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Novel: 103,000+ words / 301 pages
Genre(s): Gay, Erotica, BDSM

Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.

Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.

However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.

And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?


301 pages, ebook

First published September 1, 2016

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About the author

Joseph Lance Tonlet

7 books374 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
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 98 reviews
Profile Image for JANe.
1,094 reviews733 followers
September 11, 2016
***** 5 Stars *****

Although I’ve had some reservations with Grif’s Toy (ref. a character who already left the plot), Wes’ Denial was a much anticipated story to me. I finished book 1 totally invested in Wes and Grif’s story.
So, I have to confess that I felt a bit disappointed when the story barely started and Grif decided to disappear for two bloody months. It made me think that the story would be filled with unnecessary drama regarding Grif’s insecurities. Thank Lord, I was wrong! Soon, Marcus Grif woke up for life and stopped resisting Wes.

From there on Wes’ Denial become an amazing journey. Their relationship has evolved slowly, with lots of talk where the guys had the chance to know each other and most important, in these conversations they worked out their kinky as a couple. Something that was big for both of them.

“We talked, intellectually, about sadism and masochism and about why each of us thought we enjoyed the things we did.”… “It was during that conversation that each of us discovered that same truth about one another: neither of us knew why the things that turned us on turned us on. Neither of us could identify some event in our lives as the point where the kink was born.”

Grif had a deep need for denial and humiliation and his small dick was the thing that allowed his masochistic pleasure to bloom.

Wes was a sadist who loved to torment and see Grif in tears.

Summing it up, they were made for each other.

Both guys were incredible portrayed, giving a real feel to the story. But, a big BUT, Wes stole the show. Wes was a force to be reckoned with. He had a way to deal with Grif that has done my head in, like this
Treating Grif with a steady hand, being strong for them both as a friend, as a husband and as a DOM. At the same time being so careful and treating Grif’s as if he was something very delicate and precious. Wes disarmed me completely. I find so rare to find a story in this genre where the author has the ability to transmit to me as a reader, the beauty of this balance.

Besides the fascinating story about Grif and Wes, the author gave us chapters about Wes’s past.
These chapters have left me in awe. They were like parallel short stories and at the end of each of them I was craving for more, like an addict . The characters that made part of Wes past came to make a strong impression. And their job they did! It took Wes’ Denial to another level of greatness. To meet Phillip, Conrad, Paul, Henrik and Thomas Marcani was my absolutely pleasure. Thank you so much, Mr Tonlet, for this gift.

I am ignoring the epilogue!

Wes Denail is a brilliant read!

Profile Image for Joseph Tonlet.
Author 7 books374 followers
January 8, 2019

Goodreads M/M Romance Member Choice Nominations 
All-Time Favorite M/M Series (Tease and Denial)
All-Time Favorite M/M Romance
Best Book of the Year
Best Contemporary/Mainstream
Best Dark Theme
Best Established Couple (Wes and Grif)
Best Kink/Fetish
Best Main Character (Wes)

Diverse Reader Top Pick 2016

Paranormal Romance Guild 2016 Reviewer's Choice Nominee

Amazon Bestseller



Tour Stops
THE BLOGGER GIRLS - Strength In Submission.
THE NOVEL APPROACH - Sexual humiliation.
LOVEBYTES - Monikers in BDSM.
MMBookEscape - Personal Interview.
Attention Is Arbitrary - Personal Interview.
Diverse Reader - Personal Interview.
OJHESAY! - Personal Interview.


The Goodreads M/M Romance Group is holding Buddy Read / Discussion HERE. If you have questions, comments, etc (where spoilers are hidden behind tags) come over and join in!

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Sample Read
The first two chapters on my website, with either the option of reading online or downloading to your favorite eReader.

Preview the chapters with this Link

Profile Image for Ariana  (mostly offline).
1,320 reviews34 followers
April 26, 2019
Reread in April 2019

I can't believe I made my way through this yet again. And before you ask - I did NOT reread the epilogue. As I said before - once in a lifetime is more than enough!
But the rest - is positively riveting. The dynamics between Wes and Grif are beautifully explained and explored, and it is amazing to see how their relationship evolves over the years. How their kink changes and allows both of them to be fully themselves during their Chocolate sessions.

I haven't read a massive amount of BDSM, but this two book series is not only brilliantly written, but also highly educational! It really gives insights into D/s relationships and how they work. (That's at least how it feels to me, but I'm not an expert!) And I have changed my mind about the BDSM in this book on this second read. I still feel uncomfortable about some scenes, but I maybe get a little bit better where everybody is coming from.

Amazing book!

Original review:

*4,5 stars*

This is the hardest review I’ve written so far which comes down to the fact that there is a gaping dichotomy between the quality of this book and the emotions it stirred up in me.
At one point I wanted to chicken out, but then decided to ‘cowboy up’ after all.

If you asked me: “Was this a good book?", I could look you happily in the eye and say, “Yes. It was blooming amazing, in fact.” Brilliant writing, in-depth characterization, a dramatic plot and two MCs I already loved.

It starts where book 1 left off (not taking the interwoven timelines into consideration) and deals with two things:
1. How Wes becomes the man he is at present.
2. How Wes and Grif’s relationship evolves over the course of years.

1. We knew from book 1 that there were things Wes kept secret from Grif, and when I got to them, I could see why he couldn’t/wouldn’t share them.

Both events shape him for life, and, to his credit, his remorse is true and lasting (“Remember!), but the intensity of his darkness really bothered me.
This, no doubt, comes down to the fact that the BDSM was pushing me seriously out of my comfort zone.

I liked the unexpected way Grif reacted to all the revelations. (Although I’m not sure two months wasn’t overdoing it.)

2. Grif and Wes grow not only as a couple but also develop their sexual preferences in this book. Joseph Lance Tonlet goes to great lengths at explaining BDSM in general and the ground rules for a D/s relationship in particular which I found really intriguing. Wes and Grif ALWAYS discuss every aspect of their chocolate sessions and there is a huge amount of trust and love between them. I was always (well, apart from one time when the author fools us deliberately) completely safe in the knowledge that Grif wanted all the things Wes did to him.

But I was not keen on the whole aspect of sharing subs, as friendly and cosy it might have looked. I can’t help it, that’s me.

If you asked me “Did you enjoy this book from beginning to end?” I could not answer that with a whole-hearted yes. I really enjoyed large parts of it, no discussion. But I think the BDSM pushed me pretty much to the edge of my comfort zone, at times dangling over the abyss, gasping.

I have tried to figure out why. I have read far more intense BDSM stuff and found it ok, but I have drawn a blank (hence my difficulty with reviewing). I can only tell you how this made me feel.

The epilogue certainly comes into this, too. I have no idea why it was necessary, and it affected me deeply for purely personal reasons.

So how many stars? Despite my objections to certain parts of the books (which are largely down to my own ‘hang-ups’ rather the the author’s ‘fault’) there can be no doubt that this is an excellent BDSM novel. 4,5 stars
Profile Image for Jack Pyke.
Author 20 books554 followers
September 16, 2016
Disclaimer: Editor's review

*Sniffles* I love Wes; he walks such a delicate balance between brutal decadence and that finely tuned tender side. Both whisper in Grif's ear, calling out everything in him: the lover, the sub, the businessman, and in his own unique and ultimate way -- the master of all of Wes's kink and control. Take Grif away, Wes wouldn't be the same, take Wes away...

Oh maaaan. I can feel the draw so badly to Wes. Tonlet has such a vivid way of not only creating dynamic partnerships, but then also isolating each partner, building their own world, and giving every single soul depth, dimension, and colour. And this is where the dark master of his writing comes in: When emotions or kink (for good or bad) stir all that colour together... oh boy: the sex is hot, but the D/s dynamics...? It's just so uniquely Tonlet!


However -- you do need to have read Grif's Toy before reading this!!

Another fantastic story, with that walk into the epilogue that... well... in the mean spirit of hating crying, left me somewhere all....


But the twist with Junior and Wes himself -- frickin' priceless!!!

Disclaimer: I edited Wes' Denial, but I do so at no cost to the author -- which means I dig my heels in and threaten kidnap when he DOES offer payment in my direction. I have my reasons for this, which Mr. Tonlet welcomed so beautifully! I also edit to NOT solicit work from other authors, as I mostly edit for publishing companies. As I gain nothing financially from this work, I reserve the right to review. This is my opinion, as unbiased as I can possibly be, especially when it comes to Mr. Tonlet.... :)

Mind you, when I say I don't charge this author, I'm damn well sending him my bill for the tissues I got through!

Profile Image for Moony Eliver.
286 reviews155 followers
January 20, 2019
This is one of those ratings that's an average of the book's highs and lows. The problem I often have with reviewing in this situation is that I end up in a diatribe about its flaws, when the truth is that I recommend it and I loved reading it.

In an effort to avoid that, I'll just say that I had many of the same issues with this volume as I had with the first. The dialogue and character development were average, and the editing needed another pass or two. See me not ranting about all of this? I've said it; I'm gonna let that be enough this time.

The second half of this book was by far the best part of the duology, with scattered moments of full-on brilliance. There were some elements of Wes' backstory that were so intriguing and well-crafted that I wanted "MORE PLEASE, Wes." If the relationship between Wes and Grif had been less idyllic and as interesting as the one , this whole thing would have been a damn masterpiece.

I loved the kink between Wes and Grif, though. I love how they both came into their relationship with vastly different experiences and figured out their own dynamic as they went.

The epilogue could have been a gorgeous standalone short, all on its own. And it kind of was, in a way. And if I ever doubted where Tonlet himself stands, .

I've now officially read everything JLT has published so far, with results ranging from 5 stars to 2 stars. But I'm so fascinated by his stuff, and he's an autobuy for me for reasons that would be difficult to pinpoint. Can't wait for the next...
Profile Image for True Loveislovereview.
2,115 reviews1 follower
September 6, 2016
5+++ EPIC journey
The openings chapter was one that shakes you and keeps you right in ........amazing

My God.......Wes and Grif.... The way they treat each other.....so delicate...so deeply imbued with love.....
Now and then a little crack of uncertainty which has to be confirmed.....so open...vulnerable.....

The storyline is one of high level....everything was right....flawless
And then the humor....sometimes subtle sometimes prominent....I loved it all

All the details in their interactions were fascinating, Wes was perfect and Grif...Grif was master (read servant) in his being. To see how their relationship grows and deepen is the real satisfaction
I love the feeling in this story that they were made for each other. That they even met and than so compatible. Fulfilling each others deepest desires with no reserve or restraint. A perfect couple !
They grow and in their experience they overcome themselves.

The Wes' experience with Thomas and Henrik... read it yourself

All the side characters were part of this journey they had to be there.

Again Wes' did grow immensely
I loved it so much that he wasn't perfect, he had his flaws. It made him more human. But he does it so well! he learned from his mistakes.

And then at some point there is some (little) revelation from Wes' side. Again read it yourself it's so worth.

The back- and forward is really well done. Bit by bit the gaps are filled. The journey was whole, detailed and full with story. No dull moment, I just loved it. The writing style was excellent, captivating and on a great level.

The build-up in this story is one you will never forget

After I finished this journey I was utterly speechless. The end was EPIC.
Profile Image for Donna.
288 reviews22 followers
September 10, 2016
I loved this book so much! Especially the ending and the epilogue. Yes, it had some sadness, but also so much love. Grif and Wes are one of my favorite couples. Both books in this series were very well written, especially the characters.
Profile Image for Helena Stone.
Author 30 books120 followers
August 19, 2016
Some books shouldn’t be allowed to end. But because stories invariably must come to a conclusion and I really didn’t want to say goodbye to Wes and Grif I did something I almost never do and rationed my reading. In fact, it would be safe to say that, in keeping with one of Wes and Grif’s preferred kinks, I denied myself the pleasure of reaching the end as quickly as I could have. And still I’m sorry I didn’t manage to make the book last longer. Because while Grif’s Toy was a fantastic read, this one is even better.

It was quite a journey because, dear God, Joseph Lance Tonlet sure knows how to draw his readers in and shatter their hearts at the same time. Chapter one is short but it packs a punch hard enough to leave you breathless and devastated. But, after that first chapter the story settles down and, as was the case for Grif in Grif’s Toy, we are shown both Wes’ past and his and Grif’s present in alternating chapters. In the process we learn how Wes turned into the man we met in the earlier book and how his relationship with Grif grows, develops, and gets ever closer and kinkier.

These two men are so perfect for each other. Their desires and needs are mirror images of each other. They complement each other, fit together like two halves of the same coin and yet, there’s a part of himself Wes is afraid to share with Grif. You see, Wes’ Denial is a most appropriate title for this book because the story isn’t ‘just’ about Wes denying Grif his pleasure and orgasms. It is also, or maybe more so, about Wes denying a part of himself, a part he’s afraid of, a part he doesn’t trust, a part that has led to horrific consequences in the past, a part of himself he can’t show to Grif although—or maybe because—he loves Grif more than life itself.

Like Grif’s Toy this is a very sexy and kinky story. I have to admit I’m surprised at how much the kink affected me despite the fact that I’d run a mile if anyone would even come close to playing with me the way Wes plays with Grif. But, while I loved all those scenes, I adored the depth of their feelings for each other even more. The trust necessary to maintain a relationship like these two men have is staggering and a thing of beauty. And yet, at no point is either man portrayed as perfect. Wes, in this book, is shown to be all too human and fallible and he’s all the more beautiful for it.

I don’t think there was a single word in this book I didn’t love. Over the almost twenty-four hours since I finished the book, Wes and Grif have never been far from my mind. Images, phrases and ideas keep on swirling through my head, making me smile and reigniting some of that excitement I experienced while reading.

Pushing boundaries is a huge part of BDSM, and if there is such a thing, the books by this author are my personal boundary pushing reading experience. I’m enjoying scenes and descriptions I feel I maybe ought to frown upon, and yet I can’t. JLT has managed to make me appreciate, admire, and even feel curious about something I don’t understand and can’t begin to wrap my head around and that, in and of itself, is a five star achievement.

I’m not going to say anything concrete about it, but I do want to finish this review by saying that for me this book ended perfectly. In fact, the ending could have been written for me. And while I hope that the author will at some point tell us more about Quinn and Gage, I won’t complain too hard if he doesn’t because Grif and Wes’ story is perfection, exactly as it is.

Long story short: Wes' Denial is almost certainly the best book I have read this year so far. And if it wasn't impossible for more reasons than I can count, I'd ask Joseph Lance Tonlet to marry me, just for having written that epilogue.
Profile Image for Debra.
1,963 reviews227 followers
September 1, 2016
Review originally posted at Sinfully.

4.5 stars

Initially dropping the reader into Wes’s past for a shocking opening chapter, the story quickly picks up where Grif's Toy left off (and you really must read that before this one). Wes’ Denial is similar in style to the first book, taking us back in forth in time to tell Wes’ story and continue moving his relationship with Grif forward, but there is more of a darkness to this tale. We already knew that there were a few secrets Wes wasn't ready to share with Grif and he struggles with trying to keep them hidden throughout the story. There are two events in particular that have haunted him for years and have shaped the D/s relationship he shares with Grif and the way Wes views himself as both a Dom and a man.

From the start of the story we get a glimpse of a different Wes. Not completely the confident Wes we came to know in Grif’s Toy, but a Wes that harbors uncertainties, who is guilt ridden and pained by the secrets he is keeping and his past actions. This Wes is prominent in the book, but we still do get plenty of the dominant, loving and fun partner that Grif brings out. These two are like yin and yang; just the perfect match. It is, in fact, Grif’s desire to give Wes more that leads to his fears coming out.

The chapters showing us a younger Wes discovering his kink for control helped me to understand that particular need of his a bit better. We see him as a teenager getting ready to enter the Marines and just starting to practice his kink, during boot camp and his early Marine days where couple of events start to rock his foundation, and as a Dom looking to better understand the whys behind both his need and the needs of subs he encounters. The references made in Grif’s Toy to the two times he may have been in love are played out here and I’ll just say neither ends well. These events that are haunting Wes are severe and it is no wonder he is so torn up.

Grif knows that Wes is keeping things from him but he does everything to assure Wes that he loves and trusts him implicitly. Their relationship moves forward in both the Vanilla and Chocolate areas of their lives and while Wes may be having trouble trusting and forgiving himself, Grif has no such doubts and once again shows his strength when he decides to take matters into his own hands in a way I never would have seen coming and absolutely adored.

The kink is heavy in this one yet again. Their Chocolate sessions get more intense and evolve along with the couple. Both Grif and Wes seek to add new elements, some of which go incredibly well and others …. not so much. The bond that they share continues to grow and there is never any doubt of their love and commitment. I laughed, I cringed and got a bit hot at their escapades.

The secondary characters that are introduced are all there for a reason. From Wes’ high school lovers Phillip and Conrad, to Thomas and Henrik the Dom and his sub who took him on to train and the Marines who touched his life in different ways. They are all characters that are as complex as Grif and Wes and add layers to the man that Wes became. I can only hope for a Tease and Denial Book 3 that focuses on Quinn and Gage. Although we meet them only briefly, they made quite an impression, Gage especially, and I can only imagine the story JLT could tell about them.

As heavy as the book can get, Grif’s light and the absolute devotion Wes has to him and their life together is staggeringly beautiful. It’s an emotional journey that leads to the bittersweet Epilogue. Yes, there will be tears, but I bet you will also manage a smile at the absolutely perfect last few sentences.

Profile Image for Chelsea.
851 reviews7 followers
December 29, 2016

Holy mother of god! I need a moment to compose myself after that ending!! Phew, what a ride.

So this story is a continuation of Grif's Toy, but is from Wes’ POV. Sweet, sexy, dominating sadistic Wes….

Much like Grif’s Toy, we visit different points in Wes’ life in a random order. I was happy to see most of the book was set within the time period of Grif and Wes being together. The story starts right where we left off at the end of Grif’s Toy, and follows them over their next two years together. We also get to see Wes when he’s seventeen and first getting an idea of his dominating side, when he’s in his early twenties at boot camp and coming across his more sadistic side, and then when he’s thirty-ish and seeking guidance from a well known Dom, Thomas.

Wes has experienced some pretty terrifying moments in his life and has buried his guilt and shame so deep down that no one, not even Grif is aware of it. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the whole book waiting for the moment he told Grif. That last 15% was super full-on.

The depth of emotions experienced and displayed in this book were just wonderful. I absolutely adore Wes and Grif. The love and connection between these two is so palpable, and it turns what could be an overwhelmingly sadistic love story into a very sweet and romantic one.

They are just as mind-blowingly sexy together as they were in the first book. God Wes is one twisted mother-fucker and I absolutely adore him for it!!

“Your orgasms will always have to be fucking earned. Every. Single. One. Long gone are the days where you were able to take them for granted. Today will be no different. I’m gonna beat you, I’m going to make you scream, and I’m gonna fuck you like I own you— because I do. After all that, I’ll uncage you and start again….”

Oh yes, you read right, there is now a cock cage! And Wes is proud as punch ;-).

There were a few moments that felt a bit rushed. I didn’t really feel any connection between Wes and Thomas, especially not enough to elicit the response Wes had to that particular situation (sorry no spoilers :-P ). It was one of Wes’ more guilt ridden memories and I can see why, as it was fairly terrible and seemed so at odds with who Wes is as a person. I guess I could understand that reaction more if it was someone who he felt as much about as he did Grif, but I just didn’t see that with Thomas.

This can’t be read as a standalone, so if you haven’t read Grif’s Toy definitely read that first. This series won’t be for everyone, it's got far too much sadism/humiliation for people who want a fluffy love story and far too much fluff for people who want a sadistic story, but I absolutely loved the balance. That epilogue though, phew... prepare the tissues! I haven't been able to think of much else in days.

Highly recommended of course.

September 8, 2016
5 Stars
 photo PicsArt_09-07-01.22.26_zpsblfneobc.jpg

Pre-Release Review
This is my half of a Gay Guy / Straight Girl Co-Review with fellow Goodreader, OJCast. To see our full review click the link below. There is also a question/answer session that follows.

Full Disclosure - I was a beta reader for this book and worked closely with the author. My review is certainly colored by that experience. However these are my true thoughts and impressions.


I’ll assume you’ve read Grif’s Toy and, like me, couldn’t wait for Wes’ story. After all, Wes is strong, honorable, and generous. But you knew, didn’t you? Didn’t you? That there was something else there? Something dark. Something…wrong. This book isn’t Grif’s Toy. That was a sweet, tender love story. This is something entirely different. Be warned, JLT will try to lull you into a sense that everything is perfect, so enjoy that tease because he’s setting you up for gut wrenching denial. Wes’ Denial.

And there will be tears.


Weston ‘Wes’ De Luca -

The solid rock of a man. Pure strength, loyalty, and committed love. Wes isn't afraid of anything...except showing his fractures.

Marcus ‘Grif’ Griffin -

I know you love Grif, but you haven’t even scratched the surface. I’m willing to bet you’ll be wildly surprised by his strength of character.

Additional Characters –

Henrik – stunning
Paul Eaks – scary
Thomas – Dom of Doms
Grif Two – Heh, yeah. You’ll see.


Spanning some fifty-five years this is an epic look at not only the full relationship between Wes and Grif, but also of Wes as a young man just discovering what makes him tick. He learns pretty early on that he ticks differently than the other boys, but his natural curiosity and openness allows him to explore and develop relationships fully.

There are three distinct periods in Wes’ life prior to Grif. His pre-military school days. His early military career. And a term of self-education and discovery. Each of these periods are vivid, striking and eye-opening.

As the reader learns about who Wes is, who Wes really is, we also see and understand what is so very special about his most important relationship, Grif. They are the perfect couple, with the perfect life both publically and personally. But something dark is lurking just beneath the surface that could destroy that perfection. Grif feels it. But Wes is in denial.


If you read my review of Grif’s Toy, here, you’ll see that I held back a bit on my praise. The reason for that is because I knew JLT had this book in him. A book that would come from his core. A book that would shatter boundaries.

As I said earlier, JLT begins by lulling you into a sweet, tender romantic view of Grif and Wes’ early relationship, but right from the start there is a thread of darkness. An undercurrent of trouble. He keeps the reader on edge by applying just the right amount of tension, by degrees, at just the right moment.

I think this may be JLT’s signature attribute. Even in his other writing he builds a story in a way that keeps you so connected that you don’t even see the intensity building around you. Bravo, Joseph.

~ ~ ~

I would like to thank the author for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

~ ~ ~

Take a look at my Male/Male Romance Book Blog:
Visit My Blog

Profile Image for Trio.
2,900 reviews171 followers
September 4, 2016
yeah I read it straight through - there's no putting this one down.

Seriously, the best ever. I can't even come up with words to describe the perfection that is this book. What a journey, to see everything through Wes' eyes - and to see Grif reacting to it all, knowing Grif like I do, oh god, it was just incredible.

Beautifully written. I always praise Joseph Lance Tonlet's writing as among the best I've ever read, but this just has raised the bar beyond what I could have thought possible. I'm truly wrecked.
Profile Image for Chris.
2,066 reviews
March 18, 2018
4.5 stars ....what an exhausting journey and that bloody epilogue leaves me with tears and a heavy heart. This was the continuing story of Grif and Wes, with this book taken from Wes' POV. Wes had fears and issues that ran deep and he carried the heavy burden for too long. With the constant devotion from Grif, Wes was able to eventually forgive himself and accept his sadistic tendencies. These two were a perfect pair with an undeniable love for each other. I really enjoyed this series ❤️
January 30, 2017
4 stars!

I remember liking Grif’s Toy a lot and I have been looking forward to Wes’ Denial hoping to get a little more insight into these two interesting characters. While I managed to connect with Grif in the previous installment, Wes remained a little distant to me. Considering that Wes’ Denial is told from Wes’ point of view, I have been hoping to get to know him better.

And I definitely did!

The opening scene is enough to show that Wes’ past hasn’t been easy and I have been looking forward to find out about all his secrets hoping that they would be able to make me understand him and his kinks better. Getting insights into his first time experiencing with his kink, into the insecurities he once faced and into his developing relationship with Grif has shown us many different facets of Wes’ character.

The balance between the past and the present has been perfect and I also enjoyed the non-chronological time jumps once I got used to them. They make it possible to discover Wes and Grif’s story in a very intense way and I wasn’t able to put the book down at times.

I have to admit that the most intriguing part for me has been Wes’ time with Thomas and Henrik.
The relationship between Thomas and Henrik has been so intense and I got totally lost in their dynamics. I have even been a little afraid that I might not want to get back to Grif and Wes, but it has been okay in the end. I’m still not entirely satisfied by the ending of the last scene between Wes and Henrik. I can’t get rid of the feeling that not everything has been said/done. There are quite a few questions left unanswered. A spin-off focusing entirely on Thomas and Henrik sounds like a perfect idea!

I also enjoyed the temporary shift in Wes and Grif’s relationship. It has been an interesting perspective and I would have loved to get a little more detail – yes, I know I have a dirty mind!

Now – the epilogue!. Well, I have read quite a few reviews before starting this book and I have been aware of the fact that the ending would be bittersweet and something unexpected! I have been very curious! However the moment I read the time header I had to role my eyes!

Oh god, no! has actually been my only thought at that moment.

I knew what would be coming and I have not been a crying mess at the end of the book, because I am simply not a fan of this kind of endings! It’s not about the actual content of the epilogue, it’s about the fact that I always have the feeling that there are too many things left out. We are jumping from a relationship that has finally turned true without any kind of secrets into a – I have to admit very sad and heartbreaking – moment many, many years later! There are a bunch of offsprings running around, we are celebrating a big anniversary and I just keep wondering about the time in between.

This is a classic case of It’s not you, it’s me! and I simply decided to ignore the epilogue when it comes to my rating! I also realized that I babbling – so I’ll come to an end:

Great series, very solid sector installment!
A perfect read except for the ending!
If you are not afraid of the kinks mentioned in blurb – go for it!

Profile Image for Tina.
1,634 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2016

Wow! The 2nd book of JLT's Tease and Denial series just blew me away.

It was just as awesome as Grif's Toy and gave me everything I love in a book.

There is the special bond Grif and Wes have for each other, the kink.... oh the kink!!!, their deep love for each other, and so much more. All in all it catapulted Wes' Denial right on top of my top favorite list.

The bittersweet ending... JLT... you have no idea what you did to me.
You made me a sobbing mess... and sitting at a beach in Croatia, in one hand a cocktail, in the other hand my kindle... with tears streaming down my cheeks... and a very bewildered hubby watching me... wasn't fun, Mr JLT. :)))

Loved loved loved the book!

Very highly recommended, just like the first book.
Profile Image for dammit, liz .
231 reviews2 followers
September 9, 2016
This book.. I won't be forgetting this story for a long time. It's got everything Grif's Toy does- the sexines, kink, romance, etc, but this felt so much more substantive. The story is told from Wes's perspective this time.

Wes' Denial focuses on the big unanswered question from the first book- what big, dark secret is Wes hiding? Turns out, he's got a lot of really heavy baggage.

I actually enjoy the time jumps in this. Like the first, we get a teenage Wes, when he was on active duty, before meeting Grif, the beginning of their relationship, and the two as an established couple. The way this book reads follows the themes of tease and denial. Rather than progressing in a linear fashion, we know what's going on and where it'll likely end up, but the "hows" in the middle are hinted at and teased. Then the story shifts and makes you wait. I can't help but think this parallel was intentional. But just like the kink, it's that much more gratifying when you get what you're waiting for ;)

Okay, so the ending. Big spoiler.

Absolutely recommend to fans of the first book. I preferred this to the first book, so even if you were on the fence with that one, read this. For those who haven't read book 1, this is NOT a standalone.
Profile Image for Joyfully Jay.
7,292 reviews412 followers
September 1, 2016
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

Joseph Lance Tonlet offers an amazing novel with Wes’ Denial. I have read all of his published work and while they are all special, the storytelling here shines ever so much brighter. This book comes after Grif’s Toy and is best enjoyed read in order.

Now the above synopsis captures the basic framework of the story, but it cannot capture the emotion and the layering of the characters that Tonlet masterfully weaves together. This book, like its predecessor, is told in non-linear fashion, but the shifts in time happen less often and the stories told are designed to build upon each other to capture the essence of Wes.

Present day Wes and Grif are solid in their relationship. They have a truly special and unique commitment where they have evolved individually and as a couple. Grif has always felt defined by his shortcoming, but Wes knows how strong Grif truly is. Grif is more confident than we’ve seen him and it’s that confidence that fights with his submissive tendencies. Wes demands a lot from Grif. His needs are intense and those needs comprise a good component of who he is. He can appear cruel from a casual glance as he keeps Grif off balance, but his love for Grif is a living, breathing element and they work together to form an incredible partnership. There are scenes where the initial thought might be that Wes is taking it too far, but the communication these guys have is remarkable, and Grif is not only all in, but needs what Wes gives him. Tonlet lays out his words in a visual array and puts us directly into the thoughts of both characters as he shows an extraordinary connection.

Wes’ story in itself was captivating, but it was also the way in which it was told and what Tonlet did with his words that was exceptional. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the epilogue, but I would also completely ruin the moment if I divulged any more. Tonlet’s seduction of the reader continued to the very last word as he pulled out incredible emotion to this enduring and unforgettable love story. This book will remain special and I would encourage you to indulge in the experience.

Read Michelle's review in its entirety here.
Profile Image for JustJen "Miss Conduct".
2,269 reviews150 followers
August 17, 2016

Review by The Blogger Girls. Don't miss the Kindle Fire give away package on this book! Link in review at The Blogger Girls.

The Tease and Denial series is one that has taken me on an extremely fulfilling journey. Grif’s Toy showed us in beautiful, sexy and sometimes painful detail, what made Grif the man he became when he met Wes and how their relationship was formed. Likewise, Wes’ Denial does the same thing, but obviously, this is the story of Wes’ development, showing his life before and after Grif.

Again, Mr. Tonlet takes us back to show us various events throughout Wes’ life that help to shine a little more light on his kinks and how Wes became the man and “dom” he is with Grif. These aren’t just flashbacks for the sake of telling a story though. They are pivotal times in his life, good and bad, that show just how deep a character he is. From his time in the military to his training under another master dom, they are all pieces that fall into place during the current time in the story. Wes carries with him a major load of guilt and shame from past events, along with the guilt he has feeling as though he is hiding a part of himself from Grif, a part he believes will surely make Grif walk away.

It is also through these events that we meet some other wonderful characters that left me longing for more of their story. Thomas and Henrik are two of those pretty amazing characters. Thomas is the master dom Wes’ turns to, and Henrik is his sub. Their segment contains some of the most beautiful scenes I’ve read. I absolutely fell in love with Henrik and really hope to learn more about him. In the current time, we meet new friends, Quinn and Gage, who live a similar life to that of Wes and Grif. Again, we are given snippets of their backstory, but just enough to make you hungry for more details.

There are some characters we already know (and love) that it was great to see again. Matthew is the ever-steady rock behind the running of Grif’s Estate, who we also know has some interesting things going on in his love life. And it is always fun to see Grif’s stoic bodyguard, Pavel. It is easy to see how much these men have come to care for each other, whether it is through Grif’s teasing of Pavel or Matthew’s ability to manage things to make life easier for Grif (and Wes).

I really could go on and on, but, suffice to say, this story (both Grif and Wes’) have worked their way into my soul. They are both extremely emotional and heartfelt. While I may not enjoy every single aspect of their relationship, I can completely respect that it is theirs and they are happy and comfortable with it and it totally works for them. The kink really takes a back seat to the emotions and feelings of these two guys and that is what bleeds from the pages and sticks with me when I’m done.

Wes’ Denial is another beautifully written story that takes you on the second half of the journey started in Grif’s Toy taking the reader on another wonderful ride this time vividly highlighting the key elements in Wes’ life that molded him into the man we saw Grif fall in love with. They truly are perfect for each other – yin and yang – their love and commitment clear and easy to see.

Mr. Tonlet has a very unique style, and his writing just keeps getting better with each story. He is able to write a story that captivates, and just when you get comfortable with things, he throws in an ending that is even more beautiful and more heartbreaking than everything told before, yet it could not be more perfect. A bittersweet ending that pulls at you yet leaves you satisfied at the same time. While his stories might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I highly recommend you take a chance to expand your boundaries a bit to experience some of them.
Profile Image for Toni FGMAMTC.
1,641 reviews18 followers
September 5, 2016

3.75 stars

The first book gave a lot of Grif’s background while introducing Wes and Grif’s relationship. In this installment, the reader gets to learn of Wes’s past as well as a closer look into their lives. Wes and Grif are madly in love. They both found the perfect person to compliment their needs. For me, this story was deeper. The kinks and BDSM lifestyle are heavily present, but bits that make this a love of a lifetime romance are very standout also.
You definitely should read Grif’s Toy first and read the author’s warning tags. Prepare for some sexy and also some bittersweet feelings.

***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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Profile Image for Anna Goerlitz.
950 reviews41 followers
May 13, 2020
It's 6.30 in the morning and I am a sobbing mess! Review to come!


I have waited years, well ok, a year and a half, for this story. I almost wanted to slap Joseph Lance Tonlet, and declare October 1st 2015 a day of mourning, when he postponed the release date. I even speculated if the evil man had planned it that way, to ensure that the series lived up it's name...
That also meant, that I had pretty high expectations of this book. And I am happy to say, that they were met and that Wes' story was worth the wait.

This book cannot be read as a stand alone, you need to pick up Grif's Toy first, as this one continues right were we left of, this time through Wes' eyes. Like the first book the author chose time jumps to slowly build the complex puzzle that is Wes De Luca. I thought it worked well in Grif's Toy, but man does it work here. Every chapter and new facet shown made me want more.

We see snippets of teenage Wes, exploring his sexuality and his dominance, his experiences in boot camp in his early twenties and him developing as a Dom in his thirties. But mainly we see him and Grif develop and grow together and it is beautiful and so romantic.

Don't get me wrong, there is still kink here, in fact there's a lot and Grif and Wes expand Chocolate quite a bit during the course of the book, and yet, just like in Grif's Toy, the author manages to convey clearly the incredible love between the two. You are never left in any doubt as to whether they are both completely into what they are doing. Because, at it's core, this series is actually an incredibly sweet romance. And that, to me, is quite an amazing feat!

I am aware, that this may leave the author with a book that does not speak to everyone. Readers looking for the sadism, might find it 'diluted' by the 'fluffy stuff' and fluff readers may be scared off by the level of sadism and humiliation. But for me, it works perfectly.

I had a few niggles along the way, but since I stayed up all night, finished reading this as the sun came up, sitting in my sofa crying uncontrollably, there is no way I will be able to grant this less than 5 stars.

Warmly recommended, but be aware of the tags and that you need to read both books.
Profile Image for Sue bowdley.
1,440 reviews
September 26, 2016
So...I have four authors who have broken me...Now I have to add a fifth....Joseph Lance Tonlet.....Wes' Denial is one of the best books I have read this year.....I've waited a long time for the follow up to Grif's Toy and this is done perfectly......I love Grif...He is just the most amazing man I have read....Wes I loved more in this one than the last....I think he proved himself so much in his love for Grif.....This book will break you in parts....The way Wes and Grif are together is a given....The humiliation, the caging is something that Grif needs and loves.....I loved Gage and Quinn, Wes' friends...Gage and Grif together are beautiful even though it's only short.....We get to find out about Wes' past in this one and boy he sure was a harsh person in the beginning.......Paul and Henrik especially.....Paul I think goaded Wes but Henrik I did feel sorry for.......This book takes you on a further journey with Wes and Grif and their beautiful relationship......But...and this is a heartbreaking but...That ending...omg....That is what broke me.....This is a beautiful story of love and pure hedonistic pleasure between two men who love each other so much......A book that cannot be missed....Now i'm going out to buy more tissues and stock up on some strong drink x
Profile Image for Jennifer.
208 reviews19 followers
September 1, 2016
I'm speechless and I'm a sobbing mess. Beautifully written, feelz all over the place, a bit of humor, some tears and whole lotta love.

I recommend Grif's Toy (Tease and Denial, #1) by Joseph Lance Tonlet and Wes' Denial (Tease and Denial, #2) by Joseph Lance Tonlet to anyone who loves a great love story.

Thanks, Mr. Tonlet!
Profile Image for Caroline Brand.
1,739 reviews70 followers
September 1, 2016

Wes’ Denial is book 2 in the Tease and Denial series by Joseph Lance Tonlet, it is an incredible and perfect follow up, but you must read Grif’s Toy first. Both books feature the same characters, follow their ups and downs and give you differing opinions that will slowly unravel an epic love story from the beginning through to a very emotional end. Grif’s Toy was one of my favourite books of 2014 and you can find what I had to say about it here.

Where we got to know Grif in the first book we now get to know Wes and I think once you have read his story the overall story makes much more sense. Both of these men have a need that the other fills and however society would choose to look at it it definitely works for them. This is a very kinky story with a lot of sex that delves into humiliation and control that some readers will no doubt find uncomfortable but it’s also a love story and that part is pretty epic as both these men love hard and completely. They quite literally live for each other…

As with the first book this story jumps around between the past and the present and as with the first book it works well. Joseph’s writing is raw and emotional and to find out how his men got to where they are now you need to see where they have previously been. Wes has his demons from the past and as hard as he tries to hide them he inevitably brings them to his relationship with Grif. Wes has many fears but the biggest is that Grif will see him in a different light, will think less of him or will walk away thus destroying him. Every aspect of his relationship with Grif is built on honesty and withholding his past from the man he loves is not doing either of them any good.

The writing here is beautiful, the story is compelling and every word from start to finish is perfect. Joseph’s stories just get better every time – he is an author I know will deliver something a bit different that will hook me right in. There is such depth to both his characters and their lives. The ending left me devastated and was something I thought about often for days after I finished the book. This is definitely a conclusion to the story of Wes and Grif – but what a conclusion it is!

This has undoubtedly made it onto my list of best books in 2016.
Profile Image for DB Kimmers.
221 reviews41 followers
August 31, 2016
The depths Joseph Lance Tonlet takes you as the reader in Wes’ Denial help you to understand how kink, that works for them, brought two soul mates together.

Joseph brings out every single emotion in you through Wes’ Denial. I laughed, I cried tears of happiness, I worried, I found I was feeling grateful, I was in shock, I was aroused, and I even cried tears of sorrow.

The writing is raw and honest and totally captivating!

I was a beta reader for Wes' Denial but in no way did this alter my feelings of this wonderful work. My opinion is still fair, honest and unbiased.

See Full Review At:
Profile Image for Ashley.
44 reviews
January 17, 2017
There are already so many awesome reviews for this book. I'll just say I absolutely loved it and that epilogue made me ugly cry.
Profile Image for OJ.
147 reviews14 followers
August 26, 2016
This is my review of Wes' Denial, by Joseph Lance Tonlet, from my M/M Romance Books Blog, OJ He Say. This is a Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review with my partner in crime Lisa Arbitrary. Click the links below to see the whole review and more.
OJ Library LOGO - Copy (2)

Wes' Denial at OJ He Say!

Wes' Denial at AttentionIsAbitrary

Rating: 5 stars


I was a beta reader for this book and worked closely with the author. My review, however, is my true and honest experience of my feelings and thoughts regarding this story and this author’s writing style. I will always strive to give an honest depiction of my reading experience.


This book is a work of fiction that contains explicit erotic content (heavy verbal denigration, orgasm control/denial, forced chastity, etc.), between adult men, and it is intended for mature readers.

Wes’ Denial

When I first read Grif’s Toy, the precursor to Wes’ Denial, I was totally blown away and suffered a severe case of book hangover! I needed more. I craved to know what Wes was all about. See, no one is as perfect as Wes was in Grif’s Toy. His incredible self-control and spot on determination bespoke of something deeper, more profound, and ominously dark. I waited patiently, biding my time. Good things come to those of us who wait!

Wes’ Denial is nothing short of a tour de force reading experience. Right from the opening scene the tone is set for one heck of ride.

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times. The emotional roller coaster is about to begin, and this ride’s a doozy!


Weston ‘Wes’ De Luca:

Wes. What a complex, and yet sincerely honest, man. Since his early adolescence, when he discovered his penchant for being a Dom and, yes, a sadist, he’s been searching for his one, true soul mate.

Wes doesn’t just enjoy, he doesn’t just get off on, he absolutely craves seeing the tears in his sex partners. He loves to inflict that just right amount of pain that will take his sub to that marvelous place where time stands still and you float on nothing but the pure rush of endorphins and the ebb and flow of pain/pleasure, experiencing a continuous orgasm of ever increasing intensity. As a Dom’s Dom he lives for this. And something else. See, Wes has a thing for impact play – his one craving that he’s terrified of.

Wes’ Denial is his story. His efforts to control his craving and his undying love for the soul mate he’s found. Can he keep him? Does he deserve Grif?

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times.

Marcus ‘Grif’ Griffin:

“You’re always saying how you don’t like the characterizations of a broken sub who is magically fixed by an omnipotent Dom.”

Grif is the epitome of an intelligent, well rounded, well-adjusted man who happens to be a sub. In everyday life Grif is a successful businessman, in the bedroom Grif needs Wes. Not just any man, Grif needs Wes. However, Grif never cuts himself short even though he’s submissive and wants to be taken to those deep, dark, exciting places that Wes can take him to. Grif is a realist that can cut through the BS and hone in on a problem with razor sharp accuracy and then dissect it until he can ascertain a solution. He’s no one’s fool, least of all Wes’.

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times.


“Because that’s the point. We allow things to happen to us. We allow ourselves to do things to other people. And we allow ourselves to be happy or sad about those things. You’ve allowed the past eight weeks—allowed yourself to do things you never thought possible— just like you’ve allowed this thing with Paul and Henrik…”

Paul and Henrik. Yeah. Paul and Henrik. Two pivotal individuals in Wes’ life experience that I cannot get enough of, intense as they may be, and intense they are. I need to warn you right now, these are two incredibly for mature audiences only story lines, the likes of which only an author such as Mr. Tonlet would be able to pull off. Here’s what’s real: I can so relate. Perhaps that’s what I love – they’re so close to reality it frightens me, to a degree.

Wes’ undying love and devotion to Grif is palpable throughout the story, as well his not being this perfect, flawless character. No one is, and that’s the beauty of this story. We get to see it all, warts as well as soaring, euphoric moments. Grif’s individuality and wholeness always remain intact, such an integral part of this love story, and a love story it is. Kudos to you, Mr. Tonlet!

The Epilogue. I love you. I hate you. Thank you for that epilogue. How dare you give us that epilogue! You deserve a flogging for that epilogue. Oh, wait. Never mind. Damn you, man!


I honestly must say that Mr. Tonlet is a master storyteller extraordinaire. To be able to take this subject matter through two books and tell each man’s story distinctly, through each one’s specific experience flawlessly? Yeah, good stuff here. Both Wes and Grif come alive, through Mr. Tonlet’s craft, as completely whole, different, individuals with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. This is no small feat.

The cast of supporting characters: Paul, Henrik, Thomas (oh, so wonderful Thomas!), Matthew, Quinn and Gage. I need to fess up: I’m in love with Quinn and Gage! So, so much there that I want to know about.

I seriously cannot recommend Mr. Tonlet’s writing more than what I already have. Every single one of his works I have devoured and desired more of. Go ahead, give yourself a treat, you deserve it.
Profile Image for ML.
1,057 reviews1 follower
December 3, 2021
Both sides complete: vanilla and chocolate

This is told in Wes’s POV. Like in book one where we learned about Griff’s past. Book 2 we get to delv into Wes’s backstory. What makes him the way he is?

Even from his high school days, he had a darkness. Some of those early scenes with Conrad were incredibly HOT. Then Thomas teaching him all the Dom skills. Whoa.

Whether they are in chocolate(darkness) or vanilla, Wes and Griff have SO much love and trust in each other. They grow as a couple.

I’m still not sure I should have read that epilogue though, tbh.
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,208 reviews73 followers
February 3, 2017
What the WHAT?!?!?!?!?

Spoilers ahead...not kiiiiiiding. This mean you, A Girl Has No Name , don't read further!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Tracy.
761 reviews1 follower
September 3, 2016
Wow! Just finished Wes' Denial...
I have tears in my eyes...tears....
I didn't think I was going to end up teary eyed...

Wes, from Grif's Toy has held my attention. There was something about him in Grif's Toy that commanded my attention. I needed to learn about his military background...I needed to learn where he came from...I needed to learn where these dark feelings came from...

In Wes' Denial you get that and then some. I love Wes so hard.

This is one of the most beautiful love stories ever. Love. These two have it in spades and it was such a beautiful 25+ year journey.

The kind of relationship Grif and Wes has is unique and fits them so well. Through their play and lifestyle they are able to come together as one and they have such a beautiful understanding between them. I'm totally over using the word "beautiful" but there's no other adjective I'd want to use to describe Grif and Wes.

I feel like I was given an inside glimpse into the life of these two wonderful people and it was truly amazing. To find someone to love is amazing in itself but to find someone who you can share yourself 100% with is so rare and Grif and Wes managed to find each other and keep each other until the end.

I am a little in awe of this author because he made me see, through his words, that a D/s relationship can be a truly beautiful and wonderful thing when you have the right partner. Grif and Wes are truly one and I'm so happy I got to share in their lives and their journey together.

Ten stars if only I could :)

I had to include this quote from Grif that sums up everything for me:

"I want to see all of you, Wes. I want you to feel safe knowing I’ll never judge you for your darkness."
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