Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Rose and Thorne Box Set
SERIES: Rose and Thorne 1-3.5
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
PUBLISHER: Changeling Press
LENGTH: 170 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 11, 2016
Apparently Rose is just too big and scary to be a bouncer at the local club. He’s considering going back into competitive bodybuilding when he meets Thorne. Short, slender and covered in ink, Thorne knows from the moment they meet Rose is the one.
Rose has been brought up to think things like spanking during sex are weird. Will Thorne be able to convince him whatever gets them off together is perfectly normal for them? And if he does, will Rose be able to take the next step — calling Thorne Sir?
Publisher’s Note: Rose and Thorne (Box Set) contains the previously published novellas Every Rose Has His Thorne, Tending to Rose, Keeping Sir Thorne, and Swinging Along by author Sean Michael.
It only occurred to me that I hadn’t read this series yet when I saw these characters make a cameo appearance in a separate Sean Michael book. So, naturally, I had to rectify the deficiency in my reading repertoire. 😀 This box set was great for that; the Rose and Thorne series is made up of three novellas and a short story that spans their relationship from when they first meet to past their first anniversary.
When you’re first introduced to Rose, he’s just been let go from his job as a bouncer for being ‘too scary’ for the twinks and girls coming in to the club to handle. I found myself agreeing with his ‘are you serious?’ attitude. A chance run in with Thorne changes the entire tone of the night, however, and when they click Rose decides to follow the other man home to indulge in a one night stand. That one night not only turns into much, much more but also introduces Rose to the idea of a little kink in the bedroom…even if he refuses to think of it that way. There was one thing that completely surprised me in this first story and, not to be too spoilery about it, but I was unaware that there could be an element of surprise in regards to fisting. I’m serious. Surprise fisting is apparently a thing. (It could be argued that Thorne just read Rose that well and knew what he needed but still.) That was probably the one thing I kind of raised an eyebrow over when reading this set but otherwise had no problem with the things that Rose and Thorne got up to in and out of the bedroom. The next two stories show how Rose and Thorne’s relationship and, by extension, their forays farther into the realm of kink have been evolving. Thorne’s bodybuilding is also touched on and since I wasn’t aware of what exactly went into it, I can easily admit that I was pretty horrified. I loved being able to see these characters at different stages of their relationship; it was actually really satisfying to see some real progress made between them. The one thing I wish I’d gotten a concrete answer to is what Thorne had tattooed over his heart; it was kind of eluded to but you never actually hear it mentioned past the first story. Yes, nit picky reader is nit picky. :p
While Sean Michael is known for writing books with kink, the overall level of kinky escapades featured in these stories was on the mild side; anyone looking for an introduction to the bdsm genre would do well with this set yet those that have enjoyed this author’s works in the past should enjoy it, as well. I enjoyed the set and am glad I read it; it was easy to fit a single story into just a little bit of free time but I also didn’t have a problem just reading straight through without stopping when I felt like it. If you’re looking for a set of stories where the characters don’t follow preconceived norms I’d suggest checking Rose and Thorne out.