Author: Alexis Hall
Word count: 125,000
Page count: 437
Release Date: Jun 1, 2015
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.
About the Author
Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret.
He did the Oxbridge thing sometime in the 2000s and failed to learn anything of substance. He has had many jobs, including ice cream maker, fortune teller, lab technician, and professional gambler. He was fired from most of them.
He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car.
He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.
For Real is the story of two men who are completely different falling in love. Laurie is 37 and jaded. He’s pretty well-off with a decent job. He’s a sub at heart but has difficulty handing over control or seeing the point in the lifestyle anymore. He’s merely going through the motions. Toby is 19 and lost. He has no idea what he wants to do with his life. The only thing he knows for certain is that he feels the desire in his soul to be a Dom. No one takes his small stature and youth seriously.
Because the subjects are both into BDSM, I figured the storyline would be filled with wild sex scenes. I mean it does have these, but the approach is so different. The reader really gets an understanding of the training and emotional pull of the lifestyle. It’s isn’t all fairytale-ish. It’s real which makes it beautiful. BDSM isn’t the complete focus of the book. Life, death, love, family, career, direction, loss, acceptance. . . so many aspects play a role. Most of the standard conflicts of life are touched on.
After reading the first little bit, I didn’t think this story was going to be that great. It kind of downplays everything compared to the usual overly enthustastic delivery of a lot of contemporary romance books. All the flaws are pointed out and nothing is romanticized. I thought it was refreshing but maybe it wasn’t for me. I continued to read, and soon it hit me pretty hard. This book encompasses so much. It’s philosophical. It’s got that old school feel and staying power like Truman Capote and Oscar Wilde. I highly recommend it to someone wanting a deep read. If you’re looking for flashy sexy super drama, it probably isn’t for you.