both said main characters then went back to said losers, skipped large portions of the story, was left doubting if I should continue the series, and in the end, was only saved by said main characters finally sticking up for themselves and being assertive (even though they then went back to losers who hurt them) and by said losers defending their lovers. And the worst part for me is that Jeff is such an amazing writer and can do much better than this (for example, books 1 and 3). It was disheartening and I really wish I could erase it from my mind and go back to where I’d only read book 1, the ending of 2, and book 3. Alas, that is not possible. I wouldn’t really recommend this book. The only reason I would is if you are the kind of person who just has to read all the books in a series. The only part you really need to read to understand events in book 3 is, as I said, the beginning 20 or so pages and the last 60 or so. And even then, you only really need to read that in order to fully understand everything that went down (it’s pretty well described in book 3, so not missing much if you skip this book).