“My new and improved Golden Rule: Dom unto others as you would have God Dom unto you.”– Michael Makai
Rocky has realized that he’s probably gay. He is twenty-four and has been denying his needs and desires for so long he can’t even be sure. He has never been with a man. He travels from Indiana to Maryland to help his brother Jace settle into a new home with his infant son and partner Nathaniel. Rocky plans to use his time in Maryland to explore his sexuality while away from the confines of home. He has four brothers and works on the family farm with them. The family accepted Jace’s coming out smoothly, but there were extenuating circumstances.
His first full day in Maryland, Rocky meets Landon, his brother’s best friend, and a Dom. The attraction is immediate and the most powerful either of them has ever felt. But Rocky doesn’t even know if he’s gay, let alone a sub. Landon sees a natural sub in Rocky. They agree to go to dinner.
Landon takes Rocky to dinner at a private BDSM club owned by a lifelong friend. They are in the dining room only, not the play rooms. All it takes is Landon putting his hand around the back of Rocky’s neck one time for Rocky to realize that he most definitely is gay and probably a sub as well. Their first sexual encounter goes way too smoothly to be real, I felt, and wondered if a gay man were to read it, whether he might feel the same way.
Their next date, Landon takes Rocky into the play area of the club. Rocky is incredibly aroused by most of what he sees, but especially the man tethered to a spanking bench, being spanked with his Dom‘s hand. Landon watched Rocky closely, noticing every change in his heart rate, breathing and coloring. He very observantly notices Rocky’s reaction to the man being spanked.
The story line in Rocky’s Road is a fairly common one. That’s not a problem. Common storylines are so because they work and are popular with readers. The problem I had with Rocky’s Road was the writing style. It felt clunky and wordy to me. There were too many explanations, too much description, things that were repeated several times. Names of characters changing halfway through a scene, something I felt ought to have been caught in the editing process.
Also, Landon and Rocky’s road to happiness wasn’t rocky at all. Everything fell into place just the way they wanted it to. There were no obstacles. Is he gay? Yes. Is he a sub? Yes. Will his brother accept it? Yes. The rest of the answers were all yeses as well, but I don’t want to spoil what the questions were.
On a positive note, I really liked Rocky and Landon. While I am not a fan of insta-love, the way Ms. Lynley wrote it made it clear that their feelings were genuine. The comforting, soothing hand on Rocky’s neck. I could almost see him relax every muscle in his body. The BDSM was “BDSM lite”. Nothing that would make anyone uncomfortable or upset.
Rocky’s Road seems to be a tale by two writers. The characters were well-written. More back story would have been appreciated, though. At the same time, the prose was just uncomfortable and hard to get through. I found myself skimming page after page. This book is tied in to Scars, which is Rocky’s brother Jace’s story. If you liked that, you will probably like this, as Jace and Nathaniel play a pretty large role here.