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Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

The Lion Tamer

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The Lion Tamer (2018) Dahlia Donovan (The Sin Bin)

First off, this story has a lot happening.

Over the course of the series we’ve watched Scottie spiral out of control. The story just before this sees the start of the interactions between Scottie and Gray.

Gray sees Scottie as a potential submissive, and sees something worth all the bluster and bullshit on the surface.

Gray had been working for Hamish and Wyatt, but decided the work wasn’t for him.

Hamish: You’re a cagey bastard. If I didn’t have a healthy respect for your ability to kill me, I’d have a few more words about you quitting via text message.

He ends up as the chef at the Sin Bin.

Gray’s involvement with the Sin Bin’s new restaurant had been kept a secret to ensure maximum amusement for all of them when Scottie found out.

Scottie is–as noted–a disaster. He has no control over his temper, hasn’t come to terms with the fact he’s gay, uses alcohol as a coping mechanism, and is alienating his few friends.

I have to say I did enjoying Gray putting Scottie in his place.

“Want a fucking trophy for surviving? Guess what? They don’t hand them out. I should know. I’d be first in line to receive one. You don’t get a pass from common courtesy because life hasn’t been fair. You’re not the only human being to survive a childhood of abuse and pain. Get the fuck over yourself.”

One of the things I was bothered by stemmed from why Scottie ended up in rehab.

Scottie sat up slowly and glanced around to find the scenery had changed quite significantly. “Why the fuck am I in a hospital bed?”

Taine placed a hand on his shoulder to keep him seated. “You passed out. I couldn’t wake you up. How much did you drink?”

Scottie ran his fingers vigorously across his head. “Not a clue. It’s all a blur. I honestly can’t remember. What happened?”

“You almost drank yourself into the grave,” Taine remarked bluntly.

That drinking episode was pretty much a direct result of Scottie’s first “scene” with Gray. Yes, Gray took care of him immediately afterwards, and Scottie stayed the night.

All the whirling, chaotic rage in his mind had calmed for the briefest of moments. Scottie had only ever felt a similar freedom on the rugby pitch. He hated how much he craved it again.

But he clearly was a walking disaster and it seemed pretty obvious that a self-loathing man who had no idea he would enjoy submission would not react well to the discovery. Yes, Scottie was a grown man, but he was clearly out of control, and the resulting alcohol poisoning didn’t seem unexpected.

On the plus side, Gray clearly understood therapy and rehab.

I also know you have to make the decision on your own and do it for yourself, or it won’t change anything.”

And once Scottie gets out of rehab, we finally meet the reason that his friends thought he wasn’t irredeemable.

“Heard you graduated from the Imperial College with top honours.”

“You’d know since you sent Mum the money for it,” Silus teased.

One of the other things I particularly appreciated was the situation with Scottie’s dad. In another book, the story would have gone in a completely different way. Here I appreciated that she didn’t take the easy way out, but instead the far more realistic path (given the characters involved).

Also, completely unrelated, this story has one of my favorite bits in the series:

Gray: Landed safely. Met your contact. Heading out.

Wyatt: You do know text messaging isn’t morse code. You can use complete sentences.

Gray: Fuck. Off.

As much as I would just as soon skipped all the BDSM part of the story, the were important, as they showed Scottie’s changes. And it’s those changes that stuck with me long after I finished the story.

Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing

Rating: 7.5/10

 

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