Needing Harte by Marilu Mann
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Romantica
Length: Short Story (74 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Violence
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Peppermint
Harte Donovan has a problem. A murder leads to him wanting a sexy stripper bound and naked in front of him. He can’t let his secret desires ruin his career as a detective. But when he’s given a mysterious business card, Harte discovers a side of himself he intends to fully embrace.
Ramey Nichols strips for a living and he’s not willing to pretend to be something he’s not. When this sexy submissive meets the closeted cop and unwitting Dom, something has got to give. That something might just be Ramey. Ramey knows what he wants, and more than that, finds himself Needing Harte.
Harte knew he enjoyed a little spanking but he hadn’t realized he had a dormant Dom hidden deep inside until he saw Ramey on the stage. Suddenly doors he hadn’t realized were there, came flying open and could never be closed again.
Ramey is the perfect sub that any Dom would be more than happy to punish. Especially because he has such a big heart and would do almost anything to keep his Master happy. Except, no matter how happy he tries to make them they all seem to eventually claim someone else, leaving him lost and alone. So when his heart flutters at the sight of the gorgeous cop in the club he worries that his heart can once again lead him straight to rejection.
I think that, while both main characters showed personal growth, Harte’s was the most evident. He has some major decisions to make in his life which will require him to truly look at himself and what he wants. It comes down to either his job or Ramey. This would not be an easy decision for anyone and I did not envy Harte. I don’t think I would be able to decide between the two things that bring me happiness.
While the BDSM play in this story is definitely exciting I could tell that real emotional development was involved in Harte and Ramey’s relationship. I've read some stories where lines were blurred on whether the characters really cared for one another outside of the scene. Seeing both aspects of the relationship develop simultaneously keep me interested throughout the story.
One small detail I would like to have seen was a conclusion to the murder investigation. Since this was an underlining reason Harte and Ramey meet and was intertwined in the plot, not knowing how it ended left me feeling just a wee bit empty. The main plot was wrapped up nicely so it would have been pleasant to seen the sub-plot wrapped up as well.
Harte knows how to get down and nasty. By nasty I mean sweaty hard sex with just the right amount of pain. He was able to make Ramey’s knees shake with desire. Had I not been sitting down I may have been forced to my knees as well! Harte makes a spanking sound like something all of us would enjoy.
Not only is the relationship evident in the main characters but also in the secondary characters. You can tell that Ramey’s friend and boss Jason wants the best for him. You can also see how close Harte and his partner Jeff are. This story allows you to see love on various different levels by showcasing these other relationships. In the end love and friendship is what won everyone over and that is what a romance/erotic story is all about.