Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Exploration by Quinn Ward Blog Tour

The reluctant manager of his family’s restaurant, Frankie attempts to live up to the legacy of his father and grandfather. Running a business that isn't his passion and trying to do it without asking for help leaves him turning to less-than-legal means when he wants to surrender control.

Newly divorced, Calvin no longer lives in the closet, leaving him searching for what he most desires- control. So when he finds Frankie on his knees in the back room of a local bar, Calvin sees the sub he’s only ever fantasized about having.

Can Calvin find the confidence to explore his dominant side while showing his younger roommate that submission isn't only about whips and pain?

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Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Exploration is the first book in the Kinky in the City series.

Calvin is a newly divorced single father. To make ends meet and have more money for his son's hockey, he gets a roommate. Everything is going well until, while working security in Club 83, Cal catches Frankie in a compromising position. Cal can't make sense of what he's seeing but it definitely has him looking at Frankie with new eyes.

Frankie has the weight of the world on his shoulders. He was trying to fill the shoes of his father and grandfather while running the family restaurant. The stress was almost unbearable. Everyone looks to him for answers. Frankie thinks micromanaging is the way to run the business but making decision after decision is what killed his father. He just needs to let someone else take the wheel for a while. Lead him in the right direction. Can Cal be that man for him? Can he give up enough control?

Ward titled this book perfectly. It is all about exploration. Exploration into the BDSM world. Exploration into a new relationship. Exploration of yourself. I loved that neither character were experts in BDSM but were willing to explore together for whatever the other needed. I can't wait to see what's next!!

3 1/2 stars

It took me a bit to get into the story but once I did I enjoyed it. The blurb is kind of misleading but what people don't understand is BDSM means different things to different people and couples do what works for them. Just because it doesn't fit what YOU think it should be doesn't mean it's wrong. It means that's what works for them. Frankie and Calvin worked together because they were both new to the lifestyle and they were seeing what worked for them. I loved Frankie’s brothers and I hope they get their own stories. I also liked how Calvin's ex-wife and her soon-to-be-husband got along with Calvin and it made things so easy on their son and Frankie. I can't wait to see who is in book two.

Avid Reader☆☆☆
M/M Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is the first book in the series and given the blurb, it was not at all what I was expecting.

Frankie and Calvin are roommates. When Calvin finds Frankie servicing men in the bathroom of a club, Calvin orders Frankie home.

What follows is a series of event that are meant to show a growing relationship, but really, for me, were just that... events. Nothing really tied everything together. Calvin was supposed to have some experience as a dom, but the reality of the situation was that he was just as inexperienced as Frankie.

Frankie was the sub in this relationship, but in reality, the communication between him and Calvin was so sporadic that it was more of a friends-with-benefits situation.

Overall, while this book didn't deliver on the relationship piece or the BDSM piece, watching their friendship grow and change did offer some semblance of a story. I hope that the next book in the series is more true to the blurb.

This is a surprisingly sweet May/December romance between roommates both keen to explore a D/s relationship.

I enjoyed the characters in this book. Frankie is the overworked oldest son in a big Italian family. His responsibility for the family restaurant eats at him and causes him crazy anxiety. Calvin is a divorced single dad who is newly out and new to the kink community. I liked Calvin’s relationship with his son and with his ex-wife, and I enjoyed the interactions between Frankie, his brothers, and their mother.

The age gap between these two didn’t always work for me. Comments about Frankie having more in common with Calvin’s teenage son weren’t terribly sexy and there were times that the power exchange relationship felt more like a father/son relationship – except Calvin actually had a much more relaxed relationship with his son.

While I appreciated some of the ideas behind this story, I feel like the actual execution of the story is somewhat clumsy. The power exchange element of Calvin and Frankie’s relationship feels awkward in places and somewhat over the top in others. The sexual kink is pretty mild, and I found the scenes with Frankie and Calvin discussing their kink quite slow. I didn't always feel the building romance between Calvin and Frankie – somehow the story lacked the tension needed for me to fully engage with a romance.

3.5 stars rounded up because both these men deserve more

This is the first in a new series, and I am curious to know whether that means more based around the club they join, or the Marino family – as clearly there was at least one other brother interested in the dynamics Frankie was experiencing.

I liked that both men were new to the scene, and willing to discover their way together. I felt that the kink was definitely light, and that Calvin as the older, more-experienced-at-life partner trod a careful path to getting to be in control, but always in Frankie's best interest. There were lots of other life issues which intervened with their alone time, but the connection was sound, even when rocked.

This was a good start to a new series, and I am curious to see the direction it takes next, and whether we see these men develop their relationship further, both romantically and D/s wise. I must add that the title was a perfect description of this stage of their journey.

Quinn writes LGBTQ romance with a kick. Their stories center around the relationship building between the characters, but also shows how compatible they are in the bedroom (or wherever else the urge strikes).

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Exploration (Kinky in the City #1) by Quinn Ward to read and review for this tour.

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