Category: 5 out of 5 Paddles

If Only In My Dreams by Keira Andrews ifonlycover

Link to buy

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Blurb:

Charlie Yates is desperate. It’s almost Christmas and his flight home from college has been delayed. For days. Charlie promised his little sister Ava he’d be home for her first holiday season since going into remission from leukemia. Now he’s stuck on the opposite coast and someone else grabbed the last rental car. Someone he hasn’t even spoken to in four years. Someone who broke his heart.

Gavin Bloomberg’s childhood friendship with Charlie ended overnight after a day of stolen kisses. With years of resentment between them, they don’t want to be in the same room together, let alone a car. But for Ava’s sake, Gavin agrees to share the rental and drive across the country together.

As they face unexpected bumps along the road, can Charlie and Gavin pave the way to a future together?

Review:

This is a wonderful holiday m/m Christmas love story. Both characters are incredibly likeable and have very distinct voices. I found myself rooting for Charlie and Gavin to get together. And boy do they! The sex is way hot and once they start fucking I found myself hoping they would end up with a HEA. They are such a great couple. If you like m/m or are looking to dip your toes into the m/m genre I highly recommend this.

Reviewed by Elizabeth

ifonlycoverIf Only In My Dreams by Keira Andrews

Link to buy

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Blurb:

Charlie Yates is desperate. It’s almost Christmas and his flight home from college has been delayed. For days. Charlie promised his little sister Ava he’d be home for her first holiday season since going into remission from leukemia. Now he’s stuck on the opposite coast and someone else grabbed the last rental car. Someone he hasn’t even spoken to in four years. Someone who broke his heart.

Gavin Bloomberg’s childhood friendship with Charlie ended overnight after a day of stolen kisses. With years of resentment between them, they don’t want to be in the same room together, let alone a car. But for Ava’s sake, Gavin agrees to share the rental and drive across the country together.

As they face unexpected bumps along the road, can Charlie and Gavin pave the way to a future together?

Review:

This is a wonderful holiday m/m Christmas love story. Both characters are incredibly likeable and have very distinct voices. I found myself rooting for Charlie and Gavin to get together. And boy do they! The sex is way hot and once they start fucking I found myself hoping they would end up with a HEA. They are such a great couple. If you like m/m or are looking to dip your toes into the m/m genre I highly recommend this.

Reviewed by Elizabeth

Hiding in Plain Sight by Zane Thimmesch-Gill hidingincover

Link to buy

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 0 out of 5

Review:

UNFORGETTABLE.

The author was raised as a female in a loveless home, one led by a mentally ill father and a weak and fearful mother. The parents apparently could not have cared less when she ran away from home during high school. Although she was taken in at times by a rare friend here or there, her behavior and appearance were so off-putting, she always found herself on the streets again. It was made clear to her that her presence in others’ homes didn’t serve the intended purpose; she was never what people wanted or expected from a guest. A few caring people did reach out to help her, and she was placed in a foster home. But even her foster parents’ awkward and emotionally distant treatment of her contributed to her belief that she was a freakish outcast who didn’t deserve a family.

Before reading this memoir, it might be quite easy to claim some understanding of the difficulties of being transsexual. But it was almost beyond belief how cruel people were to the author. Imagine walking into a store to apply for a job, and the owner takes one look at you and cries out that you’re a freak. Imagine being chased through the streets by a gang of boys who want to pull down your pants to find out “if you’re one of those kinds.” Imagine living every day while hating your body, knowing it only brings stares and hostility. It’s incomprehensible how the author could endure so much pain and rejection without turning to drugs or alcohol, or committing suicide. Prostitution would have been an easy way to make ends meet, and it wasn’t as if she didn’t have offers.

But she had set a goal for herself: she decided she was going to college and would become a filmmaker. And again, the rejection, insults and pain she had to endure to accomplish this are far beyond the pale. And there is more self-doubt and humiliation to endure when she officially transitions to being male—what she knew she was all along— and changes her name to Zane and her pronoun to he.

After reading the book, you’ll want to Google the author to see what’s become of him. Our lips are sealed…

The book has nothing to do with kink, so it receives 0 stars in that category, but it is without a doubt a five-star story. It is a truly excellent read.

Reviewed by Summer

darlingcoverDarling Discovered: A True Story of Submission by Mrs, Darling

Link to buy

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Review:

“Darling Discovered” is a nonfiction account of the author’s path toward a full-time D/s marriage. When the story begins, she is in a vanilla marriage, with a baby on the way. And then she discovers she has a serious problem on her hands: her husband. Faced with marital issues that would cause many women to take the baby and run, she instead plots a course for herself and hubby, with conditions and deadlines. You might think she was calling all the shots from then on, but it was quite the opposite. The couple takes a tentative step toward D/s, and the scenes and sex that follow read as hot as any erotic novel.

Who isn’t tired of reading accounts of D/s is which submission is portrayed as always beautiful, simple and fulfilling? Well, you’ll find none of that here. This is an account of two people who were willing to admit their problems, step up to the plate and CHANGE. D/s was the path they took, and it required a tremendous amount of trust, honesty, study and WORK. In fact, it was so hard at times and the author struggled so often, you’ll most likely find yourself wanting to give her a hug and cheer her on.

Then life throws a curve ball at her. There’s a gut-wrenching turn of events you’ll most likely say you predicted all along. But in order to not include spoilers, I can only say if you like honest and true-to-life accounts of D/s, you’re going to love this book. Oh, and it was an award-winner in the recent BDSM.Con Writer’s Competition for nonfiction.

Five stars! Loved it!!!

Reviewed by Summer

Shrink Inc.: Worshipping  Claire by Taedis shrinkcover

Link to buy

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Trusting the woman he loves, Mark implements his greatest fantasy of being a small, insignificant size worshipping a giant woman. His girlfriend, Andrea, will own him and he’ll be 9.25 inches.  Their D/s relationship will be extreme and satisfying for both sides.  But betrayal and danger are all Mark has in his future and, though he falls in love with his trainer, Claire, a happy ending for him seems as miniscule as his new body.

This story…was both fascinating and horrifying. The idea that someone could give up everything-money, self-determination, their status as a human being-and be betrayed triggered me in a big way.  There is humiliation which is Mark’s kink and arouses him like nothing else does.  He wants to be nothing.  Yet, he has clearly stated limits and those limits are completely ignored.  As this is from Mark’s point of view, the impact of that betrayal is definitely felt.  The consequent events after Mark takes the huge step of resizing are difficult to read, but worth it.

The writing in this short story is brilliant, actually drawing me into a kink that isn’t mine. Being a “little” is something I know about, know people who love it, and can “get” even if it’s not my kink.  The idea of becoming absolutely helpless with no recourse is terrifying to me.  But I do know it’s not a frightening idea to others.  This story drew me in and kept me riveted.  This isn’t your usual sexual connection.  This is more of the mental bondage stuff that can really turn you on and fuck you up.

Mark’s relationships are complicated and fraught with peril for him. Yet, I think he does grow in this story.  In the beginning, I think Mark was a selfish “now” kind of person who only thought of the future in terms of his pleasure.  He says he loves Andrea, but I wonder if he ever loved anyone up until he becomes a small man.  The time he spends at the mercy of circumstances gives him the opportunity to come to understand his emotions.  The ending is satisfying and sweet.

There are some triggers here to be aware of when reading. Some of the aspects of Mark’s experiences were emotionally disturbing to me.  The idea of being forced to breast feed, to respond like a toddler, to take mind-altering drugs that made him more compliant, was a tough section of the story.  Personally, I have a ton of fear around giving up my “self” so I found some of the events hard to take.  But ultimately, this was about Mark’s fetishes and his growth.  The author nailed that.

I do recommend this book highly, not because it will “titillate” but because it made me think about the consequences of desire, of “want” over “love”, and how I can become distracted by the physical and forget about the human connection.  This is a story I won’t forget.  If you’re someone who gets turned on by the idea of being a small person worshipping a big one, this will definitely get your engine running.  The writing is stellar, the story is compelling, and the message is perfect.

Without a Net by Lyn Gala without

Link to buy Without a Net

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Review:

Don’t you love a book that turns out to be so much more than you expected?

Ollie Robertson is a cop in a future world in which being gay is entirely acceptable, even in the world of law enforcement. He is openly gay and has submissive tendencies, so he’s the perfect choice to go undercover in a shade club to investigate human-trafficking kidnappings. Not only does he find his job at the club to be much more bizarre and potentially dangerous than anticipated. The so-called protection he’s supposed to receive from fellow cops proves all but nonexistent, and he alludes to his Captain that sexual discrimination is at its core. Although hostility toward gays is expressly prohibited on the police force, Ollie’s assignment now includes the requirement that he root out the sources of homophobia in other officers involved in the case.

Ollie has enough of a challenge wrapping his mind around his new job responsibilities as a sex club worker, especially while having to pretend he is entirely into it. Then, at the risk of being killed, he is forced to fully become what he pretended to be. Kidnapped, held captive and nearly broken through relentless training, he also has to face a very real possibility that the men who were assigned to protect him may not even care to. In fact, it’s quite possible that no one even knows where he is. The book is full of characters you’ll love to hate, and characters you’ll love to love.  And you may even find you’re loving the ones you should hate!  While Ollie should be despising every moment of his captivity, his treatment does force him to learn new core truths about his sexuality.

The sex in “Without A Net” is Male-on-male, and an array of restraints, sex toys and devices are employed throughout. There isn’t a lot of sex; most of the sexual heat is created through the power-exchange dynamics between the characters. This is a rather long book, but it doesn’t become a tedious read, because just when you think you know who is to be trusted, well, you don’t. Try again to figure it out and you might still be wrong. It’s not only an excellent detective story, but could almost stand alone as an erotic novel without the who-dunnit aspect. The combination of the two makes for frequent twists and turns in the story line, plus simmering sexual tension between the characters.

Reviewed by Summer Sterling

shrinkcoverShrink Inc.: Worshipping  Claire by Taedis

Link to buy

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Trusting the woman he loves, Mark implements his greatest fantasy of being a small, insignificant size worshipping a giant woman. His girlfriend, Andrea, will own him and he’ll be 9.25 inches.  Their D/s relationship will be extreme and satisfying for both sides.  But betrayal and danger are all Mark has in his future and, though he falls in love with his trainer, Claire, a happy ending for him seems as miniscule as his new body.

This story…was both fascinating and horrifying. The idea that someone could give up everything-money, self-determination, their status as a human being-and be betrayed triggered me in a big way.  There is humiliation which is Mark’s kink and arouses him like nothing else does.  He wants to be nothing.  Yet, he has clearly stated limits and those limits are completely ignored.  As this is from Mark’s point of view, the impact of that betrayal is definitely felt.  The consequent events after Mark takes the huge step of resizing are difficult to read, but worth it.

The writing in this short story is brilliant, actually drawing me into a kink that isn’t mine. Being a “little” is something I know about, know people who love it, and can “get” even if it’s not my kink.  The idea of becoming absolutely helpless with no recourse is terrifying to me.  But I do know it’s not a frightening idea to others.  This story drew me in and kept me riveted.  This isn’t your usual sexual connection.  This is more of the mental bondage stuff that can really turn you on and fuck you up.

Mark’s relationships are complicated and fraught with peril for him. Yet, I think he does grow in this story.  In the beginning, I think Mark was a selfish “now” kind of person who only thought of the future in terms of his pleasure.  He says he loves Andrea, but I wonder if he ever loved anyone up until he becomes a small man.  The time he spends at the mercy of circumstances gives him the opportunity to come to understand his emotions.  The ending is satisfying and sweet.

There are some triggers here to be aware of when reading. Some of the aspects of Mark’s experiences were emotionally disturbing to me.  The idea of being forced to breast feed, to respond like a toddler, to take mind-altering drugs that made him more compliant, was a tough section of the story.  Personally, I have a ton of fear around giving up my “self” so I found some of the events hard to take.  But ultimately, this was about Mark’s fetishes and his growth.  The author nailed that.

I do recommend this book highly, not because it will “titillate” but because it made me think about the consequences of desire, of “want” over “love”, and how I can become distracted by the physical and forget about the human connection.  This is a story I won’t forget.  If you’re someone who gets turned on by the idea of being a small person worshipping a big one, this will definitely get your engine running.  The writing is stellar, the story is compelling, and the message is perfect.

withoutWithout a Net by Lyn Gala

Link to buy Without a Net

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Review:

Don’t you love a book that turns out to be so much more than you expected?

Ollie Robertson is a cop in a future world in which being gay is entirely acceptable, even in the world of law enforcement. He is openly gay and has submissive tendencies, so he’s the perfect choice to go undercover in a shade club to investigate human-trafficking kidnappings. Not only does he find his job at the club to be much more bizarre and potentially dangerous than anticipated. The so-called protection he’s supposed to receive from fellow cops proves all but nonexistent, and he alludes to his Captain that sexual discrimination is at its core. Although hostility toward gays is expressly prohibited on the police force, Ollie’s assignment now includes the requirement that he root out the sources of homophobia in other officers involved in the case.

Ollie has enough of a challenge wrapping his mind around his new job responsibilities as a sex club worker, especially while having to pretend he is entirely into it. Then, at the risk of being killed, he is forced to fully become what he pretended to be. Kidnapped, held captive and nearly broken through relentless training, he also has to face a very real possibility that the men who were assigned to protect him may not even care to. In fact, it’s quite possible that no one even knows where he is. The book is full of characters you’ll love to hate, and characters you’ll love to love.  And you may even find you’re loving the ones you should hate!  While Ollie should be despising every moment of his captivity, his treatment does force him to learn new core truths about his sexuality.

The sex in “Without A Net” is Male-on-male, and an array of restraints, sex toys and devices are employed throughout. There isn’t a lot of sex; most of the sexual heat is created through the power-exchange dynamics between the characters. This is a rather long book, but it doesn’t become a tedious read, because just when you think you know who is to be trusted, well, you don’t. Try again to figure it out and you might still be wrong. It’s not only an excellent detective story, but could almost stand alone as an erotic novel without the who-dunnit aspect. The combination of the two makes for frequent twists and turns in the story line, plus simmering sexual tension between the characters.

Reviewed by Summer Sterling

Bind by Sierra Cartwright bind

Link to buy Bind (The Donovan Dynasty)

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Review:

This was an emotionally charged, highly sensual book with excellent characters and an intriguing plot.

Lara was in an impossible position. Her father refused to change his decades’ old business practices that were driving the family business into bankruptcy. She needed someone on the board to back her. When her friend Erin suggested that Lara marry her brother, Connor, Lara at first scoffed. But when she found out Connor had offered to buy a failing offshoot of the company and been turned down, she rethought her position and asked him to marry her.

She envisioned a marriage of convenience, but Connor had other ideas. If she married him, she would also be his submissive. They decided to try a few nights together so Lara could see if she could handle his demands. She did not just handle them, she thoroughly enjoyed them-and Connor himself. The problem was Connor did not open his heart to anyone. He was strangely attracted to Lara, but his father’s example led him to believe love was messy and emotions dangerous. Can Lara overcome his resistance to love so these two can reach a professional and personal merger?

It took a little bit of time to really get into this story, but once past the tedious negotiation stage, it became riveting. The sex was hot and involved bondage, whipping, spanking and more. I liked Lara, who was a strong woman who felt an obligation to her family. Connor was an awesome Dom, careful with his submissive and watching closely to give her what she needed. He just needed a few kicks to wake him up.

Overall, a very enjoyable read by an author who has become a favorite.

Reviewed by Karen H.

Tearing Us Apart by Amanda Clay tearingusapartcover

Link to buy Tearing Us Apart

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 0 out of 5

Review:

Thanh—a Vietnamese teenager— is in high school, which normally produces more than enough stress and confusion, but he’s also openly gay, and much more interested in fashion and sewing than sports. Though he has several good friends, he is certainly marginalized. Add to the mix a father who disappeared many years ago under mysterious circumstances, and the presence of a rather annoying and sub-par fiancé in his mother’s life, and the reader will no doubt wonder how much more Thanh can handle before his life begins to unravel. Then, imagine the tension when the star of the basketball team—Duncan— takes a sudden and inexplicable interest in him.

The story is about the developing intimate gay relationship between two teenaged males, and there is great depth in the writing. Told from Thanh’s point of view, the voice resonates with far more maturity and self-insight than a high school boy would reasonably possess. His voice comes through as if looking back on the events many years later, as though the relationship between Thanh and Duncan may have already having undergone processing through the hindsight of more mature eyes. The author shows an excellent grasp of teen self-consciousness and angst, while sparing the reader details of potentially tiresome awkwardness and shallow self-exploration in the young characters.

Amanda Clay is a fine writer with an enviable voice. However, there is no BDSM in the book and there are no detailed sex scenes. Therefore, I am giving the book 5 stars for a beautiful and very readable story, and assigning zero stars for kink.

Reviewed by Summer Sterling