Title: Bent | Hammer #1
Author: Sean Michael
Publishing Date: July 1, 2008
Publisher: Torquere Press
Buy: Torquere Books
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ / 4.75 blissful hearts
Marcus knows Jim is his minutes after meeting the snarly, jumpy ex-professor at the local bookstore. He thinks Jim is a natural submissive, someone who needs order and discipline in his life to help with Jim’s anxiety and bad health habits. So Marcus decides to pursue Jim relentlessly, because even if Jim’s mouth is saying no, his body is saying yes.
There’s a lot more to Jim than meets the eye, and Marcus will have to be careful. Jim knows what it means to lose everything, knows what it’s like to be without friends or family. Jim feels broken, and knowing that he likes the kinds of weird things Marcus wants to do to him only makes him scared that he’s losing his mind.
Their chemistry is so real, so genuine, that Jim lets Marcus wear him down, lets Marcus take control. Eventually, his trust grows, allowing them to enter into the BDSM lifestyle together, learning about each other every day, with every scene. Jim is still uncertain sometimes, though, and he thinks Marcus might just want him because he’s cracked. Can this top and bottom pair find a way to understand their wants and needs, and make a life that works for them alone?
→ ♥ ←
Bent was, I believe, my first introduction to Sean Michael and I was hooked from the first page. I had a relation to Jim with him being the academic type (and a humanist at that, too) and Marcus came in and demanded the attention from the very first sentence. As much as I complain about predictable characters, I like my stereotypes as much as the next person – if they are written interesting. In Bent we have the bookish, timid Jim and the tall, muscular and demanding Marcus. Stereotypes? You bet! But they are written so interestingly and has so much character development throughout the story, you rarely even notice it.
What is best kept in mind about Ms. Michael’s books are that they are full of sex – and I do mean a lot of sex. While it can be quite boring at times, she manages to write a story here which also focuses on finding yourself as well as how to get back from having been bent.
Jim Upton was a teacher before getting shunned on the grounds of sexual charges created by a girl with too much money and a bad grade. Since then, he has tried getting control back over his life by controlling every single aspect of it – right down to his half muffins each morning. He’s angered and takes it out on the world in verbal abuse on anyone getting a tad too close to him.
This is how Marcus Goodfellow, well-known Dom and handy with leather, meets him. While the outward appearance would probably have kept most peopple away, it piques his interest and he decides to, literally, take things into his own hands.
Marcus and Jim are two unlikely personalities who come together to create a steamy hot romance. The chemistry is blistering from the very start and not slowing down its inferno throughout the book. While the sex is absolutely devious, the story behind is even better and both title and cover fit it to a T.
Jim has indeed been bent, but never broken and vowen around Marcus only makes him stronger. He learns to stand on his own two feet, but still appreciate and love the steady wall of muscle at his back. That is, perhaps, one of the sweetest summing ups of a book, I will ever create.
Now, Ms. Michael is very post-modern in the way she writes, which especially comes forward in her Velvet Glove series. Fragmentation is definitely a description I will use here, as she writes in half sentences. Luckily, the shifting of point of view is done from chapter to chapter (if it is present) and not paragraph to paragraph. But the sentences takes some to get used to and while it is exciting at first, it might grow a little on your nerves later on. While I have certainly experienced it, it has rarely ever distracted me enough to put down one of her books. My best advice is to hang on, because she does write some highly interesting stories and The Hammer Series is one of them.
Are you just starting out in the MM BDSM genre, I would recommend Sean Michael’s Hammer Series. It has a bit of everything in its books, but it is not nearly as rought and hardcore as her Velvet Glove series, which deals with some more ‘taboo’ subjects.