What do you get when you mix two emotionally and physically abused men who flirt on the edge of attraction for one another? You get Kele Moon's latest offering, Finding Eden. I knew, going in, that I had to be emotionally prepped for this book. Kele can eke out emotion- the darker the better. Danny Carlow has been attracted to his best friend, golden boy Paul Mattling. He is also in love with Paul's girlfriend Eve. The three have been together since kindergarten. When Eve moves to New York to accept a scholarship, Paul's thin veneer of control begins to crack.
Finding Eden is the prequel to Beyond Eden. This is the story of Danny and Paul as they try to move on from their relationship with Eve. Paul needs an outlet for his rage. He has been his father's and brother's punching bag for years. In a final confrontation, Paul refuses to let in to his pain as his father and brothers beat him. When his father can't get him to crack, Paul is kicked out of the home. He stays with Danny, but he discovers that he needs more. He begins to go to BDSM parties that are hosted by a sadistic Domme, Arty. When one of these parties leaves him battered beyond words, Danny intercedes.
Danny also bears his own scars. His father, a workable alcoholic, is vitriolic and abusive to Danny and his `gay' ways. His father is wealthy, but Danny refuses to rely on him for funding. He has known for years that he loved Paul but never said anything because he didn't want to lose his best friend. Danny is just as broken as Paul, but in a different way. While Paul needs pain to relieve his suffering, Danny gives the proverbial finger to everyone and everything that does not go his way.
This is an incredibly emotionally charged book and I am glad that I read Beyond Eden first. I know that Danny and Paul will get their happily ever after, but the journey there is so wrought with pain and suffering. Kele doesn't pull any punches for her readers or for her characters.
**Re-Released prequel to Kele Moon’s darkly erotic novel Beyond Eden**
Handsome, angry and spoiled, Danny Carlow struggles to find his place in the world when his hatred for authority makes survival difficult. The only thing that keeps him from completely giving up and turning to a life of crime is his friendship with clean-cut Paul Mattling. More than his conscience and his best friend, Paul’s also the one Danny secretly pines for with every ounce of his being.
Paul is a natural over-achiever with a football scholarship and straight A’s to boast about. Yet Paul is haunted by an abusive childhood that’s left him more scarred than anyone realizes. Looking for an escape from his demons, Paul has his own deviant secrets, ones he doesn’t want anyone, especially Danny, to know about.
When dark desires are accidentally revealed Danny and Paul end up coming together in a clash of wild passion more tumultuous than either of them could have anticipated. Tasting the forbidden is sweet, but it turns the tables on their relationship, putting everything, even their lifelong friendship, in jeopardy.
Reader Advisory: This story visits the dark side of BDSM, where the only thing more intense than the scenes the characters participate in, is the love they have for one another. Please note there is a very brief F/F encounter.