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Novel: 103,000+ words / 303 pages
Genre(s): Gay, Erotica, BDSM

Please see the complete list of tags below.

Grif believes he’ll live his life as a virgin. After all, who would want him? How could anyone find him, a guy who came with less than man-sized equipment, worthy of their love?

What he hadn’t counted on were the two amazing men who would change his life. After entering college, he meets Tate, his fun-loving roommate. While years later, with Tate now just a memory, Wes, a handsome, rugged ex-marine who runs his own security firm enters his life.

Both men lead Grif through a twisted mesh of pleasure, pain, and denial, as they force him to see his value, despite his size and insecurities.


303 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 1, 2014

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About the author

Joseph Lance Tonlet

7 books375 followers
Joseph is a born and raised Southern Californian with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.

A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.

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5 stars
279 (38%)
4 stars
228 (31%)
3 stars
128 (17%)
2 stars
56 (7%)
1 star
26 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 196 reviews
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,843 reviews5,555 followers
November 5, 2017
"Of course there's punishment for your lack of a real, man-sized dick, but, thankfully, there'll always be that to penalize you for."

**If humiliation kink, namely small dick humiliation, isn't your thing, then you might want to back away from this one.**

"They are my fucking orgasms to give out. Mine, and mine alone. I decide when your little dick can squirt."

If the whole book was like those above lines, I'd be in heaven. I have a HUGE kink for humiliation, and the type of talk in this book was right up my alley. I WISH this book was as good as its potential because BDSM books in the realm that I enjoy are hard to come by.

Grif is a complicated character. He is embarrassed and has severe sexual phobias relating to his, um, shortcomings in the pants department. From what he has let on, I'm guessing he is in the inch range. He is so afraid about the reaction to his size that he stays a virgin (in most ways) until he meets his partner, Wes. However, though Grif is ashamed about his size, he also gets deeply turned on by degradation.

Humiliation kink is an interesting thing, and one that I sort of innately understand. People who would never tolerate anyone talking down to them can also get extremely into being called a "slut" or "whore" during sex. I get it, and I get Grif's kinks. I like Grif's kinks.

Wes is a perfect partner for Grif. He is huge, buff, kind, generous, and his kinks align with Grif's. At times, the dialogue between the two guys got too sappy and out of the realm of reality, but for the most part I really dug them together.

What I really didn't like was the structure of the story. The whole story is told non-sequentially with huge time jumps. We start with an established couple (which I NEVER like), and then jump back and forth to Grif's college years (and further back chronologically, at times). Grif's college years were complicated. He had a crazy relationship with "straight" friend Tate, who I'd classify as at least pan-sexual, or bisexual and heteroromantic, if I'd go by what Tate insisted. Lots of blow jobs ensue. It was weird to focus so much time on Tate because he became almost a competing love interest for me.

There were also quite a few errors, which really bugged me. When Grif meets Wes, Grif introduces himself as Marcus (his real first name), but Wes calls him "Grif" while hooking up when he couldn't possibly have known his real name at that point. Other details like stubbing out a cigarette and then smoking that same cigarette a few pages later and things of that nature just bugged me. This book could have used a better editor.

Also, this book was pretty angsty, which I wasn't expecting. There is a lot of focus on Grif's sexual issues and far less focus on pure kinky sex, which I would have preferred. I think I wanted MORE kink and less discussion at times.

I mean, when you read some of the quotes and realize the potential of this story, it just kills me how dirty and delicious this book could have been.

"And tell me, Grif, why do I get enjoyment, and you don't, huh?"

"Because you've got a big cock that deserves feeling good, and I have a Junior dick that deserves abuse. And because you enjoy hurting me- it makes your cock hard, and it's always about your cock, not my toy."

"Right you are, fag. So let's make my dick feel good, and yours hurt, shall we?"

Profile Image for Optimist ♰King's Wench♰.
1,764 reviews3,835 followers
November 13, 2014
3.5 Fluffy Stars

Let me tell you my story. Humiliation is kind of hit or miss for me, but it usually accompanies PAIN! *meow* To say I pounced would be kind of an understatement. More like kitteh jazz hands.


Hand to God, I thought the whole SPH would mean one of them was average as opposed to the ubiquitous monster cock. NOT SO, my friends. Not so. Grif is in junior high when he realizes that he's not like the other dudes in the communal shower. He starts researching and the word 'micropenis' came up. Well, I was ill-prepared for that. That highway to hell only leads one way-GG Allin. Yeah, I freaked the fuck out. (Not due to GG's micropenis but due to his… let's just call them antics.) Grif doesn't have a micropenis. He's somewhere south of average and north of micropenis, but GG had snuck in and spooked me causing me read this thing like a soldier in enemy territory-creeping around corners, checking my six, eyes akimbo. HIGH FUCKING ALERT, PEOPLE!


Stressed Cupcake was stressed. A word to the wise if you aren't familiar with GG. DO NOT GOOGLE HIM!!! YOU CAN NEVER UNSEE THAT SHIT! Fuck me. I can't believe I just said 'shit'. Great. Now… I'm having a flashback.

Then this thing to a loopdy-loop into Candyland. Cut to present day and Grif's in a D/s relationship with Wes that's… downright fluffy. Super fluffy. It took me quite a while to downshift into the Skittles rainbows and gumdrop steps what with GG's specter lurking, but eventually, the fluff prevailed. Note to self: a near continuous shower of honeyed confectionary nectar sends GG to the hills. Who knew?


I like romance. I do, but I don't like being told repeatedly how hot the two MCs are for each other and how IN LUB they are every time they're within a five mile radius of one another. To be fair, Mr. Tonlet does a good job of showing how hot these two are for each other, which made the addition of the 27 "I love you"s feel like overkill, and brings me to my next issue.

Grif's Toy is begging for an edit. A good editor could've excised much of the trivial and mundane and tightened this story up. There's too much interior decorating, snarky banter that verges on stilted and tangentiality that doesn't advance the story in any meaningful way. I think much of this was done in an effort to make Grif's character more three-dimensional, which brings me to my next issue.

In some ways I feel like I understand Grif, but mostly he puzzles the bejesus out of me. I get that he's self-conscious about being smaller than average, but the level of self-loathing seems like a disproportionate response given how he's never been treated unkindly because of it. He acts like a trauma victim with no history of trauma and, frankly, I couldn't make heads or tails of it. He apparently looks like an underwear model (as does everyone else in this world), can swallow 9" and LOVES DA COCK and to top all that off he's got an ass that brings all the boys to the yard. Even the straight boys! Plus, PLUS he's kinky and likes to be humiliated!


Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude! Have you never seen gay porn? Kinky gay porn? What do you do on the interwebs? And, more importantly, who are your friends? Because you need to quit them. They have failed you. You're a gay dom's wet dream AND A BUTT SEX VIRGIN!!! Are you kidding me?

As for the kink, if you're going into this thinking (as I did) that it would be loaded with kinky goodness, let me save you. The kink is sparse. It's much more a coming of age story about Grif told non-linearly. Wes and Grif only have a handful of chapters together and even fewer of those involve kink. There was a nice CBT scene, oodles of begging, some biting, dirty talk and heaping dose of humiliation. It was the begging that pushed this to 3.5 hearts. I like begging. Sue me.

Grif's Toy is entertaining and there are promising glimpses in the dialogue. When it was good, it felt organic, insightful and erudite. I would read the next book in this series. There are still unanswered questions about Wes and his tattoo and those two years. A solid achievement from a first time author. Congrats to him. Welcome to the neighborhood, Mr. Tonlet. I'd like to respectfully request more butt sex and maybe some MANTIES in the next book. Grif's already got an underwear fetish going. I am just saying. Help a girl out.

Profile Image for Vivian.
2,839 reviews389 followers
November 18, 2014
DNF @ 51%

So, I decided to throw in the towel on this for a couple reasons. First and primary, the timeline jumping was driving me nuts. Freakin' bonkers. It started with leapfrog and I was not thrilled. Then we had parallel jumping, I was gritting my teeth and holding on. Finally, we had a hopscotch jump backwards and I said, "No."

And I was wicked curious about how Tate worked out Grif's issues and his growth with Wes, but it's still not enough to make me want to endure this. I shouldn't have to endure any book that isn't assigned reading. *tosses it*

The second reason I nixed this is that the type of humiliation play going on here is really, really not my kink. Combined with the fact that all the sexual interactions up to where I stopped were heavy denigration. The CBT was not the issue, at all. And while the author told me multiple times that Grif and Wes enjoyed it and had loving interactions in addition to this--we never saw it. And with the cruelty of this play I seriously needed to see some cherishing. You can't tell me it's a romance and not show me the romance. If you want to write this as humiliation gay porn then market it that way, but don't tell me something is loving--Show me.

I needed the counterbalance to this:
The realization that I was permanently and forever different, and the resulting shock of understanding that no amount of dedication or work or study could rectify it, left me questioning nearly everything in my life; my future worth as a lover, my strength as a male, hell, I even began to question my intelligence.

But up until this point the book didn't give it to me and I'm not willing to hold out for it.
Profile Image for Moony Eliver.
297 reviews159 followers
January 18, 2019
3.5 stars. I had a fascinating journey with this not-my-kink book. Some elements were nailed beautifully, and then some others didn't quiiite measure up [i know, sorry]. But on the whole it's a solid recommend, and I will be moving onto the next book right away.

I've never read humiliation kink like this before. In my priors, I've seen generic efforts to degrade and embarrass, but this was humiliation based on the MC's utmost shame, his small penis, and it cut deep [cringe]. The writing did an excellent job of portraying how difficult this shortcoming [I'm trying not to, I sweartogod] had been for Grif in his life — I felt his shame like whoa, and my heart totally went out to him. Even knowing that this isn't a serious problem next to, say, a health issue or abuse, etc., it was still clear how it threw a painful wrench in his life, especially during his adolescence.

I spent a lot of the book trying my damnedest to get my head around why someone would find it hot to be degraded based on the thing they were most ashamed of. And I'm still not sure the book made me really get that (at least not yet — leaving open the possibility of it coming [seriously, you try writing this] in book 2). But it made my brain race to try to figure it out, and I do always appreciate that in my stories.

Several things kept it from greatness for me, and the most significant was the dialogue. Too many "perfect for each other" declarations and exclamation points. Over-politeness and effusion. The constant name repetition and telling of things sometimes made it feel stilted and unrealistic. The narrated parts flowed much more smoothly.

The character development was only okay. While I really felt Grif's angst about his particular limitation, and I got a variety of other details about his preferences and background, I didn't end up with a fully formed [seriously, that's the last one I promise] picture of him in my mind. Same goes double for Tate and Wes.

My friend Jan who recommended this warned me that the first book wasn't as strong as the second. Even if I didn't know this, I would definitely want to continue because I'm intrigued. Looking forward to the rest of the story...
Profile Image for Ariana  (mostly offline).
1,340 reviews36 followers
April 25, 2019
Reread in April 2019

I have no idea how I ended up rereading this. Wes and Grif just popped into my head and that was it. And it was truly awesome - again. This worked even better for me than the first time, but the millions of ILYs still frazzle me. Fabulous and really fascinating book.

*4,5 stars*

I can safely say I’ve never read anything like it. BDSM yes, power play, yes, but nothing with this theme and that particular kink. The way Joseph Lance Tonlet dealt with it was not only fascinating and utterly captivating, but deeply touching. and oh, so hot!

What struck me most was how damaged Grif is, how profoundly his size issue affects him and how deeply his fears reach. I ached for him, because there is so much hopelessness and defeatism in his attitude towards what he can and can’t have when it comes to sex (not even mentioning love!). His insecurity about his ‘worth’ as a sexual partner reaches almost epic proportions.

And then Tate comes along. The straight guy (or so he claims) who gives Grif a chance to explore his sexuality for the first time, even if it is on a very limited scale. Tate offers Grif safety and security and lets him be who he is without ‘forcing’ Grif to show himself. To some extent I get their ‘relationship’ and I can see how Grif benefits from it, but on the other hand I think Tate is making it very easy for himself. He knows Grif adores him, and yet never acknowledges it the same way,


When Grif , a virgin who has never been kissed, meets Wes at 29 his world turns upside down. Because Wes is just incredible. Kind, considerate, gorgeous, understanding, hot and somehow quite insistent. He is smitten by Grif after their first meeting and just will not let go. The connection between Grif and Wes is sizzling, hot and so tender and sweet, so honest and aching, I might just have to sit here and swoon ….

Wes understands Grif on such a deep level, he seems to know Grif better than the man knows himself. He slowly coaxes him out of his self-imposed shell with so much sensitivity and love, it was a most wonderful thing to watch. As the story is told in 4 interwoven timelines, it was fascinating to alternate between Grif then and now, to see how much he's changed and progressed.

However, one of the things I loved most was how honest and open these two guys are from the beginning, and how they discuss what they like and don’t like, and the way how they figure each other out and make their rules. I honestly think that choosing the word ‘chocolate’ for their non-vanilla activities is genius. So fitting in every way (dark, seductive, addictive, deliciously sinful and not to be taken in huge quantities, …)

Only thing that really grated my nerves – I’m not sure why they had to constantly, virtually on every second page, assure each other of their love. I got dizzy from all the ‘I love you’s!

Apart from that I absolutely adored Wes and Grif, loved their story and their kink (and please, if that isn’t clear they are scorching, sizzling, volcano hot!). I can’t wait to start book 2!

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Chelsea.
862 reviews7 followers
February 8, 2017
Re-read - August 2016 - This is definitely one of my all time favourites, so much so it needs a proper review, so I've spruced up my original!


This was such interesting story, very different to anything I have ever read. I love a good humiliation kink read and this is by far the most degrading book I've read. It must have been difficult to write, to be able to find that balance between real shame and real cruelty and pure love and acceptance within the same relationship.... Just amazing!

The structure of this book was very clever as well. We jump around between 5 different time periods in Grif's life (don't worry it was clearly marked and didn't get confusing), from him being 13yrs old to the present day where he is 29. We get each time period in a random order, but everything is linked to tell the story in a very intriguing way. I love how you were constantly thinking, 'oh I wonder how that came about' or 'I can't wait till I read about that first time', and then got to go back I time and experience those moments.

Some people didn't understand Grif's friendship with Tate, they've stated they thought it was very much Tate taking what he wanted. But I think the friendship was just perfect, exactly what Grif's needed to help grow his confidence and become the man he eventually is for Wes.

Wes and Grif's relationship is pure bliss. Wes is possibly the most caring, dominating, gentle, cruel man ever and I loved him to the core! The sex between these two is seriously seriously off the charts hot! It might make some people a little uncomfortable, due to the emotional humiliation Grif's endures (enthusiastically) but God it is HOT!

I love everything about this book and cannot wait until Wes' Denial comes out in a few days, I've been waiting for this since Nov 2014!!!
Profile Image for Bey Deckard.
Author 25 books624 followers
January 12, 2016
This is definitely not my normal sort of read.

How the hell do I rate this? I have no real experience with romances, and this is definitely romantic.

Yet, here I sit here with a grin on my face, heart hammering, feeling a little dazed and in need of a very stiff drink.

I’m going to rate this according to my gut (and, I suppose, other parts of my anatomy) and go with five stars.

On one hand, it’s incredibly hot, full of some of my very favourite things. The fact that Wes and Grif are such an ideal match makes their D/s relationship intensely satisfying (and envying) to read about.

On the other hand? Well, it’s one hell of a great fantasy—the kind that is crafted from a deep well of desires, each detail lovingly chosen before it’s polished like a prized possession and placed in just the right sequence to make for a really gratifying story. I found it all terribly attractive, both in plot and execution. A lot of care went into it, and a lot of soul.

As much as the relationship between Grif and Tate was bittersweet… well, what Wes and Grif forge between them is like finding home. And, before I get too sentimental, let me wrap this up:

The truth is, I had a hard time putting Grif’s Toy down, and that felt damn great.

I am eagerly looking forward to the next one.
Profile Image for Tina.
1,642 reviews1 follower
August 26, 2016

Re-read in August 2016 and I even loved it more than the first time!

So again... 5 shiny stars and all my loving for three wonderful guys. Wes, Grif, and Junior!

Gaaaah... can't wait to get my hands on Wes' story!

<3 <3 <3


Wow… this one was one amazing roller coaster of emotions… and I’m so grateful I bought the ticket for this ride. It took me to a brilliant book, definitely one of my top favorite reads 2014.

I’ve read lots of BDSM books… I love this genre and its unlimited possibilities… but this one was different, in a good way… in a very good way. After reading the premise I wasn’t so sure about that, though. Grif’s humiliation kink is one I usually don’t like. Not at all.

But what does Joseph Lance Tonlet do? He delivers a debut novel that turns everything what I thought I don't like about this genre upside down. In this story you won’t find a dungeon with whips and chains, or spankings, sore butts and BDSM toys, the only tools Wes uses are his voice and his bare hands. You’ll neither find the usual, slightly well-worn terms like master, slave, sir or boy. This BDSM story is in a completely different league. OMG… what a book!

In Grif’s Toy we have the honor to accompany Grif from his time in junior high school (I guess he was 13 at that point) to his late twenties. We get to know Tate, Grif’s straight best friend… OMG Tate, how I love that guy who becomes the key element of Grif’s life. Like nobody else he understands Grif’s needs and helps him to come to terms with the issues he has with his body. What happens to Tate later in the book broke my heart, it’s still not whole again.

When the time comes and Grif finally meets Wes that guy turns out to be everything Grif ever wanted in a lover. Wes becomes his lover and his world… the one who is able to channel Grif’s needs and satisfy both of their sexual desires. When those two go into ‘Chocolate’ mode… OMG… and even when they ‘only’ talked these guys grabbed my heart and never let go.
“I do understand, Grif. I do. I mean, think about it, I get scared too. I get scared that you’ll forget me too, who I am. That you’ll love me less because of what I do and want to do to you. I could live without the Chocolate. It’d be very difficult, but I could do it. What I can’t do is live without you. There are times when I think, ‘What if I go too far? What if his love for me turns because of something I’ve done, or something I’ve said, or something I’ve made him feel? What if I suggest something and he unexpectedly finds it repulsive? What if I lose him over that very small part of me that few other people would ever be able to understand—let alone desire.’ Make no mistake, Grif, I’m scared sometimes, too.”

The story is brilliantly laid out, written in a very unique way. Each chapter brings us to a different moment of Grif’s life so we slowly get to see how Grif got to this place in his life. Amazingly done!

For me starting Grif’s story was like opening a puzzle box and taking out the bag of pieces. With the first jump in the timeline I located the corners and was able to put them in place, and bit by bit with each chapter the outer frame of Grif’s life began to take shape. During the book I found more and more matching puzzle pieces to slot together and I couldn't wait to finally get a view of the completed jigsaw puzzle that is Grif’s life.

All in all Grif’s Toy is a wonderful deeply-moving love story and I can’t wait for the follow up to get the chance to plunge into Wes’ life. There’s so much I don’t know about him yet, I want to know more about his dead lover Thomas, about his army days, about coming to terms with his sexual desires and kinks, and about his best friend Zac.
"Fair warning, the real Zac is more of a happy, unpredictable ferret on crack—mixed with the twisted sadist of earlier."

Highly recommended, even if you (like me) usually hate flashbacks. Give it a go! I did and I enjoyed it immensely.

Five shiny, chocolate-covered stars!
Profile Image for JustJen "Miss Conduct".
2,270 reviews151 followers
November 24, 2014

A review by The Blogger Girls.

This unique story completely captivated me almost right from the very start. From the absolutely gorgeous cover to the intriguing blurb, I had a good feeling about it, and I was not disappointed.

This story is unique in a few ways. First and foremost, it is about a young man and his struggles through life with having a smaller than average package.
“How could I admit to anyone that I couldn’t bring myself to be naked in front of another person? And, if that fear meant I’d be a virgin for the rest of my life? Well, it was something I’d been trying for years to fool myself into believing I’d be ok with.”

It starts out in the present day with Grif and his partner Wes. We get to see a little about what their relationship entails and the dynamic between them. Before long though, we are brought back to the beginning, or what events brought Grif to this point.

From his very first thoughts of being gay, realizing how different he was from other guys, and a bad experience when that happened, Grif resigned himself to a life alone. Once in college, he meets and ends up rooming with straight guy, Tate. I immediately fell in love with Tate. They become good friends, quite a turning point in Grif’s life. Tate is amazing. He gives Grif something special, a freedom and general acceptance, asking nothing in return other than what he receives from Grif’s attentions. A win/win situation for them both, as Tate would say. The two have such an amazing camaraderie, and the dialog is fabulous. Tate is a funny guy, and Grif matches him quite nicely.
“Okay, let’s, for a moment, forget about the sex and just talk. Wait! Fuck, not sex. We are not having sex…you’re blowing me.” “…Okay, whatever it is, let’s put is aside for a moment."

Grif learned early on with Tate that he enjoyed being a bit humiliated about his size while he was submitting or being asked to submit. This carries on and plays a big part in his later relationship with Wes. Again, thinking he will never find anyone he can trust enough to share his size secret, he gets by with strongly orchestrated Grindr hookups. This is all well and good, until he meets Wes, who quickly shows he is not the average hookup. Wes is adamant about following Grif’s rules to a T, even if he doesn’t quite understand the reasoning behind them. This is only the beginning of the trust that grows between them.
“When I’m naked, and you’re not…when we’re in Chocolate…I feel there’s no chance for me to hide. I mean, when you’re naked, I can do things to you to distract you, things I know will take your mind and eyes off me, Off of Junior. But, times like these…there’s no place for me to hide, Wes, and it scares me.”

Wes and Grif are perfect for each other. They each give the other what they need, they find a way to work this into their daily lives (Chocolate/Vanilla) and watching them get to the point where Grif trusts Wes enough to move past his jock shield was truly a joy.
“Your super powers are safe. I made sure your magic underwear are in place, Jockboy.”

One of the other unique aspects to this story is something that a lot of people might not like. Heck, I don’t generally like it in my stories either, but it really works here. The story goes back and forth between Grif’s time with Tate (given certain events, I was happy there was more of this throughout) and Grif and Wes’ relationship. This was easy to follow though with the date headlines provided. I found I looked forward to each switch longing for more details and breadcrumbs.

There was not a single character in this story that I didn’t like, from Grif’s dad, to his personal assistant and right down to his stubborn bodyguard, Pavel. The dialog throughout this is just fabulous. It runs the gamut of emotions, from funny to tear wrenching, and everything in between. While many may not understand the general kink here, it is hard to imagine anyone not seeing beyond that to the rest of this amazing well-written story. This is not the usual BDSM with master/sir this and that. It is more about the power exchange, freely given, overcoming fears, and the love and trust that is needed to accomplish that.

This is more than simply the story of Grif and Wes’ romance. It is an amazing tale of Grif’s life journey overcoming a major obstacle and finding happiness, and I’m thrilled I was along for the ride. I’m more than looking forward to continuing it in the next installment. I highly recommend you give this story the opportunity to take hold and allow Grif/Wes (and Tate) into your hearts as well. Job well done by first-time author, Mr. Tonlet.
Profile Image for JAN.
1,107 reviews750 followers
August 12, 2016

***3.5 Stars***

I have been mulling this over for a while and reached nowhere.
Here are my ramblings:
3 Stars? 3.5 Stars? 4 Stars?
It all started so good, exactly what I was looking for *put some shades or look to the other side* dirty and depraved.

Suddenly, the author threw a ball at me and the story went in a completely different direction. I can’t say what it was because it would be a massive spoiler.

I was left very conflicted about Tate’s character.

Every time he said to be straight, I hated him. Every time he made Grif feel good and happy, I loved him.

Grif was so troubled in his private life. At 13, in the locker room with the other kids, he discovered that his dick was not the same size as the others. To overcome his inferior self-esteem, he tirelessly built a killer body. Nevertheless, he couldn't get in a relationship and kept every man at arm’s length.

Marcus Grif

Enter Wes.

Beautiful, confident and extremely attracted to Grif, Wes doesn’t rest until he gets all Grif’s barriers down and a chance with him.
They are a perfect match.

Here is where the humiliation fetish really comes out but I am not going there.

Overall, it was a great read. I couldn't put it down.
I loved the way the book was told in past and present and I am so looking forward to read #2.
Where is it? I've been digging to find out and it doesn't look promising.

One can always hope though...

I'll be back to rate it at some point.

66 reviews
February 7, 2017
645.5 Stars

Wow! Wow. Can a story be centered around feeling deeply insecure about a small penis? HELL YES! I am so happy this book exists.

A. From the beginning I was actually interested in getting to know the characters. When this happens it reminds me of how rare that is. I don't realize how much I don't actually care about most characters until I find ones like these. Tate, Wes, Grif, Junior. Yes, I believe Junior is a character. I sure cared about him and wanted him to have an HEA.

B. Favorite sex elements done to perfection:
Humiliation (Oh. My. God.).
Foreskin. the tugging, biting..... so good.
Sex with others. Portrayal of an MC having sex with a nonMC that is not about jealousy or cheating but getting to know the characters better. Well done!

At first the time jumps were disorienting but I would not change a thing. If you could hear this you would hear me screaming.... "WHEN THE BOOK IS GOOD ENOUGH NONE OF THE NIT PICKY SHIT MATTERS"

I fully considered giving up reading books all together at about 73% because I never wanted it to end.
Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,165 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2016
It begins right away with catching lines. And.... I'm all in.
Life is a bitch I so wanted to read this in one breath... but family duties were calling.....
So about this book....!
Wow wow and wow What an extraordinary story. Drenched in emotions of all kind.
The writing style was gripping and made me so greedy, I couldn't read fast enough.
Every line was a great one.
The characters were......grand.....Grif and Tate.....Wes......
It was a such a solid storyline which surprised me several times. It was worn by love.

At the chocolate point I really was looking only at Grif, how he was holding, how he was feeling. Should I be concerned? But every time...... Wes was taking care of him.
With the flashbacks and forth the picture became whole. Sometimes heartbreaking and all with so much feelings.....so much caring and love
Grif his dad was.... amazing....full with love and understanding, just how it should be for everyone.
Peter.....Matthew.....Lance.....Pavel....the circle of love surrounding Grif...... all characters are in my heart.....
I will not tell the story you can read the blurb. But know that this was an amazing story with fetish, humiliation, pain, light bdsm (all with permission) and LOVE in capital. This love thing.... It made my heart burn and jump out of my chest. So so glad I read this book.
Already pre-ordered Wes' Denial.......

JLT you've got a beautiful mind, thank you so much for sharing <3

#1 https://www.amazon.com/Grifs-Toy-Teas...
#2 https://www.amazon.com/Wes-Denial-Tea...
Profile Image for Chris.
2,066 reviews
March 17, 2018
WOW well that was unexpected and very intense. I just loved what Wes could do for Griff and support him through his angst and crippling vulnerability. Tate began the process and was a brilliant friend, but life sometimes challenges people and throws crappy curveballs !
I was glad to see Griff was eventually able to find his way and be supported and surrounded by people who loved him for being him. I couldn't put this down so it's a clear 5 for me !
July 1, 2015
~ ~ ~

I don't usually flounder this much on a star rating. I have to be perfectly honest and say that this one barely squeaked out 4 stars. I hate half stars, but this should have 3.5 and that is because I know this author can do better. Do more.

I've read his other writing and I know what Mr. Tonlet can achieve, and I am likely to read anything he puts on paper. So that being said, I find myself coming at this review from a comparison perspective, comparing this work to his others. But the 4 stars stand because of the brave nature of this work and its unique premise.

* Edit - I think I'm realizing that if I had read Grif's Toy prior to Brother's LaFon and another sampling of this authors work, I probably would have rated this higher. But knowing what he's capable of is holding me back. Is that fair? I don't know, but I just wanted to make sure that people know this is a worthy read and I have very high hopes for the sequel. I do recommend this book.


Marcus "Grif" Griffin - Grif holds something that is identifiable in all of us. In all of our perfections why do we choose to let one "limitation" bring us down? Especially when it is possible that feature may be a treasure to others.

Weston "Wes" De Luca - Bold, strong and so very aware of himself. I am all about Wes!

Tate Diaz - In so many ways Tate is the true hero of this story.

Secondary Characters - There is a nice dusting of secondary characters Pavel, Lance and Matthew Smithton. I would particularly like to learn more about Lance.


**For clarity readers should know that this story's timeline is non-linear. Pay attention to the chapter titles and dates for reading ease.**

This is not a simple love story, but instead the beginning of one. I know there is much more to come here, but this is an excellent basis for what brings Grif and Wes together.

This non-linear story starts out with the two protagonists, Grif and Wes enjoying an evening of fine dining. Or so we think. They don't actually quite get to their dinner, but instead jump right into dessert. "Chocolate?" And this kinky little scene makes your e-ink blur the screen right off the bat.

Then we jump back to Grif's youth and that's where we begin to get an understanding of everything that makes Grif tick. This, I think, is the best and surprisingly weakest part of the story is. Grif's vulnerability and anxiety is understandable, but I just don't think I felt it enough. Later in the book we see that Grif has succumbed to his concerns to a debilitating degree, but if I had been more touched by it earlier it would have had more impact throughout the story.

What does work is how we all have insecurities and that makes this story very relatable.

Grif goes on to college and meets Tate, his roommate, and their relationship is a very special one indeed. Tate is able to read people and he "gets" Grif like no one else can. A tragic turn here takes this story to completely unexpected territory and quite a new chapter in Grif's life, where he ultimately meets Wes.

What if I lose him over that very small part of me that few other people would ever be able to understand—let alone desire.’

Wes could easily be taken the wrong way. The way he handles Grif is, on the surface, shocking, but it's exactly what Grif wants. And, more importantly, this aggressive handling is what Grif needs, even if Grif is reluctant to acknowledge it. Wes is not cruel, he is brave, bold and generous. But I am left a little off kilter here about Grif's continued unease. He has seemingly given himself over to Wes, yet he is still uncomfortable at times.

From being certain true love will never be, to deeply committed devotion, this story spans a nice arc which begins to explain why Wes and Grif are one match in a million. I should also mention that the kinky, hot, weird and twisted sex is done very well. Mr. Tonlet handles that very well. It may just be his signature.


The story is strong, different and the visuals all work, but this just lacked a bit of emotional connection for me. As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Tonlet's other writing has waylaid me and touched a deep inner core of emotion that few authors have reached, so I suppose my expectations were very high.

I also had a few quibbles with parts of the story that seemed to start but not finish. For instance, Grif's family is fairly integral and fleshed out, but then we had no mention of them further into the story when major plot twists surely would have impacted them too. I, for one, would have liked to have seen Grif's mother's reaction to some of those twists. Maybe in the next book?

Another minor pique is that early on in the book we're told; "No one called me Marcus. No one." Why? Being that "Grif" is part of the title it seems fairly relevant. Or irrelevant if it's not necessary to know.

Also, and this isn't a criticism, I want to know why Wes needs what he gets from Grif. I assume this is expanded on in the next book, Wes' Denial Tease and Denial book 2. I'll certainly look forward to reading it, because I am intrigued by the premise of Wes and Grif's relationship which delves into areas unexplored and that is why this book rated it's 4 stars.

~ ~ ~

I would like to thank the author, Joseph Lance Tonlet for providing me with a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

~ ~ ~

Take a look at my Male/Male Romance Book Blog:
Visit My Blog
Profile Image for Debra.
1,984 reviews230 followers
January 19, 2015
4.5 stars

I will definitely be looking forward to the next chapter of this story. Joseph Lance Tonlet's debut was entertaining, sweet and hella kinky. Completely character driven, I enjoyed everything about the book, even though sometimes everyone seemed a bit too perfect.

Grif is such a contradiction. He is smart, gorgeous, confident and strong, but finding out in the middle school locker room that his package is less than average size (not being humiliated or picked on, but maybe getting a look from another of the guys) guts his self-esteem as far as that one aspect of his life goes. He resolves to never be physically exposed to another man, and has convinced himself he could never fully satisfy another man in that way. In college he meets and rooms with "straight but not narrow" Tate, who helps him explore certain aspects of his sexuality that Grif never knew existed. The two form a bond that will reshape the rest of Grif's life. After years of random one-off hookups, present day 28 year old Grif meets Wes who turns out to be the one-off he can't stop thinking about and possibly the perfect complement to Grif's particular kink.

From Grif's POV, the story bounces back and forth between middle school, college and the present in a non-linear fashion. The wibbly-wobbly timeline didn't hinder the storytelling for me as Grif's mindset was very clear and distinctive at each point in time.

I've read books before where humiliation/degradation were a small, occasional part of a couple's play, but this was the first one where the kink was front and center. Grif and Wes are a perfect fit as far as their kinks lining up and I loved all but one of their scenes together. Frankly, the scene in the piercing parlor had me really uncomfortable.

I enjoyed exploring this particular set of new to me kinks. The story was quite a bit lighter than I expected, but I found I couldn't put it down once I started. The writing flowed nicely, I enjoyed all the secondary characters and the scenes between Wes and Grif were hot. While Grif is a fully fleshed out character by the end of the story, Wes still reamined a mystery and I'm looking forward to continuing his story.

Thanks to Bev for the buddy read and to my Secret Santa for the book!
Profile Image for Anna Goerlitz.
950 reviews41 followers
April 13, 2020
Third re-read.

I still love this book. It's the author's debut and it does show a bit. The dialogue is a bit clunky at ti,es and there are a few continuation errors, but I really don't care, because its just such a great story and such a beautiful romnce!


4.5 stars

Had I seen this book a year or two ago I would have run away screaming, thinking "not even, if you paid me!" And yet, here I sit rating it 4.5 stars.

This is not a book for everyone. There is hard core humiliation kink in here, but it is done within the realms of a very loving relationsship, and even if you don't understand it, it works!

Grif is in junior high when he realises that he is a lot less endowed than the average male, a fact that obviously distresses him greatly and means he consigns himself to a lonely life. After all, he is gay and gay men like big dicks, right? So, nobody is ever going to want him.

The book jumps in time, and we actually start out at the end - so to speak - where Grif is happy with his loving boyfriend. The time jumps are clearly marked, but some of them happen at different times in the same year and can be a bit confusing, but overall they worked well for me. This way the author slowly build Grif up like a puzzle, and we get to know him, piece and piece.

We follow Grif through early puberty, college and adulthood and get to witness the two great love affairs of his life: Tate and Wes.

Tate is his first love, his straight college roommate, who ends up being the one to introduce Grif to his sexuality, besides him being straight. There is no question that the two love each other, even if it is a very different love than the one Grif later shares with Wes.

I enjoyed the story immensely and I cannot wait to know more about Wes in the next book.
Profile Image for Mirjam.
1,709 reviews95 followers
February 10, 2017

What an emotional story. I want to start by saying I loved Grif! Grif's Toy is written in an unusual way where the author has you going back and forth during various stages of Grif's live. It's told from Grif's POV and gives us a pretty good idea of who he is, a young man struggling through life for having a smaller than average package. After a major bad experience in the school shower, Grif resigned himself to a life alone.

The story starts with a pretty intense scene in a restaurant and I instantly felt disgust towards Wes. I was even mad at Grif for letting someone degrade him like that. Since Grif believes that he would remain a virgin due to his “less than man-sized equipment” I felt appalled at Wes's behaviour, taking advantage of Grif like that.

We hop back to Grif's college life where he meets his future roommate, straight guy Tate. Tate is awesome and you can not help but fall for him. He is witty & funny and they instantly become friends, good friends. Meeting Tate is a huge turning point in Grif’s life, Tate gives him so much more that friendship. They have an easy flowing and intimate relationship, and I just loved their banter and dialog. Tate is a fun loving guy and he & Grif are very much attuned.

In present time Grif & Wes are a committed couple having a D/s relation that, IMO, is an abusive one. When they are in their "Chocolate" time, Wes changes. His tone, his demands and his commands, and Wes expects Grif to obey unquestioningly.

While in the beginning, you may be irritated by it but the going back-and-forth in time is imperative to understand who Grif is and what he needs. But Grif knows that his time together with Tate was crucial for him ever being able to be open to any kind of relationship. giving him the courage to be more and more open to Wes. While I could see Grif falling for Wes, something I wanted for Grif, reading on I changed my mind. I became agitated and annoyed with Wes. Honestly I thought him to be a major arsehole with no compassion or concern for the awful things he demands from Grif. He seems to thrives and gets immense pleasure from causing Grif feelings of debasement and humiliation to the point of tears. And I definitely did not care for the scene at the Piercing Studio. Although, it might be me. I just do not understand how easy the Dominants in the BDSM lifestyle have sex with others than their partner, even if they are (or claim to be) in a committed relationship.
But, what I came to understand was the amazing and deep love Grif and Wes have for each other. Whether in chocolate or in vanilla they loved unconditionally, accepting each other and giving each other much, way much more than their loyalty and hearts.

The BDSM relationship these two were in, with the humiliation and debasing, I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this book, but I came to understand that they were each other soulmates who were not afraid to show their feelings and emotions. But the most emotional part for me was Tate. I loved him and really was gutted.
Besides the incredible emotions between the different characters there is plenty, yes plenty, of scoring hot sex.

“Come, Grif. Squirt your load with my fat cock fucking you.”

On to book 2, Wes' Denial

This book is part of a series and needs to be read in order:
Grif's Toy Wes' Denial

The Erogenous Zone, Build A Pyramid TBR Challenge 9/1 - 10/31
Profile Image for BevS.
2,707 reviews2 followers
August 5, 2015

Another story that's been festering away for 3 months in my mountainous TBR pile. An unexpectedly good read, not your usual BDSM story, that's for sure, no 'boys' or 'Masters' in this one, AND the subject matter is unusual in itself - microphallus, and it's effect, both from a physical and psychological viewpoint, upon a sufferer. 4.5 stars from me.

Not going to rehash the story, the blurb gives you a good idea of what to expect, and in view of the kink element (humiliation and degradation...which are definitely not my fave kinks) although there are warnings, I honestly wasn't expecting to like the story anywhere near as much as I did, and to be truthful the kink aspect was not overwhelming by any means. What we mainly have is a man's (Grif's) journey, from boyhood when he discovers that all is not as it should be 'down below' compared to other boys his age, to finding someone (straight boy and regular horn dog Tate) willing to indulge Grif's need to be humiliated, ridiculed and attain sexual release without penetration whilst enjoying the benefits of being regularly 'serviced', to eventually finding that special someone (Wes, who hopefully has his own story to tell)) who understood his preferred kinks and the need for them whilst gently depriving Grif of his virginity at 28 (and never been kissed either) and subtly trying to change the way Grif feels about himself and his 'Stubby' friend.

Grif's Toy is NOT what you think it is either hehe, but I'll leave you to discover what it actually is.

Many thanks to Deb for the buddy read, I'm up for number 2 when it comes out!!
Profile Image for Ashley.
44 reviews
February 7, 2017
I really enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I'm not too big on humiliation and pain but loved how it worked so well for Wes and Grif. I loved the supporting characters a lot as well. It was really awesome to read about Grif's journey of self discovery, learning to feel accepted by Tate and eventually become the man he is for Wes. They fit together so perfectly and it's clearly evident just how much they love each other. Can't wait to read the next book!
Profile Image for Christi Snow.
Author 63 books743 followers
November 8, 2014
My Review:
I bought this book after seeing rave reviews for it on a couple of different blogs. This is the author's debut novel so I've never read him before, but the premise was intriguing and I decided to give it a go.

I'll admit, when I began the book I wasn't sure. It's a HIGHLY sexual book (not that that's a bad thing...no, that works for me), but the way it started I just wasn't sure. Because Grif has a BDSM relationship with a humiliation kink I wasn't sure I was going to be able to really enjoy this one as much. But then the book went on and I absolutely fell in love with the story, Grif, and the men Grif has had in his life. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

This book is written unlike any other book I've ever read before. Each chapter is a different moment in time in Grif's life. They are in there all out of order so as a reader, you slowly get to see how Grif got to this place in his life. It's brilliantly done...seriously, HUGE KUDOS to the author, Joseph Lance Tonlet, because this is one of the most creatively written, beautifully laid out books I think I've ever read. It was just so different in the way that the layers of the story unfolded. But it was never confusing and never was there a time when I wished that I could go back to a different section in time. That's a really difficult thing to achieve when utilizing a flashback-type style.

Like the description says, this book is about Grif and his somewhat inadequate size. Since jr. high this has been an issue for him and as a gay man, it's even more so. But through his relationships with two men, Tate and Wes, he comes to accept himself and his kinky side that plays into all of it.

My heart goes out to Grif, but wow...Tate and Wes. I loved them and yes, shed a few real tears over Tate too. But despite how it may sound, this is not a menage book. Tate and Wes both happen to Grif at different points in his life and they are both so incredible in their unyielding love for him. Neither man sees the issue that Grif sees in himself. They see him as the man that they love and that acceptance does amazing things for Grif.

I cannot tell you just how beautiful the love was in this story. It starts out as one thing that as a reader seems purely sexual, but as the story unfolds you begin to see all the layers of emotion and love and devotion. I cannot express enough how incredibly well the author layers the story. Each chapter is like a little gift to see deeper into how these men enriched Grif's life...in so many different ways.

I adored this book and cannot recommend it highly enough. As a romance reader this is everything I want in a love story. The incredible emotions and yes, there is plenty of hot, hot sexy moments too. Whoa, yeah....it earns every bit of its erotic heat rating. So good. I cannot wait for book #2, Wes's Denial.
Profile Image for Reader S..
334 reviews13 followers
January 13, 2015
There were two major problems for me in this book that made me downright question an MC's motives, but there was also talented, gripping writing, and great insight into kink (humiliation, pain, service). All the kink was strictly consensual.

The first of the problems was The other problem was

I really loved this book until 46%, after that not really, because of what I explained above. My admiration for Wes was ruined. Still, there were really great passages even after that. Mostly I admire the skilled writing overall, and especially the way the kink, and feelings, are conveyed and made real. I admire the way the MCs talk about sex. I believe I have never before read such great sex-talk. My rating of different places in the book ranges from one to five stars. I want to give more weight to what I liked, so four stars it is.
Profile Image for MaDoReader.
1,365 reviews148 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
October 2, 2016
No es para mí. La humillación aún como parte de un juego enmarcado en el BDSM no es lo mío.
Profile Image for Caroline Brand.
1,740 reviews70 followers
October 31, 2014

This book will be going straight onto my favourite shelf and will definitely be getting pulled out sooner rather than later for a re-read.

Joseph is a new author to me and as I have said before I always get a little nervous and I am never sure what to expect. Well, I was absolutely blown away by this story! It has a little bit of everything as we go through the years with Grif and watch him learn to live with his personal struggles and how he thinks society views him.

We meet Grif as a teen and he seems like a happy go lucky sort of guy ready for life’s challenges. He is gay out and proud has a great family and then BAM, he gets into a communal shower at school and everything changes in that one moment when he realises he is different. It is apparent when looking at all the other naked guys in the shower, and that in itself is a treat for Grif, that he falls short in one very important area and that revelation will affect his life in ways he couldn’t possibly imagine.

I’m not always a fan of reading a story when the timeline jumps backwards and forwards but in Grif’s Toy it worked. In order to see where Grif was going we had to see where he had been and in order to see where he had been we had to find out where he was going. The two are very much entwined.

One of the greatest things to happen to Grif when he leaves home for college was meeting Tate on his first day. Immediate and fast friends they will live together for the next 4 years and Tate plays a huge part in shaping Grif into the man he will become. Tate was fun and was very quick to read people and it felt like he knew what Grif wanted and needed before Grif knew himself. They lead a very unconventional lifestyle and it certainly wouldn’t suit everyone. It may even seem that Tate is getting everything and using Grif for his own satisfaction, but I was left feeling as though their relationship was equal and that Grif grew in leaps and bounds and got his first chance at working out exactly who he was.

Just before graduation Grif’s life will change dramatically once again and for a while we see him floundering. Although his physical problems are never far from his mind he sets out to make a life for himself, the biggest honour he can give Tate is to succeed and nurture the hand that life has dealt him.

His personal life is the complete opposite to his professional life and is sorely lacking. He refers to his penis as junior and it seems he will never be comfortable with his body and with that thought in mind he can’t expect anyone else to comfortable either. His hook ups provide little satisfaction for him, he will never allow anyone to touch him and he despairs that he will never find anyone that can offer him what Tate had provided.

When he meets Wes during a business interview the lines between personal and professional blur and he is left with a huge feeling of …. what if.

Wes loves hard and fast, likes to dominate and loves a huge side of humiliation. It seems he would be the perfect partner for Grif, who at this point is still a virgin, but that would require a massive amount of trust from Grif and that is not going to come easily.

The affair and subsequent relationship between Grif and Wes and is HOT and downright dirty. There is such a lot for Wes to unravel but for the first time in years it seems that Grif might just throw caution to the wind and cut himself some slack.
This is quite a hard story to read in some places. Society places expectations on us and for anyone that doesn’t conform to the norm life can be extremely difficult. It gives hope that there are people out there like Wes that are able to look much deeper.

I am very excited that Wes is going to get his own book next year and thank you Joseph for giving us such a dark, delicious and heartfelt story!
Profile Image for Miquel Reina.
Author 1 book369 followers
February 4, 2016
This is the first M/M novel I read. The truth is that I wanted to read a book similar to "50 shades of gray" but gay, and searching I found "Grif's Toy". At the beginning of my reading I liked the idea behind the book, I found very interesting and the masochistic world is well reflected and intriguing, especially in the way the main character is entering more and more into it. However, when I arrived at the middle of the novel I start to lose my interest, the story became dull, too predictable and only broken by the moments of sex and morbidity. In general, I felt a bit disappointed with the story, I think the author had been able to explore this dark world that presents with more depth. I will have to give another opportunity to M/M book because this one hasn't convinced me.

Spanish version:
Éste es el primer libro de temática gay que leo. La verdad es que desde hacía tiempo quería leer un libro a lo "50 sombras de grey" pero gay, y buscando en los recomendados encontré "Grif's Toy". La verdad que al principio me gustó mucho, la idea en la que gira el libro me pareció interesante, además el mundo masoquista que relata está bien plasmado, sobretodo en la manera cómo el personaje principal va entrando más y más en él. Aún así, al ir avanzando sentí como mi interés iba decayendo más y más, la historia se vuelve insulsa, demasiado previsible y parece que solo se rompa por los momentos de sexo y morbo. En general no me ha parecido un gran libro ni tampoco una gran historia, creo que el autor hubiese podido explorar este mundo oscuro que nos presenta de manera mucho más profunda e interesante. Tendré que darle la oportunidad a algún otro libro de temática gay porqué éste no me ha convencido demasiado.
Profile Image for dammit, liz .
231 reviews2 followers
September 8, 2016
This one was unexpected for me. Humiliation and/or bdsm themed books really aren't my cuppa most of the time, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was ridiculously romantic and emotional, but in a lovely way. I didn't expect to like Wes so much, but I adored him by the end of the book.

Wes and Grif's story was, more than anything, about trust. The story is told from Grif's perspective at various points in his life. There are time jumps between his teenage years to college to the beginning of Wes' and Grif's relationship to seeing them as an established couple. It flowed in a way that didn't feel messy or confusing- instead we get a look at how Grif developed his insecurities and discovered his kinks. I especially enjoyed the beginning of their relationship; I'm hoping for more of that in the sequel.

The style of the writing and dialogue did take me a little while to warm up to. The way these guys talk is pretty over the top, bodice ripper style, but once I just decided to roll with it, it was good fun. Some of the tropes, like the accidental millionaire stuff, are pretty crazy, but it's fun fantasy stuff, so why not.

If you're looking for a seriously steamy, super romantic, and very kinky read, this one is definitely worth checking out. There are some big, unanswered questions that have made me very eager to read the sequel. Obviously take note of the themes here, but if that doesn't scare you off, I'd certainly recommend it.

A free copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Donna.
288 reviews22 followers
August 13, 2016
Wow! I really loved this story! Can't wait to read the sequel! The love between Grif and Wes is so good. They were meant for each other. It does look like Wes may go too far in the future though. The signs in their present time were there, I think. All the characters are great in this story, even Junior!
Profile Image for Christi Kirzner.
92 reviews5 followers
November 4, 2014
Truth be told, I was drawn in by the cover and a review from a friend. What I didn't expect was to be glued to the pages in a love-hate battle for the majority of the book. I was lucky enough to meet the author in a FB chat room when I was about 30% into the book and I expressed to him my love of the story and my lack of appreciation for one of the MC's. HIs words were to continue reading and he hoped as I got further into the book, I would start to understand the character and my opinion might change. I seriously doubted his claim. Coupled with that, I saw him refer to Grif's Toy as a "sweet love story" and I wondered if we were actually talking about the same book.

He was absolutely correct on all counts. My opinion of the MC did change dramatically as I continued to read and understand the dynamic of the relationship between Grif and Wes, and more importantly, I also see how he might think this was just " a sweet love story" because it definitely has moments of pure sugar, and the fact that you (the reader) don't really, fully understand that, until the very end is pure magic.

I have yet to read a story in either an M/F or M/M genre that so poignantly addresses the issues that make this story so compelling. The characters, both main and secondary, are people you would genuinely want to meet and there is no true "antagonist" in this story. The antagonist arises from the issues presented in the story, which make it both nebulous and abundantly clear for the reader.

As a woman, I, in no uncertain terms, can understand or identify with the issue which has crippled Grif emotionally and physically., except to empathize on an intellectual level and feel compassion. Grif is "fortunate" that the two men who touch and influence his life seem to both understand his predicament and genuinely care about him and helping him, although their methods might be construed as unconventional and often cruel. This is the portion of the book I grappled with most. Belittling and humiliation on a fundamental level seem wrong under any circumstances, yet you don't close the book feeling Grif was degraded in any way. On the contrary.

The author tells the story in almost a backwards fashion and moves from present to past throughout the story, but it is in this format where the true brilliance of his writing emerges. If I had read the book starting at the end and going backwards, I have no doubt I would have been left with an entirely different opinion o the story.

Joseph is a masterful story teller and has a very fluent and natural writing style. It is always exciting for me to read something from a new writer and I cannot wait to read what he has next. There are so many characters in Grif's Toy that would be fascinating people to read about and you just know from the tantalizing tidbits you get in Grif's Toy, that there is much more happening behind their closed doors.

I have purposefully left out a summary of the story in my review, because that can be obtained from the authors synopsis, and I prefer to read a book knowing that it was enjoyed but not necessarily the why's. Suffice to say, finish the story, because how you feel at the beginning of the book is more than likely to be very different than how you feel at the end. Enjoy.
Profile Image for Feliz.
Author 56 books107 followers
September 3, 2016
Wow, just wow. This was bone-hard stuff. The things they did together seriously scratched the edges of my comfort zone, and yet I read on, completely enthralled by the magic of Wes and Grif together. I was sad when I reached the last page and I could've read on and on... hopefully I will be able to since this is the beginning of a series! Also, I can't wait to see Wes's past and the secret behind his tattoo revealed

This book is written in a kind of back-and-forth-way, not really flashbacks but chapter-wise set in the past, in the present or sometime in between. Grif's narrative voice made an easy connection between the parts. The writing was really good, it pulled me right in from the first word.

If I had a niggle with this book it was the fact that most characters were almost too perfect, and that Grif's obsession with his size - while the key plot element - grated on my nerves a little

But the overall amazingness more than made up for that.
Recommended for the deep black coffee crowd.

NB: there's a brief kind of threesome sex scene in here. Just saying.
December 2, 2015
I picked this book for Scavenger Hunt because I have seen that it has really good points. After reading the blurb and the warnings, I wasn't sure if this would be a book for me, but I'm really happy that I gave it a try. I mostly don't feel comfortable with this kind of kink, but the whole interaction between the characters and the way the story was written made me like it. It's not at all like other books in this genre. I also enjoyed the way the flashbacks worked togehter; they weren't chronological and sometimes these kind of flashbacks risk to annoy me, but in Grif's Toy they worked perfectly! I would however have liked to read more about Tate! 4 stars for this book, I'm quite sure that I will continue the series!
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