Title: Milk and Cookies and Handcuffs
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
POV: 3rd, 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Holidays, Paranormals, Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Gay, Lesbian, M/F
Ah, the holidays. Gifts and songs. Tinsel and lights. Whips and chains? That’s right. This holiday anthology is all about BDSM, filled with characters who know that sometimes it’s Nice to be Naughty. This collection of five stories includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, and straight couples (and moresomes) that share a common desire for the kinkier side of sex: sensual bondage, sexual domination, and genuine, loving submission. And what better time to explore this dynamic of giving and receiving than the holidays? ‘Tis the season, after all!
In Holidays in Hell, Jonas is an incubus searching for one final soul to finish out his contract, but as a self-styled connoisseur, it has to be the right one. But when he finds the beautiful Holly Pendleton, Jonas is struck by her innocence and puts his own eternal comfort in jeopardy to protect her. Then, shapeshifting Ellis learns from his new master William about the traditions and true meaning of First Day, stories kept from him by his spiteful former master. The day of celebration becomes even sweeter when Ellis opens his presents and receives the Gift of the Familiar — and then has William try it out on him!
For New Year’s Eve, Ebet is afraid she’s Pushing the Line by bringing her girlfriend Meg home to meet her family for the first time. Meg is confident things will go fine, but Ebet is a mess, so Meg steals them away and proceeds to give Ebet something else to focus her energy on — her. Next, all that submissive Jeffrey wants from his mistress Athena is the Gift of Self, for Athena to recognize Jeffrey’s true identity as Jessie, a self-described “woman with a penis”. Athena is scared and confused at first; she loves her slave-boy, but isn’t sure that she can accept this a change this big. Finally, in The Sub’s Gift, the submissive Kyle gets an early Christmas present from Ryan and Amber, his Master and Mistress. But when that present turns out to be a sister-slave, Kyle wonders about his place in this new dynamic.
Holiday in Hell by Erzabet Bishop
Jonas is a starving lust demon who made a bad deal to collect souls with another demon named Baal. He is one soul short of being released from his contract, but Baal keeps interfering. Then Jonas meets Holly, a Christmas shop clerk, who stirs Jonas’s passion like never before. Can he devour her soul while having her pleasures?
A demon who loves the holidays? Who knew. Jonas is a surprisingly complex character for such a short story and for being an incubus. Holly is a widow and still holds much sorrow in her heart, but Jonas awakens dormant desires within her. But when the truth comes out about who he is and what he wants, she has to make a choice—to run for her life or to face the possibility that for Jonas it isn’t about harvesting a soul. This is a good story, with intriguing and sympathetic characters, a world of soul collecting monsters, an actual plot—though one that we don’t get into all that much—and some sexy dominance and submission under the Christmas tree. Not bad at all.
Gift of the Familiar by Alex Whitehall
Ellis is a snow leopard shapeshifter and a familiar to his magical master, William. Ellis’s former master was cruel, but William is loving and true. A celebration of First Day to honor the creation of the world and the bond between magical men and familiars is about to show Ellis that he can trust William in every way—including some sexy submission in bed.
The passion between Ellis and William is undeniable, tender, and oh so sweet. I liked these two a lot. Ellis is in for a learning curve, and William is prepared to show him everything he could ever desire. Unused to being given love, let alone gifts, Ellis wants to please his new master, and William provides the means. The holiday is a fascinating mythical setting, and there could definitely be more stories set in this fantastic world. And there’s a whopping amount of sex here for such a short tale. I liked this story.
Pushing the Line by Verity Blackthorn
Ebet is taking her girlfriend Meg back home to mountain country to meet her family for the first time. These people are racist, sexist, thorough jerks all around, but they’re family. Ebet is rattled to the extreme, so Meg gives her a whole bout of sex to distract her. And as a Dominatrix, Meg is not one to take things lying down, anyway.
Ebet is a frantic personality, and only submitting to Meg’s heavy hand of pain-pleasure keeps her calm and centered. There’s some interesting snow play here. Meg is a strong, fierce personality who is able to take what others throw at her, and still keep a smile on her face. I liked her a lot. There’s some cuddling and fingering by a bonfire, and then Meg really lets loose and describes in lurid detail of erotic imagery what she plans to with Ebet when they return home. That makes up for Ebet’s family being so judgmental. Not a bad story.
Gift of Self by Kathleen Tudor
Jeffrey is Athena’s loving submissive of many years—but then a personal revelation shakes Jeffrey to the core: He is a woman with a penis, a woman inside the body of a man. That explains why he has always loved cock-and-ball torture. The realization is painful, but he confesses to his Dominatrix, wishing to be called Jessie and to be a woman at home and treated as such. Athena’s confused reaction hurts Jeffrey a lot, and he foresees the end to their relationship if she can’t deal with this new “him”.
For a short story, this had amazing psychological depth. Jeffrey’s inner turmoil and shift toward a new self is shown in painstaking detail. With born again parents, he never really got the chance to explore who he is as everything was forcibly repressed. Only with Athena can he be himself. But now that he wishes to be a she instead, at least on the inside and in terms of what to wear, Jeffrey fears losing the only woman he loves. Athena is finely attuned to Jeffrey and appears as a loving partner. Having to come to terms with her sub having gender issues, Athena manages to show us what she’s made of. By far, this was the best, strongest story of the bunch. Highly recommended!
The Sub’s Gift by S.L. Armstrong & Erik Moore
Kyle has been the beloved submissive of Amber and Ryan for years. Though they have played with other subs in the past, only Kyle has remained. He’s had bad Dom experiences in the past, so when Amber and Ryan bring home for the holidays a gift for him—Kimber, a sister-slave—Kyle doesn’t know what to think. Is he being ousted by the new arrival?
Kyle has his insecurities, but Kimber is sweet, kind, and sexy. Amber and Ryan know Kyle intimately and have found him the perfect sister to complete their foursome relationship. I liked that all four people have distinct characters despite us getting the story only from Kyle’s perspective. Having been rejected before, Kyle is an insecure sub. Amber and Ryan are a couple, Amber a strong personality and Ryan the militaristic Dom. With her little girl behavior, Kimber pairs up with Kyle, showing him how wonderful their faux brother-sister bond can be. It’s Christmas and it’s also time for an orgy, and the presents are plentiful. I liked this story a lot. This is a wonderful conclusion to the anthology.
Reviewed By: Susan