In This Shadow, Longing by Marina Vivancos

Can you ever overcome your past? In This Shadow, Longing shows that perhaps with a supportive found family and a special connection love can find a way.

From the blurb:

In a world where people are born a Dom or a sub…   

Cross is not a good man. His past is filled with dark magic, with death and blood sacrifices. He refuses to inflict his dominance on anybody—he’s not worthy of being a Dom.
He’s scared of what he’s capable of.
It’s been years since he scened, and he knows his body is slowly dying because of it, but this fate is better than hurting a sub.

Alex is a dynamic specialist. He subs for Doms who need to scene for their own health and don’t have other options. When he’s called to the Meliora coven for the most extreme case of Domdrop he’s ever encountered, he expects it just to be another client in a long line of clients.
That’s not what he finds.

As Cross struggles to trust himself enough to Dom, enough to live, Alex is forced to question how joyless his own life has become. There is something blooming within them, between them, and neither of them knows if it’s something they can keep alive, or something that will wither away once their contract is broken and Alex leaves Meliora for good.

In This Shadow, Longing is a hurt/comfort story with escalating BDSM, two people learning how to truly trust, and about how love can soften even the most salted of earths.

SNiK's Review:

Third in series (Coven Ties), can be read as a standalone, but might be more fun if read in order due to the series' shared secondary cast and unique universe. Paranormal. Hurt/comfort. D/s world. Found family. Slow burn. Dual POV. Content warning for mental health.

Cross can’t forgive himself for the horrible things he’s done in the past, and he’s wasting away from Dom drop as he has been ignoring his biological and mental needs. Alex is hired as a dynamic specialist in order to act as Cross’s sub and work with him to manage his past trauma in order to live a more healthy and maybe happier life.

This story very much focuses on the healing that Alex and Cross experience together until they inevitably become emotionally entangled, both men finding a special connection beyond physical and professional. Cross was relatable in his inability to forgive himself and Alex was incredibly thoughtful and compassionate in caring for Cross. I’ve enjoyed this series that has been very much about healing and finding that special person that becomes your biggest supporter and forever love.

In This Shadow, Longing is currently available as an e-book and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription