Review: The Deeper He Hurts

The Deeper He Hurts The Deeper He Hurts by Lynda Aicher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Twist that dagger of guilt just a little bit deeper and maybe Sawyer will complete his slow bleed out so that he can finally be at rest. This book was painful to read because it was filled with angst and guilt. Sawyer is a man who experienced a terrible traumatic experience and never moved on. It is not to say that he has to move on. What happens is, he is stuck in a vicious loop of self-loathing and isolation. This is what pulls Asher to him because whilst Asher did not experience any tragic event, he is also in an isolated loop. These two men have a common bond which brings them closer together and yet pushes them farther apart.

I can't imagine what it is like to experience Sawyer's pain. Asher's need to hide himself from his conservative macho family is not ideal either. The characters' history and situation in this story is what really makes this book good for me. I enjoyed the relationship struggles between Sawyer and Asher. They show a plausible need for kink and how they work out their problems through physical pain. Yes, yes, I've written before that having "damaged" people play in kink is not the best. Kink isn't supposed to be therapy. The reality of it is, there are a fair share of messed up people who go into kink thinking it will cure or help them. It won't. What will is accepting life happens and building trust through intimacy and open communication. This is what Ms. Aicher shows so well in this story. This moved me and I can appreciate Sawyer's need for physical pain and why he is a masochist. As a person who did use physical pain to alleviate my emotional pain, I can relate to Sawyer.

This slow and steady paced story can be a bit heavy and dreary at times. It is also sweet through the character driven tale. There are surprising moments of hope to shine light in this bleak shadowed world Sawyer keeps himself in. Asher may not be a shining beacon of light, but he is someone who is the other half of Sawyer. Their bittersweet romance is beautiful to witness. This m/m romance is recommended for kinky readers who enjoy a lot of angst, a steady dose of pain with a rainbow promise ending.

*provided by NetGalley

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