The premise drew me in. And I liked it :)
Yes, the story is a bit one sided, only exploring the sub/dom relationship, making the characters seem somewhat one dimensional, but somehow I didn't mind it.
I liked Ori and Frederick and their dynamic. Ori seemed terribly naive and innocent, but he knew who/what he was. No, not his avian type/race, but who *he* was. His needs, his wants were so simple, it was heartbreaking at times. It was an interesting way of portraying a submissive that I had not read before.
Frederick seemed a bit more distant, but it was clear that he too was very comfortable in his skin ... apart from when Ori didn't turn out to be what had been through he was. (he's not the ugly little duckling for nothing)
I have to admit I cried all through their separation, instigated mostly by Frederick, because he didn't think a swan would want to be his submissive (or anyone's for that matter).
Two points that kept me from giving this a 5 star rating:
- It jarred me that Hamilton (who had put Ori into an abusive position at his club) was the one with all the understanding in the end. A man with such sound reasoning would never allow his club to degrade as he had done (at least, I don't think so)
- The bigger issue for me was the incessant use of titles and the fact that the main character was only referred to by his last name, even in scenes in his own pov. That just doesn't gel for me and comes across to me as an oversight and laziness. I know Frederick Raynard is a master and a hawk, he knows it, but I doubt sincerely if he would ever *think* of himself that way. He may prefer to being called Raynard, and thus think of himself that way, but since no reason or hint to that was given in the story, I don't buy it.
Like many others, I would have loved to know more about the avian world. All those birds, ranks, types seemed interesting (though, the abuse, not so much)