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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Balance by Zahra Owens

Balance by Zahra Owens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (65 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, BDSM
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Tuberose

By day Cooper Miller is a bland paper pusher, a health and safety inspector who does everything by the book. Deciding he needs some excitement in his life, he sheds his off-the-rack suit and tan raincoat and signs up for an introductory session at a BDSM club. His welcome mat turns out to be Nando Arenas, the man who owns the new tattoo shop Cooper inspected just that morning. At first glance, Nando seems like forbidden territory, but when Cooper discovers a taste for being tied up and dominated, the enterprising tattoo artist delivers all the excitement Cooper could want.

Can a bland paper pusher and a tattoo artist find balance together? Is the bad boy really all that bad?

Cooper Miller and Nando Arenas first meet when Cooper does a health inspection of Nando’s new tattoo shop. Nando thinks Cooper is nervous and shy and is shocked later that night when Cooper shows up for an introductory session at a BDSM club. Nando is completely turned-on when Cooper boldly states what he wants. Ms. Owens quickly shows the reader that neither man is what he appears to be at first glance. Ms. Owens shows the reader that both men have suffered loss, in Cooper’s case, a few losses. Even though Cooper has suffered more in terms of loss, it is Nando that is more reluctant to start a relationship.

Ms. Owens has drawn compelling characters in Nando and Cooper, and I was pulled into caring about what happens with them right from the start. It was very interesting to see how different Nando and Cooper act while at the club compared to outside the club. I’m not much on the heavier BDSM, and this story was great in that Ms. Owens mainly focused on the rope play aspect of it. This was my first story by Ms. Owens and I really enjoyed it. There were a few inconsistencies, but nothing that I felt overly detracted from the story.

Ms. Owens packed a lot into a few short pages. Can Nando and Cooper maintain the balancing act in their relationship? I can only hope that Ms. Owens decides to give readers another peek into the lives of Nando and Cooper sometime in the future.

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