OJ’s Rating: 5 stars
Lisa’s Rating: 5 stars
I was a beta reader for this book and worked closely with the author. My review, however, is my true and honest experience of my feelings and thoughts regarding this story and this author’s writing style. I will always strive to give an honest depiction of my reading experience.
This book is a work of fiction that contains explicit erotic content (heavy verbal denigration, orgasm control/denial, forced chastity, etc.), between adult men, and it is intended for mature readers.
Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.
Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.
However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.
And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?
When I first read Grif’s Toy, the precursor to Wes’ Denial, I was totally blown away and suffered a severe case of book hangover! I needed more. I craved to know what Wes was all about. See, no one is as perfect as Wes was in Grif’s Toy. His incredible self-control and spot on determination bespoke of something deeper, more profound, and ominously dark. I waited patiently, biding my time. Good things come to those of us who wait!
Wes’ Denial is nothing short of a tour de force reading experience. Right from the opening scene the tone is set for one heck of ride.
Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times. The emotional roller coaster is about to begin, and this ride’s a doozy!
**Full Disclosure – I was a beta reader for this book and worked closely with the author. My review is certainly colored by that experience. However these are my true thoughts and impressions.
I’ll assume you’ve read Grif’s Toy and, like me, couldn’t wait for Wes’ story. After all, Wes is strong, honorable, and generous. But you knew, didn’t you? Didn’t you? That there was something else there? Something dark. Something…wrong. This book isn’t Grif’s Toy. That was a sweet, tender love story. This is something entirely different. Be warned, JLT will try to lull you into a sense that everything is perfect, so enjoy that tease because he’s setting you up for gut wrenching denial. Wes’ Denial.
And there will be tears.
Weston ‘Wes’ De Luca:
Wes. What a complex, and yet sincerely honest, man. Since his early adolescence, when he discovered his penchant for being a Dom and, yes, a sadist, he’s been searching for his one, true soul mate.
Wes doesn’t just enjoy, he doesn’t just get off on, he absolutely craves seeing the tears in his sex partners. He loves to inflict that just right amount of pain that will take his sub to that marvelous place where time stands still and you float on nothing but the pure rush of endorphins and the ebb and flow of pain/pleasure, experiencing a continuous orgasm of ever increasing intensity. As a Dom’s Dom he lives for this. And something else. See, Wes has a thing for impact play – his one craving that he’s terrified of.
Wes’ Denial is his story. His efforts to control his craving and his undying love for the soul mate he’s found. Can he keep him? Does he deserve Grif?
Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times.
Marcus ‘Grif’ Griffin:
“You’re always saying how you don’t like the characterizations of a broken sub who is magically fixed by an omnipotent Dom.”
Grif is the epitome of an intelligent, well rounded, well-adjusted man who happens to be a sub. In everyday life Grif is a successful businessman, in the bedroom Grif needs Wes. Not just any man, Grif needs Wes. However, Grif never cuts himself short even though he’s submissive and wants to be taken to those deep, dark, exciting places that Wes can take him to. Grif is a realist that can cut through the BS and hone in on a problem with razor sharp accuracy and then dissect it until he can ascertain a solution. He’s no one’s fool, least of all Wes’.
Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times.
Weston “Wes” De Luca – The solid rock of a man. Pure strength, loyalty, and committed love. Wes isn’t afraid of anything…except showing his fractures.
Marcus “Grif” Griffin – I know you love Grif, but you haven’t even scratched the surface. I’m willing to bet you’ll be wildly surprised by his strength of character.
Additional Characters –
Henrik – stunning
Paul Eaks – scary
Thomas – Dom of Doms
Grif Two – Heh, yeah. You’ll see.
“Because that’s the point. We allow things to happen to us. We allow ourselves to do things to other people. And we allow ourselves to be happy or sad about those things. You’ve allowed the past eight weeks—allowed yourself to do things you never thought possible— just like you’ve allowed this thing with Paul and Henrik…”
Paul and Henrik. Yeah. Paul and Henrik. Two pivotal individuals in Wes’ life experience that I cannot get enough of, intense as they may be, and intense they are. I need to warn you right now, these are two incredibly for mature audiences only story lines, the likes of which only an author such as Mr. Tonlet would be able to pull off. Here’s what’s real: I can so relate. Perhaps that’s what I love – they’re so close to reality it frightens me, to a degree.
Wes’ undying love and devotion to Grif is palpable throughout the story, as well his not being this perfect, flawless character. No one is, and that’s the beauty of this story. We get to see it all, warts as well as soaring, euphoric moments. Grif’s individuality and wholeness always remain intact, such an integral part of this love story, and a love story it is. Kudos to you, Mr. Tonlet!
The Epilogue. I love you. I hate you. Thank you for that epilogue. How dare you give us that epilogue! You deserve a flogging for that epilogue. Oh, wait. Never mind. Damn you, man!
Spanning some fifty-five years this is an epic look at not only the full relationship between Wes and Grif, but also of Wes as a young man just discovering what makes him tick. He learns pretty early on that he ticks differently than the other boys, but his natural curiosity and openness allows him to explore and develop relationships fully.
There are three distinct periods in Wes’ life prior to Grif. His pre-military school days. His early military career. And a term of self-education and discovery. Each of these periods are vivid, striking and eye-opening.
As the reader learns about who Wes is, who Wes really is, we also see and understand what is so very special about his most important relationship, Grif. They are the perfect couple, with the perfect life both publically and personally. But something dark is lurking just beneath the surface that could destroy that perfection. Grif feels it. But Wes is in denial.
I honestly must say that Mr. Tonlet is a master storyteller extraordinaire. To be able to take this subject matter through two books and tell each man’s story distinctly, through each one’s specific experience flawlessly? Yeah, good stuff here. Both Wes and Grif come alive, through Mr. Tonlet’s craft, as completely whole, different, individuals with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. This is no small feat.
The cast of supporting characters: Paul, Henrik, Thomas (oh, so wonderful Thomas!), Matthew, Quinn and Gage. I need to fess up: I’m in love with Quinn and Gage! So, so much there that I want to know about.
I seriously cannot recommend Mr. Tonlet’s writing more than what I already have. Every single one of his works I have devoured and desired more of. Go ahead, give yourself a treat, you deserve it.
If you read my review of Grif’s Toy, here, you’ll see that I held back a bit on my praise. The reason for that is because I knew JLT had this book in him. A book that would come from his core. A book that would shatter boundaries.
As I said earlier, JLT begins by lulling you into a sweet, tender romantic view of Grif and Wes’ early relationship, but right from the start there is a thread of darkness. An undercurrent of trouble. He keeps the reader on edge by applying just the right amount of tension, by degrees, at just the right moment.
I think this may be JLT’s signature attribute. Even in his other writing he builds a story in a way that keeps you so connected that you don’t even see the intensity building around you. Bravo, Joseph.
THE FOUR QUESTIONS FOR LISA
1) As a Straight Girl, I need to know your thoughts, feelings, experience regarding Paul and Henrik’s story line? What did you honestly think? It’s gritty and that’s what I want to know about. Too much? Are you OK with this? Feelz!
2) Are there any further writings along this story line you’d like to see? I have my own thoughts about this, FYI.
3) Did Wes deserve Grif’s final decision? Curious here.
4) I don’t want to divulge anything, or give any spoilers, but I’d like to know: Which one was your favorite scene and/or scenes.
THE FOUR QUESTIONS FOR OJ
1) Without giving anything away what was your favorite scene?
2) I want to deny it, but do “Eaks'” exist?
3) Again, without giving anything away what did you think of Grif’s resolution?
4) Bonus. Tears?
I would like to thank Joseph Lance Tonlet with providing OJ He Say! with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
JOSEPH LANCE TONLET is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing. A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.