Title: What About Now
Author Name & Publisher: Grace R. Duncan (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 9, 2016 — 284 Pages
Five years ago, everything went wrong. Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.
After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.
With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.
Sadly I can only give this book 3 star rating. This book was okay but not great. I do enjoy this authors writing style and when I read the blurb I could wait to read this. Unfortunately this book was kind a dull and uninspiring. The chemistry between Rafe and Braden was HOT and the tender moments aspiring, but unfortunately it ends there. The BDSM was there but seem to be lacking the emotion and excitement to really even consider believing it. Don’t get me wrong I love reading BDSM books this just not really for me. I did love the romantic aspect of the story but never really warmed up to either Rafe or Braden.Sadly I can only give this book 3 star rating. This book was okay but not great. I do enjoy this authors writing style and when I read the blurb I could wait to read this. Unfortunately this book was kind a dull and uninspiring. The chemistry between Rafe and Braden was HOT and the tender moments aspiring, but unfortunately it ends there. The BDSM was there but seem to be lacking the emotion and excitement to really even consider believing it. Don’t get me wrong I love reading BDSM books this just not really for me. I did love the romantic aspect of the story but never really warmed up to either Rafe or Braden.
Triggers: Attempted rape, BDSM components
Rafe is a well known game developer/business man. He is also a workaholic since his split from the love of his life, Braden. Throughout this story, we catch snippets of their relationship and how it was – Rafe controlling and domineering and unable to understand why. Then you are given a somewhat disjointed accounting of his past and possible reasons as to why Rafe needed the control.
Then you are thrown in to the vacation of Braden. He is coerced on to a ship, despite his giant phobia of large bodies of water by his parents. It is supposed to be a chance for him to take a break, relax and not be such a workaholic too. However, what he doesn’t realize is that it is also a setup. Rafe has convinced Braden’s mom to trick him on to the cruise.
When they meet again, it’s a shock to Braden. However, I found that despite his reservations about allowing Rafe back in to his life again, he does let Rafe back in fairly quickly and without a lot of begging on Rafe’s part. It is almost too easy for Rafe, in my opinion.
You see their relationship from the past and present – this is where the book, for me, kind of slows down. It is much more about them courting than their actual relationship and what the past issues had been. I wish that it had been less on the ship and more about them moving forward.
However, you also see where they can learn and develop their BDSM relationship.
Overall, this was a sweet second chance romance, but it was a little slow.
When I first started reading this I really couldn’t get into it, the first 2%-3% didn’t have much dialogue and I hate that and I usually either skim the rest of the book or bail but something kept me going and I am so glad. This book just went straight to my heart. Braden and Rafe were together for several years, went to college together, started a business together and then things went to hell in a hand basket. The entire time I was rooting for them to get back together and to make it work this time. You couldn’t help but love both of them and see both sides of the story from each of their perspectives. The sex was hot as hell and they made you laugh non-stop. They had/have the kind of relationship everyone dreams of. I love how Braden’s mom was in on it to get him on the ship and how everyone was trying to make them come together like the auction that Rafe bought every ticket for or the night they got handcuffed together for charity. I am not sure I would ever go on a 28 day cruise but I loved how Braden and Rafe had that time away from everything to do what needed to be done to get their happily ever after. Loved this book and didn’t want it to end. It was a feel good book that I am sure I will be reading again.
This is a book that is full of hurt, heartbreak, misunderstandings, misconceptions, and of course love.
Rafe and Braden both have went through more than there fair share of all of those things that I previously mentioned. And because of the hurt, pain, misunderstandings, and misconceptions that both suffered a great heartache that neither was able to more on from even 5 years after they split up and Braden left Rafe.
Rafe and Braden’s mom set him up to be on a month long cruise five years after Braden walked out on Rafe. Braden had no clue that Rafe was going to be on the cruise nor did he know that Rafe was determined to set straight whattruly happened the night that Braden walked into their home 5 years ago and thought that Rafe was cheating on him, which is the furthest thing from the truth and what actually happened. He also did not know that Rafe was still just as much in love with him as he had always been and that he was planning to win him back.
This is a book that shows exactly how not communicating with the one you love can cause a rift in your relationship and how when that rift starts, things can get turned around in your head and you may not see what is actually reality as towhat is happening in front of you. Distrust can make you perceive one thing that is completely opposite. It also shows that not all advice you are given is good advice. That sometimes when you ask a friend for their advice, it may not be the best advice because they have no knowledge on the topic that you are talking about.
Even though this book is about some deeply sad misunderstandings it is alsoabout second chances and opening your heart when you are scared. It is aboutopening your mind and trying to understand yourself as well as loving the one you are with.
I love this book. I look forward to reading more books by Grace Duncan. She is an amazing author and really portrayed her talents in this book.