Well, this was just a nice little hot surprise breath of fresh air. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I was v...more 4.5 star Review by The Blogger Girls.
Well, this was just a nice little hot surprise breath of fresh air. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
Tad is in a bad situation – he either pays up his debt with a beating by the jocks or takes his chances with the flogger. He reluctantly takes the flogger option. The story quickly moves to Tad meeting Scott (said floggerer). Right off the bat, I loved each of these guys. The attitude, snark and banter were awesome. I really enjoyed the dialog throughout, and it was consistent from beginning to end.
So, Tad is straight up to this point. Scott is clearly not. Scott is a Dom, although he doesn’t really practice it seriously, unlike his roommate who is a professional. Tad shows a lot of uncertainty about a lot of things, but Scott is good about giving him options. Once these two get started, it is non-stop hotness. Tad goes in believing he will just have to endure a basic flogging, but Scott has an entirely different plan and thoroughly enjoys putting it into effect, piece by piece.
This entire story is basically one big scene, but I never felt as though that was the case. At the end, Tad was still just as unsure of what he had done and how he felt during and after, as when he walked in the door. The question is, will he be able to stay away or will be be drawn back to Scott wanting to explore things further?
This was a fabulous first story from Ms. Knight, and, halfway through, I already didn’t want it to end. I wanted to get to know these guys better, see more of their interactions, hear more of their bantering dialog. I loved the writing style as well. It all flowed nicely and moved along at a very comfortable pace. I also loved that this was not a typical BDSM story with the usual master/sir thing going on, yet it had just the right amount of other aspects. What we did get was erotic and smexy and just all-around hotness. I was so happy to see this was part of a series and that there’s more to come with these guys. (less)
This stand-alone story is told in two parts – Dylan as a teenager and Dylan as an adult.
Part 1 – Dylan, Reid, and his brother Shane, were all best friends. Dylan and Shane were the same age and played baseball together, both hoping for scholarships. Eventally, the two confide they are both gay and an amazing relationship happens. This part of the story blew me away. I was literally glued to my reader not wanting to miss a single detail. I absolutely loved Shane, and he and Dylan together were wonderful. Their scenes of discovering each other were very well done. Unfortunately, that is the good news. The bad news is that we know from the get go that Shane is gone, though we didn’t know how or why. When we do find out, it is unbelievably heartbreaking. Shane, being the older brother, takes the brunt of abuse from his and Reid’s dispicable excuse for a father. He is continually abused, both mentally and physically, and that is long before anyone finds out Shane is gay. The only shining light in Shane’s life is Dylan.
In Shane’s attempts to hide from his father, things go horribly wrong, Dylan gets caught up in it as well, and major misunderstandings and hurt feelings shatter Shane and Dylan’s world. Shane is unable to cope any longer feeling like he lost the last and only person he ever loved, in addition to dealing with his father and having no way to escape. Unfortunately for Dylan, he is unable to apologize before it is too late.
Part 2 – Eight years have passed, and Dylan is still a mess. He has been reuinted with Reid, who had his own issues with Shane’s death. Reid is doing better, but Dylan is still unable to let go of the guilt he has over not saying he was sorry or being able to help or prevent Shane’s actions. Afraid of losing again, he refuses to allow himself to become a part of any meaningful relationships. That is, until he meets Conner. Conner is healing as well, from a career-ending injury (non-career related) and the loss of his parents. He is finally seeing the light as he and his sister open a new gym and get their new lives on track.
I liked Conner. He was playful and sexy and just an all-around good guy. He didn’t take crap from or let Dylan push him around too much with his issues. Their intimate scenes together were also well done. These guys were good for each other and ended up being just what the other needed. Dylan, with the help of Reid and seeing an actual therapist, was finally able to see his life differently.
I really think that because the first part of this story was so amazing, that the second part just didn’t shine as much for me. Shane stole the show for me, and much like Dylan, I had a hard time moving on without him. Every time his story was told, however briefly, by others later in the story, brought the emotions right back up. It isn’t often I get teary over a story, but this one goes on my list. One thing I was hoping to find out and don’t remember seeing is whatever happened to Shane and Reid’s father.
One of the biggest issues for me, and it had me worried from the very first page, was that this story is mostly told in present tense. It is my very least favorite style of writing, in that it pulls me off the page and out of the story constantly. Thankfully, I didn’t notice it as much once the story got moving and didn’t notice it again until later in the second part. I hope Ms. Collins decides to try her hand at more m/m stories, because I, for one, would definitley be interested in reading them.
I’m giving Part 1 – 5 stars; and Part 2 – 3 stars, for an average of 4. (less)
I almost never read anthologies, as I tend to prefer longer stories and have trouble with how to review them. However, t...more A review by The Blogger Girls.
I almost never read anthologies, as I tend to prefer longer stories and have trouble with how to review them. However, this particular anthology is has stories that are all set around an existing series – The Society of Masters .
Expected Lies – This shorty gives a glimpse into the teenage years of Kyle and Darrek. This is a quickie but gives you a tiny idea of what is going on with them. They are best friends, but Kyle hides his sexuality from Darrek. Both appear separately in other stories. 3 stars
Divine Surrender – This is about Kyle again, though it takes place a little bit later than Expected Lies. Kyle is on his own, has some major issues that we never really learn the full extent of in this segment, but he meets Ben when he goes searching for a Dom to help him. There is a lot more to these guys, and I was extremely intrigued by both of them. Out of each of these stories, I enjoyed this the most and wanted to run and jump right into their main story in From Temptation, book 2 of the Deliver Us Series. 4.5 stars
Never Happened – This is a quickie between Ben and Gabriel (Ben’s best friend and fellow Dom). Hot stuff here, and, again, there is so much backstory begging to be told with these characters. I enjoyed and was as intrigued by Gabriel as I was with Ben and Kyle. Even more so knowing that Gabriel ends up with Kyle’s high school friend, Darreck. Their story is told in the first segment of the Deliver Us series. 4 stars
Pleasures of Paradise – This takes place after Deliver Us where Gabriel and Darrek have been together for two years. Finding their D/S has taken a back seat to their regular lives, they find a way to reconnect. I loved seeing how these guys worked things out. 4 stars
Escape – This is a little story about Liam and Jacen, who I met in Whatever the Cost. These two traveled a hard road to get to the peaceful place they now find themselves in. Here, we get a little more backstory about Travis (now Jacen) as Liam (then Avery) pushes him to share, and it is quite heartbreaking. 4 stars
Trick and Truth – Quickie about Avery in the earlier stages. Very sweet. 3.5 stars
Between Here and There – More Avery not long after Trick and Truth where he shows some of his harder more difficult times. Also sweet and heartbreaking. 3.5 stars
I really found all of these to be enjoyable and found that, with each one, I wanted to read more. I will definitely be catching up on the books I haven’t gotten to yet, as I really want to see these guys again. I liked how they span over two series that are tied together by one of the main characters. The main club in the Deliver Us series is owned by Trace, who was also a major player in the Company, which plays a major role in Whatever the Cost. I’ve read one in each, and have no doubt the rest will be just as solid. I definitely recommend you give these series a try. (less)
This was a really sweet story. It’s short, so things happen fairly quickly once the guys are together.
Sweet Jared is a produce farmer. He works very hard but lives a somewhat solitary life, having lost his mother when he was a teen and never really knowing his father. The town basically took him in and helped him along until he became successful on his own. He married young, but they were more best friends than anything, and still are. He is a bit scarred from the accident that took his mother, so he is a bit self-conscious about meeting people.
One of Jared’s good friends is his ex-father-in-law, whom he also provides produce for his successful restaurants. When his son, Isaac, is caught having sex with his master chef in the kitchen, he calls in a favor to Jared asking him to take Isaac in. Isaac is basically a spoiled brat. He basically has to go stay with Jared to find and earn his own way or be cut off completely.
When he shows up at Jared’s, he is pretty unlikable. He is rude and really just the spoiled brat extraordinaire. But it turns out there is more to it than that and he is mostly using that to stave off his attraction for Jared. He discovers what he wants to be happy is a quiet life with Jared, and Jared is more than happy to be a part of it.
These two go through a bit of a rough start, but get to know one another a bit before they give in to their feelings. They were really sweet as they figured out their feelings and got on the same page. I really enjoyed this short story. It moves along at a nice pace and reads very smoothly. I definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a nice little bit of sweet. (less)