Horizons 4: Chyna Doll by Mickie B. Ashling

Title :  Chyna Doll                Word Count : 90,981

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Lil Lampert’s forty-fifth birthday turns the effervescent architect into a brooding mess, and his partner, Grier Dilorio, takes him to Italy to help him regain his zest for life. The timing is bad—almost-fifteen-year-old Luca has just started high school, and his mother and stepfather are also traveling. Luca is left in the care of Chicago Bear, Clark Stevens, and his partner, Dr. Jody Williams.

Growing up with two dads and two gay uncles has given Luca a unique perspective on gender roles, but not all the answers. He’s had a secret crush on his straight best friend, Chip, for years. Suddenly, Luca finds himself attracted to Chyna, Chip’s twin sister. Now he’s wondering if this means he’s bisexual.

Born with a sexual development disorder, Chyna should have been raised as a male, but due to an epic parenting fail, is being raised as female. Hiding the truth becomes more difficult when Chyna hits puberty, and crushing over Luca adds another element to Chyna’s struggle to fit in.

Is Luca’s moral compass strong enough to guide him successfully through this period of discovery or will he succumb to peer pressure and shatter Chyna’s dreams for happiness?

My Review : Chyna has a big secret, one that can’t be hid if any guy decides to be sexually intimate with her. Chyna could have been Chandler if her parents had ticked the male sex box at her birth. Instead, her mom chose to tick the female sex box.Chyna is intersex, she was born with fallopian tubes, a uterus, a penis and a scrotum. Chyna’s mother decided to assign her a female gender since her sex was ambiguous while her twin brother was undoubtedly male. Also, the mother Lisa really wanted that ideal family of one boy , one girl. 

Chyna really wants a boob job and a doctor to assess her situation so she’ll  know her options. However, her mother shoots down all of her attempts due to the fear that she possibly made a horrible mistake against the advice of medical personnel.  Chyna’s  parents were warned that because of the XY chromosome and the penis,  Chyna is considered biologically and anatomically  male. 

Chyna is 15 and feels like a total freak. She has always felt like a girl, but she doesn’t have the budding breasts like all the other teenage girls. Not to mention,  the tucked penis that keeps on popping boners whenever her brother’s best friend  Luca is around. Luca and her twin Chip has been best friends since they were really young. Chyna has always been the tag along and now she is ready for Luca to see her as more than the  pesky sister.  

Chyna and her mother are constantly at each other’s throats , because of this spiraling problem  which is due to puberty and the fact that the hormone blockers aren’t as effective as before. Chyna’s body has always been ‘medicalized’ in her family. She was taught from an early age that her penis was something to be ‘fixed’, rather than showing her how to live with the body that she was given. Chyna has never really explored that part of her anatomy out of fear that if she jerked off this would make her into a boy. Due to her limited supply of hormone blockers, her body is definitely looking more like the boy that her physiological penis says that she is. Her penis has grown and she definitely has more of a defined treasure trail leading to a very prominent burning bush since she hit puberty.

Throughout it all, her twin  brother Chip has been her rock and he truly hates the turmoil that Chyna is going through. Chip cautions her about entering into a misleading relationship with Luca, as this can lead to more heartbreak for all involved. Chip enlightens Chyna about all the repercussions and loss of stimulus that can result from doing penile reconstruction  surgery. He encourages her to take it for a test drive by masturbating to see if it’s something that she really wants to get rid of. Chip really wants her to explore all her options before she does something so irreversible that can possibly cause her more emotional upheaval. 

One of those options presents itself to Chyna as a modeling career that she is hoping will bring in enough cash to fund her boob job that her mother refuses. When Chyna and Chip gets to the studio, they meet Dan the photographer  and his wife and makeup artist Melinda. The photo shoot is seemless, because of Chyna’s flawless beauty. It is only after they are done, that Chyna realizes that Dan  and Melinda knows her secret. She freaks out, but Melinda calms her down by revealing her own secrets. Dan and Melinda opens Chyna’s eyes to the world of famous androgynous people where models like Andrej Pejic are renowned and able to embrace their true gender identities freely. They leave Chyna with quite a few of her questions answered and a sense of hopefulness that she’s never felt before.

All of that hope comes crashing down on Chyna’s head when she finally gets the doctor’s appointment. The news they receive is worse than they could have imagined. It turns out that their mom has been lying to the whole world to protect her own selfish needs. Lisa has been forging her daughters immunization records for years, causing Chyna and everyone she has ever come in contact with to be at risk for all potential diseases. Lisa has also been lying to her daughter about the hormone blockers. The pills she has been giving Chyna is none other than birth control pills, meaning that Chyna is actually hurtling at full speed to puberty. Chyna is devastated and she now has to accept the actualization that she is anatomically a boy. She decides to set aside all her emotional baggage so she can have one carefree night at the high school dance with Luca. The night starts out beautifully and Luca and Chyna explore their sexual curiosity. They share a first when Chyna gives her boyfriend a lightning quick , extremely hot blowjob. Then everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

Some of Chyna’s high school rivals decide to play a nasty prank on her that causes her secret to be exposed to the world.  The aftermath is horrendous and very traumatic  for everyone involved.  Luca feels like he has been duped and reinforcements are called in the form of his gay dad’s Grier and Lil, who have been on a romantic getaway in Italy to revitalize their marriage. Lil and Grier are able to impart some insight into Chyna’s state of mind and situation,  which helps Luca to see that her deception was most likely not intentional but something that vital for her survival.  Luca forgives Chyna and helps her to come to terms with her body. He lets her know that he supports her wholeheartedly and would not be adverse to having a boyfriend instead of a girlfriend if that’s what she decides to do.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book that was very enlightening to issues surrounding intersex and Transgender sexuality. This is the 4th book in this series and it was great to revisit the relationship between Luca’s fathers Grier and Lil.Their relationship  was becoming lackluster and Lil’s trajectory on his way to becoming fifty was causing depression that was beginning to take a toll on the couple. Their foray into a little bit of lace, leather and toys helped to bring back that spark. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Favorite Quotes : 1. “Perfect,” Lil said, pulling aside the flimsy piece of cloth covering Grier’s ass crack. He speared him with his tongue, making Grier yelp in surprise, and then hunkered down to eat the hell out of his partner’s delectable core. Lil was humming with pleasure, and the vibrations raised goose bumps all over Grier’s body, causing the dark hair on his thighs to bristle with shock. His ass cheeks were being pulled apart, and Lil attacked Grier’s butthole relentlessly, poking through the tight muscle, seemingly determined to turn him into a pleading, wanton wreck.( A little bit of lace on Grier  still gets Lil extremely hot 😉).

2 .“Lil, God that’s good,” Grier huffed from somewhere within the folds of his pillowcase. He moaned and began to tremble when he felt Lil take him in hand from behind, pulling downward in rhythmic strokes while he fucked him forcefully. Lil shifted and withdrew his cock almost to the edge, rubbing over the sensitive skin around Grier’s opening, before slamming back in and grazing his prostate. Grier came with a shout, and ropes of creamy cum shot from his swollen slit while Lil kept on stroking. (Very sensual and primal at the same time.)

3. Chyna didn’t open her eyes but sank down on her knees, suddenly too weak to stand. Moving past her fear, she sneaked a peek and saw how much the organ had expanded underneath her touch. She became more aggressive, experimenting with her strokes. It felt good when she shafted the loose skin up and down. The veiny worm reared up toward her belly, dark pink at the tip and oozing more of the clear liquid. She began tugging faster and faster. Her heart felt like it was going to explode, beating loudly within her ears and making her lose her breath. It was exhilarating and frightening at the same time. She felt hot, wet, and squishy inside and knew she couldn’t stop despite her fear. She finally crested and soared, plummeting downward in a hazy cloud of pleasure she’d never experienced before. Semen spurted out of her, and she watched it coat her fingers. Unfazed, she stuck a finger in her mouth. It was pretty bland, not salty like the clear stuff, but not disgusting either.( Chyna’s explorations are very exhilarating,  because for the first time ever she understands the addiction and wonder of playing with a penis).

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Indiscreet 6: Caden’s Dilemma by A.C. Katt

Title : Caden’s Dilemma          Word Count : 54,000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Masato is a rich sub who has no life, Caden has a life but no money, can Caden get past his pride to be Masato’s Master.

There are only two things that Masato knows—how to write brilliant code and how to fly in subspace. He is rapidly losing control of the company he founded because the CEO he hired is running roughshod over him.

Masato needs someone to help him run his life, his business and the charities he wants to found. He thinks he might have found his Master in Caden. There is one problem, Masato is a billionaire and Caden has more than his fair share of pride. Can Caden get over his pride and help Masato take back control of his life or is Masato doomed to a life of fending off men who only want his money?

My Review :  It is quite clear that all the submissives in ‘club sub’ at the popular BDSM club Indiscreet are quite accomplished young men. So far they have added a psychiatrist,  accountant , business owner among other professions. One of the few paid subs, Masato  is a force to be reckoned with in his own right. Masato designed a very intricate software program at the age of sixteen which allowed him to be a billionaire and retiree at age twenty-two. Masato is on a journey to explore his submissive side at leisure.  He has enjoyed the lifestyle so far for a year, but he still has not found that perfect Dom that pushes all his buttons.

Masato is in a very unusual position due to his extreme wealth, because money tends to shift the power dynamics in any relationship even more so a Dom/sub union. Masato is looking for a  Dom who can  overlook his wealth, while at the same time making all the decisions in their lives and being fiscally smart. He thinks he might have met his perfect match in Caden, the new Director of Security of Indiscreet  and sub Danny’s older brother.  Masato appreciates many of the values he sees displayed in Caden.

Caden is smitten from the first moment he is partnered up with Masato for Danny and Gary’s summertime wedding. Caden appreciates Masato’s submissive nature while at the same time being able to communicate intelligently in any given situation. Masato is well known in the club for being able to take a certain amount of pain . When Caden uses his flogger with knotted roses on Masato , he knows they are close to a perfect match. Masato responds beautifully to Caden’s flogging and is in subspace after the third hit.

Caden is cautioned by Reed to get to know Masato properly for three months before getting too involved.  Reed is aware of Masato’s true identity and has been protecting it from the other club members due to Masato’s extreme wealth and his position as a sub. Only Reed knows that Masato is really Johnny Nguyen,  billionaire.

Masato has a few sleepovers at Caden’s but things get dicey due to him having to hide his wealth. He steers clear of his home and tries to hide his limousine and driver. Masato is very worried how his omission will affect his relationship that is beginning to mean everything to him. After he is invited to the sub club weekly teatime, he starts opening up to the other subs who he realizes are great friends and allies. They advise him as best as they can when he dicloses his secret. Danny warns Masato that his brother will be upset and he will see this ommission as a lie.

Masato builds up the courage and decides to tell the man who he loves the whole truth. He invites Caden to his home. When Caden gets to the house , he realized there was something off about Masato. Caden is furious when Masato exposes his true identity and storms out without giving him a chance to explain. Masato is devastated as the thing he feared the most has come to pass. Once again he is rejected because of someone not being able to look beyond his wealth. He is left to pick up the shattered pieces of his heart. The sub club are called in and they support and embrace Johnny in solace shedding their tears right alongside him and making their masters lives hell.

Caden understands the full weight of what he has done when he sees the masters the next day. All the masters are furious with Caden and they let him know in no uncertain terms where he can stuff his pride. Bear and Gary hate to see their mates crying,  Cisco is deprived of his breakfast, Bull can’t find anything in his house and Reed’s life is definitely not running smooth because Jim is on the warpath. Caden gets a taste of the subs wrath and quickly realized that they are the ones in charge. When they are upset and commiserating with tears at Johnny’s plight, everything is turned upside down in their masters lives.

Johnny refuses all  of Caden’s attempts at an apology and gives him the cold shoulder.  It takes a fire at Johnny’s house and being hurt to make them both see what they almost lost. Caden sets his pride aside and takes charge as soon as he gets to the hospital by dealing with Johnny’s affairs. Johnny acknowledges the changes in Caden seeing for the first time that Caden truly loves him despite his pride. Caden and Johnny can’t wait to start their lives as master and sub properly. They have a bedside wedding while Johnny convalesces. I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try.

Loving an Absent-minded Astrophysicist by TN Tarrant

Title : Loving an Absent-minded Astrophysicist

Word Count :78,930   Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : At twenty-three, Dr. Liam McGregor is a well-respected astrophysicist, astrobiologist, and geologist. With no family, few friends, and no romantic prospects, he’s used to being alone. Focusing on his various scientific projects and taking care of his decidedly unusual cat help keep the loneliness at bay.

Jareth Manning is starting life over—new town, new job—after the loss of his husband. The last thing he expects is for the most absentminded, and beautiful, man he’s ever seen to take up residence in his heart. Nor did he expect to find himself a willingly humble slave to Her Imperial Highness, Empress the Cat. But Jareth has learned that love doesn’t come around often and to hold on to it when it does. Jareth is willing to be patient if Liam is willing to take a risk after being burned before. They just have to survive Liam’s past returning.

Eight years after Liam and Jareth marry, they want a child. Things don’t go well when they try to adopt, with terrible accusations thrown at Jareth. After recovering, they proceed with a private adoption, bringing home a beautiful little girl, Carinae. Then things get ugly, endangering not only Liam’s life, but Carinae’s.

My Review :  Liam is a prodigy in his areas of expertise which includes astrophysics,  astrobiology and geology. The twenty-three year old is brilliant,  but he is very accident prone because he is always too busy reading or too deep in his thoughts while walking. Liam is a shy, slightly pudgy, socially awkward  little geek who has never truly been appreciated by anyone in his life. From the first moment,  Jareth, head of security of the company sees Liam’s bruises a wave of anger comes over him that someone could hurt such a beautiful soul. He talks to his bosses about this and they explain to him that most of those bruises are self inflicted due to Liam being absent-minded.

After Liam is attacked by a former colleague,  Jareth has the pleasure of taking him to the hospital in the ambulance. Liam begs Jareth to take care of his precious cat Empress. It is not long before both Liam and Empress become an important part of Jareth’s life. Jareth makes his interest in Liam known, and even though Liam is skeptical of his feelings , he soon sees the truth. Jareth courts Liam properly without rushing things in the sex department when he realize how inexperienced Liam is. He has a lot  of repair to do to Liam’s self esteem due to his previous ex boyfriend’s careless words. 

With patience and perseverance,  Jareth communicates his feelings for Liam constantly. When Jareth takes a shot that was meant for  Liam, Liam sees how close he came to losing the best thing in his life. Their relationship progressed seemlessly after that incident and Liam found it easier than he expected to open  up to Jareth telling him how much he loved him. Jareth proposed and Liam was extremely happy to accept.

As the story goes on, it jumps six years into wedded bliss when things start going to hell. Jareth’s brother and his wife just had twin’s and after experiencing the joys of newborn babies, it gets them thinking. They both agree that they wanted the fulfillment that a child could bring to their lives.  Jareth and Liam starts looking into adoption,  but they get turned down numerous times on the suspicion of domestic abuse. 

After one to many visits to the ER for all his accidents, a homophobic police officer decides to point the finger at Jareth for abusing Liam.  Officer Metcalf  continues to slander and even tries to arrest Jareth, contrary to what he is told by hospital personnel who knows Liam’s track record for being accident prone. Liam starts losing weight and becomes very sick. When he starts puking blood, Jareth is  rushing him to the hospital when he is stopped by no other than Officer Metcalf. There is an altercation between  Officer Metcalf and his  rookie partner  when she questions him on probable cause for stopping Jareth. Officer Metcalf ends up shooting his partner and Jareth shoots him as a way of saving her life.

When everything is sorted out , it’s brought to Jareth’s attention that Officer Metcalf was sending false information to the adoption agencies and this was one of the main reasons they were denied. They decide to get Liam well who was suffering from a punctured ulcer and try again when everything is settled. After about a year , Liam and Jareth welcomes their beautiful daughter Carinae. They legally adopted her from a college student who was dumped by her boyfriend after hearing about the pregnancy. They took care of all her medical bills  and allowed her to be a part of Carinae’s life as an honorary aunt.

Little did they know that their problems were just beginning. When the biological mother dies in a car accident,  the boyfriend and grandmother brings kidnapping charges against Jareth snd Liam. They end up in family court and after the rigmarole of a trial, the charges are dismissed and they retain full custody of their little cherub.  Upon leaving the courthouse, Liam is shot several times by the biological grandmother.  Jareth shoots to kill as soon as he realized what’s happened. 

Jareth is devastated when his sweet Liam stops breathing a few times over the course of the surgery. After a few days of being hooked up to ventilators,  Liam finally regains consciousness. This was such an emotional moment seeing the strong Jareth falling to pieces. He is overjoyed that his sweet husband has made it through.

I really liked this story because it doesn’t just end after their happily ever after.  It continues on almost 15 years into their married life showing all their joys and pitfalls. At times I thought the saga with the police was a little over the top and the attempts on their life was a little much, seeing as how they were supposed to be regular Joes. Overall,  I really enjoyed seeing this couple blossom from their first date to becoming full bloom into married life. I loved the chemistry between Jareth and his sweet, shy , accident prone Liam who he loves unconditionally and how he never lost patience. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Gemini by Clancy Nacht & Thursday Euclid

Title :  Gemini                          Word Count : 67,865

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Cass Manning is a serial monogamist, grad student, and identical twin to Paul, a drug-addicted prostitute. Fleeing his unfaithful boyfriend, Cass returns to Houston after years away only to be drawn into danger before he’s out of the airport.

When Paul dies under suspicious circumstances, Cass must rely on one of Paul’s clients, Kilo, a mercenary willing to protect Cass in exchange for sex. Together they have a chance to bring justice to the corrupt heart of Texas’s political power structure, but Kilo’s mysterious past may tear him from Cass when he needs him most. Even if they outlive their untouchable adversaries, how does a polite academic find lasting love with a soldier of fortune?

My Review : Kilo the mercenary and Cass the scholar met at a very turbulent time in Cass’s life. Cass runs away from England after finding his boyfriend having sex with his female best friend.  After he steps off the plane, Cass is accosted in the airport’s washroom  by someone who calls him by his twin’s name. Cass runs off to warn his brother about the incident. What he is faced with when he sees his twin brother is a washed up mirror image of himself. His twin brother Paul is a belligerent junkie prostitute who seems to have an axe to grind with Cass. Feeling nostalgic and very lonely, Cass reaches out to Paul trying to reclaim the closeness that they once had in utero. Paul is very messed up and seems to be embroiled in some life threatening drama. 

Paul seems frightened and  calls the only person he knows who can  protect him, Kilo. Kilo is one of his clients who is also a hired mercenary. Paul decides he needs a hit of heroin before he can explain the situation to Cass. It is very unfortunate that as soon as the heroin reaches his veins, he starts having convulsions and dies in his brother’s arms. Cass is paralyzed with fear until he hears a banging on the front door.  Before he can get to it, the door opens and their stands this sexy dangerous stranger who is none other than Kilo. 

Kilo scoops Cass up in his arms and before he can grasp what is happening,  they are in a liplock so scorching, all he can do is feel. Kilo sets Cass’s blood on fire and he doesn’t try very hard to resist. He is at the lowest point in his life after so much loss and he really needs the passion to make him feel alive again. Kilo is rough and crude and treats him like the experienced prostitute that he thinks he’s dealing with. It’s exactly what Cass needs, something different that he’s never had before, a walk on the wild side.

They enter in a bargain where the use of Cass’s body offers him Kilo’s protection. It soon turns into more when they embark on dangerous missions to find out the truth about Paul’s death and to maintain Cass’s safety. Coming together for them is a meeting of two lonely, desperate souls. Cass pushes and prods until he sparks certain emotions in Kilo that has long been buried.

Cass and Kilo have a symbiotic relationship where they affirm their need body and soul for each other. The plot thickens and they realize they might be in over their head. The truth leads them to government corruption and ghosts from Kilo’s past collides with the nightmare within which Cass is embroiled. There are life threatening scenarios where Cass has to be the aggressor and do unspeakable things to protect the new love of his life. Cass knows that Kilo is well worth it. A new identity is reborned for Kilo where he can embrace the pure , innocent, intoxicating love that Cass has bestowed upon him. This was a well written,  intriguing storyline that had me on  the edge all the way to the end. The chemistry between Kilo and Cass was extremely volatile and explosive. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. His straining legs trembled in the confined space, and his lungs burned for oxygen. He shuddered and tapped Kilo’s side frantically. Kilo kept sucking, lips moving swift and determined along Cass’s shaft as he pulled his cock from Cass’s mouth. One of Kilo’s legs shifted, knee pinning Cass’s chest. He took Cass deep into his throat, sucking like his life depended on it. Cass hit him again, one last warning, but he couldn’t hold back. He filled Kilo’s mouth, hips jerking helplessly as Kilo’s fingers milked Cass from the inside to force out every drop in Cass’s body. Kilo’s guttural moan as he swallowed was almost as satisfying as release itself. (We don’t always know what we can handle sexually,  until the right person comes along and pushes our boundaries.  I would definitely let Kilo push my boundaries. I’m a sucker for bad boys 😉.)

2.A moment later, Kilo’s entire frame convulsed above Cass. His meaty cock twitched in Cass’s hand, pulsing as semen shot from its tip. Cass shut his eyes as he had in the alley and aimed Kilo’s cock to spend all over his face. Rain dripped down his cheeks and chin, and he basked in the warmth as it dribbled over his lips and down his neck. Cass tried to control his breathing, but he couldn’t still his trembling and twitching. Once the bliss faded and he began to recover, Kilo turned and kissed away his cum, cleaning Cass’s skin tenderly. Only then did Cass open his eyes and process what they’d done.( Sex can get messy, the messier the better 😉.)

3. When Kilo turned Cass around, he could process only the chill of his neglected erection. Then Kilo pried his cheeks apart and gently nibbled Cass’s opening. It felt experimental at first—quick, darting flicks of tongue and soft little kisses. Then Kilo shoved his entire face hard against Cass’s ass and forced him open with his tongue. Cass grabbed the sink for balance and spread his legs, giving Kilo room to move. No one had ever done this to Cass; he’d never even asked. Bliss overwhelmed his embarrassment. (Kilo opens up a new world of sexual delights for the sweet innocent Cass.)

4. Cass spit on his fingers and reached behind him. He brought up one leg and eased a finger inside, biting his lip as he tried to relax. The position was awkward and he was sore, but Kilo’s lusty gaze motivated him. Cass added another finger, closing his eyes as he eased onto it…… Kilo spread Cass’s cheeks and worked his tongue around Cass’s fingers. It felt dirty, but Kilo treated instincts as pure, natural instead of wrong. When Cass was with him, it was hard to remember why he’d ever thought otherwise. (Cass has become enlightened and is now embracing his sexual side with great pleasure.)

A Dragon’s Treasure 1: Cody’s Dragon by K.M. Mahoney

Title :  Cody’s Dragon              Word Count : 63,533

Genre : Paranormal Gay Romance

Blurb : How far is Cody willing to go to keep his dragon?

Kirit is lonely and he’s sick of coming home from the king’s assignments to a cold, empty cave. After searching for years for a mate, Kirit decides it’s time to try a new approach. Against the advice of all his friends, he heads for the human side of the world. There he finds Cody, and the man is everything he could ever want. It takes a little bit of persuasion, but he manages to talk Cody into coming back with him to Faerie.

Within a week of arriving, Cody is beginning to rethink his impulsive decision. He’s trekked across more terrain than he would care to remember, been summoned to meet a king, and flown on a dragon—not an experience he’s willing to repeat anytime soon. Kirit’s growly possessiveness is starting to wear on his nerves, and the unexpected hostility he encounters at the palace is almost enough to make him give up.

But Cody is stubborn. He may not be willing to admit it out loud, but Kirit has got under his skin. He may even, shockingly enough, love the big guy.

Now Cody has to decide what he’s willing to do to keep the man of his dreams.

My Review : Kirit comes from a race called Draak, they are fire breathing warrior  dragons who guard the land beyond the veil. For centuries,  Kirit has waited for his mate to come along to no avail. He is lonely and desperate enough to believe that maybe his mate is not in the land of Faerie. He takes a trip over to the human realm to see if he can find his mate. Kirit seeks the help of Harper, a witch who gives him a list of clubs to check out. At first he doesn’t succeed,  largely in part to his defective sense of smell. Dragons are usually born with the propensity to smell their mates. The sex is off the chain and dragons get hugely possessive over their treasure.

Kirit is on his way to his hotel room when he sees a tiny figure huddled by a dumpster. As soon as he touches  Cody, Kirit has an idea it’s his mate. Cody is a rent boy so he willingly goes to the hotel with Kirit telling him his prices. Kirit is  extremely confused and very jealous that other men have touched his mate. The sex between them is explosive and leaves them both longing and eagerly awaiting a stronger emotional connection.

Cody finds his grumpy dragon a little overbearing at times, but when he thinks about his life he realized that there is nothing to hold him on earth. When he gets to Faerie,  he is definitely popular  due to his title as dragon-mate. He is welcomed into the clutch of dragons where mates are really precious to their race. The dragons haven’t seen a mate in a very long time. 

Kirit and Cody are summoned to the King’s castle before they can go home to their cave. All is not harmonious in the castle and not everyone welcomes a human.  When the ominous threat makes its presence known, the big bad Kirit is there to protect his mate. Cody becomes increasingly unhappy and Kirit becomes exceedingly restless. They get some great advice from their clutch of dragons. It allows them to see that they have something very rare and precious that needs protecting.Cody with his fiery personality decides to kick some ass. In the end, their love prevailed and vanquished all the unhappiness surrounding their joyous union. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. The thick shaft slid into his throat and he held Kirit there for long seconds, breathing through his nose, before swallowing. Kirit bucked, his roar deafening. The taut muscles under Cody’s body tightened, giving him just enough warning to pull back a bit. Warm spunk hit his tongue and Cody continued to swallow, sucking Kirit through his release and beyond. (Cody is so tactile  and very exuberant in pleasuring his mate. Super sexy!!!)

2. Cody shoved Kirit’s hand away and rose up on his knees. He held the base of Kirit’s cock, and the grip had Kirit moaning in need. Then, in one swift motion, Cody slid down, enveloping Kirit in heaven. It was smooth and effortless, then Cody’s ass was resting against Kirit’s groin. “Oh, mate. So good. Move. Please.” Kirit wasn’t too proud to beg, not with Cody holding him so close that he could feel his mate’s heartbeat. Cody held the intimate embrace, tightening his muscles in a delicious taunt. Kirit growled, at the end of his tether. Cody laughed. Using Kirit’s shoulders for balance, he rose, almost pulling off Kirit’s cock before sinking back down. He began a swift, pounding tempo. Kirit could do little but hold on and let his mate control the sex. ( It’s fun to see the smaller mate in charge, controlling the outcome for them both. Big sexy dragons are super hot 😉.)

3. Cody didn’t offer any protest when Kirit retrieved a cloth and another bottle. He took great pleasure in scrubbing every inch of pale skin within reach. Then he made Cody stand and paid particular attention to Cody’s smooth balls and now-limp cock. He kept his grip light, knowing how sensitive the skin would be. When he finished his inspection, he turned Cody around and, just as gently, cleaned out the red and swollen hole that still bore his seed. He regretted having to wipe it away, but his mate’s comfort came first. He could console himself with the thought that his scent would linger. ( Such a caring move from the big bad dragon. I love a man who takes care of all his partner’s needs.)

The Next Call by Sue Brown

Title : The Next Call                 Word Count : 44,470

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Mark Grayson volunteers for an LGBT helpline, the same one that helped him through his teenage years. One day he takes a call from “Ricky,” a suicidal man being forced into a marriage he doesn’t want. For weeks Mark talks to Ricky and provides support, but he’s frustrated by the lack of information Ricky provides and the decisions he’s making. In the meantime, Mark starts a relationship with another volunteer. Then tragedy strikes and Mark takes time away from the helpline, but when he comes back, Ricky is waiting. Mark realizes Ricky is stronger than before and their relationship changes, but Mark isn’t sure what their future holds if their relationship is destined to be at the end of the phone.

My Review :  Death is something that I don’t think you can ever really prepare for, whether it’s your own or the loss of a loved one. Actually,  it is quite unnatural to be prepared for death. There is an innate instinct in all of us to fight to the last breath or to hold on close to the ones we love in crisis. At the LGBTQ hotline where Mark answers the phones, he is faced with talking people down off the ledge figuratively or real on a daily basis. Mark is always the friendly voice of reason that reaches out to these young men to save their lives in some way. His boyfriend Ian works at the hotline as well as being a busy  nurse at the hospital. After one too many complaints about headaches, Mark urges Ian to get it checked out. Before he can even follow through  on the advice from Mark, Ian drops dead at work from a brain aneurysm. Mark is grief stricken and devastated for the broken promise of their new found love.

 His pseudo family and friends at the hotline help him in his time of grief. He takes some time off to process the change in his life. Eventually,  he gets back into the swing of things but he withdraws within himself.  One of the men that he talks to through the hotline is Ricky. Ricky is very hesitant to share any information about himself.  All Mark knows is that Ricky is leading a double life, he has a wife and he is famous but he can’t risk his career by coming out. Ricky only  wants to talk to Mark, he just wants that one person with whom he can totally be himself. Mark and Ricky become really close and they form a friendship that causes Mark to break protocol and give Ricky his personal phone number. They talk a couple of times per week and these talks really rejuvenates both of them.  It is a getaway from the quagmire that is Ricky’s life and it renews Mark’s spirit so that he can see that there is light beyond death. These talks soon turn into sexy time for both of them. They give into their needs and burn up the lines with steamy phone sex. Hot,  hot , hot.

Mark is conflicted with the three men in his life and in his head: his  boyfriend past, present  and future . He is constantly bogged down after having conversations with his cheating ex Tam. He is stuck in the present with thoughts of what could have been a beautiful relationship with his dead lover Ian. Most importantly, Mark is realizing how attached he has become to Ricky, someone who is becoming so important to him, someone who he’s never met, someone who has no plans to leave his wife and live as a gay man.He wonders if he could have a relationship with someone who is as deep in the closet as Ricky, could this be his future?

Ricky finally gets tired of his situation and decides to give it all up, to just have a chance at a normal life. He really wants to explore and see what it would be like to have a relationship with Mark for whom he’s developed strong  feelings.  Ricky’s anonymity explodes when Mark starts putting the pieces together and realize he has been talking to Dicky Lomax a famous football player all along. Mark stands by him throughout it all and he’s there to catch him when he falls and his social life comes tumbling down around his ears. I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try.   

The Price of Falling by Melanie Tushmore

Title :  The Price of Falling          Word Count : 81,000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Mike Miller thought he was an average high school student. Your all-American, football playing, middle class kid. He didn’t mind being normal and fitting in, until new student Jason Reilly showed up. What was it about Jason that was so magnetic? Surely he shouldn’t be feeling things for another guy?

As Mike slowly starts to ignore everything else in his world, he finds not everything about Jason is what it seems. When he discovers Jason will do anything for cold hard cash, he enters in an agreement that could leave him broke for life.

A tentative story of discovery following the lives of two unlikely lovers.

My Review : What starts out as an indecent proposal  slowly turns into more. When Jock  Mike Miller  first meets the new kid in his class Jason, he is enthralled by his  beauty. There is just some nameless emotion that draws him closer. Mike builds up his courage when he notices a trend of Jason getting into different cars with older men. He propositions Jason , a blowjob for money. Jason accepts, even though it seems as if he wants nothing more to do with the Jock outside of their transactions. Mike falls deeper under Jason’s spells the more time they spend together. Mike always has to gauge Jason’s mood, he seems to come with a lot of baggage and he’s perpetually angry. 

Jason is very manipulative and Mike becomes a slave to his needs. Jason holds him by his short hairs and uses his  body as a weapon against him.Their relationship is very one-sided and Jason gives very little, while Mike uses up most of his college fund for his sexual escapades. Their affair seems so cold and pathetic at times and Mike just allows Jason to take advantage of him.

Things came to a head when  Mike gets tired of being a doormat. He questions Jason about their relationship,  demanding that Jason define it.As usual Jason is very nonchalant and this angers Mike to the point where he gets physical, knocking the juice Jason was holding out of his hand. When Mike saw the fear in Jason’s eyes he felt lower than dirt, knowing that he had crossed over into an unforgivable  territory. Mike does his best to try patching things between them. They are in the middle of having make-up sex when Mike’s dad unexpectedly comes home and catches them in the act.  Mike’s conservative father turns into a bigot right in front of his eyes, calling him all types of unsavoury names. Mike’s dad basically  banished him from their home , pulling him out of school and sending him off to live with one of his business partners. 

 Mike is ostracized from his family and friends, all but his sister Alicia who loves him unconditionally. Mike is incredibly  lonely and shell-shocked. Blake becomes a pseudo-father for him and it is with his encouragement and love that Mike regains some of his self-esteem and grow into the man he was meant to be. Mike supresses a major part of himself and even starts dating women in the hopes of gaining his father’s acceptance. When he finally sees his father for the first time, in over two years since he’s been banished,  Mike comes to the realization that his father still sees him as a disappointment and is not willing to overlook his sexuality. Mike becomes truly angry and decides to not try gaining his father’s acceptance and love anymore.

It is really sad to see how one decision can ricochet and cause so many wasted lives. It always boggles my mind to see how some parents can be so intolerable to their own flesh and blood’s sexual preferences. Their self serving attitude has such a diliterious effect on all their lives and causes so much much pain and suffering to all involved. 

It takes Mike four years to finally get out of his slump and admit to himself that he is gay.  He plays around with a few guys and feels reborned and exhilarated for having these experiences. It seems , he is finally living again when  he is reminded how short life can be. Mike gets a call saying that his father has had a massive stroke. His family is turned upside down when it seems as if his dad might not recover successfully. In her grief, Mike’s sister who has stood by him through thick and thin admits to something horrible she did when he got sent away. Alicia has hidden letters that she had gotten from Jason to pass on to Mike saying how sorry he was. Jason went as far as giving her most of the college fund which Mike had given him as payment for sexual favors. 

Mike is furious and he searches hard to see if he can put the pieces of his life back together.  When he finds Jason,  he is devastated at his condition.  Jason has become a heroin addict who is in pretty bad shape. Mike tries to salvage things  by placing Jason in a facility,  to see if he can  recover the Jason he once knew. Just as he thinks he will be able to revisit his life and reclaim what was once lost, Jason runs away from the rehab facility. Mike is at his wits end, but he keeps doing all he can nonetheless. When Jason is found  Mike goes to him and begs him to come home with him to New York . After a lot of back and forth , Jason relents.

All is definitely not smooth sailing for their tentative relationship.  Being a recovering addict, Jason is often moody, sullen and extremely rude. Jason is like a recalcitrant child at the best of times. The dynamics in the house with Jason , Mike and Mike’s sister is definitely tense. Mike is caught in between the two people he loves the most and theydefinitely make it clear that they hate each other. Alicia decides that three is a crowd and moves out for the betterment of their relationship.

 I am a firm believer in the fact that we don’t choose who we love and the heart wants what the heart wants,  no matter how devastating that love might be for us at times. The heart’s resiliency can be very potent and allows us to carry on through anything. It bounces back from all unforgivable occurences over time. They say that time heals all wounds and that is definitely true in this case. Mike and Jason eventually gets to a point where they have a healthy relationship with the normal ups and downs of everyday life. This is truly a coming of age story and it spans quite a few years. It is a journey in young love that eventually culminates in an everlasting love that withstands all the pitfalls of life. I give this my ratings of 4 –  because of the perseverance and resiliency of a love that had many obstacles thrown in its path.