This last weekend during the Seductive Studs & Sirens bloghop, I found a suggestion for a M/M non-erotic domestic discipline story.
I went and checked it out on Sunday and was captivated almost immediately. So captivated in fact that I read the first book and could not stop, not getting to bed until after 3am Monday morning. Still intensely captivated I started the second one last night and have been reading today as well.
Falls Chance Ranch is the story of a man who finds himself in a world so different from his own. A high-powered CEO of a major corporation, driven since he could remember to succeed more and more and more, Dale Aden has a major breakdown. His company does not want to lose him, but without any other recourse, they send him to Falls Chance Ranch, a working therapeutic ranch in the middle of Wyoming where four strong men are there to help him find himself.
Flynn, his 'caretaker' for all intents and purposes, keeps him on a pretty tight leash and Dale finds himself basically willing to follow along except for when his stress overcomes him and he acts out. The men at this ranch take care of things as it had always been done. When he is spanked for the first time, Dale is utterly confused at how much better it makes him feel emotionally and with no other way to do it, he pushes quickly for another one the only way he knows how - acting out.
What has me so drawn to this story? How can I put this... The characters are incredibly well drawn. True. But for me, it is the immediate connection with Dale who is thrown into this world of cowboys, no electronics, with an extreme need to obey and do as you are told and yet not knowing how to do that. I understand his distance from others. Except for not being a CEO, I have many of the issues he has and so I rode the story with him.
As he tries to figure out where he fit in this strange dynamic of what turns out to be a poly family with three Dominants and one sub. (Within the book they call themselves Tops or brats.)
I am part way through the second of the four books and Dale is struggling with: what makes a brat? How can he behave correctly? And what happens if he isn't perfect and hurts those he loves? Feelings and worries all subs/bottoms/brats have.
The book shows both sides well and as I am reading I have to smile. Yep, been there. Yep, done that. Yep... Leaning to trust implicitly and accepting that your 'top' knows what they are doing and has your best interest at heart is not easy. Sometimes you hit your head against the wall a lot...and get your hide tanned in the process. And then you think - why does this make me feel better? And how can I do this? Am I too old to learn?
It is all this and more that makes Falls Chance a wonderful series and I highly suggest it.
Yes, it is a love story - in a way. Yes, it is a story of domestic discipline. But I think we can all find a little bit of ourselves in this story. There are all sorts of characters and more arriving as the stories move on. Many men have been involved in Falls Chance over the years and they all come back from time to time. You may find yourself more attached to one character or another because they have a personality that is a part of you. But I think you will end up caring for all these men. They are wonderful, straight-forward, kind, loving and everything that entails.
So far, no erotic elements and to be honest - it doesn't need them. (Though yes, what can I say? I would love to see Flynn and Dale go for it. Or Flynn, Dale and Jasper. Or Flynn, Dale, Jasper and Riley...) But it isn't needed. The characters and partnerships within the novels are so amazingly complex and yet easy to understand.
Take a chance on Falls Chance Ranch. I highly recommend it.
Labels: domestic discipline, Falls Chance Ranch, gay, recommendations, well-written