Ruined by Evelyn Drake

Title: Ruined            Word Count: 241 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Hungry for a glimpse at the man who destroyed his marriage, Gus Fletcher follows Travis to watch him party and flirt without a care for what he’s done. The man who slept with Gus’s wife is gorgeous and willowy, a model, the utter opposite of Gus’s muscled body and plumbing career. But the man needs help, and something about him tugs at Gus’s heart and mind. What the hell is going on?

The hits keep coming for fashion model Travis Adius, who has to let the right people use him if he’s to stay in the industry… and then some. He only walked away from one man: his abusive ex, who won’t let go that easily. Life has him on his knees until he sees Gus. He wants Gus before he finds out he slept with Gus’s wife… and, somehow, he doesn’t stop wanting him. Gus has hands and nerves of steel, and a deep desire for revenge. Isn’t it wrong to be this turned on by him?

Gus can’t stop thinking about Travis. He should hate him, so why does he want to save him? Travis needs the comfort and safety of a man whose loyalty will stretch to the end of the earth. Is this all just a favor to be repaid? Once they meet, there’s no turning back.

Are Gus and Travis ruined for anyone else?

My Review: Gus would love nothing more than to inflict the same amount of pain on the man who ruined his life. Travis Adius is the man who seduced Gus’ wife into an affair, the man who ruined 15 yrs of marriage. Gus’ wife Scarlett is a career driven fashion designer and Travis is the most beautiful male model that Gus has ever seen. Gus wants so bad to hate Travis , but he understands the pull that Scarlett must have felt towards the youthful Travis. Gus is mesmerized by Travis’ androgynous look and his beauty. Gus has  hunted down Travis  in the hopes of seeking some form of revenge, but that all goes awry when he sees him.

It is while at a party that Travis notices the sexy body builder hulk look -alike staring at him. Travis decides to flirt a little with Gus from afar by seducing another man, hopefully appealing to his voyeuristic nature. Travis’ little experiment starts out really hot, especially when he sees mister sexy is indeed watching. This soon fizzles and he starts feeling embarrassed and horribly used when his hook -up starts calling him derogatory names. Travis has many issues but this is where his vulnerability peeks through. Travis feels like a throw away on most days, but especially after hooking up with someone and have them tell him they have to go home to their girlfriend.

Travis is so embarrassed and is feeling at an all time low , when he gets a picture text from Scarlett telling him that her husband knows about their affair. Travis feels like he has been hit by a ton of bricks,when he sees the face of Mr. Sexy. When he thinks of the hulk and reconciles that image to Gus, Travis starts running like a bat out of hell. He ends up running right into his abusive ex boyfriend Brandon. Travis is paralyzed with fear when he remembered how many times Brandon put him in the hospital. When Brandon advances, Travis tries to stand up for himself , but he only ends up cowering in a corner. It’s Gus who saves the day.

When Gus sees Travis about to be hurt, he steps in and pushes the big bully away. There is just something about Travis that brings out all of Gus’ protective instincts. Gus and Brandon are definitely evenly matched. If anything Gus is bigger than Brandon and he treats him like a rag doll every time he tries to attack Travis. When Brandon flees, Gus takes Travis to a diner to warm up and questions him. Travis is wary of the big guy but he doesn’t have much of a choice.

Little by little, Gus lets go of the hurt and pain he feels. He acknowledges the fact that the marriage between him and Scarlett was broken before this kid came along.Gus decides to fix this fragile somewhat beautiful creature as much as he can. He takes Travis home and changes his locks and decides to stay with him to protect him from Brandon if he comes back.Gus is man enough to admit to himself that he feels a smidge of attraction to Travis even though he doesn’t swing that way.

 Before things can heat up between them , Travis has to go away on an assignment. Travis comes home from his modelling gig, only to run into the unexpected. This is when Brandon escalates things even further, by breaking into Travis’ apartment and writing disparaging words on the wall and destroying the living room. Brandon hurts Travis really bad and he knows he is about to die. Once again,  it’s Gus us who finds him and tries to protect his sweet man. Gus knows that he cannot hide his feelings any longer. The two get closer while Travis recovers and Gus practically moves in to protect him. Things get heated between the two and the sexual chemistry is definitely combustible.

Travis is scared and hesitant to be with a real man like Gus , because Gus makes him yearn for things he always dreamed of. Although Gus has never been with a man, he goes with his feelings and treasures Travis in the most special way. Travis finally starts feeling his worth through Gus’ adoration. Scarlett puts a crimp in their plans when she announces that she is pregnant and she is not sure which one is the father. Travis sees his future coming to a halt with Gus and he knows that he is about to be the throwaway guy yet again. However, Gus proves him wrong and comes up with a solution that shows him how invested he is in their relationship.

Gus suggests that they could co-parent their child with some involvement from Scarlett. Travis and Gus are ecstatic that they can share this beautiful experience and it is great to see the amicable relationship between these three adults. I think Gus has the most forgiving heart that there is and he was rewarded with the greatest love. Travis the man who always saw himself as expendable has finally become someone’s everything. I really enjoyed this beautiful love story and I give this my ratings of 5-bring out the vibrators. This was a definite unique spin on a  gay for you romance and I look forward to reading more from this new author.

Stealing Innocents by Cari Waites, Lisa Henry

​Title: Stealing Innocents                        Word Count:70,700

 Genre: Gay Romance

Blurb:Those who dare to scratch the surface of ordinary, everyday life may be horrified to find a sick underbelly beneath—a nightmare world populated by villains and victims, predators and prey, where the rules of society no longer apply.

Where you’ll find people like Danny, the boy who sells himself to pay for his father’s gambling debts and ends up in a situation more twisted than he ever imagined. Or Troy, the cop whose obsession with saving a brutalized human trafficking victim turns deadly. Or Drew, the mental patient who begins to suspect his nightly delusions of abuse by his doctor are actually real. Or David, the cuckolded husband who decides the best way to get revenge is to seduce his wife’s barely legal son.

Stealing Innocents is an exploration of our darkest human impulses, where sex is power, love is horror, and there’s no such thing as a happy ending.


This collection contains three edited second editions stories that were previously individually published, plus one all-new story, by Lisa Henry writing as Cari Waites.
 My Review: When Danny is sold to the man who his father owes insurmountable gambling debts, he learns how irrevocably his life has changed. From the very first moment he meets Archer, he understands the true meaning of ownership. The first thing Archer does is to place Danny in a cock cage  and demand that he be addressed as ‘ Sir’. Danny who is a 18 yr old virgin has never been  exposed to the world of BDSM. He is extremely confused when he is placed in a childlike room. He is further confounded when  Archer explains that it is for his own benefit since he had a horrible role model for a father. From night one Danny is made to understand that he won’t be eased into the lifestyle gently. Danny is forced to learn how to pleasure his master and is breached with an  anal plug without any gratification for himself. This is just a prelude for things to come.

Danny learns a fine lesson in humiliation and degradation on his second day in Archer’s household. He certainly can’t reconcile the changes he sees in himself in such a short space  of time. He yearns for the torture that his body undergoes when he is caned and simultaneously stimulated by the anal plug. Archer shows him that there is a thin line between pain and pleasure. Daniel submits to Archer and quickly fall into subspace where everything feels like an  out of body experience. Danny continues to learn harsh truths about his body and his tolerance. He is exposed to many unknown tools and practices such as enemas, sounds , fisting and orgasm denial that  causes humiliation but titillate his senses as well.

At first, Danny sets out to please his master only to avoid punishment. However, he soon realizes that in the nether recesses of his mind, he is embracing this part of himself that he has only just acknowledged. Danny meanders between feeling ashamed and dirty while reveling in the ‘special’ relationship he has with ‘daddy’ Archer. That is until he remembers this situation is not of his own free will. When Archer decides to share his new slave with his business associates, Danny becomes a little bit combatant.

Archer shows Danny how well and truly he is owned. Archer proves to him that he has no agency in their relationship and the more resistant he is, the harder it will be for Danny. Daniel experiences all forms of debauchery at the hands of his ‘daddy’ and he is denied all gratification. This is where he understands that the only pleasure  he will gain is by living vicariously through his master.

There is a juxtaposition between the old Danny and the new Daniel.Danny realizes that he is losing the will to fight. Self preservation kicks in and he decides to hide away that part of himself that makes him Danny. He cloaks Danny under the skin of Daniel, the one who thrives on being a good Daddy’ s boy. However, there are times when the spitfire Danny pushes through and this always leads to punishment. He shows resistance when Archer takes him to a tattoo parlour. Without knowing the plans that his daddy has for him, Danny defies him. This proves to Archer that Danny still has not learnt how to trust him wholeheartedly. Archer is very disappointed that his boy still does not believe that daddy knows what’s best for him. At that very moment, Danny glimpsed his biological father going into a well known gambling den. Danny is truly broken by this sight, because it means that all his sacrifice was for naught. He now has to reevaluate his arrangement with Archer and figure  out what is the true purpose of his debauched life. That night, Danny cries for a father that still has not learnt his lesson, but things are now clearer in his mind.

Everything comes to a head the next night when Danny is put on his knees to service Archer and his associates. The last guest arrives while Danny is taking care of his ‘daddy’s needs and it’s none other than his father Clyde. Clyde is disgusted by seeing Danny this way, but what is even more disgusting is when he suggests that he should have gotten more money for  basically selling Danny into this lifestyle. The true monster reveals himself and any love that Danny felt for his father in that moment was extinguished.

Danny’ s eyes have truly opened up and he now gains insight into the life he has been living with Archer. Archer treating Danny like a child was his way of giving Danny a rebirth for the childhood he knew Danny had lost at the hands of his father. Danny always had the responsibility of dealing with an addict for a father, rather than embracing a carefree childhood. Archer gave Danny a chance to be a child again in order to be the man he was always meant to be. Danny realized that he got a new identity by being  ‘daddy’s’ baby boy Daniel. For the first time, he thinks he is really ready to embrace Daniel and every nuance that comes with this persona.

Daniel regains his agency in the most unexpected way. He kills the man that he now sees was the poison in his life. Clyde is dead and Daniel is freed of all charges. He is also free to make the decision to be his daddy’s boy. Archer will allow him to be the man that will be his partner in everyone’s eyes, but at home Daniel will be the perfect daddy’s boy.

 I am still not sure how I feel about this book. It  was so horrific that it was good. This was very well written.It was nitely a page turner and not for the feint of heart. It is really heavy on the BDSM elements, violence and abuse. It was weirdly good and I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.  

P.S. This review was only for the first story. I found that the other short stories were too inhumane. I was not able to review them as they made me a little bit sick to my stomach.

Violence Begets….. by PT Denys

Title : Violence  Begets….            Word Count : 282 pgs

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : After a tragic accident devastates his family, 16-year-old Rick St. James starts his junior year of high school without any friends in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah. When he meets Kevin Vincent, he’s too distracted by the promise of new friends to see that Kevin has secrets of his own.

Having created an environment where he’s feared and admired by his classmates, Kevin finds pleasure in using his good looks and violence to control and manipulate those around him. Secretly, he cruises the gay club scene, turning tricks to earn money so he can party and get high.

As Rick’s dad becomes increasingly violent and abusive at home, the two form a surprising and volatile trust. In this battle of wills, their precarious friendship will either keep their lives from blowing up around them or possibly light the fuse that will cause the explosion.

My Review :  This was a heartwrenching story about two teenage boys forging their love through the fires of hell.Their relationship is a dysfunctional mess that you are not sure if you want to champion it or dissolve it for both of their sakes. Kevin likes to control every situation  and holds the upper hand with his merry band of delinquents. He plays head games and rules with an iron fist so that he comes off as a tough guy. Deep down inside he is a scared tortured little boy who doesn’t know what love is. He takes in the new kid Rick, thinking that he would be an easy target who would dance to his tune. Although he is  malleable,  Rick doesn’t conform to most of Kevin’s plans. He poses a challenge and soon it turns into an obsessive game for Kevin to get Rick into his bed and seduced by his dominance. Rick fights this surprising attraction for Kevin for awhile,  but Kevin expects this reaction and he whittled away until he hooks Rick. 

Although Rick is still not comfortable to identify as gay,  his connection with Kevin is so strong, it’s undeniable. He is the only one that has seen the sweet, gentle side of Kevin,  he has also seen the horrible monsters that lurk inside his home. He realized that they can both relate to having abusive fathers. They have an affinity to each other that is based on the physical and emotional  pain they have had to endure.  They have both seen the horrors that can be perpetrated by the people who should love us unconditionally , our parents. The violence that they have internalized, overwhelm them at times causing them to hurt innocent people. They are characters that have been sullied by the horrendous acts that they have experienced. Their bond is sustained through the pain and desolation of the scars left by their fathers.

Both Kevin and Rick are carrying some heavy baggage. Rick’s father blames him for his brother’s death and suggests that it should have been Rick who perished.  The father is becoming increasingly more violent and brutalize his body with a belt frequently. Kevin’s pious father uses him as a punching bag. He beats him up at least once or twice per week since he was seven. It is really sad to see how immune these two young men have become to the atrocities inflicted by their fathers. Kevin is so adept at dealing with the pain, that he just shuts down his mental faculties as a means of self preservation and endures hour long beatings by his father. 

The turbulence that’s in their souls does not ease once they get together as a couple. It doesn’t take much to imbalance their  precarious realities.  If all they know is violence, can love ever truly be a part of their lives? Kevin spirals out of control when one of his twink hookups recognizes him. He hurts the innocent guy pretty badly, when he tries to out him. Rick tries to get the situation under control by revealing his love for Kevin . This stops Kevin in his tracks and he runs off and goes on a drug binge. I feel saddened and sickened for this poor  young man  who has so much potential,  but his heart is warped by violence.

Rick and Kevin’s relationship turns toxic , but only because Rick tries to push Kevin away to protect their secret love. It becomes a tragic love story when Kevin’s dad catches them kissing. For the first time ever,  they decide to protect each other, but this only causes Rick to become a target. Kevin’s father beats Rick senseless and he ends up in the hospital where he flatlines. Kevin is lost without Rick and after confronting his father , he committed suicide by overdosing on drugs, not knowing that Rick had been resuscitated. Kevin missed out on his chance of exploring the undying love that Rick would feel for him for years to come.

 The truth finally came out about both their fathers and they were punished. But the horrors that they inflicted on their sons can never be undone. This was truly a tale of love and life lost. Rick ended up becoming a counselor,  but he was never able to get over the only man who ever loved him and who he loves unreservedly. Violence  begat ….. love. I give this my ratings of 4 – for leaving me emotionally drained and giving me the fortitude to embrace love.

Quotes : 1. “When he goes to hit you, let your muscles go as limp as possible. The more you tense, the more your muscles contract and the force of the blow will be worse.”He let that sink in before rolling onto his back again, and resuming his cold stare-off with the ceiling. “It’s not going to get much better between now and when you get out of here,”he said after several minutes of silence. “The best you can hope for is to roll with the punches, literally. Then we’ll leave and won’t have to deal with any of this shit anymore.” ( It is very sad when victims have to resort to these coping techniques against lifelong abuse.)

2. “You will not make any,”he threatened calmly. He wrapped his hand around my small finger and I stared at him in dismay. His eyes, calculating and cold, betrayed nothing. I tried to pull away, but his grip tightened even more. His stare bore into mine as I slowly felt the tension on my hand increase, and then the searing pressure finally gave and my finger snapped back. I slammed my head back into the wall and bit my lip to keep from crying out. He enclosed my ring finger in his hand and repeated the slow, painful process of breaking it. My free fist flew to my mouth and I bit down to keep from screaming. My mind started scrambling for focus. He smiled but didn’t release me. He wrapped his fingers around my middle finger. “Next time I will break every one of your fingers,”he said gently before he released my hand and walked away.( Sometimes the monsters don’t only lurk in closets, they are the living , breathing ‘upstanding’ fathers. Such a betrayal of trust when your abuser is your father.)

3. “Just like the bruises, people only see what they wanna see. And if they see more, they would much rather hear a sugar-coated lie than the ugly truth that’s staring at ’em.”

….. “You see, people don’t want to believe there are monsters living next door, that there are innocent kids screaming for help. They want to believe the story of the dashing businessman rising to the occasion after the drug-addicted mother runs away. Even to the fuckers who work in the system, it’s just one more case to add to their already overworked asses. They don’t fucking care. Nobody does.

( This is so true and sadly it is more common than we would like to believe. Let’s open our eyes and see the different forms of abuse, we need to look deeper and see the true faces of the abusers. )

Defined by Deceit by A.E.Via

Title :  Defined by Deceit             Word Count : 104,200

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb :Life isn’t always fair, and that’s something that Llewellyn Gardner knows about first hand. His life was on the fast track until one night of extreme passion changed everything.

Now eight years later, he’s still living with the aftershocks of that night. Everywhere he turns or runs, there’s another reminder. What the hell do you do when you try to drown your demons only to find out they can swim?

Shane Smith, Jr. owner of Smith Construction, could see the emotional turmoil within his new employee — it’s why he hired him. There was something about the gorgeous, misunderstood man with the overly expressive eyes that came to their small town with a past no one was willing to overlook. Shane could see the good in Llewellyn, and those eyes of his were a clear window to his soul. Shane wasn’t going to let the man live a future of solitude because his past had been plagued with deceit.

Llewellyn wasn’t sure what to think about Shane. After years of protecting himself from being tricked twice, he was now faced with worry again. What would happen to him if Shane didn’t believe his truth, and walked away? Llewellyn wasn’t sure he’d be able to survive being left alone. Again.

My Review :  One of the hardest thing to live through is the betrayal of a loved one. Llewellyn experiences this first hand when his boyfriend cries rape after they are discovered in flagrante delicto  by the boy’s father. Llewellyn ends up doing 8 years for aggravated sexual assault, due to the love taps and love bites that have left sinister marks on his boyfriend Moss’ body. Moss takes the cowards way out, rather than admitting to his father that he is gay. He sends an innocent man to prison and ruins his life. Llew survives 8 yrs of hell with the help of unexpected friends.

 Llew’s trials and tribulations are far from over even after he gets out. He trades one small town for another,  but that doesn’t stop the gossiping and the judgements by small minded people who sees him as a child molester,because Moss was 17 and he was 18 at the time he was accused. With the help of a few nice people Llew is able to secure a room and access gainful employment with a construction crew ran by the sexy Shane Smith Jr. Shane gives Llew the benefit of the doubt and judges him off his own merits. It also helps that he finds the big sexy Llew attractive.

Shane truly gives Llew a fighting chance. He gives him all the support and love that Llew has only ever gotten from his brother.  Shane believes in Llew and his actions prove it. They have an unbelievable love connection and their sexual chemistry is off the chain. Shane shows Llew what it is like to love a real man and how when that love is returned, how it fixes the fissures in our soul. Llew feels safe enough with Shane to unleash his dominant sexual side. They are a match made in heaven,  because as submissive as Shane can be to Llew’s dominance,  he can also switch it up and take the lead. Their love is forged on their support and belief in each other. It takes strength to stand up for someone who everyone has all but turned their backs on. This was a truly wonderful love story that’s shows us how love can conquer adversity. I give this my ratings of 5 – bring out the vibrators. 

Desires Entwined 1: Designs of Desire by Tempeste O’ Riley

Title : Designs of Desire                 Word Count : 60,778

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.

As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.

James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?

My Review : James Bryant has been used and abused by most of the men in his life. This has left emotional and physical scars that have been indelibly imprinted. Couple his low self esteem with a genetic disorder that doesnt allow his joints to be repaired easily, James is left a little bit broken. He has to use crutches to get around but his disability doesn’t hold him back, it’s his fear of the ghosts of his past that cripples him. Pretty much everyone in his life has dissapointed him in some way or another, except for his best friend Chase. Chase is always looking out for him and he is the one who points out the sexy new client for whom James will be doing design work.  

There is just something about Seth, he has a very commanding presence that is very captivating. James can’t help but to abide his instinctual need to submit. There’s only one problem,  his mind is often in flight or fight mode due to his previous abusive relationship. As much as James would like to go into full submissive mode, he is hesitant and somewhat resistant because of his circumstances. He often takes the kindness that Seth portrays as an insult,  rather than what was intended which is a master taking care of his sub. 

When James meets  an ex lover of Seth’s,  it becomes clearer to him that Seth’s commanding nature is not only a personality trait. James learns that Seth might be more into the BDSM lifestyle than he can handle. Through his private conversations with the ex, James gleaned certain personal information about collars, markings and some allusion to beatings. James misunderstands the premise of the former relationship  and he flees out of fear. He fears that he has fallen  into the same trap yet again and that his former abusive past will be a part of his present and future once again. James distances himself from Seth for awhile by refusing contact and using Chase as a buffer for their interactions. After, he gets an explanation from Seth that puts his mind at ease and allows him to see that what happened in Seth’s past was entirely consensual. He slowly starts trusting Seth again and allows him to be a part of his life. 

When there is a crisis with Seth’s family and there are surprising revelations,  James deals with it with aplomb and takes on the role as more of a loving partner. This leads to James making his own revelations,  a declaration of love. Their roles become slightly reversed where James is now the rock, the strength of the union that holds it all together while Seth grieves.James opens not only his heart but his home to Seth as well. Their relationship progress nicely and Seth comes home to the savoury smells of James’ culinary skills each day. 

Drunken ramblings from Chase leads to misunderstandings ,  a phone smashed to smithereens and an effusive apology from Seth actually fortified their relationship. Their future is further solidified by Seth’s proclamation of love and a tentative marriage proposal goes a long way in making  James the happiest man alive. He is starting to see for himself how much Seth cares for him.

Their blissful life has a dark cloud hanging over it. There is an unknown threat to James  that causes Seth to be proactive in hiring a bodyguard.  James is really nervous when he has to tell the new strangers in his life, the Sayer brothers  about his horrid past. He explains to them how he has been abused and raped by people who he trusted when he was younger. This gives them a better handle as to how best to protect him. James has to face the ghosts of his past, in order for him to claim his future with his new family.  Everything is starting to look up for him and it’s all due to the man he loves. Seth finally proposes properly and there is no doubt left in James’ mind. He has learnt that the best family you could ever have are the ones that you choose to open your heart to and they in turn will cherish you just as you are. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Indiscreet 2: Jack’s Back by A.C. Katt

Title :Jack’s Back                   Word Count :38,000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Jim Menetti was Reed Davis’s sub until Reed’s old flame Jack came back. Jim picks himself up and makes a life for himself apart from his job at Indiscrete. He even begins to date but then Reed changes his mind.

Jim Menetti had a life at Indiscrete, the Gay BDSM club owned by Bear Drummond and Reed Davis. His life revolves around Reed, his Master, and his position as manager of the Club. On Jim and Reed’s third anniversary, Jack Leary, Reed’s on and off flame comes back and Jim’s relationship with Reed unravels. Jim picks himself up and makes a life for himself apart from his job, he buys a home, makes it a cozy retreat and gets a cat he names Waltzing Matilda. He even has a new love interest, the mysterious Professor Caleb Brickner, an expert in the Spainish Inquisition and medieval torture. Then, Reed changes his mind.

My Review : Sometimes in life,  we are our own worst enemy.  This is definitely the truth in Reed’s case when he makes the biggest mistake of his life by cheating on his loyal sub. Reed had an inkling almost from the moment he talked to Jim that he had let go off the best part of himself.  Reed has allowed his ex lover Jack to come back into his life, thinking that he is his great love. He doesn’t realize that what he has done is to extricate any form of intimacy out of his life. He is floundering without Jim in his life , but he is not sure how to make it right.

 His best friend and master Dom ‘Bear’ is furious with his pig headed stupid best friend who can’t see what’s right in front of him. Bear and his sub Brian helps Jim to put back the pieces of his shattered existence together. Brian and Jim has become the best of friends and this is really great in helping Jim to become self confident in a way he never was. Jim meets the charming Caleb and things seem to be going great until it isn’t. Caleb has a dark undertone to his personality that is not immediately apparent.

Reed feels very relieved when his best friend Bear starts talking to him again. As soon as he meets Caleb , he feels a weird, ominous vibe. He knows he’s jealous of the new man in Reed’s life, but he knows he can’t deny the sense of fear he feels for his ex being around Caleb. Bear suggests that Reed talk to the pyschiatrist Dr. Harris that Brian had used when his childhood abuse was triggered. As much as he doesn’t like this idea, Reed knows that if he ever wants to be a part of Jim’s life , he needs to deal with his emotional barriers. Dr. Harris helps tremendously and  a lot comes to the surface for Reed. Reed is borderline bipolar and rather than share that part of himself with the love of his life, he decided to shut Jim out.

Caleb becomes increasingly possessive and when Jim rejects him, he gets exceedingly violent and kills Jim’s cat. Jim is devastated and fearful. Luckily,  his friends are there to help him through this harrowing time and Reed finally steps up to be the man he was meant to be for Jim. Reed expunges his deep seated demons and purges his soul.

I was really invested in these characters and they really tugged at my heartstrings with the connection that I felt through them . Whatever the first book in the series was missing,  this more than made up for it tenfold. I can’t express how real both Reed and Jim are and this is brought forth through their flaws and faults. I give this my ratings of 5 – bring out the vibrators. 

Favorite Quotes : 1. “Baby, I couldn’t stand by and let something happen to you. I know, you…you have a new life and I’m not part of it. I swear to you as soon as this is over, I’ll leave the area, let you go. But please, let me take care of you this once like you’ve cared for me so many times. I need your forgiveness. I need…to save my soul, baby.” Reed dropped his arms with an abrupt motion and walked over to the glass door. “I held out on you, baby. I shouldn’t have.” Reed sighed. ( The ultimate sacrifice is letting go of someone you truly love in order to give them peace and happiness,  without being the one to share in that happiness with them.)

2. You need to understand, my lover, we are in this together. Whether we be Master and slave, Dom and sub, or partners, you have to know that I love you for all that you are, past, present, and the future we make together. Reed, you are as much mine as I am yours. It doesn’t matter how it’s expressed. I’ll go down on my knees for you forever, if that’s what you need, Reed, just so long as I know you love me.( True love is founded on equality. )

Indiscreet 1: A Matter of Trust by A.C. Katt

Title : A Matter of Trust                Word Count :70,000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb :Donald K. Drummond is the Master of all he surveys; a legend in commercial real estate in New Jersey by day and by night a Master Dom at the gay BDSM club, Indiscrete. What he couldn’t find was a boy to call his own. That all changed when a nerd with taped glasses and worn Dockers barged into his office spilling his bottle of 1985 Bourdeau over his priceless Persian carpet. Brian Murphy came with a host of troubles, the least of which was his grasping Aunt, his invalid mother and his rather tenious position in Donald’s mail room.Can a Dom with issues of his own come to train and trust a needy boy from his own mailroom. It’s all A Matter of Trust.

My Review : Donald ‘Bear’ Drummond has a very dominant complex personality and he doesn’t trust very well. He’s a self made man who became rich through his hard work, dedication and perseverance.  He is used to men trying to use him for his money and he tries his best to weed them out. Bear is looking for an ideal sub , one who can fulfill all his needs and be the perfect boy for him. The first time he meets Brian,  he knows this is the boy for him. Brian works in the mail room of his company and was set the task of delivering a package to him. It so happens that Brian trips and that’s how Bear finds him.Brian is clumsily sopping up the Bordeaux wine out of the expensive Persian rug after overturning it. Bear could care less about all these things. He is so focused on the sexy little submissive and he can’t wait to finally get this dream boy into his home. Bear plans to woo his sub properly, but his plans get derailed after Brian goes home.

Brian lives in a shitty little crack building and has a very horrible homophobic landlady. After seeing an invitation come for Brian from the prestigious gay BDSM  club, she gets her goons to beat Brian to an inch of his life. Bear is just in time to take his beautiful sub to the hospital with the help of his friends Jim and Reed. It is from this point of the story, where the book gets a little lackluster for me. I liked the whole premise of the story, but the relationship between these two seemed very forced and rushed even though there is more than enough pages in the book to facilitate the development of the characters and a proper follow through. I don’t  think the chemistry was there between these two. I think that the dialogue was a little too stilted and it didn’t really flow how I thought it should. I really was dissapointed when I didn’t feel that gut wrenching reaction and that genuineness.

It is unveiled that Brian has been abused repeatedly by his mother when he was a child. It is heartbreaking that throughout it all,  poor Brian beggars himself to pay for her medical bills.  Bear moves Brian into his home and takes the liberties of taking over all his financial burdens. Both men know that they are in love with each other, however trust is another realm for both of them . Brian is an experienced sub but he is known in their circles as the unbreakable sub. No one has been granted the privelege of relieving him of his virginity.  Bear also has trust issues and he hopes that in time he can trust Brian as much as he loves him. Bear makes it very clear that they will not engage in penetration  until he has collared Brian publicly. Nevertheless,  their sex life is super hot regardless. 

Bear gives Brian numerous tests in the service element to ensure that they are a proper fit. Bear wants a forward thinking sub who will think for himself, but who will also serve obediently and show him the proper respect which  is due to his stature as a master Dom. Brian performs flawlessly both at home and at the club. Bear is extremely proud and finds himself loving and trusting his lover, friend and most importantly his sub.

I had a bit of a love hate relationship with this book. For his part,  I think Bear was a great Dom  in the respect that he was far more giving and took care of his boys sexual needs in the bedroom. On the other hand, in public he was very rigid in terms of his  boy’s posture and the obedience that he expected from Brian, some of which I thought was unrealistic. Overall I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try. If you like insta-love it’s definitely for you. I will definitely try the second book in this series.  

Sex & Mayhem 2:The Devil’s Ride by K. A. Merikan

Title :  The Devil ‘s Ride              Word Count :125,000

Genre : Contemporary Dark Romance

Blurb : — You don’t fuck with the club president’s son. —

Tooth. Vice President of the Coffin Nails Motorcycle Club. On a neverending quest for vengeance. The last thing he needs is becoming a permanent babysitter for a male hooker.

Lucifer. Fallen. Lost. Alone.

After a childhood filled with neglect and abuse, followed by his mother’s suicide, Lucifer set out into the world alone. There was nothing for him out there other than taking it one day at a time. As the bastard son of the Coffin Nails club president, Lucifer never got much fatherly love. So when the Nails show up at the strip joint Lucifer works in, the last thing he expects is to be put in the custody of Tooth, the Nails Vice President famous for his gruesome interrogation techniques. The man proves to be the sexiest beast Lucifer has ever met. He’s also older, straight, and an itch Luci can’t ever scratch.

Tooth’s life came to a halt twelve years ago. His lover got brutally murdered, police never found the perpetrators, and all leads were dead ends. To find peace and his own justice, Tooth joined the Coffin Nails, but years on, he’s gotten nowhere with the case, yet still lives on with the burning fire for revenge.

Babysitting a deeply scarred teenager with a talent for disappearing is the last thing on his bucket list. He promised himself to never get attached to someone like him again. To make sure the openly gay boy is safe in the clubhouse, Tooth is stuck keeping an eye on him. The big, blue, attention seeking gaze is drawing Tooth in, but fucking the president’s son is a complete no-go, even when both their feelings go beyond lust.

What Tooth doesn’t know is that Lucifer might hold the key to the closure Tooth so desperately needs.

WARNING Contains adult content: a gritty storyline, sex, explicit language, violence and abuse. Inappropriate use of dental tools and milk.

My Review : It’s glaringly obvious that Luci is just a scared little boy. He tries to act tough, like he can take care of himself but it’s just a facade. Luci is found by Tooth the scary tough as nails vice president of the Coffin Nail biker club. Luci is hiding in the back of the club where he works as a stripper, when he meets the handsome, dangerously sexy biker. Luci is taken outside for questioning,  when the president of the club realizes that the male stripper Luci is in fact his illegitimate son. My heart goes out for poor Luci when his father just pawns him off to Tooth telling him to deal with him and keep him a secret so that his wife won’t find out.

Luci has been on his own for quite some time and he uses his sexuality as an armour to shield him from all the ugliness in the world. He is surrounded by a bunch of bikers for whom his sexuality might be a problem. He knows that the only thing stopping them from kicking his ass is because he is the president’s son and because he is under the protection of Tooth, a  man who is  known for  his  tooth taking abilities as a means of torture.  Luci tries to weasel his way out of his situation by offering Tooth his body. Tooth shows him right there and then , who is in charge giving him a spanking that was not geared for sexual pleasure. This awakens a certain longing in Luci and as much as he is embarrassed , he is also smitten by Tooth’s rough handling. Tooth does nothing to encourage Luci’s crush and he treats him more like a friend than anyone else at the compound.  

Tooth and Luci builds a friendship based on trust and rules   which enabled Tooth’s protection and Luci’s promise to not run away. This relationship builds slowly and borders on domesticity without being sexual, but there is an undercurrent of sensuality and an undefined instinctual deep-seated emotion between the two. Tooth is inherently violent because of circumstances that has shaped his life and worldview, but he is not cruel. Luci brings out a softness and a level of care that Tooth has never shown anyone else. Tooth realizes that he is having feelings for the much younger Luci, but he tries hard to suppress it even though Luci flirts at every given opportunity. Tooth becomes a disciplinarian, spanking Luci as punishment when he is bad. He doesn’t realize that Luci is almost in love with him and feels connected through this discipline, until he pushes Luci so far away that he is emotionally hurting. Tooth really hates that he hurt Luci emotionally and he sees that he can no longer deny his sexual feelings for the sexy little  submissive twink who is definitely his type. 

They both give in to their attraction and they start having sex, really hot sex 😉. Tooth is warm,  loving and playful with Luci,   they just need to keep their relationship a secret from everyone. This becomes really hard for Luci who is exuberant in his joy at finally getting the man who he is so in love with. Luci tells his brother that they are having a relationship and it almost causes a fight between the two club members.

When Tooth gets shot and Luci’s brother dies during club business, Luci’s stepmother blames him for her son’s death and convinces him to run away. Tooth is out of his mind when he wakes up in the hospital to news that Luci has run away. Luckily,  he had given Luci a necklace armed with a tracker. They traced Luci to a bus station where Tooth being overcome with emotion kissed Luci passionately in front of all the club members. Needless to say,  everyone is shocked and appalled.  Surprisingly, it goes not too bad since Tooth is a bad ass and can take on any member of the club in a fight. Luci and Tooth are able to show their love and affections openly and it is certainly a beautiful sight to see. I’m really in love with this series, the characters and plot are developed beautifully.  It is crude, raw and it creates a visceral reaction within me . I give this my ratings of 5 – bring out the vibrators. 

Exception to the Rule 2: His Fair Lady by Kimberly Gardner

Title : His Fair Lady                 Word Count :53,059

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Mark Talleo is something of a dog with the ladies. Any girl, anytime, anywhere is his motto until he meets Josie Frazier. The long lean redhead not only shares his love of musical theatre, but her smoky sexy voice and infectious laugh drive Mark wild and haunt his every step. Equally fascinating is his sense that she has a secret, one he is determined to uncover on his way to becoming her leading man.

Josie does have a secret, one she guards with her whole self. Although she has always known she was female, her name used to be Joey and she’s still biologically male. As much as she yearns for love and acceptance, her fear of rejection is just as strong.

Mark’s need to know the truth is matched only by Josie’s need to hide it. But when malicious gossip reveals her deepest secret the price of honesty may turn out to be too high to pay. But if each can accept that the woman he wants is the woman she is then at last Mark may find His Fair Lady.

My Review : From the moment that Josie is introduced,  she pulled at my heartstrings.  I was instantly in love with this character.  She seemed sweet , innocent and she was like a breath of fresh air. Mark was instantly attracted to Josie when he noticed her bright red hair, green eyes and luminous pale skin. Josie shut him down at first , but Mark’s charming personality won her over. Josie really likes Mark but she is hesitant,  because she knows a guy like Mark would never truly want her if she exposed herself to him.  

Josie is feminine in every way, except for the most important way; she is anatomically male. As much as she would like Mark to accept her for who she is , deep down inside she is ultimately scared of rejection.  She is not an out and proud transgirl. Mark and Josie get hot and heavy pretty fast through phone sex and hot make out sessions above the waist, well for her anyways. Josie is a virgin, but she loves to explore and she gives Mark anything any red-blooded college guy wants. Mark loves this side of Josie, but he is eager to touch her and give her all the pleasure she deserves. However, Josie’s secret has her constantly pulling back, because she is hyperaware  of her  unchanged male body.

It is very evident that her secret is going to end up biting her in the ass. It is like an uncoming train wreck you see about to happen, but there is nothing to be done about it, it’s inevitable. One day while Josie is in the bathroom,  another student accidentally walks in on her. Josie thinks nothing of it, thinking that there is no way the other student saw her partially exposed body. She is soooo wrong! Being as busy as she is with school work and the play she is casted as the lead for,  she puts the whole bathroom mishap out of her mind. 

Mark’s vindictive ex girlfriend starts spreading rumours around campus that Josie is a guy. Mark is a staunch defender of Josie’s until certain doubts start surfacing.  Mark realized that he’s never seen Josie fully naked in all the time that they have fooled around. As predicted,  it all blows up in Josie’s face when Mark confronts her about what he has heard. As soon as Mark sees  Josie’s reaction, he knows the rumours are true. Mark is devastated and he feels betrayed by Josie’s ommission. Harsh words are exchanged between the two and they storm off their separate ways. 

Josie starts getting harassed with  anonymous transphobic notes. She tries not to take it too seriously, until she is physically hurt and left unconcious by one of her cast members . Mark bumps into Kyle DiStefano,  Josie’s best friend at the hospital.  Kyle gives Mark some insight into what Josie’s life has been like since she was a kid. Mark is upset that Josie has been targetted because she is trans. He hasn’t ever been upset at her for being trans , but for the fact that she didn’t trust him enough to tell him.

They try to work things out when they realize that they still want to be with each other. Makeup sex is the absolute best and their first time together was extremely explosive.  They were both vulnerable in the moment, because it was something new for both of them . This heightened the sensuality rather than detracting from it. It was a truly beautiful moment between the two. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 

Swan Song for an Ugly Duckling by Michael Murphy

Title : Swan Song for an Ugly Duckling                             Word Count :71997         Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb :Aaron and Josh come from extraordinarily different backgrounds in small town America. Aaron is the only child of a fundamentalist preacher who fears and condemns the ways of the world outside their community. Josh is a jock who can only seem to express the feelings Aaron stirs in him by tormenting Aaron about how he looks and dresses. But one day, Josh’s world is turned upside down by a simple sentence spoken by Aaron, and he decides to get closer to Aaron.

Aaron assumes it is a new form of torture, but Josh persists: first a ride home, then talking with Aaron while he does his afternoon farm chores. Then Josh persuades Aaron’s father to let him participate in a scholastic event out of town one weekend. Josh pays a huge price for Aaron to attend, but that one weekend persuades Aaron to get free of his parents and attend college.

College doesn’t solve all their problems, though. Josh is horrified when a senior on campus seduces Aaron. He can’t believe Aaron has always been gay and he missed it—and missed getting to be Aaron’s first. But when Aaron finds out his boyfriend isn’t faithful, things go from tense to worse.

My Review : It is certainly a shame when something as simple as a shower is a luxury for a teenager.  Aaron grew up without all the simple amenities due to him living in an Amish community. He was constantly bullied and teased for being different. Although his body was physically imposing, he was seen as a backwards hick, regardless of the fact that he was smarter than most of the people in his school. Not only did Aaron get humiliated by the jocks at school,  he also had to put up with  his father belittling , verbally and physically abusing him.

 All the years of torment have finally taking its toll on Aaron. More and more each day he wishes he had a regular teenage life. He wants to be able to afford the privilege of getting out of his closed off town to go to college. Anything really, just as long as he is out from  under his father’s thumb and doesn’t have to take over the leadership of his community that is stifling. Aaron realizes that he has same sex tendencies and he tries to bury these feelings deep down within himself. He wants more out of life than being a farmer.

One day he gets the courage to speak up against his main tormentor who is a popular jock  named Josh.Josh acknowledges and apologizes to Aaron for all the hurt and pain he has caused him over the years. He tries really hard to get to know Aaron, but Aaron is weary and suspicious of his motives. Once Josh starts getting some insight in the type of life that is forced on Aaron he feels a sense of empathy and he is truly confused at how a teenager can function without all the simple modern technologies that everyday kids take for granted. As they grow closer, Josh exposes Aaron to his way of life and introduces him to television shows such as Glee and gives him a makeover. It is a real eye-opener for Aaron to see gay relationships flourishing in the outside world. Josh realizes how sweet of a person and how truly innocent Aaron seems to be. 

The physical abuse gets really bad for Aaron at home and when Josh gets a glimpse of what was done to him, he gets the authorities involved.  Josh’ parents pushes Aaron to become an emancipated minor and live with them. Josh and Aaron’s bond becomes stronger and Josh motivates and pushes Aaron to his full potential in all aspects of his life. Aaron grows to be a more rounded teenager and a far greater student.

Before you know it, Josh and Aaron both start college where they share a dorm room. This is where it gets a bit dicey for me, they are still hiding the fact that they are both gay and that they really like each other. I thought this stretched on a little too long. Up to this point there is still no sex and it’s about 85% through the book already. Some unnecessary drama is thrown in and Josh and Aaron are mad at each other  and distant. After seeing Aaron with another man, Josh bites the bullet and tells Aaron how much he is in love with him. Aaron is still doubting his position in the world, because there is still so much he doesn’t understand about social situations.

When they go on Christmas break , this is where they finally clear up their misunderstandings and explore the sexual side of their relationship. The sex in this book was very minimal and definitely not overt, so I had to be reading through the lines. I am a fan of Michael Murphy and the content was interesting,  I am just disappointed in the lack of sex. This gets my ratings of 3- it was ok, give it a try.