No Angel ( No Shame 5) by Nora Phoenix

Title: No Angel Word Count:167 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Indy and his chosen family are celebrating the holidays…in true No Shame style.

It’s time to say I do, and Indy couldn’t be more excited. Side by side with Noah, Josh, and Connor, he’s proud to take his vows with their friends watching.

But his post-wedding bliss is rudely interrupted when his past once again comes back to haunt him. And not just him, Connor gets some shocking news as well that leaves him reeling.

Before they can all share the best Christmas ever, they’ll need to come together as one family.

No Angel is the fifth book in the No Shame series, a continuing series that needs to be read in order (start with No Filter). You can expect the usual sexy shenanigans, some suspense, and a whole lotta love and emotions as we reconnect with all characters from the previous books.

My Review: The boys are back and even hotter than before. It starts out with Indy and Josh having wedding jitters. They are both about to marry the men of their dreams, Noah and Connor. To the world this looks like a joint wedding of two couples. It really is a melding of 4 souls joining together to form one whole. Connor is no longer jealous of the special relationship that Indy has with Josh. To them, it’s as natural as breathing and they come together seamlessly. Both Connor and Noah are finally understanding that they all need this connection and bond that keeps growing for all of them. Instead of dividing, it has actually brought them closer together, they are now a family. This also includes the trio that they have let into their lives , Charlie, Brad and his ‘daddy’ Miles. Although unconventional, all of these relationships are being fostered in a safe environment that has allowed them to flourish.

News that there is a contract out on Indy’s life once more threatens to shake their foundation. Connor, Noah and Miles who are the ‘man’ of the house decide to hire private security to ensure their ‘boys’ are safe. They all agree that the security needs to be kink friendly so that they won’t need to curtail their lifestyles. They find a Dom named Wander who is very open minded, but it is still an adjustment and causes some embarrassment for some members of the household. This tests the true strength of the triad relationship when it comes to light that Miles is a bit embarrassed of his relationship. Brad is deeply hurt that his ‘daddy’ would deny the special part of their relationship…. his need of his consensual use and debasement. Miles knows he needs to atone for his mistakes so he asks Connor to dole out his punishment. Although unconventional for a Dom to ask another Dom for punishment, this is his way to prove his worthiness to his ‘boy’.

Even more earth-shattering is when Connor’s mom calls him out of the blue. She says her final goodbyes and tells of the end of her affiliation with the mob. Connor takes this as a premonition of bad things to come and he is indeed right. After giving herself over to police custody, she confesses to her crimes of murdering the remaining Fitzpatricks and then some. This is her last act of protecting Connor and proves her unfailing love in her own way. She later commits suicide. This is heart-rending for Connor, but his men are there to pick him up. Connor is shattered and he doesn’t do well with grief. It is Noah who pulls him in the right direction to express his feelings.

Indy comes up with a game where everyone in the house gets their ultimate sexual fantasy. It is through these sexy times where Connor and Noah finally become intimate with each other and boy was it intense. Intense in a good way and cathartic at the same time. It was definitely a balm to soothe Connor’s hurt and put him back together again. Blake and Aaron was also featured and they also get their happy ending. Aaron proposed to his master who accepts. They have a winter wonderland wedding on Christmas eve where Blake gets the chance to officially collar his ‘puppy’ with a diamond encrusted pink collar. This was certainly the best Christmas holidays for all these men who’ve come together and formed this beautiful family. I give this my ratings of 5- bring out the vibrators cause there is lots of hot sex. I absolutely loved the perfect end to a perfect series.

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Terms of Service (The Heretic Dom’s Club 2) by Marie Sexton

Title: Terms of Service Word Count:398 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Dr. River McKay moved to Denver with his husband, Terrence, hoping to give their failing marriage a new start. A year later, Terrence is gone and River’s left brokenhearted. Now, he’s decided it’s time to get back in the game. A chance encounter at the hospital introduces him to Phil, a strong-willed pharmacist who isn’t impressed by River’s degree.

Phil can’t deny his attraction to River, but dating is out of the question. Phil only does one kind of relationship — domestic servitude, where he gives the orders and his partner obeys. To his surprise, River agrees — not because he likes the idea, but because anything’s better than being alone.

They know the arrangement won’t last. Phil’s set in his ways and incapable of showing affection outside the bedroom. River’s unused to obedience and still in love with his ex. But their time together will change them, making them question everything they thought they knew about love, control, and relationships. When the unexpected threatens to tear them apart, they’ll have to choose between the comforts of the past and a future they can only find together.

My Review: After his marriage ends in a most disastrous way, Doctor River is left floundering. Although his husband cheated on him and is now dating a surgeon at the hospital where they all work, River still misses and loves his cheating ex Terrence. To alleviate some of the awkwardness, River works the graveyard shifts in the emergency room. River’s life is at a standstill and he feels like a pathetic human being without a purpose outside of work. That is until he meets Phil.

Phil is a pharmacist at the hospital where River works. After an extremely stressful night in the ER, Phil refuses to fill a prescription for one of River’s patients. Needless to say, their first meeting doesn’t go so well as River sees Phil as a challenge to his authority. River pulls out all his cockiness, deciding to show Phil who is boss. That is until Phil points out very calmly and slightly mocking that the prescription conflicts with the patient and could have eventually resulted in a heart attack with prolonged use. River is penitent and apologizes to Phil when he sees that his slip up could have caused harm.

The next time River sees Phil, he goes out of his way to mend fences. He starts up a conversation and one thing leads to another leading them to talk about the debacle that is now River’s life.Phil suggests hook up sites such as Growlr to River. River decides to check it out, but he chickens out on his first two dates. When he comes across Phil’s profile, he sets up a date thinking that familiarity will work in his favor. Phil is definitely surprised to see River at his door. Right away Phil lets the bigger man know what he is into. Phil is a Dom who subscribes to the BDSM principle of domestic servitude. River is slightly unsure, but intrigued nonetheless. Soon their unlikely arrangement begins.

Phil eases River into the lifestyle gently. He is very militant in his practices and he has 2 very important rules. First rule is that River has to obey all his orders explicitly and secondly River should never touch him. Phil is very clear about their arrangement, it is not to be considered a relationship, because that is something he cannot provide. There will be sex, intimacy and certainly pleasure, but that will be all.As a Dom Phil is as cold as ice and he is borderline OCD. However, his rules are in place due to his past experiences. It soon becomes clear that Phil has a lot of baggage, something that has caused him to become emotionally stunted.

As the weeks go on, Phil pushes some of River’s limits. River finds freedom in being chained and collared. He relishes serving his ‘Teacher’ and his inner exhibitionist is set free. River is introduced to Phil’s friends at their poker night. He is turned on when he sees Dom Gray getting a blowjob from Dom Warren’s submissive Taylor. He realises that he would love switching places with Taylor. When Phil sees River’s interest, he suggests setting up a scene where River will be used by his friends when its his turn to host poker night.

Things are going great for them, when River has a run in with Terrence who wants him to sign their divorce papers. River is at an all time low and indulges in too much Scotch. He forgets one of the main rules and touches Phil as a way of seeking validation. Phil pushes him away and warns him about their agreement. Resentment starts building for River as he realizes that this arrangement is almost one sided. He sees Phil as a cold fish in his time of need and the domestic servitude doesn’t seem as intriguing anymore. Even though he is ready to give up, he begs Phil for a drop of reassurance. Phil remains stoic and gives River ‘recess’. This leaves River alone to question if this is something he can really live with. He knows deep down that Phil will forever hold back a part of himself.

Before he can continue, he seeks advice from one of Phil’s friends, Dom Charlie. Charlie explains that Phil is a complicated character, but he can see that he values River by the fact that he has been introduced to his friends. Charlie emphasizes that River needs to be patient and reshape his thinking if he wants to be with Phil for the long haul. Charlie explains that River has to look for the underlying nuances to gain insight into Phil’s true feelings. Phil is definitely not unperturbed by River’s absence. It soon becomes clear that he just doesn’t know how to express what he feels. River goes back willingly and is fervent in his dedication to continue his domestic servitude.

River comes with his own set of baggage. He has hang-ups about bottoming which usually results in the embodiment of impotence. They have gotten hot and sweaty many times, but never as far as penetration. Phil decides to make that happen after allowing his friends to have many orgasmic rounds with River on poker night. River is super blissful and exhausted by the time they are alone. It’s closest he’s ever felt to anyone and it is truly a memorable moment.

To the outside world their increased closeness would not be apparent, but this is definitely true in the days following ‘recess’. They go camping and River sees a different more caring side to Phil when his impotence rears its ugly head again. River gets the best part of Phil when he switches up the dynamics and gives him the trust of bottoming for River. Phil is laid bare in all his vulnerability. His austere facade disappears as he opens up emotionally, blooming with passion. Their weeklong camping trip brings about a sense of peace and River has never seen ‘Teacher’ so relaxed. River loves this version of what they have and embraces belonging to Phil.They are definitely closer than they were, but rather than leaving with a renewed resolve. It leaves a whole bunch of unanswered questions for Phil to sort through his head. River sees that Phil needs space so he heads home. That’s where he finds his ex Terrence ensconced in their home waiting for him.

Things have gone south for Terrence after his lover gets charged for stealing pills from the hospital. He is now home for good with apologies rolling off his tongue and his smug attitude. River is faced with all he ever wanted from the moment Terrence walked out, but It leaves him confused and needing to talk to Phil. As soon as he explains to Phil, Phil sets him free . In his own way Phil is devastated, but he knows this is a choice that River has to willingly make. River wanted Phil to fight for him, but that’s not Phil’s style. River goes home and Phil turns to the comfort of his friends.

River tries to move on with Terrence who wants to know details about his relationship with Phil. River just glosses over the surface, saying that Phil likes control in bed. Even that is too much, it feels disloyal to talk about Phil and expose his lifestyle to Terrence’s possible ridicule. After about a week River sees the truth, the fact that Terrence has not changed and he is still the same conniving, selfish person he has always been. He finds out that Terrence intercepted a letter sent by Phil. When he reads the letter, he sees through Phil’s soul and he realized that maybe he doesn’t need Phil to fight for him, maybe he needs to be the one to fight for Phil. Phil lays himself bare and finally River understands the nuances that points to love. Phil has always been patient, giving and allowing River to be himself without ridicule or recriminations. Without hesitation River packs his stuff and goes home to kneel before his ‘teacher’. Phil is overcome with love and even though he is the teacher, he knows finally what it means to belong. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear. It is a very unorthodox relationship, certainly not for everyone, but the love ,trust and vulnerability that shines through is embedded on my heart.

New Beginnings (Second Chances 2) by Megs Pritchard

Title: New Beginnings Word Count: 244 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Ben Parker
After the murder of his friend and a failed suicide attempt, Ben is left grief stricken and struggling to cope with his guilt.
Living with someone he barely knows, he lashes out and eventually leaves unable to accept the positive changes in his life after spending time on the streets.
When he realises that he can’t go back to his old life, Ben returns to the new home he’s been provided, hoping Geoff will let him return.
Accepting help, Ben begins to process and come to turns with everything he’s been through and also his developing feelings for Geoff, the man he is now living with.

Geoff Foster
Having taken in a broken young man, Geoff struggles to help him and control his growing attraction. When his offers of help are thrown back in his face, Geoff is horrified when Ben walks away, leaving with no intent to return.
Geoff, never expecting to see Ben again, is shocked when he discovers that Ben wants another chance and is willing to accept his help to move forward from his past.
As their relationship develops and deepens, each discovers emotions they didn’t know they were capable of feeling. When Ben’s past comes back to haunt him and threaten what they are building together, will it break them or make them stronger?

This books contains homosexual relations, swearing and historical abuse.

My Review: Ben Parker has been living a rough life. He is a homeless prostitute who has just lost his best friend Adam to a violent death. He feels guilty for not protecting Adam from his untimely demise. Being a rent boy on the streets of Manchester is not without its dangers, but before his death Adam was taking excessive risks that could have been avoided. They usually work in pairs so one can watch the other’s back while he’s busy with a customer. Ben takes Adam’s death to heart and has attempted suicide. He was lucky enough to be found by his other friend Tom who just got out of the lifestyle.

Geoff Foster has a lot on his plate. He has recently taken over his father’s law firm where he is one of the solicitors. To top it all off, he has acquired a new houseguest. Geoff offered to help Tom and his boyfriend Seb to take care of Ben when he was released from hospital. It’s been 2 months though and Ben doesn’t seem to be getting better. Geoff thinks that he has bitten off more than he can chew and he now realizes that he doesn’t have the tools to help Ben. It is becoming clear that Ben is not only dealing with his failed suicide attempt, but also his time spent on the streets and the horrors he lived through.

Ben is in a very dark place in his mind. He is almost catatonic and refuses to eat. He just lays around wishing he was dead. He is plagued by the ghosts of his past. Ben keeps on reliving the horrific abuse both physical ,verbal and emotional that his mom and step father doled out. The main thing that’s been embedded in his brain is that he is useless and not worth the air he breathes. He is starting to believe his stepfather’s words. Especially now he thinks that he has failed Adam in letting him die.

Geoff is at his wits end and calls in the help of a professional psychiatrist. She comes in and explains the 5 stages of grief to him. She doesn’t get much out of Ben, but he does agree to see her again and she suggests a journal. Before she leaves she reminds Geoff not to push too hard with Ben. It doesn’t take long for that to happen with Ben being in such a volatile state of mind. Things go downhill fast when he is introduced to Geoff’s brother who let it slip he knows about Ben’s past. Ben is furious and feels betrayed by Geoff. He stormed out into the night and Geoff worries he has gone back to his old life. Geoff finds out he is not wrong, when he finds Ben going into a stranger’s car. Geoff muscles him away from the car and takes him back home. He gives Ben two choices: stay with him or go back to the streets. Sadly, Ben packs a bag and leaves.

Geoff is disappointed, but he knows he has to let Ben go. He understands that there is no helping someone if they don’t want it. Geoff is worried about Ben and he hardly sleeps. It isn’t until a week that Geoff comes home to the sound of the shower running. He is shocked to see Ben, but he is so relieved. According to Ben, even though he knew that staying would be his best option, he needed to go back to the streets. He felt that was what he deserved, but being homeless again was an eye opener for him. Ben knows now that he no longer wants to live like that. He hasn’t the will to fight to survive anymore on the streets. He wants to fight to live now. Ben started writing in his journal and its as if a dam has broken. It helps him to process his pain. He explains the horrors of his childhood to Geoff, the reasons that led him to living on the streets. It is clear that Ben is ready to accept the assistance and move forward.

Ben and Geoff slowly get to know each other. The attraction that has been simmering from day one, is finally revealed when Ben kisses Geoff. Geoff puts a stop to it before things get too far , there are things he needsto explain to Ben. Geoff lets him know that he would love to be in a relationship with him, but he needs Ben’s submission. Ben is wary, but Geoff explains the aspect of the BDSM lifestyle he adheres to is dominance/ submission rather than pain. Geoff gives Ben time to come to terms with the lifestyle and gives him some websites to research. Ben is nervous, but he knows deep down inside he would relish giving total control to Geoff. When he finally hands over his submission to Geoff , it is a beautiful experience. Geoff cherishes Ben and shows him that through his submission, he is actually freeing himself. It is all about Ben and his gratification.

For the first time, someone takes the time to give Ben pleasure.He is overwhelmed with Geoff’s lovemaking and the care he takes. Ben is still worried, because he is yet to reciprocate. Geoff proves to him how much he wants him the next night. All that pent up passion and dominance overflows when Geoff ravishes him. This unleashes something within Ben, causing him to be so desperate and scream for his lover. It is utter bliss for them both. They are perfectly suited.They go over a contract together outlining things that they want to try and their hard limits.

Ben knows he needs to move forward with his life in all aspects. One of the things he needs the most is closure after Adam’s death. Geoff suggests that they need to bury Adam whose body is still left unclaimed. Ben also come to the conclusion that if he wants to feel like an equal to Geoff, he needs to finish up his education so that he can pursue a career. They continue their explorations of the physical side of their Dom/sub contract. Geoff schools Ben on being the perfect submissive for him. Kinky handcuffs come in play while Ben addresses Geoff as Sir. It is such a turn on for both of them and Ben ascertain that this is what he has been missing all along.

Their relationship enters into another realm when Geoff decides he wants to introduce Ben as his partner. They go to one of Geoff’s high class work functions and Ben is remarkably nervous. It is clear how proud of him Geoff is, so that soothes his frazzled nerves a bit. That peace soon shatters when one of his former regular customer recognizes him. The man corners Ben in a bathroom and try to blackmail him into sex and Geoff into selling his business. As hard as it is for Ben, he acknowledges that he needs to trust and believe in Geoff’s love for him. They have both professed their love for each other and there will definitely be challenges. They just need to face them together and they can conquer anything. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

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.

A Bit of Me ( Love in Xxchange 6) by Bailey Bradford

Title: A Bit of Me              Word Count:309 pgs

Genre:  Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Chase Murphy lost everything—money, his best friend, and his confidence-but one man wants to help him regain what was taken from him along with a love that Chase never expected to have and doesn’t believe he deserves.

A chance encounter gives hope…

Xavier Talbot has everything a successful man should, or at least he thought he did. Suddenly he discovers that his brother is a sick sadistic jerk, the boy he found on the streets and raised for the past several years is going to give Xavier a clear understanding of ‘empty nest syndrome’, and the club he’d built up from nothing, The Xxchange, now seems like a sleazy place instead of the GLBT paradise Xavier had imagined. Then a chance encounter with one man gives Xavier a bit of hope in his rapidly depressing world.

…but will they discover love together?

Chase Murphy only wanted one thing—to find his best friend, James Stratton, who’d been kidnapped by a vengeful sociopath. Hurt and stranded in a town he has no intentions of staying in, Chase meets a man he wants to hate, but he can’t stop thinking about Xavier Talbot no matter what he does. Slowly, seductively, the town and its inhabitants draw Chase in and make him rethink his opinion on forming friendships and the possibility of a long term relationship. He isn’t sure he wants to hang around to see if things would work out, but it isn’t until James is found that Chase discovers the truth about what it means to love people, as friends and, for Xavier, as a lover.

My Review: Xavier Talbot, owner of club Xxchange can be described in so many ways: snarly, sexy, dangerous and definitely dominant but never vulnerable. But that is exactly how he feels when he thinks he is about to lose Billy, his faux brother/ son. Xavier has protected Billy since he picked him up off the streets since  he was 15. Billy is very effeminate and a twink to boot. He is always getting into trouble since he bites off more than he can chew with the burly men he’s attracted to.

 When Xavier finds his own brother Randy assaulting Billy for the second time, he goes off the rails and beat the holy hell out of his brother. Xavier is helped  by FBI Stone who also comes to rescue Billy and who promises that he wants to become a more permanent fixture in Billy’s life. Xavier’s bond with Billy feels threatened and he just knows that his place in Billy’s life will be usurped by this sexy FBI agent. He feels insignificant and he knows he is experiencing the empty nest syndrome even if it hasn’t happened yet officially.

When he meets Chase Murphy, a friend of his former employee Adam, he knows he is just the man to fill the void. Their connection is very electric, but there is only one problem, Chase is determined to fight their connection every step of the way. Chase has been tortured by some bad people from Adam’s past and even though he is hurt, he is on a mission. A mission to find his best friend James Stratton who  has been missing for awhile and feared to be dead. Chase believes he has no time to pursue whatever he feels brewing between him and Xavier. Also, Chase has a few issues with intimacy. He is definitely a self professed top in the bedroom and looking at Xavier it is clear that he is definitely very toppy and dominant. Chase just doesn’t see how things can  work out for them. 

These guys realize how potent heir attraction is when they see each other again, but Chase is still fighting it. Also , Chase is in the midst of receiving confirmation from agent Liam Stone that his friend James is alive, but has been thoroughly tortured. He pushes all thoughts of Xavier to the side,but his fantasies are too vivid and he lives through these. Chase tries to be honest with himself and in his dreams its feels liberating to be vulnerable and bottom for Xavier.

Things come to a head when Xavier is drugged at his club by a twink named Paulie. Chase is livid that something like that has happened to Xavier. He can’t seem to stay away anymore. As soon as Xavier is out of the hospital, Chase goes up bluntly to tell him that he wants him. Xavier counteracts by letting Chase know he doesn’t bottom and that he is not looking for a one night stand. Chase has to rethink everything he ever understood about himself and sex. He compromises, but it wasn’t very hard since he can’t lie about the way Xavier makes his body open up. Their first time is combustible even though they don’t go all the way. Xavier knows that he will have to earn Chase’s trust.

Trust comes in increments for them and soon these sexy strong- willed men find out what its like to be vulnerable while falling for each other. They both open themselves up to each other, both doing things that they said would never be a possibility because of their dominant personalities. The trust that they feel for each other is amazing and definitely a good foundation on which to build their relationship. 

Chase proves to Xavier that he is in it for the long haul. He pools their resources together and makes plans with Xavier to revamp their club the Xxchange into something more sophisticated. Xavier also helps Chase to sneak around trying to find out the secure location where his friend James is being hidden. Chase is so happy to see that even though James is just a little broken , he is still alive. They are all hoping to to have James recover to his former self. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

Men in the Shadows 4: The Porn Star by Rain Carrington

Title : The Porn Star              Word Count : 382 pgs
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Sammy is looking for the man who could make him feel the way Neil had, and finding it impossible. A secret admirer starts to leave him roses and notes, stalking him. Sammy is intrigued, but with college, his job at his father’s garage and his new tutoring gig, he doesn’t have a lot of time to guess who it could be. Secretly, though, he hopes that it is Neil, who he couldn’t stop wanting.
He finds out and soon begins to explore his kink, to be watched. A video is uploaded to a website and attracts the attention of a porn producer. IS this Sammy’s big break, or will it end in heartbreak?
The student Sammy starts to tutor is a rich and difficult man named Andrew. Andrew disregards and berates anyone who crosses him, including the new personal assistant his father hired to “babysit” him.
Tom is a former Marine with a secret agenda, keeping him in the job with the privileged man he doesn’t know if he’d rather slap or kiss. Once Andrew’s parents announce their impending divorce, Andrew goes off the rails, only to find Tom there to catch him.
Through the last two years, Malcolm and Kirk have lived and loved, but when Sammy asks Malcolm to keep a secret from his big lover and his biker brothers, including Road Dog, Sammy’s father, Malcolm agrees, only to be found out and losing everyone who mattered the most to him. Can he and Kirk find their way back to one another, possibly with the help of the big Marine they met through Sammy?
Secrets, intrigue, murder and unspeakable acts abound in this final installment of the series. Three couples unite and are put to the test by family, friends and new jobs. Can three men come out stronger or end up another casually of their Men in the Shadows?

My Review : This book really showed how to bring the two halves of our ‘selves’ together and how to reconcile the disparity between the two. First of all, we meet Sammy who is a sweet young man who seems to be lost. Sammy has been hurt by a former lover and has decided to cure his pain by sleeping around. This helps him for a time, but lately he has realized that these encounters are leaving him unfulfilled. When Sammy starts getting notes from a secret admirer, he has to admit that he is somewhat intrigued. He tells his best friend Malcolm who seems to be worried for Sammy. He suggests that it could be the work of Sammy’s former lover Neil. Sammy agrees with Mal, but even though he still feels hurt over Neil’s betrayal, deep down he hopes the notes are from him. Sammy goes through his everday life as usual, going to college, working at his father’s garage and doing some tutoring to a spoiled brat named Andrew.
Things come to a head when Neil reveals himself as Sammy’s secret admirer. Sammy’s immediate reaction is to walk away from Neil as he knows no good can come from it. Neil persuades him and begs him for a chance to apologize. Neil is sorry for the way he betrayed Sammy. He knows that he messed up before and got Sammy’s friend Malcolm hurt, but he was also the one who helped find Malcolm when he was kidnapped. Sammy wants to forgive Neil and he realizes that he is still very much in love with him. He is in a quandary, because he knows that his family would definitely not appreciate him getting back together with Neil. Sammy’s father Road Dog, belongs to a biker gang, and he has forbidden his son to ever speak to Neil again after all the problems he caused the family .
Against his better judgement, Sammy decides to give Neil another chance and take things slowly . Neil is ecstatic that he gets to be with his sweet Sammy again. They agree to keep their relationship a secret for the time being. Things are going great with them and within no time they have totally reconnected. Neil is the only man that has been able to bring out Sammy’s kinky side, he is a bit of an exhibitionist. Neil caters to Sammy’s exhibitionism by filming their passionate lovemaking and uploading it to a porn site with Sammy’s approval. Sammy is beyond excited to see the thousands of views that their video has gotten. This sparks a flame within Sammy which can no longer be tamed.
In the meantime, another relationship is being formed between Sammy’s spoiled brat student Andrew and his live in bodyguard Tom. Andrew comes from a family of wealth and he is rude and disrespectful to everyone. He is over priveledged and his father has paid his way through life. He is failing his classes and Sammy realises that the true problem lays in the fact that he can’t read. Andrew goes through life ,covering his failings by being rude and not letting anyone get close to him. He pushes everyone to their breaking point, so that they will eventually leave him. This did not work with Tom, who he thoroughly pissed off with his attitude. Tom is a former marine and a Dom and he is absolutely fed up with Andrew’s disrespect. He is outraged and resorts to his natural inclination to discipline. It isn’t until he starts spanking Andrew and hears him screaming and sees the tears roll down his face , that he realize he does not have the right to discipline him. He starts to apologize, but he sees something in Andrew’s eyes and demeanor that appeals to him. Andrew thrives on punishment and their is a sparkle in his eyes that was never there before. Tom decides to hone Andrew’s submissive nature and turn him into the perfect slave . Tom wants to be his master so bad and soon sees the reality coming through.

It was truly an awakening for both of them to see the rich snobbish attitude taken over by the true mindset of what it means to be a perfect slave to his master. Andrew knows that his true purpose in life is to service Tom in all aspects of his life. Tom initiates Andrew to the life of a slave surrounded by like minded friends. Andrew endures a lot of pain with all the devices used by master Tom and his mentor, but he relishes it and receives pleasure as well. Andrew’s lessons in submission is definitely not for the feint of heart. Tom is a hardcore Dom and there is a lot of pain play , hot wax play amongst other things that I couldn’t fathom. However , the one thing that resonates with me is the open love that these two men experienced once both of their dreams are fulfilled.
Sammy’s feelings for Neil are becoming overpowering and he feels he can no longer hide his relationship from his family. To say his father was upset is a true understatement. Road Dog walks away without speaking to his son. His confession also opens a can of worms when it is revealed that Malcolm kept his secrets. Malcolm’s husband Kirk who is a member of the same biker gang as Road Dog believes that keeping secrets from his biker brothers is a true breach of trust. This causes a rift in their marriage and Malcolm walks out on Kirk. I was really sad to see this as they are my favorite characters.
They have been through a lot and they are really a solid couple.
They all have to pull together when trouble comes in the form of Andrew’s rich daddy. He is the head of a pharmaceutical company that developed a drug that can ‘cure the gay away’. Finding out that his son is gay would definitely cast a shadow on his wonder drug causing him to lose money, so he decides to have his son killed. This is where Malcolm comes up with the brilliant idea that the members of the biker gang could protect Andrew for a fee. It was very interesting to see the different kinds of friendships that were formed amongst these three couples. They all faced the dangerous ordeals with the support of their friends. They endured and came out victorious as three devoted couples. Tom was able to find his perfect slave in Andrew. Neil was able to cater to Sammy’s kinky side and this allowed Sammy to appreciate the man he knows and loves. Kirk was able to reaffirm the strength of the bond that he has with Malcolm.I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Tales From the Edge 2: Living on the Edge by L. M. Somerton

Title : Living on the Edge         Word Count : 37,371
Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Sometimes it takes willpower to resist temptation but courage to give in.

Aiden Keller is a brilliant and intriguing young man. When he’s convicted of hacking, his sentence takes him to The Edge, a high-end corporate training company with a mysterious sideline. There he is given into the custody of its owner, the enigmatic and demanding Heath Anders, and his business partner Joe Dexter.

From the moment Heath takes charge of Aiden he recognises the boy’s submissive nature, even though it is well hidden beneath a veneer of snarky attitude. But for twelve months, Aiden will be his responsibility and Heath cannot allow himself to get involved whilst the boy is obliged to obey him.

Aiden settles into his new life with the help of Olly, Joe’s pretty, submissive boyfriend, who is very perceptive when it comes to noticing the sparks of attraction flying between Aiden and Heath. Slowly and gently, he teaches Aiden that submission is not a weakness and to accept his desire to be dominated.

Unable to resist, Heath starts to test Aiden’s willingness to be obedient, and against all the odds, love (and lust) start to bloom. Aiden, however, is not quite what he seems and his past is about to endanger all their lives.

My Review : This is the second book in the Edge series and I really had high hopes for it. I was drawn to Heath from the first moment meeting him in book 1. Sadly , I was really dissapointed. I didn’t feel the connection between Heath and Aiden so much. Aiden was sent to the Edge as an alternative to a prison sentence for a technological crime he committed. From the moment he laid eyes on Heath , he was instantly attracted but he was definitely intimidated by him.
Heath is certainly attracted to Aiden as well. Aiden is feisty and willful and Heath can’t wait to make him submit. Heath is afraid to abuse his power while Aiden is at the Edge, so he introduces him slowly to the BDSM lifestyle with the help of the precocious Olly and the very dominant Joe. Olly drops hints to make Aiden curious about submission. Heath likes the challenge, but Aiden was a little too resistant to my liking. There are different forms of dominance and submission, but I just did not feel connected with these two. Heath was too much into chastity and orgasm denial and this just did not float my boat. I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try.