Marked by Grief by Caitlin Ricci ~ Review by Leisa

A hurt/comfort story with a Dom/sub vibe … double the yum!

MarkedbyGriefTitle: Marked by Grief

Author: Caitlin Ricci

PublisherDreamspinner Press

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

2nd Edition 

Six months after Kit lost his big brother to a drunk driver, he’s alone and feeling like everyone has left him behind. He struggles to get out of bed, to feed himself, to talk to his parents. Worst of all, the man he loves, his brother’s best friend, hasn’t spoken to him since the funeral.

Tattoo artist Jason always planned to wait until Kit was a bit more experienced and mature before he told Kit how he felt about him. But Bear’s death changes everything, and Jason opts to give Kit space to heal.

However, the next time they meet, Jason is startled at how far Kit has deteriorated, so he takes him home. Simply taking care of Kit isn’t enough. Marking Kit with the tattoo he demands opens a window, but Jason still isn’t getting through, until he begins ordering Kit around and sees how receptive Kit is to his strong hand.

My View

When Marked by Grief opens with Kit literally grieving himself to death, Caitlin Ricci immediately grabs the reader’s attention. Kit’s grief over his brother, Bear’s, death due to an accident that also left Kit seriously injured, is visceral. He’s a broken man. He’s dropped out of college, has lost his job, is starving himself, and he never leaves his room. Grief is crushing him, and his parents are too involved in their own uniquely awful misery to be of any help to Kit. Upon learning upsetting news about the man who caused Bear’s death, Kit finally forces himself to go tell Jason, Bear’s best friend who has not spoken to Kit since Bear’s funeral.

Kit has always adored Jason, but does not know that Jason is also gay. Jason has also been attracted to Kit for years, but hasn’t acted on his feelings because he didn’t want to upset his friendship with Bear, and he wanted Kit to become old enough to understand what Jason needs from a relationship. Jason is stunned by emaciated and broken Kit, and immediately feels terrible guilt that he hasn’t stepped in to help Kit beforehand. He takes Kit home with him to take care of him, and Kit learns that Jason is gay and very attracted to him. Kit also discovers that Jason is a Dom who needs to be dominant and include other BDSM aspects into in his relationships. And Jason quickly confirms his suspicions that Kit is indeed a submissive.

The portion of the story related to Kit’s grief, and the lasting affects of Bear’s death upon all those who loved him, is incredibly powerful. Ricci’s portrayal of Kit’s grief is heartbreaking, to say the least. I also like the inclusion of Dom/sub into Kit and Jason’s relationship dynamic. Jason clearly cares for Kit and his well being, and Kit is so hungry for love and care that he simply soaks up Jason’s loving attention. One of the more powerful scenes is when Jason finally convinces Kit to go to Bear’s grave (he hasn’t been there since the funeral), and he defends Kit to his and Bear’s anger and grief-filled father.

However, I am a bit bothered by Jason’s repeatedly reminding Kit that he requires BDSM in his relationships (I mean … after he’s agreed multiple times, give it a rest). But my greatest issue with Marked by Grief is that the story ends almost abruptly. The ending is a hopeful one, which is nice, but it is much too sudden. I feel that Kit and Jason’s story is interesting and compelling, and deserves to have a more fleshed out resolution.  Nevertheless, the quick ending does not overly detract from the loving and sexy story overall.

Thus, I recommend Caitlin Ricci’s Marked by Grief. It’s a touching, heartbreaking, and loving story that I truly enjoyed.

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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2 thoughts on “Marked by Grief by Caitlin Ricci ~ Review by Leisa

  1. Sounds great! So I looked it up, 4.99 for 85 pages ( Amazon). This will stay on my list for a long time. (I understand its the pups not auths)

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