Enforcing Emory by Mickie B. Ashling

Title :  Enforcing Emory        Word Count : 71,964

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.

Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.

While the attraction is one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. But before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia.

My Review :  This is a tale of love akin to Romeo and Juliet. Two young men from different backgrounds and different  families with ideals set in place of what it means to be inherently male and female. One American, one Ukrainian . One a hockey player and one an Olympic figure skater. For flamboyant Emory,  it has been love at first sight from the moment he meets the Ukrainian  hockey enforcer Nikolai.  On the other hand, Nik is not sure how he feels about Emory and his in your face gayness. 

It  soon becomes clear that Nik is attracted to Emory , but he definitely has to keep it on a down low because of his extremely homophobic father Igor. Igor has invested a lot of time and money in his son’s hockey career and he has no plans to tolerate any sort of derailment of his future plans. He rules with an iron fist which can be very brutal and abusive if he’s  crossed. Emory’s family has been very supportive, loving and accepting of who he is.

Emory has been very insulated in America from the perils of homophobia. When he goes to the Sochi Olympics in Russia, he sees the truth of the dangers that Nik has tried to warn him about when his father is hurt protecting him from thugs.  Emory becomes very introspective after this, questioning his entire being. Throughout all his achievements, this incidence of violence leaves him with a feeling of worthlessness. After wallowing in despair for awhile , he decides to recreate his whole image to try to make the world more accepting. He desperately wants to be measured by his achievements rather than his orientation. I think in this endeavor  Emory was a little bit naive in thinking that he could control how the world thinks.

Nik feels such a sense of pride for Emory’s achievements and he aspires to be as brave as the sweet, flamboyant young man. Emory makes him want to defy everything that he has ever been taught . He desperately wants Emory in his life. They take baby steps in their newfound love. Although Nik is not ready to come out of the closet just yet, he is not ashamed to admit to Em how much he loves him. 

I really loved the  interaction between Emory and his dad  and I wish that all parents of gay youths could be as loyal and fiercely protective. Emory’s dad Tom loves him unconditionally and accepts him for who he is irrespective of  his flaws and foibles. 

Nik and Emory are forced to deal with their public relationship when someone leaks a video of them skating and fooling around. Nik is very afraid of the fallout , but Nik and Nik’s family are very supportive. Nik’s own father goes ballistic and try to snuff his lights out with a pillow . Nik realizes that he has to cut ties with his family.  Outside of that, Nik and Emory’s relationship flourishes despite whatever prejudice they faced.  Mickie B. Ashling does it again by giving us a full-bodied novel filled with a great storyline, diversity, opposites attract and love conquering all odds. I could not put this one down.I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

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).