The Square Peg
Title : The Square Peg
Series : The Square Peg, Book 1
Publisher : Loose Id (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, BDSM
Length : 262 pages (e-book)
Published : August 7, 2012
Rating : ★★★★
Benedict, a successful accountant, who’s just been dumped for being boring, is surprised and pleased to learn that he’s inherited half ownership in a gay bar from his estranged father, seeing it as a chance to get out of his rut. That’s until he meets his new partner, a mouthy, disturbingly hot Brit called Shane, and discovers that the bar’s in the red and Shane’s not interested in renovations that could drive away their regulars.
When a late-night confrontation turns into the hottest sex either of them has experienced, they realize there’s one way to fit a square peg into a round hole, but are they solving problems or papering over the cracks? As they explore the new dynamic between them, pushing their limits until Ben’s shocked at where his desire to dominate Shane takes him, the renovations to the bar begin. They’re building something new, something good — but fear and an unexpected act of violence may tear down what they’ve created.
Benedict Lozier is an accountant and, according to his ex-boyfriend, a boring accountant. Ben has not seen his father since he was a child and is surprised to find that he has inherited half ownership of a gay bar, The Square Peg, from him. Seeing this as an opportunity for a change, he visits the bar only to find that is in need of some major updating and the man who is supposed to be his business partner is less than happy to see him.
Shane Brant has been running the bar for years for Ben’s father, Craig. He is not ready to share the operation of the bar with Ben and has no problem letting him know that he is not wanted, which just sets Ben to dig in his heels. Even with the confrontational tone between the men, Ben cannot help but notice that Shane is hot and finds his British accent sexy. Shane is also attracted to Benedict but knows it would be a very bad idea to act on it.
Shane grudgingly accepts that Ben is going to be his business partner, like it or not, and they must work together to come up with a plan for the bar’s renovations and how to pay for it. Ben has some inheritance money from his father and offers to use it to finance the renovations. Shane does not have the cash to invest and this is another source of contention between them, along with the fact that they cannot seem to agree on much. When Ben first comes to the bar, it is a slow week night and Shane invites him to come back on Friday to see the bar when it is really hopping. After indulging in several beers and some casual flirting, Ben bolts, afraid of the attraction he is feeling towards Shane. Finding his way to the men’s room, he over hears two men having sex. Turned on and frustrated, he returns to the bar to find Shane missing. He searches for Shane and finds him in his apartment upstairs. There is something about Shane that draws Ben’s dominant side out and sparks fly.
As the story progresses, Ben and Shane fight their attraction for one another but there is a chemistry there that calls to parts of Ben that he has kept hidden and is uncomfortable with as they are drawn out by Shane. Ben has always held back some of his predilections for rougher sex and a more dominant role. According to Ben, his ex preferred vanilla sex and thought the times Ben wanted to try something different to be degrading. Shane craves this side of Ben, but each time they come together Ben feels guilty for giving in to those needs. I did not have any problem accepting that this side of Ben is brought forth by the dynamic he has with Shane. Shane tells Ben that he will let him know if he steps over the line. The story portrays Ben as listening and looking for cues from Shane to keep the play safe.
The staff at the Square Peg played an integral part in the story; giving an almost family like atmosphere to the group and letting us see into Shane’s and Ben’s personalities outside of the developing romance. Watching the romance develop as the bar renovations come together is central to the story, but other elements develop that lead to an event that almost ruins things for everyone.
As this is the first book in the Square Peg series, I am hoping that the next book lets us know what happens with Vincent, the young bartender at the Square Peg. He is probably my favorite character in the story.
Rated 4 stars by Deb