Vessel is the sequel to Mickie B. Ashling’s Cutting Cords, the passionate story of blind former baseball player, Cole Fujiwara and high fashion model, Sloan Driscoll’s. Five years has past and their relationship is in crisis. Cole wants a child and wants Noriko Evans, a beautiful Japanese-American woman to be the surrogate. His plans leave Sloan feeling like a fifth wheel. Should Sloan accept Cole’s choice, or end the relationship?
The turmoil of the decision sends Sloan into a tailspin. Sloan’s not sure how to cope and considers turning to his former mechanism for dealing with stress– cutting. At the same time, his mentor and friend, Max introduces him to Trent Hamilton, a virile young Dom and fellow model who offers another option.
How these characters interact in such a volatile situation makes Vessel a fast-paced read. Ashling’s characters in Vessel are strong and passionate. Cole’s struggles to deal with his blindness and Sloan’s desire to maintain his love for him are powerful. Meanwhile, Trent occupies the stage as a compelling Dom and reveals some interesting facets of the BDSM life-style to Sloan.
Ashling is a good story-teller and her depiction of copying with blindness is honest. Ashling leaves the reader guessing as to how Vessel will end until the very last. Are Sloan and Cole going to maintain their relationship? Is Sloan going to fall under the thrall of Trent? Can there be a happy ending to this romance.
Vessel is great read with characters that engage and an interesting plot.
Review originally appeared on Queer Magazine Online
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Image courtesy of Dreamspinner Press