Category Archives: Book Review

Riley’s Forbidden Omega: Those First Date Butterflies

Riley Teaser1

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Riley’s Forbidden Omega © Ki Brightly and Meg Bawden

Riley Sheridan has it all—loving family, college football career, and good looks. The only thing he’s missing is a relationship with the one person he can never have. As a teenager, Riley met Ambrose Whitlock precisely once and knew, without a doubt, that he wanted to be with him. The next time Riley saw Ambrose was at his alpha uncle’s wedding—as an omega groom.

Ambrose Whitlock-Harlow tried to love the husband his father arranged for him to marry, but Jacob was demanding, borderline cruel, and more focused on his political career than his young husband. Jacob leaves when, after several years, Ambrose doesn’t become pregnant.

One stormy night Ambrose’s life is turned upside down by Riley returning to town with an abandoned dog he found on the highway. Riley doesn’t know where to take the mutt, and Ambrose is well-known for his work at the local animal shelter. It doesn’t take Riley and Ambrose long to pick up the fragile relationship they started years ago.

The more time Riley and Ambrose spend together, the faster they fall in love. Not everyone approves, especially when Ambrose becomes pregnant with Riley’s child. The divorce isn’t official yet, and Jacob threatens to take away everything Riley and Ambrose built together.

This 92,000 word story is the third book in the Cherry Hollow Series.

Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RZDXL91

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RZDXL91

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RZDXL91

 

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You can also visit the website for the Cherry Hollow series for updates, extras, and cover reveals!

https://www.cherryhollowseries.com/characters

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Filed under Alpha and Omega, book release, Book Review, Book Teaser, Characters, Cherry Hollow, Gay Contemporary Romance, Gay Fantasy, gay fiction, Kindle Unlimited, LGBT, LGBT Romance, LGBT Youth, m/m, MPREG, new book, New Release, Omega

Incubus Adored is Available for Purchase and in Kindle Unlimited

I realized I totally, 100% forgot to post that Incubus Adored was live! How forgetful of me. I know I have a blog, and yet I consistently forget to do anything with it.

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Incubus Adored © Ki Brightly May 2018

Gravidam Series #1

Peirs had accepted his life of servitude to an angel. His keeper asked only for a willing body, and in exchange his needs were met and he was fed and clothed. Peirs might have served the angel forever—it was the only life he knew—but one day Peirs discovered something he had no way to plan for. After two millennia, he was pregnant. Peirs now must summon the courage to escape his master and the unbendable divine law that declared no half-breeds should live, but running into an angelic soldier in the back room of a bar wasn’t part of his plan.

After years of begging to go to the battlefields on Earth, Tabbis, the youngest angel in Heaven, finally got his assignment. Ready for heroics and bloodshed, he was stunned when he found enchanting and seductive Peirs instead. Tabbis was duty bound to kill Peirs, but Peirs’s very existence challenged everything Tabbis thought he knew.

Tabbis needs answers. Peirs wants nothing more than to save his baby and live in peace. Can they band together to help each other? Or will the wrath of Heaven tear them apart?

Amazon US Links for Purchase and KU

Amazon UK Links for Purchase and KU

 

So far there have been good reviews:

Divine Magazine reviewed Incubus Adored.

The Blogger Girls also reviewed Incubus Adored.

Everyone has liked it so far. I’m very close to finishing up Incubus Lost #2 in the Gravidam Series featuring Hadrian..

Happy Summer Reading everyone!

 

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Filed under Blog Tour, Book Feature, book release, Book Review, Book Teaser, Gravidam Series, Incubus Adored, Kindle Unlimited, LGBT, LGBT Romance, m/m, mate, MPREG, new book, New Release, Paranormal, paranormal romance, Please Review, Urban Fantasy

Memorial Day Musings and Book Reviews

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Hello All!

This week has been one of those weeks. With the holiday and the humidity here (the air is like fishy soup along the lake) I’ve been moving sloooowly. I am, in fact, writing this blog today to continue to procrastinate rather than getting to writing for the day.

Procrastination is an art form. Don’t let anyone talk you out of that fact.

I’ve been to the beach three times in the last four days, and while I won’t call that procrastination, so much as salvation in this heat (my apartment has no air conditioning because…actually I can’t think of a valid reason for that…money. Yeah, it’s expensive to run an air conditioner…that’s actually a good reason…) it hasn’t improved my word counts any.

 

In the last week I’ve finished a few fun books, and while I can’t quite bring myself to do full write ups of them, I’ll talk about them briefly.

NEW RELEASE!

Bink Cummings His Boy

For years, I lived with him as roommates. Then, one fateful night, things changed. We became more. So much more. The sex was out of this world. Being his boy was the highlight of my day. Until feelings started to creep in and sex wasn’t enough for me. Afraid of losing him, I kept quiet and hoped for a miracle… Could my Daddy love me, too? Or would I continue to be his boy… his play toy?

Warning: Contains shameless adult sexual M/M content, romance, adult language, taboo elements including those of consensual Daddy/Boy (non-incest) relationships, and whatever else that makes it unsuitable for anyone under the age of 18.

Long 39K Standalone Steamy Novella

Read the Sample Here.

 

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Thoughts:

At first I was leery of this read because it started out with a breaking the fourth wall direct narrative to the reader that felt a little bit like the opening to Red Shoe Diaries (AGE TEST!) but, at some point it transferred into a mostly regular narrative with switching points of view.

There is Daddy Kink galore in this book, though nothing truly hardcore. I think, maybe this is more Daddy Kink light? Either way, I enjoyed it and was pleasantly surprised when what I thought was mostly going to be a spank book also had a story line.

Overall, I would recommend picking this up for a very light, fast, sexy read.

 

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Superheroes. Evil minions. And one hell of a conflict of interest.

Being related to a supervillain isn’t a big deal to Pat West. So what if his mom occasionally tries to take over the world? All Pat wants is to finish university and become an urban designer. That he moonlights as an evil minion sometimes – that’s just a family tradition.

Then Pat accidentally sleeps with superhero Silver Paladin, otherwise known as reclusive billionaire Nick Andersen. It’s a simple misunderstanding. Pat never means to impersonate a prostitute, honest. But soon Pat is in way over his head, and threatening to fall for the worst possible guy.

When Pat’s mother returns to bring the world to its knees, Silver Paladin races to stop her… and all of Pat’s secrets threaten to blow up in his face. How can Pat reconcile being a minion with wanting a hero? Will Nick’s feelings for Pat overcome what keeps them apart? Or will they both lose everything?

“Love for the Cold-Blooded” is a light-hearted jaunt through a world of superheroes and villains, android dolphins, mind control rays, eldritch artifacts stolen from the tombs of ancient gods, and young men loving not wisely, but well.

Length: 135,000 words

Read the Sampe Here.

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Thoughts:

  1. I was excited to see a fantastically well written, well plotted, and well put together Indie book. As far as I can figure this book was constructed entirely by Alex Gabriel and his team, who are German if my snooping through the book details is accurate. Good on you, Alex. Great job!
  2. This book is hilarious.
  3. The title cracks me up every time I look at it.
  4. There are not enough superhero books in the m/m genre.
  5. This book does a wonderful job at hitting all those quirky, fun things from the 1970’s superhero television shoes. The “sluts” will make you laugh and if they don’t? Well, you don’t have a sense of humor.
  6. There was a wonderful plot and an amazing amount of world construction in this book. It’s done so seamlessly you probably won’t realize it until you put it down, if you ever do, and that takes talent.

This book was great. If you like super heroes and comics you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day in the states and gets a chance to do some reading today!

 

 

Paranaturalist[The]_headerbannerThe Paranaturalist is now available for Pre-Order on the Dreamspinner Press website. Release date June, 27th 2016.

As a kid, Joseph Appleyard saw things hidden from others. Now he is The Paranaturalist, an investigator and cohost of a television show that seeks to prove the existence of the paranormal. Some think Joe is crazy, but they don’t realize he knows firsthand there’s more to the world than what most perceive. The trouble is, somewhere along the way, Joe lost his vision and it left his world flat and dull. One night an investigation goes horribly wrong, and a powerful ghostly manifestation sends Joe tumbling into a river. Spirit worker Owen Watson saves Joe’s life, and once they are back on dry land, whatever has been blocking Joe’s vision has been washed away.

When a haunting goes from annoying to dangerous, people turn to Owen Watson. He hates those infuriating hacks from TV, but when he pulls Joe from the river, his mind begins to change. Joe is scared and confused, and, Owen realizes, he might just be the real thing. Together, they work to understand the part of Joe that has been shut away for so long. But just as Joe is acclimating to his abilities, his career as a paranormal investigator is in danger of being ripped away. Owen would gladly battle a bloodthirsty spirit for Joe, but he’s out of his element in the world of reality television.

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Friday Book Review: Jamie Fessenden’s Violated

violated

Today I’m reviewing Violated by Jamie Fessenden, published by Dreamspinner Press. There’s a lot to be said for the book. I’ll just dive in. The story was well crafted. I enjoyed reading it, even when it was painful, so there’s definitely something to be said for that. Trigger warnings for this book include, but are not limited to: Rape, violence, relationship/domestic abuse—mental, life downright being shitty, discussions of childhood abuse—both mental and physical, discussions of childhood violence, shitty parents, and a man who owns a monster truck.

I know some of you prefer to avoid anything spoilery (and my reviews always tend to have a bit of that going on because I like to discuss the pros and cons of what I’ve read), so I’ll just say this here and you can peace out if you want: Violated is not a light read. It isn’t a magical “everything gets better because of the other main character’s fantastic penis” story, which is a huge plus to me for its realism. I suggest buying it if you’re in the mood for something dark and angsty, but if you’re freshly out of a sexual trauma or have any in your past, read with caution.

Let’s take a look at the blurb.

Derek Sawyer thinks he has it all—a high-salaried position, a boyfriend, a dog, even a new cabin on the lake—until a business trip with his manager and best friend, Victor, shatters his world.

One night of drunken horsing around in their hotel room leads to the most intensely personal violation Derek has ever endured. As if the humiliation of working under his attacker every day isn’t enough, Victor reports Derek for sexual harassment. Now he’s without a job, without a boyfriend, and the mortgage on the cabin is due.

Officer Russ Thomas has worked with rape victims before, and it doesn’t take him long to sort out the truth in Derek’s tale. With his support, Derek finally reports the crime, months after it happened. But restraining orders and lawyers further Victor’s anger toward him, and even though a relationship develops between Derek and the policeman, Russ can’t be there to protect him all the time.

Take a look at the sample here.

The Good:

Violatedbedandbreakfast

“A little nudity with your breakfast, sir?”

This book deals with rape, but there are fun spots too. There’s levity at the “clothing optional” bed and breakfast with Russ. I also found Russ and Derek’s mutual enjoyment of their furry companions delightful.

The care with which Russ approaches Derek after he finally finds out what’s wrong is so sweet it almost gave me a toothache, but spot on after all the shit Derek’s gone through.

Also, the writing is easy to read and excellent.

The Realistic:

This book talks about rape. Rape is not a light or fun subject, so one thing I can’t stand when I’m reading about it is when there’s no resounding effect on the character. I’m not saying every person falls apart, but it creates waves in a person’s psyche. Over the course of my lifetime I’ve talked to people (mostly women, though a few men) who are rape survivors and the responses have ranged from “I tried to kill myself” all the way to “I pretty much just moved on with my life” on the other end of the spectrum. It’s a very personal thing and circumstances play a huge roll in it, along with personal temperament.

I’m always glad to see books that talk about rape in a realistic way because it’s something that happens. Ignoring it entirely in fiction makes it seem like it doesn’t. That’s not good. Ignoring rape is an invalidation of the real, resounding issues survivors have.

One thing I truly give applause to this book for is hammering home the fact that men are victims too. One study I read from the UK estimate that there are equal amounts of male and female rape victims, though men rarely report it to the police.

Which allows predators to continue victimizing people.

Derek’s responses to his rape are spot. It definitely read as realistic to me. This is one of those situations where everyone reacts a little differently. I can definitely tell that that author put in his time researching this book.

Oddly enough, I didn’t find the rape to be the most disturbing part of this book. Not by a long shot. I found Derek’s original relationship with his fiancé Tim to be the most disturbing aspect. I think it bothered me more because while everyone would agree a rape is traumatic, I’m not sure everyone would notice Derek’s relationship with Tim for the abuse it is. Tim isolates Derek, controls him with his emotions, makes Derek feel trapped and edgy all the time…makes Derek feel guilty and unhappy ALL THE TIME when he’s not doing anything wrong in the relationship. Tim punishes and manipulates Derek any time he steps outside the lines.

And Derek loves him.

The relationship with Tim causes as much damage to Derek, in my estimation, as the rape did, and then made the aftermath of the rape so much worse. Russ had to navigate two mine fields in getting together with Derek: The years Derek put in with Tim, and the rape.

The relationship with Tim was almost too realistic. I would say that relationship nearly made me drop the book rather than the feelings reading about a rape stirred up. Mentally abusive relationships are exhausting, harmful to the self-esteem, and confuse your outlook on the rest of the world.

Oh, yeah, and Derek still has to go to work.

violatedderekwork

“HR doesn’t care if you’re traumatized. WORK MOTHERFUCKER!”

I liked the fact that it actually took almost 3 years for Russ and Derek to get to a healthy spot together in a relationship because you don’t get over things like that right away. It takes time.

The Meh:

While I loved Russ…he was almost too perfect. Almost too understanding. He had his moments and he was overprotective of Derek at times, but overall he was just so damned understanding. To be fair, I don’t think this book could have withstood Russ really being a dick on top of everything else, for any reason, so there’s that. If my only real complaint was that Russ was “too understanding” at times, then it’s actually a pretty fantastic book given the subject matter.

My one other complaint was that I could have done without Russ’s sister’s subplot. I felt it turned what was otherwise a well-balanced book into something a bit heavy handed. We didn’t need to know about her trauma to have Russ empathize with Derek.

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Final Thoughts:

Violated was a good book. I read it pretty quickly, which to me is an indicator of how well the story is woven. I think if you’re in the right frame of mind and don’t mind some heavy hitting issues this is a great book to pick up.

For some people this might turn into a longer read because it’s the type of thing you might have to set aside for a day if you get too mired in the emotions.

I purchased this book last week for my Friday Five Challenge and I think it was a good buy. Overall, I would recommend reading it.


 

Pick up my newest release, The Shape of Honey!

ShapeofHoney[The]

Available at Amazon , Dreamspinner Press, and other retailers.

Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.

Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Rape, Uncategorized

Friday Review: Tara Lain’s Outing the Quarterback

Outingthequarterback

Today I’m doing a flashfire review of Outing the Quarterback. I wanted to say something about the book. It’s generally good, though it didn’t rock my world. It had a lot of “coming out angst,” a couple of pretty prostitutes, and lots of art love. Overall, I liked it, even if the ending came together a little easier than I think it should have.

Trigger warnings: There’s some sports related aggression, a dirty play perpetrated against a character because of his sexual orientation, and lots and lots of repression and angst. Also, we have a character who is gay attempting to have sex with a woman he doesn’t want to have sex with.

Let’s check out the blurb:

A Novel in the Long Pass Chronicles

Will Ashford lives in two closets. He meets his wealthy father’s goals as both the quarterback for the famous SCU football team and a business major, but secretly he attends art school and longs to live as a painter. And he’s gay. But if he can win the coveted Milton Scholarship for art, he’ll be able to break from his father at the end of his senior year.

In a painting master class, Will meets his divergent opposite, Noah Zajack. A scarred orphan who’s slept on park benches and eaten from trash cans, Noah carefully plans his life and multiple jobs so he has money and time to go to art school. Will’s problems seem like nothing compared to Noah’s. Noah wants the scholarship too and may have a way to get it since the teacher of his class has designs on him, a plan Will isn’t happy about.

Find the sample here.

This book didn’t have enough depth to really get under my skin, or maybe it was just a little left of my center, just a little not what I was looking for in a read this week. I’m just not sure. I’m left with a middling feeling about it. Not bad, not good…it’s almost like….

popcornPOPCORN.

I really enjoyed it while I was in the grip of it, but I’m already starting to forget it.

My favorite part of this book was arguably Noah. He was extremely authentic and I loved his physicality.

I think overall Outing the Quarterback was good enough to pick up for a weekend read, but if you’re looking for something with teeth maybe it isn’t the one.


 

Pick up my newest release, The Shape of Honey!

ShapeofHoney[The]

Available at Amazon , Dreamspinner Press, and other retailers.

Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.

Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.

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Tuesday Book Review: Damon Suede’s Pent Up

PentUP

(An immediate aside: Isn’t the model for this book cover delicious?)

Wow. It’s weird getting back into the reviewing groove, but I have to. I have that slightly dazed “I stayed up too fucking late reading a good book but it was so fucking awesome I had to” feeling. Book hangover, I like to call it.

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I got this one last night staying up to finish Damon Suede’s Pent Up. What can I say about this book? What can’t I say about this book? First of all, trigger warnings out the wazoo: It’s a GFY (gay for you for anyone not familiar with the parlance). It’s nice because while there’s some light angst surrounding it, it’s not some type of spiral into a pit of horrible feelings. It’s more of a “holy shit, fucking dudes isn’t half bad…Gah!” type GFY. As far as other triggers go—there is violence, bloodshed, corporate espionage type stuff, discussions of socioeconomic differences, discussions of self injury, discussions of alcoholism at its finest and what it can do to a person. What I’m really trying to say here, is that while Pent Up is a “fun” read it isn’t necessarily a totally light read. It’s not fluff, so look elsewhere for that.

My reviews sometimes venture into the realm of spoilery, so I’ll tell you my general thoughts here and then you can peace out if you don’t like to know much about a book before you read it:

This book kicked ass and took names and made me it’s bitch. It was a great read. Read it with my blessing. For real.

Let’s take a look at the blurb.

PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.

Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.

Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?

What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.

Find the sample here.

The Good:

Pent Up had real characters who were real people doing real shit. They are messed up people. Ruben is a recovering alcoholic. Andy is an adrenaline junky (in his own nerdy way) who ruins people’s lives when it suits his business needs. And they’re wonderfully terrible together in all the right ways.

There were parts of this book that had a juicy telenova feel to it, but not in a bad way that makes you roll your eyes, just in a voyeuristic way that draws you in deeper. There are so many different people you simply would love to know more about. The woman at the fund raiser who slaps Andy. The couple that go to the strip club with Ruben and Andy. Hope. You’re left wondering after these people in the best way possible because you know if you got to read their stories they would be every bit as entrancing as the one you’re reading, and you kind of want it.

The Great:

The side characters in this book made the book live. They were all such well rounded, shiny additions to the narrative. I loved Peach. I can just picture this crazy old lady dishing out wisdom with a side of cigarette smoke.

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Even Ruben’s brother was great for what he was. I think maybe more could have been done with Andy’s family and step father considering how much of a plot point they were, but on the average it was good.

Plot. Plot! This book is plot driven as well as character driven. Enough said. I can’t get enough of a book with some actual, god damn plot points. Bring it, Suede. Bring it hard. Loved it.

The Fantastic:

The sex in this book was top notch. On a scale of 1-10 it was a 20. It was two real men really fucking. If there was a sound track to this sex it woudn’t be this, but rather it would be this.

The way the sex is described in this book it’s very clear there’s zest, real commitment to gritty, real life detail. And it’s amazing. It’s all the best dirty parts of sex that often get scraped aside because it’s not pretty. And it absolutely sings a fucking sex aria all over the page every time it occurs in the book.

So. Much. Good.

It almost hurts.

One scene in particular captured that new romance feeling for me. Ruben and Andy are in a limo and there’s this intense instant where Ruben is thinking about taking Andy’s hand. They’ve been flirting around each other and he wants to but he doesn’t, and he wants Andy to make the first move but at the same time he kind of wants to freak out a little and probably would if Andy took his hand…and ugh. It captures that first buzz of romantic tension absolutely perfectly.

Perfectly.

One Thing that Really Bugged Me and I mean ONE GODDAMNED THING IN THE WHOLE BOOK:

Maybe I’m just being stupid, and when you read the book you can let me know, but I found the scene in the book where Hope and Ruben are trying to figure out who has Andy after he’s been yoinked from the penthouse to be utterly confusing. I read the whole book. I didn’t skim. I never skim. I’m a reasonably intelligent person, yet I have zero idea how, based on the words on the page, that Ruben and Hope came up with the (correct) answer they did about what was going on with Andy financially. I didn’t connect the dots to make the picture ALONG with the characters.

Maybe it was just me. I’m willing to live with it if that’s the case.

 

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Final Thoughts:

Damon Suede has become an auto buy for me after this book. Buy this book, I can’t emphasize it enough. I read Hot Head, which I didn’t review, and it was amazing. I, being a cynical bastard at times, thought maybe Hot Head was a one off, a single grand slam, and so purchased Pent Up while still riding the wave of wonder left over from Hot Head. I was fully expecting a let down. If you read a 5 star book what can keep up with it? Pent Up was worth it. I have this sneaking suspicion every book Damon Suede writes might be worth it. He writes from the gut, writes real shit, writes real emotions and people. While Damon Suedes isn’t a read for when you’re feeling fluffy, at least not in my opinion, he is a read for when you want substance.


 

Pick up my newest release, The Shape of Honey!

ShapeofHoney[The]

Available at Amazon , Dreamspinner Press, and other retailers.

Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.

Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.

 

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Filed under Book Review, Gay Crime Thriller, gay fiction, m/m, What I'm Reading

Saturday Book Review: Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley

Caged Sanctuary

 

Today I’m reviewing Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley. At around 204 pages this is a nice, medium length book. Warnings for this book include: a person with a terrible sense of self-worth, BDSM related physical pain, a bashing, and I’ll say, since I wasn’t expecting it, some outside of the relationship, fully condoned, sexual play. What follows is part discussion of the book, and part review (I’m always a little blurry on the two), so if you don’t want any potential spoilers here’s my two cents: it’s okay. It was very close to being stellar, but it never made it over that hill into awesome territory. Go ahead and buy it, but only if you like BDSM books.

Let’s take a look at the blurb.

Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels.

Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest.

Kade’s fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he’s learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon’s determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.

Find the Sample here.

The Good:

I loved that this book explored BDSM through the eyes of someone in a wheelchair. This is, without a doubt, the most interesting look at the kink world I’ve seen in a while. The character of Kade was done to perfection, though I felt I wanted to shake him at times and just be like, “Dude, get over it already. You’re still obviously a hot piece because Deacon wants to fuck your brains out.”

There are a few foursome scenes in this book, and I have to say that I really enjoyed the way they were done as well. The characters all had friendly attachments so it wasn’t cold in the way a scenario like this could have played out. It was just the right amount of naughty sharing with a little possessive Dom stuff hanging out there, that I totally believed it.

The Okay:

I was really happy to see a different type of kink, or at least different from a lot of other books, explored in Caged Sanctuary. Orgasm denial. I have never actually seen a cock cage used in a story before, or at least not the way it is here, for an extended period of time. I was intrigued by the cock cage, but felt like maybe I didn’t get enough information from it by reading this story. I’ve lived the lifestyle, but this wasn’t something any of my partners were into. Is it total orgasm denial? If Deacon fucks Kade while he’s wearing the cage can he still have a prostate driven orgasm even though the cock cage, ostensibly, keeps him from getting hard? I’ve never…err…personally handled one of these things, so what does it feel like to touch it, or have it bouncing around in your pants? The only reason the cock cage went in the Okay section and not the Good section is because I really felt like while it was a central element of the story it wasn’t explored quite the way I needed it to be. I also had so much trouble visualizing it I took to google to look up cock cages, which was a giggle worthy and eye opening….hour or two.

The Meh:

Okay, so in this story, I have to say there was too much “things work out just so” for me. Deacon was just a little too perfect for Kade. Their relationship advanced just a tad too easily for me. All of the brakes on the happily ever after came from Kade’s personal hang ups and none of it really came from Deacon’s end at all. It’s like reading about two people who are utterly perfect for each other…where’s the excitement in that? And that’s a tad ridiculous because there are plenty of trials for the new couple, but most of them aren’t external, which…comes off a little ho-hum. I had such high hopes for this story. There were so many elements about it there were THERE: a take on BDSM I haven’t seen explored before, someone overcoming personal limitations to live their life, pissy ex…it just never congealed very well for me.

Let’s talk about Deacon’s dialogue. It threw me out of a lot of scenes. It was too…hrm…what do I want to say…put on. It just didn’t work that well for me. There’s not really much more I can say about that. It’s not that there is anything particularly wrong with it, it just didn’t sound right in my head while I was reading. Overly formal. If my lover were to talk to me like that, even in a BDSM scene, I would be snickering and getting my ass tanned red because I wouldn’t be able to contain myself.

Kade’s ex doesn’t get what’s coming to him, in my opinion, which should have been Deacon’s fist to his face, but whatever. I’m just going to pretend that does happen somewhere down the line.

And one last, final thing that literally had me stop reading this book for a day and a half: we don’t get Kade’s first orgasm with Deacon. We’re told about it later. I was very much miffed by that as I was reading. I felt I was denied something I really wanted from the book, especially given the type of kinks Kade has.

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Final thoughts:

I enjoyed Kade and Deacon a lot. I think the book is worth buying. While there were parts of the book that never came together for me, it’s still one of the better BDSM books I’ve come across, with Safe, Sane, and Consensual emphasized at least once. Sometimes in the BDSM subgenre you come across stories that just read as cold or nearly abusive (or even center on abuse), but these characters were much in love and loving with one another, even in scenes. I liked that.

Go forth. Read all the things.


 

Pick up my newest release, The Shape of Honey!

ShapeofHoney[The]

Available at Amazon , Dreamspinner Press, and other retailers.

Yulian Volkov is an entrepreneur and lone werewolf who hates the city. At a pack meeting, he learns the only member he’s attracted to is being expelled for crimes unspecified. Yulian strikes a deal with the pack leader to allow Rolly Witten to live on his farm and work in his Meadery. Although enjoying handsome Rolly’s company, Yulian must tread carefully, since Rolly doesn’t trust him and the pack doesn’t acknowledge homosexuality exists. Meanwhile, Yulian stealthily courts Rolly by teaching him the value of his wolf side.

Rolly, who’s known he was gay since he was a teen, has accepted a life of solitude—and a life of crime. He has no desire to relocate. Yet Yulian’s trust in his ability to do honest work builds his confidence. As life is settling well for them, Rolly learns a friend from his old pack had a crush on him, and he’s torn between returning his friend’s feelings or pursuing the budding relationship with Yulian. But that’s not their worst problem. Assassins are trying to take out both wolves, and they need to figure out who wants them dead or all the trust and happiness they’re building together won’t matter.

 

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