REVIEW: For Real by Alexis Hall

For Real

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Own
Publication Date: June 1st 2015
Publisher:Riptide Publishing
Point of View: 1st Person (Laurie & Toby )
Genres & Themes: M/M Romance, LGBT, BDSM, Erotica

BLURB:Laurence Dalziel is worn down and washed up, and for him, the BDSM scene is all played out. Six years on from his last relationship, he’s pushing forty and tired of going through the motions of submission.

Then he meets Toby Finch. Nineteen years old. Fearless, fierce, and vulnerable. Everything Laurie can’t remember being.

Toby doesn’t know who he wants to be or what he wants to do. But he knows, with all the certainty of youth, that he wants Laurie. He wants him on his knees. He wants to make him hurt, he wants to make him beg, he wants to make him fall in love.

The problem is, while Laurie will surrender his body, he won’t surrender his heart. Because Toby is too young, too intense, too easy to hurt. And what they have—no matter how right it feels—can’t last. It can’t mean anything.

It can’t be real.


The thing about hurdling over a reading slump with a good book is will you find another great book to keep the ball rolling. It’s daunting and pressuring on both you and the book. So when a book about a nineteen-year-old boy and an older man who enter into a Sub/Dom relationship drops into your lap what do you do? it

b.say ‘hmm’ never heard of that dynamic before….let’s read it!

c.are intrigued, slightly curious and you proceed to read it

d.all of the above

Yeah, I went with the D—option, guys, get your mind out of the gutter.

For Real challenged what the dynamics are in any type of relationship. That strength, size, age doesn’t come into play in a BDSM dynamic, or who’s the sub or the Dom. It’s about…well, I can’t really explain it eloquently, but this book can. For Real pushes, and stretches and creates a new form all of its own.

“A skinny nineteen-year-old with his adolescence still written on his skin.”

Toby knows what he wants, and who he wants to be. But the problem at that age is getting to where we want. There’s was such innocence, and strength, and decisiveness to Toby that you can’t help and think about how you were at that age. He questions why can’t he be a Dom at that age since he knows that what he’s meant to be. Why must he be forty, and have a dungeon for it to be true?

“Someone emotionally unavailable and sexually overavailable”

Laurie’s perfect, is a bit callous, description. Laurie was in a committed relationship, for a long time, with a man he’d meet young. A man who he’s been broken up with for six years, but the wound has never healed. Although he finds Toby beautiful, and can submit to him, surrendering his heart seems to be quite too much for him.

“Mostly empty except for a single rose in a glass case, wilting slowly, petal by petal, and, like, waiting for you to learn to love again.”

Toby and Laurie worked in ways I can’t begin to explain. They were both lost, in their own way. When they came together they shined, brilliantly so. In some ways, they both had a bit of growing up, because as humans we never stop. Never stop loving, or growing, or learning. 

Truth is I found Toby to be a bit immature, but Laurie worded it perfectly, about how it isn’t that he’s immature, or inexperienced, but that he’s young. I’m 21 and I still feel like Laurie, as if we want so much, but getting what we want sometimes feels impossible. How everyone says we can get it, but never how we can get it. Honestly, Toby was a great, and realistic example of how that age feels like.

For Real is such a true, and heartfelt book, real in a way you’d never imagine. If you want something new, something different, something something then I’d recommend giving this book a try.

“It’s not what you do, it’s what it means.


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