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

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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

A Lila Review: Let Me In by Luna David

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Twenty-year-old Liam Cavanagh works three dead-end-jobs to take care of his family. He’s been the sole breadwinner since he was fifteen and yearns for a life of his own. Forced to grow up too fast, he carries the burdens of responsibilities that shouldn’t be his, and it’s slowly destroying him. The more he tries to control, the more out of control he feels.

When he gets a hit on a personal ad he placed on The Boys Club app, he shrugs it off as impossible. With nearly 600 miles between him and “Boston Daddy” he knew the odds were against them. Until Boston Daddy’s current boy convinces him otherwise and persuades Liam to take on the role of Daddy’s new boy.

Saying forty-year-old entrepreneur Cash Moreau is having a bad week is an understatement. The man he’s been with for years leaves him for a new job, his own company is in crisis, and to top it all off, a young stranger shows up on his doorstep with all his worldly possessions, claiming to be his new boy. Liam wants a Daddy to depend on, and Cash refuses to believe he’s what’s best for Liam.

Despite their powerful connection, Cash finally pushes Liam away, and the beautiful boy who stole his heart disappears. Soon, Cash realizes what he’s let slip through his fingers. The elusive thing he’s been searching for is Liam, it’s only ever been Liam, and suddenly Cash will move heaven and earth to find what he’s lost. Will he find his boy in time to make things right, or is it too late to let him in?

Let Me In is a different type of daddy kink story. Most I have read are heavy on the kink side and with not much plot. In this case, the plot could be overwhelming at times and the kink has a good balance with the rest of the story. Yes, the start/setup is a bit slow and I wanted it to move faster, but it worked with the rest of the pacing.

We get to learn a lot about Cash thru Tommy and Liam. By the time we get Cash’s POV, we are ready for his relationship with Liam to start. I appreciated the time the author spent creating three-dimensional characters and staying away from clichés. All boys and daddies are unique and interesting.

Some of the events and reactions can feel far-fetched but the amount of detail in the story help create a cohesive picture. Cash’s and Liam’s relationship feels natural even when most of their problems are due to lack of communication. But the ending could have used a little more about the MCs and less to do with others.

Overall, this is a really good story for those interested in Daddy Kink. The scenes are intense and diverse; especially for such a niche book. A good start to a series.

The cover by Morningstar Ashley of Five Star Designs is beautiful and goes perfectly with the story. Perhaps a bit too dark.

Sale Links: Kindle Unlimited

ebook, 312 pages
Published: March 29, 2018, by Luna Davis
ASIN: B07BTJNG5M
Edition Language: English

Series: The Boys Club
Book #1: Let Me In

BLOG TOUR for Let Me In by Luna David (excerpt and giveaway)

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 Let Me In Tour Banner

LET ME IN

LUNA DAVID

M/M EROTIC ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 03.30.18

Let Me In Cover 

 

Cover Artist: Morningstar Ashley @Five Star Graphic Designs

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2uB7mCD

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2uIV8Ir

 

SYNOPSIS

Twenty-year-old Liam Cavanagh works three dead-end-jobs to take care of his family. He’s been the sole breadwinner since he was fifteen and yearns for a life of his own. Forced to grow up too fast, he carries the burdens of responsibilities that shouldn’t be his, and it’s slowly destroying him. The more he tries to control, the more out of control he feels.

When he gets a hit on a personal ad he placed on The Boys Club app, he shrugs it off as impossible. With nearly 600 miles between him and “Boston Daddy” he knew the odds were against them. Until Boston Daddy’s current boy convinces him otherwise and persuades Liam to take on the role of Daddy’s new boy.

Saying forty-year-old entrepreneur Cash Moreau is having a bad week is an understatement. The man he’s been with for years leaves him for a new job, his own company is in crisis, and to top it all off, a young stranger shows up on his doorstep with all his worldly possessions, claiming to be his new boy. Liam wants a Daddy to depend on, and Cash refuses to believe he’s what’s best for Liam.

Despite their powerful connection, Cash finally pushes Liam away, and the beautiful boy who stole his heart disappears. Soon, Cash realizes what he’s let slip through his fingers. The elusive thing he’s been searching for is Liam, it’s only ever been Liam, and suddenly Cash will move heaven and earth to find what he’s lost. Will he find his boy in time to make things right, or is it too late to let him in?

Let-Me-In-Teaser-#3

Daddy's-Rules-All-10 (003)

Let-Me-In-Teaser-#4 

EXCERPT

Three hours later, he felt Liam stir and glanced over to see him stretch, look at the clock, and grimace. “Sorry I slept so long. Thought I’d just be out for an hour at most.”

Cash squeezed Liam’s thigh and smiled when the boy moved to cover his hand and give it a squeeze in return. Cash pulled off the freeway at the next exit, headed towards a chain restaurant he figured was better than a fast food joint, and pulled into the parking lot. He squeezed Liam’s leg again, unhooked his seatbelt and kissed him softly on the lips, whispering, “Stay right where you are.”

Liam did as he was told, and Cash walked around the car to open his door and help him out. He clasped Liam’s hand and made to turn to lead them to the restaurant’s entrance, but he was stopped when Liam didn’t budge. Turning, a questioning look in his eyes, Cash met Liam’s gaze, saw his rosy cheeks and moved back towards him. He leaned back against the car door and slid his finger in one of Cash’s belt loops, tugging him flush against his body.

Cash slid his arm around Liam’s back and smiled down a him. Liam’s flirtatious smile and sparkling eyes made his smile grow wider. “What is it, boy?”

“The first time it happened, I thought it was because I was hurt. The second time, at the shop, I thought it was because I was taking too long getting my wallet, but you asked me to wait for you this time. Do I need to wait every time I get out of the car?”

Cash couldn’t fully read Liam yet, so he didn’t want to step on his toes, if the boy didn’t like it. “You don’t have to, if you don’t want—”

He stopped when Liam lifted his fingers to his lips to shush him. The boy was adorable when he smiled shyly up and him, and when he said, “Does Daddy want me to wait for him to come help me out of the car?”Cash nearly groaned out loud and pressed his hips into Liam’s so he’d feel what Liam had done to him.

“Yes, boy, I do.”

Liam looked deeply into his eyes, lifted his hands and scratched them through Cash’s beard. Cash couldn’t keep his hips from grinding into Liam’s again. Damn, but the boy was full of surprises. Liam licked his lips and asked, “Are you always going to take such good care of me?”

“Yes. I take care of what’s mine.”

Liam nodded as if his answer had been expected then whispered, “How am I ever going to be able to thank you for being so good to me?”

Cash couldn’t keep the Cheshire grin off his face when he nearly growled, “I’m sure I can come up with something.”

Liam licked his lips and said, “I hope so.”And pushed against Cash’s body enough to have him moving back. Liam clasped his hand and looked up at him when he asked, “Can I get a milkshake, Daddy?”

Cash chuckled and nodded. “Yeah, I think you deserve one. Come on. Let’s fatten you up a bit, shall we?”

Liam laughed and nodded. “Yes. Let’s.”

Luna David Logo

Luna David is a true romantic at heart who was fortunate enough to find and marry her soul mate. Most of the time she considers herself lucky to have been blessed with having twins, but they’re giving her a run for her money. She’s a stay at home mom and an author, so when she’s not begging her little monsters to behave, you’ll most likely find her writing.

She loves anything book, coffee or dark chocolate related and can’t think of a better way to pass the time than to combine all three. She reads romance novels voraciously and while she prefers contemporary romantic suspense with strong Alpha males finding their soul mates, she’s a sucker for any romantic story, regardless of genre.

She created the Custos Securities Series because she loves to write what she loves to read. Her books feature strong dominant males and the men they would die protecting. Toss in some BDSM and kink and you’ve got her Catharsis Novel Series and The Boys Club Series. She loves nothing more than making her readers feel a wide range of emotions with her words. And she hopes you enjoy her stories. Happy Reading!

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A MelanieM Release Day Review: Sin and Saint (Executioners #4) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Eric and Ellison Gant better known as Sin and Saint were opposite sides of the same coin. They epitomized the nicknames given to them by their friends in the band Executioners. One thing Sin and Saint did well was fight and being inseparable means they have a lot of disagreements, but one thing they agree on is Sheriff Camden Pelter was theirs. The older, stoic man didn’t agree, yet they were determined to change his mind.

Camden Pelter had the daunting job of turning the Powers Sheriff Department around. The residents of the Georgia town didn’t have much faith or respect in the Deputies serving them. That’s where he came in and he was determined to do his job. That was easier said than done with two annoying brothers Sin and Saint who dogged his every step. No way in hell was he getting mixed up in the chaos that were the Gant Twins. Now if only if he could get them to listen and realize they didn’t have a chance of changing his mind.

Since the first mention of Camden Pelter and the twins, I (and tons of other fans of J.M. Dabney) have been waiting for this book.  Through story after story, Sin and Saint (Eric and Ellison Gant) have been chasing the older, gorgeous Sheriff of Powers, Georgia only to be rebuffed time and again.  Still, we knew that Camden would eventually come to the realization that the twins were his and we’d get that story.

And it would be full of sizzle and probably some kink.

However, I wasn’t expecting some terrific suspense scenes, high action, and some real twists to come our way as well.  Sin & Saint (Executioners #4) by J.M. Dabney delivers with a pack, a punch, and a high note on every level as the last story in the Executioners series.

For one thing, we now get up close to the twins.  The author delivers more nuanced characterizations with Eric (Sin) and Ellison (Saint), two who may look identical to those who don’t know them but who’s differences extend from the emotional to physical variations that have had an huge impact on one of them.  Past histories too that have done the same.  Camden Pelter comes in for close inspection in every way as well, from his background and local familial ties to his sexuality…his need to dominate and take care of those he loves.

Then all three men are pulled gently together to form a loving triad quite unlike any of the triads already in existence in the connected series.  It’s a slow, hot pace that should leaving you with a need for a fan.

However, Sin and Saint is not just about romance but also the need to tie up some loose ends with regard to the last corrupt  Sheriff and his organization.  In comes the high action, suspense, and some great twists in the narrative that I just adored.  Truly I love it when my expectations are overturned and the plot takes a turn I didn’t expect all of which happened here.

It ends as it should and I was hopelessly overjoyed and looking forward to the beginning of the new  series.  That would be the Trenton Security series, although I’m not yet sure that’s the name.  It will involve the guys in the Trenton group that we’ve meet before and were heavily involved here in this story.  And yes, I can’t wait!

So another great series, Executioners comes to an end with Sin & Saint but what an ending it was!  A great storyline, a long anticipated romance and triad coupling (can that be with three), and just some wonderful writing that drove this narrative crazily along to an ending that was exactly what I hoped for.   All that and more is why I’m highly recommending this story  and all the books in the Executioners series by J.M. Dabney.

If you haven’t met her glorious bunch of huge, damaged, sometimes violent men and the ones that love them, there’s no better series to start with that this one.  But now you have three series to read before the fourth series start, grab them all up and get reading! I have the list below for you all to check out.

Cover by Winterheart Designs:  I love this cover.  That’s  Sin and Saint personified.  Just perfection.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Edition Language English
setting Georgia (United States) 

An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: A Gift of Family by Tami Veldura

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5
Scott Burke has always desired a big family, but as a divorced single dad, all he has is his young daughter, Lexi. He pours himself into raising her, half-convinced he’ll never find what he’s looking for. When Brennan Price strolls into Scott’s life, he’d better have enough patience for both Lexi and Scott if he intends to stick around.
Brennan has a huge family and a successful career, but no one to call his own. Wooing Scott and his daughter is right up his alley, though, and he steps up to the challenge to prove he’s enough for both of them. His attraction to Scott is immediate, but he recognizes a family man when he sees one and hatches a plan to win Lexi over. Her handsome father is sure to follow….
This was an okay story.  I liked how Brennan wanted to woo both Scott and Lexi and his patience.  Their connection felt a bit forced and quick for Scott being a man that is supposedly cautious about bringing someone into their life he falls a but fast.  I thought Brennan seemed cute but didn’t feel as if I got the chance to know him.  For all their cautiousness and shyness the D/S feeling in the bedroom didn’t work for me, it was like they flipped a switch and it didn’t seem right for the characters.
Cover art by Paul Richmond.  This is the series cover for all the Stocking Stuffer Advent stories for 2017 and as such has nothing to do with the actual story.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 32 pages
Published: December 23, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: The Unexpected Santa (The Sin Bin #5) by Dahlia Donovan

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Ratings: 4.5 stars out of 5

When a rugby bad boy butts heads with a retired Marine, which alpha male becomes top dog?

Scottie Monk came out of the womb angry at the world. He’s selfish and bitter. “Bah humbug!” rolls off his tongue far easier than “Happy Christmas.”

Gray Baird has dedicated his life to public service as a Marine Corps officer and later as a police chief. The decorated hero finds it impossible to ignore autistic twins in desperate need of holiday spirit. He’ll be the grumpiest Santa in the world if it puts a smile their faces. And he’ll drag a reluctant Scottie along for the ride.

This December, Gray and Scottie collide while unexpectedly playing Santa.

The Unexpected Santa (The Sin Bin #5) by Dahlia Donovan is more like a prelude to the next story, a setup really,  to the much anticipated full blown clash that’s coming between Scottie Monk and Gray Baird in The Lion Tamer.

However, taken within that context?  It’s a wonderful anticipatory delight of a short story.  For all of the previous four novels, Scottie Monk’s atrocious behavior within the close group of ex rugby players has gone from extremely annoying to using hate language, stalking,  and throwing punches.  He’s constantly drunk and when sober, his behavior is sometimes even worse.  One by one his former teammates and friends are excluding him from their circle and events.  His  reaction is anger and self pity.

I’ve wondered what Dahlia Donovan was going to do with Scottie.  An unflattering character in the first book, he’s progressed to a horror of self indulgence and denial, certainly not someone a reader could connect with.  When we last saw him, he was being thrown out of a wedding by Gray Baird (laughing…yes love that  name).  The Unexpected Santa picks up directly after that incident.

The autistic twins in the story come from The Royal Marine (The Sin Bin #4, one of my favorites in the series.  They worked then for Akash Robinson, a baker. It’s he who is marrying his former marine, Hamish Ross, friend of Gray Baird.  Yes, the two groups are now deeply intertwined and no story within this series is a standalone.   Like a rich tapestry, the narrative threads run heavy through each tale and couple, twisting and twirling about, tugging the groups closer until they are forming a mesh of relationship dynamics that can’t really be separated out from one another.

Gray is a fascinating character, he has his hidden needs and has been wondering if he will fit in within this group and new location.  Once he sees Scottie Monk, Scottie’s pain, and his actions that seem a cry for stability as well as a cry for someone to take control of his life, well,  Gray responds to Scottie with his corresponding need to do just that. Yes, there will be hot kink involved…most likely in their story The Lion Tamer.  Again, this is just the beginning.

Here we start to see  just how badly messed up Scottie is and what has brought him to this state.  But it’s clear that for Scottie and Gray this is but the tantalizing first dance.  There are so many lovely scenes between Gray and the twins here, (they now work for Aled the Botanist).  The author contrasting the delicacy of paper cranes with the fragility of the twins.  In many ways it is a Christmas story.

The Unexpected Santa is a terrific Christmas prelude for all fans and readers of Dahlia Donovan’s The Sin Bin series.  It’s that delicious taste of what’s to come, combined with the sweetness and joy of the holiday season when the twins come into the picture.

I highly recommend this entire series.  I have listed them all at the bottom of the review.  Read them in the order they were written, enjoy the characters and the men they love.

Cover art by Claire Smith again works beautifully.  Love the coloration and the single snowflake that stands for the book.

Sales Links: Hot Tree Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published November 11th 2017 by Hot Tree Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Sin Bin #5

The Sin Bin Series:

1. The Wanderer – BC & Graham

2. The Caretaker – Tens & Freddie

3. The Botanist (short story) – Aled & Wyatt

4. The Royal Marine – Hamish & Akash

5 The Unexpected Santa (short story) – Gray & Scottie

6. The Lion Tamer – Gray & Scottie

7. The Haka Ever After (short story) – Tens & Freddie

8. TBD – Zeb & Silus

A Julia Review: Figure Study (Chiaroscuro #2) by Suzanne Clay

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ainsley and her former student Noma face the aftermath of their unexpected one-night stand in this second story of Chiaroscuro.

The night Ainsley spent gently dominating Noma was far more intimate than any scene she’d ever been in before. The intensity of playing with someone she’d taught and cared about was a completely different experience–and twice as intimidating. She’d had two options: turn Noma away and never see her again, or let her stay for a few hours more.

The years away from scenes have left Ainsley eager for play but unsteady in her role. And memories of a younger Noma, when their relationship was student and mentor, only add to the confusion. A return to familiar ropes and knots, an erotic bondage play, helps Ainsley regain a sense of control and face her vulnerabilities. She must learn to see Noma as an adult woman in every way, risking a dangerous power imbalance, even as her heart begins to yearn for intimacy she’s long hidden from.

As they delve into new scenes, Ainsley and Noma confront past pain and baggage. Only by facing their fear of opening up can they learn to trust each other and share something deeper.

Figure Study by Suzanne Clay is the second part in the Chiaroscuro-series of short stories featuring painter and art teacher Ainsley and her former student Noma. After reviewing the first entry a while back, I was excited to come back to this. If you plan on reading this series, you should definitely start with previous story “Painting Class”.

The story picks up right where the previous one ended as Ainsley finds herself making breakfast after sharing an intense body painting session with a former student of hers. Since this is a short story the entirety of it takes place in Ainsley’s house over the course of half a day. The author threw in some nice details of Ainsley’s living space to get a better picture of her personal habits.

Normally I dedicate only a short paragraph to the sex scenes but in this case they are tightly interwoven with the progression of the plot as well as character development. As Noma and Ainsley continue to intimately explore each other’s needs, bodies and desires, they also get closer to one another on an emotional and very personal level. That is why I will go into more detail about the erotic aspects this time – and they are definitely worth it.

Just like the previous one does this story focus on BDSM scenes with Ainsley acting as the domme and Noma as the submissive. The author did quite a good job in dealing with the subject as the more experienced Ainsley is easing Noma into it, so even (or especially) someone who is not too familiar with the subject can get into it. I very much liked the emphasis on open communication and mutual respect for the other person’s boundaries. And not to mention, the sex scenes themselves are of course quite hot and wonderfully explicit.

Noma also talks a bit about some negative experiences she had that shaped her initial expectations of dominance and submission. It is quite heart-warming to witness how she opens herself up and is truly touched by Ainsley’s care for her. Ainsley in turn is dealing with her own trepidations in returning to the position of domme after having been inactive for quite some time as well as the responsibilities (and pleasures) that come with it. I found the careful dance between those two as they try their best to make each other feel safe rather engrossing. All the while there is the underlying, unspoken question of whether there is any hope for this relationship to continue beyond this one encounter of passion. You very much get the feeling that both women want it to but are unsure on how the other person feels.

The continuation of this story certainly did not disappoint. This entry has definitely made the characters much more endearing to me to the point where I’m rooting for them and their blossoming relationship. I loved how the author told us so much about them within this brief period of time through their interactions and care for one another. I’ll be looking forward to reading and reviewing the next chapter of their story.

The cover art by Natasha Snow is very beautiful and spot-on just like last time. I love the way the rope just pops out but at the same harmonizes wonderfully with the colourless body and emphasizes its contours.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 58 pages

Published September 25, 2017

by NineStar Press

ISBN: 978-1-947139-90-9

Edition Language: English