Damian's Discipline by KC Wells and Parker Williams
The man who pimped Jeff may be in prison, but Jeff is still living the nightmare, selling himself to men and relying on pills to manage. Then he meets Scott, a young American man who could easily have been where Jeff is now. Scott's friends extend a helping hand to Jeff, and he grabs it.
Leo and Thomas bring Jeff to stay with Dom Damian Barnett until they can find someplace more long-term. Still grieving from losing his sub to cancer two years before, Damian agrees to help. But when he glimpses the extent of the damage, Damian wants to do more than offer his guestroom. Jeff is not submissive, but Damian can see he desperately needs structure to his life. It's up to Damian to find an answer.
He never expects that what he discovers will change both their lives.
After the disappointment that was book three, I downloaded book five because I really wanted to know what happened to Jeff, the young man's whose picture was used to lure Scott to England. Jeff was in a horrible place, having to sell his body to afford the pills that allowed him to cope with what he had to do to survive. Scott was desperate to help Jeff, after all, it was only luck that kept him from being Jeff, so he enlisted his Dom Ben and Ben's friends to help and the solution that everyone came up with was Damian.
Damian lost his sub Oliver to cancer after only being together for two years. He's always been a gentle giant, never really participating in scenes revolving around pain, but more those that revolved around control. He instantly determines that he will do everything that he can to help Jeff...but Jeff does NOT make it easy. Damian's patience and skills are tested almost to their limits by Jeff but Damian does not give up. Instead he turns to friends for advice, elicits the help of a professional therapist for Jeff, and researches possible options. It is soon clear that Jeff is not a sub, so many of the tricks in Damian's bag won't help Jeff...but when Damian stumbles across Domestic Discipline he realizes it may be what would work. At this point, he involves Jeff in conversations and has him think about if Domestic Discipline is something that he is interested in trying as well.
Jeff is not used to getting anything for nothing. He is placing his life in the hands of a stranger who he wants to trust, but trust is something that has burned him more than once in the past. Starting with his mother who tried to "cure" his gayness, to a man who offered him a meal and instead kidnapped him and used him in sexual slavery. While he feels that Damian is his best option, there are many times when his gut tells him to escape, but something keeps bringing him back to Damian. When Damian approaches him with the idea of Domestic Discipline, it feels right. Jeff knows he wants someone else to make decisions and having rules to hold him accountable that he and Damian can create themselves seems fair and structured. And it really works for quite awhile. There are some punishments as Jeff backslides at time, but his forward progress is amazing. He gets a job, begins a trade apprenticeship, and really begins to feel that Damian's house is home.
It is when Jeff's feelings for Damian get deeper that he begins to have more problems. He is worried that his past as a rent boy will mean that Damian could never love him. The fact that Damian is leaving two to four times a week leaving Jeff on his own doesn't help. He worries a lot and this causes him to get angry. When he learns that Damian is going to his club, Jeff assumes he is out screwing subs and it makes him feel that once again he isn't enough for someone just as he is. This leads to him having a rather spectacular freak out and Damian is left wondering what happened--he felt that everything was working out well even if he was falling for Jeff. Working out this latest issue seems to be the last hurdle to Damian and Jeff finally being in a place where their relationship can turn romantic.
Overall I enjoyed this book. It didn't have the sparkle or excitement of the first two books in the series for me but it was heads and tails better than book three. I do appreciate how slowly Damian's and Jeff's relationship evolved...there were so many serious issues they both have to work past, anything faster wouldn't have been realistic. I also liked how Dr. Herne was back--Jeff's issues needed to be worked through with a professional, and the fact that Damian also talked with her about various issues was great as well. I would not recommend beginning this series with this book, but I do think you could easily skip book three and not miss out on too much to understand this book--the beginning of this one establishes what you miss from book three. I don't know yet if I am going to continue reading books in this series...Two great books followed by a total miss plus one slightly-better-than-okay book leaves me worried about a lack of consistency.