Cheryl Reviews: Innocence to the Max by SJD Peterson


Title: Innocence to the Max
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 220
Genre: Paranormal, Vampire, BDSM
Kisses: 4

Blurb:

On his sixteenth birthday, Francisco “Cisco” Aguilar first sets eyes on Maximilian De Ferrari, owner of Wicked Grounds, an exclusive BDSM club. Cisco has been lost, unsure of what is missing in his life. Over a century old, Max leads a vampire clan, and Cisco is drawn to him in a way he can’t explain. The moment he sees Max he knows his quest isn’t about what he’s been missing, but who.

Five years’ wait seems more than Cisco can bear, but he perseveres and on his twenty-first birthday he walks into Wicked Ground. He’s unafraid to meet the vampire he’s sure is his destiny. Max has been waiting for him, too.

What Max has known all these years, and what Cisco soon discovers, is that more than fate is drawing them together. Iunctio Copula is a powerful binding link capable of restoring cold, dead hearts. With Max and Cisco bound, Cisco will be Max’s greatest weakness. Unable to let Max go, Cisco is thrust into a dark world, where he’s nearly powerless, left to fight for his life and his future with Max. Worse, he’s at the mercy of those who will use him—and hurt him—just to get to the powerful vampire.

Review:

I happen to really love Vampire books this one is really well done.
Max and Cisco as a couple were a little hard for me to get into at first but as the story unfolded I was drawn more and more into their story.

Cisco is truly an innocent and would do anything to please his master you can’t help falling in love with him.

Max is a powerful vampire and used to being obeyed instantly, he is a little out of his comfort zone where Cisco is concerned which causes him to unintentionally leave Cisco exposed to the worst kind of evil.
The plot slowly unfolds and we are being introduced to characters that we start to care about and a few we begin to hate.

Angelo is Max’s right hand man and Benny is Cisco’s best friend since kindergarten, I found these two characters fascinating, I really hope to read their story in a future book.

SJD Peterson is a master storyteller I recommend you give this book as well as her other works a try I don’t think you will regret it.

Reviewed by: Cheryl

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BAMF by SJD Peterson


Title: BAMF
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
POV:3rd
Pages: 183
Genre: Gay, Contemporary, mystery, suspense
Kisses: 4






Blurb:

Ridley has the badass vibe in spades, an image that serves him well. He wants nothing more than to be hero to Alex, a library assistant.

With his fauxhawk, sleeve tattoos, and visible piercings, Ridley Corbin has the whole badass vibe going on in spades. The image serves him well as the self-proclaimed protector of the underdog, and he wants nothing more than to be Alex Firestone’s hero.

Alex, a mild-mannered library assistant, has moved to Slater, a quiet college town, hoping to hide from his past. He keeps to himself, but that doesn’t save him from catching the unwanted attention of the campus bully. But not all is as it seems. Alex’s past comes calling, and it’s time he becomes top dog.

Review:

As an active reader of SJD Peterson’s I was excited to read and review this book. I admit I had a little trouble getting into the first third of the book because I had a hard time getting into to the characters. I am so glad I hung in there because the plot suddenly kicked into overdrive and I found out who really was the BAMF!

The sex scenes between these two main characters are pretty intense and once the plot kicks in and the secrets are revealed this became a book I could not put down!

I would recommend this book and if you find the idea of a little bit of rough play exciting. You can also turn it up several notches with her series The Guards of Folsom which is one that I truly love. Also, the hot men in her Whispering Pines series is one of my favorites too.

As you can tell, I am a fan of SJD Peterson and once you read this book I think you will be one, too.

Recommended!

Reviewed by: Cheryl

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Pony by SJD Peterson


Title: Guards of Folsom, Book Three: Pony

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Author: SJD Peterson

Pages: 200

Kisses: 4




Blurb:

Grant Maxwell, aka Max, wakes to find his coffeepot has died in the night. Not one who can start his day without his favourite brew, he heads to the local coffee shop. Max finds something even more appealing than caffeine in the form of twenty-six year old hottie Aiden James. For the first time in his life, well-established, confident and respected Dom Max finds himself spluttering and unsure in the face of Aiden’s charms.

Aiden lives with three roommates, works a dead-end job, and isn’t sure where his life is heading. That is until he meets Max. Max introduces him to a foreign yet intriguing lifestyle, and they soon discover they have something more than mutual attraction in common.

A shared kink is one thing, but Aiden’s past vanilla sexual experiences as well as his fear of losing himself in Max may keep Aiden from experiencing his fantasy. Max has an obstacle of his own to overcome. He must somehow figure out how to help Aiden explore his submissive side when, for the first time in his life, he’s head over heels in love.

Review

As with the other books in SJD Peterson’s Guards of Folsom series, this book is all about the BDSM lifestyle of a Dom and his Sub. Grant Maxwell is an experienced Dominant who hasn’t had a long term Submissive since he found he didn’t love his boy the way his boy loved him. Aiden James is a young man with no real knowledge of the Dom/Sub lifestyle but does find Grant Maxwell incredibly sexy and seductive.

At this point the story reminded me Fifty Shades of Grey but rather than being horrified by the demands of the lifestyle as Anatasia Steele is, Aiden James is intrigued and more than willing to try whatever Max wants.

Everything I know about the D/S lifestyle comes from what I have read in books and I’ve always struggled to understand the desire to discipline and punish a sub in a loving relationship. As Aiden is a new submissive Max tries to explain the concept and I have to admit I still didn’t get it. What I did get and like was Aiden’s thoughts on the subject. That morning discipline allowed him to still feel close to Max when they were apart, due to the sting and heat his morning spanking left in his buttocks.

Whilst Aiden takes to the life of a full time submissive easily he still has concerns about losing himself in his desire to please Max. His concerns and the concern of one of his work colleagues and close friend do lead to the only real bump in the road of their relationship. Peterson does deal with his bump, but I didn’t get the feeling that these concerns were really explored beyond a sentence in a contract that Aiden should continue to work and spend Sunday mornings with his roommates.

I was heartened at the end of the book that Max and Aiden both agree that they don’t want the 24/7 life of Dom and Sub but want the life of lovers who enjoy a shared kink and ultimately want to get married.

This book is the third in the Guards of Folsom series and I’d like to reassure prospective readers that you don’t have to read the previous books to fully appreciate this one. SJD Peterson does a wonderful job of making each book stand alone and cover a different theme whilst still linking events and characters in each story.

Given SJD Peterson’s talent for having each book in the Guards of Folsom series explore a different theme I can’t wait to read book 4. The other books in the series are Pup and Tag Team.

Reviewed by Smidgeson

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Tag Team by SJD Peterson


Book title: Guards of Folsom, Book 2: Tag Team
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: SJD Peterson
Pages: 213
Kisses: 4.5



Blurb:

Following the death of their sub, the former owners of the Guards of Folsom, Robert “Bobby” Alcott and Rig Beckworth, were left to pick up the pieces as best they could. After seven years, these two Doms are ready to move on and find the boy who will complete them. Their painful past comes crashing back when they meet Mason Howard, a submissive who just weeks ago lost his Doms in a car accident.
Reeling from overwhelming grief that’s complicated by a severe social anxiety disorder, Mason can barely leave his home. When Rig and Bobby find him, he’s hit rock bottom, believing life is no longer worth living. Bobby and Rig set out to prove the younger man wrong. Fate has brought the three men together, but they’ll have to face the pain of fear and loss head-on before they can all truly live again.

Review:

Tag Team is the second in the Guards of Folsom series by SJD Peterson and I was eager to read it having discovered and thoroughly enjoyed Pup the first book in the series not so long ago. First things first I would like to reassure everyone that you don’t have to have read Pup before you can enjoy Tag Team. SJD Peterson has done a really good job of ensuring that this book stands alone and no prior knowledge of the series is necessary.

Although this book has its feet firmly in the world of BDSM, the early chapters are especially sensitively written and cover the difficult themes of grief, despair and suicide with the only reference to the world of BDSM being that Mason is a submission who had two loving Doms, both of whom have recently been killed.

Given that I had tears in my eyes as early as page 35 I was concerned that this book would end up being depressing and hard to read. However as soon as Bobby, Rig and Mason came together it rapidly became a story about hope, renewal and ultimately love with the strongest BDSM element being care for the submissive’s welfare as the most important thing in a Dominant’s life.

From the outset of the book it is made clear that Bobby and Rig are both Doms and are looking for a third, a submissive to complete their unusual relationship. Bits of me did think it was highly convenient that they happen to be on vacation in Florida staying just along the beach from where Mason lived with his pair of Doms, Gregory and Charles until their recent death. That said Peterson does a good job of building the idea that their meeting is very much the work of God or fate (depending where your beliefs lie) and was always meant to be.

Unusually for a BDSM book there is very little explicit sex and given that I have quite a kink for m/m/m threesomes I should have been disappointed. In fact I love the fact that my overwhelming memory of Tag Team is the sheer amount of love and care given to Mason by Bobby and Rig and how much they realize they want to give that love and care without necessarily receiving it in return.

Mason’s severe social anxiety disorder and the panic attacks it brings on means that he has led a very isolated life avoiding contact with anyone but his Doms. Under Bobby and Rigs careful guidance and reassurance he slowly learns to deal with people and this leads to a lovely reunion with all the characters that Peterson first introduced in Pup at the end of the book when they attend a special event at the Guards of Folsom Club in New York.

I actually think I enjoyed this book more than the first in the series. I really felt Mason’s deep despair and grief over the death of his family. I also felt his confusion about whether it is right or wrong to feel love again after those deaths. In the end I also felt his happiness to be with Bobby and Rig and his sense of relief that with their help he could have friends and enjoy a social life.

Reviewed by: Smidgeson

Pup by SJD Peterson


Title: Guards of Folsom, Book 1: PUP
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 212
Characters: Tackett Austin, Micah Slayde
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, BDSM
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

Guards of Folsom: Book One

Micah “Pup” Slayde knows he wants Tackett Austin the moment he lays eyes on him in the Guards of Folsom. Micah wants to have purpose, to be taken care of, and to take care of his Dom—wants to trust him completely, live for him, belong to him. To become his everything. Micah is sure Tackett is the one. The problem is, in order to be the perfect sub, he needs to stay focused, and that’s not easy for Micah, who suffers from what he refers to as a “broken brain.” Focus and adult attention deficit disorder rarely coexist.

Ever since Ty Callahan and Blake Henderson’s collaring ceremony, Tackett’s been thinking too much about his own loneliness. Even though Ty introduces Micah and urges Tackett to give him a try, Tackett isn’t so easily convinced. He’s spent his life pursuing a successful business career, and the subs he dominates almost never enjoy the kiss of his leather twice. Twenty years Micah’s senior, Tackett has no interest in taking on and taming such a young and naughty sub—but it’s difficult to resist such an adorable pup when he begs.

Review:

Tackett is a wealthy Dom who is getting older and therefore starting to wish he had someone in his life. Micah is a much younger bartender at a BDSM club where Tackett frequents. Micah wants Tackett badly, despite his age, because Micah needs a strong hand to silence the noise in his head. Micah has ADD, and his brain is firing on all cylinders, all the time, and he can’t focus on anything for long periods of time. Tackett’s been in the scene for decades, and he has patience. But does he have that with a cocky pup who can’t stop talking, touching, and disobeying?

There was a lot to like here, at least from my point of view as a reader. One, the story focuses almost entirely on the two men, with extremely few outside interruptions or side characters. In the right setting and for the right reasons, this approach works for me. And since this is about a Dom teaching a new sub, the choice is a good one. Two, the BDSM scene and the lessons for the submissive seem more accurate to me than those stories where subs are nothing but pain sluts, with no understanding of what submission is, and the Doms say stupid stuff like “I’m always right, so worship me”. That doesn’t happen here. Tackett is trying to be mindful of what Micah really needs—while Micah himself doesn’t know exactly what he needs, but senses only Tackett can give him those things.

In any case, there’s not much plot here beyond the training. We don’t get to know these men beyond what they do together and the two, three meets with their friends. But both men come through very clearly as distinct personalities. Tackett’s worries about long-term commitments, especially to a young sub like Micah, and Micah’s rambling brain and sensualist habits that get in the way of his focus.

The BDSM isn’t here to show us pain for thrills. These are lessons for the submissive. Each and every strike, toy, and device is done and used with a purpose in mind. Tackett shows Micah how to focus, how to become a better sub and a better man. While doing so, he discovers something new about himself as well, namely that he can hold onto a long-term relationship and that age, let alone age difference, is no obstacle to falling in love.

I was somewhat surprised by the ending, the way it had been done. The epilogue should be icing on the cake, not the cake itself. Or the dot on the I, not I itself, if you get my meaning. Getting important, life-altering scenes with profound declarations when the story’s supposed to be over already… It threw me.

But ignoring that, this is definitely well worth the read. The BDSM stuff, let alone the sex, isn’t here just for titillation. It has a purpose, driving the plot and the characters forward, and toward each other and some new truths. Like love. Highly recommended!

Reviewed By: Susan

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Plan B by SJD Peterson


Title: Plan B
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 200
Characters: Danny Marshall and Lance Lenard
POV: 1st Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb:

Danny Marshal has always lived his life out loud, but his androgynous appearance is only a small part of who he is. One night at a frat party, Danny meets Lance Lenard, football jock and apparent straight guy. Lance is shocked when he’s immediately attracted to Danny’s feminine side. Danny is happy to be the subject of Lance’s first man-on-man experiment—until Lance begins to struggle with the fact that despite his appearance,Danny is indeed a man.

Lance’s whole life has been focused on his goal of playing in the NFL, and he knows those dreams will be smashed if anyone finds out about his little secret. Although Lance has grown to crave Danny’s touch, he’s not willing to give Danny what he’s grown to crave: a boyfriend who’s proud to love him for every flamboyant and snarky cell in his body.

Life sends Danny and Lance in different directions, each of them focused on his respective Plan A. But the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

Review:

Fans of SJD Peterson know that when they read one of the author’s books they are not going to get a sweet hearts and flowers story, and Plan B is no different. Both the story line and the main characters are the type that will pull you in from the beginning. I really like Danny. He makes no excuses for who he is and I love his outgoing, sometimes over the top personality. Lance was a little harder to get to know. He is the typical jock, cocky and self-assured, at least on the outside. While I found that it was easy to understand why Lance behaved the way he did, I did at times want to smack him. There is a connection between the two men, yet Lance’s inability to accept himself keeps the relationship from moving past the f**k buddy stage.

I wondered how the author planned to move the mens’ story along so that it stayed true to the characters. I was not disappointed and although the story is full of angst, I do not think the author could have done it any different and still have such a good story. I also loved the way in which the author brings these two together as a couple once and for all. The ending of Plan B was perfect giving the readers a glimpse into the mens’ happy life together. I loved this story and will definitely be reading it again.

Reviewed By: Lydia

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Jess’s Journey by SJD Peterson


Title: Jess’s Journey
Author: SJD Peterson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 204
Characters: Jess, Jack, Collin
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Cowboys, Physical Therapy
Kisses: 5+


Blurb:

At an early age, Jess Jenkins learned to take care of his family and friends and put their needs before his own. He dreamed of finding the same simple happiness his parents had and followed their example. Then Lorcan James broke his heart and an automobile accident broke his independent spirit. Now that’s all Jess is: a broken shadow of the man he used to be, still confined to a wheelchair after six months.

Jess is finally forced to put himself first and accept the help he needs on his journey toward recovery. Though pain, frustration, and depression leave him bitter and eager to push people away, his friends refuse to allow him to wallow in self-pity. Jack has only glimpsed the man beneath Jess’s angry shell, but he takes it upon himself to prove Jess isn’t broken. And Collin is determined to bring back the sweet man he once knew. The simple, happy life Jess has always wanted is there for the taking—all he has to do is open his eyes and see it.

Review:

Jess Jenkins finally gets his story! Filled with laughs, tears and at times anger and frustration, you will learn how the “caregiver” in Jess is adjusting to being the “receiver” of care through his Physical Therapist Jackson Rogers (who also has developed a more than professional interest in Jess’s wellbeing) and his childhood friend Collin (who incidentally has had a crush on Jess for years). Angst much?

Jo’s characterizations and descriptive scenes will once again have you riveted to your seat, unable (and often unwilling) to move, forced to turn page after page until suddenly you find yourself wiping your brow and finally exhaling.

Although Ms. Peterson has announced that this is the last in the Whispering Pines Ranch series, she has produced “Riveted” which transitions us, I believe, from the Ranch to the Guards of Folsom series, featuring Ty and Blake and I remain hopeful that she will periodically bring us up to date on what is happening with these finely tuned, hunky, horny cowboys.

Just FYI, The Whispering Pines Ranch series runs in this order: Lorcan’s Desire, Quinn’s Need, Ty’s Obsession, Conner’s Courage, Jess’s Journey, Riveted.

Reviewed By: Jymbo

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