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: ♥♥♥♥

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!

Morning Report – Sue Brown

Author: Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Word Count: 70,540
Published: 2011
Fictionwise: $6.99

After being in a relationship for over a decade, Luke and Simon are still very much in love and enjoy every minute of the life they’ve created together running their ranch. They had never had to hide who they are even in their small town, until one of their local merchants refused to sell to them. Bewildered with their sudden treatment from long-time friends, Luke reaches out to his mom to find that a new pastor in town has been turning  people against the “sinners.” Luke and Simon face not only the decision to stay and fight or leave, but also the first true test of their relationship. Will their relationship be able to withstand the hatred of their beloved community?

This was a very well-written story with strong characters and a well-developed loving relationship between Luke and Simon. At first it seemed a bit romanticized, but quickly the story unfolded to show a more realistic and somewhat scary tale of influence and persuasion – not to mention the stress external influences have on a relationship. Unlike many m/m reads, this book opens with the love story ten years in process – you don’t get to be there for their meeting, although you do get to hear about it, instead you join them in the struggle. You’ll fall in love with everything that Luke and Simon have to offer – including Luke’s family and some of the very people spewing the hate.

The sex was very hot and a bit surprising! Sex is where the title of the book comes from, so I hope you enjoy that puzzle before you read it. Their sexual relationship is a central part of the story and is very much based on D/s roles. Don’t expect toys or hard-core D/s, but you will definitely see the power struggle and D/s roles played very well. Throughout, there is a lot of sex, but it is also meaningful – you can see how it connects or furthers their relationship each and every time.

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

This is a great read and I highly recommend it. I can’t think of an audience that wouldn’t enjoy this – there are cowboys after all, there is a great loving relationship, and very hot (although tame for some D/s standards) D/s sex. This is definitely worth a read.

Mistletoe and Submission – Kim Dare


Author: Kim Dare
Publisher: Total E-Bound
Word Count: 56,247
Published: 2010
Fictionwise: $6.13

In a completely inappropriate dare, the junior Doms challenge a fellow junior (although very experienced) dom to be tied up and blindfolded in a room until midnight. While completely against his nature, Sloan accepts the challenge to keep from his fellow “Dom” Carl, from accepting it on his behalf. During the dare, a sub makes his way into the room and Sloan is absolutely hooked – he needs to find HIS sub, but no one is sure who it can be. What he does know though, is he wants it to be Carl.

An unusual take on a club’s dynamics and dares – I’m not sure any Dom would challenge another in such a way, and it was a bit disconcerting that Sloan had never actually experienced the things he dished out to subs, but none the less, a strong story ensued. Throughout, there was an underlying tug of shame or question around what it means to be a sub. Carl continuously fought to overcome this and wanted to be treated with respect – something he never saw Sloan do with who he thought were his subs, before. Throughout, there are great internal power struggles while both men try to find out what they want and how to make it work.

The sex was hot with a lot of tame D/s play throughout.  This is a good read for people who like a Christmas themed story; or are testing the D/s waters. Don’t expect a lot of romance here – feelings were not explored as much as they were shown.

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

A good and quick read for anyone who wants some hot D/s action, or is looking to get a glimpse in to the scene. I would also recommend this for people who enjoy stories that deal with the differences between Doms and subs, and the internal struggle behind each role.

Burn – Sean Michael


Author: Sean Michael
Publisher: Torquere Press
Word Count: 51,011
Published: January 2011
Fictionwise: $5.99

An annual game brings together two childhood friends – finally. After a difficult day as a fireman, Marshall shows up to the annual gathering to say hello to his friends. When he arrives, his friend Dave can tell that something’s wrong with Marshall and finally has his opportunity to take care of his long-time crush. As soon as Dave finds his opening, he’s determined to show Marshall everything that he needs to help him deal with his high-stress job and also satisfy his sexual desires. Marshall has no idea what’s in store for him as Dave takes over as Dom and Marshall learns how to submit.

This is a surprising read from Sean Michael, particularly for the Hammer series. This book is based more on the relationship and internal struggles of the main characters, Marshall in particular, versus the D/s relationship or gratuitous sex. There is plenty of sex, and some of it is gratuitous, but there are also well-developed characters and a decent plot. The D/s relationship and roles are not as blatant in his story – while each character has a clearly defined role in the bedroom, one of the characters is unsure of the lifestyle and continuously struggles to come to terms with it.

There is sex throughout the book – vanilla and some D/s play. At times the sex scenes run too long as is typical in Sean Michael’s writing, but they are always hot! You are rooting for both characters to get what they want and what they need from each other, and you see that the sex helps them both meet that goal.

Overall this is a good read with super hot sex. This is a very beginner level D/s book and good for anyone who is looking for a glance into the lifestyle and the very “mild” end of the spectrum. In addition, it deals with issues of coming to terms with sexual need and roles in a way that is very “friendly” for a new M/M reader.

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

Read this book if you’re interested in getting a glimpse into the D/s lifestyle and the Hammer series. And of course, if you’re looking for some seriously hot sex!

Bound by Nature: A Forces of Nature Novel – Cooper Davis

Bound by Nature: A Forces of Nature Novel

Author: Cooper Davis
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Word Count: 53,440
Published: 2010
Fictionwise: $3.83

While not my usual cup of tea anymore, this is an interesting shapeshifter story about two alpha male wolves from rival packs. Calling all werewolves/shapeshifter fans – this series will likely be for you!

The story is about how two young alpha males lives continue to cross with personal circumstances interfering with their mutual attraction. The story itself was well-written, but the plot unfolded very quickly. There were parts that could have been interesting to have learned more about, and there were clues given, that were quickly resolved.

There was only a little bit of sex in this one – two scenes, which were both very tame and lacking details. However, you could feel their shared passion, their regrets, and their relationship. If you are looking for hot werewolf sex – this is not the book for you.

Overall, this book is a great way to see if you are interested in shapeshifter M/M books – as it is focused around the story, with very tame sex (and no wolf sex scenes – THANK YOU very much!).

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

Read this if you are trying to jump into something new, or be entertained by the shapeshifter craze right now. This is not the best book on the market (see below for my recommendations), but it’s a quick read with a real story and twists woven in, that you can enjoy the M/M tension while exploring a new sub-genre.

Other authors/books to try (and why you’ll like them):

One of my favorite werewolf/shapeshifter book to date is Kate Steele’s “Altered Heart.” It is a great M/M read that is action packed with a LOT of sex action. It was also a great story and read.

Loribelle Hunt’s “Lunar Mates” series is a must-read series for all werewolf fans. You are able to easily get into the story and learn the characters. The sex is more tame, but still hot (and hotter than “Bound by Nature”).

Jeigh Lynn’s “Lunar Mates” series has more traditional male/female relationships with great plots. Not for M/M fans… but definitely for werewolf fans looking for intense relationships, hot sex and an action-packed story line.