Read Stroke Rate by L.M. Somerton Online


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 medallist and a Lord.Whilst looking for a new rowing partner, LucienLucien 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 medallist 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 recognises Ben’s hidden submissive streak and makes his own need for control very clear. He bids for Ben’s time and 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?...

Title : Stroke Rate
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781781842225
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 121 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stroke Rate Reviews

  • Monique ~ Sinfully
    2019-06-04 10:19

    What a fabulous tale you weave Ms Somerton… Loved this book!  L.M. Somerton is a new author to me and I have to say I just loved her writing, it is comfortable, clean and crisp, a strange analogy I know, but that is how it felt… it just flowed beautifully. Her descriptive prose brought the pages to life and the character development was just Class! Two great characters, one I absolutely adored and the other I was drooling over, both with very distinct and defined personalities, a bashful student and a damn hot Lord of the Manor. Benedict Astor is a student of English at the University and lives above the boat house of the Okeanos Rowing Club. Ben is not a privileged student and has worked hard to get where he is, working early mornings and late evenings, maintaining, cleaning and just being the all round dogs body at the Rowing Club. In return, he has somewhere to live and is also able to take advantage of the facilities.Ben is a loner, not that he has any time for socialising between his work and studies! and he is also painfully shy, ducking his head to avoid any kind eye contact, making him completely oblivious to others around him, finding solace only in the mornings before the arrival of the hoards when he goes out in a boat and loses himself in the serenity and peace of the water in the early morning mist. He gently flipped the small smooth pebble that he had been turning over in his hand into the water. The resulting ripples caught the light reflected from the window of the building behind him. A slight smile flickered across his soft lips as he mused on the consequences that one small action could invoke. He sighed and turned away from the water. It had been a while since anything – or anyone – had created ripples in the monotony of his life.So as Ben dreams of escaping the monotony of his existence locked away in the solitude of his own little world Lucien Thorne otherwise known as Lord Thorne of Kearing, rowing aristocracy with Olympic and World Gold Medals to his name, is patiently learning all there is to know about this beautiful boy. He is intrigued with Ben's submissive nature which calls out to the darkly delicious, sinister and brooding Dom who is the epitome of an Alpha male… with everything from his walk to his narrowed glare, his presence exudes power and demands attention, unlike Ben who is happy to shrink into himself and avoid all conversations and people.Ben is conflicted… Lucien just oozes power and sexuality that was calling to Ben and he was unable to resist, he feels humiliated and is cross with himself for giving into him without a fight and yet at the same time his body is betraying him. Oh… he wanted Lucien and he wanted him with every fibre of his being and his body just hummed with excitement at just being near him, he somehow felt compelled and enthralled by Lucien, wanting to please him but unable to answer his own question as to Why?I loved the dynamics of this relationship, Lucien has such a commanding presence and Ben is so shy, quiet and unassuming, yet together they grow and their relationship develops and as the story progresses we see Ben’s confidence emerge, even giving a little attitude that is of course duly punished! And with Lucien we see the hard cold exterior he shows to the world slowly melt by the soft sweet nature of his sub. There is an undercurrent of sizzling sexual tension throughout this book and the chemistry between the characters is off the charts sexy and we see some excruciatingly intense kinky fuckery! OMG… Lucien had my tummy fluttering and heart pounding and I too wanted to drop to my knees, he is one very hot and sexy Dom and together with Ben's submissive nature the scenes were erotically charged and passionate, in other words they were shit hot in the bedroom!Although this is mainly character driven it does revolve around a plot to save the Rowing Club after the President of the Club loses it in a bet. Sebastian Cooke is a first class Dick!! Married but lusting after Ben, firmly locked in the closet but takes his frustrations out on the object of his desire… basically treating him like shite! As you can imagine this doesn’t go down well with Lucien, but they put their differences aside in an attempt to save the Club. There is also the humiliating auction of promises, he is volunteered for by Seb that turns out better than expected and we also see the softer side of Lucien when we are introduced to his Sister and her family including two Nephews that he adores. This book was a surprise to me, I picked it up on a whim and to be honest I wasn’t really expecting much… BUT. I was so wrong. I was totally hooked from the first page I didn’t stop till it was finished, I am suitably impressed by L.M. Somerton and her writing is just wonderful, I will definitely be picking up more of her books. I did have a couple of quibbles, for me the ending was a little weak and rushed and I don’t usually mind insta-love but I was so enjoying the intensity of Lucien's pursuit of Ben I would have liked more. In other words for me it would have benefited from being a bit longer and elaborated on. That aside it was excellent and would have been a 5 star read.For more reviews, please visit our blog...Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews you can now also find us on Facebook

  • SheReadsALot
    2019-06-06 06:10

    THREE & A HALF HEARTS--"Stroke Rate" by L.M. Somerton started strong and ended...less strong. There's kink galore in this novella with a Cinderfella feel. But a good story is not kink alone no matter fun toys Lucien takes to play. Lucien, Lord Thorne, is twenty-five years old, demanding, possessive, kinkily delicious and has his eyes set on shy, twenty-one year old English major, Ben. Ben works at the local rowing club as a maintenance man of sorts for free room and board on club grounds. He has a mean, pervy boss who comes up with demeaning tasks for him to perform. Ben puts up with this mistreatment because he has no other choice. So he cleans, goes to school and rows when he can find the time.Lucien has been watching/ stalking Ben for six months and finally makes the first move by inviting Ben to be his stand-in rowing partner. Lucien is an Olympic rower, nobility, commanding and arrogant. (I have never read a bad Lucien in any book I've come across. It must be the luck of the name *shrugs*) Lucien takes over Ben, helps him find a undiscovered part of himself and never changed throughout the book.Is it romantic? Yes, it is a insta-love story but with Lucien learning all there is to know about Ben months prior, it just came across as inevitable. Ben was a decent enough character, I like the shy ones and how kinky they can be with the right partner. But I am averaging out my rating to 3.5 Hearts because there were two separate parts that should be considered before reading this book.The kink factor? 4 Hearts - Lucien loves his toys and to inflict pleasure filled pain. But it can only carry a story so far. (Can you believe I am saying this?)Want a preview of most of the toys used? Internally Studded Chastity Device, Wartenberg Wheel, Studded Cock Strap, Riding Crop, Cuffs, Restraints, Nipple Clamps, Gag, Metal Ball Butt Plug [it's put in the freezer]. I mean, Lucien, he likes to play especially if B&D and SM is involved. And who knew Ben was such a pain slut? But you see this brings me to an issue I have.The story? 3 Hearts and I might begenerous.There was not enough character development. There were a lot of kink filled scenes and little to no filler to connect them. Ben is virgin, he is pretty much consumed by Lucien, he takes over Ben's life. I have no objections to that but what I had a problem with is the spectacular first time and absolute acquiescence from Ben. He might have put up a weak reluctance at first but I knew who ran that show - Lucien. 1000% Maybe if there was a scene with Ben fantasizing about being dominated prior to having Lucien insert himself into his life, I'd buy it. I barely bought the relationship...just barely.And you know what else I found a smidge odd? Ben's professor and future boss was Lucien's former teacher/lover and the two discussed Ben before telling Ben pertinent things. And Lucien is super controlling you savvy? He doesn't want any man looking at Ben or touching. So when Ben is assaulted, what does Lucien do? Basically not that much. I thought he would have obliterated the guy but it felt like a hand slap, in my opinion.I get not putting labels on relationships because if you and your partner have mutual respect, love and trust for one another, fuck it. But was this domestic discipline or D/s? It was an in between sort of mix. Ben never called or referred to Lucien as Master or a Dom but Lucien owned Ben's arse. He took over his life swiftly and smoothly and dealt out punishments like it was going out of style. I wish a side was chosen but *shrugs* it worked for Lucien. Ben too, I think he was just an afterthought at times.Ben and Lucien...I guess it's a relationship made in kinky, sadomasochistic heaven. ;D

  • ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
    2019-06-11 10:21

    What worked: -British-rowing club-dominant, aggressive man (Lucien) with a (somewhat) tender side-kinky toys What didn't work:-Ben, the "submissive," almost seemed like an afterthought; he was shy, and then Lucien barged in, and it was all about Lucien. -Plot felt contrived (the reason for the rowing competition at the end seemed created and discarded).-Lucien's mild reaction to Seb's (rowing club owner and Ben's manager) actions seemed waaay off; considering Lucien snarls at anyone who even looked at Ben, you would think he would have been much harsher with Seb. -The idea of Lucien watching Ben for months and discussing him with others (like Ben's English professor) wasn't hot, just creepy. Other thoughts: -I wouldn't put this in the D/s category; it was more like BDSM or domestic discipline maybe. -The sex scenes were plentiful, but they felt a little rote and mechanical, at once explicit and vague. -I would have liked to see more talking and relationship development between Lucien and Ben, AND more about the MCs themselves. Lucien was only 25, and he was a lawyer, trained in the art of pain, and an Olympic rowing champion. He seemed WAY too young to have accomplished all that at such a young age. And we get nothing about Ben except he has older parents who moved to Spain. -The ending was also abrupt. So much could be done with this setting and these MCs, so there's potential, but not quite fulfilled.

  • Bev
    2019-06-16 11:07

    At last, another British author in this genre that I can enjoy, and another recommendation from Monique (thank you again my lovely).A dominant alpha male (and a Lord no less) at the age of 25, Lucien has quietly been plotting the seduction of Benedict (Ben) for 6 months. Ben is 21, beautiful, extremely shy, a virgin and gay. He is studying English at uni, but because his parents have retired to Spain, lives in the flat above the boathouse, where he can practice and live rent-free, as long as he looks after the boats and does anything else the selfish prick of a president (Sebastian) thinks up for him.This book could be set in Cambridge, which is about 30 miles from where I live, and which I know very well. You often see rowers going down the river Cam in early morning mist, and this book captured that image very well.Other reviewers have covered this book in great length, so I shall only say that it will be a keeper on my kindle, and I enjoyed it a lot. In fact I would place it in 3rd position at the moment in my m/m dom books, behind 'Rough Canvas' and 'Force of Law', which are two of my all-time faves, and I will be looking up more of this author's work.

  • Elizabetta
    2019-05-25 10:28

    2.5 starsOkay, that title. snicker. It rates up there with Bone Rider for best euphamism ever. So, the title got me all primed… uh-huh.Stroke Rate does start very strongly (sigh). I really liked the Ben of the beginning— solitary, hard-working, brilliant uni student. He also works for a rowing club— lives in the boat house seeing to its upkeep and that of all the equipment and boats. He’s also under the sneering, homophobic thumb of the club owner, Seb, who likes to keep him scrubbing on his knees. All that work in exchange for free board and use of the boats. It’s pretty obvious that Ben’s the poor Cinderfella of the club. But he’s a damned good rower, and one of its star members, Lucien Thorne, has had his eye on Ben for quite some while. Lucien also recognizes a strong submissive streak in Ben. He just looks so good on his knees… When these two hook up, things start falling apart in the story for me, and I’m reminded why I dnf’d another book by this author. While I love a good alpha male, Lucien, who decides that he knows just what Ben needs, comes off as a stalking bully, a sneering trust fund kid used to getting his way, and who fancies himself a super-Dom. He takes what he wants, he wants it now, without negotiation. There’s very little discussion of the heavy duty BDSM that Lucien introduces (a virginal) Ben to. Lucien jumps in with whips and spankings, nipple clamps and butt plugs, cockstraps, gags, and edgeplay. With barely a ‘how-do-you-do’. Yes, Lucien recognizes that Ben likes it rough, but without a discussion about that and the whys and wherefores, it all goes flat, the interplay doesn’t feel honest. On one hand, this could have been very hot. But, on the other… what happened to that strong, self-sufficient Ben of the story’s start? This would have been much more fun if he’d stood up to Lucien more, demanded his own power as a submissive. He likes to try to push, but he inevitably lays down like a wet noodle. If Stroke Rate is meant to be a farce— a light-hearted romp— well, that never really works either. So, there was some promise at the start, but then Ben fades and never really leaves his own mark. The stroking's gotta stay strong to the end for the pay-off, just sayin'. (hey, at least I finished this one; 2 stars means OK, didn't hate it, it was just OK)

  • Lilia Ford
    2019-05-26 12:31

    Loved it. Similar to The Portrait, which I also liked, but better. This is pretty light stuff, but totally fun and enjoyable, with very hot, and I mean HOT, sex. The BDSM elements were very user-friendly, not light so much as good-natured. I really like Somerton's submissive characters: Benedict is just plain sweet without being annoying, wussy, or burdened with some miserable back-story. It's easy to see how he can't resist Lucien, who comes at him with all the subtlety of a speeding freight train. But it's also not too great a stretch to imagine gorgeous, witty, aristocratic Lucien falling for a wall-flower like Benedict. Usually in these books, the focus is on the sub trusting the dom, but here it's almost the reverse: Ben is trustworthy, which allows Lucien to truly be himself. And Lucien as himself is a fantastic dom: fiendish but with a great sense of humor. The results are a fun love story without a lot of gratuitous angst or ridiculous misunderstandings. One I'll definitely reread on a bad day when I need cheering up.

  • Tina
    2019-05-17 07:16

    I really love good written BDSM romances. After reading this one I was disappointed. I liked Ben a lot but felt nothing for Lucien. He remained a shallow character. His Dom behavior was ridiculous and implausible. Who wants an evilly smirking, cruelly laughing, snarling Dom? The sex felt more like a mechanical torture. I missed the safe, sane and consensual principles guiding the BDSM activities. True feelings or a safe Dom/sub bonding were non-palpable.

  • Smith Barney
    2019-05-23 13:06

    STRONG but short-lived Stroke Rateright out the start gate..but then damn if it doesn't start to go down a predictable rabbit hole of dud-ville. The beginning will have your mouth watering with erotic edging that will command your attention..until it then starts limping off into a dom/subby contrived sunset.

  • Heller
    2019-05-25 10:10

    Kinky fuckery, indeed.

  • Jane
    2019-06-01 11:07

    3.5The first thing I did with this book was buy it and I have to say it was expensive for 130 pages, but I enjoyed it and I'd definitely read more by this author.If I had to say what this book was like, it was a slice of lemon meringue pie. It looks substantial on the plate, but the meringue is whipped up air, the lemon filling is sweeter than you'd expect, and the pastry is a thin layer. What I'm saying, I guess, is that the book doesn't have a lot going on in the way of angst or difficulties to overcome. It's all super easy for Ben and Lucien. Lucien says he's interested, Ben agrees, everyone they meet from family to police, are instantly smitten with Ben and the D/s relationship is tacitly accepted too. I'm not sure what period the book covers, but it can't be more than a month and they're both declaring they love each other after a few weeks.At twenty-five and not that well off, Lucien, as Ben points out, has a hell of a lot of expensive toys and a lot of experience in using them. The hints later on that he got that experience by subbing for one of the uni professors, a friend of his father's, is left as hints, I don't know if I like it or if it's a bit squicky given that Ben goes to work for the man. Hmm.I was cross that the villain of the piece doesn't get more than a wrist slap from Lucien for his treatment of Ben. I liked that Seb isn't one note and has layers, but he hit Ben and tried to force a blowjob out of him; I wanted more payback for that.Overall, a readable, well-written slice of hotness, but lacking any edge or conflict. I did love Lucien as a Dom though; he was inventive, caring, and nicely inflexible.

  • Caroline Brand
    2019-05-21 07:31

    REVIEWED FOR PRISM BOOK ALLIANCEBen Astor’s job is to look after the local rowing club and all that that entails giving him somewhere to live whilst he finishes his college degree. He is a painfully shy virgin with a craving for pain and as the old saying goes “be careful what you wish for”.When Lucien barges into his life he may get all that he has dreamed of and more.Lord Lucien Thorne is rowing royalty after winning his Olympic medal. Although no longer competing at that level everyone at the club wants to sit in that boat with him but Lucien only wants one man and rowing isn’t the only thing on him mind.The differences between the two are vast – wealth, confidence and experience to name just a few. Lucien lands in Ben’s life like an out of control bull and makes it clear from the start that he has no intention of leaving again, something that Ben struggles to accept at first as low self-esteem is Ben’s friend. I love a good Alpha male but Lucien was a bit much sometimes and I felt like Ben was trodden all over at the beginning but then Lucien would show a glimpse of a softer side. Ben was smitten but unsure to begin with, his confidence issues holding him back.As well as their relationship the story sees the pair having to defend the honour of the club after the club bully leaves them in dire straits. Seb was an awful character and I wonder if the author will try to redeem him in future.Overall this was a kinky little read and proves that opposites really do attract.

  • Christy
    2019-06-07 13:04

    I can readily admit that I have a slight fascination with rowing. And the men who do it. *grins* I never grew up anywhere on the northeast coast where it is in fashion, and I've not spent enough time across the pond to be that familiar with it. It's exciting to watch, though, and when I read the blurb for 'Stroke Rate' by LM Somerton, I figured it was a win-win, since I already adore this author.Ben appealed to me, right from the beginning. He's shy, quiet, but not a pushover, and he's working hard to get through college. Ben isn't wealthy, and he trades work at the rowing club for a small flat above it, and free membership. Ben could care less about competing, he just loves to row, it makes him happy to be on the water by himself, pushing his muscles against the river. Lucien is much harder to quantify. He's gorgeous, no doubt about it, arrogant, and very autocratic. I suppose he's exactly how I would imagine a wealthy British Lord. Lucien is a Dominant, and used to getting his own way. However, the more I got to know him, the more I liked him. Lucien has set his sights on Ben, as his new rowing partner and as his submissive.Unfortunately for Ben, the president of the rowing club, Seb, is a closeted, mean, power hungry arse, who loves nothing more than pushing Ben for more work, while holding the threat of taking his flat away from him. Seb enjoys making Ben be his slave at the club, but once Lucien and Ben start seeing each other, Seb steps over some serious lines, not only with Ben, but with the future of the boathouse. It's up to Lucien, an Olympic and World gold medalist, and Ben, to save the club.A wonderful story which I enjoyed very much. Thank you, Lou, my friend, I do so enjoy your boys.NOTE: This book was provided by Pride Publishing for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews

  • Moonlite_Reader
    2019-05-31 07:01

    3.5 starsI didn't like the fckin secrets and that we never found out what was Lucien's deal with the old family friend o when he panicked a little when he thought he pushed to hard. Wtf was that?

  • Tifferz
    2019-06-06 12:07

    50 Shades for Men. I love the M/M genre as well as the BDSM scene but finding books that mesh the two worlds together can be hard to find (pun intended). Stroke Rate has the makings of a good M/M BDSM book. It started off a little slow because the author introduced what connected the men but it seemed rather dull, granted I was never into rowing as a sport. I thought it was interesting had well the author researched the subject as well as BDSM for men.Benedict is our submissive but does not realize he craves domination. So when Lucien comes into the picture demanding all of Ben, he is shy and confused as to why he needs it. Lucien is a sadist and he awakens Ben’s masochist side in a way that proves only a dedicated Dom will find in his submissive. I did not realize there was so many different toys for submissive men and it was fun to learn about them. The way the author incorporates the toys or experiences Ben goes through is seamless and makes the audience feel like they are a part of it. Never knew how demanding British men can be.Here is where the 50 Shades comes into play. At certain points it seems that Lucien does not like to be touched and demands of Ben (who is a virgin and new to the scene besides doing initial research) so much. Lucien’s past is off-limits and it is hinted at that he had a relationship with an older family friend; who is Ben’s tutor. Lucien is possessive of Ben to the point of anyone who looks at him will get the “glare” and a severe talking to. The first night they are together there is an intense scene for a newbie to go through and to feel fine afterwards is kind of unheard of. From most BDSM books I have read, the submissive does not realize or understand the emotional overflow that comes with fully submitting the first time. Yes, Ben is confused but he embraces it with only a little resistance.In the end, it left me wanting more and flipping through the last pages quickly. I hope we get another book because I would like to know more about Lucien, Maddy, and what happens to Seb.I was gifted a copy from the JeepDiva in exchange for an honest review. The opinions and ratings of this review are my own and I was in no way compensated.

  • Skye Blue ☆*~゚ლ(´ڡ`ლ)~*☆
    2019-06-03 07:22

    Hmmm. I did enjoy this, but for some reason, I had a hard time keeping at it.I continually put it down, and read it about a chapter at a time. That's not usual for me.The story was good. Ben and Lucian worked well as a couple. I liked the kink. I can't place why I kept putting it down. Perhaps it was my issue, and not the book at all. For as much work they did, preparing for rowing, the actual competition seemed forgotten most of the time. Seb deserved more punishment for his actions than he received. You would think Lucian would have been more upset with him. After all, he did cock slap Ben in the face against his will. As jealous as Lucian is, I would think he would do something to Seb. Yet he seemed uncharacteristically forgiving

  • Maggie Simms
    2019-05-24 10:31

    Lovely, kinky fairy tale with a bit of D/s. Love me some sexy, possessive lover who wants to dominate.

  • LiveYourLife BuyTheBook
    2019-06-06 06:03

    4 StarsWhew! That was sexy! I can’t say the plot was great but the guys were pretty hot and the characters were good.Ben is just trying to get through college. He keeps up the row house for a free room. His supervisor is a total prick and enjoys treating Ben like crap. He’s also supposedly straight but leers and makes sexual comments that make Ben uncomfortable but Ben needs the place to live and he gets to use the equipment to row. A day that started off bad turns worse for Ben when the gorgeous but arrogant prick demands he be his rowing partner for the morning.Lucien Thorn is a lord. Raised with wealth and privilege he’s used to getting what he wants from people. He’s been watching Ben for six months and he likes what he sees. Really likes it. He has his sights set on Ben and he aims to get him.I think this was a pretty good D/s story for those who don’t like the hard core stuff. I’d say it’s more a really bossy lover telling someone who likes to be told what to do in bed. Yes there was spanking and toys and a little rough sex but there was also a real love connection. The guys came from two different worlds but found some common ground. They admitted their feelings for each other quickly so there wasn’t a lot of angst. I think Lucien bordered on too big of a jerk for my tastes sometimes but he had some nice and tender moments. He also never wavered from his strong and dominate ways so I guess that’s realistic and Ben liked it. Another reason they were made for each other! Ben was a natural born submissive. The rest of Whit's review can be found at Live Your Life, Buy The Book

  • Sherry
    2019-05-24 13:19

    2.5 starsA story that you have to take a lot of things on faith.Ben lives in the flat above a rowing club boathouse in exchange for being the dogsbody for the president of the club, Seb. Admittedly, I don't know anything about rowing or their clubs but I would have thought someone would have at least said to Seb, Hey, you're being a complete dick!In comes Lucien, who is apparently BMOC of this club, who chooses Ben as a training partner for doubles. Apparently Lucien has been watching Ben for awhile (6 months) and liked what he saw in his rowing capabilities and his personality. It's an abrupt jump into BDSM with Lucien being a hard taskmaster and slightly mysterious to boot (hence, my cynicsm about believing Lucien is only 25 y/o). Lucien introduces Ben to the joys of sex, bondage, discipline, and his siblings family.An event occurs that demands that Ben and Lucien win - you guessed it! - a rowing match! (view spoiler)[I don't know how Seb, as president of the club, would have been able to lose the deeds to the club itself. How did Seb get to be the president anyway since he's apparently not well liked and a tool? At first I thought it was a university rowing club but then not because Lucien is a practicing lawyer. Some stuff just confused the hell outta me. :( (hide spoiler)]I don't know that I can really recommend it as it's an entirely forgettable story IMO.

  • Ruthie Taylor
    2019-05-30 08:11

    ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~This is definitely a very hot and steamy erotic read. The chemistry between the two men is wonderful, and the M/s dynamic is very enticing. There is a fine balance between what most of us can see as acceptable and going too far, and although this skirts right on the edge at times, it just manages to keep its balance (for me at least). There was a good fleshing out of the main characters, and some interesting points about class, status and money thrown in for good measure. I did have a few issues with the rowing terminology as I am a rower, and so some parts were impossible - Lucien cannot stroke and also watch Ben's back - because Ben would be seated behind him, and a pair is two rowers with a single blade each, but they were sculling in a double. That said the atmosphere, and the level of seriousness that rowers take in terms of training and eating etc, let alone the hierarchy, were very well done. I was sad when the story ended as I wanted to live longer in their company, which to me is always the sign of a good story with engaging protagonists. Thank you!

  • Veronica
    2019-05-20 10:27

    I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.Ben, a university student, works at the local rowing club. When Lord Lucien Thorne, an Olympic rower, approaches him and asks to row with him it quickly becomes obvious that Lucien is interested in more than a rowing partner. I loved the dom/sub relationship here. Ben is inexperienced but open and willing and it is clear that Lucien will take care of him while still pushing his boundaries.Between the rowing scenes on the river and the time spent at the Castle this story has lovely scenery and the author's writing gave this story a calmness I really liked. When it was over I was disappointed because I wanted more time with Lucien and Ben.It was great to see a sports romance based around rowing - a sport I only really pay attention to during the Olympics. I had no idea rowing could be so sexy. Bring on the games in Rio.

  • LeeAnne
    2019-05-25 14:20

    I really enjoyed this M/M BDSM romance. The beginning was a bit slow going but it gets steamy pretty quick and I’m giving it a solid 4 stars.Ben is a student at the local university and in exchange for working at a country club for rowing he has a place to stay. Ben is submissive but has no idea how much he craves being dominated. Until Lucian comes along and demands that Ben submit. Outside the bedroom Lucian has pulled Ben into the sport of rowing, testing Ben’s stamina and skill at the sport. When Ben’s boss at the club makes a horrible bet while gambling that could cost them the rowing club Ben and Lucian step in as a team to win back the rights to the club. I’ve read several M/M books but I had no idea how many different toys there were for MM BDSM, it was interesting learning about them. I really enjoyed the progression of Lucian and Ben’s relationship, Lucian is a dominant badass but when Ben needs him he has a heart of gold and I came to love him by the end of the book. I definitely recommend you check this one out especially if you enjoy a good M/M romance. I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

  • S.M. Harshell
    2019-05-16 06:02

    **I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.**Stroke Rate started strong for me, but it seems to lose steam somewhere and ends on a bland note.Ben works for the rowing club. He has to do any and every job. In return he gets free room and board while he's in college. He's a good rower but doesn't really get noticed until the star rower Lucian takes notice of him. Lucian sees the submissive in Ben. Lucian thinks he knows exactly what Ben needs, pain. Ben's a virgin and has never experienced this type of play. Ben's shy and confused as to why he needs to have someone dominate him.Lucian is full of secrets and past issues. Ben without any prior BDSM knowledge willing gives in without compliant. It was a strong start but just fizzled out for me.

  • Camille
    2019-05-25 14:10

    Well...this was a disappointment.It was a good enough read, just a lot less than I expected. The reasons are as follows:* It was trope-y and Fifty Shades-y. * The pacing was off.* It was underdeveloped.* The alpha was a bit text-book.* There was not enough information.* It was all scenes, little characterisation.* The dialogue was stiff.* There was little in the way of originality. I've read the books in this book.I liked the beginning. It showed promise. Lucien's intial approach and capturing of Ben was delicious. I also enjoyed the Cinderfella aspect and wouldn't have minded this being brought out some more. Too, the way in which Lucien dominated Ben in terms of their relationship was yum but I didn't like the confusion between DD and BDSM. Additionally, the name Lucien needs to be retired. It's obvious and the connotations are over-used.Lastly, I'm guessing Seb is going to get his own redemption story. If I can borrow it I'll read it but this book does not inspire me to make purchase of the author's work again.

  • Carole-Ann
    2019-05-19 13:14

    4.5* really - this was rather good!Benedict is completing his final year at Uni, and looking after the Rowing Club boathouse in his spare time. Lucien is a young lawyer, ex-Olympian rower who takes an interest in Ben.And wheeeee, how HOT is that interest! Lucien is looking for a new rowing partner, and also someone who will follow his orders to the letter. Ben, puzzled, does all this, not really understanding why he does everything Lucien tells him to. The build up of their relationship is totally hot and sexy, and not without question (but we don't tend to dwell on that). There's a lot of background information which is missing, but doesn't detract from the overall story.My half star reduction is because (view spoiler)[Ben is a virgin, and Lucien takes that virginity rather harshly (with Ben's permission), and continues to use him well. Ben falls (too easily to my mind) into submission to Lucien, so I have to question how quickly Ben is subdued, AND how quickly they claim love between them. (hide spoiler)] But, apart from this, it is really great.

  • Beck
    2019-06-12 09:04

    Yay ... after reading a slew of mediocre books lately, I finally struck a winner ... this was an awesome read ... atmospheric to the point where I could feel the water gliding under the boat & the mist kissing my skin ... kinky in a wonderfully perverted way ... loving without being saccharine ... just lovely.

  • Lioness7
    2019-05-27 06:27

    You have a shy college student working at the local rowing club for lodging. Then you have one of the top rowers that has his eyes on him. He wants him as a submissive. That is basically the main point of the book. It has its funny moments and its sexy moments. Overall, it was a pretty good book.

  • Alyosha
    2019-05-25 13:29

    Mostly nice. Though, I wish Benedict hadn't been referred to as a "victim", especially during sex scenes. Absolute turn off. 2.5 stars

  • ★MC's Corner★
    2019-06-06 14:24


  • Molly Lolly
    2019-06-14 14:21

    Original review on Molly LollyFour stars!I enjoyed this story so much. I adored the setting and how Ben and Lucien get together. I adore Ms. Somerton’s writing style. She brings out emotions and gets you invested in the story right from the beginning. She writes wonderful BDSM that actually represents the lifestyle. The characters are fun and you get invested in what happens to them.Ben is a little timid, however he learns to stand up for himself better as the story goes on. He’s a little cheeky with Lucien and it’s so fun to see how they both react. Ben ran himself ragged with everything he had going on. But he also gave each thing his focus and made sure to do it to the best of his ability. His feelings for Lucien were so easy to see and I adored how much he wanted to please Lucien.Lucien was a little much at times. However he was unashamedly himself. He didn’t care what others thought of him and proudly went for what he wanted; namely Ben. He had a presence about him Ben couldn’t help but respond to. Lucien was strong and in charge and had a deliciously wicked mind. You could tell he deeply cared for Ben and was concerned for Ben’s well being. He hid a soft core when it comes to his family and Ben.Ben and Lucien are wonderful together. They may have started their relationship quickly, but Lucien still took his time with Ben to be sure Ben was comfortable and actually wanted the kind of relationship they had. You could tell they both had deep feelings and by the end they were so in love and so happy. I would love to see more of these two even if there aren’t any more obstacles in their path. I’d gladly read a sequel if there ever is one.

  • Shelby
    2019-06-16 10:06

    So in spite of this relationship progressing incredibly quickly and Ben acquiescing to Lucien's control before he even knew what the heck was going on, I still found myself enjoying this story. I loved the background of the crew club and all of the rowing. I find myself more and more fascinated with this particular sport for some reason. Look the BDSM elements of this story felt rushed and a little forced onto Ben. There was never any attempt to explain anything to Ben, to make him feel more comfortable with the way he was reacting to Lucien. But I was able to deal with it and accept it as part of the story rationalizing that Lucien is a young Dom. He truly wanted to make Ben happy, but I wanted more communication between the boys about what was the underlying connection between them.Still I liked both guys and wanted them to be happy together so at the end of the day I walked away from this one with a smile on my face.