arrestingArresting Dominance by Cassidy Browning

Link to buy Arresting Dominance [BDSM Menage Fantasies 5] (Siren Publishing Menage and More)

Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Review:

I liked enjoyed the story more than I actually liked the characters, or more so the concept of the story. This could bring to light of what can go wrong with a poly relationship if the individual dynamics are skewed. Any relationship is hard enough, bringing a third into a set pair is fraught with risk. As this story goes you will see that.

It is part of a series, which I didn’t read the books before and don’t think reading them would impact this particular story line. The meat of the book was the storyline and how Liam, Jeremy and Ginny will progress.

Liam of course being the level headed of them all. Jeremy though yes a pain in the ass, still didn’t see him as bad as he looked to others. I didn’t really like the character of Ginny too much. To me Ginny seemed self serving, selfish and unable to accept her part in situations as they progressed.

This isn’t a lovey warm fuzzy feeling story, it missed that mark for me. The scenes were good, you can tell there was either good research or personal experience. That is what makes BDSM scenes appealing when done right.

Reviewed by Daria

hotrichHot, Rich, and Dominant – The Complete Collection by Amy Valenti

Link to buy Hot, Rich and Dominant – The Complete Collection

Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Review:

This was one of those books where it was hard to figure out whether the reader should concentrate on the hot sex scenes or the intriguing plot.

Nell, who has heard of BDSM but never indulged, begins working at Cassidy Corporation and makes a friend the first day-who turns out to be Marc Cassidy, son of the CEO and vice president of the corporation. But his name is just the first of many secrets Nell slowly uncovers as they develop a D/s relationship. Complicating the ups and downs normal to any relationship is Marc’s family relationship. His father disowned Marc’s sister and killed her girlfriend and has held the possibility of implicating Marc in the murder if Marc doesn’t do what his father wants. Nell and Marc work with Serena to bring down their father, but things take some unusual twists.

I really liked Nell: she was strong, smart, funny, and supportive. Marc is a good Dom, protective, loving, and alpha. The only person not drawn from reality is the father, who is evil incarnate and has no redeeming qualities.

Overall, this was a fun read with steamy sex, including bondage, anal play, knife work, caning, flogging and spanking. If the author goes away from the serial concept, I will happily look for more books by her.

Reviewed by Karen H.

A Is For… by Lila Dubois aisfor

Link to buy A is for… (BDSM Checklist Book 1)

Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Review:

A is for… is a 29,000 word electronic novella by Lila Dubois. The cover art is striking but some viewers might not get the capital A superimposed on the image of the buff man in leather pants for what it is–part of the title.

The Title itself appears to be modeled on Sue Grafton’s mystery series which starts with A is for Alibi. No doubt there will be an entire alphabet of novellas to come from this prolific author.

A reader will need to be familiar with the BDSM lexicon from the first sentence. This is not an adventure story where the characters experience elements of BDSM in the course of a traditional storyline, this is purely a work set within the lifestyle.

The author knows her craft. The prose is rich in sensory and authenticating detail. She also establishes her bona fides at familiarity with the BDSM lifestyle in a few simple sentences:

She stared at the top of her own breasts, exposed to just above the nipple by the black corset she wore. Matching stockings, panties and a garter belt completed her ensemble. Outside Las Palmas the lingerie would have been exciting and racy. Here it was the equivalent of a t-shirt and jeans.

The actual play and sex, which are synonymous in this novella, is incandescent. However, we are occasionally subjected to unrealistic plot devices such as a Dom being so close as to be able to hit the sub with a riding crop but the shadows being so deep in a day lit room that his face remains hidden. This contrivance is carried to an absurd and obvious conclusion.

Those in the lifestyle who believe strongly in informed consent will have problems with this: “I warn you,” Mistress Faith said, “the offer will not be made again. By remaining here you consent to the…activity.” Even though the author backpedals from this later in the work, this reviewer would counsel anyone who hears someone use such evasive language in real life to get up and walk out of the room. Don’t look back.

Although the novella contains nothing that isn’t BDSM it is a misleading portrayal of the lifestyle. Therefore the BDSM rating is a four and not a five.

The story here is rated as a three with a question mark because this is this reviewer’s first BDSM Book Reviews effort and where this novella falls in the spectrum of works presented on this site is unknown. In the general universe of storytelling this would be a two.

The gist of the plot is that the leaders of an exclusive BDSM community have decided that they had all become complacent and the remedy was to impose a program of experiences based on the alphabet. Being complacent is considered a bad thing because it diminished their feelings of superiority to the world at large. One even says “We are Gods.”

The characters are all personifications of roles and little else. The Uppercase folk are all paragons. They talk in high flown BDSM-speak as if translated from German.

Anna, the not quite eponymous lead character, is a submissive who never does anything other than experience those things a submissive should feel in a perfect BDSM world. All her angst and internal conflict is whether she meets the expectations of those placed over her. We never know much of anything else about her. She’s not a person, she’s an object. This may be the deliberate intent of the author, as the character does consider how she has left all the cares of the outside world behind.

The setting is a cliche of BDSM literature: An exclusive estate entirely dedicated to BDSM. This one is called “Las Palmas” and is set in Southern California.

As for the action, nothing ever happens in the BDSM scenes that isn’t perfect or unplanned. It’s “Hollywood BDSM” at its worst (or best if that’s what the reader is looking for.)

Reviewed by Ted

Awakening by Cassandra Carr awakening

Link to buy Awakening

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Review:

This was a delightful little love story with a real plot, some hot sex scenes and mild BDSM.

Vanessa’s Psychology of Sex class leads her to doing a study on BDSM. When she goes to Club Decadence to learn more about the lifestyle, owner Rod is suffering from a migraine and she talks to his stand-in, Will. The connection between them becomes something they both enjoy and fear and Will leads Vanessa in baby steps to embracing her submission. But while they are still exploring each other, a traumatic experience intervenes. Can they move past the impact of the trauma, their age difference and their fear they might not be right for each other to establish a relationship?

I liked both Will and Vanessa. Both are strong people with a good sense of humor and a lot in common. The story is well written with few mistakes and good pacing. Expect some spanking, light bondage, anal play, and clamps.

Reviewed by Karen H

We have a ton of books to review and we need more reviewers! Reviewing is easy so if you’ve thought about maybe reviewing now is the time.

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Perfect Stranger by KB Alan KBAlan_PerfectStranger_Medium

Link to buy Perfect Stranger: (Perfect Fit 2.5)

Story 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Blurb:

Dana goes into the BDSM club not quite sure what she needs in order to move forward with her life. When she discovers the club is hosting a charity auction, she makes a desperate plan. If she can secure one of the men being auctioned, maybe she can find the peace that she’s been looking for. A stranger with no expectations—it just might work.

Eric agrees to be part of the club’s annual charity auction because he’s between subs at the moment, and it’s for a good cause. He’s a Dom used to knowing what a sub needs in a scene with him and how best to provide it. But what happens when the thing a sub needs most is for Eric to drop to his knees at her feet?

Review:

This is a wonderful short story however it really could be expanded. I would really like to know what happens between Dana and Eric on their dates and if they make it together as a couple. I loved the interaction between the two of them. Eric trying to play the submissive while still being the Dom and Dana knowing that he was letting her be in control was fun to read. He was a true Dom, giving the sub not only what they want but what they need.  The Perfect Fit series is turning out to be a wonderful series, keep them coming!

Review by Cat

Guarded by Cat Grant and L.A. Witt guarded

Link to buy Guarded

Story Rating; 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Blurb:

On the surface, rock star Jordan Kane has it all. His band No Rules is burning up the charts and headlining a world tour. His bodyguard doubles as a hot, kinky boyfriend who knows just how to push all his buttons. But behind the scenes, he’s suffocating.

Jase Hewitt never imagined he’d have a shot at bedding the larger than life rock star – never mind dominating him – but now he’s worried he’s in over his head. Jordan’s kinks run deep, dark, and sometimes dangerous, putting Jase’s desires to both pleasure and protect him at odds.

They might have a fighting chance at finding the safe, happy medium between what Jordan needs and what Jase is willing to give, but there’s one problem: Daniel, Jordan’s childhood best friend, the band’s talented guitarist — and a volatile, hard-partying drug addict. Jordan is determined to save Daniel from himself, but Jase has been there, done that, and desperately wants to protect Jordan from the inevitable heartache of watching an addict self-destruct.

When Daniel goes off the rails again, Jordan calls off the tour to get him help. Tension within the band skyrockets and pressure from the record label sends Jordan into a dark spiral. Now his band — and his life — are balanced on a knife’s edge, and Jase is the only one who can pull him back… but only if the echoes of his own tragic past don’t push him over first.

Review:

“Guarded” is a surprisingly successful blend of romance and tragedy, with a fair bit of kink thrown in. The two main characters, Jase and Jordan, take turns telling the story, so we get both points of view — rock star and security guard, dom and sub — as their relationship evolves. Both protagonists are well drawn and likable, although one suspects the depiction of the life of rock bands on the road and at home owes more to popular perception rather than dull boring reality.

The pivotal character of Daniel is more talked about than seen. His journey down the path of self-destruction is an all-to-real one, and it is depicted without any added melodrama. The reactions of Jordan and Jase to Daniel’s downward spiral, and their reactions to each other’s reactions, provides most of the drama.

The addition of kink to this mix might seem odd, but it’s curiously effective. Jordan may have managed to say “no” to drugs, but his desire for kinky sex, particularly breath play, is potentially just as dangerous. Without a steady and strong Dom who knows what he’s doing, Jordan is headed for trouble.

The kink in “Guarded” goes well beyond breath play. In order to find a safer outlet for Jordan’s needs, Jase takes him on trip through a world of private dungeons and pain. The reality of what Jase does to Jordan is probably a case of too much too soon for an inexperienced sub, but this is fantasy and the scenes are certainly hot.

Overall, this is a pleasant change from the typical romance, where everything goes the heroes’ way and tragedy only serves to bring them together. You wouldn’t want to pick at the seams too much, but this is close enough to real life to get you emotionally connected with the story.

Reviewed by Michael Joseph

Torquere Press Celebrates 11 Years in Gay Romance logo

AUSTIN — Torquere Press is celebrating their 11-year anniversary this month with giveaways, special releases, contests, and more.

Torquere Press, a royalty paying, full-service publisher of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual romance, began in 2003. The original eBook publisher for the GLBT community, Torquere has published several best-selling authors such as Sean Michael, Julia Talbot, Chris Owen, BA Tortuga, and Kiernan Kelly.

Eleven years ago, two authors started Torquere Press because no one else in the publishing industry was producing gay romance. Today, Torquere publishes every genre of romance, from paranormal to western to sci-fi, as long as the main characters are GLBT. They have also expanded with Prizm, the first YA GLBT publisher and a subsidiary of Torquere Press, which began in 2008 and targets a young- and new-adult audience.

To celebrate their anniversary, Torquere Press will be releasing special edition $0.99 bundles, available for a limited time only. The first three collections will feature titles from Sean Michael, BA Tortuga, and Julia Talbot. These bundles will be available September 15.
September will also include multiple chances for readers to win prizes. Every Tuesday is #TorquereTrivia day, which gives readers the opportunity to win a $5 gift certificate by answering trivia questions on Twitter (@torquere) about the press, its authors, and its books. Torquere’s Twitter will also host several authors throughout the month, who will be posting from @torquere with eBook giveaways, free excerpts, writing tips, and more.

Torquere will celebrate by releasing new books from longstanding authors, including Sean Michael and Julia Talbot. Also, everything at torquerebooks.com will be on sale for 25% off with coupon code TORQUERE2014 during the week of September 15-21.

keepingKeeping Sarah by Julie Shelton

Link to buy Keeping Sarah [Sequel to Owning Sarah] (Siren Publishing Menage and More)

Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Blurb:

Honeymooning in England, Jesse Colter, Adam Sinclair and their beloved wife, Sarah, are heading for their friend Thorne Cahill’s BDSM club for dinner when another car deliberately tries to run them off the road. Thanks to their own driver’s skills, the other car is destroyed, the two unknown occupants killed.

Through Thorne, they discover that they’re the targets of a “blood feud”, instigated by Konstandin Sokolov, son of Viktor Sokolov, the Albanian mobster who had unwisely kidnapped Sarah a few months back, and paid for it with his life. They also discover that Thorne’s guests, ruthless human traffickers, have gathered for a slave auction being held the following night. Konstandin Sokolov happens to be one of the buyers.

Fraught with treachery, betrayal, and deadly danger, Keeping Sarah keeps the reader on a knife’s edge of tension, while simultaneously exploring the deepening emotional commitment between Jesse and Adam. They already trust each other with their lives. Now they must learn how to trust each other with their love.

Review:

This book is a satisfying conclusion to the series. My biggest issue with the book is the recurring sex scenes between Sarah, Jesse, and Adam. They are pretty much all the same. It’s good to see that Adam and Jesse finally get to have their moment and realize their feelings for each other. I would have liked to have read a scene with just the two of them doing more than kissing and doing more without Sarah. There’s nothing wrong with the two of them loving each other without having to always have Sarah in the picture. All in all, this is a good read and a good ending to the trilogy.

Review by Cat

The History& Arts of the Dominatrix by Anne O Nomis historyandart

Link to buy The History & Arts of the Dominatrix

Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Review:

The subject of a Dominatrix is whispered in circles among silly titters or hushed lustful sighs. When the word Dominatrix is mentioned, an image of a fierce woman in a corset, leather and high heels wielding a whip is most common. The question is, where did the dominatrix originate? Is this a relatively new phenomenon or have they been throughout history? Are there famous dominatrix throughout history? What are signs of a good dominatrix and how does one become a dominatrix? Anne O Nomis dives into the underground world of sexual deviance to find the elusive dominatrix. She searches through archives and museums for references to ancient women of power. In a beautifully leather bound book, she shares her research in five easy chapters.

This book is lovingly created. It’s rare a dead tree book catches my attention. This one is a collector’s edition hardback with heavy pages and colorful art. The cover is tastefully gold embossed with discrete designs. I can’t remember the last time I owned a hardback which came with its own ribbon bookmark. The book feels good in my hands. It’s elegant and classy, as is the photo of the author on the back of the book.

The preface starts off with the trials and tribulations in bringing this book into print. It is an interesting read and makes me appreciate the book more. The first chapter covers ancient dominatrix as it relates to goddesses and priestess initiates. Ms. Nomis does a good job of condensing the information in forty odd pages. With an unlimited budget and an ability to speak many languages, Ms. Nomis could create several volumes on ancient dominatrix across multiple cultures. Her focus is only on the ancient western world with the Middle East commonly referred to the Fertile Crescent area. Her insights into the possible downfall of strong women archetypes make sense and popular theory among those in women studies fields. It is no surprise the difficulty in finding details on women in the past, especially in patriarchal societies. Still, even in the Eastern cultures, there are some women both myth and real who stand out. I’d like to suggest a few Chinese women in ancient China who qualify as a dominatrix: Yang Guifei, Qin Liangyu, Princess Pingyang and Ng Mui.

The second chapter moves into the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries in western Europe through strict governesses and flagellation houses. This is a more familiar area. Based on my own personal experiences and research, I would agree Ms. Nomis is spot on with this chapter. Whilst the focus is on men being dominated by these strict women, I’d like to propose to expand this to female submissives. This is another piece I found missing in the book. It only really deals with Femdom in a heterosexual manner. There is little about F/f domination. Still, it’s probably best Ms. Nomis keeps the focus on F/m or the book would be rather lengthy.

The third and fourth chapters depict more famous dominatrix in the past fifty odd years. It’s horrifying to learn in the USA, people were convicted of private lewdness. It is educational to learn about how the US Postal Service provided assistance into persecuting and harassing people. Ms. Nomis does a good job of showing how society changed in the past fifty years. The last chapter depicts seven “realms” of the dominatrix art form. Honestly, this chapter fizzled the book out for me. It didn’t capture my attention perhaps because the categorizations didn’t mean much to me. For some, it may help them understand better how a dominatrix interacts with a male submissive. For those who are in the lifestyle, this is the basics and can be skimmed through. For those who are new to the BDSM lifestyle, it may be more beneficial.

There is another item I learned which is noteworthy. The training of dominatrix is interesting and a bit disappointing. Ms. Nomis highlights what she witnesses in Australia. These professional houses are showcased in a way which portrays catty backstabbing women. Not the best and unfortunately too accurate in many places, even outside of the lifestyle. Fortunately, my message to budding dominatrixes – not all places train in such poor ways. From a business sense, I can see many flaws in how the training is designed as shown in this book. From a personal experience, I’ve just completed a yearlong mentorship for dominants and I can attest there is training which includes benevolent dominants in a supportive environment.

Overall, this book is well put together, focused and easy to read. It’s the first of its kind and I can only hope Ms. Nomis will continue her research and write more about Dominatrixes. Recommended for kinksters interested in learning more about the elusive female dominant.

Reviewed by Book Addict