Guest Review: Forgive Us (Deliver Us, #3) by Lynn Kelling

To everyone else, Trace is an enigmatic and carefully controlled Dominant. He runs Diadem, a private BDSM club and is a Master and mentor to his fellow Doms and their lovers—Gabriel, Darrek, Ben, and Kyle—while trying to be Master and lover for Micah. Trace is the one they all depend on to step in when anything or anyone threatens his closest friends.

But even Trace is in over his head when haunting events of the past endanger all their lives. Trace is forced to call on old connections for help from the world he tried to leave behind—the Master’s Circle in England. Tensions rise to a fever pitch as Trace’s hidden truths shake up the lives of everyone in his tangled, tight-knit family. (M/M+)

Reviewed by Vivian

Crazy train tries to become a daisy chain.

The runaway train is brought back under control as the insanity prevalent in the first two books in the series is dialed back. That doesn't mean there isn't the wild carousel of acts and surprise appearances; it just means the main characters aren't wielding deadly weapons against each others' mental well-being.

Enter Gray, the calm in the storm and meet Trace as you’ve never known him.

There is a series' crossover occurring with this book from Lynn Kelling's Deliver Us and Jack Pyke's Masters' Circle. Gray, Jack and Jan are the stabilizing force in chaos of Diadem. The synergy turns out well.

Gabriel and Darrek are still a mess. Events, paranoia and their own issues are driving that train.

And Micah…yeah, no big surprise that this is the implosion of the book. The total disregard for mental health counseling is upsetting beyond belief. I HATE the use of BDSM in lieu of appropriate healthcare. The situation in this book is something that required counseling and not talking about it is the problem and perpetuating the myth that the magic penis will save you is gross negligence in this instance. Honestly, the weakest point in this series for me has been that every character has been completely mental and in need of assistance and while it is addressed there is the implication that only persons suffering psychologically would be BDSM participants. If this was levied against other groups it would be chastised and as entertaining as the series maybe I'm going to call it on the mat.

What fun is in store? Wax play, sounding, electric play, medical play, whipping, strapping, and the list goes on. As usual, the raw grittiness and sensuality of the sex scenes are the highlight of the book. So plan some "Me" time when starting.

Love the scenes and their creativity and sadism, but the story itself due to the sheer wtfuckery makes me disengage at times. Before it was bed and fuck with your head roulette. Now, Gray is reaming Trace over his handling of Diadem and the boys. Gray’s running roughshot over everyone and everything. That said, there are some fun scenes as each person is run through and set straight. Lives are torn apart and pieced back together again slightly differently.

And the suspense aspect of the story is ratcheted up big time including the psychological and physical torture. Gray’s on top of everything—Everything. Let’s just say some of the three letter agencies mentioned in this seem to be a bit mixed up in regards to jurisdiction.

Overall, more of a suspense than melodramatic ending to the series, which I appreciated. Gray’s appearance in the story toned down a lot of the absolutely mental behavior and substituted it with iron-fisted Dom-ination.

And manages to end with a pretty bow on it.

Wag of the finger to Ben's endeavor at the end of the story. Something I really despise, but thankfully it was reserved for the end and was minimally distracting, but still annoying. Author commentary about writing should be saved for another venue and not within the book one is writing. I know it may not bug everyone, but it is a major pet peeve of mine.

My rating was affected by my need and hopes after reading the series that the characters would find a good place in the end and I have to admit I was satisfied. I strongly advise these books not be read individually.

Favorite quote because it shows reinsertion of sanity--Hallelujah:
“He doesn’t need your apologies. He needs you to make him feel safe.”

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