Title: Making It Better
Author: Lyss Em
Length: 200 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Erotica
At a Glance: As love stories go, Making It Better is hit or miss with some profound red flags present in the remaking of a relationship that might have been better off remaining in the past.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: “You still mess me up after all this time, Luc.”
“Not my problem.”
Court’s forceful brand of dominance pushes Lucan’s buttons like nothing else, but he can’t forget how badly Court hurt him in the past. Their romance six years ago was heady, intense, and sizzling–and left Lucan with deep emotional scars. When he runs into Court at a fetish party, the spark is still there. But so is the pain.
For Court, Lucan is the mindfuck he never got over. He still doesn’t know why Lucan ended things, and when he sees Lucan in the flesh again, the desperate need to dominate comes rushing back. Court would do anything to have a second chance, but he won’t let Lucan mess with his head and break his heart again. Or so he tells himself.
“I’ll do it all right for you this time if you just teach me.”
When Lucan agrees to show Court how to be a good Dom, the two headstrong men toe a delicate line between restraint and uncontrolled passion. Will the same sick love that consumed their past destroy their future?
Making It Better is a standalone novel with an HEA ending.
Review: Court and Lucan began their rocky love affair in college, dabbling in a BDSM relationship that neither really understood nor had ever experienced before. When Lucan grappled with “sub drop”, the sudden anxious need to be reassured and cared for emotionally, Court was often unavailable, either partying with friends or swept up in staying one step ahead of flunking out of college. Theirs was an unhealthy relationship, yet neither could seem to step away until Lucan, in a moment of deep depression and anger, called it quits, leaving behind a devastated Court.
Years later, the two meet again. Now Lucan has undergone therapy and is on medication and fully aware of what he needs in terms of submission to stay level and cope. But when he sees the familiar figure across the playroom at a local club, he can’t believe his eyes. Court is back, and he is ready to be the Dom he has always felt he was meant to be. Ready to learn but still arrogant, Court spies the one man who got away and who still holds a huge piece of his heart. Now Lucan and Court must wrestle with the demons of the past and the emotional baggage of a love gone wrong, if either of them are to be able to reestablish their relationship again.
Lyss Em delivers quite the emotional roller coaster in her new release, Making It Better. In many ways, this was a bit of a how-to book on what elements make a BDSM relationship work to its full potential. Lucan, while being almost sexually addicted when it comes to Court, still tries his best to school the forceful new Dom into recognizing that contracts, communication, limits and restraint lead to a happy partnership. The problem is that all falls to hell as soon as Lucan is in Court’s presence, and he seems to drop into this subspace where all effective reasoning or preservation skills go out the window. It would have almost been comical, if it hadn’t been so disturbing. From allowing court to bareback him without any testing, despite it being a limit already discussed, to the anger Court often exhibited in pushing Lucan into sex and beating him under the guise of meting out punishment, I felt that this novel stepped over real boundaries too often. It was particularly disturbing since the author made it integral to the plot to reveal the fact that Lucan had had extensive therapy, was on medication, and also made the character take the time to try to explain to Court what made him feel safe.
I understood that Court and Lucan both had past hurts they needed to resolve, but the way in which Court never really acknowledged his part in the fiasco that had been their first relationship was pretty messed up. I also didn’t really understand how someone who had undergone therapy to get over his past lover, and was on medication, never decided to reveal that to the man when he reentered his life. I would have thought in all the conversations that Lucan and Court had about the past, Lucan would have divulged just how messed up he was after the affair ended. He touched on it, for sure, but I would think it would be fairly important for your Dom to know you are on anti-depressants before you begin such an insanely intense partnership as these two had. Honestly, it’s as if Lucan had grown up in the passing years and Court had stayed mired in his frat boy past. I really struggled with this novel, and honestly came close to putting it away long before the final chapter.
Making It Better is a failed attempt to show the finer points of BDSM while exploring the highly individual aspect of sub drop and Dom/sub relationships. As love stories go, it is hit or miss with some profound red flags present in the remaking of a relationship that might have been better off remaining in the past.
You can buy Making It Better here:
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