5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Giveaways, Morticia Knight, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Jennifer

Release Day Review and Giveaway: The Safe Limits Blog Tour with Morticia Knight

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TitleSafe Limits (Kiss of Leather: Book Two)

Author: Morticia Knight

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 171 Pages

At a Glance: Strong follow-up to the first Kiss of Leather book.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: The men from Kiss of Leather gather together to rescue a terrified young sub. But it’s Master Derek who wants to keep him for good.

Master Gavin and his boy, Kyle, are celebrating their newly established bond when Master Josh calls requesting their help. Josh’s sub, David, needs the men to help his best friend from childhood while they’re away at a BDSM convention in San Francisco.

Corey ran away from his Master after a horrible scene, but he blames himself for everything that happened. No Master would ever want him if they were to find out what he did. Corey’s not sure if he’ll ever feel safe enough to give himself to a Master again anyway, even if all he’s ever wanted was to belong to somebody.

Master Derek agrees to watch over Corey until Josh and David return from the convention. All he needs is another pretty twink messing with his head and his heart, so the older, growly bear of a man determines to keep his distance. But when Corey wakes up screaming after a devastating nightmare, Derek is more drawn than ever to the young sub—the need to keep Corey safe from whatever or whoever has hurt him becoming his main priority.

Kyle and Corey develop a friendship when Corey assists Kyle in the dungeon furniture workshop. Kyle has his own fears—the ones that make him feel he’s broken because of the things he desires to do with Gavin. Through helping Kyle and receiving his own help via Derek, Corey decides he’s ready to let go of the demons from his past and move forward into a new life.

Now if Corey can only get Derek to believe that he’s ready—and to finally do something about it.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a flashback scene of rape by multiple aggressors.

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Review: I’ve been a fan of Morticia Knight since reading The Hampton Road Club series, which is BDSM historical fiction. Love it. And I loved the first Kiss of Leather book as well, so when I saw this book came out, I knew I had to read it to see what happened with the club and the men involved.

Before I start the bulk of the review, I will say that this is a series you need to read in order. While the meat of the story involved Derek and Corey, and doesn’t require prior knowledge of the first book, the first chapter is about Gavin and Kyle, and it’s set immediately after the events of book one. I’d also recommend maybe going back to reread the last chapter of book one if it’s been a long time, or if you can’t remember what happened with those boys.

That said, once Corey is safely deposited with Derek, they are the focus of the story, but in order to get there, Kyle and Gavin need to be present.

Corey is a friend of David, and when he gets into trouble, he calls David for help. Of course, David will do anything to help his friend, so, being out of town himself, he enlists the other people he trusts—Gavin, Kyle, and Derek—to help Corey out until he and his Master, Josh, get back. Having had a Dom who hurt him, Corey struggles to trust anyone. He shies away from Kyle and Gavin, and when he sees Derek for the first time, he’s intimidated. Not only is Derek huge and his body language screams Dom, but to Corey he’s gorgeous.

Derek doesn’t really have time for a sub. He’s drawn to young, pretty twinks, and Corey is all that and more. But, he doesn’t want to get involved with someone again, especially not when that person is coming out of a relationship he refuses to talk about. One that has clearly left him afraid. Derek doesn’t even know if the man wants another relationship with a Dom, and not having BDSM in his life is a deal breaker for him. When Gavin and Kyle leave Corey with him, the two have to figure out how to navigate around each other and come to terms with their mutual attraction.

What I love most about Morticia Knight is her ability to create such deep characters. Not one of her characters is alike, and each story is different from the last. While they might have some things in common, that’s what makes them great friends rather than too similar to be interesting. Derek is a gentle giant who likes to work on his Harley. Corey isn’t too sure about wanting a fulltime D/s relationship, unlike Kyle and David, and he loves how big, hairy, and protective Derek is. The insight into Derek’s past is interesting. Readers learn he used to wrestle, and that he has anger management issues. While that might seem like a bad combo for a Dom, he’s fully in control with subs, and his anger stems from people taking advantage of others.

If you’re a fan of Ms. Knight’s writing, I recommend this series, especially if you like her Hampton Road Club books. I eagerly await the next installment! I’m hoping for Marshall, since he was conspicuously absent from this book. Fingers crossed!

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You can buy Safe Limits here:

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Pride Publishing

Pride Publishing

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Morticia Knight is giving away an e-copy of Building Bonds, book one of the Kiss of Leather series, to one winner.

Good luck!

THE GIVEAWAY

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Morticia KnightAbout the Author: Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

Where to find the author: Facebook || Twitter

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, The Novel Approach, Divine Magazine, The Hat Party, Happily Ever Chapter, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, V’s Reads, TTC Books and More, 3 Chicks After Dark, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Book Lovers 4Ever, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, MM Good Book Reviews, Nephy Hart, Bonkers About Books, Jessie G. Books, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Alpha Book Club, Velvet Panic, Gay Book Reviews

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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3 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed By JJ, Tempeste O'Riley

Audio Review: Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley – Narrated by Paul Morey

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Amazon

Title: Caged Sanctuary

Author: Tempeste O’Riley

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Paul Morey

Run Time: 6 hours and 26 Minutes

At a Glance: Story: This book started out pleasant and enjoyable, but I lost interest after the first date, though I think Paul Morey did an excellent job with this reading.

Reviewed By: JJ

Blurb: Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.

Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.

Kade’s fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he’s learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon’s determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.

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Review: Caged Sanctuary begins at a dinner party, where Kaden, a wheelchair-bound dental surgeon, meets his future Dom, Deacon, who is an architect. The two men are attracted to each other right away, and end up setting up a date for a BDSM scene. After entering into a D/s relationship, things get more serious between them. Since Deacon is very sensitive to Kaden’s insecurity over his mobility issues and does his best to make him feel comfortable, Kaden eventually learns to trust more and gains more self-confidence. Their relationship eventually progresses into something more than a Dom/sub relationship.

This book started out pleasant and enjoyable, but I lost interest after the first date, and realized the story was not for me. I think one of the issues was that the relationship moved a little too quickly. I also thought it was a bit odd that Kaden asks Deacon if he is a Dom on the first day they meet. This struck me as unbelievable, considering they were introduced by friends who had nothing to do with the lifestyle, and neither man was wearing anything to indicate they were into BDSM. Then, after their first date, they were practically a done deal. I thought Kaden was sweet, but his lack of self-confidence made it difficult for me to imagine him as a full grown adult. In addition to not liking the characters and pacing, I was hoping there would be some kind of conflict in the book. However, after they meet, they fall in love, move in together, and soon have their happily-ever-after. Despite these issues, the sex scenes were hot, and I enjoyed the sweet moments when they were cuddling.

Narration: I think Paul Morey did an excellent job with this reading. Most of the time when I listen to an audiobook, the narration pulls me out of the book multiple times throughout. However, I was able to listen to Morey without thinking of the narration even once. Each voice was distinct and seemed to match the personality of the characters.

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You can buy Caged Sanctuary here:

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Amazon US

Audible.com

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Genre Romance, L.A. Witt, Reviewed By Carrie, Samhain Publishing

Release Day Review: Not Safe for Work by L.A. Witt

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Amazon

Title: Not Safe for Work

Author: L.A. Witt

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 341 Pages

At a Glance: This is another great hit from L.A. Witt!

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: They’re a match made in the dungeon…until their secret gets out.

Bored senseless in a meeting, architectural modeler Jon McNeill amuses himself with a kinky dating app on his phone. Then the app matches him with another user…who’s six feet away. Suddenly Jon finds himself on the same page as someone way above his pay grade: millionaire property developer Rick Pierce. His firm’s biggest—and hottest—client.

The app isn’t kidding either. They’re a perfect match. Jon’s a Dom, Rick’s a sub, and bondage is their thing. Both guys are well into their forties, know their way around the bedroom, and definitely appreciate a good suit. And the best part? They’re a match outside the bedroom too.

But office relationships aren’t easy to keep a secret. When the truth comes out, Jon is certain he’s about to get fired. Instead, his bosses throw him a curve ball—an ultimatum that puts both his job and his relationship in jeopardy.

Warning: Contains literal and figurative sex machines, blindfolds, a sub being punished during a business meeting, enough rope to tangle up a millionaire, and a Golden Girls marathon.

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Review: Jon McNeill is an architectural modeler. Rick Pierce is his firm’s biggest client and the reason the architectural firm is solvent. Jon has been told not to talk to clients, which ordinarily is something he has no problem with–until he hooks up with Rick on a kinky dating app. Jon is a Dom, and finding a sub as perfect as Rick is something that, at this stage in life, he thought he would never find.

L.A. Witt’s Not Safe for Work is so well written. It was refreshing to read how two men in their mid-forties navigate the real world and make their love and relationship work–I found this mature romance engaging, and the Dom/sub dynamic totally believable because these men had a very clear idea of what they wanted vs. what they needed from the relationship. I loved these characters and how they came alive off the page. I could practically smell the glue in Jon’s workroom. The secondary characters are interesting and keep the humor going when the emotions get heavy between the two men.

I highly recommend this book. The BDSM theme is there and a major part of the relationship between these men, but as they grow to love each other, it’s how they make it work day-to-day that is the real story. This is another great hit from L.A. Witt!

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You can buy Not Safe for Work here:

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, J.A. Rock, Reviewed By Carrie, Riptide Publishing

Release Day Review: The Subs Club by J.A. Rock

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Amazon

Title: The Subs Club (The Subs Club: Book One)

Author: J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 297 Pages

At a Glance: I highly recommend this book and cannot wait for Pain Slut, coming out in February of 2016.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.

A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.

But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.

Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.

I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.

—Dave

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Review: We all have preconceived notions of not just ourselves but the people and the roles they have in our lives. What happens when that reality is shattered and you are left to reinvent yourself inside a new paradigm? Like taking an old well-loved coat and repurposing it to something new and better than it was before – something that will grow with you and make you a better person. It hurts, but it is worth the transformation.

Dave. He’s complicated, witty, and a little immature (but trying so hard), loyal and an advocate for others. He’s a sub but he’s gonna make you work for it – especially if he feels you don’t deserve it. He is secure in himself as a submissive, and he knows what he needs and is convinced he will never find it or have the guts to ask for it, especially now. There used to be five of them, a circle of friends who are all subs. Now there are only four.  His best friend died at the hands of an irresponsible Dom, and it’s a wound that hasn’t healed for any of them. Their first night back at an event at Riddle, a local BDSM club—and the one where Hal died—Dave spies a man he nicknames Pornstache, and falls into insta-lust. “Come save me, Pornstache. But, I mean, don’t, because I’m not attracted to you and I’m not here to have fun. I’m here to reflect on how stupid-lonely I am, and how I prefer meaningless sex to relationships, and meaningless spankings to meaningless sex.”  Pornstache is actually Dave (yes, the main characters have the same name!), a Dom who goes by the name The Disciplinarian and, yeah, he noticed Dave too.  But Dave isn’t easy, and the wounds he carries for not just himself but for all of his friends, make this relationship painful and not just from the spankings.

This book really delves into a serious issue in the fet community—subs having a voice. Who is responsible when something goes wrong in a scene? Rules are there for a reason and should never be broken, and when they are, who do you blame?  Dave has an idea to start an online blog called The Subs Club where subs can go and talk about anything, and that includes the Dom’s they play with. It’s all about being safe, knowing who is playing safe and who isn’t and what kind of experiences they are having as subs. Sounds good, right? But what happens when people start talking about your new Dom on the blog?

This book is about moving forward from tragedy, wrapped inside the complicated world of discipline and submission. Brilliantly written, Dave is a man you truly want to find his HEA inside the domestic discipline relationship he craves, and Pornstache is just the Dom to give it to him! Dave finally realizes “Oh my fucking God.  Love really is the most dangerous game. And I want to play it.”

I highly recommend this book and cannot wait for Pain Slut, coming out in February of 2016.

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

 

You can buy The Subs Club here:

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Grace R. Duncan, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Beautiful Boy by Grace R. Duncan

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Amazon

Title: Beautiful Boy

Author: Grace R. Duncan

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 280 Pages

At a Glance: All in all, Beautiful Boy is a good BDSM story with some wonderfully intimate moments that carried the novel.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Malcolm Tate hung up his flogger when his submissive sought out another Dom and landed in the hands of a serial killer. Convinced his lack of dominance sent his sub away, Mal has spent two years blaming himself for what happened. But when his best friend finally convinces him to go back to the local dungeon, Mal’s grateful. Especially when he wins beautiful, submissive, firmly closeted Kyle Bingham in a charity slave auction.

College grad Kyle hasn’t earned enough to move out of the loft his conservative, homophobic parents bought, much less to buy any of the other things still in their name. When he’s won at auction by the hot, amazing Mal, he’s shocked that anyone would want him. No one else seemed to—not his parents, his former Doms, or any of his disastrous dates.

But Mal does want him and Kyle lets his guard down, only to be outed to his parents. With his world crashing down, he must find a way to trust Mal—and their developing relationship—or risk losing everything.

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Review: Two men who feel they have little left to give find one another in Grace R. Duncan’s novel Beautiful Boy. One is a submissive who has been misused by other Doms who failed to see the worth of the man who had the strength to offer his submission to them. As a result, Kyle is certain he has nothing to offer a Dom. Not only does he feel his outward appearance is lacking, he is sure his inward need to serve is somehow inadequate and simply not good enough. The other man is a Dom who blames himself for the reckless behavior of his former submissive whose life ended at the hands of a serial killer. Mal cannot bring himself to even consider taking on another submissive and has not dabbled in the lifestyle for some time.

A charity auction brings the two men together, and when they engage in a scene, there is an instant attraction that is hard for them to resist. Before long, they become deeply involved and despite Kyle’s persistent worry that he will never be good enough for Mal, the two men find themselves on the cusp of committing to a D/s relationship. However, Kyle comes from a wealthy family desperate to maintain appearances. In their lives, there is no room for a less than perfect son—certainly not a gay one. Now Kyle worries just how long Mal will be content to hide in the closet Kyle currently inhabits.

Beautiful Boy has some incredibly rich moments of loving care between its two main characters. Mal and Kyle are so well suited to each other, and the way in which Grace R. Duncan writes the numerous scenes these two engage in is both realistic and breathtaking. The aftercare—the compassion and protection that Mal extends to his submissive after pain play is rife with incredible tenderness. It is so sweet that you cannot help but fall in love a little with these two. The BDSM elements are definitely hardcore at times and yet always carefully controlled by Mal and, as such, they ring with an air of authenticity.

While the story did have an overload of sex, it was well thought out and fit within the plot such as it was. I felt that more interaction between Kyle and his parents would have lent some credence to their role in his life and, in turn, would have allowed for his need to remain closeted to be a bit more realistic. Because we spent time in this novel with Mal’s friends and his family, he became a fully fleshed out character with what felt like genuine needs and concerns. Kyle was much more one-dimensional and, as a result, not nearly as interesting to read about as his Dominant, Mal. Consequently, the big showdown between Kyle and his parents was more of a passing moment and hardly seemed worthy of the buildup it received in the story.

All in all, Beautiful Boy is a good BDSM story with some wonderfully intimate moments that carried the novel.

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You can buy Beautiful Boy here:

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2.5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dawn Flemington, Loose Id, Reviewed by Jennifer

Review: Naked Mailman by Dawn Flemington

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Amazon

TitleNaked Mailman

Author: Dawn Flemington

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 121 Pages

At a Glance: Interesting concept, but too much packed into a novella.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Mailman Ken Lane is bored with his life. Nothing exciting ever happens to him. That is, until a nude man attacks him and leaves him bound and naked in the back of his mail truck. After all the excitement, Ken can’t stop thinking about the man, especially when he ends back up in Ken’s life and turns it upside down.

Correctional Officer Devon McLaren is a BDSM Dom non-shifting werewolf whose personal life has gone abruptly to hell. The subject of a non-consensual drug experiment, Devon is trying to get to the FBI with information regarding a drug cartel that would really rather he didn’t. On top of that, he’s consumed with lustful thoughts of the mailman he attacked and longs to do many kinky things to him.

Despite the danger, Devon takes Ken on the run with him, hoping that a trusted friend will help them out (and give them a place to do some of those kinky things). But when said friend proves to be a part of the problem, they’ve got to get out of the jam together, before Devon’s pack is destroyed. But can they, or will their obsession with each other get in the way?

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Review: The title alone of this book intrigued me, and I knew I had to read it. It has BDSM, shifters; I mean, really what more could I want?

Ken Lane, mailman, thinks nothing exciting ever happens in his life, but this all changes one day when out on a routine route, he is attacked, his clothes stolen, and he is left naked in the back of his mail truck. After several days of the news turning him into the Naked Mailman, he tries to resume his normal life only to find Devon, the man who stole his clothing, has broken into his apartment. What follows is an interesting adventure where Ken is dragged around the state, and he learns that werewolves exist. Throw in tarot reading coworkers with completely accurate horoscopes, and drug cartels, and you’re in for a ride.

While the beginning of the book was interesting and left me amused, I started to struggle by the time I got about halfway. Not only is there a lot going on in this story, there’s just not enough room for it. You have werewolves, BDSM, illegal drug experimentation, the FBI… the list goes on. Ken is dragged through it all, his world turned upside down, and he just goes along for the ride. Why? Because Devon is good looking and turns his submissive side on.

It seemed a stretch for me, and the issues started early. For example, I understand that Ken is a submissive, but to have your life threatened while at work and being forced to strip? I can see how it’s a fantasy for some, but this just didn’t feel right. Fast forward a few scenes and let’s talk about the blowjob Devon demands in a public restroom while they’re both wearing clothes they bought off homeless men. I had to cringe just at the thought of the smell of the dirty clothes. But that wasn’t even what bothered me the most. Once they meet Sir Gary—Devon’s Dom human friend—they’re offered the use of his playroom. Ken has never been involved in BDSM. He just knows about it, knows he’s a submissive, and that’s pretty much it. But they engage in a scene.

Without a safe word.

So despite Ken saying no, Devon doesn’t stop, and then Ken soars and floats and he’s happy. But the lack of the safe word while Ken was saying no bothered me. Because it seemed to me like he did want Devon to stop, and because there was no communication beforehand, he had no real way of telling Devon to stop if he really wanted him to.

Some of the dialogue is awkward, such as Devon and Gary referring to each other as Sir Gary and Sir Devon. I get that they’re Doms, but it just felt forced for these characters.

There’s more involved in the book such as the fact that Devon is a shifter who can’t shift—it’s described at one point as a handicap—but there’s just too much to mention in the review.

If you enjoy shifter books with BDSM themes, you may be interested in this book, but as for me, while enjoyable at first, I struggled to finish this one.

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You can buy Naked Mailman here:

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Remmy Duchene, Reviewed By Carrie

Review: Love Me Harder by Remmy Duchene

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Amazon

Title: Love Me Harder

Author: Remmy Duchene

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 172 Pages

At a Glance: Love Me Harder is a solid interracial romance.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Life hasn’t been perfect for Mathew Chance. Between not knowing who his parents are, and being bounced from foster home to foster home, he’s had to work for everything in his life. But lately, he seems to be overdoing it. With two jobs that barely give him time to breath, love is the last thing on his mind. He doesn’t know whether to bless fate or curse it for shoving Asher Mulgrew right into his path.

Wealthy divorce lawyer Asher Mulgrew has it all worked out. From a successful practice to a supportive sister and a fantastic niece, life is good. But he’s lonely. Though he’s not actively searching for a man, he isn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth when he meets bartender, Mathew Chance. Mathew has a wall built around his heart and Asher isn’t sure he can break through even if he wants to.

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Review: Mathew Chance works hard—too hard.  Being on his own since he was eighteen, and aging out of the boys’ home the foster system had placed him in, all he has done is work. There has to be more to life than working himself into an early grave, but Mat doesn’t know what that is. Taking the easy road has never been his thing, and he refuses to bow to the pressures of his life now.

Remmy Duchene does a great job with Mathews’s character. She writes his hamster-on-a-treadmill life in a way that you both sympathize and empathize with his troubles and his way of thinking. How many of us feel trapped by life, unable to change the status quo because of finances or emotional instability? All we can do is try to keep going, hoping for something better, and that is Mat’s character to a T. Of course, Mathew’s something better comes wrapped in the package of Asher Mulgrew.

Asher runs his own law firm, and is sexy and established both in business and his personal life. He always longed for someone to share his life with, but so far, no luck—until he scopes out a quirky little bar where his sister wants to go, and runs into a gorgeous, reserved man named Mathew. Again, Remmy Duchene writes a character with feeling. After meeting Mat, Asher describes himself as feeling “intimately bankrupt,” and sets out to change that with Mathew. This is a romance in every sense of the word. The road is a long one for these guys, they begin the journey worlds apart, but they make it to their HEA in the end.

I felt like the story could have had a little more depth; the premise is a tricky one, with the poor black boy and the rich white guy, but I will say I never felt any part of this book to be gratuitous in its portrayals. The main characters are on an even keel in this one, despite their differences (as a matter of fact, their races are hardly mentioned). Love Me Harder is a solid romance between two men doing the best they can, and finding the road easier with someone to love by their side.

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You can buy Love Me Harder here:

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3 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed by Sammy, Sean Michael, Torquere Press

Review: Jack of All Trades by Sean Michael

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Amazon

Title: Jack Of All Trades (Box Of Nails: Book Four)

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 137 Pages

At a Glance: Unfortunately, Jack of All Trades is not one of this author’s better works.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Brad is crashing in his cousin Stephen’s room while he tries to sort out his life. A perpetual student, he still hasn’t settled on a major after a half dozen years at University. He loves learning, but so far that’s the only thing that’s been a good fit.

Dill is a full-time Dom who hasn’t found the right sub yet. He’s not worried about it — he figures it’ll eventually happen and in the meantime, there’s plenty of boys at the Hammer Club who are eager to share a scene with an experienced master.

When Brad and Dill meet at a party at Barney and Devon’s house for subs, the attraction is immediate and undeniable and Master Dill feels that Brad is the perfect sub for him. He also believes that as his submissive, Brad will learn the focus he needs to fulfill his potential and find satisfaction with his life. Now he just needs to help jack-of-all-trades Brad see they belong together

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Review: Brad is adrift—more than just a perpetual student who floats by from one major to the next, he is barely surviving monetarily as well. Now couch surfing at a friend’s place, Brad meets Dill, a Dom in search of a submissive. When the two meet, Brad is still a virgin and certain that the kinky life of BDSM is not for him…or so he thinks. Dill recognizes in Brad a sub in need of direction and education, and sets out to be the impetus for both in Brad’s life.

After arranging for Brad to become his intern who will help research his many articles concerning the D/s world, Dill begins to wear down Brad’s resistance to trying out the lifestyle for himself. With much gentle reassurance and a heap of nudging, Brad seems ready to consider the idea he could be a submissive—but, will he be willing to explore that with Dill as his Master? Only time will tell.

If you know anything about Sean Michael’s work then you know it is filled with hot sex and varying degrees of BDSM, and Jack Of All Trades is no exception. Honestly, were this a piece of erotica and not a novel that should have a serious and steadily moving plot, I could have given this story five stars and called it a day. There is no doubt that this author can churn out one hot sexual scenario after another. In fact, the Doms that proliferate this author’s books are always kind, gentle and fully invested in their submissives, even when that means pushing them well beyond their comfort zone and exploring deeply ingrained painful memories that often seem to go hand in hand with being a submissive in one of Sean Michael’s stories.

Jack of All Trades delivers on this successful formula of needy sub and patient Dom quite nicely. However, what’s lacking here are the specifics surrounding Brad’s insecurities. I never really got to know Brad on any other level than he was a virgin and in need of being told it was okay to explore BDSM. He seemed to have no real family, there was no real meat or hidden reasons behind his inability to commit, and, to be frank, I was hard pressed to see his character’s growth throughout the novel. Other than his committing to a relationship with Dill, Brad remained one-dimensional and I am sorry to say, rather boring.

This novel fell short merely because it failed to establish what was really the root of Brad’s inability to commit to life—whether that be a college major or being Dill’s submissive. Instead, there was simply heaps of great sex and little else.  I found myself wanting this story to move on—to get to the point where Dill would dig deep enough to see why Brad was so adrift. Instead, he took the man into his home, gave him a rather contrived “internship” by becoming his “patron,” and introduced him to the world of BDSM. Other than Brad agreeing to becoming exclusive and willing to “try” the lifestyle, I failed to see any real change in either character. Hence, we had a series of sex scenes tied together with very little plot.

Sean Michael has turned out some very good and provocative novels where the characters develop and change, finally growing into a less wounded and more complete person. Unfortunately, Jack of All Trades is not one of this author’s better works and therefore, fell short of the kind of stories this author is capable of producing.

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5 Stars, Avon Gale, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jennifer

Review: Let the Wrong Light In by Avon Gale

Let the Wrong Light InTitleLet the Wrong Light In

Author: Avon Gale

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 210 Pages

At a Glance: For a book about a “wrong” relationship, there is so much right.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Avery Hextall, a junior architect at a prestigious firm, is thrilled when his design is chosen for a new performing-arts center—even if it means working closely with his insufferably uptight project manager, Malin Lacroix. When a chance encounter in the boss’s office proves that Lacroix is anything but cold, Avery is determined to learn more about the real man beneath the aloof veneer.

Despite their growing attraction and their increasingly kinky encounters, the enigmatic Malin remains as emotionally distant as ever. Worse, Avery’s friends are convinced Malin thinks of Avery as a dirty secret and nothing more—a secret that might destroy both of their careers.

But the real secret is a single moment in time that haunts Malin and keeps him from committing to the life he wants with Avery. In order to move on, Avery must help Malin come to terms with the tragedy in his past before they can work on building a future together.

Dividers

Review: Wow. I’m not sure what I was expecting with this book, but what I got was so much more. Based on the description I figured, okay, Avery wants his boss, they have some fun, it’s a problem, and they make it work.

WRONG. I mean, well, right. But also wrong, because there is so much depth. Each page left me feeling like I had pulled back another layer to the characters. Avery wants one of his building designs to be chosen for a project, but he struggles. After demanding his boss explain, Avery gets put in his place and begins to fantasize about his boss. But not in what most would consider the standard fantasy. Avery fantasizes about Malin hitting him in the face. And man, does it turn him on. He’s not sure why, though.

When they finally get together, the encounter is hot. It’s rough, like Avery wants it, and he finally gets what he wants, so that should fix his problem, right? Again, wrong. Instead, he wants his boss even more and just can’t get him out of his head.

Up until this point it seems like the fairly standard scenario, just with a little kink thrown it. But when Avery finally corners Malin, it’s far from standard.

Yes, this book has BDSM elements, but more along the SM lines, I’d say. Malin likes to hurt, and Avery likes to be hurt. But their relationship starts off wrong. There is no structure. There is no discussion of limits and safewords or what they’re even looking for. Avery takes whatever Malin gives, even when it’s too much. With the help of some friends, though, Avery begins to see things aren’t right, but they could be.

I loved this book. Reading it, I was nervous because I realized this relationship didn’t seem safe or sane. Consensual, yes, but there was no discussion about what either man wanted, when they would stop, and what their relationship actually was. Watching Avery come to these realizations was a breath of fresh air. He struggled to understand himself, but he still kept pushing. The secondary characters who tried to guide him were great, but ultimately, they could only advise and then back off.

If you enjoy rocky relationships, BDSM, and employee/employer relationships, give this book a shot. However, be warned, the sex is rough and at times pretty forceful, so if that will bother you, maybe check out a different book instead.

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Genre Romance, Morticia Knight, Pride Publishing, Reviewed By Carrie

Review: Negotiating Love by Morticia Knight

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Title: Negotiating Love (Sin City Uniforms: Book Five)

Author: Morticia Knight

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 198 Pages

At a Glance: A power play dynamic between two powerful men – it’s a scorcher!

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Can the kinky billionaire owner of the Dark Fantasy resort casino capture the heart of a muscled SWAT officer with a secret fetish?

SWAT Team Hostage Negotiator Steve wonders why he can’t stay away from the spoiled, rich Allistair, owner of Dark Fantasy Resort Casino. They have mutual kinks—ones Steve can’t find with other lovers—but there’s something else about the emotionally detached, beautiful man that calls to him.

Billionaire Allistair stays alone in his luxury penthouse apartment at the top of Dark Fantasy, terrified of the real world and of opening himself up to genuine emotions. He takes lover after lover, all of them allowing him to do whatever he wants to their bodies, in the hopes that they can scam something from him.

One night is all he ever shares with a plaything—he knows they only want the money and luxury he can offer them and nothing more. But the down to earth Steve is different. They share the same kinks and are explosive when together. But could the muscled law officer ever want more than the lust-filled encounters that have become such an addiction?

As they grow closer, they discover they also have to find a balance between Steve’s everyday world and Allistair’s entitled world before they can truly find an ever after. They also have to make sure Allistair stays safe. Filthy rich playboys are too tempting to those who seek the ultimate payday—and who aren’t afraid of hurting someone to get it.

Dividers

Review: Steve is a hardnosed SWAT negotiator whose job is killing him from the inside out. He’s heavy into BDSM, the release he gets from being a submissive the only thing that keeps him going some days when the hostage situations go bad.

Allistair lives in his penthouse – a jail of his own making – his wealth and own insecurities keeping him prisoner.  He craves a real connection with a partner, and Steve is the only sub he has ever done a scene with more than once. He knows they could connect outside the playroom, if only he could muster the confidence to approach Steve as a man instead of just a Dom.

I enjoyed this book, didn’t love it but enjoyed it. Steve and Allistair together are a very kinky couple, and the sex is hot. I just needed more characterization to go around the scenes.  I enjoy Morticia Knight’s writing and usually she hits it spot-on with her characters, but this one just felt a little one dimensional to me. It’s a great and easy read. The little nuggets we get to see of these men – like Allistair lacing a corset around Steve for the first time – were beautifully written, and it’s these glimpses that keep you reading to the HEA. Though I think the storyline of the relationship between Allistair and his brother (our antagonist in the story) would have been a little more believable if it were fleshed out more.

Negotiating Love follows Held Hostage, and is the fourth book in the Sin City Uniforms series. The books do overlap somewhat, but you do not need to read them in any kind of order, as each story is individual. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting an interesting power dynamic between two men who really can’t get enough of each other.

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed By Carrie, SJD Peterson

Review: Innocence to the Max by SJD Peterson

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Title: Innocence to the Max

Author: SJD Peterson

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

At a Glance: Do you love vampires?  I love vampires, and I loved Innocence to the Max!

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: On his sixteenth birthday, Francisco “Cisco” Aguilar first sets eyes on Maximilian De Ferrari, owner of Wicked Grounds, an exclusive BDSM club. Cisco has been lost, unsure of what is missing in his life. Over a century old, Max leads a vampire clan, and Cisco is drawn to him in a way he can’t explain. The moment he sees Max he knows his quest isn’t about what he’s been missing, but who.

Five years’ wait seems more than Cisco can bear, but he perseveres and on his twenty-first birthday he walks into Wicked Ground. He’s unafraid to meet the vampire he’s sure is his destiny. Max has been waiting for him, too.

What Max has known all these years, and what Cisco soon discovers, is that more than fate is drawing them together. Iunctio Copula is a powerful binding link capable of restoring cold, dead hearts. With Max and Cisco bound, Cisco will be Max’s greatest weakness. Unable to let Max go, Cisco is thrust into a dark world, where he’s nearly powerless, left to fight for his life and his future with Max. Worse, he’s at the mercy of those who will use him—and hurt him—just to get to the powerful vampire.

Dividers

Review: SJD Peterson is one of my go-to writers whenever I need a really well written book, and Innocence to the Max falls right in line. Is this a new series?  Gosh, I hope so. There are so many incredible characters in this book that deserve their own story.

Max is a centuries old vampire, and the head of his clan, searching for something he doesn’t even believe exists, not really. And then one night, he is taking a quiet break from his club. Cisco is in a car, driving down the street in front of him, and his path is forever changed. Cisco is celebrating his sixteenth birthday, looks down an alley, and his body lights up with recognition of a man he cannot see for the shadows, and cannot pursue because of his age. Five years later, and Cisco is out to claim the man from the shadows, knowing he is a vampire and his Master—Cisco wants nothing more than to serve the man who stole his heart from a street corner.

This book does have some disturbing scenes of violence and rape, so be warned, but it is not the point of the story, merely an aspect of it. This is a story about two men struggling hard to be the men they need to be for themselves as well as for each other. It is a happy-for-now tale, with the promise for more. As well written as the main characters are, the secondary characters carry the story forward with wit and fortitude, and I really want a book for Benny!

I highly recommend this story. If you are into hot vampires, with some light BDSM and soul mates, then this is a book you will definitely enjoy.

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3.5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Loose Id, Lyn Gala, Reviewed by Sammy, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Without a Net by Lyn Gala

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Title: Without a Net

Author: Lyn Gala

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 266 Pages

At a Glance: Without a Net just needed a bit more attention to details in order to work out a few inconsistencies in the story.

Blurb: Oliver Robertson has been assigned to go undercover in one of the shade clubs that litter the seedier parts of town. He has never engaged in the sort of edge play found in those places, preferring the BDSM in the more mainstream control clubs. However, to find the criminals behind a series of kidnappings, he must go in undercover as a shade sub. The mission becomes more complicated when his captain asks him to collect evidence against a lieutenant who might be a dirty cop.

The case quickly gets out of hand, and Ollie finds himself caught between wanting to do his job and not knowing who to trust. That confusion grows worse when a number of sexy and dominant men challenge his assumption that he prefers safe, contractually negotiated sex. It turns out he has more of a wild side than he expected, and given that he’s surrounded by dangerous men, and he can’t distinguish the good guys from the bad, that’s terrifying.

When Ollie gives his trust to Travis Goode, a dominant who appears to be a federal agent, he might be making the connection of a lifetime or dooming himself forever.

Publisher’s Note: Contains dark BDSM elements.

Dividers

Review: This is my first Lyn Gala novel, and I will say that I knew in advance that she writes about BDSM—her work being edgier and often allowing for a good deal of introspection on the part of her characters. In Without a Net, the author uses the vehicle of a mystery/police sting operation to explore a cop’s awakening realization that he likes to walk the edge of consensual D/s experience. In fact, Ollie Robertson will discover that he has a much darker side to him then he has ever fully explored before, while trying to remain an active participant in the center of a sting operation to bring down corrupt law enforcement officials–namely his own captain.

Ollie is supposed to pose as a submissive seeking employment in one of the rougher shade BDSM clubs in the city. Along with a whole heap of scenarios where submissives are losing themselves in dangerous and dubious consent relationships with abusive Doms, the shade club in question also has been noted for a series of disturbing kidnappings. When the game shifts and Ollie is asked by his captain to continue his undercover work in the club, but also to expand it by allowing himself to be backed up by fellow officers who may indeed be dirty cops on the take, he reluctantly agrees to continue. Then, Ollie falls into the hands of a man who has decided to break him and remold him into a shade submissive, all in order to achieve his own revenge against the captain.

Suddenly, Ollie finds himself bound and being brutally trained, his entire fix on who he is sexually and professionally is thrown into a tailspin, and whom he can trust is murky at best. When a former neighbor visits the compound where Ollie is being held, it is hard for our hero to decide if Travis is one of the good guys or another corrupt agent. Not knowing whom to trust, and rapidly realizing he is not the controlled sub he supposed himself to be, Ollie’s life is spinning out of control…and Agent Travis Goode may be the only true anchor Ollie can trust.

There were many layers to this story of corruption and greed. First and foremost this was a story revolving around the corruption and shake down practices of a law enforcement agency. Ollie had already gone on record calling out fellow officers who were biased or bigoted against the gay community within the force; therefore, the story line that had him being the eyes and ears of what seemed a genuinely concerned captain over potentially racist officers was very realistic and valid.

The tensions created between he and other officers were very well written and gave Ollie’s fears over a lack of support from his back-up team credibility. When Ollie was finally taken into captivity by a seeming bad guy, the flow of this mystery novel deepened, and the plot twists and subsequent “breaking’ of Ollie’s resistance and spirit was on target. However, there were several elements in this story that were muddled and left unclear; for instance, the time frame of the story. There was talk of life on Mars about three quarters into the story that made me really jerk in surprise. At the onset of the novel, I got the feel that the setting was a bit different or other worldly, given some of the technology the cops were using, but I never got the idea it was definitely a world set in the future. It was a shock to me that I was now also reading a futuristic novel with possible sci-fi leanings.

Secondly, Ollie’s near constant internal dialogue, which had him self-doubting all that happened, was sketchy and stretched the bounds of believability.  His accepting the fact that he was brutally handled and involved in several non-consensual scenarios just because his captor was seeking revenge on those who had allowed his lover to be brutally treated, left me shaking my head in disbelief. I feel the guilt that Travis felt would have been a bit more justified if there had been even the slightest anger on Ollie’s part against his captors.

All in all, Without a Net seemed unfinished. I am not sure if I ever fully understood who was doing the kidnapping and where those people ended up in the story. If it was explained, I must have missed it while trying to get a handle on Ollie’s evolving reactions to being forced into submission to a man who mocked and used him repeatedly.

I will definitely be visiting this author’s backlist. I believe she writes in depth characters and exciting stories. Without a Net just needed a bit more attention to details in order to work out a few inconsistencies in the story.

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Morticia Knight, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Jennifer

Review: Building Bonds by Morticia Knight

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Title: Building Bonds (Kiss of Leather: Book One)

Author:  Morticia Knight

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 162 Pages

At a Glance: A solid start to a new, contemporary BDSM series.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Kyle’s a natural sub who builds dungeon furniture, yet has no interest in BDSM. It takes a hunky Dom to show him just what he’s been missing.

After Kyle’s partner of five years leaves him for another man on the night of their housewarming party, the shy, early-thirties carpenter needs to do a major reassessment of his life in addition to raising some serious cash. With no one to help him pay the lease on his Los Angeles condo, he worries how he’ll survive. His best friend sets up a meeting with one of the Doms and partners at Kiss of Leather, a gay BDSM club being built as a premier destination for those who want the best of the best.

Master Gavin not only wants the best—he demands it. When he meets Kyle, he assumes that part of the builder’s reticence to share anything personal with him must be due to his experiences with an abusive former Master. Not one to back down from a challenge, Gavin determines to break through the walls surrounding the beautiful man he can’t get out of his mind. He’s hopeful that once he convinces Kyle to sign an initial contract, Kyle might be the first sub to open up his heart.

Misunderstandings and accusations almost destroy everything between them before they have a real chance to begin. However, the true obstacle becomes not only whether Kyle will embrace BDSM as a lifestyle, but also whether he can handle a full-time D/s relationship with a big, bad, scary Dom who’s as sexy as hell.

Dividers

Review: When it comes to books with BDSM themes, there are some authors who are hit or miss, and there are others who build such wonderful worlds every time that I don’t even check to see what the blurb of the book says before digging in. That’s the case with Morticia Knight. As a fan and reviewer of her Hampton Road Club historical BDSM series, I was excited to see this new book out. When I grabbed it for review, I hadn’t even realized it was contemporary, so I was a bit surprised when I started reading. That didn’t deter me, however, because Morticia Knight knows her subject and she writes it well.

If Building Bonds is any indication, the Kiss of Leather series is going to be another great set of books. Set around a contemporary club just being built, this novel follows Kyle, a carpenter who builds BDSM furniture but isn’t in the lifestyle, and Master Gavin, a man without a permanent sub but wanting one. When the two meet, they are attracted to each other, but misunderstandings arise. Master Gavin assumes Kyle is a man abused by his former Dom, when Kyle is just shy and hesitant to speak about his past. Kyle, on the other hand, has never used any of the equipment he builds, and while he says he isn’t into the lifestyle, he is a little curious. When the two finally get together, it’s hot.

I loved the build of their relationship. Yes, it does seem to move fast, especially given Kyle’s reservations and shy nature, but I still enjoyed it. I loved meeting some of the new characters in this series, especially Liam. He might have been on the page for only three of them, but I enjoyed his interaction with Kyle, and I hope he gets his own book. Having him show up and comfort Kyle about his need to safeword just made the book that much deeper for me.

As an added bonus? The Hampton Road Club is mentioned briefly in this book. I thought it was a great homage to the first series. While the location is different, as well as the time period (obviously), I still enjoyed it and was happy to see the author didn’t forget about the series that drew me to her.

If you’re a fan of Morticia Knight, you should give this new series a go. If you’re a fan of BDSM novels, you’ll likely enjoy this book. Check it out!

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Catt Ford, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed By JJ

Review: The Cage by Catt Ford

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Title: The Cage

Author: Catt Ford

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 220 Pages

At a Glance: I recommend this book to anyone who loves M/M Romance, BDSM, and drag.

Reviewed By: JJ

Blurb: Welcome to The Cage, where you can share the ups and downs of a group of friends as they enjoy a rollicking adventure of sex and love in “the life.”

Being a Dom has always come naturally to Lazar Thornton, owner and operator of The Cage, a thriving adult toy store and meeting place for Lazar’s closest friends, Bran, Max, Otto, and the always flamboyant and fierce Miss Dré. But even the best of friends have different tastes in scenes—and in life.

Good-humored and laid back, but much in demand as both teacher and Dom, Lazar has always run from love. Until Ben Owen, relative newbie to the BDSM world, arrives wide-eyed and eager to learn, and Lazar wants to teach this sub everything he knows. But despite the openness needed for a Dom/sub relationship to thrive, neither discusses emotions. Feeling the sting of unrequited love, Ben isn’t as sure of his place in Lazar’s life as he wants to be. Lazar will need to read his sub’s heart as well as his mind if he truly wants to keep Ben in his life.

Dividers

Review: This book really put a smile on my face. The story starts out with a highly erotic encounter between Lazar, the owner of an adult store called The Cage, and the young and seemingly shy Ben. After the public display between Lazar and Ben, their transgendered friend, Miss Dre, dresses Ben like a woman and they all go out to a drag show. Following this outing, the story jumps from one couple to the next among Ben and Lazar’s friends. Eventually Ben realizes that all his friends are finding love, and though Ben has feelings for Lazar, he doesn’t know where he stands with him. Ben admits to himself that their sex is amazing, but he worries that sex is all Lazar wants him for.

I have to say that I was hooked from the very beginning of this book. Though the characters had just been introduced, they quickly grew on me and the sexual encounter in the opening scene will forever be engrained in my mind. I also loved Miss Dre, especially since she is such a positive and sexy transgender character. Although The Cage starts off strong, things became a little confusing toward the middle when the viewpoint strayed away from the main characters and jumps from one couple to the next, showing how each of their friends find love. These sex scenes were hard for me to get into, but I really liked seeing how Miss Dre gets together with her lover. A transgender relationship was a refreshing change from what I’m used to reading.

Though the story veers away from the Ben and Lazar, it eventually comes back them, and I was pleased with the happy ending. I recommend this book to anyone who loves M/M Romance, BDSM, and drag.

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Pride Publishing, Reviewed By Carrie, Sean Michael

Release Day Review: Brewing by Sean Michael

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Title: Brewing (Beer and Clay: Book Four)

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 130 Pages

At a Glance: We finally get to the HEA for Toby and Damon in this fourth installment of the story, and I recommend this series.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: As the love between Toby and Damon deepens, the man intent on destroying their happiness increases his efforts.

Toby and Damon are back in Brewing, their relationship deepening more despite the continuing efforts of a stranger to bring them down.

Helping in their efforts are their best friends Peter and Christian. Peter’s new investment in a three-story building on the same block as Damon’s bar offers Toby the opportunity of having a studio close to home. It also gives Peter and Christian a home they’ve made together, which Peter hopes will bring them closer together.

A former soldier, Christian has a hard time letting go and finding his subspace. It’s going to take a lot to break the conditioning he’s learned in the Army. Peter is stubborn, though, and he’s seriously falling for his strong sub.

Will yet another attack bring down two couples this time?

Dividers

Review: What was started in Malting, and continued in Milling and Mashing, has finally reached a satisfying conclusion in Brewing. You cannot read any of these books separately as this is an ongoing story, but buy all four and read the series from beginning to end; you won’t regret it.

Toby is really coming into his own as a sculptor and a submissive.  He is growing and maturing, and we really get to see glimpses of the man he is becoming. Being able to trust in the love and support from Damon has allowed him to gain a confidence in himself and his art that he would not have ever given a try on his own.

Damon is the steady rock.  The sexy and stable bar owner is the perfect fit for his excitable sub. The care he gives to Toby, making sure he does not lose himself in his art or inside his own head, gives Toby a place to call home.

We also get to see more of Peter and Christian in this story, as the two couples learn that having friends to rely on can be a powerful and good thing. I hope that Sean Michael writes Peter and Christian’s story and that we get to see Toby and Damon again!

I recommend this story – which is all four books. It’s an easy read and a great way to spend an afternoon.

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed by Jennifer, Riptide Publishing, VJ Summers

Review: Light a Candle by VJ Summers

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Title: Light a Candle

Author: VJ Summers

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 136 Pages

At a Glance: Enjoyable story with BDSM, former friends getting reacquainted, and a man desperate to show how much he’s changed.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Will broke Dusty’s heart their senior year. One unexpected moment of passion between them, and Will freaked out. Not only wasn’t he gay, but he wasn’t kinky either—or so he insisted to Dusty. Their long friendship ended, and Dusty was left with only bittersweet memories of their last movie night together.

Ten years later, out as gay and a Dom, Will auditions for membership at Club Deviant, only to find that he’s been assigned an all-too-familiar submissive. His scene with Dustin feels like fate, and he’s determined to get back what they once had—and more.

Dustin had buried the pain of rejection deep, but playing with Will conjures all his memories of that one electric moment they shared and the friendship it destroyed. He’s built walls around his heart high enough to keep out the Trojan Army, but together, he and Will may find the courage to move beyond their past and face their future together.

Publisher’s note: This is a heavily expanded and revised edition of Velvet Memories, previously published in 2011. 

Dividers

Review: I did not read the first edition of this book, from which this one has been expanded, so I cannot compare the two and discuss how much has changed. However, I can say that I did enjoy this one and felt it was well-written and just the right length.

Going back and forth from the past to the present, Light a Candle reveals the history of Will and Dusty’s relationship. From their senior year in high school where a small moment of passion leaves Will running in the other direction, to the present where Will is a confident gay Dom auditioning for Club Deviant, where Dusty is a submissive. The two are brought together on new terms. Will wants to prove to Dusty that he’s changed and that he made a mistake, but Dusty has a hard time accepting that. So, the two retreat to what they know best: Dominance and submission.

While the story might sound familiar, and perhaps overused, I felt it was well done in this book. I became invested in both men, and hoped they could overcome the past and look to the future they could build together. The inclusion of that past was also a nice touch. Not many authors will include past history because it takes away from the present or because the younger versions of the characters are too unfitting to be addressed in an adult novel. VJ Summers did a nice job of balancing everything that really kept me hooked. Just when I wanted to know more of what happened in the past, the author revealed it. When I wanted to go back to the present, the author did that as well. It truly is a fine balance that reveals all the reader could want to know.

If you enjoy novels with BDSM elements I recommend this book, especially if you’re looking for something a little on the shorter side.

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3 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Genre Romance, Meredith O'Reilly, Reviewed By Carrie, Stormy Night Publications

Review: His Captive’s Heart by Meredith O’Reilly

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Title: His Captive’s Heart

Author: Meredith O’Reilly

Publisher: Stormy Night Publications

Pages/Word Count: 79 Pages

At a Glance: I would recommend this book if you’re looking for light BDSM and a sweet romance.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Twenty-nine-year-old lawyer Marcus Bradberry has fantasized for years about finding a firm-handed man who would not hesitate to provide both guidance and discipline while also bringing him the kind of fulfillment he’s only dreamed about. When he meets Dimitri Anderson, the owner of a local kink club, Marcus takes a chance and shares the wildest fantasy he’s ever had with him.

Though he confesses to Dimitri that nothing excites him more than the idea of a being overpowered, kidnapped, and mastered completely by a strong, handsome man, Marcus is nonetheless shocked when Dimitri takes it upon himself to bring this fantasy to life. When Dimitri surprises him after work on a Friday, Marcus soon finds himself blindfolded, handcuffed, and driven away to an unknown place.

It quickly becomes clear that Dimitri knows exactly what his captive sub needs and is more than ready to give it to him, but as the weekend progresses, Marcus realizes that trusting his new master is at times much harder than he expected. Will he surrender to his most secret desires or will his fears drive him away from his master’s loving arms?

Dividers

Review: Marcus is a twenty-nine-year-old lawyer who dreams of having a Dom who will meet all his fantasies, when he sees an ad for an opportunity to visit a local kink club for the night and see how the lifestyle plays out in real life.

Once at the club, he meets Dmitri Anderson and through the course of the night, confides his ultimate fantasy of being kidnapped and forced to submit for a weekend. Dmitri is the owner of the club and a little jaded as far as subs go…until he meets Marcus. Instant attraction flares between the two and Dmitri sets out to fulfill Marcus’ fantasy.

While this story is about a Dom/sub relationship, it is the connection between the two men and how they grow to fall in love over the weekend that is the real story. Marcus needs a Dom—he can be a bit of a brat, he questions everything. It’s what makes him such a good lawyer. Dmitri has the patience of a saint and is a loving but strict Dom, which is exactly what Marcus needs.

This was a really sweet love story at the core and an easy, light novella to read. I would recommend this book if you’re looking for light BDSM and a sweet romance.

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4 Stars, Amber Allure, Angelia Sparrow, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, M/M/M and More, Naomi Brooks, Reviewed By Carrie, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Terror of the Frozen North by Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks

Title: Terror of the Frozen North

Author: Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks

Publisher: Amber Allure

Pages/Word Count: 202 Pages

At a Glance: Check your reality at the door and immerse yourself in a really good book – this one!

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: War is hell, but coming home is even harder. Edward Kilsby, Lord Withycombe, flying ace and noted adventurer, has grown increasingly restless with civilian life. He seeks refuge from his depression and nightmares in adrenaline, and when that fails, in painful sex. Until his erstwhile fiancé blackmails him into making an arctic expedition.

In the frozen wastes, Edward and his secretary, Charlie, work hard, facing the rigors of the climate and the lethal war machines they are testing. But no-one is prepared for what lies under the ice.

Back in London, as Edward’s pistol looks friendlier and friendlier, Charlie must deal with kidnapping, cultists and secret societies, all the while keeping his much-loved lord sane and healthy.

Dividers

Review: Terror of the Frozen North is the second book in this series, which starts with The Curse of the Pharaoh’s Manicurists. Reading that book first is not necessary but may be preferable, as there are overlapping characters and themes from the first book.

Strange monsters, broken souls, and a poor secretary stuck in the middle of it all, this is a book of pure fantasy, a romance with a mythical bent. Set in the 1920s, Lord Withycombe has come home from the war a broken man. He is a penniless lord with a reputation as a daring and renowned hero to uphold.

Charlie is his secretary and an absolute saint. He keeps his lord going and provides for all his needs. Charlie has to accomplish this task while dealing with jealous ex-boyfriends, sadistic fiancés, and a mad scientist. At the core, this is a love story between Edward and Charlie. Lord Withycombe, or Edward, is forced to take adventures to make money to live on and support his staff. This particular adventure involves a mad scientist and the frozen wastes of the arctic, where they are charged to test war machines. But, unbeknownst to them, they are the test subjects for an even more insidious war machine that just might make them all mad – and something is alive under all that ice…..

This is a rollicking adventure and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy. The relationship between Edward and Charlie is not an easy one, rather complicated, but it works. The adventures they set out on are well written and believable in the world Angelia Sparrow and Naomi Brooks have created.

Check your reality at the door and immerse yourself in a really good book – this one!

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3.5 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mickie B. Ashling, Narration Rating - 3.5 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: Cutting Cords by Mickie B. Ashling – Narrated by John Solo

Title: Cutting Cords

Author: Mickie B. Ashling

Narrator: John Solo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 hours 44 minutes

At a Glance:  I enjoyed this for its narration more than for its core story.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: When Sloan Driscoll and Cole Fujiwara become reluctant roommates, neither man is willing to share too much. Sloan is instantly attracted to Cole but knows it’s a hopeless cause; Cole has a steady girlfriend. But one night they share a joint, and Cole opens a window neither anticipated.

A relationship may be impossible—both men are living with heart-breaking secrets. While Sloan is smart, sassy, and a brilliant graphic artist, he’s also a pothead with severe body image problems. Cole, a former major league pitcher, has his own personal crisis: he’s going blind. Sloan and Cole are suffering on so many levels, they might not realize that the ultimate salvation could be within each other’s arms.

Dividers

Review:  There was truly a love/hate relationship for me with this story and its main characters. Sloan Driscoll was a loveable and damaged man you couldn’t help but want to wrap up and take care of, but I didn’t necessary like Cole Fujiwara that much… I sympathized with his plight but didn’t quite understand his insistence to not share his blindness. Mickie B. Ashling did a great job of making me understand, and in general I really enjoyed her writing, but what I didn’t enjoy was simple: the love story never progressed. Sloan and Cole had sex, and then they argued. Then Cole was almost abusive. Then this pattern cycled over and over, and you never actually witness the two characters falling in love.

I didn’t hate this book, really, I just wish there was more relationship development. The other thing that threw me off was that BDSM was introduced almost as an afterthought, and there was no lead up or anything. Sloan hooks up with a photographer, and suddenly, he is in this world and I felt it had no relationship to the story.

Narration: John Solo is a new narrator to me. He had kind of a weird rasp to his voice that I could take or leave. He did a wonderful job with the narration, though. His voice is just not my cuppa. He did make an average read better, though, and I would listen to his narration again.

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3.5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mickie B. Ashling, Reviewed by Sammy

Review: Forged in Trust by Mickie B. Ashling

Title: Forged in Trust

Author: Mickie B. Ashling

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 215 Pages

At a Glance: For me, this may be the weakest story to date, but even that does not detract from the fact that the Bay City Professional series is definitely a great one to invest some time in.

Blurb: Dr. Ethan Marshall is the young medical student on call the night Tessa Duran murders her husband for abusing her twelve-year-old-son, Rino. Ethan stays in the cubicle while the rape kit is performed and is surprised when the boy resorts to prayers instead of tears.

Despite compelling evidence, Tessa is sent to jail for life. To avoid placing Rino in foster care, their parish priest agrees to raise him. Ethan is touched by Rino’s plight and visits whenever possible, but the connection is broken when the priest and young boy leave the area months later.

Raised by the Dominicans in California, Rino considers joining the order until a romance blossoms with a fellow student. After much soul-searching, he turns his back on everything familiar, and chooses his orientation over his perceived vocation. Upon graduating dental hygiene school, Rino takes a job at the office of Scott Gregory and Robin Kennedy.

Seventeen years have passed since that horrible night in the emergency room. Forty-three-year-old Ethan is now a Dominant in search of a full-time submissive. Twenty-nine-year-old Rino is adrift, longing for someone or something to help him find the serenity he’s lost along the way. As they rekindle their friendship, they realize they might be perfect for each other.

Dividers

Review: Forged In Trust is the fourth installment of Mickie B. Ashling’s Bay City Professionals series. While this novel does have some returning characters, it definitely could be read as a standalone, given that the two main guys are new to the storyline. I have read the others in this series and really enjoyed them. This one, however, left me shaking my head just a bit. Also, just a note for those who may need to be careful, while the scenes are minor in terms of time on the page, and handled very well by the author, the two instances of rape, one of which was a case of child molestation, may be potential triggers for some. I feel these were handled with great enough care as to not dwell on the subject matter, but still make the reader aware of the horrors that occurred in Rino’s past, and set up his introduction to Ethan.

The story begins with a woman and her young son seeking to leave their country when the U.S. forces begin their troop withdrawal. Having been much the company “whore” for various servicemen, she finally manages to find a man who will declare her as his fiancée and take care of her and her boy, Rino, when they get stateside. However, the man has a dark side to him and before long, both she and Rino are barely surviving his angry outbursts. To make matters worse, he is not satisfied just using Rino’s mother for sex; he wants the boy as well. After Rino experiences a particularly violent rape, which was dealt with off page, Rino’s mother fulfills the promise she made to herself and kills her husband. She then rushes her twelve-year-old son to the ER, where a young resident helps take Rino through the awful rape case examination. A special bond is created between the young doctor, Ethan, and Rino that night. Months later, when Rino is now in the foster care of a Dominican priest, due to his mother being incarcerated, Ethan attempts to keep in contact with the boy until the priest is relocated from Texas to California and they lose contact with each other.

Fast forward many years, and Rino is now a dental hygienist just finding work with some old familiar faces from this series. By luck, Rino decides to check out a club, not knowing it is a private BDSM establishment, and stumbles upon the very place where Ethan has invested his time and money, socially. Now the two men are thrown together again but much has changed for each of them. Ethan is a Dominant who has had little luck finding a sub to fulfill his rather stringent standards, leaving him unsatisfied and lonely. Rino is a tangled mess of conflicting beliefs and emotions, stemming from his rigid catholic upbringing and his realization that being gay means he will never be welcomed in his beloved church. The two meet and all the past trust and tenderness they had for each other bubbles rapidly to the surface. But can a fast and furious lust actually translate into a love that can last for the long haul?

Fast and furious is a good way to describe the passionate relationship that erupts between Rino and Ethan. In fact, for two men who’d been described as mostly unable to trust others and do more than one night encounters that were solely sex-driven, the speed with which these two fell for each other was stunning. Unfortunately, I felt the author gave up precious story time dwelling on both the “how to” be a submissive and the rather complex exposition about the career field that Ethan ended up pursuing. First, there were several pages dedicated to explaining just what a BDSM relationship could look like—giving us rudimentary explanations as to what was and was not standard fare.

Alongside that, we had extensive details on Ethan’s chosen field of urology as it specifically focused on sexual re-orientation surgery. As a third side story, we also had quite a lengthy subplot concerning faith, specifically as regards catholic beliefs. While all these elements were good for the story, overall, I felt they tended to go on and on, pushing me out of the story and making it difficult to really grasp and believe this near instant attraction and sexual intensity that Rino and Ethan experienced. There was too much discussion and not enough action. Further, Rino had an actual negative physical reaction as well as genuine emotional turmoil over the whipping scene he witnessed at the BDSM club. Given that, and the fact that it was Ethan administering the whipping, it was quite a stretch to swallow that he would fall into a D/s situation with Ethan so very easily. Here was a man who was raped—twice—and yet it took just two or three days of being together for him to allow for anal sex with Ethan? I just didn’t buy it.

I have really enjoyed other installments in this series, but Forged In Trust had too much explanation and set up, and not enough interaction and relationship building to make it palatable. For me, this may be the weakest story to date, but even that does not detract from the fact that the Bay City Professional series is definitely a great one to invest some time in.

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Diamond Print Press, J.T. Hall, Reviewed By Carrie

Review: The New Hire by J.T. Hall

Title: The New Hire (The Hard Hat Series: Book Two)

Author: J.T. Hall

Publisher: JMS Books

Pages/Word Count: 30 Pages

At a Glance: J.T. Hall has created two men with a lot of promise as characters, and I look forward to the next part of the story.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Gary’s got a problem with his new hire, Tim. He’s allowed the young, attractive guy to get under his skin, and now he finds that he wants more than just a casual fling. After an incredible night, all he can think of is having more of that innocent flesh, delving deeper into Tim’s submissive tendencies. But first they have to make it through the work day. A construction site is no place for a gay love affair.

Love hasn’t been kind to Gary, who prides himself on being a gruff bear, always in charge, always on his own. As he starts to train young Tim as his sub, however, Gary must decide whether to keep it just sex, or actually allow himself to feel something more.

Warnings for BDSM, submission and domination, clamps, spanking, anal play and orgasm control.

Dividers

Review: This story is a continuation from the first book in this series, so before writing this review I went back and read that book first, and that’s important – The New Hire is not book two, it is part two – a continuation of an established story. Part one is The Foreman, and when I looked at reviews for that book, on the whole they were completely positive. The main complaint about book one was that it was not long enough, that the two men in the book were not complete characters yet. J.T. Hall obviously took these thoughts to heart in The New Hire, as we get a much clearer picture of these men and what they could mean to each other for the long run.

Gary is a Dom and a bear, a big bear – hairy and muscular, with a bit of a paunch — and Tim is a twink and has a fetish for mustaches. Just looking at Gary’s body makes Tim want all kinds of things he never knew he craved, which can get interesting on a construction job site.

These books are basically the sexual encounters between the men, but where, in book one, Gary tells Tim not to get his hopes up, in book two it is Gary who is willing to break all his own rules.

He’d made the rules to stay casual and not to behave any differently towards the man than before they’d slept together. So why the fuck did he want to chuck out his rules? Tim had gotten under his skin.

We learn a lot about these men in their thoughts and reactions to each other as they become intimate and start to explore this new Dom/Sub relationship with each other. Tim so wants to please and, being new to the dynamic, has no idea that his natural innocence and submission is just what Gary craves even if Gary won’t admit it easily.

Man, it was nice having a boy. Gary chuckled, rubbing the outline of his cock through his jeans, then brushing against Tim’s cheek. The more he tried with Tim, the more he wanted. It was a dangerous obsession. Well hell.

I would recommend you start with The Foreman. You could pick the story up in book two, but start at the beginning. J.T. Hall has created two men with a lot of promise as characters, and I look forward to the next part of the story.

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Jennifer, T. Nielson

Review: Submission Guidelines by T. Nielsen

Title: Submission Guidelines

Author: T. Neilson

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 105 Pages

At a Glance: The BDSM is not particularly heavy in this book, so if you’re not looking for a lot, this would be a good book.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Cole Doren is starting over. He’s moved, started working as a food writer again, and is crushing hard on his new neighbor, Daniel Mazurek, who is a genuinely nice guy and as hot as a supernova.

Too bad for Cole, Daniel’s not what he seems.

And too bad for Daniel, the cute boy-next-door’s DNA says he’s one of America’s most wanted, and it’s Daniel’s job to confirm that and bring him down. Digging through Cole’s past, Daniel finds out about Cole’s BDSM videos and while it should set off warning bells, it only leaves Daniel damn hot for Cole. Getting closer to his subject is easy, but starting a relationship built on trust is a lot harder when everything Daniel’s ever told Cole has been a lie.

Dividers

Review: New twists on the BDSM genre are hard to find. Too often the stories involve Doms or subs going to a club to find someone to play with and then meeting their perfect partner. Not so with Submission Guidelines.

Daniel is a bounty hunter looking to bring down a dangerous criminal, and he thinks he’s found that in Cole. Meanwhile, Cole has moved into a new place and meets his hot neighbor when he drunkenly breaks into his house, thinking it’s his own. Cole is adorable, dorky, and a bit shy. And totally not the man Daniel is looking for. At least, not for work.

It’s interesting that the blurb for the book says that Daniel is not what he seems, because I found this to be true with both men. Both Daniel and Cole are keeping secrets. Cole is a food writer with a past history of starring in BDSM videos. And Daniel is looking for the man that got away, and almost killed him in the process.

The BDSM is not particularly heavy in this book, so if you’re not looking for a lot, this would be a good book. It focuses more on the budding relationship between Daniel and Cole, and their attempts at building that relationship when both of them are hiding things. When the truth comes out, it’s hard for them to trust, which is completely understandable, given the situation. And when the tension ramps up and danger lurks around the corner (literally), they have to learn to trust each other again or risk losing everything.

I enjoyed the ending and found it satisfying. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say, unlike in other books, neither of them give up their lives for the other person. There are no major sacrifices, but they’re both happy. I wasn’t sure how it would work out, given Daniel’s job, but the author managed it really well!

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, K.C. Burn, Narration Rating - 4.5 Stars, Reviewed By JJ

Audio Review: A Dance with Domination by K.C. Wells – Narrated by Nick J. Russo

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Title: A Dance with Domination (Collars and Cuffs: Book Four)

Author: K.C. Wells

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Run Time: 7 Hours and 12 Minutes

At a Glance: I really enjoyed the audio performance on this book. Nick J. Russo is very talented when it comes to making a separate voice for each character.

Reviewed By: Johanis

Blurb: Recently returned to the UK after living in the States since he was eleven, Andrew Barrett is determined to keep busy and make a new life for himself. He works full time as a copywriter and strips at a club on Canal Street on weekends. But it still leaves him too much time to think. Then he finds the BDSM club, Collars & Cuffs, where at twenty-nine, he is their youngest Dom. Young doesn’t mean inexperienced, however. All this activity keeps him focused with no time to dwell on the past. But the past has a way of intruding on the present.

It’s been four long years since Gareth Michaels last set foot inside Collars & Cuffs. But when he finally summons his courage and steps back into his former world, he finds the man who drove him away is still a member, and what’s more, he wants Gareth back. Two men in pain need the freedom they find in each other, but it takes another man’s horrific plans to make them see it.

Dividers

Review: A Dance with Domination is definitely one of my favorites in the Collars and Cuffs series. Andrew works as a stripper, but he’s also a Dom and he ends up joining the Collars & Cuffs BDSM club. Since he suffers from losing someone he loved, he distances himself, avoiding intimate contact with subs in order to guard against the possibility of becoming attached. Andrew befriends a fellow stripper, Gareth, and later discovers that Gareth is a former sub at Collars & Cuffs. When Andrew realizes Gareth wants him, they hit it off, but their union is short lived. Jealousy and misunderstandings tear them apart, but when others get involved, they are able to sit down and resolve their differences. In addition to coming together as a couple, they’re able to share scenes at the club.

Andrew’s character was the thing I loved the most about this book. Andrew was introduced to the BDSM world at a young age, so though he is young, he has a lot of experience. Unlike the older alpha type Doms at Collars and Cuffs, Andrew is coveted for his beauty, grace, and skill as a Dom. I loved seeing Andrew in his role as a stripper. It was so exciting to see a tough Dom doing a lap dance for alpha type customers. The role reversal was quite sexy. At one point Andrew has to be saved from a drunk man who holds him down and attempts to assault him.

Though I don’t think this book was as emotional as some of the previous books in this series, it was certainly hot, and I loved the happy ending. I recommend A Dance with Domination to anyone who loves erotic romance, BDSM, and kink.

Narration: I really enjoyed the audio performance on this book. Nick J. Russo is very talented when it comes to making a separate voice for each character. The only thing that threw me off was that I didn’t like the breathy voice the reader gives Leo. It wasn’t how I imagined Leo to sound. However, since Leo only played a small roll in this book, it didn’t make much difference.

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Christine D'Abo, Reviewed by Jennifer, Riptide Publishing

Review: The Dom Around the Corner by Christine D’Abo

Title: The Dom Around the Corner (Escape #1)

Author: Christine d’Abo

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 111 Pages

At a Glance: For such a short book, one thing it’s not short on is angst and two hot men.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Simon is jaded. His bookstore is failing, his personal life is nonexistent, and he’s tired of the local scene. He’s desperate for a change, and hopes to find it at Escape, the hot new BDSM club in town.

What he finds there is Gavin. One look at the sexy submissive is all he needs to know that his trip to Escape was the right decision. And their night of no-holds-barred kinky sex feels like only the beginning . . . until his promising new sub vanishes with the dawn.

Then Gavin walks through the door of Simon’s bookstore—for business, not pleasure. To both of their surprise, he’s the consultant Simon hired to help save the store. As they work together, Simon realizes that he might have another shot at happiness, if only he can convince Gavin that he’s worth sticking around for.

Publisher’s note: This title is a heavily revised re-issue of a prior story, Commanding Acquisitions, originally released in 2010.

Dividers

Review: I’m a sucker for books about bookstore owners. Maybe it’s the part in me that hopes and dreams of someday owning a bookstore and café, but whenever I see a book where one of the characters is an owner? Well, count me in! Add to that a delicious helping of BDSM? Yes, please!

I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this story, from Simon’s gruff attitude at the store and his clear sexual frustration, to Gavin’s expertise in handling business and his sweetly submissive nature. When the two of them connect, it’s great. But Gavin disappears and leaves Simon wondering, until he shows up to save Simon’s business.

Of course, try as they might, they can’t resist each other, and Gavin flees yet again, but he does start to grow. Even as he maintains his submissive side, he becomes surer of himself, which is great. Too often I’ve read books where the submissive is meek in every aspect of his life, and that’s not always the case. Sometimes a submissive is a strong person who needs to let off steam. That’s Gavin.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of this book was that it’s the first in a series called Escape. The club where Gavin and Simon meet is called Escape, and it made me wonder a few things. I know future stories will somehow involve this club and the characters either meeting there or working there. But will Christine d’Abo write the future installments? Or is this a sort of open world setting where other authors will step in and add characters based on the location? I’m sure it’s the former, but the latter would also be really fun to read. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a series that did that!

If you’re looking for a quick read with BDSM elements, I recommend this book. Not only will it satisfy that craving, but if you want more, there will be at some point in the (hopefully) near future.

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