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The poor economy has forced Dallin to return to prostitution to avoid homelessness, but when his old pimp hooks him up with a wealthy Dom, Dallin figures it’s too good to be true. William is older, wealthy, experienced, and a complete dominant. He’s the sort of man who can go to a club and pick up a dozen subs, and yet he wants to hire Dallin.
William knows how to succeed in finance and the bedroom, but trying to keep a relationship going is a far more difficult proposition. Instead of dealing with the messy reality of the club scene or dating, he decides to hire a sub. While William would like to have a long-term relationship develop, he’s not expecting anything. However the longer he plays with Dallin, the more he realizes that he wants more.
Dallin is willing to give his body to William—he enjoys the bondage, the games and ropes and toys. He’s more wary about trusting William with his heart. William is a master of domination, but for Dallin he wants to learn to love.
If anything, Lyn Gala is not a formula writer. It’s amazing how this author keeps reinventing herself in her books. I don’t think I’ve read 2 Gala’s that had a similar set up. She’s just as comfortable writing scifi tales starring aliens who know best when it comes to ‘their’ humans as she is delivering goofy & spoofy shotgun weddings. You never know quite what to expect beforehand. But there are 2 constant factors in all her works; the BDSM fuelled sex scenes are always hot and the writing is good.
With Two Steps Back, Gala returns to a trope we’re probably all familiar with: the Pretty Woman one. You’ll either have a weakness for these ‘poor rentboy becomes favorite pet of rich business dude’ stories or you’re rolling your eyes right this very moment. Either way, this one is definitely one of the better stories I’ve come across in the Cinderfella sub-genre. It’s endearing, sprinkled with hot scenes, has likable and interesting characters and is, thanks to Gala’s skill, perfectly paced. It’s the kind of read that isn’t too demanding but at the same time greatly satisfying, you know?
So why should you give this one a shot? Firstly, for Gala’s comfortable writing, that won’t have you counting repetitively used words, unconsciously reconstruct sentences in your head or gives you the impression that you’re being manipulated or educated as a reader. Secondly, the BDSM is entirely safe, sane and consensual BUT…it’s being given a cheeky twist here, so that the discussion of hard limits and lust-dampening contracts is incorporated into the story in an amusing matter, rather than an obligatory ‘look at me doing this BDSM thing right, y’all’ way. You should know that I’m really not a fan of formalized BDSM and its accompanying lengthy contracts in general, so I’d say it means something that contracts play a big role in this book and I was still turned on!;)
Which brings me to another positive: the rich client in question is an enjoyably flawed character with a need for control in all aspects of his life. It’s not way out there to suspect that William’s somewhere on the edge of the autistic spectrum (and who isn’t these days?). He’s great at his job, but has trouble understanding social do’s and don’ts, and thus sucks at sustaining relationships. It’s what brings him to hiring a rentboy. So I found William to be an interesting blend of impressive skill in the bedroom (and on the coffee table) and adorable clumsiness when it came to the social aspects of his dealings with his newly acquired ‘surrogate boyfriend’. The rentboy, the Mormon-raised Dallin (I’m unfamiliar with the name, so please forgive me for associating him with Bilbo Baggings’ dwarf friends) is your average sympathetic, inoffensive narrator. I liked that his life didn’t revolve solely around his sex work.
When it comes to reasons why you would not enjoy this book, there are a few. If you need your Cinderfellas to be really sweet, this one may not do it for you. Things remain understated and subtle rather than sugary and obvious for a good part of the story. Personally, I think Gala made a few unfortunate decisions by excluding certain scenes, such as the first punishment scene. I mean, c’mon, can you honestly expect a ‘BTW, I also got spanked for the first time yesterday, so that happened’ to go over well? Grr! Then there’s Dallin’s Mormon background that haunts him and results in the type of nasty ignorant homophobic cliché family stuff that, frankly, I could’ve done without. I can see how others would say it adds depth to his character though. And finally, if you’re expecting a crazy original Gala, I guess you may find Two Steps Back too middle-of-the-road for this author and therefore slightly underwhelming.