Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Expected publication: December 11th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.
There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….
K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.
And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….
Happily Ever After Comes With A Pricetag. Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family. Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.
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Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Besides BDSM, it was also friends to lovers AND gay for you. You could easily dismiss this as too many tropes in one book. It wasn’t. All three were handled with care and done really well.
Ellis and Wayne are partners in London’s Special Firearms unit. As partners are wont to do, they quickly became close friends. Wayne never hid his sexuality from anyone, he was openly gay in law enforcement and didn’t care. And while Ellis is straight, he never seemed to join in the locker room talk with fellow officers.
But Ellis is spiraling down- both personally and professionally. And Wayne the dominant, thinks he can help. So he offers Ellis a proposition- to take over as Ellis’ dominant to try to get him back on track before he destroys his career and his life.
As I said, KC Wells really can write BDSM well. And this is a perfect example. Because this is D/s with no inherent allusion to a sexual relationship. Showing that a relationship like this does not just mean sex.
Ellis struggles at first to not only accept the proposition, but also to admit that he is a natural submissive. For someone who grew up having to be in control- to give it up, and enjoy it- flips his mind upside down.
Wayne’s control of the entire situation shows how much a Dominant really wants what is best for a submissive. Because even though he wants Ellis as a partner at work and home, he enters this arrangement just trying to help Ellis get a hold of his life.
As the story continues, we watch Ellis become aware of what is wrong with his life- how to let go of a lot of things, and how to accept help, love and discipline from Wayne.
This was a great story which flowed really well. There were a few scenes that I didn’t think one or another character would really participate it, but overall well done.
Cover art by Reese Dante is hot, contemporary and works for the story.
ebook, 340 pages
Expected publication: May 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleBefore You Break
ISBN 1635336988 (ISBN13: 9781635336986)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
I’m struggling with writing this review because I was so emotional by the end I had to wait a few days to allow my heart to calm enough to let my brain take over. I really loved this series. Each of the stories, from the beginning through this last, has featured amazing characters. Sometimes heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking, each of the books featuring the many couples who populate Collars & Cuffs, an exclusive BDSM club for gay men, have felt realistic and genuine.
In this one, an ending of sorts for a few of the couples, I appreciated the way the authors focused on a new couple while weaving vignettes throughout the book, featuring the other Doms and subs we have come to love. Principally, this story is about Darren, the salon owner we met when Thomas was helping Peter overcome the emotional ravages of the time of his enslavement (Trusting Thomas). He never forgot how affected he was while observing that intimate moment with them. This story is also about JJ, the new bartender who came to the job in the hopes he’d be able to expose the lies Peter told about Curtis Rogers, the Dom who had abused him. Instead, JJ found that Curtis, the man who JJ recently found out was his father, was worse than the press painted him to be, and when he glimpses Peter’s back for the first time, he breaks down and admits his parentage and his reasons for being there.
Darren had been attracted to JJ from the time Darren first walked in the door to see what the club was like so he could decide if he dared to cultivate his dominant side. And though they had already started to date when the revelation occurred, Darren feels an overwhelming protectiveness toward the young man and vows to take care of him. Poor JJ is so emotionally broken and adrift, feeling he’s been lied to and abandoned by those who should have cared for him that he finds it difficult to trust in Darren, and trust is the foundation most needed for couples to survive together.
As their story unfolds, we see glimpses of most of the Doms and subs from the past, and there’s a focus on Scott and Ben (Someone to Keep Me) as their long postponed wedding day finally arrives. There’s also a secondary story about Eli and Jarod (Dom of Ages), now back from their Hawaiian vacation. Eli finds himself restless and without a purpose since he quit his job with the trucking company. Thomas offers a solution, one that Jarod can well afford, but if he and Eli take the offer, it will take Jarod from the family he has come to love. The other subs are such a part of his life now, he’s not sure if he can abandon them. There’s also a story about Pietro and Miles, back from their vacation as well, but still not living together, and Pietro is pretty upset about that. How can Miles love him and yet go home to his own place at night? And… there’s a glimpse into the future for Alex and Leo as Alex takes an opportunity he once thought was out of his reach.
As I started the book, I was very worried the authors were going to give someone a major illness or other life threatening issue, but I’m happy to say that’s not a concern here. Yes there are endings, but there are also beginnings, and I hope and pray that one of those beginnings is the beginning of a new series because I can’t get enough of these guys. I find it difficult to decide which couple in this series is my favorite but it’s definitely either Thomas and Peter or Eli and Jarod, and if my hopes are realistic, we may all get to see more of them in the future.
My gosh, I hate to see this series end! Most of the books don’t contain “hard core” BSDM. Some, including this one, are quite mild so that shouldn’t be of concern to readers who haven’t read any with a BDSM theme previously. And, for those who have, if you haven’t read this series, don’t hesitate to start.
Cover art by Paul Richmond features a beautiful black-and-white photo of a naked man bound with rope, kneeling in submission. Perfect!
ebook, 350 pages
Expected publication: July 18th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634774086 (ISBN13: 9781634774086)
SeriesCollars and Cuffs #8