#ReviewTour — Before You Break (Secrets) #1 K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Title: Before You Break
Authors: K.C. Wells & Parker Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: May 26, 2017
Cover Design: Reece Dante
Page count: 340
Genre: Romance, BDSM
Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.
There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.
Before You Break by co-authors K.C. Wells and Parker Williams is a spin-off from the Collars & Cuffs series, but if you haven’t read that series you won’t have any trouble following along. This story opens with Eli and Jarod (Collars & Cuffs) putting on the finishing touches of Secrets—a new BDSM club—as they are getting ready to have a meet and greet night for their members.
The story then shifts to Wayne and Ellis, best friends and co-workers for the past six years, although Wayne has secretly loved Ellis just as long. Ellis is straight, or at least picks up women at bars, when the crew goes out after work.
Wayne has noticed that something is wrong with Ellis—late for work, irritable with the men, making mistakes on the job, so he decides to share a portion of his life with Ellis about being a Dom and mentions to him about Secrets in hopes he will want to go along. He feels he must “take Ellis in hand” or he will lose his best friend.
Ellis is curious about the club, but more than anything, he’s hurt that after six years he didn’t know this information about his best friend, being a Dom, although, later he realizes how much Wayne's actions all make sense. His controlling behavior, take-charge attitude, looking out and caring for his team, as well as Ellis. He wants to go in support of Wayne because he has always been there to support him...no matter the situation. However, it is rather overwhelming when he gets there and after seeing a demonstration he wants to leave.
On the drive home, Wayne blurts it out what he wants to do with Ellis. He wants him to submit to him. He wants to take him in hand. Ellis freaks out, of course. And, quite honestly, I had an issue with this, as well. Wayne almost 'almost' lost his credibility with me here.
Ellis had never been in this type of situation, didn’t have a clue until this visit and now he’s basically being told what Wayne expects him to do. As a Dom—an experienced one—I felt he should have, at the very least, taken the man home first before discussing it, maybe go back for a couple visits to get him use to the surroundings, talk about the experience, and if he enjoyed it, THEN approach him about what he had in mind.
However, Wayne also knew he messed up and wasn't looking at this from a sexual angle. He is, at first, only looking out for his friend and trying to figure out a way to get him back on track—and in his mind—this is his last hope. It was definitely a lot of push and pull and getting Ellis on board with Wayne’s thought process.
Ellis comes from a messed-up family and his issues stem all the way back to his early childhood and still continue into his adult life. You may as well say he's brainwashed by his parents to believe certain ideas of a man's responsibility and Ellis takes his role very seriously. The weight and stress—the years of mental abuse—have taken its toll leaving Ellis dangling on the edge of a breakdown. Wayne sees this, although he doesn't know the extent of the problem only knows he must help Ellis find solid ground.
Wayne and Ellis eventually see the same goal and they have some sweet and sexy moments between them and I especially enjoyed seeing them reach out to Ellis’s sister (someone probably messed up more than Ellis) and children to help them get away from the toxic environment of their parents and ideas.
There is no doubt that Wayne loves Ellis with his whole heart and would and will do anything for him. He plays a huge role in Ellis’s ability to regain his confidence and find the pieces of himself that were missing, as well as finding internal peace. The authors don't rush their relationship, romantically, as they focus more on building trust which allows Ellis time to reevaluate his life and start working on himself and breaking the ties with his family.
They hit quite a few rough patches but Wayne works diligently and consistently to show Ellis how much he loves him and it pays off because Ellis is finally the man he was always meant to be and he loves Wayne just as much. The ending was captivating and shows just how far both Ellis and Wayne have grown in their relationship.
Fans of Collars and Cuffs will love this new series because it seems a few characters from that series appear here also, plus a couple surprises.
* I was provided a copy in exchange for an honest review from Signal Boost Promotions *
May 29 - Mikku-chan
May 31 - Keysmash
June 7 - Engaging Secrets
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.
K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot.
In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….
K.C. loves to hear from readers.
Happily Ever After Comes With A Price Tag. Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading.
A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family.
Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.