No Shame( No Shame 4) by Nora Phoenix

Title:No Shame Word Count: 333pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:(This is NOT a stand alone novel. See end of this description for details) Brad feels nothing but shame about himself. Shame about his sexual needs, about his reputation, about his medical problem no one knows about. No one, except his best friend Charlie, but no matter what feelings Brad may have for him, he’s not going there. Charlie deserves so much better, and Brad desperately needs something not even Charlie can provide.

Charlie has loved Brad forever, but he’s never acted on his feelings, unsure of where he stood. Plus, there was the complication of his boyfriend. But when his boyfriend’s abuse gets too much for Charlie, it’s Brad who helps him escape and recover.

Miles ends up severely wounded in the line of duty as an FBI agent. He’s floored when the man he was protecting, Indy, opens his home to him so he can recover. Indy also sets him up with Brad, who turns out to be a perfect solution for Miles’ sexual issues…until Miles wants more than sex from him, and a developing friendship between Miles and Charlie complicates things even more.

Bit by bit Charlie and Miles break through Brad’s defenses, until they come crumbling down. Miles will have to prove he can provide what Brad needs, and Charlie’s sweet love will be put to the test. But when Brad finally finds the courage to break free of his shame, will the fragile love that has blossomed between the three of them survive?

No Shame is a steamy M/M/M romance that ends with a happy ever after for all characters, including those from the previous books in the series. It’s the fourth book in the No Shame Series, and is NOT a stand alone novel, so make sure to read the first three books first (No Filter, No Limits, and No Fear). It contains hot sex, a ménage, a little daddy kink, more hot sex, and a poly-amorous relationship that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and rape.

My Review: Three different men, with three vastly different personalities. They all come with baggage, but they mesh seemlessly. We’ve been introduced to all three before, we have Miles the FBI agent who was a part of Indy’s protective detail. Indy saved his life when he got shot, he also offered him a place to recover since he has no family. We have Brad, Blake’s younger brother, a mild mannered math teacher who comes off a little bit abrasive in social situations. The only person who brings out Brad’s gentler side is Charlie, his best friend. Charlie is also recovering after his cop boyfriend Zack beat the living daylights out of him. Indy, Josh, Connor and Noah has opened up a section of their ranch style home to these three.

Miles has a tiny little problem, he has an overly hyper sex drive which leaves him tenting his trousers throughout most of the day. So far he hasn’t met anyone who can handle him. That is, until he meets Brad; Brad has a nasty reputation around town of being a ‘cum slut’ , he craves being used. Indy requests Brad’s help with Mile’s little problem which can become quite painful if tensions aren’t released. Brad is only too happy to help. Miles is still in the hospital the first time he experiences Brad’s oral prowess. He is very impressed and looks forward to Brad’s visits. Miles is curious to know more about his mystery man when he finds out they are cohabiting the same house . When he tries to spark up a conversation with Brad, he is immediately shot down. Brad lays down the law, letting Miles know it is just sex, nothing more. Miles is very disappointed as he feels a connection with Brad.

Miles come to realize that there are underlying problems that causes Brad to be so prickly. It is his slow friendship with Charlie that allows him to see things more clearly. Right away , he recognizes how in love Charlie and Brad are , but they can’t see it for themselves. Even though they have been friends for awhile, Brad dares not cross the line of friendship. He fears he is not good enough to be with Charlie. Brad has issues with psychological erectile dysfunction after a former bout of testicular cancer. This holds him back and he is very insecure about being worthy. Brad also suffers from abandonment issues when it comes to having a family. He believes that everyone he loves will leave him or trade him in.

It is a long road for Brad and the struggle is real as he continues to fight his identity. It is Miles who pinpoints what he really needs. He implements a Daddy/boy dynamic when he factors in all the issues Brad’s endured in the past. Miles is spot on and ‘Daddy’ lures his ‘boy’ in. Brad feels a sense of peace the first time he gives up control to his ‘Daddy’. There are two aspects to their kink however, Charlie realizes that Brad also craves being his little slut. It is Charlie who pulls this element of kink out of Brad through his dirty talk and bossiness. Brad lives to service his men and this is where he thrives. The status quo is definitely thrown out with these three. The strong macho Marine Miles loves to bottom for the ‘twinky cross-dressing’ Charlie who is more a defined top. Then we have Brad who has always been in control and takes care of everyone, he yearns and relishes being a ‘boy’ to his daddy.It is amazing watching the dynamics between these three unfold. Although, Charlie and Miles develop more slowly, it is no less intense.

When Connor gets some devastating news, it is wonderful to see how this makeshift family rallied around taking care of each other. Noah goes with Connor to be his strength. It was gut wrenching watching this strong man crumbling, but Noah was there to pick up the pieces. Miles was left as the ‘Dom’ in charge and between him and Indy, they were able to get Josh into ‘subspace’. The house and family have definitely expanded as Indy, Josh, Noah and Connor has offered this new trio a place in their lives , hearts and family. This kinky lot have all been blessed with the greatest treasure of all, LOVE. A wonderful end to a series that embraces all types of kink. It closes out with Indy and Josh proposing to Noah and Connor respectively. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Advertisements

No Fear (No Shame 3)by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Fear Word Count:325 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Aaron is drowning. After coming out as gay, he lost his parents’ approval, his job, and his sense of identity. He feels like a freak who doesn’t fit in anywhere. His last hope was his brother Josh, but Josh can’t seem to forgive him for how Aaron treated him when they were teens. Not that Aaron can blame him, because he did treat Josh like crap.

All Aaron wants is for someone to accept him, guide him, because he doesn’t have a clue. When sexy jiujitsu teacher Blake takes him in and starts mentoring him, Aaron has hope for the first time, even though he can’t understand what Blake sees in him.

Blake doesn’t do relationships. At all. He’s more than willing to help Aaron find solid ground under his feet, but that’s it. Until insecure, vulnerable, and surprisingly sexy Aaron gets under his skin, triggering all kinds of protective instincts that make Blake long for more. He wants to take care of Aaron, give him what he needs, but how can he convince Aaron of that?

When Josh’s friend-with-benefits Indy’s past finally catches up with him, it endangers them all—and leads to heartbreaking decisions for everyone involved.

No Fear is a steamy M/M romance that ends with a HFN for Aaron and Blake, but has a continuing storyline as well. It’s the third book in the No Shame Series, and is not a stand alone novel, so make sure to read the first book (No Filter) and the second book (No Limits) first. It contains hot sex, a little kink, more hot sex, very mild puppy play, and a beautiful friendship-with-benefits that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse.

My Review: We were introduced to Aaron Gordon in the previous installment of this series. We met him as Josh’s younger brother who turned his back on him when he came out. First impressions of him were that he was a spoiled brat who comes from an uber religious family. He comes off as being a self entitled kid who got everything handed to him. Now that he has come out himself, his parents kicked him out. Aaron is no longer the golden boy and he is rudely awakened to some of the horrors faced by many gay men around the world. On his first foray out to a club, he is beaten badly and gets a few bruised ribs for his troubles. Aaron shows up on Josh’s doorstep and even though they are not close, Josh lets him stay for a bit. Things are very tense for awhile and it soon becomes clear it’s not gonna work. Aaron is perceived to be very lazy and expects to be taken care of. He doesn’t have the wherewithal to clean up his own mess. It is Josh’s boyfriend Connor who steps in and gives him an ultimatum: pay his own way or he has to stay somewhere else. Josh finds him a safe space to stay with Indy’s juijitsu professor Blake Kent.

Blake seems to be a very rigid man , but he has a very kind heart and he looks out for others and champions the weak. He opens his home as a safe space to people who have been abused. Blake is empathetic to Aaron’s situation, but he soon loses patience with his slovenly ways. Blake takes Aaron to task, letting the arrogant young man know he needs to pull his own weight. After Aaron cleans the studio without complaining, Blake heart softens when he realizes that Aaron is trying. After a very candid conversation, Blake understands that what he saw as arrogance is actually Aaron’s vulnerable insecurities coming through. Aaron is a lost puppy, who has lost all his sense of self and identity.

Blake gives Aaron carte blanche to ask any question he wants. This leads to some sexual explorations when he finds out that Aaron is still a virgin. Blake decides to pay it forward and lead this innocent young man into a gay new world. First order of business is to get Aaron some sexy underwear and a new wardrobe. After careful scrutiny, Blake deduces that any form of sexual identity that Aaron might have formed while living with his parents would have been eradicated. Blake sees through the fear of rejection and perceives that Aaron may possibly want to identify with a more gentler, feminine side of himself. He knows he is spot on when he sees the joy on Aaron’s face when he tries on a more feminine wardrobe. This also brings out Aaron’s sexy side. Aaron is feeling a new sense of self and decides to have the sexy dominant Blake relieve him of his virginity. Blake decides to give him a taste of the gay nightlife first to see other options before he takes on the much coveted job of v-card defiler.

Aaron knows from the moment he steps in the club that there is no other man for him. He sways sensually to the music and Blake knows right away that he is willing to break all his rules for this sexy Aaron. Blake knows that there is definitely something building between them that defies his no relationship rule. He is certainly intrigued by this sweet cuddle puppy who has turned into a terrier. When they start getting too frisky for the dance floor, Blake makes the decision to take sexy Aaron home. He is on his way home when he noticed something weird at his studio. Someone’s trying to break in, he stealthily creeps in and overheard them talking about finding Indy. Blake knows he has to warn Indy.

It is the middle of the night and its clear to see that Blake has woken up my favorite quartet. Blake is a little bit shocked to see the openness and sexual familiarity displayed by these four men. It makes him curious about their relationship. When he explains what’s happening,it is Josh who comforts Indy by kissing him. Looking at Noah, it is obvious that he isn’t upset at Josh kissing his boyfriend Indy. The same goes for Connor when he walks in. The easy camaraderie amongst these four is clear. They use sexual banter and nuance to comfort each other. What Blake is envious of is the love he feels radiating from all of them. However, it is very tense between the two brothers Josh and Aaron. The pot finally boils over when Josh lashes out at Aaron for not standing up for him when they were younger. Aaron is brought to tears and he apologizes for hurting Josh. It is Indy who appeals to Josh, showing him that Aaron was only a scared 15 yr old boy then. Blake cuddles his ‘puppy’, letting him know he is no longer alone. Blake sees deep inside his boy, knowing the pain he carries inside is keeping him from embracing his true sense of self.

Blake knows that with all the pain Aaron has endured, he just needs someone to take care of him. Blake takes Aaron on a date and he loves the connection that he feels with this needy young man. Something in Aaron calls to Blake and he explains the BDSM lifestyle, especially the daddy/boy dynamics. It doesn’t quite fit though;when Blake explains about puppy play, all the pieces snap into place for Aaron. Puppy play definitely resonates with Aaron and accounts for all the weird, clingy, needy feelings he is prone to feeling.Blake decides to step up to the plate and fulfill this need in his boy, which surprisingly calls out to the dominant nature within himself. Before they can go home to explore the new dynamics in their relationship, Aaron asks to stop by to check in with Indy and his men.

They aren’t there for too long before chaos ensues. The men who are hunting Indy show up. Blake jumps into the fray and disarmed two of them, but gets shot in the process. Connor kills 3 of the men. Indy knows he can no longer put his men in danger. He decides to go into witness protection. Blake is seriously hurt and flatlines twice. Luckily, Noah is there to pull him back. They are all in their own world of hurt. Aaron is constant and just like the ‘puppy’ he is, he never leaves Blake’s side. Everyone starts noticing how ‘clingy’ he is. Blake’s brothers Burke and Brad make derogatory remarks about Aaron. This brings up all of Aaron’s insecurities causing him to flee from the only home he has ever known. Blake is furious and takes his brothers to task for their judgement. Blake expresses his love for Aaron and continues to text his ‘puppy’. Aaron is so far gone in his loneliness, he drives quite a few states away and find a job at a motel.

Everybody’s world seems to be imploding.Connor comes up with a plan for him and Josh to free Indy, but it involves being separated. Connor has quit his job and gone back to the criminal elements of his past life in Boston.Indy has gone into witness protection and is in an unknown location fending for himself. Noah feels like he is losing himself, especially when he finds out that Josh has to be booked in a psychiatric ward for his PTSD. Blake is recovering slowly and missing his ‘puppy’, but he diligently sends text messages on an hourly basis letting him know how much he is missed.

It only takes Aaron a month to figure out what the sentiment behind Blake’s messages mean. Even though Blake hasn’t said it outright, Aaron knows he is loved. As soon as Blake opens the door, Aaron knows he is home. A sense of peace flows over him as soon as he is back in Blake’s arms. Blake presents him with a gift of a perfect pink collar and matching leash to welcome home his puppy. Aaron is at peace with himself and his unique needs and he is definitely ready to embrace his true identity. The sexual energy between these two is very palpable and showcases the full extent of their trust and love for each other. I really enjoyed how naturally the puppy play aspect was introduced by the author. It was not overly salacious, just two men being in love and freely expressing that love ,as it should be.

Indy once again proves to be a superhero trapped in his little ‘twinkie’ body when he ends up saving himself as well as a federal agent Miles who will star in the next upcoming book of this series. The plan Connor has set in place is perfectly executed without any of the key players falling under suspicion. At last, Indy is free, all the men of the Fitzpatrick clan who has hurt and hunted him are dead. I can’t wait to see the fabulous quartet that is made up of Indy , Noah, Josh and Connor reclaim their lives. Another amazing addition, the next one will be a threesome, can’t wait. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

No Limits ( No Shame 2) by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Limits                         Word Count: 309 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: This is NOT a stand alone novel. See end of this description for details) Josh is convinced he’ll never find someone who’ll love him the way he is. He’s not exactly a catch with his PTSD, which has transformed him into a homebody most of the times. Sweet, maybe, but also boring as hell. Plus, there’s that submissive tendency he recently discovered and is dying to explore. His complicated relationship with Noah and Indy doesn’t make it easy, either. When Connor shows interest in him, he can’t believe the sexy cop would look at him twice, let alone make an effort to get to know him. When he does, Josh discovers they have more in common than he’d ever thought possible.

Connor had survived the ordeal that left his best friend and fellow Marine dead, but that survival came at a price. He’s a robot, going through the motions, but barely alive. Until fate intervenes when he meets Josh. The vulnerable man triggers all kinds of protective and dominant urges in Connor, but what would a cute guy like Josh want with an inexperienced, closed-off, bossy steamroller like Connor?

When Connor discovers his past endangers Indy, all hope for a future between him and Josh seems lost. After all, there’s no way Josh will ever choose Connor over Indy’s safety and Noah’s lifelong friendship. When a crisis hits, can Connor prove he’s strong enough to deal with everything that’s thrown his way?

No Limits is a steamy M/M romance that ends with a HFN, but has a continuing storyline as well. It’s the second book in the No Shame Series, and IS NOT A STAND ALONE NOVEL, so make sure to read the first book (No Filter) first. It contains hot sex, a little BDSM kink for beginners, more hot sex, and a beautiful friendship that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse and sexual violence, including rape.

My Review: Joshua doesn’t think that he will ever lead a normal life. Between his severe PTSD and the sexual trauma he experienced while in the army, he has constant flashbacks. His best friend/ fuck buddy Noah keeps him grounded. Watching Noah in his newfound relationship with his boyfriend Indy causes Josh to yearn for something more. He is not exactly sure what that is, but he knows he feels attracted to the sexy as sin cop O’ Connor.

Connor is confused at the relationship between Noah and Josh. However, it is Noah who has given him the green light to pursue Josh. Connor is in the closet, but he knows he’s never felt the way he does about Josh. When Josh finds out that Connor is interested he is elated, but definitely shocked that such a dominant macho man could be his. Connor has a few sexual hang-ups about his size that has held him back from being with a guy. Josh is only too happy to show him that there is nothing called ‘too big’. Josh likes a little pain with his pleasure, he thrives on rough sex. He is certainly coming to terms and willing to explore his submissive tendencies with the right person.

Things become explosive when they come together for the first time. Josh feels like he has truly found someone he can belong to. He feels safe in the comfort of Connor’s arms. Connor is still a bit perturbed about the dynamics amongst this trio involving Josh, Noah and Indy. When certain secrets are revealed, he admits to feeling left out and a bit jealous that Josh stands with Noah and Indy. Even though their relationship is new , he wonders if he will ever be a number one priority with Josh. Josh needs both Noah and Connor to learn how to be comfortable around each other, because he can’t live without one man or the other.

Josh schedules a fun filled day of paintball for all of them. Noah and Connor set aside their alpha posturing to work together and it pulls them all a bit closer. Their time together is soon ripped asunder when Noah has to be rushed to the hospital for an infection in his stump. Indy panics and vanishes. He can’t face losing Noah, it is clearly a dick move on his part, but understandable given his past. Josh is devastated, but he tries to keep it together since he has the medical power of attorney over Noah. The doctors decide to operate and cut off more of his stump to save Noah’s life.

Connor knows that he has to step up and take care of his man before Josh loses his mind. He takes Josh home and they delve further into the BDSM lifestyle. Connor gives him a spanking which sends Josh into subspace, one of the best releases he has ever had. They profess their love for each other shortly after. Connor makes the decision to get educated in being the proper Dom to his sub Josh. Josh has made up his mind that he already belongs to Connor and he is only too happy to engage in lessons. It is an exhilarating experience watching these men solidify their D/s relationship and learn their limits.

Indy finally shows up and explains to Noah that he needs to sort things out in his head before he could come back. When Noah is released from the hospital, he is happy to see that the dynamics have changed. He sees Connor taking control and realize that for the first time Josh’s needs are being met. Connor proves his love for Josh by providing a solution for their living situation that will work for all of them. They decide to buy a bigger ranch style home where each couple can have privacy while still maintaining their closeness. Finally , Indy comes back after taking care of some issues that would hurt his little family. I really enjoyed watching these two couples come into their own. The unhealthy sexually codependent relationship between Josh and Noah is broken. Now their respective relationships will have a fair chance of flourishing with some mutual exhibitionism and voyeurism on both couples part. I give this my ratings of 5- bring out the vibrators.

No Filter ( No Shame 1) by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Filter               Word Count: 290 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Indy will do anything to prevent his mobster ex from finding him. Their last encounter left Indy recovering for months in the hospital, and ever since he’s become an expert at hiding in plain sight. Determined to stay under the radar, he takes on a new identity and moves from place to place. His life has no room for friendships, let alone love, so he keeps his heart firmly closed. After all, he has nothing to offer but a damaged body and a broken soul. Plus, he’s so done with men. Until he meets the man who breaks through all his defenses.

Former Army Medic Noah came back damaged from his last tour—in more than one way. Between supporting his best friend-with-benefits Josh who’s struggling with PTSD, dealing with his own issues, and the stress of his job as a physician assistant, rebuilding his life seems impossible. There’s little time for what Noah needs, let alone for what he wants. When he meets Indy, Noah discovers what he wants more than anything: for Indy to stay. But how will a relationship with Indy work when Noah needs Josh as well?

Indy never expected the strong, confident Noah to be as damaged and broken as himself. But what will happen if he starts letting Noah in? Indy knows he should run to protect Noah and Josh. 

Noah needs Indy to stay more than anything. But will what little he has to offer be enough to make Indy trust him and stay? 

No Filter is a steamy M/M romance featuring an open relationship (no cheating!) that ends with a HFN, but with the promise of a HEA. It’s the first book in the No Shame Series, and is not a stand-alone novel. It contains hot sex, a hint of a ménage, lots of talk about hot sex, flashbacks of said hot sex, and…Oh well, you get the idea. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse.

My Review: If anyone would have told Indy that being subjected to a convenient store robbery would have been a turning point in his life, he wouldn’t have believed it. This is how he met Josh, the young army veteran who suffers from severe PTSD. Josh has a flashback the moment he saw the robber’s gun. It is Indy’s quick thinking that saves his life. Indy tackles Josh to the ground with his superior jiu jitsu moves to snap him out of his flashback. It sucks for Indy who already has a broken arm in a cast. Indy is trying to breath through the pain and stay in character since he is on the run and pretending to be a southern belle. Not wanting to blow his cover and desperate to get Josh out of his flashback, Indy decides to ground him by kissing him. It finally works and Josh slowly comes out of his spell.

By the time the cops show up, Indy is in severe pain and in need of medical attention. This is where Noah comes in, he is Josh’s best friend who is a former army medic. He works in the ER now and when Josh calls him frantic telling him he needs to protect Indy’s female persona, he steps in to help. Noah doesn’t know what to think when he meets Indy, but there is an instant spark between the two. However, it is clear to see that Indy is very afraid and hiding something. Warning bells go off in Noah’s head when he feels scars on Indy’s body. He also sees signs of trauma in Indy’s reactions to being restrained.

When Noah and Josh offers Indy a place to stay and recover, he takes a leap of faith and puts his trust in these two men. Indy feels an attraction to Noah, something that hasn’t happened in quite some time. When Indy realizes that Josh and Noah shares a bedroom, he feels like a fool for lusting after somebody’s boyfriend. Noah explains that Josh and him have a very complexed relationship that may defy certain norms.

Watching these three men come together was exhilarating, sensual and a little bit confusing at times. It was the pure trust and honesty in their connections that pulls it all together for me. Here we have three broken men trying to piece together their wounded hearts and souls. We have Josh who suffers from PTSD and is very codependent on his best friend Noah. He is openly gay and navigating his sexually submissive side while also working through issues from his past. Then there is Noah who facilitates Josh’s codependency as a way of healing them both. Noah has lost his leg in the war and has some residual feelings of insecurity. He is only recently identifying and accepting himself as a gay man. Indy is the only other man that Noah has been attracted to sexually. Indy is on the run for his life. He feels like he is damaged goods and it is clear that he has suffered severe sexual trauma. Noah and Josh are the first two men he has been attracted to in awhile. It is Noah who makes him want to trust again. He feels unworthy and undeserving to be in a relationship with a strong man like Noah, because of his past. Indy is afraid to become too attached and wants to protect them from the dangers of his past.

The sexual tension in their house is combustible. They all paired up sexually with each other at different times without any resentment or hurt feelings amongst each other. Noah and Josh had sex all the time as a way of finding release and it helped Josh to understand his sexually submissive side. When Noah let Josh top him, it helped him accept himself as a gay man. Josh and Indy getting together was about healing each other from their past sexual trauma. Josh gave back Indy some of the power he lost when he offers to bottom for him. Indy regains a part of himself he thought was lost forever. After their fun filled activity they fall asleep blissfully.

When Noah comes home after a sixteen hour shift in pain from standing all day, he becomes jealous when he sees them cuddled up together. Tempers flare when he believes that Indy has given Josh something that he couldn’t get. Josh sets him straight and diffuses the situation by offering up himself to relieve some of the stress and pain that Noah feels. Noah goes at Josh hard with Indy watching the whole time. When Noah finds release a dam finally breaks and all the pain and sorrow for all he’s lost comes pouring out. 

This is cathartic for all of them. It is Josh’s way of saying goodbye and bringing Indy fully into Noah’s life. Indy makes the decision the next day to tell Noah his sordid past of being sold into sexual slavery by his mom at sixteen. The man she sold him to, Duncan Fitzpatrick belongs to the mob and treated him deplorably. Indy lived in hell for four years. He finally snapped when Duncan passed him off to his sadistic cousin who raped Indy. When he was done Indy stabbed him and waited for him to die before he called the cops , so he could claim self defense. Duncan found Indy and tortured him before he could testify. Indy knows he will always be a hunted man.

Indy finally sees that what he has found in Noah is worth fighting for. He gives himself freely to Noah without fear. He gets a taste of what a loving sexual relationship should be like. Noah is happy that Indy has finally let him in and is allowing him to love him. Josh will always be a part of their lives and they have a different kind of love for him. Noah is willing to protect Indy with all that he is . He will never allow Indy to be hurt again. This is only the beginning, but it is clear to see how deep their love runs for each other. Looking forward to Josh’s story and the continuation of Indy and Noah. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.