Title: One Man’s Trash
Series: The Heretic Doms Club: Book One
Author: Marie Sexton
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 343 Pages
Category: Contemporary, BDSM
At a Glance: Though not for the faint of heart, this novel is exceedingly gorgeous
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: After four tours in Afghanistan, Warren Groves couldn’t settle into civilian life. For the last twelve years, he’s survived by working odd and often illegal jobs for some of Denver’s less fortunate. His personal life is equally unsatisfactory. He can barely remember the last time he had sex, let alone the last time he got to use somebody hard and rough, the way he likes. Fate intervenes when a favor for a friend leads him to a pretty young rentboy named Taylor Reynolds.
Taylor’s spent the last few years on his own, working as a hustler, going home with anybody who’ll give him a warm meal and a place to sleep. He enjoys having a bit of force used against him, and he makes Warren an offer he can’t refuse — all the sex he wants, as rough and dirty as he likes, in exchange for room and board.
At first, Warren thinks he’s struck gold. Taylor’s the perfect roommate — he cooks, he cleans, and he’s dynamite in the sack. But Taylor has some dark demons in his head and some even darker cravings. Falling for somebody as volatile as Taylor is dangerous enough, but when Taylor’s urges turn truly self-destructive, it’ll be up to Warren to decide just how far to let things go.
Review: It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that’s brought me to tears, but it’s now time to reset the counter thanks to Marie Sexton’s One Man’s Trash. The title of this novel is a perfect expression of what is between its covers. What one person may consider worthless, another will see as precious, and that comes to epitomize the relationship between Taylor Reynolds and Warren Groves. They begin to fill each other’s broken places, and Marie Sexton spares no small amount of heartache and hope getting her characters or her readers there.
Though not for the faint of heart, this novel is exceedingly gorgeous. Much like fire uncontrolled or the ocean uncontained can be beautiful and yet leave havoc in its wake, Taylor sweeping into Warren’s life and laying waste to his stark and lonely existence is awesome to watch. Their backstories are each designed to elicit a deep emotional response from readers, and Sexton crafts it all with a deft hand. Taylor’s story in particular comes with some major triggering potential, but to reveal those warnings would also be to offer up too many spoilers, so consider yourself placed on notice that if you lean towards a less gritty romance, this book is not going to offer you that safety or comfort. That’s not to say it’s without its gentle and touching moments, but there is also a pervading deep darkness to it that is not glossed over. The ways in which Warren comes to help Taylor cope with the demons that torment him drew the lines of unconventional and yet there was never a gratuitousness to it. There is one scene in particular that is raw and painful but is not designed to serve as pointless masturbatory fodder. Instead, it grafts the lines and boundaries around Warren and Taylor’s relationship and illustrates how far Warren is willing to go to love Taylor wholly and unapologetically.
Warren’s four tours of duty in Afghanistan left him with both emotional and physical scars, and I loved him not only for his patience and compassion and kindness but for the vulnerability that laid just beneath his tough exterior. Both of these men have abandonment issues, and we see it time and again as they each wonder when the other will walk away. There is a hurt/comfort element to this story, but that’s also a relatively trite description of it when all is said and done. Taylor’s self-destructive tendencies have led him back to the streets over and over again, trading sex for room and board, and often exchanging rough trade for nothing more than the beatings help to quiet the raging storms inside him that won’t be tamed any other way. His emotional and psychological wreckage is expressed both outwardly and inwardly, which left him begging Warren for things that would, in the end, force Warren to draw a line in the sand to preserve his own sense of self, a line that Taylor would attempt to obliterate a number of times as he spiraled deeper into the darkness.
The men of the Heretic Doms Club are all introduced in One Man’s Trash—Warren along with Phil (whose book Terms of Service was just released), Charlie, and Gray (whose book I’m DYING to get my hands on)—all have a significant part to play in Warren and Taylor’s story, and I love how the title of their ‘club’ came to be. Phil is the catalyst for bringing Warren and Taylor into each other’s orbit, and they all come together to help when Taylor spins out of control. We don’t get to know too much about each of the men individually, but what’s there made me fall a wee bit for all of them, to the point that I’m a bit sad to know there will be only four books in the series. Sexton has set up each of these men to be a little larger than life but in a realistic way—the heroes we didn’t know we needed but the ones we deserve.
There are so many stunning moments in this novel, from the symbolic representations of Warren’s and Taylor’s feelings for each other to Taylor needing to find a word other than love to describe how he feels about Warren—the fact that he grew to trust Warren encompasses some of what those feelings entail. This is a story of spoiled beauty and emotional and physical restoration, a story of healing and comfort and pain and what it means to try to live in the moment because the past is unbearable, and the future is mutable. There’s a poignant side story which allows Taylor to spread his wings and embrace friendship and what it means to have a brother, or at least a brother figure, in his life—someone other than Warren who accepts him for who he was and who he is—and it added yet another layer of tragic beauty to the narrative.
You can buy One Man’s Trash here:
[zilla_button url=”http://authl.it/B075FD7MN9?d” style=”blue” size=”large” type=”round” target=”_blank”] Amazon/Kindle Unlimited [/zilla_button]