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.
*Sees the cover and shudders* I HATE IT!
Now that that is out of the way, the story is so much more than the plot leads to so please give it a chance. A month ago I was provided with a ARC in exchange of an honest review, I posted it on Goodreads, and now that it is coming out I’ve decided to post it here. So lets go!
The image of time brought thoughts of mortality: of human beings… moving hand in hand in intricate measure… while partners disappear only to reappear again, once more giving patern to the spectacle: unable to control the melody, unable, perhaps, to control the steps of the dance.
This book was so much more than what I expected it to be. It propably was because I have never read anything by Alexis Hall which, apparently if I had, I would have been expecting much more.
The story told in the book was compelling in so many ways. I loved that the story had BDSM “ingredients” (to talk in Toby’s slang) but it wasn’t about it directly or about just a love story involving it. What I mean the story is so much more than just a lovestory, it’s about loss, getting older, losing hope, finding it again and, of course, falling in love.
It was great to have characters that deferred in age like that because it gets us to see two completely different POVs on embracing new love, plus the side of a 37 year old man that has almost everything figured out in life and a 19 year old who is lost. I felt like both of them were lost but in different aspects of life. One on the emotional, the other on the practical. The writing was amazing, and the way the POVs of both characters are written really lets you discern who is talking.
It was a breath of fresh air to read about characters that aren’t perfect, that they weren’t describe as such went they are introduced, and that you can clearly see their imperfections physical and emotionally all throughout the book. My only complain would be that, even though we get to see how Laurie has changed at the end of the book, his development to that point is not as clearly shown as Toby’s (in my opinion) it feels more sudden.
Overall, For Real it’s a great book that gives you an insight into two different mindsets to understand a REAL love story.