Milk and Cookies and Handcuffs by Erzabet Bishop, Alex Whitehall, Verity Blackthorn, Kathleen Tudor, Erik Moore and SL Armstrong


Title: Milk and Cookies and Handcuffs
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 115
Characters: Multi-Characters
POV: 3rd, 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Holidays, Paranormals, Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Gay, Lesbian, M/F
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

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.

Review:

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

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Written in Flesh by Kimber Vale, Alina Ray, Suzanne van Rooney and Alex Whitehall


Title: Written in Flesh
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 117
Characters: Various Heroes
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Kisses: 4



Blurb:

For many people, there’s nothing hotter than a man with tattoos. He might get them to commemorate a lost loved one, celebrate an event, or just to look bad-ass, but there’s no doubt the man enjoys showing off his ink. Tribal, classic black and white, or elaborate colored artwork spanning the entire back, each mark has a story, an indelible reminder of the past etched onto the human canvas with care and precision. We’re showcasing four of those stories in Written in Flesh.

Key is Bound by Ink to a woman he does not—cannot—love. He runs to escape his fate, but finds Dax, another fugitive, and learns that some bonds go deeper than skin. In the heyday of the 1980’s, Ian Grothe’s club is about to discover the Next Big Thing, but Ian only has eyes for the lead singer. But as the band’s star rises, Ian gets left behind, his hopes turning to Powder.

Then, in Helotry, Rontak is an escaped slave who wears the mark of his service beneath his skin. While on the run, he is sheltered by Tréy, an artist with a heavy secret of his own. Finally, Ellis comes to the Sui Generis Protection Agency bearing the Mark of the Familiar, magical animal tattoos granting him remarkable shapeshifting abilities. When he feels a True Bond to William, the Wardsman of the agency, he has to convince William of the truth or risk losing his sanctuary, and perhaps even his life.

Review:

These stories are about how tattoos can either be a symbol for love, hate, ownership or remembrance of the events in one’s life. Each story explores how the markings put on skin can either be a symbol for shame, a source of pride, or a commemoration of a special event in your life.

I really loved reading this book. Written in Flesh is a wonderfully written collection of stories that explores how tattoos can express myriad meanings, depending on who does the marking, why it’s done, and who sees them.

Bound by Ink by Kimber Vale

Key is being tattooed by the ink-witch of his tribe to symbolize his upcoming marriage to the chief’s daughter, with whom he has been lifelong friends. He doesn’t want to go through with the wedding because he prefers men, but feels that he must obey the customs and dictates of his tribe.

The ink-witch tells about the day her grandson broke tradition and left the tribe to seek the legendary island of All-World, a place where members of the same sex can be bonded in marriage.

Key flees that very night to find this mythical place as he feels he has no choice but to follow his heart and not his head. The chief sends his hunters to search for Key to avenge the dishonor of him abandoning her daughter on their wedding day, injuring him in the process.Dax finds the injured man and nurses him back to health.

Dax turns out to be the ink witch’s grandson who had left the tribe three years before because he refused to follow the customs of the tribe. Dax and Key fall in love and travel to All-World to become a bonded pair.

Powder by Alina Ray

Ian is the owner of a small hole-in-the-wall club that is auditioning an unknown band. He notices that the lead singer of the band called The Shredding Angels has tattoos on both arms. He finds them and finds them fascinating and becomes instantly attracted to him. He really likes the band’s music and books them to play once a week at the club for the next two months.

As the band plays every week, word of mouth spreads the band’s praises and the crowds get larger and larger. After every performance Ian and Arnold go out for coffee and powdered doughnuts. Ian critiques the band’s playing and gives Arnold advice on how to package the band to become more famous. He also advises Arnold to change his name to Apollo and to let his hair grow out.

Ian invites Apollo to his apartment to celebrate New Year’s Eve and they finally give into the attraction that has been building between them for months. Ian surprises Apollo with the news that the head of a record label is coming to listen to the band to see if he likes what he hears.

The record label hires the band and before Ian knows it, Apollo and the band back out of playing at Ian’s club and stop all contact with him. Ian finds himself in a severe depression that leads him to sell his club to his manager and to retreat from the world for several months. He finally pulls himself together and decides to open a bigger and better club near Broadway in Manhattan. He names the club Powder and works hard to make it the most talked about club in the city.

Just before the grand opening, Apollo shows up to explain why he disappeared almost a year before and to beg forgiveness from Ian. He shows Ian the new tattoo showing a doughnut and a cup of coffee that he had done as a symbol of their relationship and Ian finally forgives him.

Helotry by Suzanne van Rooney

Rontak Is a slave on the planetof Thiaki, a desert planet owned by the company Incarnadine Inc. The company mines the planet for the precious metal nassidium and uses the native population as slave labor and to entertain the company executives in whatever manner they prefer. Rontak manages to escape by attacking one of the executives and stowing aboard a cargo ship whose destination is Krisha, the home planet of the Incarnadine empire. He accidentally runs into Trey, a young man who is taking pictures of local landmarks.

Trey finds himself attracted to the beautiful young man and is fascinated by the exotic tattoos he has over most of his body. Trey takes Rontak under his wing and they become lovers.

Trey discovers than Rontak is a runaway slave and that the tattoos on his body are a sign of ownership. He becomes enraged at the lifestory that Rontak tells him and enlists the aid of a powerful friend and his own influence as the son of one of the majority stockholders of Incarnadine to publicize the plight of Rontak’s people. The public outcry forces the company to free the slaves and to turn over the ownership of the planet to the native population.

Mark of the Familiar by Alex Whitehall

Ellis is a magical shape shifter who is rescued from a cruel master and is taken to a safe house for the rehabilitation and protection of abused magical beings. He encounter William, the half human, half Succubus son of James, owner of the safe house.
Ellis finds himself hopelessly attracted to William and William feels the same way but fights it because he thinks it’s wrong to take advantage of him. He finally gives into the attraction when he realizes that Ellis is his intended magical mate and that they are fated to be together. Matching tattoos appear on each man as they make the bonding permanent by making love.

I really enjoyed reading these stories that span space, time, imagination, and ordinary life to explore the myriad meanings that tattoos can represent in relationship to people’s lives.

Reviewed By: Pat

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