Born to Please is the first book I have read by author GA Hauser and now that I have I will most definitely be reading several more. To start, her style is fluid, each scene connecting seamlessly to the next. Her characters are real, dealing with believable human issues of weakness and fear. This makes their journey towards each other emotionally.
Colt St. John, whose real name is Cary, is powerful in his day job as a successful lawyer, and in his night world as a renowned dom. Sought after by sub clients, his appointments span well into the future. Still, with all of the power and notoriety, he still feels something is missing. But this is how he prefers it. To be alone. To keep his connections with others clinical and controlled, like everything else in his life…or so he thinks.
Ashton Lake is a recovering drug addict who has been clean and sober for two years. He had fallen to his low point after high school, but had brought himself back up and worked in the building where Colt’s law firm was located as a janitor. All of Ashton’s relationships have led him down the road of addiction and recovery. Now focused on himself, he questions whether a relationship is what he wants or needs. But all of that changes in a form he never expected…a man.
Over the course of the story, Colt and Ashton’s inner demons play a significant role. Each is terrified of getting into a relationship. Their reserve is bred from years of self-doubt and harsh lessons which have caused them to mistrust anyone but themselves.
Slowly, each opens up to new feelings and sensations. In their own ways, they take risks which push them outside their comfort zones and which ultimately push them closer to their reward. Yet, for every two steps forward, they take one step back, recoiling into protective shells.
Ms. Hauser has designed the story to ebb and flow, carrying the reader on a gentle, yet emotional journey filled with highs and lows, elations and despair. The feelings conveyed on the page are one’s we, as readers, can easily understand. We don’t have to be a dom to know what it means to fear intimacy. We don’t have to be a recovering drug addict to fear the loss of control; giving too much of ourselves to someone else.
There is something in Colt and Ashton that resonates in all of us and that, I believe, is what makes this a transcendent book. Born to Please may be an erotic romance where both heroes are men, but what they feel and experience crosses gender boundaries. This story explores the condition of being human and fallible. It examines what it means to learn about oneself, forgive one’s past missteps, and look past the shortcomings of others.
There were two minor issues for me as a reader which did not take away at all from the story, but I’ll mention them here anyways. The sex, while frequent, was not described in the greatest of detail. We experience what is going on inside each character’s head extremely well, but the actual actions, what is being filled with what and where, are conveyed, but the physical sensations not described with as much detail as I would have liked. That’s a personal preference. Along with the emotional experience, I want to feel each stretch, tingle, and throb during sex as well. The other thing was a twist Ms. Hauser threw in toward the end. Basically, right when we feel the two have overcome their hurdles and are able to be a couple, one last thing stands in their way. For me, the added barrier didn’t add to their journey and what the two heroes went through could have been accomplished without it. Perhaps you may feel that this extra twist was essential to the plot, so PLEASE read this book and let me know what you think.
As I said, both of those concerns were minor. The writing conveys each message in a visceral way, with vivid details that tap into all senses. The sex was still red hot and I felt like I learned a lot about the dom/sub culture as well as the emotional allure of the lifestyle for the dom and the sub. Each session was highly erotic and exciting to read and that aspect of the sex scenes was incredibly hot. Now that I’m done with the novel, I can say that Ms. Hauser designed a flawless emotional ride that left me utterly satisfied. That, above all else, is what makes for a terrific read.
Twenty-nine year old charismatic, Cary 'Colt' St. John, felt almost too confident in himself even before he graduated law school and began working for an LA law firm. Acting out his sexual fantasies as a powerful dom in nightclubs was near perfection. Until he grew bored with that as well. He yearned 'fresh meat', someone he could train. The repetitive 'acting subs' in the same scenarios he played each night no longer excited him.
Straight, masculine, twenty-four year old Ashton Lake, had been through much in his troubled teens. But he was trying to hold down a steady job, stay off drugs and stick to his support meetings.
When Colt lingers one night at his office, he discovers the shy janitor, already submissive to his assertive gaze. Colt knew he had found the perfect slave. He only had to groom him.
What neither Colt nor Ashton could have predicted was the connection that bonded them. Soon Colt had to wonder, who was serving whom? The scorching heat that was created between them convinced both men, they were born to please- each other.