If It Drives (A Market Garden Tale)
Title : If It Drives
Series : Market Garden, Book #7
Publisher : Riptide (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary, BDSM, Romance
Length : 221 pages (e-book)
Published : March 31, 2014
Rating : ★★★★1/2
If it flies, drives, or fornicates, it’s cheaper to rent it.
After driving James Harcourt, his wealthy banker boss, around for a year and a half, Cal isn’t surprised by much anymore. Not even James’s regular trips to Market Garden, London’s most elite gay brothel.
But when James leaves the Garden alone one night and turns to Cal instead, Cal’s floored. After crushing on his boss for ages, it’s his wet dream come true . . . until the awkward morning after. Cal still has a job to do, but he wants to offer more. Yet James doesn’t take him up on it; he keeps Cal at arm’s length and continues his chauffeured jaunts to Market Garden.
As Cal learns what James needs from the rentboys, he tries to fill that need himself. But there’s more to James’s penchant for rentboys than Cal realizes, and it may be one role that Cal can’t fill without overstepping his duty.
If It Drives is the seventh installment in the Market Garden Series. I have enjoyed this series from the first book, Quid Pro Quo. This time we revisit some characters from If It Flies (Market Garden #3) and If it Fornicates (Market Garden #4), Nick, Spencer and Red Tie (James Harcourt). That said, it is not necessary to have read the previous books to enjoy this one, although I would highly recommend it.
James Harcourt is used to being in charge, a wealthy banker that has everything under control. Even though in the business world this is his image, a part of him needs something very different. Cal has been his driver for over a year and a half. Cal has seen James’ marriage fall apart, watched as loneliness and stress become overwhelming and, inevitably, when this mood escalates, he will be driving Mr. Harcourt to the Market Garden, a high-end brothel. Over the course of his employment, Cal has developed a bit of a crush on his employer. Not one to act on it, he watches with growing frustration as James brings home the rent boys. One particular night after a trip to the Garden, James texts him that he is ready to leave and to Cal’s surprise, he is alone. James went looking for one particular person, a man named Nick, who can provide the things that James secretly needs. When Cal drives James home, James invites Cal in for a drink. Cal knows it is probably a bad idea, but he does it anyway and it leads to a very passionate encounter that hints at what James is looking for with his rent-boys.
When Cal realizes what James may need, he goes looking for Nick, asking him to teach Cal what he needs to know to give James what he needs. Nick sees Cal’s natural dominant tendencies and agrees to teach him. I always liked Nick, he is Dominant and makes no bones about his sadist tendencies but makes it clear that he stays within the bounds of consent, even if he is capable of otherwise. He is edgy and I enjoyed the interaction we get to see between him and his partner/submissive, Spencer (you really should read the previous books!). The training is mostly off page until a scene later in the book. Even though Cal is learning things from Nick about being a Dom, it was interesting to see how differently James reacts to Cal versus Nick, and when we understand why, how this affects the relationship between Cal and James.
Even though Cal and James are well matched sexually, the inequality of their professional relationship, and James’ reluctance to become emotionally involved, threaten to end what they have just begun. I love the way the story has this multi-layer dynamics between James and Cal. There is the employer/employee relationship and the Dominant/submissive element. There is the sex for hire as well as the sex with emotion. It delves into what each person needs and what they are willing to do to have it, as well as what their limits are.
As with all of the Market Garden series, this book is sexy, erotic and filled with wonderful characters. I enjoyed revisiting some of my favorite characters and the ending was satisfying but it is not wrapped up in a tidy package, there are many things to consider about where this couple’s relationship will go, but it is happy with hope for a future.
Be sure to check out what we thought of the previous books in the series by clicking HERE.
Rated 4.5 stars by Deb
OMG – I love your “happy with a hope for the future” 🙂 Almost better than a HFN (happy for now). Reading at the moment 🙂 Glad you enjoyed!