An Unlocked Mind

Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Series: Secrets (Wells & Williams), Book 2
Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: LGBT, Romance
4.5 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return - until he does...and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster.

The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things - one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go....

©2018 Dreamspinner Press (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

so good such a great surprise

Narrator score🎧 : as always Joel just made a perfect job! I loved it. I actually waited a year to listen to the book and he didn't disappoint...

Level of steam🔥: ok .... I will give it 5 out of 5 because the moments was hot. But, when you hear the word BDSM you imagine pain as a relief to reach sub space, bondage, or something special that is from the lifestyle.... that was what we learned from books ... and it's true in many cases.... but this book (I will not tell you what is about but still....) was a slow burn through and through.... and I loved it.... me likes it very much....

Level of anxiety and sadness😢: you will not cry in this book.... you will not feel anxiety in this book.... you may feel sadness for Rob and in some parts for Vic.... but it's not about anxiety or sadness.... it's about revealing yourself to yourself....

The book itself📖: well I waited for this book.... oh, how I waited for this book.... I did buy it on Kindle as an ebook and believe me my finger itched.... I even began to read it.....but all I could hear in my head was Joel's voice ! and I decided that I will be a patient person..... and will wait till the magician will do his magic..... and I wasn't disappointed ... I will say....( and those who read the previous series to this one collars and cuffs would probably know) that I hated the little piece of .... with the name of Rob..... and how much I love him now 😍😍😍😍 I do I really do.... yes it took time even when you read the book or listen to it( I really recommend you to listen to it )to understand Rob.... but when you do.... you will get to the sweetness in the onion.... and you will understand all the layers of this little person .....and about Vic 😍😍😍😍 if I would have been in the lifestyle as a submissive I would probably would love to have a dominant as Vic..... because his patients , his tranquility mesmerised me.... I love him very much( and yeah I love Darren and Eli as dominance very much they are my favorites from collars and cuffs well and Allen as well) but Vic may take a new place in my heart... I really will not tell you a single word about the book..... about what you should expect from this book.... but everything you you could have expected will be probably not what you will get.... in the best way ever.... I adored this book and I think I am in a kind of hangover after it.... I didn't expected to be but I am a bit.... in the best way possible

for all of you that ask if you can read or listen to Rob's and Vic's book as a book and not part of the series..... the answer is ...yes you can! but, know that you will hear about another characters.... and you will get spoilers for those characters.... if you want to know Alex's story or if you want to know Eli's story..... you will probably have to read them first because they are a factor for this book to exist especially Alex

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

I’m a big sucker for redemption stories and man what a story this is! Rob and Vic are perfect together. Joel Leslie knocked the narration out of the park!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it

I been waiting for this. And Rob's story. And it was nothing I expect. Great story with unexpected twist. And a feisty brat!

And the narrator did an amazing job and made it an very enjoyable listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Performance helps the trope story

After two great stories about friends to lovers where the two men were of similar age and of a submissive who is 50 years old and shows that submission is a mentality, not an age range, Im really REALLY disappointed by how bland the two main characters are. Theyre tropey.

The only reason they carry weight is one has significance with Alex, a veteren of the series. But Vic is just another mouthy sassy rich dom with a new age twist to him and his sub is the typical twinkish, much younger, brat who's life needs fixing. And it's tiring and overdone.

I liked the variety of the past two stories I read, and to be honest, I could go for more stories about Jared and Ellis, as they are my favorite subs, both in personality and trope breakage. But this going back to 'rich bossy thicc dom' and 'sad scared poor mouthy 20 something brat sub' is disappointing. If it werent for those two being in this story (especially Ellis' usual precious bear-tier grumpy cuteness), this story would have nothing for me.

Joel is still god though.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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really heady story

loved it, I love the performance, the story was really good and the characters were amazing.

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An awesome entry in the series

I enjoyed this story tremendously. Even at 12 hours, it wasn’t too much. Rob was pretty much a jerk in an earlier book, and even in the first part of this one he had moments of being quite the brat. His progression to accepting accountability for much of his unhappiness was well done and gratifying to watch. He and Vic were a great pair.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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awesome follow up!

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the audio file of this book.

Rob is TRYING to be better person than the one who nearly ruined his brother’s life, he really is. But it’s hard when no one will help you. A visit to the opening night of Secrets is just what he needs. Til a demonstration has him running. But he returns the next week, and runs straight into Vic, along with giving Vic attitude. Rescuing the obnoxious little git wasn’t in Vic’s game plan for the evening, but he can’t leave Rob walking in the pouring rain. After depositing Rob at the train station, he never expects to see him again. Although, something about Rob calls to him, it really does. When Rob starts turning up every weekend, Vic begins to look forward to his visits. Then Life throws Rob under a bus and Vic knows this is his chance to get into Rob’s head, and for Rob to get out of it.

This is book 2 in the Secrets series, but you don’t NEED to have read/listened to book one first, but I think you should. It’s bloody good!

As is this one!

Vic isn’t what I would call a Dom Dom, his speciality is getting a sub out of his head, rather than floggers and whips. And he KNOWS something is eating away at Rob’s mind, he just needs to unlock it. But to do THAT, Vic needs to get to know Rob, on his weekly visits to London. When Rob loses his job in Manchester, Vic offers him a lifeline, under strict terms that Vic lays down. And Rob, desperate for help and starved of any real human interaction, jumps at the chance.

Rob did some things as a younger man, that come back to haunt him, that STILL haunt him. A conversation with his mother turns his brother against him, and Rob is suffering that guilt so bad, it’s a dead weight on his shoulders. Meeting Vic, though, lets something free in his soul, something he had been so afraid to admit before. Something his mother would not approve of. Something he so badly needs, it brings him to the brink of his limits and budgets and his money runs out faster than it should. But Vic? Vic gives him a chance, so long as he sticks with the rules, and those RULES are what Rob needs, He needs to find himself again, deep within himself, before he can forgive himself and to make amends with his brother, should his brother want to.

What I particularly loved about this one, was the lack of the physical BDSM stuff that usually comes with these books, I mean I LOVED the lack of it. Oh don’t get me wrong, this is a sexy book, and it has a crazy amount of heat but there is a distinct lack of floggers and paddles. This was very much a MENTAL book, as in Rob needed to get out of his head so bad, and Vic knew just how to do that.
Rob is, quite simply, a wreck at the start of this book, and it’s a long while before Vic can get him to admit what’s eating him the most. That is: what he did to his brother. But when the FULL picture comes clear, I cried for Rob, I really did. He felt so bad for something he did not do, it messed his head.

Vic, being the most laid back Dom I have quite possibly EVER come across, is just the man for Rob, just the Dom to get to the bottom of his pain and release it. Rob calls to his soul, he really does. But not immediately. It takes a little time for Rob to worm his way in, but once he does, Vic is all in.
I NEED to listen Rob’s story now though! I need to know what a little shit Rob was, and how Rob was affected by what happened, I really do. So, books one and two of Collars and Cuffs are nicely lined up for when I’ve got time.

Joel Leslie narrates this one, as he does book one. I cannot, CANNOT fault the narration of these books, this one especially. Leslie pours so MUCH into Rob, and to Vic to, but to a lesser extent. The emotion pouring out of Rob when he finally breaks down and tells Vic all made me cry, great wrecking sobs that I have no doubt might NOT have come had I been reading.

Leslie is, quite simply a Master at his craft, and coupled with the work of Wells and Williams, I can only give this book. . . .

5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall.

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

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Freed

I was so glad to see that Thane and Drey get their chance. Thane has had to face so much more than we had even realized. Drey is such a wonderful caring man and always seem to be willing to put others first. I like how we get to see how resourceful and smart Thane is. Together they have a chance of a wonderful life working together to make it an even better world.

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The unlocking of a mind

I love K.C. Wells’ and Parker Williams’ series Collars and Cuffs and, as I’ve said before, they ended it at the perfect time. They also left open the possibility for a new series and Secrets is that series. The first book, Before You Break, was amazing, and my expectations were high for this book. So for the book to start with a character I’ve loathed for years was a challenge. For those who read the Collars and Cuffs series, the first book is about submissive Alex and Dominant Leo. I fell hard for these two men – Leo for his wounded soul and Alex for his desire to be true to himself. Alex’s brother Rob threw plenty of monkey wrenches into their relationship, but love won out. By the end of the book, I hated Rob – and I don’t use the word hate lightly.

When I realized he was one of the central characters in this book, I had my doubts. I adore the world K.C. and Parker have created and I knew their choice to bring Rob back wasn’t likely not taken lightly, but I still wasn’t sure. Well, as expected, they made the book work brilliantly. Rob is a conflicted and hurting young man. He carries around anger and guilt, using them as a shield to keep anyone from getting too close. He lives on the edge of poverty, eeking out an existence while trying to distance himself from his family. He wages a battle within himself, trying to reconcile his previous actions with the man he believes himself to be. He doesn’t love himself, so why would anyone love him?

Enter Vic. He was a member of Secrets in its old incarnation and likes the changes Eli and Jared have made to the gay BDSM club. He’s enjoyed playing with submissives for a number of years, selecting young men whom he can make soar – giving them a great scene and then going home alone. His work is truly fulfilling and he has friends to round out his life. His scenes to that point have nice, but he’s not had a serious relationship. I’m not sure he realizes just how much he’s missing until he encounters the impudent and rude Rob.

The meeting between the two men is auspicious at best, but Vic isn’t willing to give up so quickly. He sees Rob in a way no one else does and it opened my eyes to Rob as well. How often do we hide our true selves rather than be vulnerable? Rob is a tough nut to crack, but Vic is patient, willing to wait until Rob comes to him.

I don’t want to give away the scene that leads up to the unlocking of a mind, but it was incredibly powerful. I have always understood the power of BDSM but the transformational possibilities aren’t always addressed. Yes, you can have a good scene – floggers, whips, paddles, and ropes can be amazing to watch. Sometimes, though, it’s in the personal moments – away from everyone else – when the true magic happens.

I also wondered if Rob would ever get an opportunity to resolve his issues with his brother Alex and possibly the rest of their family. Clearing out secrets can be challenging and I wondered if Rob was up for the task. Alex and Leo play a major role in the reopening of the club and, as in the last book, the owners – Jared and Eli – are important in this book. I love that there are so many secondary characters and the revisiting of Ellis and Wayne from book 1 also tickled me.

There is a lot of humour in this book, much of it due to Margaret, the elderly mother of Jared, one of the owners of Secrets. I was stuck in traffic listening to this passage and…well, let’s just say I laughed uproariously.

Jared: Mother, you’ve got bags and bags of wool. How much do you really need?
Margaret: And you’ve got a chest full of sex toys. Does that stop Eli from buying more?
Maxwell: What’s the betting Maggie can find a pattern to knit a cock? Or maybe a sweater with a design made of dildos?


Poor Jared, being overruled and overrun by his mother and her driver/companion. And this exchange brings me to the narrator, Joel Leslie. His Margaret is always perfect and I have a vivid image of the older woman in my mind. She’s a traditionalist who loves her tea and also a woman who loves her son, especially when she gets to tease him. Joel also provides a wonderful interpretation for Jared whose exasperation is always tinged with love.

Narrating can be a challenge, especially long books in series. That being said, Joel does a brilliant job with carrying the previous characters while mixing in the new ones. As always, his performance is solid. I adored the entire book and am hoping the third book in the series will be out in audio shortly.

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  • JD
  • 02-19-19

enjoyed

liked the book and enjoyed the addition of the narration. really good duo. this is my favorite book of the Secret's series.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-19

I've just had it with K.C. Wells

After enjoying several BDSM novels by KC Wells, I suddenly had had it with her. According to this author, as it seems to me, every adolescent with a traumatic past is in need of a dom to pay his bills and make his decisions for the rest of his life. I strongly disagree.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Delano
  • 12-31-18

Love Book 2 as much as book 1

I have been waiting a year for this audio and it was well worth it. If you have read book 1 of Collars and Cuffs, you’ll remember Rob(Alec nasty little brother) and you would have little empathy for him. But this book is written so well that you understand and are rooting for Him and Vic by the 2nd chapter.
I also love the way the stories from the other books and characters intertwine. And as usual the narration is flawless, altogether a brilliant listen.