Nice, short BDSM story, focusing on one scene in a club when sub Adrian and his older, dream-Dom Douglas are reunited 5 years after first meeting. It...moreNice, short BDSM story, focusing on one scene in a club when sub Adrian and his older, dream-Dom Douglas are reunited 5 years after first meeting. It may work as total fantasy, but a couple of things disturbed me: there was no discussion of limits, no mention of a safeword, and for a first-time encounter to be including a whip sounds risky to me (for both partners).
If you're looking for a short, hot BDSM encounter and can overlook the lack of "safe" in "safe, sane, consensual", then you might like this short free story.(less)
The saying "if something seems too good to be true, it probably is" (or similar versions) certainly applies to the four men in this third volume of th...moreThe saying "if something seems too good to be true, it probably is" (or similar versions) certainly applies to the four men in this third volume of the 'Chess' series. Or, getting back to the chess analogy of the series, by being happy and finally meshing into a family unit, they are leaving themselves vulnerable. "En Prise" means "exposed to capture" and while this is true for Jason, who has now dropped his barriers and is joining the three lovers in more than name, it is also valid when looking at them as a group. By exploring and admitting the love they feel for each other, as different as that may be from case to case, they are also "exposing themselves", or becoming vulnerable.
It all begins harmlessly enough. The men are getting ready for Christmas, Jason has truly settled in, has found his place, and there are many hot encounters between individual couples as well as all four of them. Holiday preparations have rarely been this sexy! Jason and Rook are definitely more of a couple, as are Knight and Bishop, but the balance with four works much better than it used to work with three. Each of the couples have their own way of doing things, of communicating, yet all four men together also work well. As it turns out they desperately need that strength.
Knight's accident sorely tests them as individuals and as a group. It was fascinating to see how each of their roles became crystal-clear as the crisis deepened and time progressed. Bishop, predictably, is the one most emotionally affected since he is closest to Knight. He is also the one who needs to be strong, who feels he has to hold them together. Rook completely collapses initially, he just cannot deal with the fear for Knight's health; but he is also the one whose optimism and joy for life they need as they pull out of the worst of it. Interestingly, it is newcomer Jason who keeps a cool head and keeps everything on an even keel. Both Bishop and Rook recognize this and I believe it is true: they could not have survived the situation without Jason. Well, certainly not without even more stress, a couple of meltdowns, and some hurtful yelling at each other.
This third volume is another great installment. The balance between the chess analogies and erotica definitely works for me, and this stage of their story was as explosive as I had hoped. If you like sexy men who challenge and support each other in equal measure, if you love to see them interacting physically wherever and whenever the need strikes them, and if you're interested in seeing the chess analogy continue, you will probably like this book as much as I did.
Losing someone you love is never easy, but losing them on Christmas Eve must be especially difficult. It's supposed to be a time of joy and sharing, b...moreLosing someone you love is never easy, but losing them on Christmas Eve must be especially difficult. It's supposed to be a time of joy and sharing, but for Max, whose lover died in a plane crash on his way home five years ago, it will never be the same. Caught in his grief, Max is unable to go on and has almost stopped living. Even though Ralph at the diner where Max got the news seems interested, Max cannot stop remembering and wanting Stev back.
It takes a firm admonishment from Ralph telling max in no uncertain terms that he needs to let go and move on to rattle Max enough to start seeing the truth of that. But it takes a small miracle and an angelic visitor to help Max do exactly that.
This is a bittersweet story about learning to deal with loss and moving on. I loved how Max finally understood that it is okay to let go, it doesn’t mean he will stop loving Stev. But he is gone, and Max is still alive. While the whole story was beautiful, the final lines with their message of hope were my favorite.
If you like bittersweet stories with a hopeful ending, if you enjoy reading about men dealing with grief, and if you believe in the healing power of love, the symbolism of a few feet of nylon rope not withstanding, then you will probably like this free short story. (less)
Christmas has been called a time of miracles, and many movies and books exist to "document" some people's belief in its power. But sometimes it isn’t...moreChristmas has been called a time of miracles, and many movies and books exist to "document" some people's belief in its power. But sometimes it isn’t Christmas that causes the miracle. It can be the small things in life that make a difference, just like a tiny pebble thrown into a lake can cause ripples all over its surface. This story is a perfect illustration of a seemingly insignificant event, the incorrect delivery of a package, causing a positive change in two men's lives. Yes, it happens in wintertime, just before Christmas, but I loved the fact it is Hanukkah and its customs that make a difference in this book.
Dan has just moved to a new town, discovers he is most likely the only Jewish and probably the only gay man in the neighborhood, and even though he loves his job, he has little hope for an interesting personal and social life. He does think there is a ray of hope when he notices one of the neighbors has a rainbow flag in his window, and when said neighbor comes over to hand him a misdirected package, Dan invites him to enjoy its content: a menorah and some Hanukkah specialties sent by his grandmother. Sharing the customs of his family with Chris is a wonderful way for them to get to know each other, and I loved reading about the small details and bigger discoveries they make over the eight days of the festival.
Chris doesn't think he is anything special, but he is curious about the cute guy in the condo across the road. The package is only an excuse to get to know him, but Chris can’t stay away from the beautiful and fascinating man. He can cook and Dan can't, so this becomes a way for Chris to learn new recipes, and for Dan to have some of the things (like latke and kugel) he normally wouldn’t have had because his parents live too far away for a quick visit. Chris is only too happy to provide since, for him, any excuse to be near the man he is already falling for is a good one.
Dan and Chris quickly made their way into my heart, and I loved discovering what each new day brought them in personal discoveries. With equal emphasis on the developing relationship and all the food they tried, this is definitely my kind of book! Dan's family is adorable and I was so happy Chris found such a nice group of people who accepted him for who he is, in total contrast to his own nasty parents and relatives. It just goes to show, yet again, that the family you chose, or who choses you, can sometimes give you a more positive environment than the one you were born into.
If you like stories about two lonely men discovering how well they fit together, if you enjoy sweet romances, and if you're looking for a read with lots of interesting little facts about Hanukkah as well as considerable, very loving heat generated by two guys falling in love, then you will probably like this novella. (less)
This is an amazing story of boys, then men, who love each other deeply, yet life always seems to interfere and stop them from achieving their dream of...moreThis is an amazing story of boys, then men, who love each other deeply, yet life always seems to interfere and stop them from achieving their dream of being safe and together. The promise Marco makes to save Scott one day, and move them to Alaska, becomes a symbol of what they want in life.
Marco seems to be the more stable of the two, but taking care of his grandmother and two younger sisters leaves absolutely no time for himself. He is super responsible, though, and does everything he can to make their lives bearable, to give them a future. There is simply nothing left for him. The only things he really treasures are his memories of Scott, the watch Scott gave him as a Christmas gift when they were twelve, and a notebook filled with Scott's drawings he got when they were seventeen.
Scott drifts through foster home after foster home and the total lack of stability almost destroys him. We don't find out any details of what happens to him during the long years when he doesn't manage to see Marco for Christmas but based on what he looks like and what he says it isn't pretty. His only stable point in life is Marco and, in the end, that is what saves them both.
This is a hauntingly beautiful love story that made me cry after the first few pages - and the tears didn't let up until the last few. I felt Marco and Scott's pain, and have no idea how they survived their lives. But the message of love and hope comes through loud and clear at the end, and it made me smile. If you're looking for a read that will pull you in as it turns from heartbreaking to heartwarming, then you will like this short story as much as I did.
NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review. (less)
This story definitely goes into my "super cute" stack. Mainly because Mark is so adorable about his long-term crush on Jack, but also because he gets...moreThis story definitely goes into my "super cute" stack. Mainly because Mark is so adorable about his long-term crush on Jack, but also because he gets himself into so much potential trouble when he finally acts on it. And Jack is just wonderful I return, making this an all-round feel-good story with enough humor on top of all the emotions to make me smile.
Mark is a nice guy, which is why he ends up being the mall Santa when his brother-in-law gets sick. Mark may not like the idea of being dressed up as Santa, but he throws himself into the role with enthusiasm once he is there. No wonder all the little kids adore him! But when the "big kid", AKA Uncle Jack and no other than Mark's high school crush, turns up and tells him his Christmas fantasy, Mark is lost. His impulsive reaction leads to a fun afternoon, some unforeseen consequences, and several fulfilled fantasies for everyone.
If you like sweet stories with a touch of humor, if you enjoy reading about men who are reunited only to find out they are way more compatible now than ever before, and if you're looking for a short, fun read that will put a smile – or two – on your face then give this one a go. I think you'll like it!
This is quite a powerful little story, one that almost says more about the characters by the absence of words than by detailed descriptions. Since bot...moreThis is quite a powerful little story, one that almost says more about the characters by the absence of words than by detailed descriptions. Since both main characters are "men of few words", this is a great fit and enhanced the atmosphere significantly for me.
Ian, while telling the story, doesn't really give a lot away about himself, where he is from, or what he is up to now. Taciturn is a good way to describe him, except he doesn't only not say much, he also doesn't think much. There are only hints about his past and what happened to make him act this way, but it's clear he hasn't had an easy or fun life. I admired him all the more for participating in the "toy run", distributing toys to children in need of a little extra Christmas spirit.
Once Ian meets Ed at a bar it is clear the men are attracted to each other. However, Ian expects so little that he is almost on the run before anything can happen between them. The solution is conveyed with as few words as the rest of the story, and the effect is rather stunning.
If you like stories out of the ordinary, if you enjoy reading about stoic men who don't say much at all, and if you're looking for a read that will make you feel rather than think, you will probably enjoy this short story.
NOTE: This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review. (less)
Rules are meant to be broken – while not everyone may agree, it neatly sums up this story. And what an amazingly hot and wonderful reason to break all...moreRules are meant to be broken – while not everyone may agree, it neatly sums up this story. And what an amazingly hot and wonderful reason to break all of Justin's rules Elliot is. Okay, he is an incubus a natural sex god, so to speak, so he has somewhat of an unfair advantage. But Justin puts up more than a fair fight, to the point where Elliot is getting desperate. I read this, mentally trying to shove both of them at each other so they'd finally see the light!
Justin is not interested in immortals, and not willing to risk his life or soul or whatever else he thinks they extract as a payment. He's made it an ironclad rule in his business, and he is very, very determined to stick to what he knows will keep him safe. There is only one problem: Elliot, his business partner in the club he runs, somehow managed to get under his skin. Deep, deep, under his skin, to the point where Justin is having trouble working, and sleep is fast becoming a thing of the past as well. The idea of getting him out of Justin's system with a night of "immortal sex" was doomed from the moment Justin came up with it, of course, but Justin isn’t willing to admit that to himself or Elliot for a good long while.
Elliot is just as desperate as Justin . He isn’t trying to deny his attraction though, he is trying to figure out how to make Justin admit they are meant for each other. The idea of Justin with some other immortal makes him see red, so he intervenes. Even when it does not go well Elliot does not give up, and I loved how determined he remained eve in the face of Justin's resistance. He never crosses the line into forcing Justin to do anything he truly doesn’t want, but he does use all of his considerable "sexy arsenal" to make his point.
If you like stories where one partner tries to deny his attraction, even love, for the other, if you enjoy reading about the lengths the other partner will go to in order to convince the hesitant one of the benefits of giving in, and if you're looking for a fun, hot read that illustrates how it's sometimes better to forget your principles, then you will probably like this short story.
This is a hard story to review, and not because I didn't like it. On the contrary, I loved it a lot – it has a great mix of melancholy, bittersweet re...moreThis is a hard story to review, and not because I didn't like it. On the contrary, I loved it a lot – it has a great mix of melancholy, bittersweet realizations, and, luckily, a minor miracle at the end. I might have had to restock on tissues otherwise! It is written without a single word of dialogue, yet held my attention. The style is closer to a poem than to prose, and I liked the rhythm of its flow. Many similar stories exist, yet this one is unique because of the way Fabian Black chose to tell it.
Jinx is the main character in the story of how he met, then befriended Jim, never realizing how much the man means to him. Through a series of memories of how and when they interact, I got to know Jinx and shook my head at his blindness where his relationship to Jim was concerned. He made so many mistakes, overlooked the most important clues, all of which resulted in incorrect decision after incorrect decision. I truly feared it was too late by the time a tiny sliver of hope appeared on the horizon!
At barely twenty pages, I was still left with the feeling of having lived almost a lifetime. Jinx became real to me, as did Jim, and I recognized parts of people I know in both of them. If you're looking for an action-packed thriller with lots of activity, this isn't it. Neither is it a straightforward romance. But, if you like stories with a different style, if you enjoy a touch of the melodramatic, and if you're looking for a bittersweet read that will almost certainly make you sniffle, if not cry, before making you sigh in relief, then you will probably love this short story.(less)
In this fourth book of the 'SWAT' series, not only do we finally find out what mysterious activities Oliver gets up to when he sneaks away from the te...moreIn this fourth book of the 'SWAT' series, not only do we finally find out what mysterious activities Oliver gets up to when he sneaks away from the team on some evenings, we also get to see how and why he is a slightly different wolf from the others. This, of course, creates yet another mating situation, but it's also somewhat different from the previous ones. What isn’t different is the amount of intrigue and secrecy that the team has to deal with as they try to solve the case of finding the murder of Josh's brother – just so they can officially free Oliver of the accusations.
As the blurb says, "murder and intrigue are no way to start a relationship" – yet that is exactly what Oliver faces. Partly, he is to blame, because he hides his activities from his pack mates. But being caught on video surveillance in a place he wasn't supposed to be, supposedly murdering someone he never met is strange enough to ask for help. And to top it all off, the man who accuses him of being the murderer of his brother turns out to be Oliver's mate. Problem is, Oliver kissed him before he suspected he even had a mate, and now he is tied to someone who hates him. What a mess!
Josh is a great guy who tries to do everything right, but he has a few problems. One, his brother was a great guide when they grew up, but now Josh needs to learn how to live the life he wants. Two, the property taxes on the house they inherited are so high he needs three jobs, and cannot find time to play the violin, which is what he really wants to do. Three, the police haven’t made any progress catching the guy who killed Josh's brother, so he's going to do it himself. Only he ends up incapacitating himself, becomes the mate of a werewolf (whose existence he never even suspected), and is no closer to ensuring justice is done than on the day of his brother's funeral. It's all a bit much.
For two men who are thrown together entirely against their will, these two do pretty well. Yes, they argue and dealing with a murder investigation isn’t easy, never mind that Josh doesn’t want to get into some of the stuff Oliver craves in the bedroom, but on the whole, they are very civilized about it. The tension is there, but the way Oliver deals with it is simply wonderful. It makes a huge difference when passion flares!
If you’re ready for a variation on the "mating trial theme", if you enjoy reading about a strong man dealing with rejection from his mate without going all alpha on him, and if you're looking for a suspense-filled story with two very passionate partners at opposite ends of the spectrum who learn to work together, then you will probably enjoy this novella.
This second book in the 'Master's Boys' series was, in many ways, more disturbing for me to read than the first because the level of exploitation that...moreThis second book in the 'Master's Boys' series was, in many ways, more disturbing for me to read than the first because the level of exploitation that goes on is even worse. DOMZ.com is a business built on streaming live submissive training sessions over the internet. Seeing them as the "saviors" for homeless boys who have nowhere else to go and who become emotionally dependent on their "benevolent" masters, is highly questionable in my mind. Yes, the young men are now off the streets, and in Jett's case, safe from physical threats, but is becoming paid sex workers really all they are supposed to want in life? Especially the ones like Jett who have great grades and could go on to college? I'll have to see where the series takes this, but I honestly struggle with the idea.
Jett is a black kid who grew up in an LA housing project and sells drugs to survive. He is barely eighteen, and has to hide that he is gay so he can survive his gang's rigid "moral" standards. The emotional walls he has built around himself are significant. When LAPD finally arrests him, he gets off under Proposition 36 that allows first-time offenders to be rehabilitated outside of prison. Cassidy, the boyfriend of DOMZ's owner, offers him a place and a mentor at DOMZ, but never explains what Jett is expected to do. That just isn’t right. Then Jett is assigned Master P to train him, but all his experiences with white men have been negative. Nobody at DOMZ seems to even have considered that. Master Terrance, a black Dom, steps forward, but the things Jett is put through are brutal on an emotional level, so be warned. They help him see things differently, since the emotional walls are now gone, but it is tough going. It's one way to approach the situation, and probably the fastest, but I can't help but regret Master T didn't try it another way first.
Master Terrance is effective at getting through to Jett, and he does seem to be a little more decent than Master P in the end, but his methods re pretty rough. Confronting Jett with his greatest fears without having built even a little trust is just mean, and to expect Jett to just obey is wrong. Master T, at least, understands that Jett will need his full dedication to recover from what he's put the boy through, and I have high hopes they will work it out.
Even though this is Jett's story, mainly, I got to see a little more of Trick and Master P as well. Trick is only now beginning to understand his situation and I was heartbroken by his despair. I thought it was cruel of Master P to keep "working" with other boys, and the true cost for Trick becomes visible here. The poor man has fallen in love, but Master P doesn't want to see it. He does notice "something is wrong" when Trick throws up after Master P tells him he's taking on another sub, but Trick is too good at hiding his true feelings for fear of being kicked out, and Master P is too eager on "working" like always so he doesn't really want to see the problem. I'm afraid I'll have to wait until the next book to see if Master P is finally going to pull his head out of his behind.
So, like with book one, if you’re looking for a romance, you will be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you want a look at the grittier side of life, if you think you'd enjoy a romanticized version of what it's like to be a sex worker, and if you’re looking for a hot read where a strong Master helps a desperate boy to discover that he is a sub, then proceeds to break down his emotional walls, then you will probably enjoy this novella.