An Unlocked Heart (Collars & Cuffs #1) by K.C. Wells (5 Stars)

A captivating story of finding your soulmate for both life and love.

Alex Daniels is a painfully shy young man living at home after graduating from college without any job prospects in his field. While working as a waiter to save enough money to get a place of his own, he meets Leo Hart. Leo is part owner of Collars & Cuffs, a BDSM club. He’s also still mourning the death of his lover. Leo and Alex begin to build a relationship together while dealing with life’s little issues.

This was simple relationship-based story with the focus on really getting to know the characters and watching them fall in love. Outside of a little bit of angst here and there, they spent most of their time happily exploring their adoration of each other while also working through the Dom/sub attributes of their affair. I’m not sure I’ve ever read so many amazing kissing scenes. On top of going out on sweet dates, these guys were huge cuddlers.

At the same time, there was a real story taking place that kept it from passing into the overly sweet category. Alex had some family issues to deal with, including a mother who was extremely detached and a weasel for a brother. Although Leo doesn’t dwell on the lover he lost to the point of depressing the reader, it was obviously still affecting his life.

I really enjoyed the other players in this story, including Thomas Williams, Leo’s partner, and Pietro, Alex’s co-worker and friend. I also loved when Alex started keeping a diary. Since Alex was so shy and he didn’t talk a lot, this served as an excellent chance to get into his head even more.

There were little things I would have liked addressed. Alex’s Facebook friend just seemed to disappear, and I never really understood why he was so afraid to come out to his family when he clearly wanted nothing to do with them. The excessive use of the word “boy” became a bit much. But these were minor issues which I easily overlooked due to the incredible storytelling capabilities of this author. Note that they do spend time in the club, engage in some bondage and whipping scenes, and they have sex in front of a crowd.

I was obsessed with reading this slow-burning, deeply romantic love story with realistic angst, scorching sex scenes, and a good introduction to the BDSM world.

cover

Originally reviewed for The Romance Reviews. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.

BLURB

Since the death of his submissive lover two years ago, Leo hasn’t been living—merely existing. He focuses on making Collars & Cuffs, a BDSM club in Manchester’s gay village, successful. That changes the night he and his business partner have their weekly meeting at Severinos. Leo can’t keep his eyes off the new server. The shy man seems determined to avoid Leo’s gaze, but that’s like a red rag to a bull. Leo loves a challenge.

Alex Daniels works at Severinos to scrape together the money to move out on his own. He struggles with coming out, but he’s drawn to Leo, the gorgeous guy with the icy-blue eyes who’s been eating in his area nearly every night.

Leo won’t let Alex’s hesitance get in the way. He even keeps him away from the club so as not to scare him. And as for telling Alex that Leo is a Dom? Not a good idea. One date becomes two, but date two leads to Leo’s bedroom… and Alex discovers things about himself he never realized—and never wanted anyone to see.

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