A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Just Say the Word by Elizabeth L. Brooks & Lynn Townsend

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

This book made me destroy my process. When I’m going to review a book, I open up a notepad so while I’m reading I can put down all the important names, things I like and don’t like, and my feelings regarding what I read. Usually, by the time I’m done reading the book, the review just needs to come together with connector sentences. I had that happening until the last 25 percent of the book when I realized I was going to have to trash the whole thing and start over. The review was not looking good up until that time and then, I got the point (I hope); however, there are things I still think might have been better executed.

The story is about an established couple, who after a year together start on a journey of adding kink to their love life. Tom is a prosecutor who met his boyfriend Gage, a police detective, at work. Much is made of Tom being an experienced dom and switch. Gabe is the bisexual, widowed vanilla guy in this scenario. I like how a few pages in, I knew everything I need to know about everyone involved, just from a natural sounding conversation instead of an info dump. Having said that, it does seem strange that Tom hasn’t really shared anything about his sexual history with Gage until one of his colleagues says something.

This is erotica, so don’t expect a lot of plot. Most of the book just moves them from one scene to another. The scenes focus on the actual descriptions of the various positions or tools so they aren’t even as erotic as they could be. In fact, many of them are upsetting as one thing after another goes wrong with each scene. Gabe is excited but unsure and yet when given complete control, sinks into it, at odds with the blushing novice of the previous scene. This really wouldn’t have worked without them trusting each other so well already. That is why it doesn’t make sense how Tom gets injured, especially when much is made of his previous experience later. Also, since we are getting Gabe’s POV, I’m not sure how he knows how to use the equipment and what to expect about how Tom’s reactions to bondage are going to go. Their second scene is shibari, in multiple patterns, with Gabe using instructions on his phone with no prior indication of Gabe practicing. No, that is just not believable even if there is a nod to acknowledging it isn’t.

Apparently, we missed Gabe’s first time submitting to Tom altogether, which could have been quite interesting psychologically and was a missed opportunity for some emotional depth. That might be optimistic, since the depth at that point seems to just be them calling each other baby, angel, gorgeous, babydoll, and saying I love you often. I was not feeling it. The author skips all of Gabe’s training as a sub, so it’s difficult to gauge the time frame of this book.

Since Tom is into exhibitionism, Gabe secures an invitation to an exclusive BDSM club, because Tom was well known in the scene at one time. After an intense scene, they wander the club instead of going home afterwards and Gabe is thrown into a situation that triggers him, then he has sub drop. So far, I was not impressed with Tom as either a sub, nor as a dom, who didn’t take care of Gabe properly after his first intense public scene. Then, in the next scene Gabe gets injured so I am really frustrated by now. The scene after that Gabe talks about gagging Tom, putting a vibrator in him while he is in bondage and going to sleep. That is also a no for me, especially when he is not in the proper mindset to do a scene at all after a traumatic day at work. At least he realizes it, but that is another scene gone really wrong. At this point, I am wondering if the authors are writing a what not to do manual.

Yet, it also doesn’t really work as a study of a couple exploring their kinky side together because we miss so much of their journey, it’s difficult to be emotionally invested. Having the POV be all over the place, contributed to that. By the time I actually feel the connection between the two of them, the book is almost over. The most erotic scene in the book at that point is when they are not kinky at all.

The scenes actually work better when Gabe is the dom for some reason. I’m not always a fan of accents in books, so it would be fine without the phonetics. I think there should have been more about them as people, or as a couple, other than sex scenes. If the goal was to show all the mistakes they make and how they grow over time, that could have been shown with practicing with equipment, taking classes, or other ways that were less stressful for the reader than having all the scenes end with one of them distressed, injured, or showing bad judgment. In the end, it is quite an effective reminder that most of what you read, where the dom is seemingly perfect at everything and a mind reader…that’s crap. It takes a long time, trial and error, and commitment from both parties, especially when there is experimentation, to get good at doing scenes. All doms and subs are different, will react differently, and just learning one person really well is a challenge.

The final scene is the one that goes as planned, is erotic, and shows the love they have for each other where it is written so it’s easier to connect to it. I just wish it hadn’t been quite as upsetting to get there, but then imagine being the one these things happen to, or the one who did them to the person they love. Everyone makes mistakes, but when it involves unintentionally hurting someone, or being hurt, imagine the trust and love it takes to keep coming back again and again. So, I hope that was what the book was trying to show and I have rated it accordingly.

The cover art is done by Written Ink Designs. The picture lets you know that the content of the book involves kink. I think the title is layered with meaning for the story.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 137 pages
Published September 21st 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ISBN139781634867344

Release Blitz Tour and Giveaway – – Heat For Sale by Blake Moreno

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK – Exclusive to Amazon and on Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 192 pages
 
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design
 
Blurb
 

Heat can be sold but love is earned.


In a world where omegas sell their heats for profit, Adrien is a university student in need of funding. With no family to fall back on, he reluctantly allows the university’s matcher to offer his virgin heat for auction online. Anxious, but aware this is the reality of life for all omegas, Adrien hopes whoever wins his heat will be kind.


Heath—a wealthy, older alpha—is rocked by the young man’s resemblance to his dead lover, Nathan. When Heath discovers Adrien is Nathan’s lost son from his first heat years before they met, he becomes obsessed with the idea of reclaiming a piece of Nathan.


Heath buys Adrien’s heat with only one motivation: to impregnate Adrien, claim the child, and move on. But their undeniable passion shocks him. Adrien doesn’t know what to make of the handsome, mysterious stranger he’s pledged his body to, but he’s soon swept away in the heat of the moment and surrenders to Heath entirely.


Once Adrien is pregnant, Heath secrets him away to his immense and secluded home. As the birth draws near, Heath grows to love Adrien for the man he is, not just for his connection to Nathan. Unaware of Heath’s past with his omega parent and coming to depend on him heart and soul, Adrien begins to fall as well.


But as their love blossoms, Nathan’s shadow looms. Can Heath keep his new love and the child they’ve made together once Adrien discovers his secrets?


Heat for Sale is a stand-alone m/m erotic romance by Leta Blake, writing as Blake Moreno. Infused with a du Maurier Rebecca-style secret, it features a well-realized omegaverse, an age-gap, dominance and submission, heats, knotting, and scorching hot scenes.


Author Bio


Blake Moreno explores the darker side of erotic romance. Married to a hot tech nerd, educated in BDSM, and attracted to twinks and twunks alike, Moreno embraces taboo explorations. Come along on a quest for intensity and deep emotion. Don’t fear the dark.


Discover more about Blake on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blakemorenodarkink/


Blake Moreno is an alternate pen name of the author Leta Blake.

 

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for His To Save (Candy Cane Club #2) by Ari McKay

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Buy Links:
 
Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Dianne @ Lyrical Lines



Candy Cane Club Series


Book #1 – His To Serve – Amazon US | Amazon UK


Blurb


He’s the perfect sub — gorgeous, responsive, and yet aloof, and every Dom at the Candy Cane fantasizes about claiming the sub who calls himself Saiph.


Nick Tierney sees through the facade of utter submission Saiph projects, and his instincts tell him Saiph has some complicated issues. He would love to help Saiph, but his desire seems hopeless in the face of Saiph’s adamant refusal to do a scene with any of the gay male Doms. Then Saiph offers himself up at the Candy Cane’s charity auction, and Nick seizes the opportunity to claim Saiph for himself, if only for a single night.


The chemistry between them is electrifying in its intensity, but Nick also comes away convinced Saiph needs help. Can he convince Saiph to take a chance and let down his guard enough for Nick to discover a way to help him heal? Or will Nick’s rapidly deepening feelings drive Saiph away for good?

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.


Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.


McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.


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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Counterpoint (Twisted Wishes #2) by Anna Zabo

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I honestly didn’t think it would be possible for a sequel to be better than the first story in this series, Syncopation, but I was wrong—very, very wrong. This book exceeded all my expectations and effortlessly moved to my top five of 2018.

Adrian Doran heads out to dinner one night in his Brooklyn neighborhood and happens to be seated next to a stunning, nerdy looking guy who returns his casual perusal with one of his own. Adrian is a computer programmer for a NYC bank by day and a Dom by preference in the rest of his life. When the guy accepts Adrian’s offer of a bite of his lemon meringue pie and then proceeds to moan and make subtle orgasmic facial expressions, Adrian knows what, and who, his next goal is going to be.

Dominic Bradley is a quiet, unassuming bookworm, who enjoys reading most genres of literature, visiting museums, playing his guitar, and being an all-around geek. With Adrian he discovers his submissive side, but he suffers from social anxiety, especially when he needs to take the stage with his bandmates in Twisted Wishes, a well-known rock band. To do so, he dons a new personality, Domino Grinder, a rock god who wears leather, has an upper body covered in tattoos, wears makeup, and throws the finger at the world. The lead guitarist takes bull from no man. But Dominic and Domino can’t coexist and as Dominic succumbs to the allure of a new relationship with Adrian, he’s going to have to hide Domino or risk losing the man.

As their relationship grows and Dominic discovers rope play really cements his submissive role with Adrian, he despairs of ever being able to let Adrian in on who he really is. He desperately wants to introduce him to his bandmates, and he wants to find a way to merge his two sides but backs away from any confrontation until it’s almost too late. When Adrian spots Dominic’s tattoos on the arm of the lead guitarist for Twisted Wishes on a magazine cover, he loses hope for a future with the man he loves. Can these two continue their D/s relationship and continue to grow their love if one can’t trust the other completely?

I love this author’s writing style and creativity. Caught up and totally immersed in the relationship between Adrian and Dom, I rooted for both men equally and was captivated by each page-turn as their lives took new twists and turns. Adrian was being undermined at work in a job that provided no satisfaction. Dominic was playing as Domino all day while the band practiced or did promo events, yet he couldn’t let in the one man who’d make his life even better so switched to Dominic the moment Domino was no longer needed. The dynamic of the two men in both their private D/s lives and their “out in the world” lives was comfortable, strong, balanced, in sync, and loving. But their secrets nearly broke them apart.

I accidentally discovered this author last year, but I am 100% on board as a fan. I have yet to read something that isn’t top quality and I highly recommend this story. In fact, I highly recommend this series to fans who enjoy books featuring musicians, domination/submission, great plots, interesting deep characterizations, and MM romance. 

The gorgeous, attractive cover features a handsome, bearded, dark-haired guitarist—complete with the tattoo described in the story, set against a bright turquoise background, the bottom border of which shows fans at a rock concert. It’s perfect for this story.

Sales Links:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition
Expected publication: September 24th 2018 by Carina Press
ISBN139781488089374
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Twisted Wishes #2

Syncopation

Counterpoint

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Threepeat (Secrets #3) by KC Wells and Parker Williams

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Rating: 4.5 stars pout of 5

I love KC Wells, and in combo with Parker Williams, this dynamic duo always makes reading a pleasure. The BDSM stories in Collars and Cuffs are among my favorites, and so far, the stories from the new club, Secrets have been great. Add to that the fact that I love ménage, and I was set up to love this one right from the start.

And I did enjoy it tremendously, even though I felt a little icky a few times when the two big Doms were with their boy, a twenty-year-old twink who had been abandoned by his family. They weren’t overbearing and there were no heavy BDSM scenes. In fact, they were very respectful of his needs and aware of his family history where he was beaten by his father and brothers. I just think I would have liked them to be a little younger—a smaller age gap. That being said, their specific ages weren’t mentioned so I assumed their ages based on their successful careers—and on the cover photo.

On the positive side, we had ample opportunity to see characters from previous books in the series—Jarod and Eli, Vic and Ben, Ellis and Wayne, and Jarod’s inimitable mother, Maggie. She’s a hoot and very well-written. Ben and Ellis played a major role in helping Tim acclimate to his new lifestyle, and I came to like them more in this story than I had when I first met them.

Aaron and Sam had suffered from the abandonment by their sub for two years when Aaron bumped into a very ill Tim outside a shop. It was evident to the soft-hearted man that the boy was homeless and suffering, so he opened his home to Tim until he healed. He had permission from Sam, of course, and by the time Tim had gotten healthier, all three were enmeshed emotionally. As Tim learned more about their lifestyle and came to care for the sweet gentle giants, he realized being with them as their sub was something he definitely wanted. 

The story explores the Dom-sub relationship dynamic, safe practices, and the ménage dynamic. By the end of the story I was totally invested in the threesome, and I am looking forward to seeing more of them when Secrets introduces us to another couple. The revisits by past characters are always appreciated.

The cover by Reese Dante is a close-up photo of all three men, and after I finished the story I realized it’s intended to be a selfie. Cute concept.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 340 pages
Expected publication: August 21st 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781640808034
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSecrets #3

Michaela Grey on Research, Writing, and her new release Broken Rules (author guest blog)

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Broken Rules (Mended Hearts #2) by Michaela Grey 

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Kanaxa

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 ♦︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Michaela Grey here today talking about research, writing, and her latest novel, Broken Rules.  Welcome, Michaela.

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Michaela Grey

 

(Brief suicide mention below)

 

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures? To an extent, yes, it plays a role. For instance, I’m unlikely to give a character a career that bores me, because then I’ve just forced myself into the unenviable position of having to do a ton of research in a deadly dull topic. That’s why I choose careers I’m interested in. Then I genuinely enjoy the research (of which there is a ton, you never really leave school behind) and in the end, my stories are better.

 

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? No, funnily enough—I read primarily “swords and horses” fantasy growing up, with a smattering of sci-fi, and now I 100% write contemporary romance.

 

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed? Oh yes. It was actually the most difficult topic, for me—suicide. The character starts his book suicidal and gets worse throughout. It was very difficult to write because I ended up in a similar place and couldn’t see a way out either. So I put it away for over a year and focused on myself. I recently finished that book, and while it will never be an easy read for me, it’s still one of my proudest accomplishments. That, and the fact that I’m still here.

 

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why? I love HFN and HEA equally. Mostly because I’m such a Pollyanna that I can make any HFN into an HEA in my head. If they’re happy now, they’ll be happy forever, the end.

 

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult? As a teenager, no. As an adult, absolutely. I’ve read upwards of 100 books so far this year, I think? I’m a voracious reader. My record is 3.65 novels in a 24 hour period.

 

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up? There are a lot of writers I look up to, who have an incredible way with words and a turn of phrase that makes my heart sing. People like Roan Parrish, Avon Gale, Piper Vaughn, Maggie Stiefvater, Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, etc. I don’t think I could list just one.

 

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going? I love it! I read 100% digitally – switching between my phone, work computer, home computer, and Kindle – and think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s right there when I need it, I can store a bajillion books in this small device, I can connect with other readers, leave reviews, find similar products—what’s not to love?

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part) So far, all my covers have been done by Dreamspinner’s art team. They ask what my vision is for the cover, I tell them, and they strive to bring it to life. I have to say, my latest cover is absolutely my favorite. My artist, Kanaxa, somehow recreated almost exactly what was in my head. It’s a little eerie, looking at it.

 

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why? I think this current book, Broken Rules, will always have a top spot in my heart, mostly because Fox is my favorite character. But each book I write moves into the favorite position at least for awhile.

 

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest? Depends on the faults. Someone who’s rude to hide their feelings but learns it’s okay to have emotions by the end of the book? Sure. Someone who thinks genocide is peachy keen? Not so much. I love writing unlikeable heroes. I love taking this rude, snarky, horrible person and then peeling back the layers and showing my readers—look, this is why he is the way he is. Now let’s watch him learn to become a better person. You’ll see that trope a lot in my books, it’s one of my favorites.

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters? Intelligence, a sense of humor, kindness. If a person isn’t smart, funny, and genuinely good at the core, I’m just not interested.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away? To move past? To widen our knowledge? Why do you write? I write for a lot of reasons. To get away, yes. So much is happening that it can be overwhelming and make me despair, so my writing helps give me the strength to keep going. I also write to face my own experiences, to work through them and learn to deal with them. And I write to show the world that there is no one way to tell a story about people falling in love. It can happen to anyone. I write to make people happy and to help them see themselves reflected back from the page.

What’s next for you as a writer? Well, I just finished the fourth in the Mended Hearts series, of which Broken Rules is #2. Alas, no more new works for me for awhile, because now I have #3, Broken Trust, to edit and send out, as well as one my agent wants me to work on so she can get it to some bigger houses. And as soon as I’m done with those two, it’s time to tackle a trilogy I set aside and rewrite all three books. You can find me on Twitter @greymichaela where I’ll be complaining about how “edit” is a four-letter word for awhile. 😉 Thanks for having me!

Blurb:

Sanyam Desai is a Dom, a master of his craft. He knows exactly how to make a person beg, and he does it for a living, but he has no idea how to be in love.

Sterling Reynard is in desperate need of manners and someone who cares enough to take him in hand, but he knows he’ll never be loved.

When Sterling’s world crumbles around him, he turns to the one person who’s never asked for anything from him but his trust. But their relationship is built on quicksand, and one careless word will bring the whole thing down.

About the Author

Michaela Grey lives and writes in the Texas hill country. Her hobbies include knitting, analyzing her favorite TV shows, and experiencing intense feelings over fictional characters. Michaela Grey told stories to put herself to sleep since she was old enough to hold a conversation in her head. When she learned to write, she began putting those stories down on paper. She and her family reside in the Texas hill country with their cats, and she is perpetually on the hunt for peaceful writing time, which her children make difficult to find. When she’s not writing, she’s watching hockey videos or avoiding responsibilities on Twitter, where she shamelessly ogles pretty people and tries to keep her cat off the keyboard.

Social media:

Twitter: @GreyMichaela

Tumblr: http://greymichaela.tumblr.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreyMichaela

Email: greymichaela@gmail.com

 

A MelanieM Review: Born of Air (Dragon Soul #4) by Sean Michael

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Meet the Beteferoce brothers: five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate…

He said he was flying on a silver dragon. He called me “Markus-meine.” Who would know all that? Who? And how?

SWAT cop and dragon shifter Mark Beteferoce had—and lost—a soul mate. He’s finally at the point where he can get through the days without thinking about what used to be…until he tastes Quincy O’Brien’s doughnuts and takes him home to play.

Quincy O’Brien is a gifted baker, but at night he dreams of soaring through the sky on dragonback and being topped by the perfect Dom. Mark satisfies the kinky urges Quincy has only explored in his subconscious, pushing his limits and caring for him afterward.

From the start, their connection was more than sexual. It’s known; it’s familiar somehow. And it’s slowly driving Mark insane. What shouldn’t be possible most certainly is, and the bond between himself and Quincy runs deeper than either of them could ever have realized.

The fourth in the Dragon Soul series, Born of Air is Mark’s story, the Betereroce brother I’ve been waiting for.  Mark lost his soul mate long ago when he was murdered and since then, he’s seen little of his brothers or their new soul mates because of the memories and pain it brings up.  Mark believes there is only one soul mate and he’s lost his  forever.  Until he meets a baker who dreams of flying and a silver dragon.

Born of Air departs from the other three stories because Mark has already found and lost his mate.  In the three previous books, all three brothers needed to find their mates and had help courtesy of a tattoo and  an elf.  That  didn’t happen here. The connection that Mark and Quincy make is a familiar one and  one that Mark immediately rejects as impossible.

That impossibility will bring all the other brothers and their mates into this story to help the bonding and the relationship survive, a element I just love.

Another hallmark of this series?  The incendiary sex scenes between Quincy and Mark.  Hot, hot, hot.  Here and in every story.  These brothers have a love of kink and bdsm.  Each story should  come with its own fan or two.

I wish there had been more back history to  Mark’s previous relationship and it’s ending but perhaps that’s coming in the books yet to be released.  I hope so as I get the feeling Sean Michael is building up to some big event here when all the brothers have found their soulmates.

I don’t really feel these are standalone stories but one that builds upon the others so if you are new to the series start with Branded by Flames and work your way through all the books.  They are quick reads, very entertaining and very, very, hot!

I definitely  recommend them all.

 

Cover art is interesting and works for branding the story.

Sales Link:  Carina Press | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 246 pages
Published June 4th 2018 by Carina Press
Original TitleBorn of Air
ASINB07B519L19
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Dragon Soul

An Alisa Review: Veiled Dominance (Club Rebellion #2) by Evelise Archer

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Shane Wise is a Dom and part owner of a popular BDSM club in Rittenhouse Square, Club Rebellion. A tumultuous past has led him to an almost perfect present, except Shane has a secret. A secret that could destroy his reputation in the world in which he loves to live-BDSM.

 

Deacon Archer is also a Dom and part owner of Club Rebellion and he is in love with Shane Wise. Together Shane and Deacon must decide if the love they feel can withstand the scrutiny they fear if their relationship is revealed.

Can two dominants truly forge a relationship? Will secret desires open up a new world and allow Shane to be the man he was intended to be or will veiled dominance get in the way?

I had read the first book in the series quite a while ago before it was republished but never got around to this one.  Shane is always second guessing himself about his and Deacon’s relationship having kept it secret for and unknown amount of time.  Deacon is ready to share their relationship with everyone but he is sensitive to Shane’s feelings as well.

Shane hasn’t had a great life before he met his friends in college but has made the best of his situation and has succeeded.  I didn’t feel quite the connection to Deacon as I did Shane because there wasn’t anything big to connect with but I loved watching him care and love on Shane when the man needed it and how willing he was to show Shane that he can be whoever he needs to be.  They have a wonderful group of friends who seem to fully support each other.  I am interested to see if this author continues this series now that they are being republished to maybe include Tony, the bartender and others in the club.

The cover art by Winterheart Design just didn’t work for me, I think if the model had been in a different pose it would have helped a lot.

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 73 pages

Published: April 13, 2018 by MLR Press

ISBN: 978-1-641-22-1306

Edition Language: English

Series: Club Rebellion #2

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Roped In (Clean Slate Ranch #2) by A.M. Arthur

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Colt Woods and Avery Hendrix were once in a D/s relationship and were in love. Colt was LAPD SWAT and Avery was working toward his PhD in American History while both teaching and consulting on his favorite topic: the Old West. Unfortunately, Colt not only refused to share a dark secret with his best friend, Mack, causing he and Avery to quarrel, but he also chose to resign his job and run away from his problems, leaving Avery behind.

Now, as Avery arrives at the Clean Slate Ranch to consult with Mack (book one –Wild Trail) about the ghost town he found and plans to restore, Avery is shocked to come face-to-face with his past as he sees that Colt is working at the ranch with Mack. This book deals with their renewed relationship—inevitable once they begin to talk again. They address unresolved issues from the past; Colt’s unveiling of the truth to Mack, and the repercussions from that; their own past inability to overcome the separation required by their professions; and their families of origin. In addition, they build and fortify not only their D/s relationship, but also their love and commitment to one another.

Is it easy? No way. But the author takes us through what happened in the past and what is happening in the present and offers hope for the future. Overall, I enjoyed the story, though I must say that there were so many sex scenes they became repetitive and less interesting.

The one thing that really bothered me was the jump to use of present tense in flashback scenes. Since this is an ARC, the formatting wasn’t set up yet, so there were no marked scene breaks, making transition from one scene or location to another difficult to pick up on. And without those scene breaks, I’d suddenly come upon a passage where present tense was being used, disrupting the flow of my reading. I’d stop and then realize I was at a flashback scene where both the narrative and the dialogue used present tense. Honestly, I did not care for use of present tense in past scenes at all. In fact, I ended up skimming those segments, pulling key points and then moving along. If I was one of those reviewers who use gifs, I’d definitely insert one here that said “Nope!”

That was my major peeve, but overall, I enjoyed the story and I’d recommend it to those who enjoy cowboys, mild D/s and rope play, as well as to those who enjoy stories featuring smaller Doms—Colt is taller and more muscular than Avery. All in all, it was a nice story and sequel to Wild Trail.

~~~

The cover is attractive. It appears to be a watercolor image of two men, the smaller holding a rope and the taller man in a cowboy hat and hugging the smaller man from behind. It’s actually a nice portrayal of Avery, the smaller Dom who uses rope, and his sub, Colt. Set in and around the Clean Slate Ranch, the “feel” of the cover most definitely depicts a Western MM romance.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 21st 2018 by Carina Press
Original TitleRoped In
ASINB078TJ7GDF
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesClean Slate Ranch #2

An Alisa Review: Exploration (Kinky In The City #1) by Quinn Ward

Standard

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

The reluctant manager of his family’s restaurant, Frankie attempts to live up to the legacy of his father and grandfather. Running a business that isn’t his passion and trying to do it without asking for help leaves him turning to less-than-legal means when he wants to surrender control.

Newly divorced, Calvin no longer lives in the closet, leaving him searching for what he most desires- control. So when he finds Frankie on his knees in the back room of a local bar, Calvin sees the sub he’s only ever fantasized about having.

Can Calvin find the confidence to explore his dominant side while showing his younger roommate that submission isn’t only about whips and pain?

This was a nice story.  Frankie and Calvin have been roommates for a few months but when Calvin finds him in the back room of his friend’s bar it pushes them to change their circumstances a bit. Frankie has felt trapped in the family business and doesn’t make the best decision when he is feeling so stressed.  Calvin has spent a lot of time contemplating the type of relationship he wants and Frankie hands it to him on a silver platter.

Calvin’s number one priority is his son, Ryan, but he longs for someone to love and to love him in return.  Frankie adds stress to his life by hiding from his family and not opening up but with Calvin’s help he sees how that’s not what he needs to do.

Seeing this story from both of these characters’ points of view made it easy to understand them both and connect with them.  Frankie loved Calvin taking charge but has trouble accepting that Calvin would want him all the time.  Calvin’s love and caring for his son and Frankie was wonderful to watch.  This is a great start to a new series and hope to read more in the future.

The cover art by Cover Me, Darling is perfect for this story and I love the visual of Frankie.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 224 pages

Published: April 24, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Kinky in the City #1