Title: As Natural As Breathing
Author Name: Thianna D
Publication Date & Length: August 7, 2013 – 213pgs
For Christian Darringer, life isn’t worth living. Just back from the Middle East; scarred and with permanent damage to one leg, he does not think anyone will want him for anything. Meeting a gorgeous man he finds himself thinking about constantly is not in his plans. Pulled toward the startling younger man with striking blue eyes, he begins to question a lot of things – especially his sexuality. Not one to hide from a challenge, he plunges ahead only to find himself more than just attracted to Logan who is full of life and joy, he finds himself head over heels in love.
Logan Mannette has almost everything he ever wanted: loving parents, happiness, friends and security. The only thing missing is finding the love of his life, a love that is just like his parents’. When he meets Christian at a party, everything changes. Instantly attracted, he does his best to help this sad man and quickly finds himself feeling more than he has ever felt before. Raised in a domestic discipline household, he holds that ideal as what he wants but his interest in spanking became a fetish and when Christian admits that he wants to be spanked, Logan believes he might have found the perfect man.
Just as everything begins for them, Christian’s past intercedes and one of his brothers makes waves about him dating a man. If it weren’t for Logan’s support, he might fold; but with the love of one amazing man, Christian finds that living his life rather than just existing is as natural as breathing.
Christian is an injured war vet. He has recently returned home damaged both physically and emotionally. Logan is a university drama student in Seattle.
Christian’s father works for Logan’s father and the two men meet up at a Christmas party.
This feels much more modern than recent m/m New Adult books I’ve read because the writer has drawn two loving, accepting families for Christian and Logan. She may have pushed things a little too far when Christian’s girlfriend of eight years tries to set the men up – but it was refreshing not to have to wade through secretive, closeted angst with one or both of the young main characters. It resonated quite truthfully that the parents understood their children’s sexuality before Logan and Christian did.
I liked the way Logan was able to help Christian with his injuries and his PTSD without there being any suggestion that Christian’s problems were ever going to be treated easily.
I liked the supporting characters. Both sets of parents were great – though I felt a little squeamish at the amount of sharing in Logan’s family. I liked Kelli, Christian’s saint of a girlfriend.
I’m still not sure there was any need for Brian’s character. He wasn’t believable. How does an open, loving family raise a bigot? And even stranger, why didn’t Christian’s parents make Brian leave?
THis book was marketed as BDSM. Interestingly, it wasn’t something that really caught my attention. The spanking scenes were pretty tame. I felt that Logan’s description of his desired domestic discipline lifestyle seemed somehow clinical and emotionless. Also, somehow Logan managed to be fully trained enough to be recognised as a club Dom before graduating from college. Right. But there were a couple of hot sex scenes that involved spanking, so who needs to quibble details?
The writing was choppy and the story was unbelievably saccharine at times. If you like Sandrine Gasq-Dion’s style, you’ll love this. If you are a stickler for formal standard English, you might get frustrated. I alternated between the two. In the end, I suspended my disbelief and enjoyed the story.
Dinner was easy, the easiest first date Christian had ever been on. Logan laughed, talked, teased, but it felt like he was with a friend rather than with a date…but then again, that was what he asked for. After two large platters of sushi disappeared between the two of them, they paid and left. “Okay, we can drive or we can walk. The theater is only ten blocks.” Then Logan’s eyes dropped to his leg. “Damn, I forgot about your leg. Maybe we should drive.”
Shaking his head, Christian placed a hand on his arm. “Naw. I walk by the river all the time. I think I’d like to walk.”
Logan watched him, as if trying to make up his mind if Christian meant it or not. When he figured he did, he beamed. “Great. There is this cool piece of art you have got to see.”
Thianna loves to write strong stories with even stronger heroes. While all of her books have an erotic overtone, it is the story that is the most important to her. “The story should be able to stand on its own. The erotic elements are an add-on.”
She enjoys writing about couples with kink, paranormal couples, and straight out strangeness. But more on that later… mm.thiannad.com.