The Copper Horse: Fear by K.A. Merikan


Title: The Copper Horse: Fear
Author: KA Merikan
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 217
Characters: Ruben (Copper), Erik
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Steampunk, Alternate History, BDSM, Dubious Consent
Kisses: 5


Blurb:

Discontented with his state of existence and with his own secret and self-destructive attraction to men, Reuben, the son of a baker, is convinced to engage in an act of rebellion against his father. But when his compatriot betrays him, Reuben awakens to shackles, a filthy dungeon, and the knowledge that he is going to be forced to battle captive zombies for the entertainment of the Bylondon underworld.

When he’s claimed, instead, by a powerful and stunning member of Bylondon’s ruling family, Reuben is willing to serve in whatever way ensures that he’ll see another day, even if that means training to become the perfect human horse. Erik is a kind master, and one that Reuben thinks he could grow to love… but the power of his shame and his self-hate rise up inside him, threatening to tear him away from the love—and the lifestyle—that he could never have brought himself to openly desire.

Review:

Anyone who has read any of my reviews is probably aware that I’m a big fan of KA Merikan. These two ladies never fail to entertain this reader and I always end up wanting more every time I finish one of their stories.

I will be the first to say that this book is NOT for everyone. I think it’s fair to state that it will make some readers uncomfortable because of the dynamics between the two heroes. There will be some readers who will not like the way Erik dominates over Reuben, and I totally understand it. The authors are known to push boundaries in their books, and because of it, their books aren’t for everyone. BUT having said this, I love how their stories are able to make me feel uncomfortable one moment and totally root for the heroes the next. In my opinion, this makes them authors who write stories that I will always remember, look for their next release as well as reread some of my favorites.

Copper Horse: Fear
is one of my favorites by this writing team.

This story definitely has a steampunk setting, also if you have read any of their zombie themed books in the past, this is tentatively set in the same creative world. When we meet Reuben he is going through the motions of his life. He is a baker, who hates what he does. He lives in poverty with his father and his only escapism is through a bottle of gin. One night he is kidnapped and forced into slavery. His kidnappers have hand picked him to fight for his life against the undead in a sick-twisted game that the upper-class residence enjoy. Lucky for him, he is saved by a handsome, but perverse man, (Reuben’s words) and forced into a life of horseplay in which Reuben is both appalled and fascinated with.

This story is the journey that Reuben (Copper) goes through as he learns to let go of his fear and shame and become a more focused and even proud individual. We learn about Erik as Reuben does, and as the pieces of the puzzle are slowly put together, Erik’s mysterious life fascinated me as much as it did Reuben.

I loved every minute I spent reading this book. Yes, there were times I wanted to pull Reuben into my arms and save him from the ‘lessons’ he was made to do. But even then I could see that although Reuben fights Erik as well as his submission to him, he also quickly became more settled with himself and even (to his own dismay) comfortable at becoming Erik’s pet.

I need to point out that Reuben’s submission is not an easy one. If dubious consensual sex bothers you…this story is not for you. Reuben knows he must submit or he could possible lose his life. Erik is not always seen in a positive light. He does things to get Reuben to submit to him that will make a reader that might not be prepared to read such a strongly told tale.

Lucky for me, I sometimes like to step out of my comfort zone; especially with authors that I’ve learned to trust in the journey they tell and to me, the two ladies who write under the name of KA Merikan deliver satisfyingly creative stories every time. In the end, I wanted these two heroes to find a way to communicate and I wanted Reuben to trust his own instincts as well as Erik’s as well.

I can’t wait until the next book in the series. There is still much to learn about these two men and I’m anxiously waiting to see what happens next.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Come celebrate Storm Moon Press 4th Anniversary Blog Tour featuring Scarlet Blackwell!

We’re thrilled to host Scarlet Blackwell today, who is here for the Storm Moon Press 4th Anniversary blog tour! Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for the Rafflecopter giveaways. You have a chance to win a copy of “Playing With the Big Boys” OR free e-books for a year from Storm Moon Press! Awesome! Without futher ado, here’s Scarlet!

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As Storm Moon Press celebrates diversity in their fiction for their 4th Anniversary and beyond, the UK appears on the verge of granting full marriage rights to LGBT couples. The UK has had a civil partnership bill since 2004 but has somewhat lagged behind other countries by failing to pass a same-sex marriage bill through parliament. That changed this year when the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received a Royal Assent and is likely to be passed in England and Wales in mid-2014. The UK will be added to a list of other countries flying the flag for equality like Australia and France, and one can only hope that the number of states in the US allowing gay marriage will soon be expanded.

It is a good time to be a UK-based writer of m/m fiction and the new legislation opens further creative doors.

In Playing with the Big Boys, my contribution to the Weight of a Gun II anthology, I write about two cops stumbling upon a couple of thieves in a warehouse. Caleb’s partner (read: fellow-cop) soon disappears, and he is left at the mercy of Leon and Riley, the two thieves, who restrain Caleb and proceed to show him the time of his life. The story pushes boundaries. It rides an edge of non-consensual sex close to the wind and illustrates just how fearless and uncompromising Storm Moon Press is when it comes to taking on work that other publishers may baulk from.

While some publishers have a list of do and don’ts and are afraid to take a chance on controversial work, Storm Moon Press doesn’t have this problem. They let the author have free rein over their creativity and don’t try to stifle it. This is why Storm Moon Press celebrates diversity in life and in QUILTBAG fiction with every book they publish and why authors see the publishing house as a breath of fresh air in the often restrictive market of m/m romance.

To finish this brief piece, I’d like to offer a sample of Playing with the Big Boys, which now has its own short story release at Storm Moon Press. Thanks for having me, and I hope you enjoy my work and that of other authors who are given the opportunity to embrace their creativity at Storm Moon Press!

***

(Warnings for NC-17 content, gun-play, and non-con themes.)

Caleb came back to consciousness slowly with his head ringing. He opened his eyes groggily with his vision spinning and pulled hard when he felt steel shackling his wrists. What the hell? He closed his eyes again until the room stopped moving and took a deep breath before he examined his surroundings. He was sitting on a big chair with long arms, his wrists pulled behind his back, legs splayed and ankles tethered to each leg of the sturdy wooden chair. To add insult to injury, he was gagged by a scrap of material that smelled of masculine cologne. The only thing he had left was his eyes. He squinted at the scene in front of him, shivering in the cold air. Where was Dennis? Caleb hoped he was about to burst in at any moment with back-up.

Two men, one blond and one dark, stood in front of him regarding him in amusement as he strained at his bonds. They both wore jeans and T-shirts. They were both built like brick shithouses. The blond had a gun shoved into the waist of his jeans.

The brunet, attractive with startling green eyes, was holding something familiar: Caleb’s gun.

“Welcome, Officer…” The man leaned closer and read the gold nametag on Caleb’s khaki uniform. “Caleb Baker.”

Caleb spat a curse behind his gag. The blond guy folded his massive arms and laughed. Caleb’s gaze drifted to the small table between the two men. On it, beside a tube of lube, a pack of condoms, and some sex toys, lay his own utility belt with each item neatly extracted – the radio, nightstick, and Taser. Of course, the cuffs were missing because they were around his own wrists. Caleb looked around, eyes rolling in wild despair.

“So,” the brunet drew his attention, examining Caleb’s piece. “Smith and Wesson 4006 TSW tactical semi-automatic handgun. Heavy. Bitch of a recoil. Needs twelve pounds of pressure on the double action first shot, four and a half pounds on the subsequent shots.” His gaze dropped indecently down Caleb’s muscular frame. “You don’t seem like you’d have much trouble with that.”

Caleb glared at him by way of reply.

“Seven and a half inches long.” The man smirked. “Not bad.” He stepped forward. “Tired of you not contributing to the conversation, dude.” He yanked Caleb’s gag free.

“Fuck you,” Caleb declared.

His captor whacked him on the temple with the butt of the gun, hard enough to sting. “Wrong answer.” As Caleb hissed, the man ran his hand up the four inch barrel, circling it, imitating masturbation. “I like guns. They make me hot. I like a man carrying a gun, ergo I like cops. I particularly like to fuck cops.”

“You’re not fucking me!” Caleb cried. Christ, he needed Dennis now. This was his worst nightmare.

“Wasn’t aware you had a choice,” the blond chipped in.

“Riley’s right,” the brunet said. “I’m Leon by the way. Let’s be on first name terms when we’re all going to be intimate together.”

Caleb jerked his head away as Leon stepped between his thighs, pressed the gun against his left cheek, caressing the curve of Caleb’s jaw almost lovingly, finger hovering over the trigger. “The things I’ve done with guns, Officer Baker, they’d make your hair curl. I knew this one guy who loved to be fucked by a .44 Magnum. Cocked, you understand. Thought he was Dirty Harry. I had to ask him if he was feeling lucky, punk, while I fucked him.” Leon grinned, teeth bright as Caleb rolled his eyes. “I know, right? There’re some crazy motherfuckers out there but hey, different strokes for different folks. All I know is cops make me so hard I can barely think.”

Caleb automatically dropped his gaze down Leon’s brawny body and saw the erection tenting his jeans. He gulped, and then lifted his eyes to those above him. Leon looked down at him with a smile on his face, that gun still learning his face. He pressed the pistol against Caleb’s jammed-shut lips.

“Open,” he commanded, green eyes flashing.

Caleb shook his head.

“Don’t be a silly boy and open.”

Christ, was the safety on? Caleb was too scared to look. He opened his mouth and stainless steel clicked against his teeth as Leon inserted the handgun.

“Suck.”

Caleb closed his mouth over the cold barrel. He did as he was told, eyes shut. He liked his gun – despite what Leon had said about its flaws. At least, he had liked it until it had been turned upon him.

“Nice action. Now lick.” Leon withdrew the gun.

Caleb put his tongue out and licked the tip of the barrel. He looked up and found his tormentor’s gaze fixed on his, Leon’s pupils hugely dilated. “This is going to be an absolute pleasure,” Leon murmured.

***

This post is part of Storm Moon Press’ 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter Scarlet Blackwell’s giveaway for “Playing With the Big Boys” as well as our blog-tour-wide giveaway! The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year!

SMP’s 4th Anniversary Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Taken by MA Church


Title: The Harvest, Book One: Taken
Author: MA Church
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 165 (anthology of 5 stories)
Genre: Science Fiction
Kisses: 3




Blurb:

In the year 2050, humanity finds out they are indeed not alone.
Massive space ships appear without warning above the capital cities of all major nations. The planet Tah’Nar is dying. Chemical warfare has reduced the once-intersexed warrior race to sterility. They need fresh DNA in order to reproduce and have an idea for a harvesting program…and so they turn to Earth.

Earth governments negotiate a lottery, and Dale Michael assumes he’s safe since he’s under the Harvest age limit. How wrong he is. He’s illegally harvested and claimed by Tah’Narian starship captain Keyno Shou. From the Keyno sees Dale, he knows he must claim the spirited human male for his own. What he doesn’t expect is a spitfire with a mind of his own – and a deadly disease that will require a risky procedure to cure.

Review:

This is a page turning book that kept my interest from start to finish. The story revolves around Dale Michaels who is 17 years old when Earth finds out that Aliens exist. In the face of overwhelming force Earth doesn’t fight but capitulates to the Aliens request to harvest mates. Mates taken from the male population aged between 23 and 28 by way of a lottery for a period of 5 years.

Told entirely from Dale’s point of view the story begins one week before Dale’s 23rd birthday when he is illegally Harvested by the Tah’Narian starship captain Keyno Shou. We follow him through the initial medical procedures and into his new life with Keyno which doesn’t run entirely smoothly but there were few real surprises.

This is first story I’ve read by M A Church and sadly I found myself dropped out of the story disappointingly often as descriptions and references left me recalling famous films and TV shows I have watched. This led to the world building being less convincing as I have read elsewhere and the characters a little too predictable. However the introduction of Keyno’s hair and tail to the sex scenes was refreshing, well done and probably my favourite idea in the book.

This is an anthology of five stories which are seamlessly linked together to make one long story but even so it lacked enough highs and lows to make this a really memorable story hence only 3 kisses.

Reviewed by Smidgeson

Like It or Not by Angelia Sparrow, Naomi Brooks, Sean Michael, Gryvon, Stella Harris, TC Mill, Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane


Title: Like It Or Not
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 161
Characters: Multi-Characters
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy, BDSM, Erotic Romance
Kisses: 4.5


Blurb: Be it forced seduction/dubious consent, non-violent intimidation, or pre-negotiated fantasy, there is something wickedly taboo about non-consensual sex, where consent is muddled. While rape is a crime of power, focusing on exerting physical control over another person, non-con is all about the gray area where verbal consent is either never given (not a ‘yes’, but not a ‘no’ either) or doesn’t match the arousal and passion both parties share during the act. In Like It or Not, we push the boundaries of consent without fully breaking them.

When Connor’s rent money is due and not even hooking can make up the shortfall, he really is Out of Options. So when playboy Jarrett makes him a very generous offer, he doesn’t look too closely at the terms—and lives to regret it. Then, werewolf Trevor is subjected to Obedience Classes when his pack alpha becomes fed up with his rebellion. Dirk, the wolf charged with this task, though, seems more interested in claiming Trevor for himself, by any means necessary. Writer Ian Richards has to decide What It’s Worth to get his story when his contact meets him in a private club. In fact, Vincenzo has no intention of letting his information go easily, if at all.

In Blindside, freshman Matt is tired of enduring the hazing by (admittedly gorgeous) upperclassman Dylan, when Dylan ups the ante significantly. And as much as Matt wants Dylan, he can’t be sure the whole thing isn’t one more bizarre prank. Confessor Isak must resort to Unnatural Means when he is charged with the task of forcing Sain to confess his sins of murder and witchcraft before inevitable execution. Torturing in the name of the Divine is difficult enough, but when Sain’s seductive magic takes hold of him, he isn’t sure it will be Sain who breaks under pressure to find release. Finally, Salting the Earth becomes Ronan’s only choice when he suspects his sister has been taken by the fairies. However, this only draws the interest of ruthless King Finnbheara, who extracts a price for his cooperation that may be too high for Ronan to pay.

Review:

Out of Options by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks

Connor has no rent money, no real job, no family or friends to turn to. His only option is hitting the streets. His hook-up, Jarrett, seems like a nice guy, a great kisser and gentle to boot. Connor is left feeling good. When he’s low on money once more, he hooks up with Jarrett again, signing a contract for sex in return for money. When he wakes up the next morning, he’s trussed up good, with Jarrett going all out kinky.

From the get-go, this anthology is about forced seduction and non-consensual sex. This first story has that in spades. Tied up, ball-gagged, flogged. All well and good. Morning and evening beatings for no reason at all and not allowed any kind of safe words? Yeah, that threw me. This one leans heavily into sadism of the BDSM mix, so be forewarned. Worst of all, Jarrett gave the wrong impression of himself, seemingly on purpose, to Connor, luring him in and then holding him prisoner. Connor does have an answering quirk, so I suppose that makes up for violence present here. Personally, I wasn’t all that taken with this story.

Obedience Classes by Sean Michael

Trevor is a young werewolf pup who is now in college and is rebelling against the established, time-honored hierarchy of the pack. The alpha sends Dirk, a powerful werewolf, to teach the wayward puppy how to behave. From a little stalking to outright rattling of Trevor’s chain, Dirk knows all the ways to make the young man submit.

I adored this story. Trevor and Dirk are well suited to each other. Where Trevor has a sharp tongue and a razor wit, Dirk has physical strength and seductive prowess to match that. Their arguments and fights, the whole chase, is hotter than hot. A great story that makes forced seduction seem this sexy is easy to recommend.

What It’s Worth by Gryvon

Ian is a writer who is trying to get a story from a mafia family about immigration. When an old don sends him to his nephew, Vincenzo, the information gathering takes place at a dark club where Ian is forced to decide just how badly he wants the story.

In the beginning, this short story is bogged down by useless rhetoric about how much Ian hates everything. In his words, how everything sucks. That was boring. Once he gets to the club, however, he is literally brought down to his knees and then on his back to experience the humiliation of strangers watching him be hurt and pleasured. Being a virgin, Ian experiences things for the first time. Vincenzo seems to have a handle on him, and what could have been a horrible experience, transcends into a new beginning. The life-affirming attitude of Vincenzo is well balanced with Ian’s more cantankerous nature. Not a bad story in the end.

Blindside by Stella Harris

Matt attends college for his first year, and he’s hazed constantly by a fellow rugby player, Dylan. Matt doesn’t know how to make it stop without incurring the wrath of everyone else, but he’s also afraid of being discovered as gay. Then an unexpected visit to a health center brings Matt and Dylan suddenly into a new kind of game field, and we get to enjoy them playing doctor.

This was my favorite story of the bunch, realistic and heartwarming. What we see, isn’t always what we get. Dylan knows what he wants, and he goes after it. Matt, however, thinks Dylan wants something else entirely, humiliation and power play, and this creates delicious tension. Both so young, at the start of their lives, there’s much pleasure, sex, and love to be had here—if they only dare to step out of their predetermined roles. Great short story, and I would have loved to see more of Matt and Dylan.

Unnatural Means by T.C. Mill

Witch-Confessor Isak is facing his biggest challenge yet, a beautiful witch named Sain who is accused of murder by sorcery and unnatural congress. Isak is a devout priest who wishes for these performers of the dark arts to confess their sins of sorcery and avoid the fires of Hell. But Sain is a gay witch. It’s who he is, and saying it to be wrong would betray himself more. Neither can yield, so the torturer’s rack and hangman’s noose are ahead for Sain—unless Isak can find a way to help him, even though Isak is certain the lovely young witch has put an enchantment over him.

For such a short story, this has surprising amount of depth. It’s not just the characters who are three-dimensional and relatable, but the world around them is vivid and realistic, and the philosophical talks the two men have about being true to one’s self and the nature of faith and desire feel like skimming the surface of much larger oceans of knowledge. At first Sain may appear unlikeable, but it’s Isak’s own preconceptions that color the impression. In essence, Sain is true to himself throughout the story while Isak is the one still trying to find his path. Torturing witches is clearly not it. I liked this story a lot. Recommended.

Salting the Earth by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane

Ronan’s sister, Rose, is a wild child who keeps disappearing at night. Living in a small town in Ireland, there aren’t that many happening places, so when a man at a bar tells Ronan that Rose has been taken by the fairy folk, it seems plausible to Ronan who has always believed in these things. So, armed with salt and liquid courage, Ronan digs a path into the fairy realm. But getting Rose back isn’t going to be easy, and Ronan has to acquiesce to the cruel pleasures of the sidhe court and King Finnbheara. But perhaps there’s more to the fairy folk, to the king, and even to Rose than Ronan was prepared for. And Ronan has his own shameful secrets to face.

This story has mixed writing, in the sense that thoughts and actions get a little jumbled at time. And the story takes a bit too long before getting into the fairy realm. There, however, these fairies who can change sexes at will are sadistic and cruel if not treated with the proper respect. The king is an enigmatic man who’s perhaps more multifaceted than the legends tell. There’s definitely forced seduction here and a few magical toys to boot, and the ability of the fairies to read minds adds a new twisted dimension to the whole thing. An intriguing fantastical conclusion to a good anthology.

Reviewed By: Susan

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Serve Me by Anna Hedley, Fox Lee, Gabriel Belthir and Lor Rose


Title: Serve Me
Author: Anna Hedley, Fox Lee, Gabriel Belthir, and Lor Rose
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Characters: Multiple Characters
POV: Mixed
Sub-Genre: Gay Slavery Erotica
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

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

Review:

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

Blurb:

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.

Review:

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

Blurb:

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.

Review:

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

Blurb:

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.

Review:

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

Blurb:

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.

Review:

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

Enter to Win a Copy of The Forester by Blaine D. Arden!!!

Hello Friends!

The fabulous Blaine D. Arden is graciously throwing a contest just for Top2Bottom readers! She’s giving away a copy of her book, The Forester! All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment and you’ll be automatically entered to win! The contest will run until Midnight tonight.

Here is more information about The Forester:

Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith. Worse, a murder committed ten days before Solstice reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit: Kelnaht’s former lover Ianys, who once betrayed him, and the shunned forester named Taruif, who is not allowed to talk to anyone but The Guide, their spiritual pathfinder. When Taruif turns out to be the only witness for the crime, Kelnaht has to keep Ianys from sacrificing himself and losing his daughter, while at the same time realising he’d gladly sacrifice himself to end Taruif’s loneliness.

Good luck to everyone who enters!

*Hugs*

Gabbi