5 Stars, Fantastic Fiction Publishing, Genre Romance, Lynn Kelling, M/M/M and More, Reviewed by Lynn

Release Day Review: Double Heat by Lynn Kelling

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Title: Double Heat (Twin Ties: Book Three)

Author: Lynn Kelling

Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 299 Pages

At a Glance: The climax of this story is one of the best sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat scenes that I’ve read in a long while.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: When Evan and Brennan moved in with their boyfriends, Alek and Luka, they knew things would be complicated, but as their privacy gets eroded, and people around them begin to notice the tangled nature of their relationships, coping becomes a struggle. After Brennan leaves on a brief trip home, and Evan remains behind to enjoy the full attention of both Alek and Luka, the careful balance of things gets thrown off.

Ex-boyfriends surface, haunting Evan and Brennan in similar ways as regret for poor choices threatens their happiness, and the sexual freedom displayed earlier in their lives draws predators willing to use violence, coercion, mind-games and force to take what they want. Though Luka and Alek struggle to protect those they love, it soon becomes clear that the dangers surrounding them will find ways to rush in, trying to take what belongs to them.

Dividers

Review: First off, this is a series that should be read in order. My Brother’s Lover and Dual Affairs are the first two books in the Twin Ties saga. Second, this books deals with some pretty heavy issues that may be triggers for some readers: rape, pedophilia and incest. Please take heed to the warnings.

Having read the first two books, I thought I knew where this story was headed. We’ve already met both sets of twins, and watched as all four men evolved into a relationship with one another. They went through some rough spots, figuring it out along the way, and by the end of the second book, Evan, Brennan, Alek, and Luka are moving in together. So, I’m thinking the third book is going to be an adjustment period, a “getting to know you better” phase. I mean, when you’re in a relationship that involves four people, there’s going to be some issues to tackle, right? Oh boy, was I wrong.

The author takes us on a journey into the past, and we see what really happened to Evan and Brennan before they knew the other existed. At certain times it’s not a pleasant read, but I felt it necessary information so readers fully understood the reasoning behind the characters’ actions and words. Also, I felt the characters needed to be true to themselves and to their lovers about their past; to relive it, understand it, deal with it, and start healing from it. The author does an amazing job here. She gives us cringe-worthy scenes, not for the shock value but for the healing value.

Evan, I loved him from the get go. Even though I thought him to be a little whiny and a bit over dramatic, there was a genuine sweetness about his character. I knew there was more to his story than what the author was giving us in the previous installments, and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. We’re in Evan’s head for most of the story, with the beginning of his inner dialogue reading like a broken record of self-doubt. I wanted him to just shut up already, open up and talk it over with his lovers. It can’t be that bad, right? Well, when we get the full, heartbreaking, ugly truth about Evan’s past, I was beyond mortified. And, I finally got Evan. I understood him better. The part of his character that never quite felt right snapped into place. It all makes sense now.

Brennan is Evan’s twin brother. I thought him to be the stronger one. He exuded confidence and independence while all along he was hiding a secret too. Through Brennan’s POV, we see that going back to his hometown proved more difficult than expected because of his own abusive past. Returning home to his lovers, he really has no choice but to tell them everything.

While their situations were vastly different, the one thing that stood out was how each twin mistook abuse as acceptance, both brainwashed into thinking that any attention was better than no attention. One was alone, the other feared being alone. It’s no wonder their back stories had a similar theme. Finding true acceptance within their foursome caused them to finally begin unraveling the depth of mental, physical, and criminal warfare that had been waged upon them. I think the author does a great job delving into these difficult scenes. She was able to bridge the past and present seamlessly, bringing the abusers into the light so the brothers knew them for what they were. We see the real struggle Evan and Brennan went through during this process. The author never glossed over or pushed aside the problem, the characters weren’t miraculously cured by the next chapter. I appreciated that.

Now, I haven’t said much about the other set of twins, mainly because this wasn’t their story. They are both solid characters who are very dedicated to Evan and Brennan. Alek and Luka are there for support, helping as much as they can. It was really nice to see this other side of them, but I know they have their own story to tell. From what I know, Ms. Kelling is planning to explore their backstory in book four. I can’t wait.

The climax of this story is one of the best sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat scenes that I’ve read in a long while. It wasn’t resolved in a nice gift wrapped box. It was messy, violent, graphic and disturbing. I couldn’t imagine it ending any other way. Evan and Brennan’s stories weren’t pretty, so why should the resolution be?

All in all, this story stopped being about twincest, stopped being about anything taboo. It’s about the love these four men have for each other. It’s about healing and getting back that self-worth, to finally move on, to love and be loved back. It’s about never being alone. I can’t wait for the next book.

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You can buy Double Heat here:

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4.5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Fantastic Fiction Publishing, Lynn Kelling, New Adult, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: Learning from the Master by Lynn Kelling

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Title: Learning from the Master (Manse: Bound By Lies 0.5)

Author: Lynn Kelling

Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 50 Pages

At a Glance: A young man’s erotic journey into the world of Dominance and submission.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Most things in life come easily to eighteen-year-old Jenner Parrish, who’s on track to inherit the family business, and is popular, well-liked and good looking. He has everything he could want, except when it comes to love, and sex. Closeted, lonely and desperate, he acquires an invitation to an event at a nearby private gay club, Manse. Feeling out of his element and for the first time quite shy, Jenner is unable to play the wallflower when he captures the attention of the suave, seductive owner of Manse, David Davenport. David is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants is gorgeous young Jenner, who begins to realize every fantasy and wild desire could be his for the taking, if only he dares to ask and obediently serve.

Dividers

Review: Lynn Kelling’s Learning from the Master is a short prequel to the author’s Bound by Lies, a book Jackie reviewed for TNA back in August of 2013, and a fact I’d overlooked before I started reading it. I can now say, upon finishing, that my appetite for more Jenner Parrish won’t be satisfied until I continue reading his story.

Learning from the Master offers us a glimpse at Jenner, the young man he was before he became the Master in “Bound“, though even at the tender age of eighteen, he knows he’s meant to Dominate. Jenner is the Golden Boy, small town football hero, in line to inherit the Parrish family business, gorgeous and deeply in the closet, but he also knows he’s missing something crucial to his being. After garnering an invitation to Manse, an exclusive gay club, Jenner meets his destiny in the man who will set about altering and shaping the budding Dom’s future.

David Davenport is the wealthy businessman and powerful Dom who owns Manse. He’s also the man who recognizes in Jenner a Dom-in-Waiting, and takes it upon himself to win Jenner’s submission in order to train and mentor him to become the Master, the man who will eventually come to long for his own submissive—something Jenner awakens to when he witnesses firsthand the deep love and trust that binds David and his own sub Shea.

Lynn Kelling has crafted a novella that is touching in its portrayal of Jenner’s devotion to David, as well as his desire to protect and care for Shea, the man who stirs in Jenner the most important lesson he will ever learn—how precious the submission and trust is between a slave and his Master when there is an abiding devotion there as well.

Learning from the Master is erotic, though not gratuitously so for the story it’s telling. Though not a virgin, it’s Jenner’s sexual awakening that’s the heart of this story, and in order for that awakening to come to fruition, for him to discover what he needs in order to be fulfilled, Jenner must learn not only to trust in and listen to his own instincts, but he must learn to do so by submitting to David’s instruction, whether that means being Dominated by David or David giving his permission for Jenner to Dominate others.

Based on Jackie’s recommendation of Bound by Lies, and my own experience with Learning from the Master, I feel it’s safe to say if you haven’t read “Bound” yet, begin here and work your way toward the rest of Jenner’s story. This is a lovely start to a young Dom’s initiation and transformation, and it sounds like Bound by Lies is a great followup to his journey.

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You can buy Learning from the Master here:

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5 Stars, Erotica, Fantastic Fiction Publishing, Genre Romance, Lynn Kelling, Reviewed by Lynn

Review: Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling

Title: Arctic Absolution

Author: Lynn Kelling

Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 240 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: In the frozen expanses of remote Alaska, Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon gets seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. Though he tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart, not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance, the temptations of sin entangle them as their hostile environment threatens. Both of their pasts are filled with malicious ghosts that haunt every step, and while Jaye’s demons are less tangible that Dixon’s, they are all powerful enough to put both of their lives in danger. Continue reading

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Fantastic Fiction Publishing, Lynn Kelling

A Review Double Header – Lynn Kelling’s “Twin Ties” Books One And Two


“The only journey is the one within.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke



Title: My Brother’s Love (Twin Ties, #1)

Author: Lynn Kelling

Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 267 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: What happens when two different sets of identical twins fall in love with the other? Growing up gay in a small town with no mother, Evan Savage learned the hard way to cherish his secrets above all else. Now he’s eighteen, not even his father can hurt him anymore. When his long-lost twin brother Brennan shows up out of nowhere looking for a new home, Evan’s world, and his very identity, comes crashing down around him all over again. Evan’s twin, Brennan, is searching for a sense of connection after their mother’s death. Together, frustrated and reckless, anonymous sexual encounters are just the first step on a journey of self-discovery for both Evan and Brennan, when the two meet Alek and Luka, another set of twins whose love leads them to find in each other things they never knew they had lost…and lures them all into danger.
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Lynn Kelling

Welcome Lynn Kelling On Her Twin Ties Blog Tour And Giveaway!



Thank you to The Novel Approach for inviting me here today. My inspiration for writing about two sets of identical twins initially came from the song Origin of Love in the stage musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch. This song draws directly from Plato’s Symposium, specifically from the speech made by Aristophanes. What Aristophanes proposes is a satirical spin on man’s creation story, saying initially there were three types of beings, all of them with doubled bodies – two heads, four arms, four legs. Some were all male, some all female. The rest were androgynous, half male, half female. When these primal versions of man attempted to scale the heights of heaven, Zeus crippled them by splitting them in half with lightning bolts. For the rest of their lives, these men searched for their lost other halves, never able to feel “whole” until they succeeded. When they did find their missing half, they never wanted to be separated from them again. This was the origin of love. Sex then became the way man tried, if only for a moment, to heal itself, reuniting physically with their other half.

My series, Twin Ties, grew from the idea of these missing halves and the anguish of the search to feel complete. What better incarnation of them this than identical twins that were separated at birth, only to find each other in young adulthood? Evan and Brennan are mirrors of each other, excited to be reunited, but in emotional chaos due to everything they’ve lost, and everything they are only beginning to see in each other. It has been a fascinating way to examine the idea of love itself. Society draws the boundary lines, but sometimes emotions carry people to places they never intended to go.

The moral of Aristophanes’ story is to fear the gods and worship them appropriately, lest they chop us all in half yet again. In Evan’s quest for self-awareness, his best friend, Jimmy, is an ex-preacher who tries to use his relationship to God to help those he loves. No matter how pure Jimmy’s intentions are, though, God has other plans for Evan. The closer he gets to his missing half, Brennan, the more lightning bolts of fate strike his path.

The main character of the story, Evan Savage, was inspired by a particular photograph of a young man sitting in a field of wildflowers. There was a single, tiny petal caught in his eyelashes, and the yearning in his expression spoke of a deep well of need which seemed almost bottomless. When we meet Evan, he’s an eighteen year old mechanic who’s been lonely his whole life. An only child without a mother, and with a father who is hardly ever present, he’s been bullied in school and, given his sensitive nature, has withdrawn into himself out of self-preservation. Brennan Holt, Evan’s twin, is outgoing, was popular in school, and has moved to another state to live with Evan following the death of their mother, Maggie. Brennan nursed Maggie through her terminal illness. Grieving her loss, he’s searching for love and comfort in a place that’s totally foreign to him.

The love interests are played by Luka and Alek Popović, are twenty-five year old identical twins who have been out on their own since high school. Raised by a single mother whose bad relationship with their father caused her to be unable to open her heart to them, they turned to each other for solace and love. Luka is a personal trainer whereas Alek is a short-order cook and security guard with a degree in finances. They live with a couple of friends who understand the twins’ atypical closeness and, though they don’t condone Luka and Alek’s sexual behavior, they also don’t turn away from public displays of affection. Comfortable in themselves and their choices, Luka and Alek happily challenge those whose actions don’t quite match up to the morals they preach.

BLURB: What happens when two different sets of identical twins fall in love with the other? Growing up gay in a small town with no mother, Evan Savage learned the hard way to cherish his secrets above all else. Now he’s eighteen, not even his father can hurt him anymore. When his long-lost twin brother Brennan shows up out of nowhere looking for a new home, Evan’s world, and his very identity, comes crashing down around him all over again. Evan’s twin, Brennan, is searching for sense of connection after their mother’s death. Together, frustrated and reckless, anonymous sexual encounters are just the first step on a journey of self-discovery for both Evan and Brennan, when the two meet Alek and Luka, another set of twins whose love leads them find in each other things they never knew they had lost…and lures them all into danger.


BLURB: All Evan Savage wanted was a quiet night at the bar, waiting for his boyfriend to finish his shift; what he gets instead is a nightmare. Things were complex enough when his biggest problem was the tangled sex life he and his brother Brennan share with twin lovers Alek and Luka. When a selfless act ending in terrible violence lands Evan in the hospital, Brennan and Evan’s homophobic father returns to loom over their lives. The young men’s relationships begin to unravel as carefully drawn boundary lines are blurred and crossed. When the most dangerous thing you can do is admit to who you love, and jealousy is a luxury you can no longer afford, brutal honesty is the only remaining key to salvation…or damnation.


Excerpt:

“There’s a sink in the kitchen at the back of the house if you want to get washed up there. There’s only the one bathroom,” Brennan apologized.

“Okay,” Luka grinned. He watched Brennan go, his button-down shirt all rumpled and damp in patches, his pants hanging open in the front but his underwear at least protecting his modesty. “You were right about that ‘small’ thing by the way,” he called. “I totally take it back.”

“Thank you,” Brennan smirked, disappearing into the dimly lit hall. A light blinked on, shining from the bathroom, then was blocked as the door shut. Struggling up off the bed, taking a moment to try to tame his raging libido, Luka attempted to wilt his huge hard-on by thinking about the nasty, sweaty, stinky people from the gym that morning.

Long moments later, he headed out into the hallway. The bathroom door was open again but no one was inside.

Moonlight filtered through the windows and it was just enough to see by. Luka could just make out the kitchen in the distance, so he turned to go that way when someone stepped into the hall a few feet ahead of him.

It was Brennan but he was wearing other clothes now—a snug-fitting, worn t-shirt and jeans. And his hair was different. It looked… shorter.

“Brennan?” Luka squinted.

“Alek? Shit, what’re you….”

Baffled, Luka repeated, “…Alek?”

“Luka?” Brennan said, appearing from behind the door to the linen closet. “I just needed to grab a clean towel… oh. Hey, Evan.”

“Evan? No. Wait. You’re… Evan,” Luka pointed, looking between the perfectly identical pair. “Whoa. Oh my god. Oh my god, you have a twin!? What the fuck!? This is… incredibly… insanely… Whoa. You didn’t tell me you have a twin! Well, I didn’t tell you I have a twin either, so I guess I really have no room to complain.”

Brennan’s eyes widened. “Wait, what? No way. You have a twin, too? No. Okay, now I know you’re fucking with me.”

“I’m not fucking with you!”

“Evidence suggests otherwise,” Evan muttered, glancing at Brennan’s come-streaked, falling-off clothes and unzipped pants.

“Shit. Yeah. Christ. Excuse me. Luka, you’ll be cool for a minute if I, um…” Brennan fumbled, gesturing to the bathroom.

“Yeah. Yeah! Go ahead. I’ll just stare awkwardly at Evan or something. Probably.”

They stood there as Brennan hurried back to the bathroom with the towel. Evan chewed at his lip, hunching over like he wanted to disappear, and swirled the half-empty beer in his hands, glancing up through his long eyelashes at Luka who was indeed staring awkwardly at him, as promised. Evan looked exactly like Brennan, so much so that Luka had an overwhelming desire to stand them next to each other so he could compare and contrast. Their features were the same, right down to the placement of freckles. It was everything else that was different.

“That’s so weird,” Luka gushed. “Oh man. This is how I’ve been making people feel all my life, isn’t it? I’ve never met identical twins before, besides, you know. Myself. And Alek. Obviously.”

“So, you wanna borrow a shirt or something? ‘Cause…” Evan nodded, tipping his beer toward the wet spot on Luka’s polo shirt.

Looking down at himself, Luka shut up quickly and ran a hand back restlessly through his hair. “Yes. Please. That’d be appreciated.”

Evan turned, walking into a darkened room located off of the center hall. Luka followed along behind him like a dog with its tail between his legs, embarrassed and confused. He accepted the shirt Evan handed over with a low, muttered, “Thanks. I’m sorry about that with your brother. Who is awesome, by the way. I swear I’m not just here to perv on him. It’s not just, you know, what it seems.”

“No problem,” Evan said, digging down into his pocket and coming out with a cigarette. His hand trembled slightly as he placed it between his lips and he seemed pale but Luka wrote it off to the shock of walking into the scene he just had. “You mind if I?”

“Nah. Your house, man.”

Evan nodded, lighting the cigarette and walking with Luka to the kitchen as he changed shirts, sitting down at the table and picking restlessly at his beer label. “Have a seat. Beer’s in the fridge.”

“Sure,” Luka agreed, sitting across from Evan. They were in better light, so he was able to study Evan closer, and the differences between him and Brennan. Luka found Evan’s hair was cut shorter and styled differently than Brennan’s, not to mention darker in color. Evan’s posture and body language, his expression and build were all wildly different too, but there was also so very much of the same. It was a little spooky. “Sorry for staring, but this is really fascinating.”

“What?” Evan shifted in his chair, sucking hard on the cigarette, blowing smoke out the side of his mouth.

“Well, you look like you should be the bad twin, with the cigarette and the beer and mild surliness and all. You know—the angel and the devil, that whole thing. It’s kind of this theory I have. Alek thinks I’m crazy. But anyway, I think Brennan is definitely the bad twin. I think you two got your disguises mixed up or something to throw the rest of us off.”

“Hmm. Brennan’s the bad twin?” Evan echoed, squinting at Luka, flicking ashes into the ashtray in the center of the table.

“Why, you don’t agree?”

“I don’t know.” Evan shrugged, “Don’t really know him that well but I’d disagree from what I’ve seen.”

Utterly baffled, Luka blurted, “What do you mean you don’t know him that well? He’s your identical twin brother! How could you not know him?”

“Long story. Just met the guy a few days ago.”

“No shit?”

“No shit.”

“Fuck.”

“Yeah.”

“Huh,” Luka grunted thoughtfully, considering this new information. “Well then, trust me, Brennan is the bad twin.”

“I still disagree. He’s as dangerous as a cupcake.”

Luka snorted, “Cupcake. Ha! That’s totally gotta be his nickname from now on. But I’ve gotta warn you, Evan, beware of that cupcake.” He thumbed back over his shoulder at the bathroom, raising his eyebrows and nodding once for emphasis.

“Will do.”

“Wait,” Luka frowned. Finally, he realized one thing he almost missed, something that only sparked upon replaying the incident in the hallway over in his head. “You called me Alek. You thought I was him. You know Alek?”

“I guess,” Evan said evasively.

“Huh. Small world.”

Evan chuckled, sucking hard on the filter of his cigarette, filling his lungs with smoke and holding it there a second. Then he breathed it out and shook his head. “Yeah, tell me about it.”

AUTHOR BIO: Lynn Kelling is a bestselling author who began writing in order to tell stories that aren’t afraid of the dark, don’t hold anything back and always strive to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life—basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it’s body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over fifty works of erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.

THE GIVEAWAY: In honor of her visit, Lynn is offering the chance for one lucky reader to win an e-copy of BOTH books in the Twin Ties Series!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment right here by Midnight Pacific Time on Thursday, March 6, 2014. One winner will be selected at random on Friday, the 7th, and notified via email for prize delivery.

Good luck!

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A.E. Via, A.J. Corza, GotYouCovrd, Hayden Thorne, Jay Northcote, Jayson James, Josephine Myles, Lynn Kelling, Sneak Peek, Susan Mac Nicol

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Hi again, everyone, I hope you’ve all a great week and quiet weekend filled with lots of great reading. Thanks for stopping by to see what we’ve got in store for you in the coming week. We’ve got some first time visitors to TNA headed our way, and are excited for the return of some old friends, so here’s what we have on tap:

MondayJay Northcote is our guest on her Not Just Friends Blog Tour, and she’s offering a giveaway of an e-copy of the book.

TuesdayHayden Thorne drops in to tell us about the re-release of her book Arabesque, and she’s offering an e-book giveaway.

WednesdayJosephine Myles comes calling on her Tailor Made Blog Tour today, so be sure to stay tuned for her visit.

And, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… Yes, A.J. Corza returns today with “Got You Covered” and a review of some great cover artwork.

ThursdaySusan Mac Nicol has a new release from Dreamspinner Press, Waiting for Rain, and she’ll be stopping by on her blog tour to talk a bit about the book.

FridayA.E. Via is our guest on her You Can See Me Blog Tour, and she’s offering a giveaway.

Saturday – The Absolute Write Blog Tour stops here, and there’ll be a giveaway of the anthology.

Jayson James is also back today to talk about his newest release, T.E.D., and to give away an e-copy of the book.

SundayLynn Kelling is our guest today on her Twin Ties Blog Tour, and she’s offering a giveaway.

And that does it for this week. Until next time, happy reading!

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All Romance Ebooks, Lynn Kelling

“Bound by Lies” Is Bound To Please

“Surrender is a powerful force.” ― P.C. Cast


Brayden Clare is a very confused young man. He was bullied all throughout high school. First for the fact his father died and he was very emotional about it, also because he was slightly built and more pretty than handsome. Lastly, his mother just up and left him after his father died, leaving the town questioning her sanity.

After high school Brayden took off to Miami and started living his life on his terms; well, as much as he could. His roommate Andre starts to open his eyes to needs Brayden never knew he had. Just as the two are starting to explore this revelation, Brayden’s grandmother calls—she needs his help with raising his cousin. So, with Brayden on the cusp of finding out who he really is, he heads back to his hometown. He doesn’t know what’s in store for him in the place where he never seemed to fit in, but family comes first, so off he goes.

Next we meet Jenner Parrish. While at the gym with one of his very few friends, Jenner notices the most beautiful man he has ever seen. Lithe and tan are not the only words to enter Jenner’s mind. This moment is when Jenner’s stalking of Brayden starts. Jenner realizes that the object of his obsession lives on his street, and he spends way too much time thinking of Brayden.

Not long after seeing Brayden at the gym, Jenner believes all his prayers have been answered when Brayden walks into his bar looking for a job. Even though Jenner believes the man is straight, at least he can watch him up close every day. It doesn’t take long for the close contact between the two men to put Jenner on edge, so he goes to the BDSM club for the masquerade ball. He never expected to see Brayden there….in a KILT! Jenner quickly scoops Brayden up, thanking all that is holy that it is a masked party so his secret isn’t out once Brayden runs from the room after he and Jenner share a hot time together. Unfortunately for Jenner, his disguise is given away when Brayden sees him without his shirt at work.

Once Jenner and Brayden both admit to the feelings they are having for one another, they start to navigate a Master/slave relationship. Jenner has trained with one of the top Dominants in the city for five years and Brayden has had a total of three physical encounters with a man, none with a woman. Needless to say there are many roadblocks to overcome before these men get anywhere close to a HEA. Neither man is “out” in their small Pennsylvania town. Jenner’s friends, Maxine and Art, take a liking to Brayden very quickly. When they see marks on his body and overhear some… not so innocent conversations, they stick their noses in where they aren’t needed, and it causes some major tension and some bruises and cracked ribs for Jenner. Not only do they have to overcome Jenner’s friends, but Brayden has some friends from Miami that need some convincing that Brayden is safe.

Finally, they get on the right track and their relationship is progressing nicely. They decide together to come out soon, but on Halloween the decision is made for them. There are some wonderful surprises on who supports them and some bullies are put in their place. Brayden overcomes some inner demons that have plagued him since childhood and Jenner finally finds freedom in the control Brayden hands over to him.

I loved this book!!! It took me a couple days after I finished reading it to get my thoughts somewhat together. This story was so striking and romantic. The power dynamic played out so well that it just seemed natural, like these two men were made for each other. Jenner is a very powerful Dom and Brayden is a wonderful sub who just blossoms under Jenner’s guidance. Watching the two men grow and learn together was a beautiful thing.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes to read about strong men, especially when one of them gives all his power over to the other.

Reviewed by: Jackie

You can buy Bound by Lies here:

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4 Stars, Fantastic Fiction Publishing, Lynn Kelling

Whatever the Cost by Lynn Kelling

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

And Whatever the Cost, at times, had me questioning just how strong a man really needs to be, because, gods, there’s finding strength through adversity, and then there’s just a point where life and circumstances beat a person down so entirely that it forces you to examine whether he’s entirely broken beyond the point of survival, let alone repair. There’s making your characters suffer for the sake of great conflict, and then there’s making your readers suffer death-by-fiction. Slowly. One chapter at a time.

On the surface, this novel doesn’t appear to be terribly complex. It’s the story of two high-end prostitutes, Liam and Jacen, who fall in love with each other and decide their lives, as they’d lived them up to that point, could not continue. Sex was just sex, an act, a paid performance complete with costumes and props and all the right lines, until, that is, Liam and Jacen’s bodies each imprinted the touch of the other. They began to need, to want something more than the physical, to demand that no one else be allowed access to the most intimate parts of themselves save for the one who owned his heart.

But that’s the simple recap of the plot, and it’s not until you look at this book from the standpoint of the characters and their afflictions that you realize there’s much more to it than just a couple of whores who find love amidst the emotional disconnect of their jobs. In fact, this really could be reviewed as two separate books because the story that begins and the story that ends are about men who become so many different variations of themselves along the way that it’s difficult to cipher who each man truly is beneath the façade of practiced seduction and role playing they’ve become accustomed to. The first half of the book is filled with the erotic tension of their attraction; the second half is an exploration of their dissociation with what it means to just…be.

There is a metaphor in the book, in the concept of role playing, that whores are merely accomplished actors who get paid for having sex rather than for their thespian skills. The heart of the issue for both Liam and Jacen is that they’ve spent so long becoming whomever the client pays them to be that they have no idea whom they truly are as people. They work for The Company: go where The Company tells them to go, do what The Company tells them to do, be whom The Company tells them to be, give as much and as often as The Company tells them to give, and endure whatever The Company demands they endure, including being forced to have sex with each other while a wealthy female client watches, a situation that nearly ruins Liam but is the catalyst for everything that follows.

It’s difficult to be your own man when you’re an owned man, and that’s the crux of the problem for Liam and Jacen when they finally decide to run and once again find themselves assuming new and different identities. Liam is such a fragmented and fractured personality that he has no idea which of the many characters he’s played over the years he truly is, and Jacen, who is gay-for-pay but truly does love Liam, has a difficult time being who and what Liam needs him to be, partly because Liam himself doesn’t even know, but also because Jacen has a difficult time being on the receiving end of sex (unless he’s being paid), which is something that causes no small amount of conflict because Liam desperately needs to top in order to feel in control of this one important aspect of his life. They are both men who suddenly find they’re fighting for control and facing choices they’d never had before, and that fight nearly tears them apart in the process, until Liam finally begins to understand he doesn’t have to be who he believes Jacen needs and wants him to be, and can complete himself and make himself whole again by becoming an amalgamation of some of the more comfortable roles he’s played, including Leah, the only woman Jacen needs in his life, and the only part of Liam that will allow him to give Jacen even a fraction of control.

The conflict and danger the two men face which keeps them looking over their shoulders with the sure knowledge that each morsel of contentment they find is tainted by the fact they are still, on paper, owned by The Company, supplies a good bit of tension to the story. The angst is entirely in the relationship between the two men, their histories, and the relationship with themselves when they must become reacquainted with whom they are.

There is evil, there is horror, there is recovery, and there is salvation in the end, as both Liam and Jacen find purpose and promise in a future carved from the detritus of misery. If you’re looking for a light and easy read, this is definitely not the book to pick up. This is melodrama in its purest form, but not in a way that felt at all gratuitous to me. It ultimately is a story of the triumph of love and the strength these two men find in themselves and in each other.

Writing the book in the omniscient 3rd person, present tense worked really well for me, within the concept of the actors playing their roles. The style choice places the reader firmly in the moment, in each and every scene, as the author directs the characters’ thoughts and actions. The only thing that caused some minor difficulties for me were the proofreading issues that were glaring enough that I couldn’t seem to overcome them affecting my reading experience, though overall, I very much enjoyed the journey these two men traveled to find happiness in their own little corner of the world.

Buy Whatever the Cost from the publisher HERE, or at Amazon.com.

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