Review: Rough Road, by Vanessa North (Rating: 4/5)

north-Rough-RoadRough Road, by Vanessa North (A Lake Lovelace novel)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (September 28, 2015)
Page Count: 164
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance, BDSM

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Eddie Russell is many things: A wealthy pillar of the community. An outrageous flirt. A doting best friend. A masochist with a kink for brawling with his bedmates. But he is definitely not a man who invites intimacy. His friends are close but few, his lovers rarer still.

When Eddie runs his Mercedes off the road on a hot July afternoon, Wish Carver comes to his aid—and leaves his number in Eddie’s phone. Wish, a road crew worker half Eddie’s age and sexy as sin, seems fascinated by Eddie’s different sides. Mutual attraction and compatible kinks ignite the sheets, but it’s their connection outside the bedroom that Eddie begins to crave.

When the two come down on opposite sides of a local issue, Eddie finds his growing feelings for Wish at odds with his business interests and his devotion to his best friend, local wakeboarding legend Ben Warren. Torn between old loyalties and his new love, Eddie is reluctant to make a choice. But he knows he can’t make Wish wait too long to make up his mind.


This book was exactly what I was hoping it would be: hot, hilarious, and deliciously kinky!

“Oh my god, Ben, angels wear hard hats like in that sex dream I had that time.” (Kindle Loc. 57)

At first sight, Eddie and Wish don’t have anything in common. Eddie is in his mid-forties, openly and unashamedly gay, and wealthy. Wish is in his twenties, works construction in order to live day by day, and is the epitome of a manly man. But it turns out there’s more than meets the eye with both men; when it comes to sex, Wish is a sadist, and Eddie is exactly the kind of masochist he’s been hoping to find.

“I don’t want to own you or master you or any of that Dom shit. I’m not looking for a waxed body to push around and call mine. I want to watch a grown man take a goddamned beating a thrive on it.”

Holy fuck. Wrap me in paper and stick a bow on me because I am sold. (Kindle Loc. 695)

The sex is seriously off-the-charts hot. I mean, I was completely alone in my house and I still kept looking around to make sure no one could read over my shoulder. Explicit sex within, you’ve been warned! I do think the intensity of the kink might be too much for many readers, though; this isn’t your tame, BDSM club whips and floggers, but instead it’s fists and bruises, brawling and beating. That said, it is 100% consensual, so I never once felt uncomfortable with any of the scenes.

The socio-economic differences come up over and over again, which I really liked. It wasn’t a story where a rich character takes care of a poor one. In fact, it’s Wish who time and time again insists on standing on his own two feet, and who forces Eddie to look beyond his world of wealth.

I admit that I struggled a bit with the age difference, though. They’re two men with wildly different life experiences, and while Eddie tries to understand Wish’s life, I didn’t find that playing video games together or watching water sports on a boat was really sufficient. I would have liked to see more of the characters getting to know each other on a personal level (rather than a sexual or political one).

This is a book for people who are looking for a seriously unconventional relationship. All of the stereotypes are destroyed here. Power balances, age differences, economic classes, everything is turned upside, and I really loved that. It’s also incredibly funny and sweet.

Super enjoyable read! Just make sure you’re alone when you read it…!

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3 thoughts on “Review: Rough Road, by Vanessa North (Rating: 4/5)

    • I’ve read a few different reviews where the reader said it was too violent for them. I’m actually very familiar with the BDSM community, so maybe I’m just not as shocked by it, but I personally didn’t find it to be too much. Consent is everything for me. And honestly, if the scenes themselves bother people, I’d still recommend reading the book and just skipping over those pages, because the rest of the book is a lot of fun and the characters are hilarious!


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