Book Reviews

Vessel (Cutting Cords 2) by Mickie B. Ashling at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / BDSM / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Barb Manning on 12-November-2011

Book Blurb

Five years into their relationship, Sloan Driscoll’s peaceful existence is suddenly upended. His lover, Cole Fujiwara, gives him an ultimatum: agree to a surrogate birth or break up. Noriko Evans, a beautiful woman of Japanese/American descent, is handpicked by Cole’s father to be the surrogate. At the same time, Trent Hamilton, model and established Dominant, sets his eyes on Sloan, offering him another life choice.

Sloan is thrown off balance by this series of events he can neither understand nor control. He’d thought the topic of children had been laid to rest years ago, but with the advent of a new form of genetic testing, Cole’s fear of passing on retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that leads to blindness, has been greatly reduced. Noriko’s abrupt appearance threatens Sloan, as does Sloan’s attraction to Trent and a side of the BDSM world he’d never thought to explore.

Will Sloan be able to muster the inner strength he’ll need to deal with one shocking revelation after another, or will he succumb to a dangerous coping mechanism? His decisions will either lead to salvation... or hasten the end of the relationship that literally saved his life.


Book Review

Vessel is the sequel to Mickie B. Ashling's Cutting Cords, the passionate story of blind former baseball player, Cole Fujiwara, and high fashion model, Sloan Driscoll. Five years have passed and their relationship is in crisis. Cole wants a child and wants Noriko Evans, a beautiful Japanese-American woman, to be the surrogate. His plans leave Sloan feeling like a fifth wheel. Should Sloan accept Cole's choice, or end the relationship?

The turmoil of the decision sends Sloan into a tailspin. Sloan's not sure how to cope and considers turning to his former mechanism for dealing with stress - cutting. At the same time, his mentor and friend, Max, introduces him to Trent Hamilton, a virile young Dom and fellow model who offers another option.

How these characters interact in such a volatile situation makes Vessel a fast-paced read. Ashling's characters are strong and passionate. Cole's struggle to deal with his blindness and Sloan's desire to maintain his love for him are powerful. Meanwhile, Trent occupies the stage as a compelling Dom and reveals some interesting facets of the BDSM lifestyle to Sloan.

Ashling is a good story-teller and her depiction of copying with blindness is honest. Ashling leaves the reader guessing as to how Vessel will end until the very last. Are Sloan and Cole going to maintain their relationship? Is Sloan going to fall under the thrall of Trent? Can there be a happy ending to this romance?

Vessel is great read with characters that engage and an interesting plot.

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, 252 pages/64315 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-October-2011
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle
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