cover image For Real

For Real

Alexis Hall. Riptide (, $19.99 (450p) ISBN 9781626492806

In this charming May-December romance, Hall delights the reader with endless reversals of expectations. Laurie Dalziel reluctantly lets friends drag him to a kink club after six years of grieving over a devastating breakup with his longtime lover. He’s tall, short-tempered, and in his late 30s—the very picture of a dominant man—but all his inclinations are submissive. When he feels moved to warn innocent-looking Toby Finch about the realities of the leather scene, he’s shocked to discover that the skinny 19-year-old is a budding dominant who’s very clear on what he wants, starting with Laurie on his knees. Hall blends pleasure and pain, both erotic and emotional, to create an engrossing romance with sharpness hidden in the sweetly traditional power-exchange relationship. The characters are charmingly flawed, with enough chemistry to see them through some serious ups and downs. Many classic images of dominance and submission are beautifully upended even as more traditional romance manages to bloom. Full of poetry and honesty, Laurie and Toby’s journey together makes each victory feel earned. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (June)