Book Reviews

Cutting Out (Cutting Cords 4) by Mickie B. Ashling

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Erotic Romance / BDSM / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Alex on 21-April-2021

Book Blurb

Hours after their mock wedding, real life intrudes, and arguments arise between Sloan Driscoll and Trent Hamilton. At his BDSM club, Trent bumps into an old army friend who makes him an offer he can’t refuse. In the meantime, Sloan receives a frantic call from ex-lover, Cole Fujiwara, who informs him the twins are missing. Cole asks for help but adds a caveat—keep it confidential.

Trent considers the opportunity to resume a career cut short. Ignoring Sloan’s threat to postpone their wedding, he leaves for the Middle East on a fact-finding mission while Sloan rushes to aid Cole.

As the former couple begin their quest to rescue the children, disturbing revelations are uncovered. A new understanding develops and old feelings arise. Despite the heightened awareness, neither man makes a move. Sloan focuses on the endgame without jeopardizing his current relationship, while Cole must prepare himself to survive another disappointment if Sloan remains with Trent.



Content Warning: Cutting, body image issues, kidnapping, violence, non-con, death of a secondary character.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, October 2014.


Book Review

I am happy to say that the fourth and possibly final book of the Cutting Cords series is a triumph. What a fulfilling and wonderful episode in this amazing series. Sloan, Trent, and Cole are back and Sloan finds both of his lovers, new and old, in crisis. On the brink of showcasing their very public wedding, Sloan and Trent experience a monumental setback in their relationship. This setback forces a six-week separation upon the couple allowing each to think independently on the “issue” in question. Coming swiftly on the heels of this turmoil, Cole leaves a series of messages on Sloan’s phone, each more desperate than the last. Tempted to ignore them, as he is in the middle of his own crisis, Sloan relents and learns that Cole’s baby sons have been kidnapped by the Yakuza. Despite Trent’s military background, Cole requests that Sloan not involve him. The kidnappers are also holding Cole’s ex wife Noriko and have sworn to send her back in pieces should the police become involved. A severed finger with Noriko’s ring on it accompanies the letter of ransom, which demands three million dollars in cash. Estranged from Trent and acknowledging that Cole and Freddie, Cole’s seeing eye dog, cannot make the trip to Japan to deliver the ransom alone, Sloan agrees to help.

What follows is a fast-paced, emotion wrought adventure as Sloan and Cole are once again thrown together to save the children who were partly responsible for the breakup of their relationship.  While Sloan loves and babysits his godchildren frequently, Noriko, the true reason for Cole and Sloan’s breakup, he truly cannot stand. But no one deserves to be killed in the manner the severed finger suggests, do they? And will Trent understand being left out of the loop, or will Sloan’s withholding of information make permanent the rift the “issue” has driven between them?

I loved this story and read it in one sitting. Yes, it is could-not-put-it down good. It was terrific to see all three characters again and find out how the years and their subsequent relationships have changed them. While Sloan is still the outspoken, wild child fashion model, he has matured somewhat due to both caring for Cole’s sons and by Trent’s guidance and support through their BDSM based relationship. Cole has also matured through his loss of Sloan, the divorce from his wife, and his care for his sons. With his father’s death, Cole has inherited millions and gifted the mother of his sons with a remarkable alimony payout and harbors no ill wishes for her. He also has begun to date again. Trent matures to realize that he no longer finds satisfaction in modeling, but faces losing Sloan if he gains that which will genuinely complete him.

I confess my heart was in my throat wondering how this love triangle between these extraordinary men would play out. Upon completing chapter twenty-seven, a dizzying wave of happiness rushed through me. By the finish of this twenty-eight-chapter story, I swear—I could hear the Radiohead, Kid A melody “Everything in its right place.” Loved it! Thank you, Mickie B. Ashling, for penning this lovely “You can’t always get what you want, but if … you get what you need” episode of this remarkable and romantic “growing pains” series.

“Spunky, funky, real love”





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 219 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 26-September-2020
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link