Book Reviews

Cleave (Cutting Cords 3) by Mickie B. Ashling

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance / BDSM
Reviewed by Barb Manning on 31-July-2020

Book Blurb

On New Year’s Eve, Cole Fujiwara stands vigil at his father’s deathbed while his wife, gives birth to twin boys. Cole has honored his family duty and provided the requisite heirs, but now he’s trapped in an increasingly demanding role as husband and father, and missing what he wants most -- the man he's never stopped loving.

Sloan Driscoll has struggled to find harmony in his D/s relationship with Trent Hamilton. The rules and etiquette of the lifestyle have been challenging, but Trent has figured out what cranks his boy’s chain. Sloan is determined to please his master, until he comes face to face with Cole for the first time in nine months.

The encounter means different things to each of them. To Cole, it’s the first step on the path to a reunion. To Sloan, it’s a terrible mistake, one he confesses immediately. And for Trent, it’s the bitter realization that a powerful connection between the former lovers still exists. When Trent issues an ultimatum, Sloan must decide what he's willing to do to save the relationship. But if Sloan stays with Trent, how can Cole ever hope to find happiness again?



This series must be read in order and all four titles will be available by September 2020. HEA guaranteed at series end.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, May 2012.


Book Review

Cleave by Mickie B. Ashling is the third book in the Cutting Cords trilogy. In this installment Sloan Driscoll and Trent Hamilton reach some real understanding regarding their Dom/sub relationship, while Cole Fujiwara and the surrogate mother of his twins, Noriko come to a new stage in their relationship.

Cleave is a very appropriate title for this book, since the word can mean both severing and clinging. I loved this particular book in the trilogy. Cleave ties together some of the loose threads in the earlier books. Ashling reveals some of Trent's personal and family background. Before Cleave, Trent was the shadowy, mysterious figure; this book fleshes out his character.

Cleave focuses primarily on the relationship between Sloan and Trent. There are some painful moments with tears and recriminations, as well as more detail on the BDSM lifestyle. Is Sloan really a sub? He finds some aspects of the Dom/sub relationship disturbing. Nevertheless, he is strongly attracted to Trent. The passion between them is very fiery and Sloan needs the boundaries set by Trent.

On the other hand, Sloan and Cole have a strong connection. There's the history of their five-year relationship and family connections, as well as professional baseball. How they work out the dynamics of their relationship is an important aspect of the story. Is Sloan going to go back to his former lover and friend? Is Cole going to make a life as a parent with his new twins? These are just a couple of the questions addressed by Ashling in Cleave.

Cleave is a nice wrap to a successful series with some characters worth getting to know.



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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 230 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-July-2020
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link