Oh this is a frustrating and bad story. How anyone can grade this book so high is beyond me, as A Strong Hand features one of the worst doms I've yet had the pleasure to encounter in an erotic romance novel, gay or straight.
Damian, our famous photographer dom, shows right from the start that he has all the charm of a cranky and capricious diva. He's downright mean and cantancerous and how Nicholas, the sub, can be attracted to him is beyond my reach. The first scenes show a lot of interaction between Damian and a fellow dom, whose BDSM products are being photographed for a high-end catalogue. Although Damian is called an alpha dom, there's nothing in his behaviour that proves it. The two doms together more or less make fun of Nicholas, thereby totally lossing my respect.
Damian is straight in the beginning and just discovers his bi-curiosity during the shoot. He's never been naked with another man, let alone kissed, but all but falls to his knees in the perfect submissive pose when Damian wants to talk about rules with him. WTF? How can I respect a submissive who shows so little self-respect that he honors a dom in this way, a person who has shown little to no regard for him?
And what dom worth his salt pushes a submissive new to the lifestyle AND new to his bisexuality so fast that he puts during their second scene a cock cage on him for several days, but never encourages the boy to talk about his desires to explore his homosexuality? That he doesn't give him any instructions regarding the safety and handling of the cockcage, I don't even what to consider.
The last gay BDSM novel I read, An Unlocked Heart, too, featured a virgin hero, but there ends the similarity. Here we have a bulldozing, charmless, cartoon-like dom, which makes me all the more appreciate the other story.
Damn, it really makes me angry having paid seven dollars for this ebook. A DNF for me!