Stroke Rate by L.M. Somerton was an unexpected delight. It was my first book by L.M. and I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really liked it.
At first, Lucien was a little over-the-top bossy. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me since he and Ben didn’t know each other that well. At the very least, Ben didn’t know Lucien that well and his is the POV we get so I can’t say for sure what Lucien was thinking or feeling.
Though, there was the whole “I-secretly-watched-you-for-six-months-and-decided-you-are-the-partner-for-me” thing Lucien said. Which was a bit creepy. It wasn’t like Lucien was too shy to approach Ben, he just didn’t deem talking with Ben about his plan for their future as a necessity. But, whatever.
Okay, enough negative stuff. Let’s talk about what I did like–remember how I called it an ‘unexpected delight?’
Ben. Ben is the delight.
Ben is sweet and shy, but also certain about what he wants. I just wanted to wrap him in my arms and protect him!
Ben’s struggle to accept his submissive nature was one of my favorite parts. Coming to understand why he liked certain things or behaved in certain ways was really satisfying.
And, okay, when you finally get to see the real person behind Lucien’s façade–the guy who cares deeply about his family, works extremely hard, and is a little insecure–he’s much more likeable. At least to me. 🙂 He starts off as a douche but he redeems himself pretty well.
The chemistry between Lucien and Ben was scorching hot. And while Lucien may take certain liberties in deciding things in Ben’s everyday life–like becoming Lucien’s rowing partner–he communicates very well in the bedroom and that shit is hot.
I devoured this book in a day.
Trigger warning for an on-screen attempted sexual assault. It’s not between the MCs, but it does happen to one of the MCs. So be aware. Also, I wasn’t very pleased with how the assault was handled but I’m probably more critical than most.
I enjoyed large portions of Stroke Rate. Honestly, I know I harped on the negatives but I really did like Ben, and even Lucien…eventually. I will definitely be checking out more books by L.M.
Copy provided in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Lucien Thorne likes to be in control, but the boy he wants to own may take some convincing.
Gorgeous but shy, Benedict Astor does his best to keep a low profile at the rowing club where he works. However, unbeknown to Benedict, he has attracted the attention of Lucien Thorne, rowing aristocracy, an Olympic medalist and a lord.
Whilst looking for a new rowing partner, Lucien believes he has found what he needs in Ben. He pushes him to his limits on the water and it becomes clear that rowing with the pretty young man is not his only interest. Ben is attracted to Lucien but confused about his feelings. Lucien is demanding, arrogant and dominant—which Benedict responds to even though he feels he should resist.
Fighting emotions he doesn’t understand, Ben has to contend with the bullying rowing club president and a humiliating auction of promises.
Lucien recognizes Ben’s hidden submissive streak and makes his own need for control very clear. He bids for Ben’s time, then forces Ben to admit to his own desire to test the ground between them.
When the deeds to the boat club are gambled away, Lucien and Ben must work together to save it. Will their growing love survive the pressure, Ben’s uncertainty and Lucien’s desire to own him completely?