Book Reviews

Cleave (Cutting Cords 3) by Mickie B. Ashling at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / BDSM / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Barb Manning on 24-June-2012

Book Blurb

On New Year’s Eve, Cole Fujiwara stands vigil at his father’s deathbed while his surrogate wife, Noriko, gives birth to twins. As Cole contemplates his future, he acknowledges that he’s living his father’s dream… and that he’s probably destroyed his chance at happiness with Sloan, the love of his life.


Finding harmony in an emerging D/s relationship has not been without issue for Sloan Driscoll and his Master, Trent Hamilton.  Their journey has been littered with mishaps, but their powerful love and sexual connection continue to bind them together—until Sloan comes face to face with Cole for the first time in nine months.


The meeting means different things to each of them. To Cole, it’s the first step on the path to a reunion. To Sloan, it’s a terrible mistake, one he confesses immediately. As for Trent, the bitter realization that a connection between the former lovers still exists forces him to issue an ultimatum.  Is Sloan willing to do anything to prove their relationship is worth saving, including becoming Trent’s 24/7 slave? And if Sloan stays with Trent, how can Cole ever hope to find happiness again?


Book Review

Cleave by Mickie B. Ashling is the third book in the Cutting Cords trilogy. In this installment Sloan Driscoll and Trent Hamilton reach some real understanding regarding their Dom/sub relationship, while Cole Fujiwara and the surrogate mother of his twins, Noriko come to a new stage in their relationship.

Cleave is a very appropriate title for this book, since the word can mean both severing and clinging. I loved this particular book in the trilogy. Cleave ties together some of the loose threads in the earlier books. Ashling reveals some of Trent's personal and family background. Before Cleave, Trent was the shadowy, mysterious figure; this book fleshes out his character.

Cleave focuses primarily on the relationship between Sloan and Trent. There are some painful moments with tears and recriminations, as well as more detail on the BDSM lifestyle. Is Sloan really a sub? He finds some aspects of the Dom/sub relationship disturbing. Nevertheless, he is strongly attracted to Trent. The passion between them is very fiery and Sloan needs the boundaries set by Trent.

On the other hand, Sloan and Cole have a strong connection. There's the history of their five-year relationship and family connections, as well as professional baseball. How they work out the dynamics of their relationship is an important aspect of the story. Is Sloan going to go back to his former lover and friend? Is Cole going to make a life as a parent with his new twins? These are just a couple of the questions addressed by Ashling in Cleave.

Cleave is a nice wrap to a successful series with some characters worth getting to know.



DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 230 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 11-May-2012
Price 6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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