An Ali Review: Trusting Him (The Retreat #2) by L.M. Somerton

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Trust is hard earned and all too easy to lose.

 Luke Redding’s military background is an asset when it comes to managing The Retreat, but it hasn’t helped him find the submissive he longs for. A secluded life in the New Forest, witnessing a stream of happy couples playing out their fantasies, doesn’t provide much opportunity to develop a relationship either. When a friend’s manipulations lead to him taking on silver-haired Skye as a trainee sub, Luke finds it hard to trust in his own ability to provide the guidance Skye needs.

Skye Ingham wants to explore his submissive nature but the noise and crowds at The Underground are overwhelming. He can’t believe his luck to be taken under Luke’s wing and offered a job at The Retreat. As Luke tests his boundaries, Skye trusts him implicitly, but how can he convince his new Dominant to have faith in himself?

Amid the bustle and excitement of a big house party at The Retreat, Luke and Skye edge their way towards a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and desires. But it will take a final leap of faith to secure their future and open a path to love.

This was a nice continuation of this series and I really look forward to seeing the other employees here find their HEA.  My problems with this story is it felt like something was missing though out the whole thing.  After some thought I think it was any romance or actual feelings, their interactions seemed to cold and calculated even when they weren’t in a scene it just didn’t add up to a happy couple for me.

Luke and Skye are basically thrown together by their matchmaker bosses though it takes Luke a whole like 3 days to admit he really wants Skye for himself.  The timeline for their relationship just didn’t work for me, I know if really happened over about a week time frame but there were times it didn’t add up.  One whole discussion that was skipped was Skye’s safe word, Luke made a big deal about him needing to select a safe word by the following evening and suddenly that night he mentions Skye having his safe word if needed but a safe word was never given, if felt like a whole part was skipped over.  I look forward to reading more in the series I just hope they are closer in quality and story to the first book.

The cover art by Melody Pond is okay and similar in style to the last one though the building seems to have completely changed.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 226 pages

Published: April 9, 2019 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78651-734-0

Edition Language: English

Series: The Retreat #2

Mickie B. Ashlings on Writing, Romances, and her new release “Impacted” (author giveaway and guest blog)

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Impacted (Bay Area Professionals #1) by Mickie B. Ashling

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Kanaxa

Buy links:  Dreamspinner PressAmazon 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mickie B. Ashling here today with a wonderful interview and giveaway.  Welcome, Mickie!

Thank you for hosting the blog tour for the second edition of Impacted! This novel, the first in a series of five, was published ten years ago when I was new on the scene. It was my first foray into BDSM and I’ll admit I made a few mistakes. Nonetheless, it was surprisingly well received, and continues to draw new readers. This second edition offers a gorgeous new cover designed by Kanaxa along with extensive edits for a more enjoyable reading experience.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Mickie B. Ashling…

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I know there’s a little bit of me in each character or situation I write. Even though my stories are mostly about gay men, and I’m obviously not, love and attraction are a human experience. I’ve drawn from my emotional well on more than one occasion. The Bay Area Professional Series is set in San Francisco, where I lived for over ten years. My experience as an office manager in a dental practice was a constant source of inspiration. Most of us are terrified of dentists and would never associate them with good times. I wanted to change the narrative. The men who populate this series are nothing like the ghoulish doctors most of us remember from our childhood.      

  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Yes. I’ve been writing in the m/m genre since I was first published in 2009. I’ve had to do my share of research on multiple fronts. Location is usually the easiest—and the most enjoyable when I get to travel—but I’ve been known to pester my gay friends with questions when I can’t find answers on the internet. My go-to for all things BDSM has been an online friend since 2011. He’s in a long-term, committed D/s relationship, and I couldn’t ask for a more generous and supportive resource. Last year, I started a fantasy series—a new genre for me—and I’m discovering the joys of world building. There’s a heady freedom to this genre I’m enjoying immensely.    

  • 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?

When I started Loving Edits, the first book in The Basque Trilogy, I knew it would be difficult to get through without a lot of stops and starts. The story is a tribute to my mother who died of ALS. One of my main characters (I had 3 as this trilogy is m/m/m) also suffers from the disease. Difficult and gut-wrenching don’t even come close to what I experienced as I was writing these books. I was traumatized by the experience of nursing my mother during her last year. My knee-jerk reaction to the acronym ALS is to cover my ears and babble la-la-la until the moment passes. It took all my will power to plot the story and do the necessary research. I assumed there had been advances in the treatment of ALS since my mother’s death, but I was sadly mistaken. Despite the money and manpower, there has been very little progress in trying to figure out this horrendous and fatal disease. My beta readers were gutted by the end. It was hard for all of us.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

You can’t be a romance writer if you don’t like the happy ending, but I’m more inclined to leave my characters with a happy for now.  Love is a fickle mistress and usually unpredictable. Sustaining the happily ever after takes a lot of work and, as I’ve often said, good luck. We can’t all be blessed with the right partner from the start. Sometimes it takes multiple tries to get it right.

  • Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I read a lot of romances as a teenager. In retrospect I wish I hadn’t. It left me with high expectations that were completely unrealistic. Pair this with a Catholic school upbringing, and I was seeing the world through rose-tinted lenses. My poor mother had to deal with burst bubbles and the accompanying tears for most of my teen years. So much drama. I wouldn’t go back in time for all the money in the world. 

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

This question was more relevant about ten years ago when I was first published. Back then, ebooks were a new thing, and a lot of readers rejected them, but history and Amazon have proven they are here to stay. The convenience of carrying your entire library in a tiny device is incomparable. Plus, there’s the question of timing. The ability to access your favorite author’s newest release within minutes of publication is very satisfying for people who don’t like to wait. I’m one of those type A-personalities who’d rather walk out of a store than stand in a line. One click was made for people like me. 

  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

It’s difficult to pick one among 34 full-length novels (and 3 novellas) I’ve written and published in the last ten years. Asking me which of my children is my “favorite” is a trick question, and I can’t answer without hurting someone’s feelings. While I’m working on the story it’s my favorite, but once I’m done, and it’s out of my hands, I move on to the next project. I guess if you pinned me down I would choose The Basque Trilogy as the most significant because of the emotional ties I mentioned a few questions up. I loved writing Yesterday and Mayon. Both of these historical novels are set in foreign locals—Yesterday in Pakistan and Mayon in the Philippines—where I resided at one point in my life. I relied heavily on my memories plus there was a lot of research involved in the case of Yesterday, which focused on the months leading up to the revolution in Iran. One of my MCs was a relative of the Shah and directly impacted by the overthrow of the monarchy. 

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’ve just finished and submitted the sequel to my Legacy Series published through NineStar Press. A Noble Cause starts where A Tangled Legacy ended. I’m hoping to release in the late summer, but that depends on the publisher’s schedule. I have nothing definite to announce at this time. Last November, I self-published book five in the Bay Area Professional Series. Yield explores the darker side of BDSM and other taboo subjects. It didn’t fit the guidelines for Dreamspinner Press, so I chose to self-pub rather than submit elsewhere.   

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

Yes. My Caucasian MC in Third Son was born and raised in Hong Kong. Like me, who grew up in the Philippines, Niall’s physicality didn’t match his Asian mindset. Trying to fit into both cultures seamlessly was always a challenge. Falling in love and being viewed as the “foreigner,” despite sharing a long childhood history, was painful. I made sure Niall got his HEA. 

 

  • What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

A random stop at an ice cream stall at the Taste of Chicago turned into one of my bestsellers. Taste was inspired by a hot dude who handed me the cone. He had a colorful tattoo sleeve, a killer smile, and my muse decided then and there that he must be wearing pink panties underneath those faded jeans. I started writing the story as soon as I got home. 

 

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I’ve got a few ideas percolating, but I haven’t started a new project yet. I’d like to do something different, in another genre perhaps, but wanting and getting it done don’t always go hand in hand. All I can say is there will be another story in about six months. Stay tuned! 

 

Impacted!

Bay Area Professionals

On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant Dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene… but meet again when Robin Kennedy—Red—arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his two bosses is Scott.

Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible—they’re a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.

They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground… or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?

 

$20.00 DSP Gift Card Rafflecopter :

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Author Bio

Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.  

By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing–and the inevitable emptying nest–dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.

She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings. 

Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago. 

Contact Info

E-MAIL: http://mickie.ashling@gmail.com

BLOG: http://mickiebashling.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/mickie.ashling

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/MickieAshling

INSTAGRAM: @mickieashling

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004QSCN3E

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2904716.Mickie_B_Ashling

A Chaos Moondrawn Release Day Review: Inked Music by Sean Michael

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Rene Conette is a bored businessman looking for…something. The first impression is of complete privilege so I wasn’t sure if I liked him, but I found myself warming to him more and more as he is patient and kind, if used to getting his way. Gavin Turner is a musician with a haunting past: an obsessed fan kidnapped and tortured him. Once his interest in BDSM became public, people judged that he either enjoyed it or got what he deserved. The cast is completed by twin brothers Silas and Dev, former police who helped rescue Gavin and now work as his private security.

Gavin’s history sets up a way for Rene and Gavin to take time to establish trust before adding mild BDSM elements into their relationship. The sexual aspect does start surprisingly fast. The book is definitely erotic romance going from one hot sex scene to another, which is what the author does well. It’s the the dialogue in the getting to know each other scenes and the scenes between sex scenes that don’t seem to flow as easily. After setting up Silas and Dev as Gavin’s protectors and family, they are largely ignored for the rest of the book. There is more than one conversation about Gavin’s relationship with them not being sexual, which is a little repetitive. If they are supposed to be Gavin’s family and closest friends, it seems strange that Rene ignores them. I know they are supposed to be on duty, especially when outside, but in Rene’s home in a secure building where you have to be buzzed up, the fact that they are on high alert is a little odd to me. Really though it’s the smallest part of the book. The majority of the book is the sex scenes. While hot, they are pretty tame so this may be a good book for people who don’t like anything hardcore.

They are both wealthy, so they do live in their own little bubble on their own schedule. Work is only mentioned briefly. At the beginning, it did seem as though Rene was in the closet, or just very discreet, taking a female friend to all of his work or social functions. Given the issues Gavin’s last Dom had with his fame after what happened, it did make me wonder if that would also be addressed with Rene, but it’s never mentioned again. This book does end on a HFN/HEA. If the author does write another book with these characters, maybe focusing on the twins, I would like to see what would happen if Gaven was recognized and no longer able to be incognito and how that would affect their relationship. In the end, even for an erotic romance, I guess I wanted a bit more plot and a few more details. The book is surprisingly low angst for the subject matter, has steamy scenes, and a sweet, quick romance.

The cover art is by L.C. Chase. It shows Gaven, insular and alone, focused on what matters most to him. He’s described as being thin with dark hair, dark eyes, and tattoos so this isn’t quite how I pictured him.

Buy links: Dreamspinner Press |   AmazonKobo |  Barnes and Noble 

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 193 pages
Expected publication: April 9th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 139781644051092
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: On Hands and Knees (The Valentino Family) by Sai Fox

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Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5

Nicolai Valentino is the almost perfect heir to the Valentino Family—impeccably dressed, devilishly handsome, impossibly cold, and absolutely dedicated to a family that scorns his very existence. Born to the infamous Boss and a Japanese woman of no consequence, Nico must fight for respect in a blood-thirsty world that would be much happier to see him with a hole in his head.

Blood runs thick in the Valentino Family. To them, Nico’s little better than water.

Gabriel Delatto is Nico’s right-hand man, his childhood friend, and under the darkness of their ruby red sheets, his lover. But more than that, Gabriel holds the secret to unlocking who Nico really is—the true Nico, not the mask beginning to crack around the edges.

But there is a pleasure in that pain, he knows. There is only ever pleasure when it comes to Nico, even if it comes from the crack of a whip or on the edge of a blade.

But there’s someone lurking in the darkness, something that neither Nico nor Gabriel truly understand, But there is one thing they do know—

It isn’t afraid to bite.

I had a tough time with the rating on this story for several reasons. On Hands and Knees (The Valentino Family) by Sai Fox was a new title and author for me so you all know I immediately read the author bio and information.  She’s been writing for years. She’s currently living in Japan. Pluses. That leads me to more pluses and minuses of this story.

I’m drawn to stories with complex, dark characters and this promised two.  As I got into the novel, there are multiple mysteries surrounding both main characters of Nico and Gabriel, their traumatic childhoods, and yes, even a present timeline going back 6 months.  The author presents clues but nothing more.  There is really only the barest of world building here and little character framework other than their twined childhoods after a certain age, an implied horrific “Training” they endured by The Family as kids, and the present romantic/physical relationship which is barely tolerated,  and that might end at any moment, It also includes a D/s element (spanking, whipping) .

The story is heavy on sex, light on  layered character development.  We are more told how crazy Nico is than shown except for one rather mild example.

What the story relies on is promise.  The narrative offer is held out for more.  More revelations, more character growth and depth.  Of the two men, Gabriel is easier to relate to but you should be able to relate to both and that really doesn’t happen here imo.  Nico just isn’t given the dimension he needs outside of the sex scenes.

Then there is the issue with the editing.

Here is an example:

“There were scars crisscrossing his skin, leaving perfectly puckered and raised lines for Gabriel to stare down at in complete and utter awe. They were mostly pale brown, not deep enough to leave lasting damage or scar but enough for Nico to feel.

Uh, wut?

Well, the author meant bruises or welts from the whipping from a belt earlier that morning but used the word “scars” instead.  That’s only the first of many such errors.  Plus these two men are supposed to be keeping their relationship on the down-low yet plenty of people within the organization have heard the “screaming” going on from their sessions.

Sigh.

Yes, an editor, a really good editor is clearly needed here.

The story ends on a cliffhanger with a new element introduced that’s interesting but makes little sense with what the author has already told us.

I have no idea if I’m going further with this series or not.  Probably with one more story just to see how the cliffhanger is resolved.

I will leave someone else to comment about the timing of the sessions (in an office right before an important meeting of the Mafia), the lack of safe words etc., and other aspects of the D/s relationship.  I think I’ve covered plenty here.   If this sounds like this is the story for you, the buy links are listed below.

 

Cover Artist: Samantha Garrett, the cover art is ok.  The font is easy to read but the graphics are dark and murky which may be what the artist was going for but it loses something in the composition.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 232 pages
Published June 1st 2018
ASINB07D92HV75
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Valentino Family

Author Note: Please be advised that there are sexual scenes of explicit graphic nature, including spanking, within the following story. These are done in a fully consensual manner between two parties over the age of 18

A MelanieM Review: Gage (Trenton Security #3) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

The forbidden is the sweetest lure.

Trenton Security’s Public Relations go-to was Hayden Gage. He loved his job, and it kept him distracted from the demons haunting his nightmares. His past wasn’t up for discussion, and Hayden wouldn’t allow it to intrude on his future. Yet, that was easier said than done when his best friend came to him desperate for help, and it put him right on the path to his one weakness.

Young didn’t equal lost.

Derrick Thorpe lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes. Although he was adopted by Linus Trenton, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t like his biological father. When he was asked to go undercover to help at Trenton Security, it put him in close quarters with Gage. Being Gage’s was only an act, but when lines blur, what happens when the operation ends?

I know going in what to expect from one of these interconnected stories.  Damaged men who don’t think they deserve love, perhaps someone who already loves them, a case that needs to be investigated and many of our couples from the series and stories that orbit each other, serving as friends and extended families. Yet within this framework, J.M. Dabney brings new characters or rather familiar characters to the front for a closer examination and revelations.  We get to see where their damage came from, their past histories revealed, and who, most often, has drawn their attention and maybe even love.

The author also folds into their stories important current international elements such as child trafficking and slavery that makes our headlines daily and puts a face to the horror in Cameron in the daughter that is missing,   Through Alex we feel his pain, panic , and outright despair at ever finding her, if not alive, then whole.

While the investigation is frantically intensifying for Cameron (and the author horrifIcally details why the searchers have such a short frame of time to accomplish their goals), Gage and Derrick are working through a minefield of emotions themselves about each other.

There is enough material here for Gage to be twice as long.  I wanted more to be frank.  More of the high wire act that was the investigation and suspenseful search for Cameron.  That has me in knots every step of the way.  And then, almost as a second story, the romance and dynamics that was playing out between Gage and Derrick.  That involves all the voilence and extreme angst of Gage’s background which he hadn’t quite worked through and still required, as he acknowledged, the needs of a therapist, to help him.

In that respect this is very much a HFN, which realistically all you could expect.

There is Daddy kink, bdsm, D/s.  and for people with  triggers… beating, domestic violence, self harm such as cutting, and mention of suicide.

J.M. Dabney’s books, especially in these series are dark, gritty, and  not for the faint hearted.  I prefer them that way.  They are true to these wounded men and the situations around them.

I have listed all the connected series below.  It helps to obtain a sense of community and who all the people and couples are that are mentioned here or appear in the scenes.

I recommend them all.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  I love that cover by Reese Dante, That is my idea of Gage.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

184 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
Edition Language English
Series Trenton Security #3

An Alisa Review : Kink Aware (Kiss of Leather #9) by Morticia Knight

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

Cruella can’t wait to show Ray the ropes…

Working at Rogue Ink is a dream job for Cruella, especially being around the hunky co-owner, Ray. Even though the money isn’t great, the eye candy and Ray’s caring heart make it all worthwhile. When Cruella risks rejection by inviting Ray to be their partner for a shibari class at Kiss of Leather, they’re thrilled when Ray accepts.

Cruella’s invitation both excites and terrifies Ray. He wants Cruella, but does he also want to become more kink aware? Still, he could kick himself for not already making a move on the sweet and beautiful Cruella, so maybe this is his chance. His protective instincts have gotten him into serious trouble before, so he’ll be sure not to make the same mistake with Cruella. They’ve made it clear they can take care of themself.

Cruella fears that Ray won’t accept their genderqueer identity and Ray aches to be the strong man Cruella needs. However, when Cruella’s dark past intrudes on their blissful present, Ray’s definition of strength might turn out to be harsher than Cruella is willing to accept.

 

Ugh, I feel frustrated because I am not sure what to say.  I have loved the series so far but this one fell pretty flat for me.  Cruella would act shy and maybe a little unsure but it seemed like more of an act to me than their true feelings.  Ray seems pretty genuine but I feel he gets in trouble for Cruella’s inexperience as a dominant.

 

The story was as well written as all the others but I just didn’t feel like this couple was actually ready for a D/s relationship and didn’t feel much connection to the characters.  I love how Ray was trying to take care of Cruella in regards eating but that seemed to just disappear part of the way through the book and the suddenly Cruella was in charge all the time but never actually placed any rules or restrictions with it.  I don’t want to feel like all I am doing is dissing the book but my frustration with their relationship overrode much of my enjoyment. I am hoping future stories in the series work better for me.

The like cover art by Erin Dameron-Hill and the visuals of the characters and that it follows the pattern for the series.

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 226 pages

Published: December 18, 2018 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-78651-710-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Kiss of Leather #9

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