As Natural As Breathing Review


Goodreads Review

Pleasantly Tangled 3.5 Stars

First, I enjoyed the book. It was sweet, sexy, and charming. Christian is delightfully wounded with a grasping need to be who he truly is past his own insecurities and traumas. Logan is a buoyant charmer with a ready smile and quick wit...and a steady hand with a paddle. I'll explain the 3.5 rating below. 

While Christian is the older man in the relationship (by only five years, but in your twenties, that can be a huge maturity gap), and a veteran of the Middle Eastern conflicts, he is the more damaged of the two men, wounded mentally, emotionally, and physically by his service and the betrayal he suffered at the hands of his own men. Logan is younger, and at first glance, a bit of an effervescent playboy. That's just the surface though, for both men, and Thianna does an admirable job of peeling back the layers to get to the core of each man, and showing us who they truly are, and who they can be together.

Pros: 

Thianna D clearly has well-researched and comprehensive knowledge about the DD lifestyle, fetish practices, and handled the content maturely and responsibly. I was impressed by how she incorporated an almost instructional component to Logan's coaching of the lifestyle with Christian. He introduces his spanking fetish first, and clearly knows his man well enough not to scare off the skittish and (gay sex) virginal Christian with discussions of the DD (Domestic Discipline) lifestyle.

The obviously traumatized Christian was brought to the realization he had severe PTSD slowly, and naturally. Many veterans don't begin to experience symptoms until months AFTER discharge, and Thianna D walked Christian through the process with a deft touch. The panic attacks and flashbacks were well written and gripping, and felt realistic. Christian's reliance on Logan wasn't overplayed, and was tender and romantic. Logan, who as the younger man still in college, would typically be the "submissive", actually took the role as a competent, easy-going dominant. (Though to be accurate, he is a budding Head Of Household, and at this stage in the MCs' relationship, it is very much equals.) 

I hate the fact that this book has flaws, as I am fond of it. 

Cons: 

Editing. 

Whoever edited this book didn't give their best effort, not by a long shot, and did a major disservice to the author and the plot. The POV is far too fluid, jumping between head space and viewpoints in the same paragraph, and in the beginning, this is a frequent and often confusing occurrence. At points, I had trouble wondering who was thinking what, and remembering who each person was with the first-name basis the author employed with the parental units left me frustrated in the first few chapters. Addressing adults by their given names is great, but it made the parents seem to more of the MCs' peers and friends than actual parents, and it took away some of the strengthening and grounding foundation I think the author was trying to use them for.

I felt surprised, in a "what is this doing here?" kind of way when it was revealed that Logan was a practicing fetishist and aspiring Head of Household in a DD lifestyle. I was taken aback, and I KNOW I shouldn't have been, considering Thianna D's penchant and affection for the BDSM lifestyle in her previous works. The revelation felt like a sharp 90 degree corner in Logan's development, and Christian's seemingly spontaneous internal desire to be spanked was quick and equally left-field.

Final Thoughts: I did enjoy this book. Truly. I am happy with it, and I wouldn't mind adding it to my Reread pile. Sweet, sexy, charming, hit the right level of angst and tension. Well drawn and developed attraction between the MCs and I felt real chemistry. Thianna D is a talented author, and I will be eagerly looking forward to her forthcoming titles. I just wish that better care was taken with her first full-length novel.

* I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.*

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