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Tymber Dalton is my favorite author and an automatic buy every time she releases a new book. Similar to Rain is the 46th book in the Suncoast Society BDSM series. But just in case you're panicking because you haven't read all of the previous 45 books in the series, never fear! Each of the books in the series is a standalone novel, although you will understand the backstories of all the characters involved in each book better if you do read them in order. To that end, there's a complete listing of the entire series, in order, at the beginning of each of the Suncoast Society books.
Similar to Rain is the story of Lee and Arlin. Lee Evans has a fabulous career as a kicker in the NFL. Fabulous, that is, until a traumatic, multiple bone-breaking injury to his kicking leg, as well as a shoulder injury, forces him into retirement. Adding insult to literal injury, his wife of only two years, Tila, announces she's filing for divorce and leaving him for one of his former teammates. At least he had the sense to make her sign a prenuptial agreement before the marriage! He's 39-years-old, out-of-work, soon-to-be-divorced, and alone. Oh yeah, one more little thing...he's gay. Life pretty much sucks!
Arlin Odom grew up and attended school with Lee. They were the stereotypical geek/jock pair in high school, with Arlin tutoring Lee so that Lee could keep his grades up. But as close as they once were, they drifted apart after high school, particularly when Lee's football career took off. Arlin, now a financial planner/adviser, has been openly gay since his divorce nearly 10 years ago, and has had a huge crush on Lee since his high school days. But he downplays the kinky side of his life. He hasn't even attended Venture, the local BDSM club, even though he's had plenty of invitations to go from his admin, Leanna.
Following his injury, Lee moves to Tampa, staying in an extended-stay complex alone while he recovers. Depressed, in major pain, and feeling sorry for himself, he opens his private Facebook profile. While browsing his contacts, he notices a high school alumni group and, on a whim, joins it. Reviewing the member list, Lee startles as he sees Arlin's name. Even though he's never come out to anyone, Lee's had a crush on Arlin since high school. Hoping against hope, Lee sends Arlin a friend request and sits back, waiting for a response.
Meanwhile, Arlin's tired of being alone and hiding his true nature. He finally decides to take a chance and go to Venture. He contacts Leanna and they agree to meet there. The people at Venture are nice but there's no attraction, not even a little bit, from anyone there. After getting a dinner invitation from Tilly, a well-known matchmaker and switch at the club, for later in the week, Arlin decides to call it a night. Sunday morning, while waiting for his breakfast order at a local restaurant, Arlin checks his Facebook app on his phone and is surprised to see a friend request...from Lee! Was it really his Lee, the Lee he knew in high school? After all, Lee Evans wasn't exactly an uncommon name. Taking a deep breath, Arlin accepts the friend request. Within minutes, Lee and Arlin have exchanged messages and phone calls, and their friendship resumes.
Ms. Dalton takes the reader on journey of discovery as Lee and Arlin reconnect. Regaining their friendship, the joy of reunion, the sometimes thrilling, sometimes painful, often emotionally-draining process of each man finding his own identity and place, is never dull. The ups and downs are constant. Is it possible for either man to trust again after all they've been through? Can the two find ultimate happiness or will outside forces, family, friends, work, and any number of other obstacles, make their efforts to find happiness fall like rain through their fingertips?
Ms. Dalton has been an active participant in the BDSM lifestyle for many years, and the details and knowledge of that lifestyle as portrayed in her novels are incredibly accurate. (Unfortunately, I've read more than my fair share of novels purporting to represent the lifestyle which have turned out to contain little to no accurate representation of true BDSM at all.) But, as I've said many times before, for me, personally, it's not just the BDSM itself that makes me love her stories. Yes, I freely admit that I'm fascinated by the BDSM lifestyle. But Ms. Dalton is one of the very few authors I have found who has the ability to create authentic and credible characters that the reader can relate to in a very personal way. And it's not just the main characters either. The supporting characters are completely formed, and they develop and grow along with the main characters as the story progresses. I always feel as if I'm actually living in the story with the characters. I always know from the minute I pick up a new Tymber Dalton novel that I won't want to put it down until I've finished. Arlin's and Lee's story was so engrossing that nothing else seemed to matter while I was reading. While I have a tendency to do that with any good book I read, Ms. Dalton's books ALWAYS have the ability to pull me in from the very beginning. Most other books take a chapter or two to really grab my interest but this isn't so with Ms. Dalton's books. Ms. Dalton's skill as an author is exceptional. It's no surprise to anyone who's either read my reviews of Ms. Dalton's books or who knows me personally, that I am extremely impressed with the entire Suncoast Society series. Similar to Rain is another exceptional and very worthy addition to that series.
One final comment. This is an ADULT book. It contains adult BDSM themes, explicit language, and sexual scenes. If you do not enjoy erotic romance with explicit sexual and BDSM scenes then PLEASE carefully consider your purchase before buying any book in a genre you know you will not enjoy. There is always a synopsis of the book at the seller's website or on the dust jacket of the book. There are also reviews of the book available not only on Goodreads but at the booksellers' websites. PLEASE avail yourself of these resources so you are certain the book you are purchasing is what you want to read. ALSO, PLEASE DON'T LEAVE A NEGATIVE REVIEW OF A BOOK YOU PURCHASED WHEN YOU KNOW YOU WON'T ENJOY IT AS IT'S NOT FAIR TO THE AUTHOR! She works extremely hard to provide a quality work product and if you know before you purchase a book that you will object to the subject matter contained therein, you are doing not only yourself, but the author, an extreme disservice. But if you do enjoy hot, erotic BDSM romances, I highly recommend Similar to Rain. As with every Tymber Dalton book, I give it my highest rating without reservation!
Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!