Reading Assignment Challenge: Pony by SJD Peterson
Grant Maxwell, aka Max, wakes to find his coffeepot has died in the night. Not one who can start his day without his favorite brew, he heads to the local coffee shop. Max finds something even more appealing than caffeine in the form of twenty-six-year-old hottie Aiden James. For the first time in his life, well-established, confident and respected Dom Max finds himself sputtering and unsure in the face of Aiden's charms.
Aiden lives with three roommates, works a dead-end job, and isn't sure where his life is heading, that is, until he meets Max. Max introduces him to a foreign yet intriguing lifestyle, and they soon discover they have something more than mutual attraction in common.
A shared kink is one thing, but Aiden's past vanilla sexual experiences as well as his fear of losing himself in Max may keep Aiden from experiencing his fantasy. Max has an obstacle of his own to overcome. He must somehow figure out how to help Aiden explore his submissive side when, for the first time in his life, he's head over heels in love.
This is the third Guards of Fulsom book I have read it is by far my favorite!! There was something so romantic about this story--now, don't get me wrong, there are some STEAMY hot scenes in this book--but the overall vibe that I got from it was the beautiful story of two men meeting and finding that they compliment each other so perfectly that they cannot imagine their lives without the other anymore. Max and Aiden could probably both find other partners they could be happy with, but they could never find someone else who would so perfectly fit them as they do each other.
Aiden grew up in Indiana and always knew he wanted to move to a city but beyond that he wasn't sure who he really was or what he wanted to do. He is busy working hard to make the rent on the small apartment he shares with three roommates.
Max is a psychiatrist who is stunned by the beauty of the man he meets behind the counter of the local coffee shop. He is surprised to find his normal confidence deserting him in the face of trying to ask Aiden out for a date...but he doesn't let that stop him. There is something compelling about Aiden and Max is determined to get to know the man and see if they are compatible. When they go on their first date, the conversation, the sexual tension, the spark are all beyond what he had hoped for. So he asks Aiden out again...and pretty soon they are discovering all the ways they fit each other.
Max is a Dom and he brings this up to Aiden. He encourages Aiden to ask questions to see if being a submissive is something of interest to him. Aiden quickly learns that he is indeed open to pursuing a D/s relationship with Max and their fantasies mesh more perfectly than Max could ever have hoped for. They begin exploring this new dynamic to their relationship together, with lots of honest conversations along the way. I absolutely adored how Max was both patient and pushy...he always encouraged Aiden to express his feelings and went out of his way to make sure that Aiden was being completely fulfilled by his new role as a submissive. He also continually pushed Aiden's boundaries in a way that allowed Aiden to feel comfortable putting his trust in Max.
Aiden, meanwhile, was so honestly earnest about getting his pleasure from Max's pleasure. He was also open about what he wanted as well as what he didn't understand. He didn't allow himself to get frustrated when the answers weren't what he wanted, but would instead try again to make himself understood, even when he wasn't sure how to say or ask what he needed or wanted to know. Aiden was amazed to find that by giving himself over to Max, he found himself. It was only when external pressures in the form of a friend's questions and nagging got in Aiden's head that he began to second guess the bonds that formed between himself and Max. Watching the two men get through the frustrations and doubt that rose up at times was beautiful because both were always willing to fight for the relationship. No silly misunderstandings; no needless posturing or jockeying to save face or pride; just the great habit of sitting down and communicating until both men were comfortable and confident in any agreements and conclusions they came to.
This book truly was a love story (a kinky one at times!) that left me feeling uber confident that these two really will live happily ever after and that they will enjoy the hell out of each other, both in and out of the bedroom, for the rest of their lives. They are so compatible on so many levels. Not only do they meet each other's sexual needs, but they meet each other's emotional needs. They take care of each other, pamper each other. Take turns putting each other's needs and wants before their own...they are an amazingly balanced partnership where both men are truly devoted to the other. These men felt so real to me and I wish they were if only because our world can use this level of pure love in it. A truly beautiful story.