Title: Serving Him
Series: The Retreat: Book One
Author: LM Somerton
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Length: 151 Pages
Category: Contemporary, BDSM
At a Glance: LM Somerton does a great job of laying the groundwork for future books while keeping us focused on our spotlight couple. I am incredibly intrigued by this new series.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: An escape from the real world can only ever be temporary.
Rowan Stanton knows he is submissive. He loves to look after people but the country hotel he works at can’t quite fulfill his need to serve. When he succeeds at getting a new role as houseboy at The Retreat, an exclusive BDSM hideaway in the New Forest, he believes it’s his dream job. Inexperienced in many ways, he soon realizes he’s not as prepared as he thought for the demands placed upon him.
Lorcan Wilder is young, rich and successful. He’s also haunted by nightmares and has sacrificed a decade to his business. Selling it gives him the freedom to explore his Dominant side and four weeks at The Retreat are the start of a new life. He doesn’t expect the young submissive employed to serve him will have such a profound effect on him. Exploring and pushing Rowan’s boundaries is exactly what Lorcan needs to separate himself from his past.
Lorcan makes full use of The Retreat’s facilities, from the genuine dungeon to the secret toys concealed in every room. He rediscovers his energy for life and gradually reengages with the world. However, his efforts to compartmentalize the past ultimately fail and he comes to realize what he’s always known—that true submissives have an inner strength he can only envy.
By the end of his stay, Lorcan can’t let Rowan go, though he thinks he must. What will convince him that he’s allowed a happy ever after, and will he find the courage to accept it?
Review: Serving Him is book one in a new series for Somerton that is a spinoff of her popular Tales from the Edge series. Right from the beginning, we get to see some of our favorite characters from those stories, and it immediately makes you feel at home in this new one. Because this is the first of the series, Somerton does quite a bit of scene work or giving this new series a place to unfold. She does a great job of laying the groundwork for future books while keeping us focused on our spotlight couple. I am incredibly intrigued by this new series.
Much as The Edge provided us a framework for that series, The Retreat will do the same in these books. It’s an interesting concept—not a hotel, not a spa, but in essence truly a retreat. A place where, if you can afford it, will provide for your every BDSM want or need, even the sub, as in this story, or maybe even the Dom. Who knows where Somerton will take us to next?! The Retreat is an exclusive estate outside London, located in the New Forest; it was conceived and is run by a handful of Doms from The Underground Club, the club from the original series. This creates a touch point for familiar faces to pop in and out, and provides continuity for us as readers. Each room holds its own set of deliciously naughty delights and tortures, and if that isn’t enough, there is also a full dungeon and an attic loft which comes complete with bondage capability. The chef and the caretaker are Doms from The Underground, and the new subs we meet, who work in the kitchen and chauffer the guests, are quirky and cute and also from the club. All in all, a great skeleton crew of secondary characters who will hold our interest through each story as it comes along.
This first story is about Rowan and Lorcan. Rowan is a young submissive, though inexperienced in a lot of ways, he still has his head on straight concerning the direction he wants his life to go in and the kind of relationships he would like to have. Rowan is the consummate service submissive. He longs to take care of someone and serve all their physical and emotional needs. Rowan is a sweet character who has not so sweet desires and that makes him a delicious dichotomy. His personality will draw you in and Somerton has given Rowan a great support system in his aunt and best friend, both of whom are characters I totally enjoyed meeting. Rowan is also highly intelligent; it’s refreshing to see a young man drawn as a submissive who doesn’t have some kind of character flaw that a Dominant needs to take care of them for. Rowan holds his own as a young man who longs to serve but can also make his own way in the world if this opportunity falls through for him.
Lorcan has been a Dominant for many years. He hasn’t had the opportunity to enjoy that side of himself because of the demands of his day job, but he longs to take his fantasies out of his head and actually apply them to a willing submissive. Learning about The Retreat at The Underground, where he has been a member for years, seems like the perfect opportunity to make his dreams happen, and the timing couldn’t be better. He has worked for years to back himself out of the business that he started, and now that it has finally sold, he walks out of the boardroom and gets in a car bound for The Retreat, leaving London and all it holds behind. At least for a blessed four weeks. Unfortunately, Lorcan has ghosts from his past that he cannot run away from as easily as he did his business. Tormented by a horrific attack from his teenage years, Lorcan has spent years in therapy learning to separate what he wants to do to a submissive from what was done to him against his will during the incident in his teens.
I personally think these two were the perfect first couple for the series. It was a bit of insta-love on Rowan’s part, but even in the story it is explained, and true that Rowan is not built to serve many men but just one. Somerton has written the perfect send-off for the two, with a solid future mapped out for each man, both individually and as a couple. I absolutely recommend this book, especially for those wishing to continue similar storylines like those from The Edge Series. Even though there are some darker issues here, Somerton has kept it light, and the characters have a witty banter and rapport. It was a great story and I’m really looking forward to the next one.
PS: I do love the cover on this novel; I only wish it didn’t look so dark. I was expecting an almost Goth or medieval feel to The Retreat after seeing it, and that isn’t the reality of the storyline. The dappled, lush green of the New Forest is a stark contrast to the cover.
You can buy Serving Him here:
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