Santa’s Slay by Stephanie Burke


Santa’s Slay by Stephanie Burke
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (61 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Jack Frost doesn’t nip. He bites — and bites hard.

When reporter Peter Winston gets too close to the secrets of Chris Cringle and North Pole industries, he’s gifted to Chris’s bodyguard and ex-lover Jack Frost. Now it’s a matter of time before he gives into the delicious demands of the sadistic dominant, learning that being naughty can be so nice.

Everybody knows the jolly old elf of Christmas and his good buddy Jack, the guy who brings winter with him…right? Well the sweet and fun loving characters that we all know are far from the truth. Reporter Peter Winston has gotten too close to the truth and must now pay for his curiosity.

Jack Frost is more than ready to make Peter pay but is his payment too harsh or just what Peter needs? You see Jack is not what he shows the world and those that see his true form are never the same again–that is if they are lucky enough to live through the encounter. Peter may just be lucky enough to be what Jack is looking for and what he wants. Will this be Peter’s saving grace or will he miss his opportunity to get what he has always longed for? This novella isn’t about the romance. This is dark BDSM, heavy on the S/M fantasy.

Peter is taken on an intense sexual ride by Jack Frost and he must make some hard decisions. Jack makes Peter look inward and realize what he is truly doing with his life. Jack is a dominant with a mean streak but he gives Peter what he needs. Peter is just as strong and the two make a good couple. Peter longs for the harshness of Jack and we see the emotions that Jack has about Peter. Jack may be a scary and imposing creature but Peter is drawn to him. Jack subjects Peter to some intense scenes and Peter learns what his body wants. The two give each other just what they need physically and must see if their hearts will follow. I enjoyed watching their relationship unfold and turn into something more. Their story is a quick read that moves along nicely. The author does a nice job of mixing the right amount of emotion and sex together to give the reader a strong hot read.

Punished by H.C. Brown


Punished by H.C. Brown
Publisher: Luminosity Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (38 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Fetish, Toys
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Bad boys, bad boys

When Vice Detective Del Hood receives a call out to investigate a muscular, tattooed man in black hanging around the entrance to a sex shop, he believes the smart-mouthed Danny Rose is trouble with a capital T. Problem is the moment he pats him down and runs his hands over his hard body, a connection between them sizzles.

Could Danny be the arrogant, wisecracking sub of his dreams?

Detective Del Hood is called to a BDSM club when the owner is nervous about a strange man loitering. Del watches the man and when he goes to question Danny all Del’s instincts scream that this boy is the perfect sub for him. But Danny is looking for his brother and despite the instant and hot chemistry between himself and Del, Danny won’t let himself get sidetracked from helping his brother. Del finds he can help Danny out, in more ways than one.

I found this to be a sexy, super short hot story. The attraction and chemistry between Del and Danny was smoking hot and almost instant. I was kept a little off balance, as the point of view of the story swaps around from Del’s first person, to Danny’s third person, but the story-line was simple enough I managed to keep up with everything. I initially enjoyed the plotline of Danny searching for his brother, Thorn, but found that a large scene reuniting the two of them just before the middle of the book really bogged down the story to my mind. It felt a little like Del and Danny’s relationship and chemistry sparkled until Danny and Thorn were reunited, then the entire focus of the story switched to the brothers. Then afterwards the focus again switched completely back to Del and Danny. I feel if the scenes had blended together a bit better, or if the brother’s scene wasn’t quite as history and info-dumping, then the flow of the story would have felt a lot easier and smoother to my mind.

There are a strong cast of secondary characters, most of whom I found not only interesting, but intriguing as well. I have a feeling that Thorn and a possibly one of Del’s Dom buddies are being set up for future books down the road. I admit I found this book good enough and the concept fresh enough that I’d be interested in looking into future stories when they come out.

I also enjoyed the pacing of the sexual relationship between Del and Danny. Although they had chemistry and sizzle between them from practically the first page, they didn’t actually jump into bed until much further into the story. I found this extra time helped me get to know them both as characters before the sex over-rode everything else in the story. Danny is seriously into his kink – pain, predominantly – and some readers might find the power plays and struggles between Danny and Del a little too much for them. I found the sex and scenes were written tastefully but have to admit it’s a bit edgier and harder than you can often find in erotic romances. They don’t do a light spanking scene and move on, this book seems directed at readers who like a bit more edge in their reading material.

A hot, sexy and strongly kinky BDSM M/M erotic romance, this should appeal to many readers who want a bit more bite with their erotica.

Normal Enough by Marie Sexton

enough
Normal Enough by Marie Sexton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (82 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Play, Fetish
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

What is “normal”?

When Brandon Kenner shows up at Kasey Ralston’s garage with a 1970 Chevelle SS 454, Kasey is smitten by both the man and his car. But Kasey is hiding an embarrassing secret: his love for old muscle cars goes beyond what most would consider normal. His unusual fetish has kept Kasey isolated—estranged from his family and even distant from his coworkers.

But when Brandon figures out the hot mechanic’s secret, he’s not repulsed. In fact, he finds Kasey intriguing, and he’s determined to have him for himself.

Everything about Brandon revs Kasey’s engine, and he’s more than willing to get down and dirty with the charming man. What worries Kasey is what will happen after. Is there any chance of a future for them? In the past, expecting anything long-term has only led to heartbreak. But Kasey can’t help hoping that, despite Kasey’s fetish, Brandon will be the exception.

Kasey likes to keep his head down at work. A mechanic, specializing in muscle cars, he’s found once too often to be the butt of his “friends’” jokes. So he likes to stay invisible. Enter Brandon, a new client who himself reluctant to leave his baby in the hands of a stranger without checking the mechanics knowledge. Insisting on speaking personally to Kasey, the two hit it off immediately. Can they come to a mutually satisfying arrangement?

I have to confess, I’m not particularly a car person. I don’t dislike them – but I’m far from a motor-head. Even so, I found myself really enjoying this story. I loved how much Kasey adored his cars, and how they made him so horny. I particularly enjoyed how the author conveyed Kasey and Brandon’s appreciation of the muscle car so well, that I wanted to keep reading, to relish them enjoying the ride. I find when an author can make you appreciate something you’re not necessarily keen on, that’s the mark of excellent writing. I thought this story had that in spades.

This story was an interesting mixture of humour, lighthearted fun and sizzling sex. Personally, I didn’t feel any of it was particularly kinky or outrageous. While I can appreciate that Kasey feels his intense attraction to cars was a little abnormal, it really felt to me like he’d built it up in his head to be way more than it was. Getting off on (and in) older style, classic muscles cars really wasn’t that nutty to my mind. But Kasey thought it was weird, unnatural and unhealthy, which felt a little over the top to me. I feel it helped that his sexual pleasure from the car wasn’t written in a dirty or offensive manner, so I found it fun and light – rather than a deep, dark, embarrassing secret. I was surprised to find myself far more interested in Brandon and his cars, along with Kasey and his fetish, rather than the actual plot of Kasey reconnecting with his brother. I’m not sure if that mini-plot was just a little too loosely written – not pushed forward enough – or whether it was an after-thought not fully fleshed into the story, but that aspect of the plot just didn’t feel solid or given the same importance as the cars and growing relationship between Kasey and Brandon to my mind.

I really appreciated the pace of the romantic relationship between the two men. I feel the author did a great job, introducing us to Kasey (and his predilections) first, then slowly showing Brandon and Kasey coming together. Despite the shorter length of the story I was pleased with the pacing. Slow enough to be believable but sexy and hot enough to earn its erotic title.

I feel this story will really appeal to most readers, particularly those wanting a gentle M/M story or car enthusiasts. I found it fun, sexy and totally enjoyable. Recommended.

Three Wishes by Sean Michael

THREEWISHES
Three Wishes by Sean Michael
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length : Full Length (181 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Ménage, M/M/M, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Fisting, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Come to Rainbow Island, where all your sexual fantasies will come true.

In Three Wishes, James, Guard and Damien, bring in three different couples for their special fantasy granting services. Handsome model Benji is tired of being perfect, and he wants to make his body his own. Thor, tattoo artist and piercer, as well as Dom, is just the man to do it. Will Benji find what he’s looking for?

Meanwhile, Alan and Roman are a long-time sub/Dom couple looking to have a few outside Masters give Alan all the things that Roman can’t. Will their relationship survive Alan’s strong reaction to one of the Masters?

The last couple to visit the island are Quinn and Pierce. Quinn has medical fetishes he’s embarrassed to tell his lover Pierce about even though Pierce is a doctor. So he’s going to get it out of his system in this safe environment. At least that’s the plan…

Don’t miss out on these fantasies come true.

Wow. I really loved this book! With four main plots threading delicately together this has plenty going on. It’s a testament to Mr. Michael’s writing skills though that no couple/group gets either overlooked or dwelled on too long. I found the pacing of both the story and the relationships between the couples/groups to be amazing.

Guard, Damien and James run a small island resort for a very select clientele – they allow their clients a safe and welcoming environment where their deepest sexual fantasies can come true. The three men have also been in a ménage relationship until James was hurt. I loved how even though they, themselves aren’t their own clients – their fantasy of getting back together and starting fresh was also clearly one of the longer-term plot arcs. Guard and James are the first characters we’re introduced to – setting up the various fantasies that are about to take place – and I was immediately drawn into their story, curious at the threesome breaking up but also eager for their reunion since it’s so obvious their love is still strong.

There is effectively three proper short stories going on in this book – as well as Guard, Damien and James as a peripheral storyline. Thor and Benji explore a fantasy of body modifications (piercings and tattoos) as well as aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, then Alan and Roman explore voyeurism – Alan submitting while Roman watches – and finally Quinn and Pierce explore Quinn’s medical fantasies together.

While I don’t personally feel there was any “forced seduction” in these fantasties, in a few places the story was being told from the Dom’s perspective. In two instances the Dom/sub pairings were brand new – only having known each other for their time on the island/resort – so the reluctance shown by the subs could potentially be construed as “forced seduction”. There was always safewords though, and never any play rough enough that I felt bordered on abuse – but there is a very fine line between being truly forcing someone and one partner being reluctant in a safe scene. Personally – I feel with the safewords and genuine care shown between all the partners this shouldn’t be on the wrong side of that line, but some of the scenes are quite heavy/emotional and without knowing for a fact the sub is loving every second (ie being told from their point of view) I felt this was worth mentioning. Readers should also know that there is a knife play scene (sensations from the knife – not playing with the blood or full-on harm occurring), and a few medical examination style scenes (sounds, enemas and the like).

All up while there is plenty of fantasy-come-to-life scenes that might push various buttons, I found everything was written in good taste and as sensually as any more regular kinky, erotic story. I particularly enjoyed the characters and loved the different dynamics between couples both brand new and more established. While there might be triggers or parts of scenes that some readers might not find too erotic, I feel this is an excellent book to showcase some of the rarer kinks in a tasteful and safe environment. And just as the icing on the cake – all the fantasy plotlines were resolved with very happy and satisfied endings. There’s also clear hooks for both the next story and for the continuing relationship between Damien, James and Guard. I really enjoyed this and would strongly recommend it if readers are curious about “non-standard” types of kink. A lovely read.

Figs by Tabitha Rayne

FIGS
Figs by Tabitha Rayne
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: M/F/F, F/F, Ménage, Fetish (Food play)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Two girls, some fruit and an office perv—what could possibly go wrong?

When Mae finally confronts the office perv, Rory, by taking part in one of his suggestive pranks with a fig, she starts a journey that changes the way she thinks and feels about her current partner, Janey. Janey lost her sight just before they met and Mae realizes she has been keeping Janey like a prisoner in her own home—safe, protected and unseen. After the scene with Rory, Mae decides to take Janey out and show her off to the world—something she should have done a long time ago…

Little does she know what a hellraiser her girlfriend can be.

Mae and Janey have been girlfriends a while and are very happy with their relationship. But when Mae takes on a dare from the office perv, Rory, she has no idea how his suggestion will change the status quo of their relationship.

I found this short story to be quite interesting and different. Rory isn’t really made out to be hero material at all. Described not only as the office perv, but as lecherous and almost stalker-ish, I have to be honest and admit his character didn’t initially make a very good first impression. I did, however, like how it was clear almost immediately that there was far more to Rory’s character as that first “perv” impression made out. Mae and Janey also have their faults, both are quite jealous – Mae of Janey’s past experience with other women and Janey of Mae’s current social life and freedom at work throughout the day. This made the interactions between the characters – to my mind at least – both realistic and a lot more interesting than would first appear on the surface. These faults and issues were written in such a manner that they actually compelled my interest in reading further and discover how the story would unfold.

One thing I particularly enjoyed though – and which should appeal to most romance readers – there was never a question to my mind on Mae and Janey’s love for each other. No matter what else was going on between them – with or without Rory – the two women really loved each other and had a solid core at the base of their relationship. This helped ease me over any of my small niggles and little worries. I found their love and devotion to each other was beautiful to read.

Readers should be aware that there’s a fair bit of food-play sexually speaking. While figs are the initial instigation, Mae and Janey don’t stop there with their experimentation. The F/F main relationship between them is what the majority of the story is based upon. While the addition of Rory is consensual and teased/hinted at between the two ladies to ramp up their own sexual arousal the addition of a third and man for the ménage is the culmination of those fantasies, not the basis of the story itself. Readers who aren’t interested in F/F storylines might want to consider this when thinking about this story.

There’s plenty of lush sex scenes that should satisfy any erotic reader. All except the final climax scene were F/F, though the long-awaited ménage really lived up to the foundation that was laid for it in my opinion. A great scene and it left me satisfied by the high note the characters felt.

A steamy, raunchy short story about two committed women exploring their fantasies and some deliciously naughty sexual food-play. Add in the office perv for one night of a decadent ménage and all three of them are about to have a night of the wickedest fantasies. A sensual, sexy story that I enjoyed and found refreshingly different to so many other ménage stories out there.

Dom of Ages by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams

DOM
Dom of Ages by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (263 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex, spanking, flogging, sex toys, fetishes, BDSM
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Lilac

Eli may only be thirty, but he has had enough of pretend submissives. When he spies Jarod in a BDSM club, everything about the man screams submission. So what if Jarod is probably twenty years older than Eli. What does age matter, anyway? All he can see is what he’s always wanted—a sub who wants to serve.
Jarod spent twenty-four years with his Master before Fate took him. Four years on, Jarod is still lost, so when a young Dom takes charge, Jarod rolls with it and finds himself serving again. But he keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop. Because there’s going to come a point when Eli realizes he’s a laughing stock in the club. Who would want to be seen with a fifty-year-old sub?
After several missteps, Eli realizes that in order to find happiness, they will need friends who will understand. At a friend’s insistence, he visits Collars & Cuffs, where they are met with open arms. As they settle in to their new life, Eli begins to see things differently and he dares to think he can have it all. Until a phone call threatens to take it all away….

An older sub loses his lifelong master and then loses his will to live. Could a younger Dom be the answer to his dilemma?

This story shows that age is not a determining factor when it comes to a person’s tendencies in either domination or submission. Here the older man is submissive and the younger man is dominant.

Jarod is a true submissive. He lives to serve in every sense. He’s been with his Master his whole adult life, so when the Master dies, Jarod is completely lost. Four years later he still mourns. And it doesn’t help that every time he tries to go out to clubs and find some relief in the form of a Dom, he gets laughed at, mocked, ridiculed, and berated for being too old (late forties), useless, and unwanted. Such hateful ageism from a supposedly accepting community. Guess such things exist in every community.

Eli is in his early thirties, and he’s tired of poser subs who act defiantly in the hopes of being punished with a spanking and fuck. He’s bored. When he spots Jarod at a club, he doesn’t hesitate to take the man home to be his sub. But… Jarod has his issues to deal with, and Eli doesn’t seem to understand what to do with a broken sub now that he has one. They find it difficult to talk about their pasts and what they want from life and each other. Their growing affection for one another, though, is a powerful force gluing them together.

This works as a standalone even though it’s the seventh in the series, Collars and Cuffs. The title refers to a BDSM club that houses some very special Doms and subs, and where Eli brings Jarod, hoping to give his sub a better experience than the ones he’s received in the past. The owners and many patrons become familiar as the story progresses, and their stories have clearly come before this one in the series. Though it’s not necessary to read the other books, I suggest you do. Just to find out what’s happening and who the numerous cast members are and what they’re all about. Hey, more reading goodies.

Not knowing the BDSM community well, I have to wonder if these kinds of situations aren’t more common, since an older Dom with a younger sub seem to be the norm. That when a Dom is with a specific sub for a long time, their age discrepancy automatically means that one of them will likely die and leave the other alone. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotional toll that takes on the survivor who is cast adrift. Apparently, though, that isn’t the whole case, since the capacity of the human heart to rediscover love is eternal, as this story proves. One just has to be willing to take a risk and put yourself out there again.

The plot unfolds slowly, revealing various facets of Eli and Jarod as they try to build a life together. But they both have unfinished business, so that’s not an easy task. This isn’t an insta-love story. Not even insta-lust. The two men find each other attractive right from the start but the first sex scene doesn’t come for a long time. So if you’re into instant gratification for your sexy-read jollies, look elsewhere. This tale takes patience.

The two authors seem to know their stuff. Not just in terms of personalities but BDSM specifics and the community, as Eli teaches us a few things during his lessons. For example, I’d never heard of using sounds for a session. Intriguing. The men feel real and the beautiful writing takes us right into their heads and lives. The book is written in first person from the perspective of both the main characters. Their individual voices didn’t come off the writing, per se, but on showing us how different the men are and how they deal with their problems. Where Eli puts things off, Jarod falls deeper into the mire of feeling not yet dealt with. There are serious matters at work here.

Spoiler warning! There’s an attempted suicide here, so if that theme offends or troubles you, be warned.

Though the pace is leisurely, the story moves swiftly enough. The writing is fluent and professional, and I was quickly drawn into the story, wanting to know more, read more, to be shown more, to be invited into this sensual world and to be taken for an emotional ride. Though at the times the feelings ran amok, such as Jarod being teary-eyed a lot, I understood that both men needed something elusive and had a lot going on. They only find balance with each other and are able to take each other to places they’ve never been.

Now, while I said this works as a standalone, it’s clear this series is reaching its end. If you haven’t read the previous books yet, I suggest you avoid reading the epilogue. It doesn’t show Eli and Jarod, but instead gives us a peek of what’s to come with the next book and the wrap-up of the series.

In any case, this is a wonderfully written tale of two realistic men who show us that most things in life are not dependent on age. Regardless of how many years we’ve lived, we can still suffer or fall in love or be a part of something greater. That’s a great positive message to take from this since none of us are getting any younger. I for one will be checking out the other books in the series. Highly recommended!

Easter Invasion by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly

INVASION
Easter Invasion by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly
BDSM Voyages book 2
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (84 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Fetish (puppy play), Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Paul and Hamish are at it again, this time on the Easter Holiday. Paul is on a business trip in Amsterdam trying to think of some kinky games to liven things up a bit. However Hamish’s family may just stand in the way of their fun. Paul must be creative this time in order to fit the family dinner into his sexy plans. Finally, he comes up with a solution to be there at the dinner table carving up the roast for the family meal and satisfy his lover’s sex-craved dreams. Enlisting the help of his friend Ethan, he heads home, unaware that Hamish is hatching his own scheme for a lusty good time.

Paul is stuck in Amsterdam on a business trip and is really missing his husband Hamish. Their Easter plans are going down the drain too, and Hamish’s family is serving up a nice side-platter of drama. Paul has some kinky ideas though of how they can rescue their Easter Holidays….

This is a deliciously fun, kinky story. While the story definitely revolves around Paul and Hamish and their relationship, a friendly ex of Paul’s, Ethan, helps create a specific fantasy for both Paul and Hamish. While not a traditional threesome – these are both “one time only” deals – all three men do sexually interact together in two luscious, seriously hot scenes. I also liked how Hamish and Ethan struck up a kind of friendship. Ethan might be Paul’s ex, but they’re friendly and still work together occasionally, so seeing Hamish be accepting of this and get to know Ethan a bit was something I really enjoyed reading. All too often the “jealous of the ex” thing tends to overshadow any chance of common ground or friendship and it was refreshing for me to see Hamish act like a secure, grown man. I also felt this might easily lead into a following story, perhaps revolving around Ethan and I’d really enjoy reading that. I was a little disappointed that the ending seemed sudden – while there wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger I feel fairly certain the story is far from over. Readers who like every loose end tied up might find that frustrating – but it’s an excellent way to ensure people continue to look for the next book!

I really liked how about half way through the story the perspective swapped from Paul to Hamish. This helped me get into both of the men’s heads better and I liked the feeling of understanding both men quite closely. Readers should be aware while written in a fun, light and slightly humorous manner there is a fair bit of kink to the sex between Paul, Hamish and Ethan. There is a fairly serious Puppy Play scene – which I personally found tastefully written and pretty darn hot to read – but might not be a kink all readers will enjoy indulging in. Personally I felt the sex was dealt with really well and readers who are curious about Puppy Play or just kink in general might want to give this short story a try just to see what it’s like.

A fun, sexy story that should had me reaching for a lovely cool drink. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for other kinky stories by these authors.

Devoted Alpha by DC Juris

ALPHA
Devoted Alpha by DC Juris
Publisher: Torquere Press LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (47 pgs)
Other: M/M, Fetish (Breastfeeding, Daddy Play)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

Sokel and Sebastian from “Broken Alpha” are back. Sokel has long known his Human mate has harbored certain hidden fantasies and desires, but he’s not the kind of Alpha to demand anything of his omega. One night, a whispered word slips past Sebastian’s lips — daddy. Ever the devoted Alpha, Sokel sets out to help his mate understand that these cravings don’t make him a deviant. But when Sokel visits a fellow healer in an attempt to please his mate, has he gone too far? And will their best friends and housemates, Korden and Rennett, be able to accept this new twist to their lifestyle?

As a couple Sokel and Sebastian could not be more devoted to each other. Yet Sebastian hides a secret, a kink that he thinks will make others see him as dirty and no longer wish to be friends with him. What if it costs him Sokel’s love? Sometimes secrets cannot stay hidden especially from your Alpha mate. When Sokel figures out what may be the cause of Sebastian’s worries he decides to tackle them head on and give his mate what he truly wants and needs. Could he have gone to far? What will Sebastian’s reaction be? He loves him no matter what but is he pushing to hard? Should he just let it remain a fantasy?

This is a beautiful story that shows just how far someone will go for the person that they love. Sokel goes to lengths to fulfill Sebastian’s needs. Even going as far as figuring out how to breastfeed the man. As Sokel goes about finding a way to give Sebastian his needs we see the deep love and the connection that the two men have. The two begin to be connected even more as they indulge themselves. Sebastian learns that trusting and loving his Alpha is the right thing to do. Sokel goes above and beyond to help the man that he loves.

This new part of their adventure moves at a good pace and had me more than intrigued and cheering for the love that is between them. Readers are treated to a wonderful story that centers around Sebastian’s Daddy kink which does involve male breast feeding but gives you so much more. You never doubt the love and devotion from this couple and I am glad to see the bond and love grow deeper as the men explore.

Negotiating Love by Morticia Knight

LOVE
Negotiating Love by Morticia Knight
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (157 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Fetish, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Can the kinky billionaire owner of the Dark Fantasy resort casino capture the heart of a muscled SWAT officer with a secret fetish?

SWAT Team Hostage Negotiator Steve wonders why he can’t stay away from the spoiled, rich Allistair, owner of Dark Fantasy Resort Casino. They have mutual kinks—ones Steve can’t find with other lovers—but there’s something else about the emotionally detached, beautiful man that calls to him.

Billionaire Allistair stays alone in his luxury penthouse apartment at the top of Dark Fantasy, terrified of the real world and of opening himself up to genuine emotions. He takes lover after lover, all of them allowing him to do whatever he wants to their bodies, in the hopes that they can scam something from him.

One night is all he ever shares with a plaything—he knows they only want the money and luxury he can offer them and nothing more. But the down to earth Steve is different. They share the same kinks and are explosive when together. But could the muscled law officer ever want more than the lust-filled encounters that have become such an addiction?

As they grow closer, they discover they also have to find a balance between Steve’s everyday world and Allistair’s entitled world before they can truly find an ever after. They also have to make sure Allistair stays safe. Filthy rich playboys are too tempting to those who seek the ultimate payday—and who aren’t afraid of hurting someone to get it.

They say opposites attract and there couldn’t be two men more different than Steve Ashwood and Allistair Richmond. While one works for the LVMPD as a hostage negotiator, the other is a billionaire playboy without a care in the world. Or so it would seem. As their worlds draw closer together, they begin to discover that not everything is as cut and dried as it once appeared.

Steve made his first appearance in Held Hostage as a hostage negotiator during the standoff at Brett’s clothing store in the Fashion Show Mall. His friends with benefits relationship with Cole was a decent sized part of the previous novel as they were best friends as well as lovers. I’m happy that we got Steve’s story this go around because all of his sneaky behavior in the middle of the previous book made me curious as to who he’d found and whether it was going to last or not. I liked Steve a lot, especially the contradictions between his outwardly appearance and his internal desires. It makes for an interesting character.

Allistair, on the other hand, was a completely new character for me. He’s also a bit of an odd duck, to say the least. In a lot of ways, he’s very adult and focused and in others, he’s extremely childlike and innocent. Although his childish exuberance got to be too much at times, I had to remind myself that he wasn’t used to the kind of interactions he was experiencing. He did eventually relax and calm down somewhat by the middle of the book and felt like more of a real character by then. By the time I finished the novel, however, I was convinced that he and Steve really were made for each other.

One of the things that makes Negotiating Love different from the previous four books in this series is that part of the storyline runs concurrent to that of the previous book, Held Hostage. It is interesting seeing part of the hostage situation from the previous book play out through Steve’s eyes rather than Cole’s. This fifth novel also ups the ante with the BDSM play as well. Despite the fact that it went a little farther into the BDSM than I usually care for, the addition of Steve and Allistair’s fetish balanced it out for me, giving me an exciting and sexy read.

The Naughty List by multiple authors

list
The Naughty List by multiple authors
Publisher: Red Moon Romance
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (201 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Fetish
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Six holiday romances, from sexy to sweet, prove that love is better on the Naughty List.

A Christmas Maggie by Tiffany Reisz
All Daniel wanted for Christmas was to spoil his new girlfriend, Anya, make love under the tree, and ignore all his old heartaches. But the ghosts of Christmas past aren’t so easily forgotten especially when Maggie, his late wife, shows up to remind him why the past should stay in the past and why his Christmases-future could be the best of his life if he can finally let himself live and love in this Christmas present. (A Christmas Maggie is the final story in the Daniel trio [from the Original Sinners series] beginning with The Gift and followed by Daniel Part Two.)

Christmassy by Alexa Piper
When taotien Valerion and witchling Cora get together sparks fly. But on the way to visit Cora’s family for Christmas, they encounter a supernatural predator that will not only test their individual powers and abilities, but also their connection to one another.

My Midnight Cowboy by Pumpkin Spice
If chocolate is the way to a man’s heart, then pastry chef Lucy Baker has the recipe for success. But will her culinary skills melt the most hard-hearted bachelor in Wyoming? A chance encounter on a New Year’s Eve flight leaves two strangers to discover unbound pleasure and a hunger for sexual discovery.

In the Doghouse by Elizabeth Black
Nicky and Angela had just begun to add a little kink to their lives when, caught up in the influence of his dudebros he forgot their anniversary and broke Angela’s heart. Angela wants Nicky’s strong arms around her again, but first she wants him to fight for her. Can one night, a paddle and some restraints bridge the gap between them?

Winter’s Daughter by Doug Blakeslee
A child of the Fae—bound to winter and a promise given to her chosen mate. She must claim him before time runs out and all she loves in the world falls to ruin. A child of mortals—forgotten and discarded by the world, then torn from the most amazing woman he’s ever met. Trapped in the sort of fae-tale that rarely ends in happily ever after, are they strong enough to defy the odds and find love?

Stealing Time by Wendy Sparrow
As Father Time’s son, Zeit must sacrifice a mortal’s lifetime to the Fates each New Year’s Eve. Last year—inexplicably, really—he made an 11:59 substitution. The Fates are pissed and they’re after his mortal Hannah. With the year ending, he ought to figure out why he’d saved her—and why he keeps doing it. Following an unlucky year, Hannah needs a week’s holiday in a lodge to unwind. What she gets is near-death experiences and a sexy immortal who can’t avoid kissing her, but might have to kill her. After all, even Zeit can’t hold back time indefinitely.

This naughty list has something to please every reader.

Anthologies are sometimes a tough read when you have to consider each story, good or bad, into your overall rating for the collection.

Okay. So every writer has a voice and every voice will not be for everyone. That said, I found some of the stories in this anthology more polished than others. In A Christmas Maggie, Tiffany Reisz tells a tale very much to the tune of A Christmas Carol where a Dom learns to appreciate the sub in his life. The ghost of his now deceased wife shows him things that he isn’t prepared for but it is an awakening. The sexy scenes in this one curled my toes in typical Tiffany Reisz style and I couldn’t get enough. Awesome story with a couple of tear jerking moments.

Christmassy was harder to read. I felt like I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and was quickly annoyed by the feeling I had missed something. Like in the middle of a series when you just don’t know what the heck is going on. I stopped reading mid-way when I couldn’t find anything to keep me in the story.

My Midnight Cowboy was stunning and I think my favorite story from the anthology. Pumpkin Spice is a new author for me-partly because of the name. It put me off a bit. But no more. I’m hooked. Her style was absolutely electrifying and I am going to get every book she has. The sensual nature of her sex scenes, the buildup of emotion. Holy wow. Fan girl swoon. Loved it and want more. I hope this book gets released as a series because it would rock the house.

In the Doghouse was an odd story with twerking snowmen and a suddenly dominant next door neighbor. I have to admit it left me a little disjointed. When Nicky stops paying attention to his girl, she retaliates-but it just doesn’t seem believable. Her reaction was odd and even with the cool Domme scenes I could not get into this story.

Winter’s Daughter was another strange plotbunny. This one centers around a boy and a girl in a ski lodge. The girl is apparently a fairy from another dimension who is battling her sisters for the right to be happy. In this case it involves a random guy at a ski lodge, a key card (mysteriously she had one) and a lot of extracurricular activities. Nothing seemed to fit here. Not the sudden key card from a woman from another dimension to the back and forth between the characters. There was sex but it left me wanting more.

Stealing Time was a great story. It grabbed my attention at the start and didn’t let go. The sexy tension between the reaper and the girl he is supposed to kill put me on pins and needles. Excellent holiday story that would do well as a longer novel or series of novellas. Great premise and I couldn’t help but want to know more about what happens to these wonderful characters.

Overall, the anthology was a 4/5 for me due to the mixed quality of the stories. Such strong presences by Reisz, Spice and Sparrow made it worth the read and will no doubt have me coming back for more from these authors.
If you want a fun holiday mix, give these stories a try.