Stay ( Working out the Kinks 1) by K.M. Neuhold

Title: Stay Word Count:205 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance/ Puppy play

Blurb:What happens to a couple when one of them discovers a new kink that he’s not sure his partner will be into?

Dear Art,
I’m sure you get messages like this all the time, but I feel like I don’t even know who I am anymore. I suppose I should start from the beginning… Three weeks ago, I saw puppy play for the first time, and now I can’t stop thinking about it. Wait, no, that’s not really the beginning… Ten years ago, my best friend who I’d been in love with my entire life told me he loved me too.
For ten years, I’ve been living in complete bliss with Lars, the man of my dreams. Don’t get me wrong, we have our fights and disagreements (mostly because I do irritating shit, and every once in a while, he reaches the end of his patience), but he is my other half in every way. I didn’t know I could love someone the way I love him.
Then, the puppy thing happened. It’s not so different from when I realized I was gay; there was a moment where everything sort of clicked into place, and my whole body was like “Yes, that’s what we’ve been trying to figure out all this time.” At first, I thought maybe I should just let it go because it’s not the kind of thing I can imagine my partner being into. But last week I went into a kink shop and ended up walking out with a puppy hood. I stashed it in our guest bedroom closet and haven’t even had the courage to take it out and try it on again, let alone show it to Lars. I don’t know what to do. How do I bring this up to him? And what if he isn’t into it? I feel like I don’t recognize myself anymore, and I don’t know where to turn. Please help.

Sincerely,
One Lost Puppy

My Review: Jonah and Lars have loved each other from the moment they could walk. First as friends and in the last ten years as lovers. They have the kind of relationship where even after ten years,the flame still burns bright and they are more in love now than ever. Nobody is perfect, but their love comes pretty close. The chemistry between the two men is off the charts and watching their love story unfold will leave you smiling from ear to ear.

Jonah and Lars know everything about each other, or at least that’s the thought. When they decide to venture to the pride parade for the first time, something pings Jonah’s curiosity. Watching a group of men dressed up as ‘puppies’ strangely illicits a sense of longing in Jonah. Jonah feels bereft when Lars mentions how weird the puppy kink seems. That is the very first time that Jonah hides his true feelings from Lars, because he disagrees. Jonah thinks the ‘puppies’ are cute and wonders what it would be like to be so carefree.

For the next few weeks, Jonah secretly delves into the world of puppies. He browses websites and reads all the articles he can get his hands on. He is guilty of soaking up all the info he can get and he is convinced that this is the path for him. There is just one problem, how does he explain that he wants to try puppy play to Lars? Lars have noticed the slight changes in Jonah, seeing how secretive and withdrawn he has become. He is at a loss and grasping to figure out what’s the problem.

Lars stumbles on the answer to his internal questions when he gets home unexpectedly early one day. He catches Jonah trying on his new puppy hood. Jonah is clearly embarrassed and extremely nervous about Lars’ reaction, waiting for his rejection. Seeing the vulnerability on his lover’s face, Lars calmly opens up the conversation. Lars doesn’t reject Jonah, he gives him the comfort that he needs. Lars is just so happy to have his lover back, instead of the secretive, distant man that Jonah was becoming. Jonah explains everything and why he feels so drawn to puppy play.

Lars being the ever supportive , loving partner that he is plunges right in. He vows to be the best master to his pup. Lars lets Jonah know that this journey will be one that they will take together. Jonah is overjoyed, but obviously he is still a little shy and uncertain in some aspects. There is now a new dynamic to their relationship that they are both willing to explore. Jonah lets Lars know he wants to play a more submissive role in their everyday life. Lars relishes being more dominant and cottons to the idea of being able to organise Jonah’s daily routines to alleviate some of his lover’s stress. Being a doctor Jonah already has a lot to deal with at work. He is ready to relinquish that control to Lars when he gets home. There is definitely a newfound freedom to Jonah’s personality.

Lars has loved Jonah through many different seasons. This is certainly a never-ending love. Jonah’s commitment to being the best master pushes them both to go to a trainer who helps them to navigate this new world. They both gain a lot of insight from their lessons. Lars learns commands and boundaries as a way of communicating with his new pup. Puppy play is definitely a freeing time for Jonah where he turns into this over-exuberant pup named Lucky. Seeing Jonah so ecstatic and at peace makes Lars falls even deeper in love with him. They are both gaining confidence in their respective roles and Lars is surprised at how well he has acclimated to being a master. This dominant and possessive side is one they have never explored, but Lars finds that he really enjoys it.

For their upcoming eleventh anniversary, Lars decides to ‘put a ring on it’. He presents Jonah with a ring and collar with a lock. Jonah is overjoyed and hands over his gift which turns out to be a cock cage. This takes their sex lives to new heights. The thought of truly being the master of Jonah’s erections and orgasms more than revs up Lars. Jonah loves seeing his man so dominant and possessive.

They can no longer wait to be married so they decide to elope to Niagara Falls. It is a beautiful ceremony where they become lifelong partners and husbands. They culminate their wedding night with the hottest sex ever after a week of Jonah being in a cock cage. He loves that feeling of being owned by his master. I really enjoyed the beauty of the love between Jonah and Lars. It is proof that true love can survive mostly anything. It shows an all encompassing love that allows for individuality. Most of all it allows for changes that come with growth when two people share their lives together and become one. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.

PS: I must admit that I still don’t fully get the whole ‘puppy play’ aspect, but I certainly will not bash it. Love is love and everyone should feel free to be who they are and love who they want.

Hunter ( Brawlers 4) by J. M. Dabney

Title: Hunter             Word Count: 160 pgs

Genre: Gay Biker Romance

Blurb:Welcome to Brawlers Bar…

If there was a way to destroy his life, Hunter Black could do it. He was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Survival was his only priority and having to leave his old life behind that meant a job of the legal variety. He’d found one as a bartender at Brawlers Bar and a safe place in a huge house with the rest of the bar crew who quickly became the family he’d never had. The one thing Hunter didn’t need was his old life tracking him down.

Deputy Wren Gramble hated his job and his weekend assignment of staking out a bar in the middle of nowhere waiting for drunks. Although he’d heard the homophobic and racist jokes going around about the crew and customers, he kept his head down and stuck to his job and nothing else. He despised being driven back into the closet, but he’d reached the end of the line and what he’d do if he earned another transfer he didn’t know. 

Linus Trenton was considered the normal one in his family and according to the weird ones that meant he should be punished daily. He never came out one way or another, if he found someone attractive he was attracted. His life was complicated enough having a crush on the sweet and awkward Hunter but now he had to throw Wren into the mix. Linus didn’t have time for dating or romance, most of the time he didn’t even think about having a sex life, although, Wren and Hunter were ruining his calm.

Hunter was in lust with the handsome deputy the minute the man pulled him over, but a man like that wouldn’t give him the time of day. His friend, Linus, was another matter altogether. Hunter wanted both. His bosses made it work with their man, why couldn’t he? Could Hunter prove he wasn’t as much of a screw up as he appeared or would he have to call in backup to claim his men?

My Review: Hunter is definitely the quietest of the rough and rowdy Brawlers crew. He doesn’t say much, doesn’t really get in fights and pretty much stays to himself. The one thing we do know about Hunter is that he is totally clumsy and the most accident prone person there is. We get a little bit more background on Hunter and like all the other Brawlers, it is certainly not sunshine and rainbows. Hunter didn’t have a great home life and was homeless by the time he went to college. Being the computer genius that he is, he started hacking to make a little money on the side to keep him fed and a roof over his head. When a hacking job goes wrong and millions of diamonds goes missing, poor Hunter is the one sent to prison. He has three more years left on his probation after doing his time. 

Hunter likes  living at the Brawlers farm , but it gets a bit lonely now that everyone is shacked up. In walks Wren Gramble, the sexy cop stationed outside of Brawlers to keep the peace. The guys like him since he doesn’t bust their balls unnecessarily. Wren has had his eye on Hunter for awhile , when he finally gets the courage and pulls him over on a traffic stop. He realizes that this was definitely the worst thing he could have done. Hunter is even more skittish now than before. When he sees the Brawlers bikes outside his favorite diner, he hopes to spark a conversation with Hunter. Hunter is shy at first , but Wren soon gets him to open up a little once he gets him alone. Wren asks him out on a date and Hunter accepts. Hunter is slightly nervous about having such a sexy stud interested in him.

Wren is introduced to the craziness that is the Brawlers crew when he goes to pick up Hunter for their date. Psycho is out in his yard having sex with Ben, while Crave has Twitch screaming at the top of his lungs for more. Wren takes it in stride and finds it slightly hilarious that all these big tough men are so uninhibited around their husbands. Their date starts off great, but they are soon interrupted by Linus, Lucky’s older brother. As soon as Wren meets Linus, he knows there is some sort of connection between him and Hunter.

Linus is the grumpy bear out of the hippie clan called the Trentons, but he has a sweet spot for Hunter. He is very gentle with the quiet man. When he sees Hunter out on a date with the big sexy stud Wren, he is definitely jealous. He realizes instantly that he blew his chance by going slow. Hunter is oblivious to the tension between the two men facing off for his affections. Linus allows them to finish their date in peace. It isn’t until a few days later that Linus proceeds to get drunk at Brawlers. Linus is definitely brooding over Hunter and it doesn’t go unnoticed by Twitch. Hunter suggests that he take Linus home given the state he is in. When they get there  Linus kisses Hunter passionately. Hunter is shocked, but the brief kiss stirred up unknown feelings in him.

Hunter leaves feeling very confused and he needs to talk. His friend Ghost tells him that he needs to let Wren know what happened just to be honest. Hunter decides to take Ghost’s advice. Wren becomes contemplative when Hunter opened up to him. He knows for sure he likes Hunter too much to let him just walk away with Wren. Wren proposes that they get to all know each other as a triad and see where it goes. Hunter is immediately intrigued, but before they can put their plan into action things go awfully wrong.

Linus owns a security company and everything goes haywire on an operation. He ends up in the hospital with a bullet wound. Linus is surprised when Wren takes charge and takes him home for his recovery. Although Hunter seems to be the fragile one, he is the glue that holds them all together. Wren is stable and level-headed and like all  the Trenton’s Linus is a touch of crazy, but he also has a smidge of vulnerability. 

This trio doesn’t take long before they are moving in sync. Surprisingly, Linus is very dominant and this makes for some very sexy times with his two men. Wren is versatile and he loves being in the middle of these two men he considers his. For the first time, Hunter truly feels like he belongs. This triad is on the path of being just a strong union as Scary, Tank and Elijah’s. The strength of their love for each other is just as palpable and indestructible. 

Trouble is on the horizon and it’s great to see the Twirled, Brawlers and their friends the Executioners banding together and dealing in the face of corruption and homophobia in their small town. The Twirled and Brawlers families continue to grow with Ben and Crave’s twins. Wren , Linus and Hunter decides to tie the knot and there is a possibility of kids in their future. I give this my ratings of 4- lose the underwear.