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.
Originally reviewed for QMO Books
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Image courtesy of Dreamspinner Press