|In this sequel to an unnamed novel released by a different publisher, we step into the life of a homeless gay man named Seth, who has escaped enslavement in an underground fighting ring cage called the "Pit." There he was brutalized and taught to fight to the death. The scars he carries are emotional as well as physical.
David, a shy, closeted bookstore clerk, approaches Seth when he's rummaging through a trash bin and offers him his lunch. Seth is already attracted to him, and because of his experiences with the cruelties of the Pit, Seth believes he needs to guard the kind David from the meanness of the crumbling streets of Detroit -- the rust belt. When members of the Lionss gang jump David and the leader holds a knife to his penis, Seth kills him to save his friend. Invited to David's apartment for food and a shower afterwards, arousal and sex ensue between the experienced Seth and the virginal David. Seth moves in.
This is a serious, skillfully written, gritty story of two hurting men who find warmth and love surrounded by the threat of danger and empty buildings in a cold city whose economy is dying. For the emotionally damaged Seth, David's apartment and their love become a sheltering haven, but he has killed, and whether he can escape being drawn back into the brutal world of the Pit is an important issue in the plot. The characters in the book -- heroes and villains alike -- are three dimensional and real. Seth and David grow and change; their sex is erotic and arousing, with a touch of wholeness that expresses the depth of feeling between them.
The plot is believable. The powerful scenes of the Pit's S & M are psychotic sado-masochism, not fun and games. What few snags the story may have, such as a reader's first impression that David's penis is about to be cut off rather than rape being attempted, and a slight anatomical inaccuracy will not detract from a reader's enjoyment.
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