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Summary

Dr. River McKay moved to Denver with his husband, Terrence, hoping to give their failing marriage a new start. A year later, Terrence is gone, and River’s left brokenhearted. Now, he’s decided it’s time to get back in the game. A chance encounter at the hospital introduces him to Phil, a strong-willed pharmacist who isn’t impressed by River’s degree.  

Phil can’t deny his attraction to River, but dating is out of the question. Phil only does one kind of relationship - domestic servitude, where he gives the orders and his partner obeys. To his surprise, River agrees - not because he likes the idea, but because anything’s better than being alone.  

They know the arrangement won’t last. Phil’s set in his ways and incapable of showing affection outside the bedroom. River’s unused to obedience and still in love with his ex. But their time together will change them, making them question everything they thought they knew about love, control, and relationships. 

When the unexpected threatens to tear them apart, they’ll have to choose between the comforts of the past and a future they can only find together.

©2018 Marie Sexton (P)2018 Marie Sexton

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Profile Image for RACHEL REED
  • RACHEL REED
  • 13-01-21

An emotional and heartfelt listen!

This is book 2 in the Heretic Doms series and can be listened to as a standalone.

This book was emotional, heartfelt and totally captured my heart.

I loved that the author touched upon some deep rooted issues and addressed them.

This book was lower in the angst than book 1 and I absolutely loved how the characters were portrayed.

The dynamics between Phil and River was interesting and I loved hearing their story.


John Solo performed an amazing audio delivery and narration which made this all the more enjoyable to listen to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cuba
  • 30-01-19

Obeying

The first book was very enjoyable full of pain and sorrow but a great read this book was way different not so dark but still felt the baggage each character cared and how they both evolved to fit together perfectly. Can’t wait for Grey’s story

2 people found this helpful

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  • CMN0320
  • 07-06-19

Didn’t work for me

I’ve seen this book referred to as gritty, troubling, and dark erotica. I agree with the terms and say it’s just not enjoyable for me. I made it through about half, then skimmed each remaining chapter to see if there was something that would engage me. I even went through the entire Terrence return, but that just seemed so unlikely. I won’t be going on with this series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Meg Kowaleski
  • 23-03-21

It's hard to go wrong with Marie Sexton

Moving to Denver for a fresh start to their marriage after multiple affairs, things aren't going so well for River.
Dr. River McKay is a 40+ year old ER doctor who is waiting for his long term, also ER Doctor, husband Terrance to come back to him after Terrace leaves him and moves in with his latest affair, surgeon Ishmael, 4 months prior. They all work at the same hospital. In an attempt to save himself the mental anguish Riven moves to nights so he can limit seeing Terrence and Ishmael. Convinced Terrence will come home eventually River refuses to sign the divorce papers. But going home night after night to a house full of memories is starting to weigh on him and causes soul crushing loneliness. Broken, stressed, and at the end of his rope it spills over to his work. He's become the doctor all the staff have to walk on eggshells around. After ordering medication for one of his patients it's refused by the pharmacist, not listening to the nurse he marches to the pharmacist in the basement to set him straight on who is who.

Almost 40 Phil is all about order, structure, accountability, and being diligent. He's working nights at the hospital pharmacy as a punishment for pissing off one of the more charming doctors. However that's the price that comes with being good at his job. When a frazzled and over stressed Dr. McKay comes to give Phil a piece of his mind for blocking a requested med Phil is quick to bring River back down to earth by pointing out if he listened to the nurse who was trying to relay Phil's message River would know there was a deadly drug conflict if he did what River wanted. Phil is also quick to point out that he's being an ass, but in nicer terms. Both going back to work Phil doesn't really expect much after the interaction.

Ashamed of himself, when River sees Phil again he offers a sincere apology in the cafeteria. Impressed Phil starts a conversation with River that leads to Terrence and all the drama. Phil opens up a little to let River know he understands what he's going through and suggests he starts looking for fast easy sex on a age appropriate hook up app Growlr.
After several failed attempts at meeting hook ups but chickening out River still feels overwhelmed and lost. Then he comes across a familiar person on the app with surprising requirements. Not letting Phil know it's him, River agrees to them all and it's there 20 mins later. Surprised but not deterred Phil is happy to go through with it.

Being able to get out of his head for a while is heady to River. eventually Phil and River start an arrangement. But Phil keeps himself apart and distance from River in many ways and for someone who thrives on touch and connection it's hard for River who is coming to care for Phil and wants what he has to offer but believing Phil could take or leave what they have leaves River feeling even more insecure and alone. Phil knows it's going to end, after all River is still in love and waiting for his ex to come back. Phil still gets attached and his friends notice and approve, but letting someone in isn't an option.

I love this book. There was times I was so upset with one or another MC but over all I understood where both of them were coming from. Terrance is a great A prick. All of Phil's friends are drool worthy. I loved the internal struggle both characters had and seeing them both come out of their shell and get undone by each other. I really just could not stop listening to it.

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  • Trio
  • 04-03-21

Beautiful Story, John Solo is Fantastic

I forget that it's just as much about Phil as it is about River. Phil's transformation is really something. I love this story, and performed by John Solo the audio version is a treat.

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  • hussfan
  • 28-07-20

Love this series, Great story

I am a fan of the author and enjoyed The Heretic Doms Club series when I read it. Terms of Service is my favorite and I lost count how many times I re-read it. After finishing Charlie's book I wanted to listen to all the stories in audio in preparation for book 4 to be released. I enjoyed each story in audio just as much if not more then while reading. I love stories with well written character development and in this story both River and Phil develop and grow so much from their first encounter to satisfying HEA. I listened to all 3 books in this series and I loved narrator's voices for each character except River. It was a bit disappointing since River is one of my most favorites and I heard different voice in my head for him. Other than River's voice, narration was good and overall this was a great listening experience.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-07-20

Interesting story line.

The story between Phil and River was an interesting one. Though a lot of inter monologue which got a little to whiny some time with the self doubt. A lot of angst but no big shock point to show how much they have fallen for each other like the other books. It started to get a little long in the tooth with the no feelings showing from Phil. I was having a hard time understanding why River would want a relationship with someone who couldn’t show feeling when that was what he was looking for in the beginning. The ending was ok. Slowing bringing Phil around to more emotional. Good narration though.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-07-20

My Cup of Tea

Loved it! Did not struggle to finish it. I was very enamored with this book and I have not pin pointed why.

John Solo is a fantastic narrator. I have not yet listened to an audiobook by him that I have not liked.

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  • Kitti S. M.
  • 01-04-20

Whyyy the hell... so, okay, I may like it

Ooookay. I took some really deep breath and now I can maybe put my chaotic thoughts into words. Because the entire book was a huge rollercoaster ride for me also in the right and in the wrong way. But it is good, right? To have a book which wakes so many emotions in you.
I really, really loved the first half of the book! The slow motion, the “baby steps” of Phil’s and River’s evolving relationship, how they get know each other and themselves… and then there was the hedge-hopping, with Terrence. I hated, I mean HEATED the guy! My eyes got a tic in every scene he was present (maybe it has something to do with John Solo’s performane, because he can hit really good the tone of the annoying bastard). I would’ve yelled to River, shake him, maybe slap him hard a few times just to put himself together, shake himself out of the miserable, pathetic, indecisve piece of s… khm, human being Terrence made him into and stop the soap opera-like agonizing. This was the point I was wondering about aborting the reading. Then Marie somehow managed to make sense to the story, give a point to the events and although I’ve never forgiven her the hollow point I was able to be happy about River making a stand against Terrence and taking up the gauntlet. I think the psychological abuse and emotional blackmailing are such triggers for me I can barely manage and I can’t emagine from a fortysomething man to let himself sucked so deeply into such a relationship. However I let myself think this through I can realise that there are so many of these relationships out there! So many men, women and children stuck into a situation like that and just a few have their own Phil to drag them out of it.
By the by Phil! I loved him! Even though he was neutral for me in the first book I got to love him here and it was wonderful watching his character developing page by page.
I also love the little things in Marie’s writings. The nuancing of the characters with the photos, the garden, the flowers, the metaphors (God, I adored the dragonfly!), the other characters’ point of views.
A special thanks for the epilogue! I’m not always a fan of them but now my soul needed to know that despite all the unfortunate things there is a future for Phil and River together. All in all I don’t know why I wanted to abort the reading even for a second. It’d be a huge mistake. I’m happy I continued and finished this story.

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  • Pippmc
  • 22-03-20

Seriously Unbelievable.

I now understand what is meant by women writing M/M for women, and I'm starting to believe that the women who read these novels have a deep hatred for men, and have a need to see them debased.

How the hell the author could think that anyone would believe River, the stumbling, bumbling MC with extremely low self esteem, was a doctor, that works in the ER. I can't do this, anymore.