Title: Serve Me
Author: Anna Hedley, Fox Lee, Gabriel Belthir, and Lor Rose
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Characters: Multiple Characters
Sub-Genre: Gay Slavery Erotica
For some people there’s nothing more appealing than the idea of a man forced to serve against his will, as a second-class citizen: a slave. Despite the dark history surrounding forced servitude and slavery, there remains a growing desire for depictions of fetishized slavery fantasies. Like rape fantasy, the appeal for readers in slave fiction lies not in a desire for the actual act, but in the ability to explore such things in a safe space. Many people harbor a secret wish to be forced into certain acts that they know they want, but have been socially conditioned to abhor. Such is the core of the Serve Me anthology. Be warned: these are not stories of consensual, negotiated power exchange. The stories in this anthology focus on true sexualized, erotic slavery: stories of men forced, coerced, or otherwise bound into a second-class life servicing another in whatever ways their master sees fit.
Warnings/Themes: slavery, historical, vampire, fantasy, bondage, dubious consent, non-con, dark themes
The first thing I would say is pay attention to the warnings as the themes covered in these stories are not for the faint hearted. That said, it was only really the first story The Spoils that I was uncomfortable reading. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed these short stories each one taking perhaps half an hour to read; perfect for reading with your feet up and a cup of coffee. Each time I reached the end of a story, I wished there was a bit more so all in all a great read.
The Spoils by Anna Hedley
3 kisses out of 5
Idris is part of The Spoils of war: the last surviving member of a barbarian clan, he is famed in the gladiatorial arena for his bloody ruthlessness and outside the arena for his carnal appetites. His inner beast is calmed by the presence of his slave and lover, Theo, but to be true to his heart, Idris may have to risk breaking it.
For me The Spoils was the most difficult of the four stories and as it is the first in the anthology I did wonder what I had let myself in for. I quickly realized that this story had a strong theme of horror and violence which is not normally something I choose to read.
Set in an Ancient Grecian type world, a world that I know nothing about, I found myself distracted by trying to work out if all the Satyr and Maenads were real creatures or slaves dressed up to look like them.
Despite the violent start to the story I grew to like and sympathise with Idris as he experienced visions of the people he’d killed all at the bidding of his owner, Dominic. Idris’ confusion about these visions is reflected in the slightly disjointed nature of the writing. The arrival of his own slave Theo brings Idris immeasurable peace and this is reflected in the much smoother style of writing. A very clever trick by the author.
By the end of the story Idris has freed Theo and learned to forgive himself but Dominic is dead. Idris has been sold multiple times, each owner worse than the last as they find they can’t control him until Theo finds him again and they get their happy ever after.
As You Wish by Gabriel Belthir
4 kisses out of 5
Samuel has spent years striving toward the Viscount’s circles, where rich and fantastical parties are given and elaborate slave auctions held. He thinks he wants a young lover, but when he buys an Adonis known as Apollo, he realizes what he was truly missing. Now Apollo gives the orders, and it is Samuel saying, As You Wish.
This story was much more to my liking and is about the power exchange between master and slave.
It is well written with likable characters who genuinely seem to care for each other and pander to each other’s desires of domination and submission. Until that is, a scene towards the end of the story that is distinctly more non-con than anything that has gone before which stunned me and initially left me reeling.
This story definitely ended with me wanting more. The non-con scene was such a turning point in master/slave relationship that I really wanted to see how they progressed from the privacy of their own home out into public which is where the story was heading.
Life Is Unforgiving by Lor Rose
4 kisses out of 5
Life is Unforgiving for Aidan and Aaron, criminals who have been doomed to live as slaves to vampire masters, whose appetites can be agony… or bliss. When Aidan is given a new lease on life with a benevolent Master, his relief is tainted by pain at leaving Aaron behind; pain which only his Master Ryce has the power to end.
This is the only story in the collection told in the first person.
It is a classic tale of a cruel master who sells his beaten to a supposedly worse master who turns out to be unexpectedly nice. Set in a world where the slaves are often convicted criminals and known as bloodbags, the masters are vampires whose can bring pain or pleasure when they feed.
The story starts with Aiden being forcibly separated from fellow slave Aaron who he loves and being sold. Told from Aiden’s point of view we know he never expects to see Aaron again. It quickly becomes apparent that he has spent all his life as a slave frightened of his master and even though Ryce his new master does everything he can to ensure Aiden’s well-being, Aiden is afraid of him. Following a chance encounter with his previous owner and a lot of alone time, Aiden is reunited with Aaron and freed from slavery.
A downside of the story being told exclusively from Aiden’s point of view is that we don’t really learn much about the other characters and their motivations.
I loved the concept of this story and thoroughly enjoyed reading about Aiden and Ryce. I really felt sorry for Ryce at the end when he obviously believes that Aiden feels nothing for him and frees him.
Takashima’s Pet by Fox Lee
4.5 kisses out of 5
Yuta is a gentle giant who joins a local gang for the sense of family that they can provide, but when they leave him high and dry in the middle of a failed heist, it’s his captor, Takashima, who shows him what family can really mean as the vicious gang enforcer tenderly turns him into Takashima’s Pet.
Set in Japan amid a culture of underworld gangs, it might as well have been sent in outer space for all I knew of that world. That said the author does a really good job showing how miserable Yuta is within his gang family and how they bully him.
Left alone to face the consequences of a robbery gone wrong Yuta comes to the attention of Takashima, the biggest baddest member of the biggest baddest gang. Given the choice between death and being Takashima’s newest form of entertainment, Yuka chooses the latter.
Yuka’s first 24 hours with Takashima are fairly hardcore but Takashima isn’t the monster that we’re led to expect. The blurb describes Yuta as a gentle giant but as the book progressed I really came to think of Takashima as the gentle giant and I loved him just as much as I came to love Yuka. I found myself cheering Yuka on when he’s forced to confront his previous gang members and hoping that Takashima would live up to his vicious reputation when he joined that party.
In my opinion this was the best story in this anthology.
Reviewed By: Smidgeson