Break Me Down is the newest novella in the Loving on the Edge Series from Roni Loren. Though this book takes place between books eight and nine, it can be read as a standalone. Break Me Down is the story of Gibson (Kade's stepbrother) and Samantha (Tessa's best friend). If you are a fan of the series, there are a few other familiar faces that appear here as well and it was really good to see them again as well.
Gibson Andrews helped train Samantha Dunbar to be a Domme. Though he had a moment with her where he submitted, he can't afford for others to see him as weak. As much as he wanted to be with Sam and she wanted him, he walked away saying that they weren't right for each other and that he couldn't be what she needed. But when Sam is attacked and heads to her grandma's rundown house in the middle of nowhere, Gibson can't let he go alone. Knowing that Sam needs someone though she will push everyone away, Gibson agrees to spend the week with her in private and be whatever she needs. But can one week together cure the desires that Gibson is scared others will find out about?
I liked both Gibson and Sam. I thought that there was a lot of heat and chemistry between them, and it was clear that they cared about each other. I did find it hard to relate to Sam though and I think that is more of a personal thing for me. Though I have no problem with other people's kinks, I just find it hard to relate to female Dommes and male subs. There is just something sexy to me about alpha males that take control and own that side of themselves. The biggest thing that was hard for me here was that I think I might have been able to feel more connected had Gibson owned who he was and his desires. If you are a male sub there is no problem with that, but don't be embarrassed and think that is weak. It is the same thing as a female being a sub, and I have a problem with them thinking that they are weak by submitting. It takes an incredible amount of strength and confidence to give up control and trust to someone else, and I want whoever is submitting to realize the power and beauty of that. I was expecting Gibson to get over that fear and insecurity a bit earlier, and it got to the point that I was tired of waiting. I knew that with this being a novella that it was a short book, so I wanted to see him and Sam on solid ground before the very end. I just felt like the longer it took, the more rushed and abrupt the ending seemed.
There were also a few things that made me uncomfortable as far as the scenes went as well. There were a few issues with force and coercion that I just felt didn't sit right with me. Though there wasn't anything major that I could draw fault to, it felt like there were some things that just weren't exactly kosher. There was also something that happened at The Ranch at the end that I wasn't entirely comfortable with either, and I felt like it was a bit unsafe. Precautions are put in place for a reason, and though it was Gibson who made the terms the removal of a safe word is something that just doesn't sit right with me when it comes to BDSM. I don't care that he asked for it or that he trusted Sam fully, I just couldn't get behind that considering the type of play they were entering together. So while I liked Gibson and Sam, this wasn't my favorite of the series. It was hard for me to get into the story and the few things I mentioned just made this one hard to get into for me. I think a lot of this is personal issues though, and no matter what I felt about this particular story there a few things that can't be argued when it comes to Roni's work. Roni Loren is a fantastic writer and her stories are always super hot! If you are a fan of the series, I still recommend this story. If you are new to the series, you definitely should give these books a shot. This series is one of my favorites and I know I will read more from Roni in the future.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**