Monday, 25 June 2012
Review: Last Stop by Lou Harper
This turned out to be a story of two halves. The first half is taken up with Sam and Jay getting to know each other, starting a relationship and finding out that both of them are a bit kinky. I really liked this part of the book. Things moved at a steady pace, but I was engaged by both characters. Jay is a bit flighty and does a good job of pretending to be all helpless and innocent when he's anything but. Sam pretty much sees through him from the start, but decides since Jay's not going to be sticking around forever, he might as well have some fun. I liked that Jay manages to quickly get under Sam's skin, and brings out the big protective bear in him. I also liked how this part was used to get information about Jay's past, through his retelling of his adventures with other men. Although Jay does feel sorry for himself sometimes, on the whole these adventures reflect well on Jay showing him to be a bit of a romantic. It's maybe a bit of a stereotype, but Jay comes across as a young guy looking for love and protection, something Sam seems to be able to offer in spades, and so this part appealed to the part of me who likes hurt/comfort, and the part of me who likes feisty submissives.
The second half takes on a more action based plot with Sam and Jay on the run from Sam's past. Whilst I still enjoyed this part, it didn't appeal to me as much as the first part of the story. I felt that I had to suspend my disbelief a little too much at times, especially when Sam seems to have the means to fix any situation just because he has past 'contacts'. The bad guys were also a little cartoonish at times. For the most part, I went with it though and enjoyed the way that the suspense was built up. This part is also used to tell us about Sam and his past. I liked that the author doesn't pull her punches here and shows that Sam really wasn't a nice guy. Fortunately, we are spared gory details but we are given enough to show the difference between his past life and character and the noble and caring man he is throughout the book.
Another part of the book which appealed to me was the BDSM bent to the sex scenes. Jay isn't in the BDSM 'scene' at all and I loved the way that Sam gradually introduces him to the joys of BDSM. Most of the sex scenes are very tame, so don't let this put you off. Aside from the sex, I also enjoyed how the author used the theme to tell us things about Sam especially, about his patience and understanding with Jay and also the restrained violence which gets an outlet through pain play. It meant that the sex scenes were there for a reason and if there wasn't anything extra to show us about the characters then the scenes were fade to black or mentioned obliquely - OK, I admit, this did make me pout a little, but I also understood why the author had gone for the 'less is more' approach!
Overall, I really liked this story. It had two great characters, as well as the D/s dynamic to which I'm partial, whilst providing a story with varied pacing, great dramatic moments and a delightful romance. It gets a grade of 'Very Good' from me and I'd happily recommend it.
Buy this book HERE.