Tagged: Samhain Publishing

strictlycoverStrictly Business by Sheryl Nantus

Link to buy Strictly Business (Hooded Pleasures)

Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3.5 out of 5

Review:

Strictly Business is a technically well-written femdom book with an original premise, but it failed to resonate with me or hold my interest. It took me a lot longer than it should have to read because I could only manage to stay focused for short periods of time, in part because the story was somewhat predictable and way too angst ridden. The strictly business aspect of the title refers to the relationship between a professional dominatrix and one of her clients, who were brought together by Hooded Pleasures, a discrete agency that serves newbie submissives whose social standing and fear of scandal prevents them from joining a BDSM club in order to hook up with a domme.

The conflict comes into play when both parties in this business arrangement start to connect emotionally with each other. It is easy enough to see how this might happen in such a situation. Curiously it is the domme who has the most difficulty with this development. Uncharacteristic for a woman who has gravitated toward being dominant in her relationships with men, she has a history of being dumped by her lovers.

An indecisive domme anguishing over her past and fear of being hurt again is kind of a buzz kill in an erotic book. In some respects this feature was reminiscent of a romance novel, only superimposed upon a kinky backdrop. While the D/s activities depicted were fairly intense, there was a sort of clinical distance and politically correctness about them that made me sense that they were drawn from research rather than firsthand experience. Doubtless there are many readers who will enjoy this book and not be bothered by what I perceive to be its flaws.

Reviewed by Jim Lyon

Never Let You Down by Joely Sue Burkhart neverletcover

Link to buy Never Let You Down (The Connaghers Book 4)

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Review:

Never Let You Down by Joely Sue Burkhart is the story of a sadist who lost her one true love and submissive. After an accident that almost took her life twelve years after the death of Virginia’s husband and submissive he returns to her in a dream to tell her it is time for her to move on. When she returns home from the hospital Virginia’s childhood best friend and the only other person she had ever loved but turned away returns to her life with a new understanding of who he is. Shock of all shocks for Virginia her childhood best friend is a writer of Western BDSM books and a closeted submissive whose only desire is to serve her. Will Virginia learn to feed her sadistic streak again? And will she ever be able to let it out with her childhood best friend and give him what he needs in order to give his submissive heart what it needs?

All in all this is an excellent read. Definitely a good read for a beginner getting into reading BDSM books. The kink factor is rather light in all aspects and basically glossed over for the most part. The few scenes that are in the book are well written and give enough information to give the reader a good feel for Virginia and her submissives. However, with that said the author could do some more research on the topic because at one point had her sadist doing damage to herself. Sadists are not masochists. Know your topic if you are writing about it before you write about it. Other than that this was very well done.

Reviewed by Unrequited Spirit

Ink and Iron: Obsession by Eden Bradley inkandiron
Link to buy Ink and Iron: Obsession

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Review:

This was a lovely little love story with some hot sex scenes and two likeable main characters. It is the first of a series about the band Ink and Iron.

Janie has rebuilt her life without her ex, Cole Kennrick.  In spite of the love they shared, his addictions to booze and drugs made their time together miserable for her. So for the past seven years, she has focused on her career and opening her own business as a yoga instructor.

When Cole appears back in her life, she can’t resist his sexuality or his pull as a Dom, but she’s afraid to trust him, even though he’s been clean and sober for the entire seven years. Can these two very different people find a way to move past the trauma of their shared history amid the crazy lifestyle of a rock band ?

I really like Janie. She was strong enough to walk away from Cole when she wasn’t able to deal with his addictions but willing to try again when he proves he has changed. Cole is also admirable-he broke away from his addiction and worked very hard to stay sober. His efforts to prove himself to Janie are admirable.

Although there is some bondage and spanking in this story, the book is really BDSM light. It falls somewhere between a short story and a novella.

Reviewed by Karen H

howtotrainHow to Train Your Dom in Five Easy Steps by Josephine Myles

Link to buy

Story Rating: 3 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Blurb:

Sometimes the little head really does know best.

Jeff White’s needs are simple. All he wants is a submissive to help him explore the dominant side that his ex-girlfriend couldn’t handle. Problem is, inexperience in both dating and domming has resulted in a string of rejections.

What he needs is an experienced sub willing to show him the ins and outs of controlling a scene. Unfortunately, the only one willing to take him on is male, and Jeff is straight. One hundred percent, never-gonna-happen straight.

Easygoing painslut Eddie Powell doesn’t care that Jeff is younger, working class, and shorter. Eddie likes a bit of rough, and Jeff fits the bill perfectly. The trick will be convincing him to follow Eddie’s five-step training programme—which would be easy if Eddie wasn’t starting to have feelings for the rough-around-the-edges landscaper.

Once Jeff lays his hands on Eddie, things definitely get out of hand. But it’ll take more than hot, sweaty, kinky sex to persuade him to come out of the closet—especially to himself.

Review:

“Opposites attract” as the old cliché goes, and you’d be hard-pressed to come up with two more dissimilar men than gruff, straight, working class Jeff and posh gay Eddie. Indeed, Jeff is such a misogynistic, homophobic pig when we first meet him that it’s hard to imagine any man or woman willing to date him, let alone do a BDSM scene with him. It’s difficult, at first, to understand what Eddie could possibly see in Jeff, aside from a colossal challenge.

But Eddie persists, and slowly manages to peel back the veneer of Jeff’s working class attitudes to reveal a man that isn’t quite as insensitive as he might appear. It doesn’t come easily, and the ups and downs of both men trying to come to terms with their feelings is what drives most of the plot.

Of course, along the way there are several hot scenes. Eddie’s “five easy steps” translates into five scenes with Jeff, in which the experienced sub helps the inexperienced Dom to gain confidence. This is, naturally, where things get complicated, since a confident Jeff is even more attractive to Eddie. The scenes progress from basic discipline to bondage and CBT.

The story is related with a good deal of humor, which helps keep things light and not too serious. While the two main characters conform very much to standard stereotypes, they’re nonetheless well defined enough to come across as ‘real’ people. Jeff and Eddie are in turn surrounded by a rich set of characters that makes the story that much more enjoyable.

Reviewed by Michael Joseph

FleurDeNuit300Fleur de Nuit by Cat Montmorency

(Bourbon Street Bondage, #1)

Synopsis:

The difference between wanting and taking is the barest catch of a breath…

Fleur de Nuit

Book One of the Bourbon Street Bondage Series

Decadent food, smoky music, dark delights—who could live in the French Quarter and not be tempted to partake? Moira D’Arcangelis, that’s who.

Ever since her college boyfriend tried to add her to his list of murder victims, she’s lived a quiet life, which is code for no life at all. When her best friend Kara convinces—okay, drags—her to meet Adrian LaCroix, master of the local underground kink scene, his commanding presence and sexy Cajun accent bring her latent desires back to life.

His offer to train her as a Domme is the key to regaining control of her life. Yet becoming Adrian’s protégé comes with complications. As he opens her body, mind, and soul, she begins to see Kara in a new light—right about the time a legendary Domme returns, intent on stealing Kara away.

Moira has a fight on her hands. For Kara, and against a past that comes roaring back with a vengeance. She’ll need every trick Adrian can teach her to win the right to both life—and love.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23754083-fleur-de-nuit

AUTHOR BIO:

Writer, gamer, ninja. Writing about life, love, and kink in New Orleans’ French Quarter. 21+ Rep’d by Jessica Negrón of Talcott Notch Literary.

Author links:

https://twitter.com/catmontmorency

http://catmontmorency.tumblr.com/

http://www.pinterest.com/catmontmorency/

owncoverOwn by Katie Porter

Link to buy Own (Command Force Alpha)

Story Rating:  5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 4 out of 5

Review:

Own by Katie Porter is the story of Katsu and Evan who need to find their way back to each other after Evan royally screws up. Years ago Evan the son of an up and coming politician embraces his life in the military right down to going into the Special Forces under the guidance of Colonel Stafford who is Katsu’s father. Unfortunately, for Katsu when Evan is ready to ship out he basically drops her like a hot potato sending her life into a downward spiral taking away all the structure that Katsu needs in order to survive. Five years later Evan walks back into Katsu’s life only to tell her that her father whom is the only person to ever hold her and tell her everything is going to be alright has been shot and no one is sure if he is going to be alright. However, it was Evan that was in for the shock of his life when he found his Katsu in a pool hall hustling the big bad players out of their money. Oh it gets worse for Evan his orderly and once well put together Katsu was now a mess both inside and out. Was he the cause of all of this? What had made his beautiful Katsu turn into a world of chaos all her own? All he knew was that he had to help her by mastering everything in her life including her all the while keeping her out of danger.

Wow, this book showcases how different the various dynamics between a Dominant/submissive or a Master/slave truly can be. So kudos to you Katie Porter for making sure that such a relationship can be had without all of the clubs, playrooms, dungeons, and high end equipment. The development of the dynamic between Katsu and Evan is one that starts out slow and confusing for both as they find their way through and figure out that they need each other vastly different reasons. She needs structure where he needs to be in control. The sexual scenes are well written and rather steamy. Katie Porter also stresses throughout her scenes that her little submissive always has the right to feel safe and call off anything at anytime. This whole book will keep the reader’s attention from cover to cover. As far as development of the story the promise that Evan made to protect Katsu was not a part of the book and would have been a great section to add. All in all, this book receives a five out of five for the story and four out of five on the BDSM side of things. Well done Katie Porter!

Reviewed by Unrequited Spirit

OutOfControl72webOut of Control by Teresa Noelle Roberts

Link to buy

ASIN B00HVEDKXW

Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 3 out of 5

Review:

Those who love geeky professors, this is one for you. Jen Kessler is an artist doing her best to survive. Her family discounts her ability to make a living because she wastes it on artwork. Still, Jen doesn’t look for handouts or charity. She will make her way through her art pieces. She independent and doesn’t need anyone. That is, until she rents a room from Drake Matthews.

Drake is a guy who deals in straight forward logic. This follows with his math degree. Drake does have a kinky side which includes his need of control. He’s into TPE which rubs Jen’s fur the wrong way.

The BDSM in this story is erotic and so good. Ms. Roberts does entice the reader with bondage and spankings. The chemistry between Jen and Drake is molten hawt. The focus seems to be more on D/s than it is on BD. There is little SM. Unfortunately for Jen, she’s more interested in the BD while Drake is all about the D/s.

The conflict in this story is Jen and Drake trying to make the relationship work. Their interaction is believable as they struggle to understand how they can have a relationship together. The give and take between two people who have lived alone for so long is amusing at times. Ms. Roberts does a good job of showing how difficult it is to adjust a schedule for two instead of one. The compromise each has to make is what makes this story so good to read.

From a character building stand point, Ms. Robert excels. Jen and Drake are both believable and realistic characters. While Jen does follow some of the stereotypical traits of an artist, she’s still grounded enough for readers to admire. Drake could come across as the stuff professor yet his kinky interests make him attractive. 

What really stood out about this story is how Ms. Roberts gives Jen a disability most people don’t know about. I remember reading it as a disorder in my psychology class. I’m not sure how much research Ms. Roberts put into the particular disability. I can say that from a layman’s view point, she did a fine job. How she incorporated it to Jen’s everyday life and her art is fabulous.  Within the first few mentions of how Jen sees people and how she interprets scents, it triggered the thought that Jen may have a special condition. For it to be validated and how Drake handle’s Jen’s unique view in life is heartwarming. Ms. Roberts really did a great job here and that’s why I gave her a four star for writing. 

This erotic romance is recommended for readers who love geeky guys and artsy gals coming together.

Reviewed by Book Addict

skylarSurrender by Fire by Skylar Kade

Link to buy

ASIN  B00HVEDKYQ

Story Rating: 2 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 2 out of 5

Review:

Surrender to fire is the third book in the Maison chronicles. I read this as a stand alone book, and feel like I would have enjoyed it more had I read the first two books before this.

The story revolves around Camille a literary agent who got her big break with a memoir written by a Dominatrix. A memoir that is now being listed a plagiarized. In addition to that Cam has also just been left by her Dom.

Damien is the Alpha in this story. He is a Dom who is not looking for a sub, someone who just does demos, especially after all the woman and relationships that just haven’t worked out.

Once these characters connect at the Maison lodge, the story takes off a little more. With her challenging behavior and his confidence I became more involved as the reader.

Overall this book had more of a romantic quality, where there were some temperature play D/s and public display elements, it was fairly tame for the reader. I was not inclined to read the first two books in the series.

Reviewed by maggie

MoreThanLovers72lgMore Than Lovers by Jess Dee

Link to buy

ASIN B00CQKFIH2

Story Rating: 4 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 0 out of 5

Review:

Let’s get it out of the way right off the bat. Yes, the book received a zero for the ‘Sting Factor’ rating. There is a very good reason for that. There is no kink in this book. Sorry readers. No bondage, no whips, no floggers. Nada. Not even a hint of a fetish. On the other hand, there are more than enough hot sex scenes to go around between our two main characters, Charlie and Sarah.

Charlie (AKA Char or Surfer Dude) and Sarah (AKA Sar or Geek Girl) are upstairs/downstairs neighbors in an apartment complex. They have a very nice booty call arrangement when they both happen to be unencumbered. The book starts with a bang. Literally. Sarah has been dumped by her most recent boyfriend on her fourth date and turns to Charlie for comfort of a sexual nature. And thus starts the well written, hot sex scenes that run throughout the book.

This is a tricky, fun little love story. A tale where Charlie loves Sarah, and Sarah loves Charlie, but neither will admit it, and neither thinks they are right for the other. Happily for us readers, they love to have sex regularly and also happily for us readers, Jess Dee describes all the fun in wonderful detail.

‘More than Lovers’ is a quick, fun read, and except for the lack of any kink, it is well worth reading. Especially if you’re looking to kill an hour or two enjoying a good love story while getting all hot and bothered and ready to go when your significant other gets home.

Reviewed by: Master Peter Raven

Her Grace’s Stable by Joely Sue Burkhart hergrace's

Link to buy

ASIN B00C4U6N78

Story Rating: 5 out of 5 paddles

Sting Factor (kink): 5 out of 5

Review:

A sort-of sequel to a book I have not read, this stands alone perfectly, so there’s no need to fret about order. You can just grab it up. Now.

Her Grace’s Stable is expert and satisfying blend of erotic pony play, character development, and emotional drama.  Joely Sue Burkhart brings clarity and gentle humor to what is very professional prose, all in the service of a story that will keep the reader aching, yearning, and delightfully uncertain. It’s a page-turner that compels attention, a harsh but loving mistress with a heart of gold, and whatever you spend on it, it’s worth it.

If you are into pony play at all, you need this book.

The interpersonal, romantic angle of the plot is incredibly satisfying. Lady Blackmyre’s love for Cole and his love for her is obvious, the terrible secret she is holding from him is heartbreaking. Their interactions are convincing, warm, human. The connection between Cole and Arthur is real and immediate, and is one of the more touching elements of the story. Rather than being hurt by his mistress’ interest in another pony, or jealous of Arthur, he acts out of love: the desire to help both of them away from their obvious suffering. And the growing bond between Lady Blackmyre and Arthur is really something to see. He is nothing like Cole, and so there’s no question of him being a replacement. It’s a different love, and it follows its own rough course.

Burkhart has accomplished something extraordinary here: a genuine ménage story, one where everyone loves everyone else, and the reader likes and identifies with everyone equally. I found myself drawn to each character for different reasons.

She has also accomplished another feat in Arthur’s character: an alpha male who is not a narcissistic, pushy ass, and who also bottoms and eventually submits, rather than being depicted as unilaterally dominant. It’s something all too rare in erotica; unfortunate, because it’s fucking delicious. I genuinely got lightheaded at a couple of points, and more than once, his unexpected behavior genuinely surprised me – but in a way that was perfect for the plot and only deepened his character. Just perfect.

Burkhart nails the Black Duchess’ headspace . . . that combination of desire and necessary detachment. She is never, ever cold, and never cruel, only aloof, only firm.  She loves her ponies. She loves working with them, training them. She knows she’s helping them, and she treasures them, the way one should treasure a companion. It’s not all about her; it’s about them, too. About the connections people make with one another, how different they can be, and how tangled and beautiful. Burkhart evokes the appeal of pony play, and pet play in general, in a way that both fulfills and transcends the fetish. Even if you aren’t into pony play, just give this a try.

The story is sharp and well-paced, the writing tight, the sex is electric and the anticipation even more so. At several points I genuinely feared the book would disappoint me by either ending badly or by simply failing to pony up the goods – yes, I went there – and glossing over or leaving out certain scenes that, by the end, I was desperate to see. I am happy to say it satisfied me, and then some.

As far as kinks go, this does precisely what it says on the tin: pony play with whips and bridles, pony-tail butt plugs, contests of wills. The boys do fuck each other. (Thank god.)  In retrospect, there’s more kink and less out-and-out sex, but while reading it, that did not even occur to me, and the kinky stuff is so flat-out sexy that it in no way detracted from the enjoyment. The kinky no-genitals-touching bits are, all alone, hotter than most books ever get. Thankfully, there is a good deal of rough sex here. Really, really good rough sex. And lots of chewy, tasty anguish. My love of angst had several multiple orgasms, I think, but the book did not leave me in a bad place, making it just about perfect.

Well-done, all around. Very well-done.

Reviewed by Naamah