Take Me, Break Me
Title : Take Me, Break Me
Author : H.C. Brown
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, BDSMkink
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : April 10, 2013
Reno Rocket, bass player for the rock band Dazed, thinks he’s on the straight and narrow but is his girlfriend just a cover for his confused sexuality? When the new lead singer, Tanner Star, walks in, Reno’s libido snaps to attention. His attraction to the famous rock star is immediate and disconcerting. Performing with Tanner every night blows Reno’s mind, and the moment Tanner grinds against him on stage, “curious” takes on a whole new meaning.
Tanner wants more than a lover. He wants a sub, and he’s willing to guide Reno into the world of BDSM. In turn, Reno wants to be everything to Tanner—lover, sub, and partner—but he fears the ghost of Tanner’s dead boyfriend will come between them.
At first they manage to find a balance and life is idyllic… until one rash action by Tanner plunges their new love affair into chaos. Will Reno admit to the world that he’s gay and face the media and his family’s wrath, or will he deny the love and exquisite attention Tanner’s world has brought him?
Tanner Star has only been the frontman for Dazed a few months, but he knows he wants Reno Rocket despite everyone’s belief Reno is straight. Tanner has seen Reno’s eyes stare adoringly at him too many times to believe he’s straight. Tanner starts his seduction only to find a fearful Reno who will face significant hardships on his journey out of the closet. Tanner feels it’s worth the effort to support Reno as he comes out as Reno is the first man Tanner has felt this close to since the death of his lover, Jaime. It also helps that their kinks line up. Tanner is an out and proud Dom, whereas Reno shows all the signs of being sweetly submissive. However, the closer the two men get the more they realize they’re falling in love. Reno is terrified of his family’s reaction. His physically and verbally abusive father has been his financial manager since he was in his teens. Reno’s knowledge that Tanner is there for him does little to temper his fear of facing his abuser.
After weathering Reno’s coming out he and Tanner are happy for a time, and deepen their bond both romantically and as a Dom and submissive. Tanner gets news about Jaime and has an emotional meltdown. He rebuffs Reno’s attempts to be there for him. Reno is shocked and hurt by the lack of acceptance as a partner and equal in the relationship and walks out. After a miserable week on both their parts it takes the machinations of other people and a harrowing situation for Reno and Tanner to finally find each other again.
I enjoyed this story but ultimately felt it could have been better. One of the books sub-plots revolved around Tanner being engaged in edgeplay not only with his previous submissive Jaime, but with other submissives after Jaime’s death. He gives all indications this is no longer something in which he’s interested, and it’s over. I want a D/s story where the Dom gives up a kink for the submissive. Tanner did this because he didn’t like himself during edgeplay. It wasn’t about Reno, it was about Tanner. D/s books revolve around the submissive meeting the Dom’s needs. Yes, I understand that’s the point, but I still want a story where a submissive draws a distinct line and the Dom accepts it. It is not the fault of “Take Me, Break Me” that it didn’t have that storyline, but it could have made an enjoyable book an awesome book. My disappointment in that underutilized potential was compounded by the fact I didn’t always feel the characters had realistic reactions to the situations they were in. For me they came across as characters, not people.
Despite my complaints I did find this book to be enjoyable and I was motivated to finish it and see how the story ended. Reno and Tanner needed to be together. They completed each other. Both men had something to learn along the way of making their relationship an equal partnership.
Rated 3 stars by Faye