Title : Special Needs
Author : K. A. Merikan
Publisher : Acerbi & Villani Ltd. (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, Fetish
Length : 207 pages (e-book)
Published : June 19, 2013
Rating : ★★★1/2
B L U R B :
— Caretaking. You’re doing it wrong. —
Liam slept with his boss. Again. And lost his job because of it. Again. Set on changing his ways and tired of sleeping in his car, he applies for a job as a live-in caretaker, even though he has no experience in it whatsoever. He has a lot of practice in lying his way out of any situation though. Only problem is, his new boss – wheelchair bound owner of a sex hotel – is gay, cute, funny and oh, so fuckable! There is only one logical solution to Liam’s dilemma – pretending he’s straight. Brilliant!
When Ryan inherited his aunt’s B&B, he thought he’d hit the jackpot by changing it into a fetish sex hotel. Things didn’t go as planned though, all of his marketing efforts seem to fail, and the debt is mounting up. Being a wheelchair user doesn’t help in actively promoting his hotel, but his luck starts to change when he hires a new caretaker. Liam is open-minded, helpful and caring. All that Ryan needs from a caretaker to kickstart his business, but things would all be a lot simpler if he didn’t start crushing on his new employee. And even if, in some other dimension, Liam did return his feelings, how long can Ryan keep his fetish a secret?
The web of lies they weave around each other is more bondage than any of them enjoy.
“Special Needs” is book one out of a two-part series.
R E V I E W :
This is a really difficult review to write. There are so many things that I didn’t enjoy in this book…. correction, there are so many things that detracted from my enjoyment of this book. And all of them, pretty much, are editing. Believe me when I say – I never make a big thing of editing issues – I am not an editor, so don’t pretend to know what I am talking about when it comes to anything beyond obvious typos and continuity. This book had words duplicated, spelling mistakes, words misused (grovel instead of gravel) – things which somebody really should have picked up on before the book was released. There were weird continuity errors, for example, when the evening sun was pouring through the window, as Ryan and Liam headed off for the day. Ummm, they’re not Vampires 😛 And yet – I still enjoyed the book. Kinda. I just didn’t love it as much as I had expected or hoped too. For me the saving grace of this book is the characters. Specifically Liam.
Ryan owns a hotel, left to him by his Aunt and Uncle. He has turned it into a fetish hotel – with all kinds of rooms, catering to all kinds of needs. He is wheelchair bound and needs a live-in caregiver/caretaker to help him in and about the hotel, as well as running errands and cooking. If he happens to be cute as well, then that is a bonus! Enter Liam 😉 and he ticks all the boxes! He is gorgeous (picture the best Hemsworth brother!) musclebound, and a great cook. The only problem is Liam has this habit of sleeping with the boss… and this complication often ends up with him getting the boot. Ryan says at the interview that he is gay (so there are no problems down the track with homophobia) – of course this is not great news for Liam, who is also gay and who struggles to resist a boss. He therefore thinks the safest option is to play straight. The subsequent “safe” flirting between these guys was a treat – a really sweeeet treat!!
Ryan is this mix of sweet doe-eyed innocence and down and dirty Fetish Hotel owner, all held together by lies. I hate liars, both in real life and in books! And yet there is something about Ryan that bypasses that – maybe he sees the lies as almost a barrier to being hurt, like his disability is a safety blanket in a way. I’m not sure why… but I just kinda forgave him. Although I am looking forward to seeing how he wriggles out of it when the truth comes out… I bet that piqued your curiosity! Liam is a liar too (about more than being straight). And so all my usual “trope no-no’s” are again laid to rest – as I just adored him!! His lies are not nearly as bad as Ryan’s – we all lie in an interview, or stretch the truth a bit, right? Rodney and Faye, Ryan’s other live-in employees are also great characters, and I would love for Rodney to get his own book at some stage. The bad-guy is pretty chilling – really scary and creepy. And one walk on character who I loved seeing was Kyle – a very sexy rocker, who I would love to see more of! We also see Matt Powers, a character from Queer Fear, which was pretty cool – I quite like this character crossover.
There is a story beyond the Hotel and Ryan and Liam’s budding romance – girls are going missing, some internet guy is after Ryan in a not-so-nice way and there is something not quite right with Roger, Ryan’s next door neighbour – what you do need to be aware of is that the book ends with a cliff hanger of sorts. The authors are pretty up front about that by saying it is the first in a two-part story, but it just left you with the feeling that some of the storylines were left too far open – there isn’t enough in the first part to really be invested in, some of the arcs seem to be almost just a mention more than a full on plot line. This means that the cliff hanger is not brutal. I have read worse 😛
I was so looking forward to read this – the premise had me really excited! Tattoos, fetish Hotel, piercings – my God the tatts even had their own glossary LOL – so, lots of things had me dying to read this book. But it just never really took off; maybe I took too long to read it – but maybe I took too long because it never grabbed me. Whatever. The book could have been KAPOW if not for the distracting errors, which is really sad. Yet I will still be getting the next book – Straight. Away!! … go figure 😉
Rated 3.5 stars by Barb