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Bound by Law – SE Jakes

Author: SE Jakes
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Word Count: 63,521
Published: 2011
Fictionwise: $5.50

I have been waiting for this one to come out! As we know, I LOVED Bound by Honor, the first book in this loose series – in case you forgot, I gave it a perfect score. That being said, this one had a lot to live up to… and I wasn’t disappointed!

This story focuses on the other two members of a foster situation – Law and Styx. They were introduced in the first book and I was curious if they’d ever find their way back together. Now I’m not really giving anything away here, as you can see from the cover artwork, but this is a menage story – and no one was more surprised about that, than me (I tend not to look at covers, the whole saying and such). Anyway, Law and Styx do find themselves back in the same room together, except Law has his new boyfriend with him – Paulo. Let’s just saw that amid gunfire and a manhunt or two, sparks fly.

I’d like to be very clear here – this book was nothing like the first one, which makes it even better in my opinion! This relationship was one of trust, struggle, acceptance, and forgiveness, but without any D/s interaction. Power and control was constantly changing hands, but the great thing was, each character was so well-developed, that you never lost sight of who was saying or doing what. The sex was super hot and intense – ten years apart will do that, but more than that, it was passionate and their connection was evident throughout. It was HOT-HOT-HOT, somewhat “tame” in experiences/positions/locations (if you’re able to overlook the uniqueness of a threesome), but not at all boring. There was a constant give and take, which created a sense of vulnerability in each character at various times. And who doesn’t love hot, sexy, fighting, strong men showing a little vulnerability during crazy hot sex?!

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥♥♥
Sex Heat: ♥♥♥♥
Plot: ♥♥♥

Not quite another perfect score, but definitely close. I would recommend this to everyone – it’s a stand alone book, or a great extension if you read the first one. It is super sexy, hot, great sex, but even better characters. I just hope that Jakes has another one in the works, apparently I’m a huge fan!

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Above the Dungeon – SM Johnson

Author: SM Johnson
Publisher: Torquere Press
Page Count (pdf): 309
Published: 2011?
Rainbow eBooks: $5.99

When Date, a straight preppy guy runs away from his family and commitments, he goes to his gay cousin to help him explore a new path. Little did he know that included BDSM, bar tending at a gay bar and exploring his own sexuality.

When this book started, it seemed destined that the powerful Dom and owner of the bar and dungeon, was going to be the love interest for Dare – but the story doesn’t really stop there. I think that was where this book lost me, to be honest. There was some hot sex and BDSM exploration, but the undefined relationships were a bit difficult to connect with. Now don’t get me wrong, the sex was a ton of fun to read – even if it seemed at times, a bit disjointed from the overall story; the BDSM play was consistent throughout, which was also a nice change of pace.

Despite all of the available avenues for this story to take, it remained very surface level – even left me wondering how the relationships were left at the end. This is a definite hot read for people who enjoy reading about multiple partners and undefined relationships, or just want some steaming D/s scenes.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥
Sex Heat: ♥♥♥♥
Plot:

I would recommend this for experienced readers, and those just looking for sex, sex and sex, particularly those who are looking for steamy D/s scenes – as the consistency of each character’s role was the strength throughout.

Heart Thief – Claire Thompson

Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Romance Unbound Publishing
Page Count (ePub): 144
Published: 2011
Rainbow eBooks: $4.76

The heat started right from the start and was very intriguing. A very powerful, wealthy and aggressive Dom going after a hot security guard, a cowboy to boot! As they explored their relationship, their interactions started off sizzling, until their dynamic shifted. Or rather, Luke (the cowboy) finally realizes that their dynamic is not based on love, but something else.

The heat between Griffin and Luke was immediate and intense – I couldn’t put the book down. However, when things shifted for Luke, it was a bit hard to continue reading. The whole “safe, sane and consensual” mantra was, well… missing. I tend to fight it hard to relate as soon as that boundary is crossed. I struggled to continue with the story as it was not clear where it was going. But I kept on, and it was definitely worth it! When Luke figures out what he is really looking for and what a D/s relationship should be about, the results were very enticing.

For the most part, the sex was hot with a good dose of D/s – including some bondage and the somewhat less explored/written about, needle play (I could have done without that, but it was done tastefully). There was a lot of sex, so probably not for someone who likes their plots interrupted or furthered by sexual interactions, and not for the new D/s or m/m reader – there were key missing elements from their D/s play mainly the “safe, sane and consensual” part, along with missing safe words and trust.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥♥
Sex Heat: ♥♥♥
Plot: ♥♥

I’d recommend this book to those who love a good cowboy story in Texas; hot sex with a new-age feel to a D/s relationship; and most importantly, someone who is committed to reading through the rough parts to get to the goodies awaiting the other side!

Scorpion – Aleksandr Voinov

Author: Aleksander Voinov
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Word Count: 71,207
Published: 2011
Fictionwise: $6.99

I am usually not one for historical reads, but the description of this one intrigued me and I’m glad that I gave it a try. Set in a very different world than we live in now, this story was an engaging tale that explored over-coming circumstances, creating your own family, and the different levels of class within a society – all with smoking hot soldiers. The writing had a few stumbles – there were some paragraphs that either seemed repetitive or irrelevant, but the characters were very well developed and made up for it. There were a surprising number of twists and turns, most that you didn’t see coming, which was a great surprise. The plot was the real strength in this story.

I would not say that I read “LOVE” between the characters in this book, and to be honest, the sex was lacking feeling, but they way it was presented fit within the historical setting and circumstances in most respects. The passion felt between the two main characters was hot, the sex was a bit rough and sometimes forced, but it was always intense. This is correctly categorized as a m/m erotica read with a hint at Dominance/submission, but nothing overt.

Out of four…
Overall Read: ♥♥
Sex Heat:
Plot: ♥♥♥

I would recommend this read especially for those who enjoy getting lost in a different time and place, especially those who love a good monarch tale. The sex is rough; meaning that there was some forced situations and some hard to read scenarios. This would not be a great starter m/m book, but an enjoyable read for any seasoned readers.