Bound by Honor – SE Jakes

Author: SE Jakes
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Word Count: 63,422
Published: 2011
Fictionwise: $4.50

Soldier Tanner James holds his word and shows up to deliver the dying wish of his good friend who died in combat one year earlier. He walks into the club searching for the owner and badass Dom, Damon. Tanner’s mission is simple – submit to Damon for one night exactly one year following his friend’s death. What happens when Tanner walks into the club is heartbreaking as Damon isn’t sure he’s able to uphold his end of the bargain. Will he be able to overcome his past to embrace the best thing for his future?

Soldiers fighting for power, submission and acceptance – is there anything hotter? This is a great D/s read with incredibly hot sex, but more than that, it was relatable. Each character struggled with emotions and past wrongs, to be able to fully accept their current situation. There were several points in the book that were difficult to read (yes, tears flowed) – the fear, the shame, the underlying pain was always right at the surface. There was sex, lots of sex, but never gratuitous. The subplot and characters were fantastically written and I can’t wait to see their story next! I was not aware that this was part of series when I read it, but I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment.

The sex was incredibly hot and a relatable D/s relationship, once all of the false starts were addressed. It was an emotional read and one that I could not put down – it grabbed my attention, not just because of the heat (although admittedly that helped), but the plot and characters were so well developed and clearly everything was executed seamlessly.

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

I think this is my first “perfect” score – it truly is a book, not to be missed. The plot was intriguing and had significant depth; hot soldiers; and believable D/s play and relationships. Read this if you like masculine men stories, strong erotica or D/s play.

Dress Up – Joel Skelton

Author: Joel Skelton
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Word Count: 88,212
Published: 2010
Fictionwise: $6.99

The broadway producer and director team of Murphy and Wyatt finally get their big break – bringing their popular musical Dress Up to the movies. But before production can start, Wyatt needs a long-overdue break to recharge and refocus his energy and creativity. His best friend and former lover Murphy, sends Wyatt on a relaxation getaway at his private house in Maine. And to ensure that Wyatt relaxes and enjoys his time, Murphy sends his assistant Ryan to keep an eye on him. Ryan and Wyatt have an immediate connection, but Ryan does not reveal his true self to Wyatt – can their relationship survive his deception?

This story was set in several locations – New York, Los Angeles and Maine, which added variety and intrigue on its own. The lies told throughout the story, were a bit confusing at first – I had to flip back several pages after the first one was told, as I wasn’t really sure what was going on. After the initial confusion, it was very easy to follow the story (and the deception). While a fun read and a great concept and topic, I felt like the lies went on entirely too long. There were several points in which Ryan could have revealed his truth, but instead the lies dragged throughout – seeming as though they were almost forced in, to make the story longer, instead of spending time on reconciliation (which occurred at break-neck speed).

The writing was easy to read and enjoyable, and the characters were fun and relatable, although I think there was a depth missing from the plot and characters. There seemed to be several story lines that were arbitrary or rushed, and then others that was out of proportion to the story. There is hardly any sex in this one – it’s mostly glossed over, so this is not a “hot” read if that’s what you are looking for. I’d categorize it more as a m/m take on “chick lit” or comic romance, more than anything else.

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

This is a great read for someone who wants to read a m/m romance story with very tame “action.” It is an easy and quick read, and a great new and fresh setting/premise, particularly for people who read a lot of m/m stories.


Dark Heart – Thom Lane

Author: Thom Lane
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Word Count: 48,940
Published: December 2008
Fictionwise: $5.99

Set in a time long ago (actual historical date not given), a house slave becomes intrigued by a new guild houseguest – Master Lucan. There is an immediate connection for the house slave, Tam, and he has hope for the first time in his life – hope that Master Lucan is the perfect match for him – except, he is a powerful mage with a special power. As Master Lucan uses his powers for good, he realizes he needs (and wants) his boy by his side.

This tale was a different type of read for me – and a completely different take on the Master/slave realtionship. In all honestly, I was struggling to adjust to their interactions, as there was nothing consensual about the pairing. However, the characters were drawn together and their relationship developed to one that was caring and consentual at the end. I was intrigued by both the setting and the special powers, which was a surprise for me, and both added significant value to the story.

This is a quick and enjoyable read, and is the first of a series of stories from Lane which incorporate mages, Master/slave relationships, and long-ago times. The characters were developed well, although there was more emphasis on the plot, setting, and power exchange, than on the characters. The sex was powerful and happened often – maintaining the M/s dynamic throughout. Be forewarned, that some parts may be difficult to read, especially if you are active in the lifestyle. But those moments added to the connection the reader has with the characters (yes, I even shed a few tears in this one) and were true to the story’s setting.

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

Read this book if you enjoy historical setting with a fantasy/mystical flair; enjoy the power dynamic between a Master/slave; want a quick and hot read that takes you to another land.

Almost Heaven – Kimberly Gardner


Author: Kimberly Gardner
Publisher:  Loose Id, LLC
Word Count: 28,801
Published: 2010
Fictionwise: $4.99

An instant attraction ensues between Chris and his younger brother’s teacher, Kevin. Kevin feels the attraction too, and for once in his life, he decides to act upon it. After seeking out Chris and the connection they had, Kevin is torn between his desire and his sense of duty to the Church. In this short tale, Kevin comes to terms with who he is – will Chris be so willing to participate?

This was a new plot line/twist, so it was fun to read. The story was short, but surprisingly dealt with a very serious decision, properly. At times it was unrealistic, but it was easy to overlook those aspects because you could easily relate to both character’s and each of his struggles. There wasn’t much sex at all, some heated moments, but this is not a story that takes place in the bedroom – it’s more about the characters. I’m not sure that I would actually categorize it as erotica, but rather a M/M romance. Outside of the potential sex, each character was relatable – I thought there was more than enough content to make this into a full novel, so expect “quick” decisions and life changing moments.

This is an easy read, but also engages you to want to know what happens in the end.  As a side note, don’t be scared about the priest angle – there is not a lot of religious undertones, so it should be suitable for everyone without making you uncomfortable.

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

Read this book if you want to sample the genre, sample the author, or wants an engaging story in one sitting.