Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins.
Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees.
What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure—at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.
As the trust deepens and their bond strengthens, though, Ryan retreats because that sham called love left him jaded long ago. Cynical beyond his years, he’s not letting his guard down, least of all for a thrice-divorced man twice his age.
Now Misha has to find a way to crack through those defenses…or accept defeat and walk away from the submissive who might just be the love of his life.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
*I received the audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Mikhail ‘Misha’ and Ryan are two opposites. Misha is an older professor at the private university and Ryan is still-kinda-lost 26-year-old student at the other university in the city. They meet in a fencing club, in a less than nice way. Ryan, cocky novice who acts like he knows all about fencing, and a man that knows more than enough about fencing to beat that cocky kid.
I really liked both characters. Misha was my favorite though. I like a foreigner in a book, especially if they are of Slavic origins (also why I like Misha from Scoring Chances series). A nice, middle-aged professor who is also a very good fencer. I know nothing about fencing to be honest, although I wanted to start it once or twice, but have never found the time. I mention this because it was one of the things that pulled me into the book.
Ryan, on the other hand, is a lost child of a rich man, who has a trust fund and no real connections in the world. His dysfunctional family dynamics prevent him from believing in love and accepting things without expecting to be asked to do something in return.
I feel like I have to say that before I read this book, I have read exactly one book that contained BDSM themes (and definitely not to this extent), so I was a bit worried how it would turn out. It was also my first book by the author so I did not have any experience with other books. But it turned out I loved it. Yes, Misha is a Dom and Ryan seems to be a perfect sub. But Misha always cares about Ryan, how he feels, and always asks for his consent as well as reminding Ryan to use safeword if he needs it. He is also determined to make Ryan’s fantasies come true and wow did I love the scene.
And the ending? I LOVED IT!
I absolutely loved the book. But this is an audiobook review so…Yes the story was awesome, but audiobooks are tricky things. It has already happened to me that I loved a book but hated the audiobook.
But this one was amazing. I have already listened to some other audiobooks narrated by this narrator and have loved them. I liked the differences between Misha and Ryan and especially liked Misha’s accent (although there’s the one sentence where Ryan says that Misha has some accent but not too much? I don’t know to what extent it goes but Misha sounds pretty Russian/Slavic. Then again, I study English so I may be a bit, shall we say, demanding 🙂 ).
But, as I said, I loved the book and I am really grateful to have gotten the chance to listen to it.