L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov – Capture & Surrender

Payoff (Market Garden, #6)Capture & Surrender by L.A. WittAleksandr Voinov
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Series: Market Garden #5
Source: Review By Request
Copy Received from Publisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ever since his partner died, Frank has resigned himself to staying single. He wards off the loneliness by spending time with friends on the paintball field and running his high-end brothel, the Market Garden.

After one of his most lucrative rentboys quits, Frank is thrilled when a gorgeous replacement walks through the door. A former US soldier, Stefan is hot, bold, and perfect for the Market Garden’s clientele, especially those with a thing for camouflage and drill sergeants. He’s perfect for Frank, too, except Frank has a rule about not getting involved with his own rentboys.

During a frisky game of paintball, Stefan makes it clear that he doesn’t care about the rules. Not the rules of the game, and definitely not Frank’s refusal to get involved. He captures Frank on the field using stealth and cunning, and makes it clear that he’ll do anything to keep a hold of him off the field too.

Star_full48Star_full48Star_full48Star_full48Star_full48

Market Garden gets serious with the fifth installment.

(BEWARE OF SPOILERS)

…everything about this seemed like a recipe for disaster.

But even if he was headed for the mother of all car crashes, he couldn’t bring himself to hit the brake with everything he had, not for his sake, not for Brandon’s sake, or Market Garden’s, or sanity, or morality, or because it wasn’t fair or even very balanced.

Seemed all he could do was grip the steering wheel and keep going until something stopped him.

We’re talking about heavy emotion and serious subjects with this one…

There’s still plenty of kinky fun going on in Capture & Surrender (more on that later) but this one packs on content and emotion unseen in the previous titles in this series… And I ate up every page.

As a side note – this book was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, and it is well deserved.

FRANK

That silent companionship was as important as the scorching sex, maybe more important in the long run. He could relax with Brandon in his life, and that gratitude was so deep it nearly brought tears to his eyes.

Frank is the owner of Market Garden. He is surrounded by London’s top-shelf Rent Boys, yet he goes home alone each night…

BRANDON

Brandon grinned at him, and every time he did that, something shifted inside Frank, some weight, or maybe his heart, or his whole damn collection of organs swapped places.

Brandon (aka Stefan) is an American who came to London to escape his past. As an ex-military man with a cocky personality, he pushes all of franks buttons…

But Frank doesn’t get involved with Rent Boys…

He has his reasons:
The main issue being addressed here is that Frank, is HIV positive. He watched his partner die from the disease, and his accounts of that are tragic beyond belief. Completely heart-wrenching.

Frank didn’t want Brandon to suffer so much that the final drawn-out tone on Frank’s ECG monitor would be welcomed.

With that in mind, the courtship of Frank & Brandon goes beyond the standard taboos they would have faced:

Employer / Employee
Older / Younger
John / Rentboy

…because status had to be disclosed.
Decisions had to be made.

How much were they willing to risk?

This was a level of intense emotion which took me by surprise at first. Market Garden hadn’t really addressed any potential relationship drama outside the john / Rent Boy dynamic… But I’m so glad L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov took a chance and addressed some rough issues. It was emotional, beautiful, and completely worth reading.

*clears throat*

In lighter news…

The Kinky paint-ball games were wonderfully sexy and inventive!

“It’s essentially capture kink.”

Stefan’s eyes were bright.

Frank went on. “Basically, you capture someone on the field, he’s yours. Capture a team’s flag? Your team gets the spoils.”

“Spoils of war.” Stefan beamed. “I like it.”

“Figured you might.”

That’s right, to the victor goes the kinky sex!

There’s the requisite safe-words, etc, and Frank and his buddies referee the players… But it made for some seriously hot interactions between players hooped up on adrenaline and testosterone.

They should really sell spectator tickets…
Just sayin’

In addition, I loved the boisterous friendship between Frank, Emily, Geoff, & Mike.

Emily pointed a finely manicured nail at Brandon. “You, sir, are encouraging them.”

“Me?” Brandon showed his palms. “I was merely suggesting we pay homage to God and thank Him for all the food and wine and company. And stuff.”

“Uh-uh.” She shook her head once. “I paid for this stuff and turned it into something presentable and edible. You say grace to anyone, it’s Saint Emily O’Malley of the Sisters of Infinite Patience with Obnoxious Men.”

“That’s a bit of a mouthful, darling.” Mike straightened his napkin.

“That’s what she said,” Brandon muttered, and Mike burst out laughing.

How do I get invited to that dinner party? I’d love to see more of that group…

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