Safe Words by Drury Jamison

SAFE
Safe Words by Drury Jamison
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (382 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Masturbation, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

After years of alcohol and promiscuous sex, Detective Eleanor Silver is not the cop or the person she wanted to be. New doors and new worlds open up when the murders of sexually dominant women, involved in the world of BDSM, lead her to Dr. Anderson Wells. A psychologist and sexual submissive, Anderson offers to be her guide. They soon find themselves exploring on more intimate levels. He sees in her, the strong and forceful woman he craves. She sees in him, a man strong enough to surrender control.

As he escorts her into the world of kink parties, leather corsets and safe words she flourishes, becoming the kind of woman she never dreamed. Even as they become closer, both as lovers and as Dominant and submissive, new murders and his own lie make Anderson a suspect and then the target of a cop looking to clear his own name.

Events and passions collide with bite marks, pretty underwear and murder in a world where cops may be killers and lovers may hold whips. Eleanor Silver has to let go of her pain to claim for herself the life she wants and risk everything to save the man she loves.

Floggers and paddles…oh my.

Some books really go down deep and keep you reading down to the last morsel and leave you hungering for more. Like…right now. Give it to me. That’s what Safe Words by Drury Jamison was for me. A murder mystery and an education on the BDSM lifestyle, this book was a journey into some of the lesser known angles of power exchanges and relationships and the pages just melted by.

Detective Eleanor Silver is a dominant woman struggling with a drinking problem in a world run by men. During a murder investigation of a Domme, she is introduced to Dr. Anderson Wells, a sexual submissive known as the Professor. He illuminates the mysterious world of BDSM and in showing Eleanor who she is, also takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride.

Men as sexual submissives are misunderstood. Eleanor had expected a shy and blushing man, not the capable person sitting in front of her at the local bar. Her tightly woven cage begins to unwind and Detective Silver finds herself in deeper than she ever imagined herself to be. There is everything kind of kink you can imagine all around her at the events and gatherings she attends.

The murders of dominant women continue and Silver has a lot on her plate. But one thing she has figured out. She no longer has the burning desire to drown out her life in drink. Instead, she thinks about Anderson constantly. This new hard and soft side of her is both illuminating and surprising but what she learns next will either save her or set her free. All at the soft whisper of a safe word.

I loved this book from beginning to end. The ugly parts and the pretty. The glamour and the underbelly. Drury Jamison shows us the world of submissive men and the vast rainbow of characters at any given BDSM event. Most novels I’ve read showcase the Dom, but not this one. This one glorifies strong women and the men behind them. It also shows the power struggle in some circumstances and just how real secrets can get in the cold light of day.

There was nothing I didn’t like about the book. The characters were rich, the scenes described beautifully and the interaction between the MC’s absolutely beautiful. Seeing Silver flourish and become the Domme as Anderson showed her what home meant was amazing and I had tears in my eyes on more than one occasion. It also had cutting edge mystery that kept you guessing who the murderer was until the moment it was revealed. Wow….wow.

I want more of Detective Silver and her man Anderson and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to read this novel. Fans of Kallypso Masters, Sierra Cartwright and others that delve into the healing aspect of BDSM will adore this book.

Bring me more…

Armored Hearts by Angela Knight

HEARTS
Armored Hearts by Angela Knight
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Captivity makes the heart grow kinkier…

When interstellar mercenary Captain Nick Rand rescues a beautiful enemy from his own men, he thinks she’s the answer to his vampire prayers. On the verge of starvation thanks to the destruction of his hemosynther, he’s in desperate need of a female blood donor.

Lieutenant Zara Tahir needs Nick Rand as badly as he needs her. Without Nick’s blood, Zara’s overactive immune system will kill her.

But Zara has no intention of embracing captivity. While she’s willing to exchange blood for blood, maybe even play a kinky game or two with the handsome vampire dominant, he’s still the enemy. She can’t allow herself to see him as anything more.

Then Rand’s enemies make things a lot more complicated…

I give high marks for the stunningly imaginative sex scene that Ms. Knight created in Armored Hearts. Because this is science fiction, the author was able to let her imagination run wild and what she came up with was sexy, titillating, exciting and completely unique. If I could have an experience like that just once, I’m pretty sure I’d probably end up speaking gibberish because the afterglow would be so overwhelming, if I could speak at all. The description was mind blowing. The story is really good but this scene is the brightest gem in the treasure chest.

Zara and Rand are on opposite sides of a conflict. The author created the sense of otherworldliness by word usage and references to objects that are common place to her characters but are pure science fiction fantasy and it was a lot of fun seeing what Ms. Knight came up with. Yet, the war that Zara is fighting in and the villains she’s fighting against parallel our own earthly struggles. It was easy to connect and relate to the heroine’s devotion to fight. Rand, on the other hand, isn’t on the villain’s side because he believes in the cause, but because he’s a paid fighter. He has a brain and a stronger moral fiber than the minions around him. As such, the hero comes to the decision that money isn’t everything. Sometimes a person has to take a stand against injustice and vicious tyranny but it becomes even easier when you have something beyond yourself to fight for. In this case, love. Tara’s ‘it’ for him, but they’re surrounded by the bad guys, so how is he going to get them both out alive? The hero has a plan. That was fun reading.

Except for a few missing word blips in the editing, this short story is flawless. Ms. Knight manages to give a reader a meaty plot, a noble cause, exciting shoot ‘em ups and examples of vampire fighting prowess. The author also gives erotic romance readers plenty of eroticism to enjoy and be entertained by, and they were placed within the story where they played a role in developing the relationship between Rand and Zara. Whenever I read a book written by Ms. Knight, I am always satisfied on so many levels. She gives her characters heart, she gives readers a reason to care, and love is always the greatest reward.

If a reader is seeking a short story that has the taste and feel of a full novel, but takes a fraction of the time to read and enjoy, then pick up a copy of Armored Hearts. It’s a sure pleaser.

In the Dark by Lyla Sinclair

DARK
In the Dark by Lyla Sinclair
Dark Minds Book 1
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (181 Pages)
Other: BDSM, Forced Seduction, Anal Sex/Anal Play, Spanking, M/F
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

At the age of 11, Ana Villarreal suffered from unexplained blindness for over a week. During this time, a young man crept into her room, kissed her, and whispered words in her ear that sent a chill down her spine. Twelve years later, Ana is living in New York City, the youngest manager at her company, but work is all she has. She rushes home at night and locks herself in, afraid he is still out there, somewhere, looking for her.

Until she meets Damien through the company’s online help chat, and, eventually, asks him to call her. At first, he refuses to meet in person, claiming he’s a disfigured recluse who rarely leaves his house. When he finally allows Ana to visit him, she suspects the black surgical mask he wears to cover his “disfigurement” is a farce, but, still, she becomes obsessed with him. Even though she’s not allowed to see his face. Even though she must confront her fear of total darkness to be with him. Even though, in a moment of passion, he utters a sentence almost exactly like the one she heard in her bedroom 12 years ago.

There’s something about Damien that allows her to overcome her aversion to men. Only with him can her needy body find release. As Ana submits to his shocking demands, his claims seem more suspicious, and she must ask herself whether Damien is the love of her life, or her stalker who’s come to claim her, body and soul.

Our instinct is to always protect ourselves from harm, even if those hurts are purely of the soul.

I was very skeptical when I read the synopsis. Now, I can say for sure that this novel is not for the faint of heart. Readers who enjoy erotic romance, but don’t enjoy extreme and dark erotic, will likely not enjoy this one. In the Dark mostly certainly qualifies as a dark erotic novel with an added mystery and suspense. The mystery and suspense is more about the past but it influences the present.

Ana’s past has never really left or rather she hasn’t been able to let go of it. She has a successful professional life. Even if certain aspects of her profession are affected by her past, she’s been able to build a successful career. Her personal life is a whole other matter.

Damien had a rough life thanks to his crazy mother. He is a self-proclaimed hermit because of a disfigurement that occurred when he was a child. He never goes out, but because of his intelligence he has money and time. He can do anything he wants. It made it a little unbelievable for me that in all these years he never really went anywhere. But being an only child may have made it a lot easier to feel comfortable without needing companionship.

Damien and Ana’s past made them who they are and it’s also what makes them a great couple. They understand each other a lot better than anyone else would have. Damien’s disfigurement makes him a lover of the safety that the darkness provides while Ana’s encounter with a stranger as a child, makes her fear the darkness and what it holds.

Ms. Sinclair did a great job with the plot. But I think the characters are not that easy to understand. For example, Damien is very, very adamant that Ana will hate him and even be repulsed with him when she sees his face. It became a little repetitious. Likewise, when Ana was asked about what else happened with her when she was a child, she was adamant that nothing happened. Her denial of what triggered her issues with the dark was a little over the top. It was refreshing when she finally admits to the reason behind her very legitimate fears.

Ana and Damien’s relationship started out through online chatting. I think that played a big part in not only getting them together but also in their trust with each other. They had time to bond outside of their ‘normal’ world. The mystery and suspense had me hooked right until the end.

Beck & Call by Emma Holly

CALL
Beck & Call by Emma Holly
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (245 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, F/M/M, M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Anal sex, Forced Seduction, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Women can’t keep their hands off billionaire Damien Call. The mysterious mogul has it all: fast cars, killer looks, and a brain that just might be his best asset.

Mia Beck loves her job at a PI firm. Her coworker Jake stars in most of her daydreams, so seeing him everyday is no hardship.

Jake hasn’t believed in human goodness since he worked black ops for the CIA. Romancing innocent Mia is unthinkable, no matter how enticingly submissive she seems to be. Then a case of corporate espionage forces them to pose as a dom/sub duo, to catch the eye of accused wrongdoer Damien. No fantasy is off limits for this voyeur—until the attraction the pair exerts lures him to go hands on . . .

Ready for an erotic romance that will blow your socks off? Give Beck & Call a try because Ms. Holly loaded this novel up with all the good stuff. The author introduced three characters that are all unique, quirky in their own way, and how they all mesh is a wonderful orchestration of personalities.

Damien is the aloof control freak with money to burn and a heart to protect. Jake is hardened ex-military with some experiences that inadvertently come in handy but who is doing his darnedest to stay away from the innocent and delightful Mia. Mia is the sweet custard filling in the middle of the treat. Yes, she’s a nice girl with a yen to please those she cares for but there’s nothing vanilla about this girl. She thinks she’s bland but when a case comes their way at the investigative company she works for, it means taking on a new challenge where her special skill and sunny personality provides the edge they need.

In the course of the case, Mia finds out more about herself than she thought possible and it’s very exciting. The reason why it’s such a page turner is the fire and sparks that erupt between Jake and Mia. The seduction was set in motion in the first chapter and the rest of the book takes a reader on a journey of sexual exploration, revelation and relationship development. Ms. Holly has perfected the telling of a romance while between the sheets, in the kitchen or wherever else passion overtakes her characters. Interspersed throughout are insights into what makes the characters tick because the point of view is told through all three characters, but Mia’s POV is a bit more prominent.

While reading the love scenes I saw the characters share secrets and insights about themselves which made what they were doing less about sex and more about falling in love. It wasn’t just about touching each other’s bodies but their hearts. The hardest heart to reach was Damien’s. His situation was unexpected and I really felt for him. However, once the HEA was reached, I had the distinct wish that he, with Jake and Mia at his back, would stand up once and for all to the perpetrator of his greatest hurt and stand tall and proud and tell that person that they had no more power over him, that he found people who love and believe in him. Because that is what Damien found in Mia and Jake – people who really won’t let him down, who believe in him and love him no matter what. And for me, that was the absolute most stupendously wonderful and powerful moment in the book. If I had to choose whose story was most compelling, I’d choose Damien’s.

Less a reader think this novel is only about sex, I have to mention the very devious little drama that plays out. There’s a bit of corporate espionage going on but I had no idea which way it was going to go, and when the conflict came to a crisis point, Ms. Holly presented a gripping and exciting conclusion which included a bit of military style help, cool gadgets and some crazy and delusional people to mess things up. It was very action packed.

If I could ask for things to make this book better, it would have been to get a clearer insight into Jake, to understand how Jake fit into the club scene. It was sort of hinted at and it was definitely titillating and intriguing but I was left unsatisfied. I can guess it was because it might have detracted from the main story but … just what was Jake and Curtis’s connection when they gave each other those looks? Did I miss something? One thing is for sure, this book is easy to re-read, so maybe I’ll figure it out with round two. A clever thing I did figure out was the novel’s title. I got a kick out of that.

Beck & Call is truly a romantic erotic story not to miss. Fans of Ms. Holly can be excited about this one; it’s a great showcase of her storytelling strengths. I’m a happy reader.

Indecent Seduction by Kayla Star

INDECENT
Indecent Seduction by Kayla Star
Publisher: Soul Mates Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (197 pgs)
Other: M/F, Masturbation, Forced Seduction, Toys, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

When Olivia’s husband of eight years walks out on her for a younger woman, she is left devastated. She seeks solace in the form of an online relationship with an Italian man who calls himself ‘Romeo’.

Although she agrees to speak to him on Skype, there is always some excuse why he does not show himself on camera to her, although she does get to hear his sultry voice. Despite being frustrated by this, she finds herself falling for his charms. One evening after a couple of glasses of wine, she ends up undressing on the webcam for him and pleasuring herself by engaging in something she’s never tried before, cybersex, which enables her to reach the dizzy heights of rapture. A feeling so erotic, powerful, and comforting, that she keeps yearning for more to sooth her emotional pain.

The cybersex starts to become an addiction as she begins to lose touch with reality. But is Romeo who he says he is, and will she finally get to meet her Latin lothario?

A cybernet ‘Romeo’ goes to great lengths to seduce his would be Juliet. This is not your mama’s Shakespeare by a long shot.

Indecent Seduction brings to light some things a lot of us take for granted. With the invention of computer and internet came the ability to connect with people living all around the world. While there are a lot of positives to that, we have to keep in mind the negatives for the purpose of our own safety.

The best thing about this story was the ending.

There were some negatives. The beginning needs some work. The character representation at the beginning was not as strong as it could have been. It felt that Miss Star was not sure of how best to portray some of the characters.

What she did do well was in trying to keep it real. Plausible. This is story that could be a lonely woman’s fantasy at best and nightmare at worst, but it could happen.

When Olivia’s husband leaves for her for a younger woman she completely breaks down. But then she meets a strange man online and starts chatting. Chatting leads to more personal and graphic escapades. She starts to gain back and build up a new self again. Every action has its consequence, good or bad.

The plot at first was a little hazy and uncertain but she came on strong and developed a worthy ending for the situation.

I would very much recommend this to readers who look for romantic fiction that closely resembles reality.

Vampires Aren’t Real by Willa Okati

REAL
Vampires Aren’t Real by Willa Okati
Publisher: Changeling Press, LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (67 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F/M, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Peppermint

Gilly. Big, beautiful, smart-mouthed, one hell of a lady and oh, yeah — a werewolf who works on a faux-reality show. It’s a living. Warren. Die-hard cynic with the attitude and build of a Navy SEAL. Does not believe in the supernatural. He’s in for the surprise of his life. Dusty. A toned, muscled, devastatingly handsome teddy-bear of a guy. Loves to play games. Loves Gilly and Warren. He’s not prepared for what’s going to happen.

Together, the three of them are an unstoppable force. Sex, love and friendship rule the day and rock their world. That’s the way it’s always been. But they’re about to be put to the test. One night at a dance club plus one stranger in a ridiculous vampire costume equals a whole lot of trouble. Especially when the stranger turns out to be a real vampire. One who has some really nasty plans for Gilly, Warren and Dusty.

The problem with his plan? Gilly doesn’t take anything lying down, and she’s ready to kick some ass…

Gilly loves her men, that is unquestionable she demonstrates this in her willingness to both please them as well as do what it takes to get them back. It is sweet the way she cares for them, even when they do not know how truly much she protects them from the things that go bump in the night.

Gilly by far is the standout character in this story. She definitely brings a bright and at times dark aspect to the story. As it is told from her point of view, you get a lot of her quirky personality which I really appreciated. Even when her and her boys are facing possible death she still manages to keep her quick wit and smart mouth. She definitely keeps the story rolling and moving forward with plenty of entertainment.

Dusty and Warren’s characters felt a little flat at times on the other hand. They both had their own personalities. Dusty being the loveable and naive guy you just can’t help but to love. Warren very militant and logical and holding things together usually. I just would have liked to have seen a bit more about these characters as they made each character so different. They were a modern day odd couple, and seeing more of that would have made the ménage relationship felt more genuine and long lasting for me.

Dracula proves to Dusty and Warren that not only are vampires real, but they have more control over mortals and even werewolves than you can imagine. It is kind of scary how easily Dracula is able to take control over Dusty and Warren. Really makes me wonder if it is possible. This antagonistic conflict is a large part of the story, as Dracula easily makes them bend to his will and proves he can use them as puppets in any way he sees fit. I liked this element to the story, but other elements in the story felt a bit to clichéd to me and made it felt a bit disingenuous.

This story features sex, sex and more sex. There is no shortage of erotica here, and I loved it. I did label it forced as Dracula does force the parties to do sexual acts when they are under his spell, but it is done in a way that is tasteful for the genre and definitely not too much for this girl. Though I did cringe at a few of the acts wondering if it was painful, the characters seemed to enjoy themselves so how could I not enjoy it with them? I like my erotica with plenty of kink and eroticism so this was perfect for me.

I would say if you want a light, fun yet kinky story this will definitely fit the bill. It was definitely an easy read, and may even make you wish you can be mentally stimulated by a vampire or two yourself.

Hers to Own: The Vault Series by Anne Lange

HERS
Hers to Own: The Vault Series by Anne Lange
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (395 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, F/F, Ménage, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

He’ll teach her to love her body…one spanking at a time.

Brienna Morgan has worked hard to look good. Ten years ago she stuck to the shadows, watching the popular kids, wishing she could be one of them. But when they weren’t calling her cruel names, nobody noticed the smart overweight girl with the glasses.

So when she braves her high school reunion and runs into Kade McBride, the boy she loved from afar, the last thing she wants is for him to remember her. It’s bad enough she still sees that girl every time she looks in the mirror. But Kade does remember—and he makes it impossible for Brie to refuse to go out with him. She’s not convinced it’s a good idea, but she can’t pass up the opportunity to be part of the in crowd.

Kade had no desire to go to his high school reunion. As far as he’s concerned, he’d rather forget those days. Especially the day he screwed up and left his best friend to pay the ultimate price. But when he sees the gorgeous woman enter the gym, he’s immediately drawn to her. Regardless of her claims that she’s not the girl he thinks he remembers, Kade realizes maybe he’s been given a second chance to right at least one wrong from his past. And he’s determined not to throw this opportunity away, even if he has to tie Brienna to a spanking bench to prove his point.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…but when your own eyes don’t see the beauty in the mirror what then?

Brie is a woman with weight issues. Facing her oncoming high school reunion, she is terrified and excited about running into her long time obsession Kade. She has worked hard to maintain her current weight, but can’t shake the scars of the past. When she runs into him at the reunion and he asks her out, she acts like she doesn’t remember him.

Kade recalls the one girl who was honest and true to him in high school and is excited to see her at the reunion. When she won’t admit to remembering him, he asks her out on a date, determined to find out more about this new and sexy version of Brie.

Jamie is Brie’s best friend. Gorgeous and studly, he has no romantic inclinations toward her but bristles as things evolve between Brie and Kade-especially when she reveals that their second date is not just at a restaurant, but the Vault, the new adult club in town. It seems that Jamie just might have some secrets of his own.

This story has some twists and turns, but my favorite aspect is Brie learning to love her body. Kade insists she see in the mirror what he does and that can be a difficult thing. Weight issues are a core thing that can haunt a person’s self-image for years and the terror that she will go back to what she was before is enough to rock Brie’s world, even threatening the budding romance between Kade and herself. When he takes her to his family’s business- The Vault, she is awakened to a whole new reality. When Kade and Brie are threatened by someone who wants to exert her own brand of control all bets are off.

And I stop there lest I give away too much of the plot. This book is very hot, but I was thrown a little off by the opening scene. It didn’t end up detracting from the rest of the book, but I like to get to know a character before I’m walking through one of her orgasms. The book is an awakening for Brie and a personal growth for Kade who has never considered a woman for a long term relationship-until now.

You can find many secrets buried in The Vault series-and I can’t wait to explore the next one.

Espionage: Dark Passions by Helena Pearson

DARK
Espionage: Dark Passions by Helena Pearson
Publisher: House of Sinn Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (46 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Enter a dangerous world of high-stakes corporate espionage with Celeste, thief-for-hire. However, has she met her match in an eccentric and paranoid CEO who is deadly serious when it comes to protecting his assets?

Set in Atlanta, Ga, “Espionage” is a contemporary light BDSM tale about Celeste Lenthor, a word-class corporate spy for hire. After a job, months in the works, goes awry, Celeste wakes up trapped in an unfamiliar room, and with a fuzzy memory as to how she could have possibly ended up there. Celeste must use her wits and keep a cool head if she is to complete her job and escape from the clutches of eccentric CEO and Tech Tycoon Sheridan Morton.

Celeste woke up restrained to a bed in a bare concrete room. When Sheridan Morton walked in, showing himself to be her captor, she knew she was in trouble. Celeste had worked hard for six months planning to steal a microchip from his work. Clearly, she hadn’t been successful. Facing a long list of felonies and a very unhappy time in jail, Celeste finds herself with a unique offer. Allow Sheridan to “punish” her – or face her crimes through the justice system. Certain that she can get herself out of this mess, Celeste agrees to the bargain offered. But Sheridan is no novice to these games and he won’t let Celeste go so easily.

This is a well-written story. I found Sheridan to be a sensual, dominant character, a good blend between sexy and alpha male. Celeste was also a sympathetic character, a modern, confidant woman. Self-willed, it took her a while to settle into the situation she found herself in. I understood her defiance (few woman would really find themselves a prisoner and immediately fall to her knees and beg to be dominated) but I found her resistance made the story drag for me a bit.

I would have found Celeste’s capitulation more inspiring (and sexually confidant) if she’d decided to take Sheridan on, play his games–beat him at his own games–and embrace her sexuality. Rise to the challenge. She didn’t hate Sheridan’s actions, or hate him, but Celeste clearly didn’t wallow in the sensuality of the experience she was having. Her lack of pleasure (at least until near the end) held me back from enjoying it too–and that disappointed me.

Having said that, Sheridan was a sexy, dominating hero. While I found him to be strict and a definite Dom, at no stage did I feel Sheridan to be brutal or cold. I never thought he’d genuinely hurt Celeste (he didn’t come across to me as a sadist or psychopath). Readers who prefer their erotica with a hefty dose of chemistry and romance might be disappointed with this. I enjoyed the fact this was a definite “forced seduction” type or story. I never thought the author came near the line of rape. But the set up of kidnapping and forced seduction meant for me that were was little sexual chemistry between Sheridan and Celeste in the beginning. Celeste does warm up towards the end, but this is clearly only the first part in a multi-segmented story. I’m intrigued enough–and hopeful of a warmer chemistry between Celeste and Sheridan–that I’m interested in looking up the second scene.

This is a sensual story and definitely not to everyone’s tastes. Readers should be cautious about triggers, but overall it’s a good, sexy read. While complete as a scene in and of itself, it’s clear this is only the first part in a multi-part story. I found this to be well paced and interesting, certainly worth looking into.

The Family Tree by John Everson

TREE
The Family Tree by John Everson
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Horror
Length: Full Length (177 pgs)
Other: M/F, Multiple Partners, Forced Seduction, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

Its roots are old…and twisted! The blood of the tree is its sap. It has sustained Scott Belvedere’s family for generations. It’s the secret ingredient behind the family’s intoxicating ale and bourbon, among other elixirs. But only when Scott inherits The Family Tree Inn, deep in the hills of Virginia, does he learn anything about his family, its symbiotic history, or the mammoth, ancient tree around which the inn is literally built. And after he stumbles upon the bony secrets hidden in its roots, while in the welcoming arms of the innkeeper’s daughter, he realizes that not only is blood thicker than water-it’s the only thing that might save him from the hideous fate of his ancestors…

A family that preys together stays together…

When Scott Belvedere receives a letter stating he is the heir for an inn in a remote part of Virginia, he is set on getting rid of the property and resuming his normal life. When he arrives at the Family Tree Inn, all of that changes.

The Family Tree Inn is an institution run by the Belvedere men for generations. A bloody history of land rights and property disputes, to say the locale has a shady past might be something more than an understatement. It’s nestled in an incredible back woods mountainous terrain with a strong Appalachian twang. Feeling a bit like a fish out of water, Scott gets to know the land and the people that live there. People that age much slower than the world around them. People that may be involved in something more than merely running an inn.

As he begins to wander the property he notices some odd things that don’t make sense, but lead him even further down the path of ownership of the inn. Should he stay and run the place or go back to his life in Chicago? When he is introduced to the daughter of the housekeeper, Caroline, his interest is piqued, along with his growing taste for the house brew.

The inn revolves around the tree. Would within and without, the Family Tree is all things to the people of this backward place. Tapping the tree for the mead and whiskey, the tree is life. But what Scott doesn’t realize is what the tree gives, it also must take. A member of the Belvedere family has always been the keeper of the tree and he is about to find out just how much the tree expects from him.

There is a strong erotic element to this novel. As Scott ingests more and more of the blood of the tree through the house brew, he becomes to realize one of the side effects. He is perpetually in rut and is put in the position of taking sometimes three women a night. The way the story is laid out may not entirely appeal to female readers as the women are depicted in a 2-D kind of fashion where their primary focus is getting pregnant by the heir to the tree. It was a good horror novel despite this and in some ways reminded me of The Wicker Man (the newer version). As the story progresses, the debauchery does as well. What was erotic becomes forced and Scott is taken and tapped much like the tree. There is no escaping his fate. He is the heir and the heir must provide.

Can Scott break away from the hold of the Family Tree and its devoted disciples? Is the blood of the few worth more than the many? You’ll have to read this fast paced thriller to find out.

Velvet Diamonds by Sean Michael

DIAMONS
Velvet Diamonds by Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press Publishers
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (128 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Toys, Spanking
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

From Kes, the Velvet Glove’s guest manager finding his soul mate in A Bird in the Hand, to corporate leader Isaak finding what he needs as a sub with Velvet Glove regular Car in Raw Need, these five stories run the gamut from sweet to spicy.

Just like the Velvet Glove has a little something for everyone, these gems explore five different flavors for you.

Velvet Diamonds brings together five previously published short stories from the Velvet Glove world. Stories included are: A Bird in the Hand, Peace Within the Quiet, Love and the Farmer, Three to Heal, and Raw Need.

This collection of short stories brings readers into the world of the Velvet Glove and many of the men that reside there. So many different men and pairings happen at the Velvet glove. One never knows what they might find. These stories bring us some hot yet sweet romances. Men taking a chance and many finding love and happiness in doing so. With a little help many of these men all find something special that will last.

I really enjoyed the characters in this collection of wonderful stories. Love and trust shines brightly through in each of the stories. All the men find themselves longing for more with each other. There are couples and a threesome in between these pages. Some not realizing that they were looking while others were wishing and longing.

I loved many of the characters in these stories and would love to continue seeing just what more comes to them. One of my favorites is Kestrel. Kestrel is not only a character that finds his love but also lends a helping hand to others. He is a sweet man who finally finds someone to care for him. Every man is special in his own way and the relationships that develop between them make for a nice read. Attraction quickly turns to affection and love with these men.

These stories pulled me in and had me wanting more, wondering what happens after the stories ended. I loved seeing each of the men find what they were longing for. This book showed me just why this author is an automatic buy for me.