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Meentje63

The Way She Reads

My thoughts on everything I read; good, bad and indifferent.

Pleasure and Pain

Binding the Edges (Tales from The Edge Book 8) - L.M. Somerton

Pleasure and pain…. Pleasure through pain. How appropriate that’s exactly what reading this book felt like. The pure pleasure of spending time with Olly & Joe, Aiden & Heath and all their assorted friends has now been tempered by the pain of having to say goodbye. But then again, I’m sure Joe and Heath wouldn’t hesitate before explaining that the pain only heightens and confirms the pleasure.

 

*Sighs* All good things must come to an end—or so the saying goes, I’m not at all convinced. And as series go, Tales from the Edge is most definitely a wondrous thing and as a result I’m heartbroken that with Binding the Edges we do indeed reach the conclusion of what has been a joyful and utterly delightful reading experience.

 

I’m so happy that Binding the Edges turned out to be the perfect finale to what has been an amazing and thoroughly enjoyable journey. In this story the edges are indeed bound, every thread is beautifully and satisfactory tied off, and the ending to Olly and Joe’s storyline is as perfect as I could have hoped for.

 

Of course these men have a road to travel before they’re allowed to reach their happily ever after. And what a journey it is—roller coaster ride is probably a better term. Between the hilarious preparations for the anniversary celebrations, the kinky times Joe and Olly indulge in every time they have the opportunity, and danger in the form of deranged Dom Mark Vickery once again raising its ugly head, the reader is thrown from one emotion into the next with barely a moment’s respite to catch her breath; delicious.

 

I could continue gushing about this book, but I’d rather spend some time and words declaring my love for this series. For me a book or series of books is a success when the characters get under my skin, crawl into my heart, and become so well defined that I know I would recognise them if I ran across them in the street. And that’s exactly what happened with the men in these books. Maybe they’re not all equally clear in my mind’s eye but I can’t deny that especially Olly, Joe, Heath and Aiden have now claimed their place among my favourite characters ever. The close to perfect combination of romance, kinky sexiness, and suspense had me hooked from the very first book. And while none of the individual titles in this series made it on to my ‘extra-special’ list, theTales from The Edge series as a whole has found its place near the top of that particular ranking.

No matter how sad I am that this is the last book in this series I have to admit Binding the Edges is a fabulous conclusion to a wonderful series.

Chaotic but Fun

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling - Matthew Robbins

I’m not entirely sure what to say about this book. It was a fast and easy to read story in which so much happened that it was at times hard to keep up. Ronan and Felix were easy to like characters even if they did seem to be their own worst enemies most of the time, and Felix’s occasional thoughtlessness irritated the bejaysus out of me once or twice.

 

Overall, it felt a bit as if this story couldn’t make up its mind as to exactly what it wanted to be. For me there was too much going on in this book. There is the clash of two cultures when Felix and Ronan meet. There’s the push and pull between Felix and Ronan as they both do what they can to deny the attraction between them. There’s the threat to Ronan grandfather’s farm and the associated suspense. And while all of these storylines develop we are also treated to detailed descriptions of farm life and (rather glorious) descriptions of what is a most gorgeous part of Ireland. All of this put together was a wee bit too chaotic for me, but I’m more than willing to concede that that is probably a personal issue rather than a statement about the story.

 

I also felt the romance got lost in everything else that was going on which meant that by the time the two men at last admit to their feelings it almost came as a huge surprise instead of something with had been building for a long time.

 

I hope the above doesn’t make it sound as if I didn’t enjoy the book. When Irish Eyes are Smiling was a fun and easy read. The story frequently made me smile and even caused me to laugh out loud once or twice. I liked both Ronan and Felix and developed a huge soft spot for Lorcan, Ronan’s granddad. While the telling of this story was a bit too hectic for me at times, I can’t deny this book is perfect for those occasions when you want to read something that will totally distract you from the real world for a few hours.

& Christmas at the Edge

Driven to The Edge (Tales from The Edge Book 7) - L.M. Somerton

““You make everything better, Sir,” Olly murmured, his voice heavy with fatigue.

“No, we do love. Together (…)””

 

You have to feel sorry for Olly. Here we have the nicest of men with the softest heart imaginable and somehow trouble and danger seem to stalk him. At first glance this young sub seems so ill equipped to deal with everything life throws his way but then you think and look again and realise that first impressions can be deceptive.

 

We get to see a different side to Olly in this book. Or rather, we get to see the full scale of the man we’ve only seen glimpses of so far. I had never any doubt that underneath Olly’s flighty silliness lived a strong and smart man; he had to have been just to survive what happened to him in Reaching the Edge. And every now and again this ‘other’ Olly would shine through in the other books too. In Driven to the Edge, however, Olly’s strength and intelligence spring to the forefront as he deals with stress, confronts danger, and solves mysteries that have others bewildered.

 

And just as we get to see another side to Olly, we also get a glimpse at another aspect of his relationship with Joe. While Joe may be the Dom and very much in charge and it may be Joe’s job to keep Olly balanced and centred, that doesn’t mean Joe doesn’t need Olly’s love and support just as much as Olly needs him. In fact, if this book shows something in all its glorious beauty it is that (BDSM) relationships are successful only when the two partners complement each other, when they can lift each other’s burdens and feel safe being either strong or in need of strength, depending on the situation.

 

““I’m supposed to look after you. That’s how this dynamic works.”

“It works how we want it to work.” Olly planted a big wet kiss on Joe’s lips. “Just for tonight, I’ll take care of you.””

 

I challenge anybody to read these books and not fall hard for Olly (and almost as hard for Joe, Aiden, Heath…. Need I go on?). As much as I enjoy reading about (well-written) BDSM dynamics in general, I can’t deny that the diverse relationships in these books have captured a special place in my heart. And slap bang in the middle of that special place are Olly and Joe, shining their love for all to see, enjoy, and maybe envy just a little.

 

Once again the balance between suspense, love, and mouth-watering kink was just about perfect. Once again I found myself captivated by the story and reading as fast as I possibly could while making sure not to miss a single well chosen word. It is a delightful form of addiction, only overshadowed by the realisation that I’m getting perilously close to the end of this favourite among series.

 

Christmas at the Edge

 

 

The blurb

 

Christmas at The Edge will be extra special this year.

Joe and all the staff have been secretly plotting to get Olly the one thing he wants more than anything in the world—well, apart from Joe of course. The only problem is, this present comes with four paws and a tail. Combined with Olly, that’s a whole stocking full of mischief.

 

My thoughts

 

There’s really not a whole lot I can say about this short story except that it’s all about Olly AND a puppy. Combine the sweetest, brattiest, funniest and most wired-to-the-moon sub with a four-legged bundle of energy and you’ve got yourself a swoon worthy case of cuteness-overload, laced with an enticing side of BDSM-sexiness. Reading doesn’t get much more enjoyable than this.

All the Suspense

Scorched Edges (Tales from The Edge Book 6) - L.M. Somerton

The earlier books in this series were erotic romances with added suspense. While there certainly were heartstopping moments in the stories, the main focus was on romance, BDSM, and scorching (pun intended) scenes. Not so Scorched Edges. This book is an ‘edge-of-your-seat’ reading experience from the very beginning. This story starts from the villain’s perspective. Right from the start the reader is left in no doubt that the fire-starter is dangerous, deranged, and determined to get Beau and that knowledge made the book all the more enticing. Not that this meant we lost out on romance or BDSM scenes, far from it, but for me this book had more of a thriller feel than its predecessors had.

 

Beau and Marty were wonderful characters and very well matched (as all other couples have been). Beau doesn’t waste his time introducing Marty to the delights of BDSM and submission but he doesn’t rush the process either, allowing Marty to find his feet in a new to him world. It goes without saying that the scenes between these two men were ‘scorching’ (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and yes, there may have been some ‘edging’ involved as well. J

 

I loved Marty’s journey in this book. For a complete and totally innocent newbie to the scene he quickly recognises, accepts and fully embraces his submission to Beau. But, just in case there is still anyone around who thinks that submissive equals weak, Marty is here to disabuse you of any such ideas—when push comes to shove and his Dom is in danger, Marty proves once and for all that there’s nothing weak or indecisive about him. Of course, this contrast only makes the scenes during which he eagerly surrenders to Beau all the more beautiful and powerful.

 

I was a bit disappointed that the couples from the earlier books mostly made no or only a fleeting appearance in this story. I hadn’t quite realised how addicted I’d become to Olly’s wisecracks or Aiden’s temperament. But, I can’t deny that adding them to or increasing their role in this story probably would have felt forced, so I’m not actually complaining.

 

It won’t surprise anyone when say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The constant danger lurking in the background made sure I kept on turning the pages while Beau and Marty made sure I was totally engrossed during every other scene too. The only regret I have after finishing this book is that I’m yet another title closer to the end of this series. As much as I look forward to reading the remaining two and a bit books I have to admit I’m going to miss this world and these characters.

Two for the Price of One

Rough Around the Edges (Tales from The Edge Book 5) - L.M. Somerton

I’m running out of (new) ways to say how much I’m loving this series of books. I’ve had a soft spot for BDSM stories ever since I first discovered them (much longer ago than I care to admit), but some books/series are more memorable than others and Tales from the Edge most definitely falls on the very memorable side of those scales.

 

Kai and Harry’s story in Rough Around the Edges is more cute than anything else. Experienced and tough looking Dom Harry falls hard and fast for Kai as soon as he sets eyes on the young man. Harry may not be inclined to admit to himself or anyone else that he’s fallen victim to love at first sight, his thoughts and actions make it perfectly clear that’s exactly what has happened.

 

Kai is cuteness personified. He may be completely inexperienced when it comes to sex, intimacy and relationships as well as clueless as far as BDSM is concerned, there is no doubt in anybody’s mind that he was born to submit and that Harry is the Dominant for him.

 

These two men coming together and discovering how well they complement each other was a pure pleasure to read. Their scenes were a perfectly balanced mixture of steaming hot and heart-warmingly sweet.

 

Of course it’s never plain sailing for these couples. Kai may have been rescued from the conversion clinic, that doesn’t mean that the uncle who put him there is done with him. As it slowly becomes clear exactly what is going on with Kai’s life, the danger becomes more pressing and violent, leading to one or two heart-stopping moments.

 

As always, it was a pure joy to spend more time with Olly, Aiden, Christian and Alastair and their Masters. I always get a special kick out of running into the earlier couples for a quick catch-up. Olly always manages to make me laugh out loud at least once while Aiden and his relationship with Heath continue to intrigue me.

 

I’ve passed the half-way mark in this series now and I’m torn between rushing forward and reading the remaining titles or pacing myself and stretching the pleasure out. With the final title in this series, Binding the Edges, being released in five days time I guess I’ll keep on reading so that I can be part of the celebrations on February 10th.

 

 

The blurb

 

When Carey Hoffman hands over the budget for planning the annual Hallowe'en party at The Underground to his sub, Alistair immediately recruits his friends to help. They have several problems to solve—how to plan costumes that mean their Doms wear as little as possible, how to fix a dildo to the dancefloor for a game of kinky quoits and how to ensure that Olly doesn't eat too many cake-pop eyeballs. Throw in a headless monk, zombie special effects and a midnight spanking in to the mix and the party is sure to go with a bang.

 

My thoughts

 

This was so much fun. The story’s told from Alistair’s perspective as he’s put in charge of organising a Halloween party. Of course he gets Olly, Aiden, Christian and Kai to help him, and between them the subs come up trumps and the party is all fun and (sexy) games…. Or is it? It is Halloween after all.

Substantial fun

Chase The Ace - Clare London

 

When I read the blurb for Chase the Ace I expected the story to be something like a comedy of errors / road-trip kinda adventure, and up to a point, that’s exactly what I got. This book however, is more than that. It is a charming and wonderful story about finding your future via a re-examination of the past.

 

I loved how the story started on a very light note, leaving me with a huge smile on my face. I grinned when Dan figured out Nick is the older brother of the man he’d wanted to reconnect with, continued doing so while Nick and Dan got to know each other a little better, and smiled even harder during their meeting with Gary. I enjoyed myself as the two men give in to the sexual tension which had been apparent from the moment they met. It all seemed so light-hearted and innocent.

 

But there’s more to this story than a sentimental revisiting of the past. Ultimately this is a story about two men having to be honest about exactly what they want from life. Although neither man officially qualifies as a youngster anymore, I’d still qualify this as somewhat of a ‘coming-of-age’ story especially as far as Dan is concerned. It is through seeing the lives his former friends are now living that he comes to realise what he wants for himself.

 

I loved how Nick’s role in the story turned out to be bigger than I at first suspected. And I really loved that both these men came across as recognisable and totally real. They aren’t perfect, they say silly things, react in less than sensible ways, and are all the more sympathetic for it.

 

Long story short; Chase the Ace turned out to be more substantial than I’d thought and all the better for it. Clare London’s writing was as smooth as I’ve come to expect and the story left me happy when I finished it. A very promising start to my reading year.

 

 

A Can't Miss Pleasure

Apprentice in Death - J.D. Robb

It is so much fun to pick up a book, lose myself in the story within a paragraph or two and nor resurface until I’ve read every last word contained between the covers. It is also something I don't get to do nearly often enough but, invariably that's what happens when I pick up a new instalment in JD Robb’s In Death series. That goes a long way towards explaining why this is the only series of books I’ve stuck with over the course of this many new stories. With most other series I’ll eventually reach a point where the ‘been there, done that, need something new’ feeling gets too strong and I find myself drifting away. Not so with the In Death series. Not only do I pick up the latest release as soon as it hits the shelves in my library, I actively keep track of when to expect the next one so I can be sure to bring it home as soon as it’s available. To say I’m addicted to Eve Dallas and Roarke would be a gross understatement.

 

As can be said for its 42 prequels, Apprentice in Death is a fast paced, thrilling, and totally engrossing story. JD Robb has, over the course of this series, created a cast of characters who have become part of my life. I know Eve, Roarke, Peabody, McNabb and all the others and have no doubt I would recognise them should I run into them in the street. The near future version of the world she’s created continues to fascinate me. As for the criminals she introduces us to, and their methods and motives…let me just say that Mrs. Robb occasionally scares me. She invariably manages to give her villains just about enough of a human face and almost reasonable motives, to put me on edge and keep me compulsively turning the pages.

 

While I thoroughly enjoy the mysteries and suspense in these stories they are not the main reason for my addiction to this series. I keep on returning to the In Death books because of the continuing story about Eve, Roarke and those close to them. I laugh out loud at the banter, occasionally wipe away a tear at an especially touching moment, enjoy Eve and Roarke’s sexy times, and will never get bored with getting to know these characters better which each subsequent tale. After having read all 43 novels in this series so far, I still can’t imagine there will ever come a moment when I won’t be looking forward to the next In Death title. I fully agree with Harlan Coben's blurb on the cover of this book. J.D. Robb's novels are indeed 'can't-miss pleaures'. Is it time for the

next book yet?

 

A Double-Edged Sword AND A Weekend at the Edge

A Double-Edged Sword - L.M. Somerton

I’ve become somewhat (understatement of the year) addicted to the Tales from the Edge. I love the combination of suspense, love story, BDSM, and very hot scenes these books give me almost as much as I adore the characters featured in these stories.

 

A Double-Edged Sword tells the story of Christian and Becket who are perfect for each other. Becket needs to be in complete control as much as Christian needs to surrender totally to his Dom. From the very start of the story it is clear these two men are meant to be together, which makes it all the more cruel when Becket’s job throws a spanner in the works and upsets the apple cart. Now these two men have to figure out what they are together when their roles are less clearly defined.

 

If I’m honest I have to admit that the subsequent conflict was far less angsty than it might have been. In fact, I think I would have preferred it if Christian and Becket had had to fight a little bit harder before resolving their issue. (Yes, I know that is strange, coming from me with my aversion to angst, but there you have it.)

 

But, as issues with a story go, this one was very minor. Overall I enjoyed getting to know Christian and Becket better and following them as they get closer together. The scenes between them are (of course) very hot and I absolutely adored Christian and how he responded to Becket’s dominance.

 

I am so happy that the characters I fell for in the earlier books all make a reappearance in this one. Olly, as always, made me laugh out loud whenever he appeared on the page but it was equally as much fun to spend more time with all the others. I’m so glad I’m only half way through this series right now. I’m very much looking forward to whatever may be coming my way next. In the company of all these ‘Edgy’ men I have no doubt I’m going to be in for a treat.

 

 

A Weekend at the Edge

 

 

Tales from the Edge #4.1

Free Short Story

Buy Link:      Pride Publishing

 

The blurb

 

A rare free weekend provides an opportunity for Heath and Aiden to reaffirm their roles as Master and sub. When Heath sets Aiden a challenge the prize is very tempting, but sometimes losing can also bring rewards.

 

My thoughts

 

As stated above this is a short story. In fact, I feel it would be safe to describe it as a scene rather than a story. But what a scene.

 

In A Weekend at the Edge the focus is on Heath and Aiden as they get to spend some rare and much needed time together while everybody else is away. Aiden has intrigued me from the moment I first ‘met’ him. I love his ambivalence when it comes to submission. He constantly fights Heath’s dominance and his inclination to submit to it and yet, the moment he stops thinking about it and just goes with the flow (as indicated by Heath) he can’t deny that it is exactly what he needs and craves.

 

Did I mention these two are hot together? Because, phew, they are. What’s not to love about a prolonged session of tease and denial? You’d almost feel sorry for Aiden—almost but not quite.

Wonderful and Sweet

Analog to Digital (2016 Advent Calendar - Bah Humbug) - Posy Roberts

Analog to Digital is a wonderful and sweet Christmas story, a bit of a comedy of errors really.

 

Poor Ethan, for years he’s been telling his boyfriend, Toby, that he’s not interested in marriage just because he believes that’s how Toby feels. Deep inside Ethan wants nothing more than to be Toby’s husband but he can’t figure out how to share that truth. A visit home for Christmas and to watch his sister and her husband exchange wedding vows for the second time within a year is about the last thing he wants to do. But Toby insists and Ethan loves Toby, so they go.

 

Things go from bad to worse when Toby keeps on disappearing on Ethan, going off on missions he never has a satisfactory explanation for. Ethan moves from bemused through uncertain to fully convinced that Toby is hiding something from him and maybe even putting distance between them.

 

What happens next probably won’t come as a huge surprise to the reader but Ethan certainly didn’t see it coming. I read the final fifth of this book with a huge grin on my face and happy tears burning in my eyes once or twice, delighted to see Ethan get everything he thought he would never have.

 

As always Posy Roberts gave me characters who felt real. Sure, I wanted to slap Ethan once or twice for allowing his doubts to cloud his mind so very fast, but whether I liked them or not, his thoughts and actions were realistic. Toby was utterly adorable, even if he should have realised the turmoil he was creating for Ethan. In fact, I guess it was the fact that these two men weren’t perfect and did stumble once or twice, that made me like them so much.

 

If you’re in the mood for a Christmas story that will lift your spirits and make you grin hugely, I’d recommend you pick up Analog to Digital asap.

Utterly delightful

The Road To Frosty Hollow - Meredith Russell, R.J. Scott

The Road to Frosty Hollow is such a sweet story; I couldn’t help but read it with a smile on my face from start to finish. Sure, my heart ached at times for the past demons and present fears both Nick and Cameron deal with, but overall I just luxuriated in the comfort of their getting together and the adventures they had along the way.

 

I greatly enjoyed how the authors took my biggest pet peeve when it comes to romances—protagonists not communicating with each other—and turned it into not just a plausible but the only logical story-line. In this story’s context talking to each other, baring their souls and feelings, early on would have been unbelievable. Nick and Cameron haven’t seen each other since they shared one kiss ten years earlier. They had no idea about the feelings they had for each other at the time of the kiss and now they have even less of a clue. While privately they admit to themselves that the attraction they’d felt in the past is possibly even stronger now, they keep that fact to themselves and well hidden. Both of them struggle with unresolved issues, fears and insecurities, and are disinclined to share them. Watching Nick and Cameron as they slowly open up to each other (and themselves), spurred on by the travel plans and challenges Nick’s sister has provided them with, was a pure delight.

 

The journey our two men undertake was fun but I smiled as soon as it became clear Nick and Cameron were about to visit a place I’ve become very fond of over the past few months. I won’t say what place though because I enjoyed the surprise so much I don’t want to deprive others of the same pleasure.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my road-trip with Nick and Cameron and was rooting for them to come together every mile of the way. Sometimes all I want is a relatively angst free, uncomplicated, yet engrossing story, which is exactly what The Road to Frosty Hollow was—utterly delightful.

Mesmerising

Bullet - Garrett Leigh

I have this thing about Garrett Leigh books. I love them, the style of writing works perfectly for me and without fail I connect with her characters. But that’s where it gets complicated, because I connect almost too well with them. These characters get under my skin, claw their way into my heart and demand that I understand their issues, feel their pain…and I do.

 

Levi Ramone in Bullet worked his way into my consciousness slowly but surely. At first he appeared to be a tough and somewhat selfish guy. While his reasons for working in the porn business were selfless and went, as far as I was concerned, well beyond what anyone could expect of him, his approach to the scenes he shot came across as single minded with very little room for consideration for his scene partners. But then, as I got to know Levi better, I discovered his attitude is nothing more (or less) than his unconscious method of protecting himself and his feelings. If he doesn’t let people in, they can’t hurt or betray him. His tough outer shell served to protect his fragile core and it works like a charm until, that is, Sonny.

 

The interactions between Sonny and Levi took the story from raw and at times brutal to touching and beautiful. Despite Levi’s resistance, Sonny manages to slowly break through his defenses and open him up to the possibility that all he has been avoiding and fighting for years might be not only something worth exploring but also something he needs in his life. If I did have an issue with this story it is that I would have loved to spend at least a little time inside Sonny’s head. As much as Levi’s story captivated me and as thrilled as I was to get to know him better and understand his motivations, I never really understood why Sonny wanted to help him even while Levi was almost hostile towards him. Having said that, not getting Sonny’s motives didn’t stop me from loving every single encounter between him Levi.

 

As for those encounters; they were hot. Few things are as erotically charged as a man pushing his boundaries and discovering that he loves what he has been fearing and rejecting for as long as he can remember. Levi’s voyage of discovery as he gets his head and body used to the idea of bottoming was powerful, both on a mental and a physical level, and kept me mesmerized.

 

I read book two and book three in this series some time ago and loved them, which makes it all the more surprising it took me so long to get around to reading Bullet, but I’m delighted I got there eventually. I’m even happier to discover that there’s a fourth book in this series to come in the not too distant future. I’ll have to find the time to re-read book two and three before Brave releases.

Gripping and touching

Just Hear Me - L.A. Witt

I saw the video this short story is based on long before I read the words. Both the video and the blurb tell you everything you need to know about this story, so I won’t go into that.

 

What I do want to say is that this short tale really captivated me. Both men’s despair and pain almost leap off the page to grip you by the throat. It would have been easy to portray Jordan as the villain of this piece; after all, he does desert the man who loves him dearly without saying goodbye or explaining his actions. But Jordan has demons to deal with. How do you choose between a calling and the love of your life when the two are not compatible? How do you throw away all you thought your life would be for something you know the world at large, the church you’re a member of, and your family rejects and sees as an abomination.

 

Darius’s anger is so understandable. Five years have passed since Jordan walked out on him and yet it might as well have been yesterday for how raw Darius’s pain still is. Of course it is exactly because of the depth of the feelings both of them have for each other that their coming together, when it does happen, is such a powerful and memorable moment.

 

This is a short story. We get some background and the feelings both men harbour today, five years after they’ve last seen each other, and we aren’t told anything about what will happen to them after their reunion, although a relationship appears to be on the cards. This could have been frustrating (I wouldn’t be surprised if it is for some readers) but for me it worked because in these few pages L.A. Witt managed to convince me that Darius and Jordan will find their way. I don’t really mind not knowing exactly how they’ll manage that or what form their life together will take, the fact that they are heading that way was enough for me in this tale.

 

This was a gripping short read about two tortured souls coming together after way too much time apart and as such I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hotter than Hot

Limits (Damon & Pete: Playing with Fire Book 4) - Tantalus, Meredith Russell

This is the fourth short story / chapter in Damon and Pete’s story. We’ve followed them as they moved from what could have been a single, very hot and kinky, encounter to discovering that there might be a lot more for the two of them to explore as well as a growing bond between them.

 

In this instalment they take Pete’s introduction into the world of BDSM a long way further. Preparations for and subsequently attending the Folsom Street Fair reveals that Pete’s appetite for submission and kink goes further than Damon could have dreamed it might. As a result, their kinky day out is not just about discovering what Pete’s limits might be, because it turns out that Damon has a limit or two of his own when it comes to his boy.

 

As limits are pushed and feelings deepen it seems that Pete and Damon are on their way to establishing a wonderful dynamic and relationship until a ghost from his past shows up on Damon’s doorstep leaving both the characters and the reader to wonder what this might mean for the fledgling bond between them.

 

So, to start with what for me was the bad news, this story ends on a cliff hanger and I’m not a fan of those. Having said that, as cliff hangers go, this is a good one; I can’t deny it left me on the edge of my seat and very impatient for the next instalment in this tale. I find myself totally invested in Damon and Pete and can’t wait to find out what this latest development will mean for them and how they’ll overcome whatever obstacles they may encounter. Of course, I do need those answers soon (are you listening, author dearest?).

 

If you like your fiction kinky and enjoy stories in which sexy times are the main focus without neglecting feelings and growing affection, I can’t recommend the Playing With Fire stories enough. The characters are intriguing, their interactions fun and extremely hot, and the writing is smooth and a pleasure to read—what’s not to love.

Sweet feel-good story

Of Love and Corn Dogs (Of Love And... Book 1) - Parker Williams, Jae Ashley

Of Love and Corn Dogs is, for the most part, a sweet feel-good story featuring two adorable, be it at times frustrating, protagonists I couldn’t help but fall for.

 

Ricky is such a good guy. He’s nice. He just wants people to be happy, doesn’t appear to have a selfish bone in his body, and charmed me from the moment he appeared on the page.

 

Darwin was a different story. Initially he came across as rather short and stand-offish. Of course the fact that he at first appeared to be rather arrogant made it all the more wonderful when he revealed himself as a thoroughly good and warm-hearted man.

 

I read most of this story with a huge grin on my face as these two men find their way towards each other and in the process brighten each other’s lives. Of course it isn’t all plain sailing and I’ll happily admit to feeling the urge to slap first Darwin and subsequently Ricky for being short-sighted fools and almost destroying what could be. But, I could understand their reasons for doing what they did, even if I didn’t agree with them.

 

This story features quite a few fabulous secondary characters. I adored Henley (Darwin’s chauffeur) and Maria (his cook) but there were others who made me smile. In fact, as I said before, this whole book made me happy. This is a thoroughly enjoyable feel good story and as such it was exactly what I needed during a somewhat sad and difficult personal time. It was impossible to not fall hard for both Ricky and Darwin and root for them from the start. Just as I now find myself very curious about ‘corn dogs’ and longing for a good shake. J

 

In short, I highly recommend this book if you happen to be looking for a story that will make you smile and lift your spirits. In the meantime, I’ll be investigating other solo novels by Parker Williams. I have no doubt I’m in for a happy surprise or two.

Delightful

A Bond of Truth - K.C. Wells

This book was such a delight to read. It had the perfect combination of sweet romance, hot scenes, relationship angst, and suspense to keep me fully entranced and eager to keep on reading.

 

The three men in this story all managed to seduce me as individuals as well as part of their triad. Prince Arrio was such a charming combination of cocky certainty and virginal insecurity he made me smile. Prince Kei on the other hand is mostly an innocent, having been raised in almost complete seclusion. If it wasn’t for the visions he’s had for as long as he can remember, he would have been completely unprepared for what he encounters. As for Dainon, he was my favourite and totally stole my heart. I loved the battles he fought with himself and his feelings. Having to overcome the grief he’d been holding close for long years was difficult enough for this man; coming to terms with the fact that he’s attracted to not one but two much younger men is almost too much for our warrior. But he wouldn’t be the man I came to adore if it hadn’t been for his courage in the face of circumstances he could never have predicted for himself.

 

I think what I loved most about this story was the equality between these three men despite their different backgrounds, upbringing, and expectations. They each had their moments of doubt and insecurity just as each of them had opportunities to shine or take the forefront. And it is exactly because the power dynamic in their developing relationship wasn’t a foregone conclusion or even something set in stone I fully believed in the bond they were forming together. They complimented each other in the best possible way to ultimately form a perfect union together.

 

It was a pure joy to get another glimpse at (now King) Tanish and his husbands Feyar and Sorran and to see them still going strong, still deeply in love and all three equally invested in the life and happiness of their adopted son Arrio. However, while I would certainly recommend you read A Bond of Three before reading A Bond of Truth, I don’t think it is actually necessary. This second book can be read and fully enjoyed as a stand-alone.

 

It won’t surprise anybody when I say that this story contained quite a few extremely hot scenes. The fact that these three men are all experiencing everything they do together for the first time only set the temperature soaring even higher. But, none of it would be as memorable as it is if it wasn’t for K.C. Well’s talent to perfectly combine heat with tender sweetness. Many a happy sigh escaped my lips while reading this book.

 

Finally I have to say that while I fell head over heels for the two triads in this series, I have fallen for the world they live in just and hard. I can only hope the author will decide to visit Teruna again in the not too distant future. Surely there’s another triad to establish?

Favourite in Series so far

Dancing on the Edge - L.M. Somerton

This story is different from the first two in that the two main characters are already in a committed and very close relationship when the story starts. In fact, the reader is almost lured into a false sense of security in the first few chapters of swoon-worthy love and steamy scenes. Alistair and Carey are clearly made for each other and their issue isn’t whether or not they’ll get together but whether they’ll manage to stay together when faced with Alistair’s father who is very determined to not only break them up but also cure his son from his gayness.

 

And that brings me to the second difference between the earlier titles and this one. This book is heavier on the angst and feels than the first two stories were, or maybe it is just that the tension lasts longer. But my heart bled for Carey as he barely manages to keep himself functioning without Alistair. As for poor Alistair; his situation hurt me as much as it infuriated me. To know that there actually are parents who would put their kids through torture as described in this book, that there are people who believe that reversion therapy is actually a viable option, is almost impossible to believe.

 

Mind you, this book isn’t all angst and fear. We get glimpses of all the other characters we’ve come to love in this series as they all work together to save Alistair and see two new relationships starting. And I especially appreciated the emphasis on the strength of submissives in this story.

 

““Carey, who is the stronger in a D/s relationship?”

“The sub”, Carey responded automatically.

“Who holds the power?”

“The sub,” Carey cursed as her realised what Joe was doing.”

 

While this was very much Alistair and Carey’s story, Olly—as always—played a starring role and managed to be both endearing and totally hilarious in the process. In my previous reviews of books in this series I have more than once referenced Olly’s bratty and oh-so funny attitude towards life and submission. I think the time has come to back my words up with an example, even if he does make a valid point.

 

“Olly snorted. “Doms like to think they know best, but half the time they are too blind to see what’s right in front of their alpha-male noses.””

 

While I loved the first two books in this series I have to admit that this one is my favourite so far. For me this story held just about the perfect balance between wonderful love story, hot scenes, angsty moments, and intriguing suspense. I’m so very happy I still have a good few (long and shorter) titles to go in this series. This is, for me, reading delight at its best.