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

Review: Learning from the Master by Lynn Kelling

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

Author: Lynn Kelling

Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 50 Pages

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

Reviewed By: Lisa

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

Dividers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Blaine D. Arden, Cayendi Press, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: Oren’s Right by Blaine D. Arden

Title: Oren’s Right (Tales of the Forest)

Author: Blaine D. Arden

Publisher: Cayendi Press

Pages/Word Count: 65 Pages

At a Glance: A beautiful tale of longing and need set in the world of Blaine D. Arden’s Forester series.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Following his principles will break two hearts.

Forester Veld loses a piece of himself to mute baker Oren when they first meet, but Oren is vowed to Haram. When Haram is killed, Veld denies his heart to respect the mourning period. It’s the right thing to do.

During Haram’s funeral, Oren proudly bares the brands that show the nature of their love; Haram owned him, heart and body. The elves pity Oren and think he’s broken.

Veld has no intention of dishonouring Haram’s memory, but his death may not have been an accident. Only a forester can learn what the trees have seen. However, Oren’s independence is threatened, and if Veld does not offer what Oren needs, Oren may never be his to claim.

Dividers

Review: Although it’s noted that the Tales of the Forest series can be read in any order, I have to say I feel you’d get the most out of reading Oren’s Right if, at the minimum, The Forester: Book One is read first. I can say that without any qualms, too, because I’ve now enjoyed all three books set in this elven world Blaine D. Arden has created, but must say I think a certain level of familiarity with the tribe and its politics, positions and the hierarchy of those positions within the tribe, as well as the magic, customs and beliefs in this fantasy setting, is needed to get the fullest understanding of and meaning from Veld and Oren’s story.

The plot of Oren’s Right is twofold, the first being a murder mystery; the other is the story of the man whose world crumbled when the one who owned him body, heart, and soul was suddenly no longer there for him to take care of. For a man such as Oren, a man who finds fulfillment in submission and service to another, this left him at loose ends, as well as ripe for not only gossip but to be picked at by the busybodies who feel Oren needs a woman to care for him.

Veld’s want of Oren causes the Forester no small amount of guilt, when Haram has been so recently murdered, but the feelings Veld harbors for Oren are far from new. Veld has always wanted what Haram had with Oren, but Haram wasn’t the sort of man to share, nor was Veld the sort of man who wouldn’t honor, to its fullest extent, Haram and Oren’s bond.

The building of the relationship between Veld and Oren is incredibly touching; the need for these two men to be together—one to master, the other to serve—is portrayed well through their connection and communication, as we observe Veld’s increased longing to mark Oren and make the mute baker his own. This, played out against the investigation of Haram’s death—which, as it turns out, was no accident—layers well with the anticipation of a relationship, and offers this novella a fuller, richer emotional payoff than I’d expected from the word count.

Arden brings this story to a satisfying and poignant conclusion, as we witness Haram’s final act, perhaps his most selfless and greatest act, to ensure Oren continues to get what he needs to be whole and happy and healthy. This ending, complemented by the bonus scenes that have been added since the novella’s original publication, transforms what might have been a happy for now tale into something with a more permanent and fulfilling note to it.

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Bey Deckard, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Murphy by Bey Deckard

Small Gems

Title: Murphy (F.I.S.T.S.: Book Two)

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 59 Pages

At a Glance: Add another “W” to the win column for Sarge, Murphy, and Bey Deckard.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Sometimes when it seems like it’s too late, the right person comes along and opens your eyes…

Murphy is the continuing story of a D/s relationship between two Space Marines who found each other in the midst of hopelessness and misfortune.

Sarge and his newly minted squad travel across the galaxy on a top-secret mission that could help win the war. However, to Murphy something about the mission stinks, and it’s not just the planet they’ve landed on.

Dividers

Review: One of the things author Bey Deckard has proven to do so superbly, book after book, is to write a different breed of men. Not that they are particularly unusual—well, maybe a little unusual—but that they are men who aren’t given over to softness or grand expressions of the heart. Yet…these men, who are hardened by life or circumstances, sometimes both, who don’t always express themselves openly, are capable of the kind of love that can mend a wounded soul and make good a future that otherwise might have been somewhat less than underwhelming.

When we met Sarge and Murphy in book one of this series, they were just finding a tentative connection through Dominance and submission, and we watched them suffer through and fight to survive a battle in the war that’s being waged in the sci-fi setting the author has created. The collateral damage to Murphy was on the fortunate side of fatal, his life saved thanks to the futuristic technology that may not have saved his leg but has made it possible for him to recover and still serve as a Marine under the command of the man who also commands him sexually.

Once again, this installment in the series is told in the first person, from the point of view of both Murphy and Sarge, which is perfect because readers are never once left to wonder what each of these men are thinking—exactly what’s necessary since they aren’t always forthcoming in the communication department. What becomes so clear in this book, things we could only assume in book one, is that while Murphy is the submissive in this relationship, it’s Sarge who is being led by the heart, and it’s Murphy who owns it.

Their evolving relationship plays out against the backdrop of speculation from their fellow Marines about their connection, as well as what is the big business of war—who’s expendable and who isn’t, what a man is willing to do to ensure a victory, when the value of a man’s life is measured against the bottom line, and the importance of winning at all costs.

The more that’s revealed about Sarge and Murphy and their bond—something beyond sex, verging on soul deep—the more I want to see of them, so here’s to F.I.S.T.S. 3, Mr. Deckard, and to the characters you let storm their way into our hearts.

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4.5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Genre Romance, Leta Blake, Self-Published

Review: Training Complex by Leta Blake

Title: Training Complex (Training Season: Book Two)

Author: Leta Blake

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 345 Pages

At a Glance: Training Complex is a beautiful continuation to a story and characters I love.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Buckle up – Matty’s back!

Figure skater Matty Marcus didn’t capture Olympic gold, but he won rancher Rob Lovely’s heart.

After Rob sold his ranch and Matty hung up his skates, they started a new life together in New York City. Now Matty has taken on a fresh challenge as a figure skating coach, and Rob’s second career as a physical therapist should be everything he’s dreamed of. But in the brutal heat of their third summer in the city, Rob yearns for the wide-open country, and the intensity of city life awakens Matty’s demons.

Matty asks for increasingly intense BDSM scenes, and his disordered eating and erratic behavior ramp up the stakes. Rob struggles to stay in control, and after a well-intentioned anniversary gift goes awry, he still thinks he can handle the fallout. But the concrete jungle is closing in and his coping skills are unraveling.

Their love is deep, but Rob will have to admit the truth about what he really wants before they both tumble into chaos.

Dividers

Review: Three years have passed since we left Matty Marcus and Rob Lovely in New York City at the end of Training Season, three years of adjusting to their new lives individually, as well as their new life together as a couple. Matty has taken on the job of coaching, while Rob has fulfilled his desire to become a physical therapist, and it’s against the backdrop of what should be a seemingly unremarkable day-to-day existence that we watch the warp and weft of the life Rob and Matty have woven together begin to fray at the edges and unravel, all while Rob alone tries desperately to keep each of those loose threads tied together.

Training Complex can be summed up on two fronts, one being that a relationship is only at its strongest at the broken places. The other being that it’s not the willingness to sacrifice for the one you love that matters but the sacrifices you’re willing to make in order to save that love that counts. And this is where we find Matty and Rob in this story, at the hair-thin line between suffering and salvation.

Leta Blake introduces a host of demons into this story: the demon of disordered eating, of doubt and self-sabotage, and it’s these figurative demons that begin to eat away at the bond Matty and Rob share—Matty’s bitter and unrelenting inner voice controlling his anorexic compulsion, and Rob’s impulse to be Matty’s everything, even if it means giving up his own happiness to keep Matty from breaking, delivering Rob to his own breaking point.

One of the most beautiful parts of Matty and Rob’s relationship has always been Rob’s Dominance and Matty’s complete sexual submission. There’s no shortage of sex in these books, not at all, but each scene in Training Complex serves to do more than provide a gratuitous moment of titillation. Through BDSM, Rob has been able to help Matty regain control over his own self-destructive impulses, but we see these two men at a crossroads in this book as well, at a point where Matty’s need for pain grows to a level that becomes too much for Rob to fulfill and begins to corrupt the nature of Rob’s Dominance and the complexion of their relationship.

There are some truly gorgeous scenes in this book which not only emphasize the depth of love between these two men but also underscores how deeply they trust each other, and I loved every one of them, even while watching them nearly ruin Rob in the process. It’s the metaphor of bondage that’s so cleverly juxtaposed—Rob ties Matty up and Matty ties Rob down in a place (both literal and figurative) he doesn’t want to be, and I believe the emotional equation between the characters and readers truly pays off in each of those scenes.

Both familiar and new characters play a role in bringing Matty and Rob around to their resolution, but it’s Matty and Rob together who, ultimately, will begin to fill in the cracks and become stronger at the places where their relationship had become so fragile. This story is exactly what the title suggests: not only is Matty a Gordian knot of psychological issues, but the story itself is a series of complications that, through trial and no small amount of error, nor lacking in humor or heartache, gives these characters resolution and brings them home—not to a place but in the comfort and strength they find within each other. Training Complex is a lovely and highly recommended follow-up to a book and characters I love.

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4 Stars, Audio Book, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, K.C. Wells, Narration Rating - 3 Stars, Reviewed By JJ

Audio Review: Trusting Thomas by K.C. Wells – Narrated by Nick J. Russo

Title: Trusting Thomas

Author: K.C. Wells

Narrator: Nick J. Russo

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 9 Hours and 58 Minutes

At a Glance: I was initially irritated by the dialect switching, especially when British words were read in an American accent, but by the end, Trusting Thomas was very moving and made me cry.

Reviewed By: Johanis

Blurb: Christmas is a time for goodwill to all, but Collars and Cuffs co-owner Thomas Williams receives an unexpected gift that chills him to the bone. A Dom from another Manchester club asks Thomas for his help rescuing an abused submissive, Peter Nicholson. Thomas takes in the young man as a favor to a friend, offering space and time to heal, but he makes it clear he’s never had a sub and doesn’t want one.

Peter finds Thomas’s home calm and peaceful, but his past has left him unwilling to trust another Dom. When Thomas doesn’t behave as Peter expects, Peter’s nightmares begin to fade, and he decides he’d like to learn more about D/s life. A well-known trainer of submissives, Thomas begins to teach Peter, but as the new submissive opens up to him, Thomas finds he cares more for Peter than he should. Just as he decides it’s time to find a permanent Dom for Peter, they discover Peter’s tormentor is still very much a threat. With their lives in danger, Thomas can’t deny his feelings for Peter any longer. The question now becomes, can Peter make it out of the lions’ den alive, so that Thomas can tell his boy that he loves him?

Dividers

Review: Trusting Thomas is a sweet romance between a younger guy and an older gentleman, set in England. Although the backdrop for the story is a BDSM club, there is not much in the way of BDSM in the book. The story focuses more on healing from abuse and finding love when love seems impossible.

Peter, a twenty-six year old submissive with an abusive Dom, is rescued from his abusive master and taken to Thomas, who is the owner of a BDSM club. Thomas agrees to look after the boy and later, agrees to train him as a submissive. Since Peter has been abused so badly, his training begins with menial tasks and progresses slowly in order to give him time to heal from the psychological trauma inflicted on him by his previous master. Though Thomas is just his trainer, both grow to have feelings for one another. Due to the thirty year gap in their ages, Thomas denies his feelings for the boy, and by the time he realizes he’s in love, Peter’s past comes back to haunt them.

Although this book was not what I expected, I strongly recommend it to those who love sweet romances with a happily ever after and a little bit of kink sprinkled in. There was not a lot of sex, but some pretty hot scenes with sex toys and romantic love making. I was at first uncomfortable with sex between such a young guy and an older man, but this was because Peter was so broken and submissive due to being the victim of violent rape and abuse, that it made him seemed much younger than he was. However, by the end of the story, I really thought Peter needed a loving, caring father-figure like Thomas who would never dare hurt him. The romance element builds slowly and starts to appear half way through the book, but by the end, it was very moving and made me cry.

Audio Review: The reader for this audiobook, Nick J. Russo, is very talented; however, he read the book using American English for the narration and British English for dialogue. I was initially irritated by the dialect switching, especially when British words were read in an American accent. I would have preferred to listen to the entire book in a British accent since the book was written in British English. After completing thirty percent of the book, though, I was able to listen without being drawn away from the story by the dialect switching.

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed By Carrie, Sean Michael, Totally Bound

Review: Milling by Sean Michael

Title: Milling (Beer and Clay: Book Two)

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Totally Bound

Pages/Word Count: 32000 Words

At a Glance: The continuation of a great tale.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Toby and Damon’s whirlwind romance continues, but can they find a balance between love and work? Do they even want to?

Toby can scarcely believe that his life has changed so much in less than two weeks, but it has. His predictable little life has gone from routine to sexually adventurous in a matter of days. And to be honest, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Damon’s just as into Toby, more interested in exploring with his new lover than spending all his time at the bar. Luckily things are running fairly smoothly there with his hand only occasionally needed on the rudder.

Their idyllic love affair has a few bumps to withstand, though, in the form of an intruder with a gun. Can Toby and Damon survive what happens next?

Dividers

Review: Milling is book two in Sean Michael’s Beer and Clay series. The tale begins in book one, Malting, where bar owner Damon finally confronts the shy guy who has been coming to his bar every Thursday for the last three years. In book one, we get the connection and spark of new romance between Damon and Toby (oh, and really great, hot sex!). In book two, the relationship grows as the two men really start to explore what they mean to each other, and developing another layer of intimacy with the Dom/sub relationship they both crave (oh, and did I mention more really great hot sex?!). Toby is a treasure – so unsure of himself but so talented, and Damon is the perfect Dom for him – putting Toby first and truly taking care of the man.

The angst in this book comes from an outside source, not our main characters, in that someone is after Damon, and Toby is in the way. The police are no help, and Toby is sure that whoever broke into the bar and then Damon’s apartment – where he gets shot – is being motivated by jealousy of his and Damon’s incredible relationship. So what happens next? Hopefully more really great hot sex! Oh, and more of a story that is definitely worth your time reading! What more can I say? It’s Sean Michel, so you know there are great characters and a solid story. I will warn you though that this book is a continuation of the first book and leaves you hoping for the third. But if you want a snippet of these men’s lives, it’s just right – oh, and did I mention the great sex?

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Nix Knox, Reviewed by Jennifer, Samhain Publishing

Release Day Review: Yogi and the Bear by Nix Knox

Title: Yogi and the Bear

Author:  Nix Knox

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 315 Pages

At a Glance: A flipped relationship that blew me out of the water.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: If the fall is inevitable, might as well enjoy the tumble.

Months after a scaffolding accident leaves him in chronic agony, construction worker Ryan Powell has exhausted all that Western medicine has to offer. He’s willing to try anything, even yoga, to get some relief.

He expected to feel out of place at the New Age Center, but he never expected a power-outage bathroom encounter to magically erase his pain. When he discovers the man with the magic hands is his drop-dead-sexy yoga teacher, Ryan decides that there might just be something to this metaphysical thing, after all.

Yogi Niklas Baumgartner has found it remarkably easy to keep his shiny vow of chastity untarnished—until now. Still, a bathroom hand job doesn’t really count as sex, right? But his footing on the no-nooky wagon slips when he realizes the big, blond bear at the back of the class is his man in the dark.

Their unlikely attraction brings out sides of themselves they never knew lurked beneath the surface, sides it takes courage to accept. But when trust is broken, repairing the damage might just tear them apart.

Warning: Contains a gentle giant, a dominant orgo-bunny, a pair of weighty manacles, too many movie references, accidental porn, overcoming stereotypes, and deliciously kinky sex.

Dividers

Review: God, I loved this book. There was so much to love about it, I’m trying to remember it all. I highlighted a lot as I read, to keep track and then tell everyone how amazing this was, but I’m afraid I’ll forget something!

First, I have not read other books by Nix Knox, and though this is not part of a series, characters from one of the author’s previous books are mentioned briefly and do play a role in the lives of Nik and Ryan, even if they personally are never on the page.

Second, HILARIOUS dialogue. I laughed so many times. The back and forth between Ryan and Nik is just great. Ryan has a habit of saying something, usually making a poor word choice, Nik questioning that word choice, Ryan amending it, and Nik picking which of the two he prefers. It happens throughout the book, and I loved that back and forth between them. It made them such unique, real characters to me, and I wanted to get to know them personally. I wanted to pull them from my pages and just watch them talk. My favorite line from the book? Ryan and Nik go into Ryan’s room for privacy to fool around. Nik leaves to get his backpack and comes back to a suddenly naked Ryan: <i>“I don’t know what happened.” Ryan shrugged as he spread his arms wide. “Some clothing monster came in and snap, here I was, naked.”</i> I’m laughing again rereading that. And let’s not even get started on the fact that Ryan names his dick Mr. Winky, and his reason for it.

Third, the angst. Oh, believe me it’s there, despite the humor. I felt for Nik and Ryan. Both of them are treading waters they haven’t before, and even though they’re given advice from a longtime Dom, when they start testing the BDSM waters, they don’t listen. And they pay for that. My heart broke for Nik and his need to keep his Dom-self separated as Julian. It truly seemed like he had a split personality at times, and as hot as it was to watch him switch between Nik and Julian, the pain that went with it was palpable. And watching Ryan suffer from his work injuries and the weight of stress from his family…whoever thinks stress isn’t painful should read those scenes.

Four, the book challenges perceptions of gay relationships, especially in the BDSM community. A lot of people automatically tend to think small man=bottom, big man=top. They don’t consider the vast array of personalities that accompany the size of those men. Just because a man is physically smaller than another doesn’t automatically make him submissive, just as a larger man isn’t automatically a Dominant. Nix Knox takes those stereotypes and throws them out the window. Sure, they’re addressed. Ryan admits he does want to submit to a man, but doesn’t voice it because the one time he does, he’s pretty much laughed at by his partner. Nik doesn’t laugh. Though much smaller, he has a side to him, Julian, who wants to Dominate another man, especially one larger than him. Ryan and Nik fit perfectly together in that sense. But that’s not all they are, they’re not always in a scene or a BDSM mindset. There are times when Ryan is protective and a bit Dominant and Nik is the more submissive and craves the security and protection Ryan offers.

Have I mentioned how much I love them?

I’m just going to stop here because I could go on about this book for quite some time. Basically, you should read it for yourself. Now, excuse me while I go off to find the author’s other books.

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4 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Nicole Forcine, Reviewed by Jennifer

Review: Shaken Up by Nicole Forcine

Title: Shaken Up

Author: Nicole Forcine

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 74 pages

At a Glance: Fun short story with a snarky submissive with OCD, and a patient Dom.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: Tim Myers is the flamboyant and overly fastidious owner of the adult shop Little Earthquakes. In his spare time, he moonlights as a sub for his friend’s BDSM classes, and while he’d love to find a Dom to cater to his domestic servitude kink, he’s wary of exposing his body and his heart. When Jae Seong comes into Tim’s shop and asks him for help with a wax play demo, Tim is turned off by the idea. Jae is nothing if not persistent, though. He’s a skilled Dom and soon finds out why Tim is so protective of his body, his neck, and his heart. Over a series of play dates, the two grow close, and it dawns on Tim that he might be looking at a match made for collaring.

Dividers

Review: Tim is quite the unique character, especially in terms of BDSM stories. He has serious anxiety, OCD, and a deadly latex allergy. Not what you’d expect to find in a story with strong BDSM themes. But all of that is bound up in the wonderfully snarky package that is Tim. I adored him. He runs an adult shop and assists both gay and straight clients on improving their sex life, which seems at odds considering his – aside from occasionally playing demonstration sub for friends – is nonexistent. And with good reason. He has a past he’s run from, a past that’s left scars on his face and the anxiety and trust issues he’s currently dealing with.

Enter Jae. Tim is pissed at first that Jae knows his name because it’s not something he wants thrown around. He’s not looking for a Dom of his own, but Jae insists he just wants help with a wax play demonstration. After much negotiation, Tim agrees.

Tim is everything Jae is looking for in a sub, and Jae seems to be what Tim is looking for in a Dom. He’s into domestic service, and this seems completely fine with Jae, which helps Tim’s OCD and anxiety. But of course, he still needs to get over his trust issues.

I love stories with domestic service tied into the BDSM storyline, and often it’s hard to find a book that either does it, or does it well. This book hits the spot. Tim’s need to please a man in a domestic capacity does not erase his personality. He still maintains his snark, sarcasm, and everything that makes him unique. Too often I’ve found books where, once the sub finds his perfect Dom, his personality is erased and he becomes the stereotypical simpering fifties housewife. That is so not the case with Tim. Thankfully Jae likes his personality and doesn’t want it to change, which I think even strengthened my love for his character.

I would definitely read more books if they were set around these characters or their friends. Or any books from this author, for that matter.

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4 Stars, Clare London, Genre Romance, Jocular Press, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: Slap and Tickle by Clare London

Title: Slap and Tickle

Author: Clare London

Publisher: Jocular Press

Pages/Word Count: 33,000 Words

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Bryan Harrison is a successful accountant and a man who admires order and self-discipline. It’s a startling break from his routine when he literally bumps into Phiz Bussman outside With A Kick. Phiz’s lifestyle and behaviour are in complete contrast to Bryan’s, and appear totally chaotic. But they each recognise something in the other that they need. Continue reading

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Joseph Lance Tonlet, Self-Published

Guest Post and Giveaway: Grif’s Toy by Joseph Lance Tonlet

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I enjoy BDSM stories—like really, really enjoy them. However, more specifically, I enjoy SM/Ds stories. There’s something about the relinquishing of power, particularly when it’s mixed with discomfort, that I find nearly intoxicating.

The source of the discomfort/pain is rather irrelevant; it can be as benign and uncomplicated as orgasm denial, or a bit more advanced like a violet wand or E-Stim/tens units. Either way, bondage isn’t really what trips my trigger…it’s power exchange and the accompanying anxiety when sadomasochism is woven in.

Introduce the above elements into a love story, whose main character is also challenged with ‘smaller equipment,’ and you have Grif’s Toy. Continue reading

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Kol Anderson, Reviewed by Lynn, Self-Published

Review and Giveaway: The Replacement (Broken #6) by Kol Anderson

Title: The Replacement (Broken #6)

Author: Kol Anderson

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: Novella

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Season finale. Find out what happens to Aaron and how “The Replacement” aka Carter Bennett is doing under a new owner. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, Reviewed by Lisa, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Self-Published

Review: Sarge by Bey Deckard

Title: Sarge (F.I.S.T.S.: Book One)

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 49 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time… with the right person.

Sarge is the short story of a burgeoning D/s relationship between two space marines stationed on an alien planet where an endless war drags on.

Sergeant Wilkes is a hard man with a long, celebrated military career.

Brawny, tattooed, and utterly submissive, Murphy is just an interesting diversion… until Sarge realises he has found something truly rare. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Jaime Samms, Reviewed by Tina

A Man Must Overcome Abuse In Jaime Samms’ “Off Stage: In the Wings


“There is no better place to heal a broken heart than on the back of a horse.” ― Missy Lyons


Title: Off Stage: In the Wings

Author: Jaime Samms

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 326 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Lenny Stevens was the lead guitarist of the up-and-coming grunge band Firefly until he crossed the line with the band’s lead singer. Now he’s faced with the impossible task of rebuilding his life without the music that had kept him together. Struggling with his fear and rage, he creates the same damaging patterns in his relationship with his lover, Vance Ashcroft.
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4.5 Stars, Amazon Digital Services, JP Kenwood, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

JP Kenwood’s “Dominus” Is Sex And Slavery And A Scintillating Mystery


“I fear that when it comes to you, cățel, I may have inadvertently opened Pandora’s box.” – JP Kenwood


Title: Dominus

Author: JP Kenwood

Publisher: JPK Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 285 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: In AD 107, after a grueling campaign against Rome’s fierce enemy, the kingdom of Dacia, Gaius Fabius returns home in triumph. With the bloody battles over, the commander of the Lucky IV Legion now craves life’s simple pleasures: leisurely soaks in fragrant baths, over-flowing cups of wine, and a long holiday at his seaside villa to savor his pleasure slaves. On a whim, he purchases a spirited young Dacian captive and unwittingly sparks a fresh outbreak of the Dacian war; an intimate struggle between two sworn enemies with love and honor at stake.

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5 Stars, Elizabeth L. Brooks, Jaya Christopher, Kassandra Lea, Kiernan Kelly, Mychael Black, Nicole Forcine, Reviewed by Lana, Torquere Press, Winnie Jerome

The Anthology “Spinning the Top” Turns The Tables – Reviewed by Lana


“He needed the hand on his shoulder, the kiss to his temple and the hot, ragged breath of his Master over his face.” ― Casey K. Cox


Title: Spinning the Top

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Torquere Press

Pages/Word Count: 129 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: The stories of Spinning the Top will spin you until you’re so dizzy you can’t tell top from bottom! In “Subspace” by Kiernan Kelly, Dominant Gray Shade has his hands full trying to rein in his out-of-control submissive, Craig. In “A Taste of Sin” by Kassandra Lea, the angel Samuel pays a visit to his secret lover in the heart of Las Vegas. In “Ollie’s Jock” by Nicole Forcine, Larry thanks his tutor Oliver in a very special way.
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4.5 Stars, Bey Deckard, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Bey Deckard’s “Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas” Just Might Steal Your Heart


“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Title: Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas (Baal’s Heart #1)

Author: Bey Deckard

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 356 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Sheltered and lonely, Jon’s life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love, treachery and revelation, this first installment of the Baal’s Heart trilogy brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.
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AAS Publishing, Rain Carrington, Reviewed by Jackie

Rain Carrington’s “Rebel Yells” Is An Opposites Attract Romance – Reviewed by Jackie


“If we can stay with the tension of opposites long enough —sustain it, be true to it—we can sometimes become vessels within which the divine opposites come together and give birth to a new reality.” ― Marie-Louise von Franz


Title: Rebel Yells (Apishipa Creek Chronicles #1

Author: Rain Carrington

Publisher: AAS Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 335 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Jack Colton dedicated his life to two things, the law and the love of a good man named Martin. When Martin dies Jack goes into mourning so deeply that he starts to see his late husband everywhere. Martin tells Jack that he needs to move on and find another love but Jack is holding on too hard to his love and his job to see love when it speeds through the small sleepy town he watches over.
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Casey K. Cox

It’s A Sexy Saturday Snippet From Casey K. Cox – And There’s A Giveaway!


So, here’s an interesting thing… When I was first thinking of what to share with you lovely people about the history of Alec and his ‘Rise’, I remembered the first scene I ever wrote which didn’t make the final cut. I thought, hmmm, it might be cool to share it even though I decided to take a different direction. Hotness is hotness, right? BUT, when I decide to look at the file for that scene, I realised I must have been further into the story when writing it than I’d originally remembered. Either that or I’d edited it to fit a later part of the story. Not to worry, I thought, I shared those initial raunchy thoughts with my writing group; I’ll look it up and take the original from there. And this is where it gets interesting… the first scene I wrote for Alec was not the scene I was remembering. In fact, the whole way Alec developed was different to how I now remember it happening.

Alec has been my baby for a long time now, and it kind of freaks me out that I had completely forgotten, or rather rewritten in my head, the history of his inception. On a positive note, it has given me a new idea for another story. :)

Back to Alec.

The series was born (and this is the real version now, not my alternative history) out of a Sunday afternoon daydream—oh yeah, I love being in my head too—that was just too good not to put down on paper. I had this image of a young guy bending over the desk in his boss’s office getting more than he’d bargained for, much to his joy and elation. One thing led to another, and I was soon writing more about the developing relationship not only of the two men but of Alec with the rest of the world, and himself. It became more about character development and discovery, about the interactions of characters than about arc and plot. Alec was originally written as soap opera porn.

Somewhere along the way the porn slipped into the background (did I really just say that?) and a story appeared of a young man struggling to find his place in an elite, underground powerhouse of the country’s most important men. The Rise of Alec Caldwell: Erotic Adventures of a Young Businessman takes you through the initial steps on Alec’s path to notoriety, but also paints the picture of an inexperienced, somewhat naïve young man pushing his personal boundaries in an attempt to discover more of himself.

Along the way I’ve been blessed with some much loved characters, I know some of you have your favourites, who bring that bit of extra sparkle to Alec’s complicated life. Some of them may well see a short or two of their own in the future.

I truly hope you choose to join us on Alec’s journey, and for the hardened Alec fans, there will be some new scenes in upcoming print volumes.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

In other news…

I am working on the second installment of the Breaker Series (Part one, Finding King, available from LT3 Press). It delves more into the world and background of the boys and the potential dangers that lay ahead for a ‘their kind’. Jessie and Merrick take a back seat to Ace and Raif in this one, but they are still on hand with a few muddles of their own.

I’ve signed up for Goodreads MMR Love’s Landscape Promo and have a really exciting prompt. It takes me away from the sexfest that is Alec, the dysoptia of the Breaker and into a lighter world of college lads discovering…stuff. I don’t want to give too much away, but I hope you’ll stop by and read some of the great stories that will be freely donated, mine included. :)

In the meantime, here is a snippet from the new print edition of The Rise of Alec Caldwell: Erotic Adventures of a Young Businessman.

Excerpt Warning: This scene contains one or all of the following – Sex in the workplace, a horny virgin and his sexy boss, a touch of D/s, naughty language, a little exhibitionism, and just a hint of voyeurism.

In the unlikely (but possible) event of spontaneous human combustion while reading this excerpt, it is recommended you read the entire book for maximum effect. :)

On the Job Training

Alec listened as Chloe reeled off the latest conquest in her fuck every man in a fifty-mile radius life goal. Josh, Alec heard her say, was thirty-two and married but his wife didn’t like sex now she’d had their first child. Poor Josh had to make do with once a month—if, he was lucky. That sounded more than lucky from Alec’s corner. The words floated through his brain initiating auto-response as his mind focused on the curve of Rick Hamilton’s ass where he leaned over Sophie’s shoulder at the desk behind Chloe. Alec’s eye slowly traced the line over the hip and shoulder to—fuck… Hamilton was looking at him. Alec flushed at the smile playing over Hamilton’s lips and concentrated on Chloe, concentrated so hard that when Hamilton touched his shoulder, he jumped almost a foot in the air.

“I’d like to see you in my office, Alec.”

“Yes, sir. Now?”

“I think so, yes.”

Damn and blast. Alec tidied a few things on his desk and made his way to Hamilton’s office. He blushed as he closed the door and stood before the desk. Alec tried to fill his mind with mundane things—the sky looked gray for the time of the afternoon, maybe it would rain. The cherry color of Hamilton’s office furniture was the same as that of the toilet cubicle where Alec… not such a good train of thought. Alec coughed lightly, trying to shake the idea of jerking off to the image of Hamilton’s face out of his mind.

“No need to stand on ceremony. Take a seat.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“How long have you been here, Alec?”

“Two years, sir. Ten months on your team.”

“Do you like it here?”

“Very much.”

“And why is that?”

Was it a trick question? Was he expecting Alec to own up to the fact it was because he liked staring at Hamilton’s butt? “The salary is good, the people are friendly and I enjoy my work.”

“I may have something else for you.”

Fuck, no. Hamilton was going to transfer him out of the department. Alec’s shoulders slumped and his hands gripped the arms of the leather chair as he shuffled uncomfortably in his seat. Get rid of the embarrassing coworker with a crush. What else would it be?

“You’ll continue with your present workload. This will be along the lines of additional duties. Do you think you would be interested?”

No transfer. “Absolutely, sir. I’m very keen to increase my experience within the company.”

“Hmm. Stand up, Alec, and come here.” Hamilton swivelled his chair to the side and gestured to the space directly in front of him.

Alec did as he was told, trying not to pass out cold as he met Hamilton’s gaze. Looking down into Hamilton’s face definitely made Alec feel giddy. If only he had the courage to reach out and touch.

“You’re a sweet boy, Alec. Something tells me you haven’t quite understood what I’m offering you.”

“A chance for additional duties, reporting directly to you, sir?” Maybe, I think. No, Alec didn’t have a clue. What other possibilities were there?

Hamilton stood up and walked behind him. Alec could feel his breath so close to his neck, his cock started to swell. Think of something else. Think of anything else.

“It would mean late nights, working over your lunch hour and reporting to me personally every day.” The hot breath curled into Alec’s brain. “Will that be a problem?”

“Not at all, sir.” Not in a million fucking years would spending more time with you be a problem.

Hamilton returned to his desk and picked up a piece of paper. “There will, of course, be a pay increase to reflect the extra duties. Will this be sufficient?” He handed Alec the paper.

Fucking hells bells. An extra twenty thousand a year. Twenty–fucking–grand.

“M-more than sufficient, sir. Thank you.” Alec placed the paper back on the desk.

Restlessly, Hamilton prowled around behind him again and pressed his chin to Alec’s shoulder. His hand swept lightly over Alec’s arm to his shoulder and Alec shuddered, his body responding without his permission. Hamilton’s words came breathily quiet in Alec’s ear. “But you don’t know what the duties involve. How do you know if it’s enough?”

“Oh, well, um…” Nope. Alec couldn’t get the words out with Hamilton so close. It was difficult to breathe or keep hold of any thought other than if he were to turn his head, his lips would brush Hamilton’s cheek. Rock hard cock. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

“You look uncomfortable. Let me take your jacket.” Hamilton’s arms slid around Alec’s waist and opened the button. He slipped the suit coat off Alec’s shoulders. Nothing left to hide the erection straining against his pants now. Hamilton folded Alec’s jacket over the desk and stood in front of him. “You seem to have a problem,” he smiled, tracing light fingers over Alec’s cock. Alec shuddered again. He’d blow any second. How more pathetic could he be?

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Hamilton.” Alec closed his eyes and looked at the floor. Just shoot me already.

“Nothing to be ashamed of, Alec. I like that you find me attractive.”

“I do. I mean, you do?”

Hamilton chuckled, still stroking the line of Alec’s cock. “Oh, yes. It will help tremendously. It will ensure your new duties are much more pleasant.”

“It will?”

Hooking a hand in the waistband of Alec’s pants, Hamilton tugged him closer before sitting in his chair. He studied Alec again with those damn sexy eyes. Alec missed his touch. How fucking stupid was that? Shouldn’t he be thinking of sexual harassment? His boss had touched him up. But what did Alec expect when he was the one always making eyes at Hamilton?

“Let me help you out with that.” Hamilton wheeled forward in his chair and reached out to unbuckle Alec’s belt.

You have got to be kidding me.

Hamilton unhooked Alec’s pants, pulled the zipper and let them drop to the floor. Alec could only stare, open mouthed, as Hamilton kneaded his cock through his underwear. Hamilton winked at him as he pulled at the waistband and slipped his hands into Alec’s shorts, pulling them free of his erection and sliding them down to meet his pants. Holy, fucking, moly.

“Everything okay so far?” Hamilton said.

“Uh… oh, absolutely, Mr. Hamilton, sir.”

“Good. Then we understand each other.”

I don’t understand a fucking thing but I am not complaining—oh no, not me.

Hamilton watched Alec’s face as he leaned forward and licked a drop of pre-come from the head of Alec’s cock. Alec groaned loudly and Hamilton chuckled before taking the whole head into his mouth and sucking.

“Oh. Sweet, lord. I’ll come in about five seconds.”

Hamilton pulled back, letting Alec’s cock slip from his lips and took up a steady stroking motion with his hand as he watched Alec’s face.

“I’ll make a mess,” Alec said, squirming on the spot but not wanting it to stop.

“Yes, it does tend to do that.” Hamilton let go and sat back. “Do you suck cock, Alec?”

“Do I, uh…no, sir. I never have before.”

“But you’d like to, you like men?”

“Yes, sir. I’m happy to have a go. For you, I mean. I’m willing to learn.”

“You are a strange one.” Hamilton picked up his cell phone and appeared to send a text. He put it back on the desk and looked at Alec. “Take off your shoes and pants and bend over the desk.”

Fuck. This was it. Hamilton was going to pop his cherry. Alec couldn’t believe his body was complying with the instructions without his mind engaging. It had always been the other way around: Alec desperate to follow through but his body wouldn’t move. Now, in an office where anyone could walk in, he was half-naked so his boss could play with him, and everything seemed to be working. Was the risk of being caught the key all along, or was it the authority in Hamilton’s voice that pushed him into motion? Alec realized he couldn’t care less, he was just glad it was happening. It brought a whole new meaning to the phrase “being caught with your pants down.”

“Good boy,” Hamilton said as Alec bent over and held the edge of the desk. The words went straight to Alec’s cock and it jumped obediently. Alec heard the squeak of desk chair wheels on the floor behind him. Soft hands kneaded Alec’s butt cheeks before prying them open. A tongue lapped over his hole and he jerked. “Everything okay?” Hamilton asked.

“Yes, I just wasn’t expecting it.” Why would I think my boss was going to lick my ass? For fuck’s sake.

“Should I use lube instead?”

Damn. He was going to lose the opportunity of his life and all because he was a useless waste of a space virgin. He should lie. Just say yes and let the man get on with it.

“Are you sure you’re okay with this, Alec?” Hamilton’s hand smoothing over his back was the last straw.

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Hamilton.” Alec was close to tears. Desperately trying to hold on to a last scrap of dignity seemed silly in his current position, but he really didn’t want to cry. “I’ve never. It’s just that… I don’t know what to do.”

“You’ve never been taken before?”

“No, sir.”

“That’s okay, what do you do for your boyfriends?”

Alec felt completely stupid. There was no point lying, he was rubbish at keeping up pretence. Better to just tell the truth and get it over with. “If you want to replace me, sir, I understand. I’m sorry I’m not suitable.”

“You’ve never had anal sex?”

“I’ve never had any kind of sex. Period, sir.”

“I’m sorry, Alec, are you telling me you’re a virgin? As in, a God’s honest truth, pure-as-the-driven-snow kind of virgin?”

Alec couldn’t hold the pose anymore; he turned, fell to his knees in front of Hamilton, and reached for his hand. “Please, Mr. Hamilton. I want to do this with you, for you. I want you to fuck me. I know I’m stupid and pathetic, but I fancy you like crazy and you’re the first person to suck my cock, so it makes sense for you to be the first to fuck me. I—”

“Stop.” Hamilton seemed to be thinking. He stroked Alec’s hair and face and Alec moved into the touch. It felt so natural. “I won’t fuck you.” Alec dropped his forehead on to Hamilton’s knee. Now he wanted to cry but the tears were stuck. “Not today anyway.” Alec looked up at him. Was that a glimmer of hope? “Your first time should be special, Alec, not over the desk at work.”

“But you will?”

“Yes, of course. I’m honored, really. Beautiful thing like you falling at my feet and pleading, how could I refuse?” Alec gasped lightly at Hamilton’s smile. “So sweet,” Hamilton said, and reached forward to touch Alec’s lips with his.

Alec curled a hand around Hamilton’s neck and pulled him into a full kiss. That, at least, he knew how to do. He groaned as Hamilton’s tongue slipped into his mouth and he returned his own, searching out his taste. Incredible. Everything he’d thought it would be. Alec’s cock bounced back to attention and he stroked it while deepening the kiss.

Hamilton pulled back, his eyes sparkling. “Wow, you seem to have mastered that very well.” He noticed Alec’s hand and slapped it away. “You don’t touch unless you’re given permission.”

“Sorry, sir. I don’t know the rules. Will you teach me? Make me what you need me to be.”

“Bend over the desk again. I’ll start to open you up a little.”

Alec was more confident this time. Hamilton knew the truth and still wanted this, still wanted him. That had to count for something. Hamilton spread his cheeks and licked and kissed his pucker.

“You must tell me if I do anything you don’t like or if I hurt you.”

“Yes, sir. All good, so far.” The sound was throaty. Hamilton was already licking and sucking over his hole again and then fucking hallelujah, his tongue pushed straight inside Alec’s ass. He was clean wasn’t he? Of course he was clean, he always kept meticulously clean. But was it clean enough? There were no complaints, so Alec relaxed into the sensations. His knees buckled and Hamilton let out a short laugh as he propped up Alec’s hips while still fucking him with his tongue. Alec rocked gently back against him, imagining a cock there instead.

He’d always wanted to shove something up his ass when he jacked off but never found the courage. He always wanted to watch gay porn but was too afraid the police would come knocking on his door, even though it seemed everyone watched endless porn online these days. But now… now, Hamilton was personally inducting him into the sex club. It was such a weight off his mind knowing he wouldn’t die a virgin because of his indecision. Hamilton didn’t love him but he was obviously into him and that was more than enough. Hamilton also seemed to know exactly what Alec wanted and that made Alec’s job easy. He just had to do whatever he was told to do. The thought sent a sudden, unexpected rush to his cock. “I’m going to come,” he mumbled. Hamilton stopped. “No, don’t stop. Please.” But the moment passed and Alec’s breathing started to settle.

“First lesson, Alec, you don’t come until I tell you.”

“I’ll try not to but—”

“No buts. If you come before I say, you will be punished. Do you understand?”

Punished? What the fuck? Alec tried to gather a few thoughts together.

“Alec, do you want to learn the rules or not?”

Rules. Rules were good. Alec could follow rules. Rules kept him safe. Rules were his life. “Yes. I’m not to come, until you say.”

Hamilton stroked a hand over Alec’s back. “Good boy.” Pre-come seeped from the tip of his cock at those words. “I’m going to fuck you with my fingers. Just relax and try not to clench.” Hamilton rummaged in a desk drawer. A moment later, a slick finger slipped through Alec’s pucker into his ass. Not uncomfortable but an odd sensation. Was that all there was to being fucked? What on earth was the fuss about? A steady rhythm started and again Alec rocked into the motion. “Good boy,” Hamilton purred. “You’re a natural. Just stay nice and relaxed.”

Oh, fuck. Alec’s knees buckled again as Hamilton hit something.

“Say hello to your prostate, Alec. The reason even straight men are known to like a finger fuck.”

“I can see why. Oh, shit, I’m going to come. I won’t be able to stop it.”

Hamilton stood quickly and Alec jumped as Hamilton slapped hard over his ass. Another blow, surprisingly painful, made Alec flinch. “Do I need to continue?”

“No, sir. I’m sorry. I’ll try harder.” Harder was the right word. His cock was bordering on painful, but that stung, and wasn’t fun. Not really. Maybe a little. But he had other things to concentrate on right now.

Hamilton resumed his position and continued to fuck him, this time with two fingers. Good, it felt very good. Alec was trying to think of random things, willing away his erection when the door opened. Someone came in and the door closed softly. Alec heard it lock. Fucking hell!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Casey K Cox grew out of the wish to write and publish new works of man-love fiction. I’ve been writing for many years and as my characters develop and change so do the names I associate as their author.

In this incarnation, Casey K Cox is interested in everything homo-erotic from coming of age to the dark bitter worlds of twisted fates and broken minds.

You’ll find me hunched over my laptop, discovering new worlds with my muse, in a small country village of South West England. I live with my two beautiful kids, who think I’m more than a little crazy for my latest obsession but they roll with it and support me as always.

My interests are many and varied. Science, archaeology, remote sensing, religions, philosophy, esoteric studies, gematria, crafts (of the hands on kind), painting and watching things grow.

My favourite authors at the moment are Aleksandr Voinov, Manna Francis, Twisted Hilarity and Jade Archer.

I hope you enjoy this visit to my world.

Find Casey at the following locations: BLOG | Facebook

The Rise of Alec Caldwell: Erotic Adventures of a Young Businessman is available for purchase at the following etailers: Brunos | Amazon US | Amazon UK

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All Romance Ebooks, K.A. Merikan, Self-Published

A K.A. Merikan Two-fer Review – “House Warmer” And “An Onanist’s Journey to Reclaiming His Seed”


“Writing is seduction.” – Stephen King


Title: House Warm’d (XXX’d #4)

Author: K.A. Merikan

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 11,000 Words

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: — How to make a house a home —
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Amelia C. Gormley, Heidi Belleau, Riptide Publishing

It’s The Professor’s Rule In Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley’s “Inch by Inch”


“The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use them.” – Philip K. Dick



Title: Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #3

Author: Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 50

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: After two long, kink-free years apart, James Sheridan has reunited with his Professor: the sexy, dominant Evander Carson. But this time, things will be different. James is older, more sure of himself, and confident that he can draw the line between Carson’s demands and his own principles.
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Leta Blake, Self-Published

It’s Officially “Training Season”, And Leta Blake Wants To Give Away A Book!


TNA: Hi, Leta, welcome to The Novel Approach. We’re thrilled to have you here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself: hobbies, interests, things that make you, you.

Leta: Thanks for having me, Lisa!

As for what makes me, me, I think the motto I have on my website sums me up well: author, human, and working hard to become stellar at life. I’m a mother, a wife, and I work a day job in addition to writing books. I try to do my best at all of my endeavors, but, as my motto says, I’m only a human being, so I fail and triumph and fail again. The last part of my motto—working hard to become stellar at life—is where the beauty’s at for me. It’s in the effort and the striving. I want to be a better writer, a better friend, a better mother, and a better person altogether. That’s me at the core, I think. Of course, I fail at that a lot, but it’s all about working for it, right?

As for hobbies, I’m a fannish person and become obsessed with characters from books or tv shows quite easily. In the past I’ve hosted Fanwork Friday on my blog where I celebrate something about fandom. I’ll get back to that eventually when things settle down with regards to Training Season.  I’m also passionate about music—the listening to it, not the making of it.

TNA: Have you always written M/M fiction? What compelled you to begin writing gay romance?

Leta: No, I haven’t. When I was a child, I wrote books a la L.M. Montgomery, then as a teen I indulged in that rite of passage known as emo poetry, and then as a young adult I gave up writing altogether, considering it a hopeless pursuit.

I started writing again about fourteen years ago due to stumbling onto slash fandom online. I think my books still retain certain notes that mark them as having graduated from the playground of slash fandom. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Personally, I think it can sometimes be a good thing because there’s generally something universal in the way romances are explored in fandoms.

I’ve given a great deal of thought as to why I write gay romance and my answers are pretty complicated and not nearly as simple as some media likes to paint the issue. It’s definitely not just because two guys are hotter than one, and it’s absolutely not because I think women are icky, and it’s not because I fetishize gay men. I think the full answer could make up a PhD thesis, but I do think my motivation has to do with writing stories that feel compelling and interesting to me, and which stories also tap into parts of my own psyche or our social constructs that beg to be explored. Not to mention, these are the characters who appear to me. I can’t bring myself to say to them, “Please go away and come back as a straight girl, okay?” LOL! I think they’d just never return!

TNA: What was your first published M/M title?

Leta: I co-wrote a short series of re-imagined fairy tales with Keira Andrews. The first was Earthly Desires, a m/m take on The Light Princess by George McDonald.

TNA: If you could go back in time to the moment you sat down to begin writing that book, what’s one piece of advice you’d give yourself now that you have the benefit of hindsight and experience?

Leta: I’d tell myself, “You don’t have to make it a novella, even though that was the plan. It can be as long as it needs to be.” I did learn that lesson with Love’s Nest, though, the last of the series. It is twice as long, nearly, as the first two books, and I think it needed to be.

I’d also tell myself to use the words “light, charming, whimsical” on the cover request page so that the cover might actually fit with the tone of the book. Alas, we put the word “warm” on the cover request sheet and that changed everything. The book cover looks very brutal but the book itself is light-hearted for the most part. This is what I would most go back in time and tell myself, actually. Though it is a lovely cover if the book had a different vibe, as it is, the cover haunts me.

TNA: Let’s talk a little bit about your latest novel Training Season. Do you remember the moment you came up with the idea for the book and what inspired it?

Leta: I do. I was watching this Johnny Weir fanvideo. It was fairly soon after the last Winter Olympics and I was following a great deal of figure skating talk via the usual fannish outlets. The story of Johnny Weir’s rise and fall from figure skating grace was being rehashed quite a lot in those circles. Watching the video, I found myself asking all kind of questions about what drives athletes to compete, what leads them to self-sabotage, and what can turn a person prone to that kind of behavior around. The character in Training Season was born in the moment of the fall at 1:41 in this video. I believe the lyrics definitely impacted the character’s birth, as well, especially. The questions asked by the song and the line “in any other world you could let it all unfurl” definitely made me wonder what kind of world would allow a person to overcome a tendency toward self-sabotage?

Now, Rob Lovely came along later when I was listening to some country music with my grandmother when she was still alive. The song “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” came on and I was still obsessing over the figure skating character. Suddenly, I was like, “What if the ‘any other world’ was actually somewhere in the country, like, say, Oklahoma or Idaho, and the romantic interest was a rancher?”

Music inspires me a lot, often in weird ways!

The choice to set the book in Montana, though, was not immediate. I originally set it elsewhere and wrote the entire first draft that way. I did a ton of research on the location, adding in references to scenery and area landmarks. It was only in the second round of hard edits that it became clear that there was no way I could possibly have the book set in the original location. It would entail changing the entire timeline of the book or scrapping about one third of the scenes. So, I started hunting again, and when I found Whitefish, I knew. It was a perfect match. And also lead to me writing about 20,000 more words that wouldn’t have been in the book at all.

TNA: How much research did you do to make sure you got the world of competitive skating and all the technical terms just right?

Leta: Well, I’d always loved figure skating, but I’d been a mostly casual fan until 2010. It’s amazing how educational fandom be! I spent about six months during the writing of the first draft reading/watching/following all that fandom had to offer on the subject and I keep that up to an extent even today. I have new favorites (like Denis Ten and Adam Rippon) and new not-favorites (like Max Aaron, though he seems like a lovely person). All of that definitely helped in writing the book.

In addition, Keira Andrews, my sometime co-writer and all-the-time friend, is a massive, huge, wildly big figure skating fan, and as the editor of my book, she helped to make sure the timing of competitions were correct, as well as the judging system, and to nail down the little ins and outs of the sport. There’s basically nothing the woman doesn’t know about figure skating!

TNA: Matty Marcus and Rob Lovely are the MCs of the book. If you were to give readers a thumbnail sketch of who they are, what are some things you’d tell us about each of them that would best reveal their characters?

Leta: Matty – dedicated, flawed, loving, loyal, competitive, self-sabotaging, stubborn, kinky

Rob – loyal, lost, stuck-in-a-rut, loving, generous, patient, supportive, insightful, kinky

TNA: Or, if I asked Matty and Rob, what are some things you think they might say about each other?

Leta: I think they’d probably say the same things! Though they’d probably both add words like: amazing, smart, funny, beautiful, sexy, frustrating, and lovable. Those words are possibly all true, too, depending on your view of the characters! :)

TNA: Rob and Matty explore dominance and submission in a variety of ways in the telling of their story. What prompted you to explore that component of their sexual relationship, and how was it important to the overall development of their romance and of them as characters?

Leta: Well, it all came down to the character of Matty for the most part. He was so self-sabotaging that I started asking myself, “What does he really need? What would a partner have to bring to the table in order to give Matty the courage he needs to succeed—or fail—on the ice?” Then Rob stepped up and said, “I’ve got this.” So, I let him do what he wanted and saw that, yes, Matty did respond well to the various lessons implicit in dominance and submission, such as giving up control and facing fear.

TNA: Which character, Matty or Rob, was most difficult to write and why?

Leta: Rob, definitely. Because the book was in Matty’s POV, he didn’t always know what was going on with Rob. The final scenes with the confrontation and resolution were especially hard. Rob was fairly resistant to revealing his feelings and motivations to me. I’d say it was only on draft twelve or so that Rob finally, finally gave me what we needed for the scenes to really work. Also, he didn’t come to me fully formed the way Matty mostly did. I had to go back in through multiple drafts and strengthen his motivations so that there were hurdles for him to overcome and a nice growth arc for him, too.

TNA: There are some pretty great supporting characters in this novel. Do you foresee a scenario in which you might consider writing a spin-off or two of Training Season?

Leta: Aw, thank you! I’ve heard from a number of people that they’d like to see Angus and Bill’s story, and I’d love to write that. It is absolutely on my radar and I’d really like to have it by next winter, but I have my doubts given my other ambitions for 2014.

I’ve also heard that some people would like to see Kevin’s story, and I’ve even had a bid for Elliot’s story. (Though no one has asked for Julien’s story. Poor Julien! He’s really an okay guy. For real!) I’m less sure about writing Kevin or Elliot (or Julien), but perhaps. If I suddenly find myself inspired, I’ll go for it.

Strangely, the spin-off book that keeps harassing me to the point that I’ve already jotted down a very rough bit of a scene from it is Ben’s future story. Thing is, Ben’s straight, so I’m not sure how many people will care to read about him. I want to make his story one of two romances in the book, with the other being Ben’s gay best friend’s romance with a hockey player. Ben, on the other hand, is in love with Cardew’s older sister who thinks that Ben is Cardew’s closeted boyfriend. Oh, the ridiculous drama! ;)

*********

“Ben, is this your way of coming out?”

He smiled widely at the asshole with the microphone pointed at his face. He hoped Cardew was enjoying this press conference, because he sure as hell was having plenty of fun screwing with the reporters.

“I am out.”

“You are?” The buzz from the media grew louder.

“Yes, I’m out as a straight man who has no fear that his masculinity will be threatened by skating pairs at the Gay Games with the prettiest, most artistic, and most brilliant male skater on the ice today.”

Cardew gave a dainty wave. “That’s me.”

No one seemed to give a damn about Cardew, though, which irritated Ben. This was supposed to be Cardew’s big moment not his. He’d had plenty of his own. That was the entire reason he was doing this. He wanted to help his best friend have his time to shine.

“Did your step-father put you up to this?”

“Matty?” Ben laughed. “I’m my own man. Matty may do some choreography work for Cardew and me, but otherwise he sticks to the applause portion of the program when it comes to my skating career.”

*********

And that’s all she wrote on that front! Who knows? Maybe I’ll go there with this idea, but the Angus and Bill story is definitely on my radar. I just need a dozen more hours in a week and to only require two hours of sleep a night. Then we’d be good to go! That’s doable, right?

TNA: If you were to choose a favorite scene from the book, what would that scene be and why?

Leta: I’m pretty fond of this one—

“And Elliot is going to be in New York City, and I swore I’d never miss a New Year’s Eve in New York,” Matty whined, stretched out across Rob on the sofa.

Rob held the agricultural journal he was reading a bit higher, trying to see it over Matty’s body. “I’m devastated on your behalf.”

Matty narrowed his eyes. “I thought you liked my family.”

“I do. I’m sorry they can’t come for Christmas. I was ridiculing your vow to always be in New York for New Year’s Eve.”

“You’re heartless.”

“Uh-huh.” Rob flipped a page and yawned widely.

The day before Rob had helped Terry, Dino, and Bing wrangle some cattle that had trampled a fence and gotten into the woods near the national park. It’d been exhausting since three of the cows had decided they were not going to budge from the apparently delicious patch of dry, brown winter grass they’d discovered under a tree. To make it worse, once they’d driven the adventurers back onto Rob’s land, a bunch of snow had dumped on them as they’d mended the fence.

Rob had dawdled over breakfast, and was lazing around with Matty. He’d mentioned something about getting caught up on the books, but he hadn’t moved from the sofa yet, and it was verging on nine o’clock. Matty shifted on Rob’s body and made himself more comfortable.

“I’m trying to read about the possible advantages of adding a milk goat operation to the ranch, sweetheart. You’re kind of in my way.”

“The advantages of a milk goat operation. Did I truly just hear those words?”

“Goat milk soap is all Bing talks about.”

“I feel like I’m in some kind of insane alternate universe where if I look out the window I’ll find Amish buggies. I will, won’t I?”

“If you’re lucky. Otherwise it means you’re stuck in Montana getting fucked by some crazy sadist rancher.”

“God, that sounds like a really bad sex book you’d pick up to read on an airplane.” Matty scooted a bit on Rob’s body, making him grunt. Matty spread out his hands to demonstrate the title of the book, knocking the journal away. “‘Big Sky of Desire’ by M. O. Lester. The story of young, lithe figure skater, Bobby Barker, trapped for the winter in a small Montana town and robbed of his innocence by the lecherous attentions of his sadistic neighbor, Mark Beauty. Tied down against his will and struck with leather horse whips, Bobby realizes his own inner strength and love for rough sex — ”

“I have leather horse whips, actually,” Rob said.

“You do?” Matty sat up, nearly smacking his forehead against Rob’s chin.

“Of course. Have you seen my ranch?”

“Oh my God, go get them!”

Rob laughed, pushed Matty off, and stood up slowly, stretching. “Actually, I was thinking we should head into Missoula to do some shopping. Most of the shops stay open late this time of year. I have some things I need to get for Ben. Last I checked, you need to pick up a few things for your folks.”

Matty blinked. “You’re passing up whips for shopping?”

“You’re bitching about shopping?” Rob countered.

“I feel so torn!” Matty pulled at his hair. “Oh my God. You suck.”

“Go on, take care of the horses and get ready. I’ll pick you up in an hour.”

“Two. I have to look my best if we’re going into the city. Someone might actually see me in the city.”

“People see you here.”

“Yeah, but they don’t even look twice now. My fashion goes to waste. It’s like I’ve become boring to them or something.”

Rob kissed him and rubbed his thumb over Matty’s lower lip. “Never. Impossible. And I’ll pick you up in one hour.”

“If I say yes, can I have whips later?” Matty asked a little breathlessly.

Rob frowned. “I’ll think about it. I don’t like the idea of marking your skin.”

“Don’t turn into a prude on me now,” Matty whined.

Rob kissed him again. “Don’t push me. Or you might find there’s a price.”

Matty clasped his hands together over his heart and called out as Rob left the room, “Would that price be leather horse whips?”

“Go home!” Rob yelled back.

Matty flopped on Rob’s sofa and stared up at the ceiling. “Oh my God, horse whips,” he whispered to himself, trying to figure out how he was going to lose his erection.

TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Training Season with us?

Leta: Certainly!

A week later, Matty opened the six boxes of his belongings his mother had mailed, trying to find where she’d packed the fur coats, his make-up, and his underwear. It was as though she’d run from one corner of his room to another, randomly adding things to the boxes, with little rhyme or reason. They’d all been marked Matty’s room as though that described the contents in any helpful way.

He found his make-up in a small cardboard box beneath his gym socks and a gold, sequined vest he’d worn for a competition when he was fifteen. He had no idea why his mother had included it, but he put it on, because, aside from Flathead Lake and the glint of the sun on the mountains, it was the sparkliest thing he’d seen since arriving in Montana. It lifted his spirits in an unexpected and very necessary way.

Matty sighed as he took his make-up into the bathroom and began organizing it on the vanity. Looking through the products, he opened one of the small jars of blue, glittery eye shadow, and applied a little to his eyelids absentmindedly. He thought about how he was going to survive the next six months, and wondered if he’d be able to train himself enough to lure in a renowned coach.

His heart was set on Valentina Chapayeva from the Ukraine, and he swallowed hard and sent up a small prayer that by April he’d have what it took to gain her interest and join her rink in New York. Even though he was a national champion, he was afraid he’d been out of sight so long that he’d be out of mind in the skating world.

He sorted through the body glitter, lipsticks, and rouge, finding a few things that he’d nearly forgotten about. He looked in the mirror, puckered his lips, and ran his hands through his hair.

Music. Yes, he needed some music — something fast to get his body moving. He fiddled with the stereo in the living room and figured out how to dock his iPod.

Eight songs later, he had glitter body paint smeared on his chest, his eyes done up in brilliant blues and greens, and bright, cotton-candy pink lipstick on his lips. Wearing only his track pants and the gold sequined vest, he was far from fierce, but still shiny, and that made him feel almost as good. He danced across the room, easily keeping the rhythm with no one’s judging gaze to throw him off. He gave his body over to it, and spun around madly, jumping, kicking, and leaping.

He paused in the middle of the room, feeling a little flushed, but not winded. He was glad his workouts back home had increased his stamina. His current plan was to get up every day, have a small breakfast, get the horses settled and then work out, either in a gym, on the ice, or both.

Matty recognized how bratty it was to complain about the ranch house. After all, it had amazing amenities. Margaret’s exercise room beside his bedroom had a treadmill and Bowflex. He supposed on days he couldn’t get into Kalispell for a proper workout in the Athletic Club (something else arranged for him by Margaret) it would do to help keep him strong. He also had a plan for skating when he couldn’t get into Whitefish’s rink.

He’d discovered his plan B when George had walked him around the ranch, pointing out various areas that the horses sometimes lingered. As they’d walked, Matty had noticed two men on horses, riding among the cattle on the hill below.

“Rob’s ranch hands,” George explained. “He’s got four employees over there now. Rob’s expanding his operation. He’s finally making a bit of a profit, I reckon. First time since his old man died, I think.”

Matty nodded absently, his eyes fixed on something else entirely. To the left of where George pointed, there was a very large, seemingly shallow, mostly circular pond. It was situated in the shadow of the mountain on one side and sheltered on the other by a large, fat pine. Though the temperature had climbed to almost forty that morning, Matty could see the glitter of ice over the shaded top of the pond.

He’d studied it carefully as George talked on and on about horses and the neighbor’s cattle, and ranch hands and profits, finally interrupting him to ask, “Does that ever freeze over?”

“Sure. It’s halfway to frozen over now. Give it two more days of temperatures like this and it’ll be frozen half through.”

“How deep is it?”

“Not that deep.” George had smirked like he was amused by something private. “That’s Margaret’s little personal Flathead Pond. Built it for her when I bought the place from Rob. She wasn’t too happy because she wanted land on the lake. I couldn’t pass up the good deal Rob offered me, so I told her I’d build her a damn lake.” George chuckled, a sound Matty hadn’t heard him make before. “Oh yes, she was fit to be tied over this here pond. First she was mad and then she laughed until she cried.” He grinned. “Yep, Rob’s ranch manager, Bing Lozar, dug this out for her and had it lined.”

“Has anyone ever skated on it?” Matty had asked.

“The boys do it all the time. Used to pretend to be Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier out there.”

Matty had smiled, thinking that George might not have liked it if his grandsons had pretended to be Matty Marcus out there. “Mind if I skate on it, sir?”

“Fine by me. Just don’t bust your head.” George had pointed his finger at him. “If you do, don’t even think about suing me.”

With that in mind, Matty had gone out to the pond already that morning and found it was definitely frozen several inches down. It wasn’t the best surface, but in an emergency it would do.

Another song came on, and Matty ran a hand through his hair. He twirled a bit more, the room flashing by, and he allowed himself to sink into the spin, the dizzy familiar feeling of the world going into a precarious balance.

A loud crash brought him front and center.

He stood panting, listening for something more. A rolling crunch rattled through the room. Clutching his chest, he jumped. The noise seemed to come from the front porch.

Matty grabbed a coat from the box next to him — his mink from his last trip to Russia — and slipped it on. His heart raced as he tiptoed toward the living room window.

Was it a bear? Did bears live in Montana? And why had he never thought to investigate that possibility before now? What if it was an elk? Were they dangerous? Maybe it was a coyote, or a wolf, or just a really big, scary person.

He peered out the front window. He squinted into the sun and saw nothing but pine trees and cows like always. The knock on the door, a heavy, hard thudding, made his heart race like he was sitting in the Kiss and Cry waiting for scores to come in.

Matty glanced in the mirror by the front door, smoothed his hair, wiped a stray bit of eyeliner away, and threw his chest out and his chin up. Matty Marcus was rocking the glittery glory on a ranch in Montana. Never let it be said that rural locales took any shine away from this bitch. He opened the door.

The man on the front porch, with his hand raised to knock again, was blond, and he might as well have been Montana personified — tall, strong, and heart-stoppingly handsome. He was also probably not a day over thirty.

“Uh…” The man cleared his throat and flung his thumb over his shoulder toward the hill. “Hi. I’m the neighbor. Thought I’d bring some… ah…”

He didn’t seem to know where to look. His eyes slid down to Matty’s bare chest peeking out from the fur coat and gold sequined vest, and then down over Matty’s track pants to his bare feet. The man swallowed and looked away. He kept talking, though.

“I brought some firewood up from the barn. Thought you might need it…or want it. It’s supposed to get pretty cold tonight. I figured you didn’t have any close to the house yet. George doesn’t bring it up unless he needs it. So I brought some. Up. For you.”

Matty felt his practiced “now we’re talking to the media” smile settle on his face. He stuck out his hand. “Thank you. That’s very kind of you. I appreciate you thinking of me.”

The man shook firmly. “Rob Lovely,” he said. “I live over the hill and a few acres over.”

The name was definitely fitting, Matty thought.

He supposed since he was dressed up in glitter and blue eye shadow, he should be glad the guy wasn’t running away to alert any local homophobic hicks with baseball bats that the Pages had a flamer living in their house for the winter.

Matty pulled his coat around himself a little tighter when Rob released his hand. “Matty Marcus. Nice to meet you.”

“So, are you from Missoula?” Rob said, his face revealed how much he doubted that.

“What makes you think I’m not from Polebridge?” Matty asked a little coyly, bringing up a town Margaret had mentioned was located almost due north of Whitefish and had less than 30 residents.

He waited for the guy to stammer through an answer that could be summed up as Matty failing the good ol’, pussy-loving, ranch-raised country boy looks test.

“Margaret said she was bringing in a friend’s kid from the city,” Rob said, rubbing his hands together, and keeping his eyes focused out toward the pastures.

“Oh,” Matty said, amazed at how sweetly the guy had side-stepped an awkward moment. He even felt a little guilty for trying to set him up to begin with. “Well, I think by ‘the city’, she actually meant The City, as in New York. She seems to think I’ve lived there, even though I haven’t. I’d like to, though. I will one day.” His nipples ached from the cold, so he pulled the fur completely around his torso.

“I’ve never been, but I’m sure it’s exciting,” Rob said, his eyes moving to where Matty had covered up his exposed skin. “Is that a mink?”

“As a matter of fact, it is,” Matty said, running a hand down its softness.

“My ex-wife’s mother had one of a similar style, but it didn’t look nearly so…” Rob flushed. “I mean…uh, it looks better on you. Well, um, I mean…”

“Thank you,” Matty said, putting him out of his misery.

“You’re welcome.” Rob said, stuffing his hands in the pockets of his coat. “It’s been a strangely cold October. Probably not the best of weather. Have you been able to get out and explore at all?”

“I’m still settling in,” Matty said.

“Right.” There was a silence as Rob swallowed hard and rubbed a hand over his forehead like he had a sudden headache. “Well, I piled the logs over there.” He nodded toward the side of the porch. “I, uh, should let you get back to…” He smiled and used his head to indicate Matty’s state of dress and state of being. “That. Or whatever.”

“Thank you. I’d invite you in, but I’m sort of in the middle of this, so…” Matty paused and Rob flushed again, looked away and cleared his throat.

Matty retreated into the house, closing the door partway as he spoke. “Thanks again for the firewood. It was very thoughtful of you.”

“Anytime,” Rob said, backing away a few steps. “Just give me a call if you need anything. Help with the horses. Or whatever you need help with.” He looked embarrassed for a moment, but then he offered Matty a fantastic smile. His teeth were white and straight and his eyes glowed. Matty noticed that they were green and very kind.

“I might take you up on that,” Matty said, putting one bare foot on top of the other.

The movement seemed to catch Rob’s eye. He looked at Matty’s feet again before clearing his throat again. “Please do. I’m the neighborly sort and I’m happy to help.”

Rob lifted his eyes again and a small wave of attraction washed over Matty. God, he needed to get laid if he was getting turned on by stammering Montana ranchers.

Rob nodded and lifted his hand and let it drop. Then he turned and trudged back through the front yard. Matty watched him walk, noting the sure, easy swing of his step as he crossed the lawn and then mounted the foot of the hill.

When Rob was a dark smudge against the sky, Matty shut the door and leaned against it. He glanced at himself again in the mirror and imagined being Rob Lovely from Montana. What had it been like to find this fabulous creature on the other side of a neighbor’s door? It must have been like stumbling across The Man Who Fell to Montana. He laughed softly at the thought, threw off his coat, and sashayed to the kitchen for a mid-morning cup of piping hot water with bitters to trick his still-hungry stomach.

TNA: Do you have any works-in-progress you’d like to talk a little bit about?

Leta: I have far too many works in progress! I need an intervention!

Let’s see, I currently have two novellas submitted to different presses. I have a trans* novella that I’d like to complete this year. Marie Sexton and I have bandied about an idea for a fun short novel. I definitely have to finish at least the first full-length novel in the Stalker Series. I started it for the LHNB event at Goodreads, but realized when the book topped 40,000 words and wasn’t even halfway complete that there was no way I’d be able to finish it before the deadline, so I had to do a fast short story set in the same universe to fulfill that obligation. I feel guilty that I haven’t been able to get the reader’s requested full-length book out yet, though, so that’s definitely on the top of my to-do list. Not to mention, I love the characters and think it will be a fun book for readers!

In addition, I’m working on a m/m coming of age novel that I hope to release as a serial. I’m not sure how that will play out and I reserve the right to change my mind, of course, LOL, but I’m leaning that direction right now. It would be an eight part serial featuring plenty of sex, hooray, and some angst, and drama.

I’m modeling it a bit after soap operas, though my best friend says that’s an unfair description, since there are no evil twins, no characters that are declared dead and come back to life, and no storylines that depend on major misunderstandings. I suppose it might be more accurate to say I’m inspired by the WIP phenomenon in fandom. I like the idea of writing something that people will follow along because they love the characters and want to see where they end up, but it wouldn’t be a work in progress, because I have no intention to release any part of it until the entire work is finished.

There are more. I’ll stop there. ;)

TNA: Where can readers find you on the internet?

Leta:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Blog

Training Season Buy Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks
Smashwords

The Blurb:

Figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream. Despite his unquestionable talent, Matty’s lack of discipline cost him Olympic gold once before. Now the pressure’s on to do whatever it takes to make the team again. Still recovering from an injury that nearly ended his career, he needs a coach who can keep him in line, but top coaches don’t come cheap. Without the backing of his federation, Matty can’t afford to stay in the game no matter how badly he wants to win.

When a wealthy fan’s whim brings him to rural Montana for a lucrative house-sitting gig over the winter, Matty does his best to maintain an elite-level training regimen. Despite fears that his flamboyant style might not be well-received in these rugged surroundings, the residents turn out to be surprisingly tolerant and welcoming. Even more surprising, Rob Lovely, the handsome young rancher next door, proves to be much more than a cowboy stereotype. Just as Matty requires a firm hand to perform his best on the ice, Rob shows him how strong he can be when he relinquishes control in the bedroom. Taking his new-found courage back into the rink, Matty drives himself harder to find the inner fire he needs to go for gold.

But a powerful new love and the best sex Matty has ever had aren’t going to win him a medal. Competition has a timetable, and to achieve his Olympic dream, he’ll have to join his new coach in New York City, leaving Rob and his life in Montana behind. As he faces the ultimate test of his spirit, has Matty truly learned how to win—on and off the ice—during his training season?

*********

TNA: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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“His Prize Possession: Tales of Pleasure and Dominance” – It’s Prose With A Purpose



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These are five unique stories of gods and monsters, warriors and thieves, commoners and royalty each with a similar thread: they are lusty and erotic in all their unapologetic and provocative glory. They are stories of men who take and of men who are taken, some dubiously, some non-consensually, some in slavery, some in a bargain, and some who are prisoners of war, each who may not have given of his free will but who nevertheless finds his pleasure in the taking.
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Going “All In With the Duke” Is A Pretty Good Bet



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“Cherished” Is A Story Of Taking Control And Letting Go



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What is a control freak supposed to do when a pretty, innocent face starts to topple the walls he has built around his heart?

Scotty Fuller has control over everything in his life. He has control over the books in the library where he works, and he has control over the subs he has scenes with at the local BDSM club. If there is one thing he cannot and will not ever give up, it is his control. He believes this with his whole heart until the day he meets Wesley Reese.
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