Cutting Out, by Mickie B. Ashling, is the fourth book in the Cutting Cords series. Personally, I feel it is imperative to read the books in order. By the time you get to this story, a lot of events have taken place giving quite a bit of history. And, the back story is so worth the read. Mickie B. Ashling has been a favourite author of mine ever since my first purchase back in 2011. She has her own unique writing style and one that I have always connected with.
Sloan is now with Trent and their relationship is to the level where they are considering marriage. Private vows have already been spoken between the two and some close friends. Trent wants to make it official but he’s not willing to go crazy with the ceremony. He still goes to the club where he can be Dom to some willing subs and seems to have Sloan’s blessing.
Before anything has a chance to happen, Trent has a proposal of sorts, and it has nothing to do with a wedding. He wants to re-enlist in the Army, now that DADT is in place, and see if he still has what it takes. He always felt the Army would be his lifelong career. It probably would have been if not for his sexuality being a gay man and tired of lying about it. With this new appeal, however, he sees a way of having his lover and his career.
Sloan is not on the same wavelength as Trent. He doesn’t want a husband he only sees a few times out of the year. He doesn’t want a husband who could be killed at any moment. To add to this nightmare of confusing elements, Cole needs his help. Someone has kidnapped the twins and is demanding a ransom. Cole needs Sloan to go to Japan and help him bring their children back home. With a few conditions attached, one being not to tell Trent, Sloan goes with him.
Sloan is a model, not a fighter. Cole is blind and can’t tackle these problems alone. They realize they are going to need some more help trying to figure out what they are up against. Before they get too far searching, trouble ensues and Sloan becomes a hostage.
With some quick thinking on his part, he hopes his phone will offer tracking for the police. Providing Cole has figured out he has gone missing. Sloan is placed in a terrible situation. He takes quite a bit of assault and abuse before anyone rushes into save him. He also is faced with the kidnapper and cannot believe who it is. To say things got a little nerve-wracking would be an understatement.
They just seem to get out of one horrendous situation when they are forced into another one. During this time together, when they aren’t faced with trying to save each other, they realize they still have a strong connection. Their chemistry is still just a potent as it used to be when they were lovers. Sloan is committed to Trent, even though he has no idea where he is at the moment. But one thing he does know and that is no way can he have anything with Cole until he rectifies his home situation.
I love how this author takes a storyline and keeps you in suspense. There are many twists and turns to go through and try to figure out. A lot of these moments you will be on the edge of your seat. At times, I thought I knew what was coming but usually I was wrong. The plot was action packed but it also contained moments of self-reflection. Cole realizing the mistakes he has made along the way and Sloan doing the same thing.
Mickie B. Ashling took this story in a direction I was hoping for but was afraid it wouldn’t happen. Sloan and Trent have, for the most part, a BDSM relationship. It’s relevant to mention that even with that the focus of their sexual play, it was not the focus of this story. If you are hesitant to read this story based on that alone, don’t let that hold you back.
Cole is constantly put in situations where he battles his insecurities and trying to make peace with his emotions. I love how the author shows so much growth between the characters. They have reached a point in their life where they are able to discuss and rationalize the why’s and if’s and come to a mutual decision. You get a small window into the twin’s life and it was so heart-warming to witness Sloan with the children. He has matured so much through this series and you see that with his behaviour and actions towards the babies.
My overall impression of Cutting Out: Highly recommend to anyone who has started this series. And even if you haven’t, now is a great time. The emotions and actions of the main characters will have you smiling from ear to ear or either cringing with tight fists. Their bedroom activities are hot and steamy but they are not frequent. More important things are at play and sex was never thrown in just to fill the pages. The plot has many things going on that will definitely keep you rooted to your tablet. A very enjoyable read and an incredible conclusion to the series. If it is the conclusion, lol.