I. Love. This. Book.
Everything about it.
The exploration of one young man’s journey into his own sexual self. No labels, no assumptions, just a (kind of) random meeting and a discovery that he may not really know much about what he wants but he trusts himself enough to try to find out.
This is where the scientific method comes in.
An experiment. A vague hypothesis. Unexpected results.
Will, 21, knows he’s attracted to women and that he’s supposed to enjoy having sex with them. But every encounter leaves a sour taste in his mouth. He likes kink. He fantasizes about being dominated. But he’s too scared to tell this to any of the girls he dates.
He is, however, not scared to tell the male Dom he encounters, unaware and by accident, in a move by his twin brother Adam who is aware that Will is spiralling into depression and needs to find a way to help him.
Will gradually learns to trust the older gay man who promises to introduce him to gradual levels of kink play with no sex involved, just to see if Will’s supposition about his affinity for it is correct.
A scientific experiment so to speak.
An experiment that has surprising results in store for both of them.
I love Ripper’s approach to the labels of identity. Will questions his sexuality many times while he is conducting his experiment but doesn’t get hung up on labels. He trusts to just follow where his desires take him.
Hugh, a soon-to-be-qualified therapist, helps Will to not question himself too much, to not worry about it.
The kink scenes and sex scenes in this book are perfectly conveyed — so very ordinary/extraordinary, with occasional missteps and discomfort and misunderstandings, just as happens in everyday life. They are also incredibly hot and very emotional. Will’s journey, from detached scientific subject to involved participant, is wonderful to observe. His innocence and sense of sexual/sensual discovery in the hands of an experienced Dom are incredibly touching.
There are so many important things addressed in this series: Sexual discovery, kink and the way it can be an intrinsic part of someone’s personality, open relationships, poly relationships, undefined relationships, the importance of friendship as a basis for any relationship, trust and honest communication, even when, especially when, emotions are confusing and unexpected.
This is a fantastic book, an incredible series, and a must for anyone’s LGBTQ+ library.
The Kindle edition of this book is free right now but I don’t know how long that will last.