• Firm Hand

  • By: Nora Phoenix
  • Narrated by: Kenneth Obi
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (186 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cornell is broken after losing his best friend Jonas and getting hurt himself. He’s too old, too imperfect to ever attract a Dom again.

Until Rhys.

When Rhys gives him commands, Cornell yearns to obey.

When Rhys takes care of him, Cornell wants to kneel for him. When Rhys is everything he’s dreamed of, Cornell aches to call him Sir. And when Rhys makes him fly, Cornell soars higher than ever before.

But there’s one problem. Rhys is 20 years old and is a junior...and he’s Jonas’s son. How can you want to call your best friend’s son "Sir"...or "Daddy"?

Firm Hand is a standalone slow burn MM romance with daddy kink, an age gap, a very caring Daddy, and a boy who needs it, hurt/comfort, mild D/s play, and all the feels.

©2019 Nora Phoenix (P)2019 Nora Phoenix

What listeners say about Firm Hand

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Reverse age

Reese has wanted his dads best friend Cornell for years. After an accident that claims his dad's life he has a chance to take Cornell in. Thus begins their story. It is sweet and hot and a little surprising. I love the reverse age gap - and that Cornell is not ashamed to be an older sub. My heart breaks for him at some points, and Reese is perfect for him.

Kenneth narration was perfect. Great tempo, and differentiation with voices.

Highly recommend this audio

7 people found this helpful

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Love, loss and love again

I love this wonderful story about two people coming together and finding happiness in a very unconventional way. In the midst of loss these beautiful characters find what they need in each other. We should all be so lucky to find love like that.
Narrator Kenneth Obi does a fabulous job as always. I loved listening to him tell me this story.

3 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking/Heartwarming

What an amazing story.
I've never read anything quite like it.
It captured my heart on the 1st chapter, broke it on the 2nd one, and throughout the story it was slowly mended back together.
I found myself crying, gasping, smiling, grinning, laughing, and completely enthralled.
Beautifully narrated and highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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  • TG
  • 09-23-20

Good book

I loved the story and all of the characters. The narrators performance was spot on.

1 person found this helpful

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🔥🔥🔥

Great listen! Kenneth Obi did a great job as always:) I loved the set up of the characters and the story

1 person found this helpful

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Wow! So good!

One of the sweetest most touching love stories I've read! It just warmed my heart.

1 person found this helpful

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Lazy plot, characters, side character, world, etc.

The story starts off with the death of a flasher/lover to both of the main characters. This feels like it's just thrown away and was more intended to serve as a plot device to get the two characters in the same room.

It felt kinda lazy and lacked any interesting or emotional writing that would make sense for this kind of opening plot. They occasionally reference to this loss however their behaviors are extremely unbelievable and even over simplified in a way that feels lazy. I just really didn't like the poor writing to really sell this sort of plot line to be used as a background.

The characters are a bit lazy as well. You really only get enough information to show the main conflict. That main conflict being the old vs young dynamic and the struggle sometimes felt about it. However this was not really expanded on too much other then brief moments of tension at the start to give the illusion that this main conflict even exists. Overall, i just didn't think the writing was good enough for this either as it lacked any depth to really sell the conflict.

The Erotic moments were also a bit bland. You don't really get anything resembling a true Erotic moment that could he enjoyed until you're about towards the end. Definetly wasn't the main focus for this book but I struggled to kinda figure out what was. This really didn't have anything going for it. The erotica wasn't even very impressive and didn't at all give that dom/sub dynamic as much as I'd like.

This book uses this vague description of a scene existing in the background but doesn't do world building to even explain what that scene even was. I can sorta get an idea, but the lack of expansion really made it confusing what universe this book is supposed to be in.

There's these side characters that like pop in and out so sporadically too in a way that feels unnatural. There's even this cringe scene where the main character as a plan to invite friends over to help the other character feel safe/relax. Those characters arrive and in like 2 minutes they disappear. What even was the point?

Ugh.

Yeah this was just overall not good.

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Not what I expected

And here I did it again, got sucked in by five star reviews. And I didn't read the blurb. I read the book while listening to Kenneth Obi narrating.
Ah well, this is what I liked: the age gap, the younger dom and older sub, even the car accident and the grieving process - I really do like to read about the heartbreak of an unexpected death. I liked that they eventually talked. Nothing is worse than drama coming from non-communication. I liked Ford, Rhys's mentor Dom and Raf, Brendan's little. What I didn't like was the portrayal of the only two female characters in the book. Their behaviour was downright mean, so not what I was comfortable with. Then there was the isolation during the time Cornell is recovering at Rhys's house. Cornell lost his best and only friend Jonas in a car accident, in which he got severely injured as well, and when he is in doubt about Rhys's intentions his only chance to talk to someone is a friend and mentor of Rhys's. Despite living the "dream" of not working and being at home myself I did not get the "I want to spend all my time with you so I quit my job" vibe after both MCs spent two weeks together, so of course they both lost parent(s) and inherited money. Cudos to Rhys though to start his own business, even though he wasn't doing much more than stare at spread sheets and being happy about a few bookings lined up for the coming weeks. Then there was the D/s relationship that morphed in the last third of the book into a Daddy/boy relationship. I enjoy reading about both but somehow watching the development in such a short time of about a month was not feeling natural. I would have liked to know more about Rhys's and Cornell's relationship before Rhys acted on his crush and inviting him to his place for recovery. Being not blood related making them godfather and godson, even though Rhys had outgrown any dependence, added a moral taboo that wasn't necessary. It just added to the hotchpotch that this book already was. Questionable consent as well as patient/physiotherapist interaction added to a cringe worthy feeling. I am no prude and I have seen segments of the book like a massage with happy ending in porn, but even my husband, who had the chance of listening involuntarily to bits and pieces, asked if they did anything else than have sex. He was sleeping while Cornell was having his inner monologues about doubting Rhys and himself. All in all a good try but not really well executed. The writing was good and the narrator only once used the wrong name.
Kenneth Obi did the best he could with the story. His narrating was good. I was surprised that the younger Rhys had this deep voice and older Cornell's voice was soft.

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Awkward romance

I honestly found this one creepy and far fetched/ reaching. I finished the audio book since I paid for it but save your money.

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Beautiful!

This audiobook deals with grief and age gap. The storyline is so beautiful and the characters help each other through the grief they are feeling. It is a bit of a reverse age gap, if you want to call it that, but it definitely lends itself to this perspective. Narration is on point and poignantly beautiful.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-24-21

wonderful loving and caring story

loved it. have read it many times. like the audio too. this I will listen to again.

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  • Mandy
  • 08-10-21

Absolutely Amazing 💞💞

Loved it..... Amazing series by Nora Phoenix love book and audio is simply brilliant can't get enough, Kenneth did an amazing job of bringing Rhys & Cornell to life after losing Jonas they have each other to move on and learn to live again as Daddy and his Boy. Brilliant. 💖💖

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  • Caroline Hill
  • 12-21-20

Brilliant book

I have read the book but listening to it was absolutely brilliant. The narrator was brilliant as well

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KR Phoenix @ Books, Tattoos and Tea
  • 10-13-19

Wow, what a story! Great writing & great narration

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 4.5 stars
🔥🔥🔥🔥 Heat Level: 4
🎧🎧🎧🎧🎧 Narration: 5 (great narration by Kenneth!)

Wow, what a story!

I loved Rhys and Cornell. Great dynamics, great characters, great writing!

I really enjoyed this 'different' take on the dom/sub dynamics and then the daddy/boy relationship. I love minority stories and sadly this one falls into the minority of young dom/daddy, older sub/boy. The opening of the story was absolutely heartbreaking and I'll admit to tears. Cornell is recovering from a serious accident that claims his best-friends life. The care, emotions, and feelings evoked for Cornell throughout his healing process were so authentic I felt like I'd lost a friend too.

Nora's writing is passionate, emotional and raw. I felt every shift, every tear, every stab of grief as both Rhys and Cornell adapted to their new normal and then their new relationship. Rhys is a very powerful character and I loved that he had pined for Cornell for years before acting on his feelings. Even though Cornell is obviously old enough to be Rhys's Dad those dynamics were never present and I never felt uncomfortable with their connection or relationship. Rhys was the perfect mix of care and 'authority'. He is exactly was Cornell needs and while it was a tragedy that led them down this path, it was a wonderful journey to read.

I loved Rhys and Cornell and I feel like they'll be with me for a while. A truly great read!!!

Thanks for reading!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-11-19

amazing daddy dynamic

absolutely loved it from the start. loved how the daddy dynamic formed even though it was already present. Kenneth did a wonderful job on the audio

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-12-19

May to December

What an amazing, intimate story. Rhys has wanted Cornell for years, but hadn't acted on it. Cornell has known Rhys since birth; being best friends with Rhys's dad, Jonas. A fatal car accident throws Cornell and Rhys together; Cornell needing physical therapy and Rhys providing both the therapy and a safe place to stay as Cornell recovers. The relationship grows, as Rhys proves his desire for Cornell and Cornell realises his deep need for Rhys to dominate him. Nora Phoenix writes with such insight and passion that I could not help but be drawn into the story. There are teary places, anxious places and happy happy places. Would love to know where these two gorgeous men go next with their journey.
Kenneth Obi narrates beautifully.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kay-Anne
  • 07-12-19

Kindle book was intense Audio not so much.

I loved the Kindle ebook. Thought it was very moving and intense. The Audiobook didn't quite meet my expectations.

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 03-13-22

Thoughtful and moving BDSM romance!

I love good psychological character studies and this melancholy romance really satisfied! Cornell is 45 yo and he’s come to realise that subs have a physical expiration date: as with much of gay culture, doms want younger, prettier, and fitter subs. When Jonas, Cornell’s best friend and soulmate, is killed in a car crash, Cornell is left with extensive physical and emotional injuries from the accident - no one will want him now. As a physical therapist and Jonas’s 23 yo son, Rhys is also gutted by his father’s death but he has always loved Cornell so offers to nurse and rehabilitate the older man. What Cornell doesn’t know is that Rhys is a dom and he wants more from Cornell than he lets on. Against a BDSM backdrop, this thoughtful role-reversal romance was tender and moving and I loved it. It’s pretty much a two-person play with occasional cameos and the pace is slow as Rhys and Cornell work their way through realisations, negotiations, and grief to find each other. The only two female characters were both unsupportive; I would have preferred more balance but it wasn’t a dealbreaker. Listening to the gentle tones of audio narrator Kenneth Obi, I was reminded what a great loss he is to the mm romance community, he really excelled himself here.

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  • Kylie
  • 10-13-19

Sweet and sexy

I loved the book by Nora and I tried to imagine what the characters would sound like when I was reading. However, Kenneth did an amazing job bringing this book to life. The story is about the love of a lost one and how it brings them closer together until they both get what they want and need.