This book almost passed me by -- I'm a bit behind on MM-book releases these days -- and that would be a crime. Because I love Kate Sherwood's book and I enjoyed Feral, the first book in this series. So I bought it from Amazon, and not even a glitch in delivery could stop me (that is a different technical matter)
So ... I'm still drown by anxiety hours after finishing this book. For what I considered as a contemporary fiction, Lap Dog offered a great suspense as well. Sherwood put both our MCs in a "between rock and hard place" situation which put me on the edge of my seat almost through out the book. Because I seriously had no idea where the story was going, and Sherwood definitely challenged me with how I should feel of Simon. Was he a villain? Was he someone I should hate?
It was easy to sympathize with Tristan -- and it was his situation that put my heart went berserk because I wanted it so bad for him to be okay, but I didn't know what Sherwood had in store for him, so I kept reading with trepidation -- but I couldn't find myself hating Simon either. Which was why I thought this story was sort of being amazing. I love it when an author raises the stake for the characters, and I don't know what will happen next. It is one of the best reading experiences ever!
I also loved the conversations that happened between Tristan and Simon. This is one of 'low steam level' stories -- in fact we didn't get a kiss until around 3/4 of the book -- thus the attraction that happens is more than just physical. It's almost like an attraction of the mind; Tristan is intrigued with Simon, and vice versa. I was very much in trance with their discussions (I couldn't exactly call it banters!) as much as I did with the plot.
One thing that stopped this from being perfect, for me, was that Tristan frustrated me a bit near the end. It was like he refused to do what Simon was offering him just because. At that time, I was already very much a Simon's supporter (even if I sympathized with Tristan in the beginning), so I was basically annoyed on Simon's behalf. Because Simon wasn't (annoyed); he took whatever consequences he would received.
This opinion is vague, I know. But this is a time when I want to focus on my feeling without having to explain what the plot is all about. Bottom line, I loved it. It was an intense reading experience, and I didn't think I've felt that way for a while now. Especially for a book that is not marketed as thriller/suspense.
I can't wait to read about Micah; being an addict like him, I'm sure that Sherwood will again take me for a ride with his road to self-recovery.