Monthly Archives: February 2011
When Liam makes a scene in the middle of a restaurant after his boyfriend, Brandon, dumps him, he knows Brandon’s cousins, the Delaney twins, will be after him. The Delaneys head up the local gangster scene and are not to be messed with. Liam knows their retribution is imminent, especially since, in the heat of the moment, he threatened to take what he knows (and, really, he doesn’t know much) to the police.
It’s a recipe for disaster.
But when the Delaneys confront Liam, they give him a choice between being shot or having sex with both of them, and Liam senses that his evening might turn out to be rather more interesting than originally expected…
Mark and Johnny Delaney have a reputation—a criminal reputation. They’re mobsters, and pretty much everyone knows it. When Liam very publicly breaks up with the Delaneys’ cousin Brandon, he makes some threats which he quickly regrets. He tells Brandon he’s going to go to the police and spill everything he knows, and then he proceeds to pour a bottle of champagne over his ex boyfriend’s head.
The very next day the Delaney Twins show up to confront Liam. They’re both calm and cool, but also very straightforward. They inform Liam they’ve always liked him, but they simply cannot tolerate his public threats. Liam’s got to punished, no question about it. They offer him a choice though. Either they can shoot his balls off or he can spend the evening with them and be their sex toy.
It’s not a difficult choice.
Before the action begins the twins take Liam to the same restaurant where he’d made a scene the previous evening, where he is properly subjected to their unique brand of public humiliation. They then head back to Liam’s apartment where they use him as their slave boy. Everybody still has all their private parts at the end of the story, but Liam is left wanting a repeat performance, and a realization about himself begins to awaken within his own mind.
This story touches on some basic themes of BDSM. The fear of retribution is a very powerful motivator, and it is interesting to see how this element is interwoven with Liam’s desire to be used. He starts to realize how desperately he needs the domination, yet he also has this threat of violence looming over his head. The gun and the powerful influence of the Delaneys are the tools which are used to control the sub, yet in reality it is Liam’s craving which truly motivates him to please. The real power the Delaneys have over him proves to have nothing to do with Liam’s fear of losing his testicles. Instead, it is a fear of losing his Masters.
This was just a taste, and it left me wanting more, more, more… which is why upon finishing this read I quickly picked up the sequel, Entertaining the Delaneys. Anne Brooke is a masterful storyteller, particularly when it comes to shorts. Although this little gem is light and fun, it also contains a lot to think about. For those who appreciate powerplay and the BDSM dynamic, this one’s a must read!
Review by Jeff
P.S….Did I mention this contains TWINCEST? (And they’re identical!)
Since his initial encounter with the Delaney twins, Liam’s thoughts have turned back to them time and time again, and he can’t help hoping for another meeting. His chance happens one night when Mark Delaney rings and tells him to get into the car waiting outside. Liam does so at once, eager to see the twins again.
Once at the Delaney estate, Liam is at first overawed by the grandeur and style of his surroundings, the lush gardens replete with nude statues and the opulence of the residence itself, but seeing Mark, together with Johnny, focuses his mind on the entertainment to come. And it looks as if entertainment is certainly what’s in store. A business associate of the Delaneys, Mr. Buchanan, has agreed a deal with the twins, and part of that deal is Liam himself!
How will the evening end, and will Liam be able to handle the salacious challenges thrown at him this time?
Ever since the night the Delaney twins abducted Liam and used him as their sex slave, they are all he can think about. It’s hard for him to concentrate at work, and he keeps hoping they will call him. He’s starting to realize how very much he needs them. He needs to please them and to be controlled by them. He needs to follow their orders, to feel their touch, and to experience that inexplicable sense of gratification that comes only from knowing he’s satisfied his Master(s).
It isn’t long ‘til the Delaney’s do call on Liam. When they do, he is not afforded the luxury of time. He must drop everything and go immediately to them. This time they want him at their home—their mansion. When he arrives, he discovers that they’re not alone. A business associate is present, and Liam is informed that he will be providing entertainment for their guest. Obediently Liam complies with their wishes and services the gentleman as any good little sub would be expected to do, but when he’s finished, he is a bit dismayed by what the Delaneys have to say.
Liam is told that in the future he will be on call to service their client, and he will do so at least once per month—alone. Liam is distraught, and immediately he begins to beg the Delaneys to keep him as their exclusive property. He is not comfortable with serving others, at least not unless his Masters are present. Mark, the obvious leader and more dominant of the twins, is not pleased by Liam’s backtalk. He perceives it as insolence and is ready to punish his slave, but Johnny quickly intervenes and advocates on behalf of the now-fearful Liam.
Ultimately Liam is subjected to a punishment which is quickly followed by a reward, and in the end all parties are quite satisfied.
Wow! Where do I begin? Firstly, I need to say that this story provided every single element that the first of the series lacked. Although the first installment offered a glimpse of the awakening that was occurring within Liam, part two explores it in depth. Seeing how Liam starts to obsess over his need to serve and be used by a more powerful man (in this case, two men), I was inspired and aroused, and I literally felt the urgency of Liam’s longing. That obsession is really the fuel that drives the D/s dynamic. Even though a Master certainly does need a slave in order to dominate, it is actually the slave’s need to be controlled which makes the dynamic possible. A sub MUST need his Master more than the Master needs the sub… or it becomes convoluted. It becomes a situation where the slave is the one who is really in control.
Interestingly, the author provides us with some insight into another aspect of the power play. How does a slave express to his Master what his desires and needs really are without overstepping boundaries? At what point does he cross the line and start to control the Master? How much latitude is appropriate? When Liam states his desires to Mark, the initial reaction of the Master is typical. Slaves do what they’re told. They are not the decision-makers. Yet what slave doesn’t find a way to communicate their yearnings and needs to their Master? And what good Master is not aware of these needs and conscious of the importance of providing them?
I also enjoyed the manner in which the character Johnny began to emerge as an alpha boy. He is without question superior in his role over Liam, yet he defers to his brother Mark. Johnny serves as the go-between for Master and slave. He is the more compassionate of the Masters. He is the more affectionate. I love Johnny!
I’m not sure how an author like Anne Brooke has such a keen understanding of the psychology of BDSM, but honestly, she nailed it! I loved this story, and I sincerely hope this is not the end. I desperately need more of the Delicious Delaney Doms. They’re hot as f**k! Bring it on, Anne…Please!
Review by Jeff
Author: S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet
Publisher: Expected Publication
Book Cover Rating: 4
Logan Walker has a problem. He has a blood fetish. A compulsion he can’t seem to control. After almost killing his newest submissive, Logan decides enough is enough and seeks help. Help happens to be in the form of an athletic, smart psychologist by the name of Dr. Kasper Bromley.
Kasper, though, soon finds himself swept up in the fantasies Logan came to him to help control. Reluctantly throwing his ethics to the wind, Kasper submits himself to Logan, gambling his career, his future, and his heart on a man who craves his blood and submission.
Dare to push that envelope, K. Piet and S.L.!!
It’s not often you will find a BDSM book which deals with someone and their blood fetish, never mind getting into the mind of the character with it and feeling their agony of losing all control much like a person jonesing for a cigarette or a drink, or drugs. There is no skipping around the plot here, if you pick up this book to read, expect to see the truth of things. These two authors push their readers and I’m glad for it. I like when the writer can take me out of my comfy chair and into the thrilling lives of their characters.
A Dom who has a blood fetish, a therapist who has the strong urge to be the perfect sub, when these two men get together all sorts of things go on, including but not limited to spankings, canings, and hot sex. But watch out, there’s more, there’s so much more.
School of Discipline
Author: John Simpson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Book Cover Rating: 5
Cory Anderson arrives at The Patton Military Institute for Higher Education to find a roommate with a cocky attitude—and a body to die for—and hear the news that corporal punishment is the penalty for certain infractions. It isn’t long before he suffers a physical reprimand, but it’s given by the handsome barracks sergeant in the privacy of his office. Cory’s roommate also comes under the belt, and it’s immediately obvious that the well-endowed Blaine enjoyed the whipping.
Soon Cory and Blaine are getting cozier after lights out though neither admits to being gay. When Cory discovers a pair of men having sex in the showers during his sentry duty, it leads to tension in the barracks that quickly rises to a crisis point. The solution is obvious, but are Blaine and Cory man enough to face it? And how will it affect their “friends with benefits” relationship?
The Master of Military, John Simpson has proven himself to be one talented author and one that I’ll read every chance I get. In School of Discipline we are taken on a tour inside the lives of pre-military men while away at The Patton Military Institute for Higher Education. We aren’t taken on this journey to learn anything about the Military, or the subjects the men in this program study, or how they spend every minute of their waking day. What we are taken on is a look on how this certain institute deals with their bad boys. Corporal punishment by way of bare assed spankings and even an instant of a caning.
Mr. Simpson puts you in the minds of young cadets who are pretty sure they’re gay, but not certain. He gives you a taste of what a young man thinks of having his ass spanked in front of his classmen, with his pants down around his ankles. This isn’t a fluffy type story. This is a spanking story. Period. The plot is lighter than I’m used to with Mr. Simpson but it just goes to show how broad his knowledge is. I wasn’t disappointed and I was very happy with the ending.
Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Torquere Press
Two men are checking Jeff out before he even enters the club. They’re a real pretty picture, Blue Eyes with his back pressed against Green Eyes’ chest as they watch him get a drink. He waits to see what they do. If they want him, he’ll play, but first they have to ask nicely. Jeff is the top, the one in control. Except Jeff soon finds out he isn’t. The little man with the snapping blue eyes is definitely the puppet master here.
This saucy little number here is perfect for a lunch time read. Better yet, perhaps before bed is better. Prey Time is a glimpse into a night with Jeff and two guys, Blue Eyes and Green Eyes. Jeff senses the two handsome men checking him out the second he enters the bar, they make a play for him, both on and off the dance floor. Alpha Jeff thinks he has things under control but boy oh boy does he have another think coming with the handsome men bumping and grinding him on the floor.
You’re in for a real treat with this one. One night, one scene, three men…What are you waiting for? Go get it!
They’re watching him even before he heads into the club. Heads bowed together, large eyes fixed on him, checking out his face, his body, his crotch. From the way Green Eyes is running his hands restlessly over Blue Eyes’ body, he’s pretty sure they approve, and he stares back, frank and unashamed.
He’s built. He knows he’s huge and a lot of men get off on his size. Yeah, there are a lot of size queens out there. A lot of women, too. Jeff’s really not fussy. Tonight though, he’s looking for dick, and two cocks are even better than one. Keeping an eye on them as he checks in his jacket, he watches to see if they’ll follow him to the bar. They do, hands tucked into each other’s back pockets.
It’s raging hot in the underground room and he bypasses the beer in favor of water, not really needing the buzz of alcohol tonight. When he’s got the bottle of water, ice-cold with condensation dripping down the outside, he turns to see where his stalkers have gone. Still watching him, they’ve started dancing together, Blue Eyes with his back pressed against Green Eyes’ chest. Jeff takes a moment to appreciate what a pretty picture they make. Blue Eyes has his dark curls pressed up against the light blue shirt of the taller man, and Green Eyes, he’s something else, tall and lithe with big eyes and full pouty lips. Jeff feels his own dick twitch in appreciation.
Jeff takes a long swallow of water, tilting his head back as the cool liquid passes down his throat. Even from here he can see Green Eyes lick his lips, bending down to whisper something to his companion, who nods in agreement. He waits to see what they do. If they want him, and yeah, they want him, he’ll play, but first they have to ask nicely.
Raine Baumer is living the party life in Chicago, indulging in short relationships with little emotional commitment. But after he’s severely injured in a gay bashing, close friend Geoff arrives to take him to the country to recuperate. There Geoff and his partner Eli treat him like part of the family, and Raine meets Jonah, Eli’s brother, who is exploring life in the world outside his Amish community.
Jonah and Raine’s mutual attraction draws them together, but they may not have a chance to explore it. Jonah’s father is making ultimatums, and the police believe that the attack on Raine may not have been as random as it initially appeared. Raine and Jonah will have to face what they fear most in order to have any chance at a life together.
Andrew Grey has done it again, delivering another heart-rending, tender gay romance amongst the backdrop of an atypical, rural setting. The fifth in his “Farm” series, No Fear is the story of Raine and Jonah, a seemingly mismatched couple who are brought together accidentally when they meet at Geoff and Eli’s Michigan farm. Eli is the older brother of Jonah, and the siblings spring from a traditional Amish background. Jonah, like his older brother, leaves his community for a year in the “English” world, mainly to spread his wings and experience the outside world. This is a common practice of the Amish and a traditional rite of passage. After spending a year away from home, Amish youth then are faced with a decision as to how they will live their lives, either returning and embracing the lifestyle of their upbringing or abandoning it for a worldly existence.
When Jonah is released into the “world”, he has no idea where to go, so he seeks his older brother. He knows that Eli chose to leave the Amish community several years prior, but he is unsure why his older brother made this drastic decision. When Jonah finds Eli, he is shocked to see him being affectionate with Geoff, his life partner. Jonah reacts with an emotional outburst, pointing at the couple and calling them “Sodomites!”
Raine is a friend of Geoff and Eli, and he is at the farm for an undetermined time period. He’s been the victim of a hate crime, and as a result he has an injured arm and is recovering from surgery. He goes to the farm to recuperate both physically and emotionally. Raine has lived a very typical urban gay lifestyle, coming from Chicago. He’s had many lovers over the years, but has yet to meet “the one”. He’s not even sure there is such a thing, although his heart is warmed by the affectionate, long term relationship of Geoff and Eli. He doesn’t think such happiness and stability will ever be in his future, though. Not only is he not “the type”, but in truth he feels he is unworthy of that sort of contentment.
Almost instantly Raine is drawn to the innocent Amish kid. Jonah is utterly unpretentious and endearingly naïve. The boy’s trusting nature and complete honesty are refreshing to Raine, not to mention the fact that the kid is cute as hell. When Raine awakens one afternoon from a nightmare and Jonah rushes into his room to offer him comfort, Raine sees another side of the young man. He is compassionate—a healer.
As feelings begin to emerge within Jonah, he starts to question his own sexual orientation. He starts to realize that an intense attraction has awakened within him, particularly toward Raine. Even though he knows about his brother Eli, he is frightened of what this means. Mentally connecting the dots, he concludes that there must be something about that farm that turns men into homosexuals, and he quickly flees.
Eli tracks down Jonah and convinces him to return to the farm and to simply relax. Eli explains that sexual orientation is naturally occurring, and that even if Jonah does have some same-sex attractions it is not necessarily an indication that he is gay. Only Jonah can make that determination for himself, and it has nothing to do with the farm. Jonah agrees to stay, but he’s very skeptical, and he makes every attempt to guard himself from Raine. Eventually, though, he does some serious soul-searching and starts to realize that his attractions are growing, and he allows himself to follow his heart.
The romance is a beautiful depiction of love conquering fear, and the story is aptly titled. Both of the central characters are bedeviled with crippling fears. Raine fears trusting anyone because he’s been hurt so many times before. He fears loneliness, and of course he’s haunted by the violence of his recent past. Jonah fears his own feelings. He fears rejection and failure, and he is terrified of losing his family.
Jonah also has an irrational fear of water, and has always been afraid to go swimming. This becomes a metaphor of the larger issues he faces in his life, and it seems quite appropriate that his fear of water is ultimately overcome by a lover named “Raine”.
As always with this author, the writing it superb. The entire series has a wholesome feel to it. The story is a must-read for those who’ve experienced the first four books of this series, yet it also would be fine as a stand-alone read. For so long, gay fiction has typically depicted the gay “lifestyle” as urban, and the majority of books which came out of previous decades have presented gay characters who may have had rural roots but who ultimately migrated to cities like New York or Los Angeles. It is refreshing to find a story which embraces a mainstream, rural lifestyle and that does so in such a natural manner.
As Jonah grapples with his religious beliefs, the story tackles an often contentious topic. It is not easy to portray this type of angst within a fictional story. Many readers find it leaves a bad taste in their mouths, and if they have any sort of aversion to religiosity, they tend to outright reject books with this sort of theme. I personally feel that such a dismissal would be a shame in this case, though. The author does not dive into the dogma and doctrine of the Amish religion, but instead he presents a snapshot of the lifestyle. It is quite enlightening, and it seems to be very well researched and fairly presented.
In all I found the book to be a very touching story with a beautiful and hopeful ending. It is an easy read, but I’d recommend you have a box of tissues nearby, as it conclude with a very emotional climax. Love Means No Fear is a book I highly recommend, without hesitation… or fear.
Review by Jeff
Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela
Author: Felicia Watson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Logan & Nick
Setting: North Braddock, PA.
Cover Rating: 4
Logan Crane’s life changed dramatically the day a blind fit of temper resulted in him accidentally injuring his wife. Although he’s now in an abuser counseling program, Logan cannot face the real source of his unhappiness: he’s always been attracted to men but has refused to accept it since witnessing an act of violence.
During his therapy, Logan meets Nick Zales, a counselor at a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Nick is understandably suspicious of Logan despite an immediate attraction to him. Logan feels the same attraction and faces a critical internal struggle as he finds himself falling in love with this enigmatic man.
Both men are haunted by unacknowledged ghosts and abuse in their pasts. How can they help each other heal if they continue to ignore their own wounds?
While Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela is a very good story, it is also a dark story covering topics that may be uncomfortable for some readers. The characters, both main and secondary, are all strongly written. Although Logan very easily draws the readers into the story, some readers may find issue with the fact that he is an abuser, and while the reader will soon understand just why Logan does what he did, it doesn’t excuse it. Ms. Watson’s background in the mental health field comes through clearly as she believably portrays the struggle Logan goes through as he comes to term with what he did, and why.
Our second hero in the story, Nick, may be one of the counselors for a women’s center, but he has just as many issues surrounding him as Logan does. As a child he saw first hand just want happens to women who stay in abusive relationships. Now as a counselor he hopes he will be able to help others like his mother. When Nick is forced to work along side Logan he is not happy, which is understandable. He doesn’t expect to like the man, yet these two are instantly drawn to each other. As Nick and Logan work through the various stages of their relationship, many different problems pop up that have the potential to derail an already fragile relationship.
While many times I had to step away from the book, as the story became a little heavy, I found myself staying up late into the night in order to see how the author would end the story ability to make the reader care about her characters, regardless of how flawed they are. This talent is sure to bring her many new fans and I for one will be waiting to see what she has planned next.
Review by Lydia