Away from Me by Sophie Oak
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Ménage, Anal Sex, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Violet
Shattered by the loss of his wife, Callum Reed is a man surrounded by rules designed to protect him. He has found the perfect submissive in Gaby Sullivan, until she breaks his cardinal rule.
After three years of perfect obedience, Gaby declares she wants love. Love isn’t in their contract, so Cal lets her go. But Gaby has a secret reason for leaving. When Cal discovers the truth, nothing will stop him from following her. On a secluded island paradise, Callum will do anything to prove he’s the perfect Master for his defiant, loving sub.
I don’t think I could have enjoyed this book more.
Cal and Gaby have been living happily under the terms of their dominant/submissive contract for three years until Gaby asks Cal if he loves her. When Cal says that’s not part of their deal, Gaby leaves him. Gaby actually leaves him for another reason. When I read the book’s description, the Harlequin Present’s addict in me thought she was pregnant. Actually Gaby has breast cancer and doesn’t want to burden Cal with her illness. When Cal finds out that Gaby was ill ten months later, he goes charging after her.
Cal is a dominant who was damaged by his relationship with his late wife. Cal married his wife when he was 18 because she was the only person who ever needed him. They fell into a dominant and submissive relationship because it gave her a structure she needed. In truth his late wife was depressed, and needed, but refused psychiatric help. When Cal meets Gaby he was immediately captivated and they started their relationship within two weeks. Cal feels bound by a promise to his late wife that affects his relationship with Gaby. What is truly neat about Away from Me is that the true character growth curve we see is for Cal not Gaby. Cal’s growth to a person who can accept his love for Gaby and adapt to be the person she needs is breathtaking.
Gaby is a strong woman who fell in love with Cal at first sight. Although it is not in her nature to be a 24/7 submissive, she accepts Cal’s terms because she sees it as the only way to be with him. Gaby grows to be a strong presence in Cal’s life in their three years together. Not only does she assume the role of his wife, she also takes over both his personal and business financial books. Gaby leaving Cal because she has cancer is not because she does not believe he will support her, rather something much more loving. One of the most interesting comparisons between Gaby and Cal’s late wife in the book was their first day living together. Cal laid out clothes for Gaby to wear, and as Cal says, “I remember that you told me if I liked the clothes so much, I could wear them.” I couldn’t help a small laugh when I read this.
When Cal comes after Gaby at her job managing a sex resort the true fun starts. Although Gaby did leave Cal she still responds to his dominance. The give and take in this part of the book is beautiful. Gaby and Cal’s sexual tension is electric. In addition, the lusciously detailed sex scenes were hot. They left me with a happy smile on my face. I will mention here that although I saw the character growth curve as Cal’s, Gaby does learn to accept her body changes with Cal. What Cal does at the climax was touching. His willingness to go against his nature to give Gaby what she needs is beautiful.
Ms. Oak’s writing is clear and pulls you in from the first sentence. Ms. Oak’s handling of breast cancer was sensitive and touching. Having lost my mother to cancer earlier this year I wouldn’t have read this book if I had known that was her secret reason for leaving. But I really did enjoy the book and no scars were opened.
If you are looking for a beautiful BDSM romance with strong, multidimensional characters and hot sex look no further. I highly recommend Away from Me.