The Prize by Ashe Barker


The Prize by Ashe Barker
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (50 pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Menage, Double Penetration, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism, Anal Sex, BDSM
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A night to remember…

When she shows up at the prestigious Vivant Club to claim her raffle prize of one month’s free membership, Jessie Barnett doesn’t know what to expect. She’s trembling as she enters, but her inner submissive is dancing for joy, and nothing is going to stop her from claiming what she has won.

Jessie is no stranger to the BDSM scene, but this is a new club, a new city, she knows no one and has no idea what to expect. That’s all right, though, as it turns out the two powerful Doms who are hers for the evening have no doubt at all what they require from her—complete surrender, on her knees.

Jessie is happy to comply. This is what she came here in search of. But will one evening’s pleasure, however intense, however delightfully tinged with exquisite pain, be enough? Once she has submitted to them totally, will Mark and Greg see their business with her as having been concluded? Or is there more to be won, a greater prize, hovering just beyond her reach?

She’s in for the night of her life…if she can handle it all.

I like the work of Ashe Barker. I know there will be a hot time and everyone will come away satisfied. This is certainly the case in The Prize. Jessie knows what she’s going to the club for–because she’s won a month membership. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance for a free month at an exclusive BDSM club? Certainly not her. Then there’s the doms, Mark and Greg. Wowie!! Talk about hot guys. And they know their stuff. No slouches with these doms. The sex scenes were hot and scored the pages of my kindle.

I did have a couple of quibbles, though. I hate to admit it felt like I’d been plunked in to the middle of a longer story. Don’t get me wrong. I liked what I read, but I wanted to know more about Jessie before the story and maybe some after. I didn’t want the story to end. But as it was, I felt like I got one snippet of time for these three characters. Just, boom…together and playing. I know the doms read up on Jessie, but I had problems with her just walking in and submitting to them. This made her night better, don’t get me wrong, but it seemed too quick. I don’t know. It made me a tad uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean it will for everyone. I did enjoy how they pushed her and freed her. That was sexy and caring, the way they did it.

If you want a novella that pushes the boundaries, that will scorch the screen and will leave you breathless for more, then this might be the book for you. Grab a copy today.

Couples Therapy by Ryver James


Couples Therapy by Ryver James
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (78 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Pleasure Isles is a dream come true for good-girl Keily Samuels, and she desperately needs an influx of cash to keep the B&B afloat. But reservations are slim, and the odds of getting a bank loan are even slimmer. When a drool-worthy, wealthy entrepreneur offers her enough money to keep her dream alive in exchange for weekend of sexual submission, she’s between a rock and a really hard place.

Landon Marx has wanted Keily since the first time he saw her at a hotel in Dallas. Having tracked her to Pleasures Isles, he’s reserved the entire B&B for a relaxing weekend of seduction, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get the elusive beauty right where he wants her.

But Pleasure Isles isn’t a normal B&B. There’s more cooking behind the scenes than bacon and eggs, and checkout time is about more than settling the bill.

Kiely is trying to keep her B&B “Pleasure Isles” afloat. Landon Marks has hired all four guest bedrooms for the weekend and is determined to make Kiely his. When he offers her an astounding amount of money for the pleasure of her company for the weekend, she’s too tempted to refuse. Can they each get what they really want from the time they spend together?

This is a spicy romance that reminded me a little of the older-style romances I read in my youth. The slightly reluctant heroine, the over-the-top bargain made by the hero and a shared weekend of spicy passion. While clearly a modern story I found it had many of the hallmarks of a vintage spicy romance novel. I feel Landon offering a huge amount of money to Kiely for a weekend of her time might be somewhat polarising for readers – while clearly tempting to Kiely who desperately needs the money to keep her business afloat, the deal left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth as it felt a little out-dated as a plot device. Having said that, there is an interesting twist at the end of the story – one that wasn’t surprising but did fit in well with the storyline to my mind. This twist turned much of the story on its head and readers who finish the entire story may find at the end that their initial thoughts have changed, which was extremely interesting for me as a reader.

There were a few small plot holes in the first half of the story, but again I found everything made sense right at the end. This story was slightly different from many others in that instead of having small things explained through the story the reader needs to get literally to the last chapter or so before everything all clicks together.

I also found a few editorial errors also jarred me from the story (a repeated sentence at the bottom of page 5, speech brackets when there was no dialogue etc) but overall the slow pace of the author’s writing was good and I found it easy to follow along with the story. Readers looking for a story about a handsome, rich man going after the woman he can’t get out of his head should be satisfied with this spicy story. Kiely might see this as a sexy fling and a cure to her money woes, but Landon – egotistical as he might be – clearly desires and yearns for Kiely.

While I took a while to warm up to the story and the characters, in the end this really was a good, solid story. It’s a rare type of book that I will probably enjoy reading more the second time around – now I know the twists I will be better able to appreciate the curves the story throws. An interesting and slightly different story, this was a good read.

Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain


Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns by Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (226 pgs)
Other: M/M, Multiple Partners, Anal Play, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

Cowboy Danny Boone—a name he made up one drunken night and has regretted ever since—harbors a big past and yearns for a small future. A short, bright career as a champion bull rider almost ended in his death when his homophobic father discovered Danny was gay. Now Danny longs for a plot of land he can build a ranch house on and enough money to make up for some of the education he missed.

Danny also hides a preference for beautiful femmes who like to top—a combo rarer than a unicorn. Then onto the guest ranch where Danny works drives San Francisco decorator Laurie Belmont, a young man so gorgeous he makes horses gasp, and so ballsy he almost kills Danny’s attacker.

Laurie’s trying to find his way out from under the thumb of a domineering mother, helpless father, and rich, privileged boyfriend.

But no matter the attraction, their lives are worlds apart, and cowboys don’t ride unicorns.

Everyone has their own preferences and discerning tastes, but sometimes what you want and what you can actually get are on opposite ends of the spectrum. This is Danny Boone’s quandary – does he settle for what he can get his hands on or does he keep searching for that elusive man that will trip his trigger indefinitely? Should a cowboy search for his unicorn or stick with his ever-ready pony?

Danny Boone! I was so happy when I realized this was his book. I loved the relationship he and Rand had in the first installment and seeing him more fully fleshed out made me happy. He’s a great guy – solid, hardworking, reliable – and the best hand Rand has around. But he’s also lonely and looking for something more which made me sad to read. It was good going into the story knowing he was finally going to find his happiness.

Laurie Belmont. I wanted to like Laurie so much, especially once you learn about how his family and his boyfriend treat him. You don’t find many unrepentantly authentic characters these days and I was happy to see Laurie so at ease with the man that he was. However, since he’s very femme, at times, his actions and reactions went over the top. So much so that, at several points, he felt more like a caricature or stereotype rather than an actual character. The moments when he and Danny are alone, Laurie is most like himself and he’s really fun and lovable at those times.

Cowboys Don’t Ride Unicorns brings two very unlikely characters together under even more unlikely circumstances. Generally, those ‘deep, dark secrets’ don’t work for me, but Danny’s secret is of the kind that makes sense to hide in an effort to move past it. For the most part, he has done exactly that. The author does throw you a twist by switching up the sexual preferences of Danny and Laurie, giving you a less stereotypical romance between the two men. Even with all the drama, meddling parents, and other craziness, I enjoyed seeing Kai, Rand, and the kids again as well as watching Danny find his happiness.

Bouncer Bear by Julia Talbot


Bouncer Bear by Julia Talbot
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (49 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M/M, Ménage, Anal Play, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Werebear Trey feels totally out of place when he hires on at Hot Tin Roof as a bouncer. There are all these beautiful men who dance at the club, like Sammy, and like Sammy’s bartender boyfriend, Jordan. Then there’s the fact that most guys look at a big, burly guy like Trey and think he’s a top, when Trey is anything but.

Sammy meets Trey and he knows the big guy is just the subby bottom he and his werecat shifter lover need. Jordan is such an effortless top, and he makes Sammy feel like a rock star, but they could both open their hearts to take Trey in. Can they convince this homeless bear he has a place with them?

Trey’s car is broken down and he needs money. So what’s a bear-shifter to do, but get a job at the local club as a bouncer. Sammy’s a dancer and Jordan the barman – and while each appeals to Trey in a different way, the two men are together – and a pair that Trey just can’t resist. When the three of them decide to play, can Trey manage to keep his heart intact?

I found this to be a deliciously hot ménage romance. Sammy and Jordan are delicious together and totally committed, but now and then they like to invite a third person to play with them. Both men are instantly attracted to Trey. They can tell pretty quickly that the large bear is a magnificent sub and hits the right hot-buttons for both Sammy and Jordan. I especially loved how Trey didn’t just instantly fall all over himself to hook up with Sammy and Jordan. Neither did he play hard to get or act coy. Trey has been hurt in the past and is cautious, albeit needy, in his private life. I adored how the three men needed to work to get together and how in the process this let them get to know each other better and forge an emotional connection before they burned the sheets together.

Emotional, romantic and scorching hot, I genuinely have no criticism for anything in this story. I adored Trey – and loved Sammy and Jordan. The Hot Tin Roof club was fun and very well written and the few secondary characters easily hooked me into hoping there were plenty more stories coming in this series. This totally stands alone perfectly and I especially loved the balance of emotional and romantic connections mingled in with the hot sex. Sammy’s dance moves and fiery personality especially made me smile and laugh, he’s a firecracker of a character and I would dearly love to see more stories revolving around this threesome.

This short story was truly amazing and I have added the series onto my (very short) auto-read list. A brilliant story and one I will eagerly reread many times to come.

A Night with Her Ex by Laura Jardine


A Night with Her Ex by Laura Jardine
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (36 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Menage, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex, Spanking, Voyerism
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

One month ago, Amy McNeil was dumped, and she never saw it coming. How could she have? Greg had said “I love you” for the first time only two days before. So when she runs into him at a coffee shop, she demands an explanation.

Greg Kim couldn’t imagine it working out with Amy. He sees her as the sweet girl he’d take home to meet his mother, rather than one who’d agree to the open relationship he craves. To shock her, he challenges her to come to a party at his friends’ townhome—a party unlike anything Amy’s ever been to before. Greg will sleep with other people in front of her…and punish her when she does the same.

But Amy surprises him. She wants to finally act out her secret fantasies. Will this one night lead to the untold pleasures she imagines? Can she show Greg that it’s possible for them to both have everything they desire?

“Not what I expected” is an understatement.

This book was great as an erotic read but there was not much of an actual plot in this. There are some real positives to this short story, though.  The characters are very well written even though I wanted more fleshing out of their story. The length of the story didn’t leave much if any room for growth of the characters.

That being said, one of the primary things I loved was how the story didn’t fit into a normal mold. Amy gets dumped. When she next sees him she asks the obvious question. WHY? The answer opened something and gave their relationship a chance. It also reminded me why openness between couples is so important.

This short story may not appeal to readers who aren’t into multiple partner groupings. But those who like to reach for books with hot chemistry and even hotter sex, this will be gem. As I mentioned, this book as an erotic read was truly wonderful, eye opening and worth the quick read.

Handcuffed by H.C. Brown​


​​Handcuffed by H.C. Brown​​​
Cops ‘n’ Floggers Book 1
​Publisher: Luminosity Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story​ (50 pages)
Other: M/M, Bondage, BDSM, Spanking (Flogging), Masturbation, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Bad boys, bad boys.

Rent boy, Maverick Slone, Ricky to his friends, finds himself in big trouble with an unsatisfied client in the back alley of Leathers BDSM Club. Little does he know the Nordic god stepping in to save him, is an undercover vice cop.

When Detective Tyler Speed offers him the chance to leave the streets behind, it sounds too good to be true, especially when the man making the offer is the Dom of his very naughty dreams.

Reader Advisory: This Erotic Gay Romance series contains scenes of BDSM and hot sexy undercover vice cops out to find their perfect subs.

Cops, heat and a rent boy with an attitude…what can go wrong?

I love the work of HC Brown, so when I saw this book, I had to snap it up. I’m glad I did. I wanted to catch up with the characters from the Cops and Floggers series – I read book 2 first. Now, reading these out of order isn’t a bad thing. The characters stand alone well and I loved it.

I had to know what would happen next because the characters intrigued me. Tyler wants to save world, one rent boy at a time. He’s strong, tough and endearing. I liked him right away. Then there’s Maverick. He’s a piece of work–which the author wrote him well, I have to say. I could see him and could hear him talk. He was that vivid. His attitude was a trip.

The one quibble I had with the book was the alternating points of view. When the story was told from Tyler’s POV, the story took place in third person. But when Maverick was telling his side, it was all in first person. While that might not be a problem from some readers, I had a hard time with it.

Still, I’m glad I read this book and can’t wait for the next one!! If you want a book that sizzles, then this might be the one for you.

Christmas With His Best Friend by Doris O’Connor


Christmas With His Best Friend by Doris O’Connor
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short Story (52 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Play, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

They’ve been friends for twenty years until … this Christmas.

How do you tell a sweet, naïve, and clearly vanilla girl that you like to tie women up and torture them for mutual enjoyment in your spare time? Josh Mackenzie has no idea, but when his best friend Emma walks in on him pleasuring himself, everything changes.

For Emma, coming face to face with her secret longings is mind-blowing. It’s one thing to fantasize about your best friend, but dare she take that leap into the unknown? Will it not ruin their friendship, and is—what would undoubtedly be awesome—sex worth risking that?

While Josh shares her fears, she is all he’s ever wanted in a woman, and he’s determined to show her that they can have it all. This woman is his to mark, cherish, and love forever, and he’ll prove it to her, one spank at a time.

Emma can’t help having erotic dreams about her best friend, Josh. She knows it’s futile, but she desperately wants to know what he gets up to when he stays out till 4am in the morning. One morning, Emma catches Josh masturbating and she just has to watch, enthralled. Now Josh knows that Emma is as attracted to him as he is to her, all bets are off.

This is a super hot, sexy “friends become lovers” style of story. Even though the sex starts quickly I enjoyed how the author showed that Emma and Josh had been friends forever and already had a good basis for their relationship to deepen and become far more intimate. I found it interesting and a little disappointing that while Josh definitely acted outwardly like a dominant, he had a lot of internal self-doubt. I could certainly appreciate his worrying that by changing his friendship with Emma to a sexual relationship might change things between them, it just felt odd to me how he could act all kinky and dominating eternally, but have serious self-doubts internally. The two sides of his personality just didn’t gel very well with me and I frequently found myself worrying if one or the other side of him was an act and not very real. This distracted me a fair bit from the fun and sexiness of the story and left me feeling a bit disappointed.

I liked the build-up between Emma and Josh. I felt the author did a good job with their chemistry, I could clearly believe and feel the sexual tension between them both, having been friends for so long and lusted after each other. While I felt the believability of the kink to be a little rocky, I did think it added quite a bit of zing between Emma and Josh’s sex and added intensity to the new aspects of their relationship. While there is definitely some kink I didn’t feel any of it was written in an offensive manner, nor was it too envelope-pushing in my opinion. And despite some initial nerves on both Josh and Emma’s behalf, everything was completely consensual and written in a sexy manner.

A fun, slightly kinky short story. I found this to be a good, quick read and enjoyed it.

The Power Games by Brynley Bush


The Power Games by Brynley Bush
Club Helix Book 1
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (367 Pages)
Other: M/F, BDSM, Anal Sex, Spanking, Voyeurism, toys
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Ava Summers has been living a lie, pretending she’s fine when her stepfather’s unspeakable betrayal has left her numb, afraid to trust anyone. Now she’s about live the ultimate lie–pretending to be a submissive on a sexy new reality show called the Power Games at an opulent BDSM-themed resort in Las Vegas to ruin the man who stole everything from her.

Ava’s lies catch up with her when she’s paired with sexy but sadistic Dominant Roman Castile, a man with his own agenda and demands which tear Ava apart while exposing her to desires she never knew she had. The two come together in a collision of fear and passion that is ratings gold. But to stay on the show, Ava will have to surrender everything to him.

Games, Publicity and Love.

The plot revolves around what happened to Ava because of her stepfather and the actions preceding the event. This was the main suspense that irritated me until the end. What happened to her was only revealed until the end. I am not a fan of drawn out suspense.

That being said the book then tells about Ava and her best friend getting into a competition named Power Games to win a lot of money. Power Game involves BDSM and having the scenes publicized live into the audience. What happened afterwards was well worth the bit of suspense that came.

When she gets paired up with Roman… the chemistry between them… **sigh**

I truly enjoyed the relationship, or lack thereof, between them at the start and watching the progression from there onward. This is an very erotic read, of course.  And, I need to say that this book is very intense for a reader who is not that into BDSM or likes little of it in their stories.

But the writing with that progression from Ava and Roman being nothing to each other to being everything was truly amazing.

The Good Neighbor by Gina Blake


The Good Neighbor by Gina Blake
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Other: M/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

It’s Saturday night and the only action Mia Daniels has to look forward to is watching her neighbors having fun through binoculars. When she spies the sexy hunk she’s been crushing on pleasuring himself, there’s only one thing to do—”borrow some sugar.” Will he give her what she asks for or what she wants?

Mia was bored and horny. With no sexy plans of her own, she decides to use her high-powered binoculars and live vicariously through her neighbors. When she catches sight of Brent masturbating after a shower, she settles in for a lovely show.

I found this to be an interesting and steamily written short story. While the prose was a little purple in places for my personal taste (“he’s fiddling with his goodies”) the action was certainly explicit and hotly written. I also thought Mia deserved major kudos for bravery – after watching Brent go solo she decided to go after what she really wanted, and that courage was a delightful surprise.

Leave your brain at the door, throw away logic and reality and settle back to enjoy this sexy romp of a story. I enjoyed both Mia and Brent’s characters, found them refreshingly direct, and the chemistry between them was scorching hot. I was particularly pleased with the happy ending – I feel the author did a great job wrapping up the short interlude and giving both Mia and Brent satisfactory endings.

Readers looking for a short, steamy and very slightly kinky read should find this story enjoyable.

Learning to Breathe by Roxy Harte


Learning to Breathe by Roxy Harte
Van Zant Siblings – Jessica Book 1
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (365 Pages)
Other: BDSM, toys, Anal Play, Voyeurism, M/F, Multiple Partners
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

The celebrated widowed wife of a hometown hero, Jessica leaves Boston for a fresh start in a Cape Hatteras beach house with her teen children. She never expects to fall hard for her new boss, Joe, at the fish and beer shop where she bartends. When he accidentally triggers her need for rope, she needs a quick fix for a shibari addiction she’d believed herself long cured of.

A drunk dialing moment leads to her sister’s fiancé–a man who has tied her in the past–who delivers Francisco, the man he considers to be a shibari-master and a perfect match, and Jessica has a great long weekend in and out of his rope. But then Francisco asks her to allow him to dominate her full-time.

Jessica runs scared and ends up in bed with Joe. When she shares her secret love of bondage, Joe insists she’s the victim of deviant men, and that he would offer her a normal, healthy love. Wounded by his misunderstanding, she runs again.

As if her sex life isn’t complicated enough, a case of mistaken identity catches her in the crosshairs of an assassin. While Jessica’s seeking sanctuary in Cincinnati for the holidays, her sister gifts her with a night with a shibari master who goes by the name of St. Nicholas. She quickly finds herself on the naughty list but will she also find a man willing to be the guy who makes her laugh, keeps her tied in knots, and makes no demands for more?

One intense story!

I have to mention this first and foremost; this book is not for the first-time erotic reader. The book includes some intense bondage scenes and loads of detailed sexual heat and chemistry.

Expressive and descriptive. The rope bondage scenes were highly descriptive and brought this reader right into the room for a front row seat. This is a writer who knows her shibari knots.

The book was a roller coaster. Some readers may appreciate the intensity while others may feel a little whiplashed by the back and forth. There’s a story within a story that gets revealed slowly. Add to that the fact that Jessica is attracted to three different men in the course of the book, each with certain aspects that she likes; Luc for accepting every single bad demon of hers without questioning the origin of it, Francisco for trying to make her face her demons, past & present, and Joe who is understanding and listens to her when she needed to vent about her late husband and his family.

I loved how it evolved though the one thing that surprised me was the ending. This book is a cliffhanger and I’m honestly not fond of cliffhangers. The book left a lot of questions hanging. The main one of course being who will she choose? Thankfully, the second in this series, Learning to Breathe Again is already available.

Readers who like it hot and their kink wrapped in soft ropes should give this a read for sure. It may just trigger a suppressed fantasy for you, too.