Straight Guys 1: Just a Bit Twisted by Alessandra Hazard

Title : Just a Bit Twisted       Word Count : 31,000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Just a Bit Twisted (Straight Guys) by Alessandra Hazard – Romance>Contemporary

Professor Derek Rutledge is hated and feared by all of his students. Strict, reserved and ruthless, he doesn’t tolerate mistakes and has little patience for his students.

Shawn Wyatt is a twenty-year-old struggling to provide for his younger sisters after the death of their parents. On the verge of losing his scholarship, Shawn becomes desperate enough to go to Professor Rutledge.

Everyone says Rutledge doesn’t have a heart. Everyone says he’s a ruthless bastard. Shawn finds out that everyone is right. He strikes a deal with Rutledge, but unexpectedly, the deal turns into something so much more.

Something all-consuming and addictive. Something neither of them wants.

My Review : The “hot for teacher” trope has been so overdone and oftentimes in a very tawdry way without any substance. I have put this novel off for so long , because of those preconceived notions. To my surprise, this one was very different, it was definitely intriguing.  

Shawn is a student who has a lot of familial burdens on his shoulders.  He is taking care of his 4 yr old twin sisters, after they have all been left orphaned by his parents deaths. He is struggling and failing to meet the academic requirements of maintaining his scholarship. This is due to the fact that he is working two jobs and is still hardly able to make ends meet, pay the babysitter and put food in their bellies. Things are looking quite dismal and almost hopeless. Shawn is extremely shocked when his friend Christian tells him he can butter up one of the professors by flirting with him. Shawn dismisses the idea since he is totally straight.  However,  the tides start changing when he goes to talk to Professor Derek Rutledge. 

Professor Rutledge is young but he is seen as a very hard taskmaster.  He comes off as very austere and doesn’t suffer fools in his class. When Shawn approaches him about his grades, he is very uncompromising about changing them. Rutledge doesn’t believe that Shawn deserves a second chance. Shawn is desperate so he takes Christian’s advice and offers himself on a platter. However,  Shawn is definitely not a  sacrificial lamb, he comes off as cocky even though he is  not sure what to do as he has never been with a man. Although it goes against everything he believes in, Rutledge takes what is being offered because he is attracted to Shawn. Their first time together is unforgettable and this leaves Professor  Rutledge wanting more.

Their chemistry undoubtedly changes their relationship.  They are very antagonistic towards each other with undertones of lust seeping through. Rutledge offers Shawn $3000 to be at his disposal and although he is resistant Shawn has a hard time passing up an opportunity that will surely help his family. Shawn realizes that he is not totally averse to Rutledge advances, even though he is not willing to admit that outright. 

There is a turning point in their relationship when a family emergency forces Rutledge to go home to his estranged family after 15 years. He sweetens the deal further by adding another $3000 for having Shawn accompany him to his father’s estate.  Shawn agrees to go with him, only on the condition that his siblings will get to tag along. Shawn embraces the beauty of his little poor family, when compared to the atrocious way Rutledge is treated by his family. Shawn finds himself understanding why Rutledge is the way he is and decides to show a supportive front and comes to the defense of his ‘lover’. Their intimacy doesn’t last for long after Rutledge tries to pay Shawn after a night of passion leads him to taking his virginity.

Shawn is very disappointed that Rutledge views their night together so inconsequential and breaks off their arrangement  .Things go from bad to worse when they get back to their normal lives. Rutledge treats Shawn with veiled contempt and rumours are starting about their association.  Things come to a head, when Rutledge sees Shawn with his cousin Sage’s boyfriend. He mistakenly thinks that Xavier is Shawn’s new lover and gets incredibly jealous. These cracks in his normally inscrutable facade leads Shawn to giving him another chance. They fall into a pattern which could be deemed as combative rather than antagonistic.  It is fun to watch these two strong willed men navigate the quagmire of their undefined relationship. Rutledge becomes a  stable fixture in Shawn’s life and it soon becomes clear that Shawn is very much in love with his arrogant lover. Rutledge is certainly not immune to Shawn’s  charms and finally asked him to move in with him.I really enjoyed this installment of this series and I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. Rutledge’s tongue pressed forward, tracing around his hole before giving it a long lick, and Shawn moaned, his thighs spreading wider of their own volition. Christ, nothing should feel this good.  Soft, and slick, he felt Rutledge’s tongue licking him, lapping at his hole with abandon. Then Rutledge’s thumbs held him open to the assault.  Fuck. Rutledge’s tongue worked into him slowly, pointing and giving soft jabs at his center, parting the muscle, coaxing it to relax, sliding inside. Eating him out. So filthy, so wrong, but Shawn made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a sob, rutting against the mattress, his cock rock hard and throbbing.  “More,” he gasped, shifting his body until he was on his knees, legs spread and head hung low.  The stubble on Rutledge’s face scratched the soft flesh of his buttocks, intensifying the sensations and reminding him once again that it was a man licking his hole. It was his professor eating him out. ( This was so raw and so illicit. I loved it 😆. )

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Straight Boy by Alessandra Hazard

Title :  Straight Boy             Word Count : 12,500

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Young, blond and handsome, Sage attracts unwanted attention in prison. When his cellmate offers him protection, Sage accepts the offer, even though he doesn’t trust the guy. Little does he know how much it will change his life.

When he’s released from prison, Sage finds himself needing and wanting things he shouldn’t want. Sage is straight. He is. He has a girlfriend. What happened in prison stayed in prison—or so Sage tells himself.

Until he meets his former cellmate again. Xavier. The guy he hates and craves.

My Review : This is a prequel to a series I’m planning to delve into. Like so many people, Sage makes a life altering mistake. He drinks too much one night and unwittingly kills someone. He gets a year in prison and from the first moment he gets a rude awakening from his cell mate. Xavier explains to him how things are going to be from the get go, he is going to get his ass and in return Sage will get his protection.  Sage is very resistant at first, hanging on to all his claims that he is straight and proclaims he has a girlfriend. Xavier eases Sage into things by being dominant and firm without being forceful. He likes the challenge of taming the straight boy and he is oh so eager to wait until Sage will beg for it. When that day finally comes Sage truly becomes Xavier’s bitch and even though he is humiliated to say , he loves it and thrives on being used by Xavier. 

When Sage is finally released he finds it very hard to adjust to his previous life. Sex with his girlfriend Laura has become nonexistent.  She pushes him to see a therapist and when he goes, he tells it all. He is definitely shocked when he runs into Xavier in a secluded park and he can’t help himself from being reeled in by the power of his dominance.  Sage  kneels and worships Xavier. He has feelings of shame and confusion, but most of all he realizes what has been missing from his life. He tries to hold on to his claims that he is straight, but Sage acknowledges that maybe he is a bit bent for Xavier after all. He tells his girlfriend the truth and she dumps him. When he sees Xavier again, it is free reign for both their lust. Xavier stakes his own claim on Sage, letting him know that he is definitely not willing to share. This was a great little quickie and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Tales from the Edge 1: Reaching the Edge by L. M. Somerton

Title : Reaching the Edge            Word Count : 40,638
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : When you reach the edge, you can’t avoid taking a leap of faith.

Joe Dexter leads a complicated life. In one world he is a consultant criminal psychologist—in another he runs The Edge, a successful corporate training company. He’s also an active Dom in the London BDSM scene.

A social call to The Underground, a club owned by an old friend, turns into much more when Joe is introduced to a prospective sub. Falling hard for the boy’s tumbling blonde curls, huge blue eyes and desperate need for protection, Joe carefully coaxes him out of his shell. By the end of an intense weekend, unbreakable bonds have been forged and Joe is well on the way to becoming Olly’s Master.

Joe knows that there is trauma in Olly’s past, but it is not until his professional and private lives collide that Joe discovers the truth. He knows he shouldn’t have let Olly out of his sight but it’s too late—Olly’s old Master is back on the scene and he’s not in the mood to forgive and forget.

With Olly’s life on the line, Joe risks everything to save him. Has Joe found his perfect submissive only to lose him in a horrible twist of fate, or will love win the day? They’ve reached the edge and there’s no avoiding a leap of faith.

My Review : Joe Dexter is a Dominant who leads a very busy life. He is a criminal psychologist who is also trying to run his up and coming company the Edge. Being deep in the lifestyle, his company is near and dear to his heart because the Edge is where newly minted Dominants do their training to learn about their submissives. Joe is ready to take the next step in collaring a submissive. There is only one problem, he is still searching for that ‘perfect one’. He finds the perfect one in Olly.

Olly has been mentally scarred by a vicious assault that took place when he was taken hostage in a prison he worked at . He was brutalized and tortured by some of the inmates. Moreover, he was rebuffed and dumped by his previous master Mark when he needed him most. Olly is trying to heal and pick up the pieces of his life. He doesn’t know that he needs a Dom until he sets eyes on Joe. Joe looks like the perfect dominant for him. He is strong without being too abrasive while being gentle and kind at the same time. They fall into a seemlessly perfect dom/sub relationship and Joe does his best to keep it at a pace that safeguards his precious Olly.

Olly has definitely not been downtrodden by the events of the past. He maintains a precocious innocence that goes well with his angelic blond curls. Olly is so open to starting something new with this kind dominant man who he hopes will become his master. However, trouble comes in the form of his old master Mark who is dead set on renewing his relationship with Olly.

It soon becomes clear the sinister bastard hiding behind Mark’s facade when he succeeds in kidnapping Olly. He is adamant about carrying out his nefarious plans, but his plans are foiled by Joe and his friends Heath and Carey who rides to the rescue of sweet Olly. Joe goes into protective papa bear mode and he wastes no time in revealing his love for Olly.

Their love was quick , but it was a deep abiding love and a connection between two lost souls in need of the same thing. They complimented each other very well. Olly’s playfulness needed a firm hand which is what he got from Joe who is all so willing to paddle that sweet derriere. Their sexual chemistry was very strong and led to some very hot sexiness. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Guns N’ Boys 2 : Homicidal Instinct by K.A. Merikan

Title : Guns N Boys : Homicidal Instinct  Word Count : 268pg Genre : Dark Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Seth wants is to live free with the man he loves. But escaping death at the hands of the mafia is just the beginning of an uphill struggle. When Domenico wakes up from his impromptu surgery and doesn’t even remember Seth’s name, Seth’s world falls apart. Suddenly it’s him who has to plan an escape from New York City and navigate their way to Mexico. All that without even knowing if the man of his life will ever love him again.

Domenico doesn’t know who to trust and what to believe. The man who introduces himself as his brother seems to hide dark secrets behind a cheerful smile. With the mafia breathing down their necks, there is no time to piece together the puzzle of Domenico’s life, and each time he thinks he’s solved it, a new part appears to be missing. Dom needs to find out who he really is, what he’s capable of… and what is the real story hidden behind Seth’s intense eyes.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime, amnesia, road trip, chase

Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit gay sex

Length: ~88,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

My Review : The roles were reserved somewhat in this book. Seth became the caretaker and the one doing all the planning, while Dom is recovering from his injuries which brought on amnesia. It was weird to see the self assured Domenico in this position where he wasn’t aware of anything that was going on around him. This was good in a way though, because it brought about a softer side to Dom’s personality, a more human side. Having to rely on Seth for everything was hard on Dom even though he had no idea of the caliber of man he was before. There is so much dominance that is poured into Dom’s DNA , that even when he has amnesia, snippets of his self assurance comes through in the very fiber of his being.
Seth did a great job manning up and keeping them both safe, but it is obvious that he just doesn’t have that killer instinct that is needed when running from the mafia. He is more of a nurterer and a lover. More than one argument was sparked by his feelings of inequality when stacked up against Dom’s virility. It took him awhile to realize that being submissive and being the bottom to Dom’s dominance in their relationship is not a bad thing , it’s just a way of life. He had to relinquish the claims of what it means to be manly in the Italian way of life. Most of all he had to embrace and revel in being Dom’s bottom.
It was great to see these two men living a semi normal life albeit being on the run from the mafia. Dom losing his memory provided a landscape where they were able to be ordinary men falling in love with each other all over again. Their bond was strengthened and the connection they have was thoroughly reinforced with all the things they had to endure. Secrets were revealed and there were many scrapes and hijinks that kept this story incredibly interesting. Seth ended up being hurt by his own brother when they are found. It pains Dom to see his sweet lover hurt and he feels like he failed in his self appointed job as protector. In the end of it all, Dom was able to regain his memories and this made him love and cherish Seth even more. They are hoping to live out the rest of their lives in peace. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Guns N’ Boys Part 2 by K.A. Merikan

Title : Guns N’ Boys  Part 2         Word Count : 278 pgs

Genre : Dark Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : — Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. —

The Family is always right.

The Family doesn’t forget.

The Family pays for blood in blood.

Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.

When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate in the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself–with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: Enemies to lovers, mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime

Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit gay sex

Length: ~110,000 words (part 1), ~90,000 words (part 2)

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.

‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

My Review :  The story continues when Dom and Seth goes back to Italy. It’s time for Seth to prove to everyone that he has the makings of a ruthless mafioso Don. His father arranges for him to meet his future bride. Dom has a hard time watching their interaction,but he is forced to hide his true feelings. Seth is called to task to deal with a traitor within their midst. It overwhelms him to be so vicious, but when it comes down to it, he kills the traitor in order to protect Dom from his father’s scrutiny. Dom comforts Seth and helps him clean himself up. This restores some of the previous closeness that they felt for each other in Berlin. The closeness dissipates just as quickly when in a passing conversation Seth finds out that Dom has a girlfriend that he had no knowledge about. In his jealousy he corners a waiter in the pantry and gets him to give him a blowjob.  Dom walks in on the act and becomes enraged. He roughs up Seth sexually, something he promised he would never do again after their time in Berlin. He is disappointed and hurt that Seth would cheat on him. It pains Seth to see what his actions have done to their relationship,  but he is not sure if he wants to forgive Dom for taking him back to that place of humility and inadequacy and feeling stripped of his manhood.

It is clear to see that Dom is a very volatile man with a temper. He is very jealous and crazy in his  possessiveness of Seth. I guess it’s true what they say about Italian men, that they are passionate in all aspects of their life. Dom apologizes to Seth and they make up in the best way possible with irresistible hot sex. Seth bares his soul to his sexy domineering stud expressing how much he loves him by giving Dom his signet ring. It just so happens that the very same day is his wedding day to the beautiful Italian girl his father picked out. It is obvious that their love story is a little bit tainted and definitely doesn’t follow the pattern of traditional romances. This somehow makes it hotter , their illicit affair is intriguing. The very next day Dom and Seth take off to New York to  continue Seth’s training to be head of the crime family. However,  they use this time as an impromptu honeymoon to celebrate their newfound love.

 For two months they enjoy the simplicity of domesticity. Their relationship is definitely not smooth sailing, but they try to live a seemingly normal life with Dom’s overt possessiveness sparking arguments every now and then. Their idyllic bliss is soon interrupted by Seth’s brother Vincente. Vincente’s appearance arouses suspicion in Dom’s mind as he is aware that he covets the title of Don. Dom’s senses is on high alert and it soon becomes apparent that treachery is afoot when Vincente recruits Dom to kill Seth. Dom plays the part of the willing henchman, but decides to  double cross the  mafioso in an attempt to protect and save the life of the man he loves. Dom gets them out safely by killing a few of the mafia, buy he gets severely hurt in the process. Seth has to now step up to the plate and carryout the plans to safety that Dom had set in place. This was definitely a spellbounding, intense read and I can’t wait to see how they will make it out alive now with a target on both of their backs. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Guns N’ Boys Part 1 by K. A. Merikan

Title : Guns  N’ Boys  Part 1        Word Count : 323 pgs

Genre : Dark Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : — Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. —

The Family is always right.

The Family doesn’t forget.

The Family pays for blood in blood.

Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.

When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate in the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself—with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.

POSSIBLE SPOILER: Themes: Enemies to lovers, mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime

Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit gay sex, coercion

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.

‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

My Review : Seth Villani and Domenico Acerbi are in a power struggle from the moment they meet each other when they are kids. It seems nothing has changed even though it is years after and they are now adults. Seth is set to inherit the title of Don in his mafioso family and Domenico is his personal bodyguard.  When Dom rescues Seth from the Chinese Triad who kidnapped him, they are both strangers to each other. Dom definitely doesn’t think Seth has what it takes to become a Don, but Seth’s future is cemented by his father. It is a death sentence to be gay in the mafioso, so Seth knows he has to hide his true nature. Seth is giving his last respects in the church at his mother’s funeral when he is alerted to a noise. He is definitely shocked when  he discovers Dom pounding their driver in a hidden corner. Dom is unashamed of his behaviour and continues to completion. Seth is furious,  but is also fiercely attracted to this powerful  dominant  man.

Dom whisks Seth away to Berlin in order to further Seth’s training to become the leader of the mafioso. They are very insulated in their one room attic and things soon heat up between them. Dom forces Seth to submit to his will and bottom for him. This creates all sorts of feelings within Seth, primarily shame,  confusion and inadequacy. However,  this doesn’t diminish the attraction he feels to Dom who he has recently learned is his half brother, his father’s  bastard child. Their relationship is a constant tug of war, it is tumultuous to say the least. 

Seth learns a lot from Dom and they become closer. Even though their relationship cannot be said to be a loving one, Seth sees Dom as a safe haven. It is clear to see that Dom has feelings for Seth and he  makes it clear that he will take a bullet for him as he is loyal to the Villani family. Dom does a lot to protect his lover from as much of the harshness of the mafioso world.  For now, any other proclamations are off the table,   because it is expected that Seth needs to do his duty by marrying a beautiful Italian virgin and begetting an heir. This was an interesting read for me. I like both men and I loved the chemistry between them and I can’t wait to see how it turns out in part 2 of this book. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear .