This Russian bear is kinky in the extreme!

How to Domesticate a Russian Bear: A Russian Bear IIIHow to Domesticate a Russian Bear: A Russian Bear III by C.B. Conwy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5*

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series but I don’t think it mattered too much as there was enough explanation it was needed.

So, to the book itself. This is a study in how to write a style of BDSM which allows feelings and emotions to bleed through into everything which happens on the page.

I’ve never read this author before either and they have an interesting style of writing which is heavy on the details but not to the point of excess while, at the same time, having some odd grammar. Like Mischa lending a house instead of borrowing it – as in the sentence reads Mischa had lent a house from one of his clients. Just odd, but strangely it worked alongside the Russian man’s character.

Tom is a gem, feisty and stubborn but also utterly compliant in his submission once he gets over himself. There’s lots and lots of scenes of sex in this book so if that ain’t your thing, don’t read it.

It’s not always my thing either but here they’re handled with skill and as well as being descriptive, they manage to portray the trust and emotional connections while being volcanic.

There’s lots of humour too to break through all the sex and a fair bit of relationship communication and development and all ends with a neat epilogue.

#ARC received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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No Limits (No Shame, #2)No Limits by Nora Phoenix

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5*

This is far better plotted than book one was but it still doesn’t seem to be able to make its mind up about what sort of story it is.

There’s elements of BDSM, elements of possible poly relationship, elements of crime thriller and elements of military comfort but it’s all jumbled up together.

There’s also the odd grammatical errors, this one’s stand out being Connor admitting he’s gay being a momentum occasion instead of a momentous one. They stand out for me probably more than they would for a casual reader because I was a journalist and sub-editor for almost two decades.

Now, having said all of the above, I found Josh and Connor’s relationship development to be well done, the Dom/sub nature making good sense as a me and for Josh to deal with his PTSD and it didn’t give me any magic dick feelings.
Although, speaking of, the descriptions of Connor’s and his inhibitions about it were both hilarious and beautifully emotional at the same time, proving it’s not just men with small penises who might have hang ups. It was handled well and worked within the narrative.

Plus, for all the seriousness of a lot of the plot, there was also a good amount of humour in this one to temper the serious elements. It’ll be interesting now seeing what happens with Josh’s wayward brother and how Indy’s criminal threats from his past get resolved.

#ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: How to Domesticate a Russian Bear from CB Conwy

Title:  How to Domesticate a Russian Bear

Series: A Russian Bear III

Author: CB Conwy

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: October 26, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 91,000

Genre: Romance, Erotica, ; MM, BDSM

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Synopsis

How to Domesticate a Russian bear
(A Russian Bear III)
CB Conwy

So, all Mischa really wanted was sex. Hot, kinky sex, and preferably lots of it.

But then he got a sub, and then the sub turned into a fiancé, and now apparently Mischa is supposed to settle down and be all domesticated. However, Mischa does not do tame.

Well, at least he didn’t use to. Now he’s beginning to think that yes, he does indeed do tame. Unfortunately, his sub doesn’t seem to get that.

Tom knew that Mischa was a handful. Hell, that’s basically what made Tom fall head over heals for him. But figuring out how to handle his postgraduate studies combined with a long-distance relationship is driving him nuts. And not in the great, Mischa-is-torturing-me-with-kinky-sex-toys way (even though that happens, too. A lot). More like in the this-is-killing-me-slowly-and-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-about-it way. Unfortunately, Mischa finds out and puts his foot down, and then suddenly Tom has some very hard choices to make.

Then there’s Mischa’s busybody bridezilla friend, karate practice with people who actually hit back, and the arrival of the inlaws. Because just what do you do with the finest privately owned dungeon in North America when your family turn up?

That’s when Tom realizes that domesticating a Russian bear may take more work than even he realized.

Warning: An unrepentantly grumpy Dom with an unrepentantly pain-loving sub, kink so hot that the reader will be in imminent danger of blushing, and two characters who do their very best to turn a perfectly nice romance into a porn movie every chance they get.

Excerpt

Tom was using all his willpower to keep his steps calm and measured as the cab drove off behind him; desperation was never a pretty sight, even though he most of all wanted to sprint up the driveway stretching in front of him.

Finally he stood in front of the door. He took a deep breath, trying to compose himself, and reached up to knock at the door.

Before his hand made contact with the dark wood, the door was flung open and he was pulled into an embrace so tight that he couldn’t breathe. For a moment, he was shocked; then his brain registered the scent of Mischa, and Mischa’s arms around him, and he gave up on any pretense of being stoic and mature and simply clung, breathing in deeply and finally, finally indulging in the feeling of being back in Mischa’s arms.

He’d envisioned this meeting pretty much every single day since they’d parted. He’d pictured Mischa kissing him, Mischa having kinky plans that started right on the doorstep, Mischa bossing him around.

He hadn’t imagined this desperate clinging. Mischa held on so tightly that it felt like Mischa’s arms and Mischa’s body were his entire world.

He hadn’t imagined, either, the way Mischa was hiding his head against Tom’s shoulder, and he certainly hadn’t imagined the labored breaths that sounded suspiciously moist. Tom gently let one hand slide through Mischa’s dark hair, rubbing softly, comforting.

“Hey, hey,” he whispered. “It’s okay. We’re okay now.”

Then he realized why he was whispering and pulled a little harder on Mischa’s hair. “But you could consider letting me breathe sometime soon. It would probably be good for my health.”

Mischa mumbled something, and his arms loosened slightly.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that?” Tom said, gently massaging Mischa’s neck.

Mischa finally lifted his head. His eyes were somewhat shiny, and Tom would bet that his shirt would be slightly damp where Mischa’s face had been. “I said, ‘you sarcastic little shit’.” 

Tom barked out a laughter. “Jesus, Mischa, you’re such an asshole. I had completely forgotten…” But then Mischa’s lips were on his, and any coherent thought promptly left his head.

He had imagined this meeting over and over. How kinky it would be. How forceful Mischa would be. However, Tom couldn’t, not in any way, have imagined this kiss.

Mischa’s lips were soft, almost searching at the beginning, the tip of his tongue gliding gently over Tom’s lower lip. Then, when Tom eagerly opened up – it was Mischa! – he embraced Tom tightly and took his mouth so thoroughly that Tom could do nothing but surrender to the feeling of finally, finally being this close to Mischa again.

He might have made a needy sound. He did know that he wasn’t just clinging anymore, he was crawling up Mischa until his legs were around Mischa’s body and Mischa was holding him tightly. They were moving, he thought, but he was tasting Mischa, surrendering to his tongue, opening his mouth to let Mischa plunder it however Mischa wanted to take him.

Then they were sitting somewhere, on a couch, Tom thought, and Mischa pulled back slightly, gently holding Tom’s head in his hands. “I’ve missed you,” he said, his voice sounding slightly gruff.

“I’ve missed you, too. God, Mischa, what were we thinking with the whole ‘Tom’s got to settle in so Mischa can’t visit’ thing? That was really, really stupid!”

Mischa nodded sagely. “It was stupid. Very.” Then he bent forward and kissed Tom again. Their lips met, and their tongues slowly explored what they hadn’t had for so long: The intimacy of two bodies being close, two breaths mingling and getting heavier, then slowing down when one of them pulled back. Mischa gently kissed Tom’s forehead at one point, and Tom closed his eyes, suddenly overwhelmed with the feeling of being cherished like this. Then Mischa’s lips were on his again, gently teasing the tender flesh, and Tom shuddered as his body responded to the slight soreness of his bitten and overused lips. He briefly registered Mischa’s grin; then he was being lowered onto the couch, and finally they were lying next to each other, stretched out and able to let their hands rove as much as they wanted.

In the beginning it was light, almost like exploring someone you didn’t know for the first time. Then their bodies seemed to recognize the feeling of each other, and impatience took over. Mischa none too gently opened Tom’s pants, and then his hands were finally on Tom.

Tom gasped into their kiss, and he could sense Mischa’s breathing quickening as well as the grip on Tom’s dick tightening. Whimpering, Tom fumbled with the opening of Mischa’s slacks, determined to have Mischa right there with him. It seemed to take forever, maybe because Mischa’s lips never left his, but then he finally held Mischa’s cock in his hand.

Mischa rewarded him with a groan and a firm stroke all the way from the root of his dick to the tip, the precome making everything slick.

It was so easy after that. Their lips met where they breathed each other in, Tom whimpering every time Mischa rubbed the sensitive head of his dick, Mischa growling when Tom sped up, demanding that Mischa be right next to him in his pleasure.

It was impossible to say how long it lasted, but the wave came inexorably, pulling them with it and crashing over them, making Tom shout in pleasure and joy and Mischa groaning, sounding almost pained, his teeth deep in Tom’s shoulder as they came together. 

***

“Did you actually bite me?” Tom’s voice was surprisingly mellow for someone asking that question. Mischa only grumbled and pulled him closer. He had managed to locate a blanket on the back of the couch, and now they were snug and warm and, most importantly, as close to each other as they could possibly get. He had no intention of moving for the foreseeable future.

Maybe forever, really. He stretched languidly, keeping a firm hold of Tom while doing so.

He felt more than heard the drowsy chuckle against his chest. “You’re not going to let me go any time soon, are you?” Tom didn’t sound terribly upset about that fact.

“I will if you keep up that racket,” Mischa muttered. God, he felt good. He had completely forgotten how it felt being like this, all fucked out with a sweet boy in his arms. He stubbornly ignored the fact that it had been a very long time since he had had any boy but Tom, and that he’d never really bothered to hold those boys, sweet or not. If being a badass Dom took a bit of self-delusion, he was all for it. Reputations had to be upheld, if only in your mind. He smirked.

“Are you making plans to take over the world again?” Tom raised his head and looked down at Mischa, expression half suspicious, half blissfully satisfied. He had a tuft of hair sticking up in front, and the general impression was one of a mussed and very happy man. Thoroughly mauled, in other words.

Okay, not as thoroughly mauled as he would be later, but still, Mischa considered it a job very well done.

“You are, aren’t you? You’re not listening at all.”

“I most certainly am making plans,” Mischa answered haughtily. Or, well, he aimed for haughty. His yawn might have ruined the impression somewhat.

At least it must have to Tom. He got this soft expression on his face, reaching down and gently moving a lock of Mischa’s hair away from his forehead.

“What do you say we postpone the ‘hanging Tom from the ceiling and torturing him’ scene and spend the evening on the couch? We could get some take-out.”

“I don’t hang you from the ceiling,” Mischa said, letting his hand slide lightly over Tom’s side.

“No, because you think that ropes are boring. Hey, should I worry about the fact that neither of us are protesting the torture part?”

“No, because I’m very good at torturing you,” Mischa said. In his opinion, a pretty good comeback. Unfortunately, his stomach chose that moment to make known that he had only had two bites of a decidedly sad airplane sandwich since this morning, and rumbled loudly.

“That settles it. There’s no way I’m having you starve to death before you torture me. After, sure, but I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for ages. Besides, bodies would be really hard to hide in this neighborhood.”

Mischa did try to smack his butt, but Tom was surprisingly quick for somebody being all mellowed out from sex. Or maybe Mischa didn’t try too hard.

Which was fully rewarded for the rest of the evening. They put on a film that they watched pretty much nothing of, stuffed themselves with Chinese food, and did something that was questionably close to snuggling for Mischa’s taste. Just to make up for it, he did make Tom scream before they went to bed. That boy really liked a blowjob.

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Meet the Author

Doing relatively sane and responsible things during the day, I’m always looking forward to coming home to see what my characters have been up to. It’s only very rarely what I want them to do, but there you go. I have no problems whatsoever reading both Flaubert and smut (although not at the same time), and the only thing I like more than chocolate is a good comfort read.

To me, the best thing about writing is the rush; it’s almost a physical high when you’re writing and it’s going well. As for the worst part: Nobody ever told me that fictional characters do exactly as they please! All that talk about ‘the author’s intention’? This author is running around, desperately trying to figure out what my heroes want to do and then coaxing everybody into something vaguely resembling a consistent plot. Sigh.

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I need more of this ‘not a romance’ pairing

ShiverShiver by Ella Frank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Firstly can I just say OMG this takes possession to a whole new level and second to that – where’s book two?!

If there is to be no book two then this is the ultimate in edging and Ella and Brooke have scaled the heights of how to write a ‘not a romance’ and then some.

This book is all ends screwed and twisted and brilliantly so. Wolfe is an addiction that takes Jesse into a world he really has no place in going and my apprehension levels were on full alert throughout.

It works so well because you, as the reader, are given a tiny bit more insight, but still not the full picture, and are then drawn through the narrative alongside our clueless hero.

There is an element of convenient plot bunny but it works as a unforeseeable happenstance within the wider story arc, and didn’t feel too obvious, and I can’t think of many other ways it could have been done without it feeling clumsy.

There’s some powerful erotic sex in here, some hugely manipulative behaviour, some elements of the BDSM canon which work in Wolfe/Tor’s favour as he pursues his little lamb, and ultimately there’s heartbreak, betrayal and obsession as the narrative comes to a surprising end.

I still can’t make my mind up how much ‘not a romance’ this book actually is because it contains a lot of love – of the dark and twisted kind – and I loved it!

But I will agree with other reviewers that it’s not a particularly dark book in terms of what happens to Jesse and there are far far darker ones out there if that’s your thing.

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Book Tour: Tender with a Twist from Annabeth Albert

Title: Tender with a Twist

Series: Rainbow Cove #2, but stands alone well

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher:  Annabeth Albert

Release Date: October 2, 2018

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 79,000 words

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, May-December, BDSM (light), Small Town

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Synopsis

One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

Tender with a Twist is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, featuring a second chance at love, opposites attract, loads of sexy times with mild BDSM elements, and one emotionally-charged, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

Excerpt

Logan

The crazy woodcarver was shirtless. Again. It was a sleepy Thursday in January on the Oregon Coast which meant most sane people were in flannel and jackets and bundled for the sharp bite of the wind. I was wearing fleece-lined bike pants and a long-sleeved cycling jacket myself as I celebrated the first good ride of the year, and I was still chilly when I stopped my ride near the jewelry store on 101—the main highway running through Rainbow Cove. I told myself that I’d stopped for some water from my bottle, but I knew it was a weak excuse. Really, I’d been transfixed by the sight of Curtis Hunt carving up a giant tree trunk with his chainsaw.

For all that rumors flew about his eccentricity, the man was an unparalleled artist, and watching him do his thing was a true pleasure. Sweat dripped from his head and back despite the cool temperature, and he worked like a man possessed, moving this way and that around the piece, dancing almost as his chainsaw flitted about with the sort of grace I’d expect from the jeweler, not this buff lumberjack with heavy machinery.

He wore sawdust splattered jeans, heavy boots, safety goggles and ear protectors, but his red flannel shirt lay discarded on a nearby sculpture of a falcon, showing off his shimmering muscles and tats that even from a distance were impressive. For all that the guy had probably fifteen years on me, he was in amazing shape. Hell, if I had ink and muscles like that, I wouldn’t keep my shirt on, either. All the muscles made something warm unfurl in my gut, but I dismissed the low thrum of arousal as a never-happening-in-this-lifetime thing. Chances were very high that he’d laugh at any of my fantasies, especially the ones involving him, some rope, and his usual intense stare replaced with something closer to supplication.

But, a guy could still look. And want. So I took my time drinking my water, watching as the outline of a bird slowly emerged from the raw tree trunk.

In a town as tiny as Rainbow Cove, the rumor mill worked overtime, and I knew all the rumors about Curtis. Knew he’d lost his longtime lover a year or two ago and that the two of them had been mythic fixtures in the area. Curtis had apparently gotten more eccentric since the other guy had passed, moving into the old gas station he used as a gallery for his carvings, growing his own food, and going notoriously cranky about change.

And change was what had driven me to Rainbow Cove. Change was what my restaurant represented—hope that the area economy could find a new foothold in tourism. So it wasn’t surprising that Curtis didn’t seem to like my friends and me any. Probably wouldn’t appreciate me looking at him like he was a lumbersexual Tumblr all queued up for my viewing pleasure.  But damn, those muscles…

I gave myself last look before I pedaled away, heading away from the center of town, taking the turnoff that would lead me to the narrow residential road that skirted the beach to the south. I was alone on the road, glorious, vast gray skies and sprawling blue ocean my only companions. This was what I’d come to Rainbow Cove for, the space to be alone, the quietness that I’d only ever found before in a dojo. Portland was crowded, and not just with people. My parents’ expectations always loomed large, as did past mistakes and hurts, and the general hustle of the area made it hard to catch my breath, hard to think and breathe and simply be. The traffic. The noise. The demands. All of it had gotten to be too much for me, and when my friend Mason had proposed the idea of the bar and grille here on the coast, I’d leapt at the chance to start fresh, especially since I’d loved the coast from some of my earliest memories of family weekends away.

Eventually, my ride returned me to the tavern where Mason was signing off on a meat delivery from a local farm.

“Chef!” The driver greeted me with a wave as I locked up the bike. “We’ve got some new fillets in. Think you might want some for a special this week?”

My mind immediately flitted away the shirtless woodcarver and back to my real passion—cooking. I loved being the chef here, the guy who made the decisions and the specials. I’d had years of sous chef positions in Portland, growing ever more eager for my own menu, one where I could play with sauces and presentation and choose my own local ingredients.

“I’m picturing a peppercorn crusted fillet with red wine reduction.” I inspected packages Mason was loading into the freezer and fridge. We’d do most of our business with the endless stacks of burger patties, but I loved changing things up with my daily specials, too.

“Don’t know if anyone will pay fillet prices.” Mason shook his head. The slow winter season was starting to wear on my friend, who also served as our business manager. “You can try it as a special, but let’s not over-order.”

I reluctantly took a small order of fillets, ceding to Mason’s wishes, and rounded out my weekly specials plan with cheaper options like shepherd’s pie.

“How was your ride?” Mason asked after the delivery guy was on his way.

“Fine.” I didn’t feel the need to report on my perving of the woodcarver. It had been a little personal indulgence. Not to mention the fact that Mason’s police chief boyfriend, Nash Flint, was close friends with Curtis, which meant I’d be in for double the teasing if I let on that I’d let my eyes wander in that direction.

“You’re not too lonely, are you?” Mason pressed. “It’s your first winter on the coast, and I know that can be hard.”

“Not lonely,” I said, truthfully. I was so happy to be free of all the voices of Portland—my well-meaning parents, my ex, my aikido master, my many opinionated friends, the executive chefs and restaurant managers who hadn’t seen fit to promote me. The silence of the off season meant that for the first time in my life I was finally free to figure out my own direction, and I intended to seize that. I wasn’t telling Mason, but that was my New Year’s resolution—be the person I’d been reluctant to embrace in Portland. It was high time I took a chance on myself.

Purchase at AmazonMeet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

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Simply brilliant Rainbow Cove romance

Tender with a Twist (Rainbow Cove, #2)Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply brilliant writing, that’s what Tender with a Twist is. Unlike book one, this not only touches on loss and heartbreak but it also has some of the best emotionally driven BDSM kink I’ve ever read.

Each time Logan puts Curtis through a scene the feelings underpinning their attraction to each other bleed out. I was interested in Curtis in book one, it’s not often a chainsaw carver pops up as a character, but Logan was sort of just there in the background at the tavern.

Well not in this one, here Logan is very much front and centre and his quiet strength and determination to be the person he truly knows he is carries the narrative forward at all times.

The humour is gentle, Curtis’ fears are palpable, he knows he’s not the typical ‘hero’, the one people flock to. Life’s beaten him down so much over the years and he’s not sure he can cope with any more.

But Logan, wonderfully optimistic and driven Logan, knows he can bring light and much needed release both sexually and emotionally, to Curtis.

Their scenes together are topping Annabeth’s efforts in her latest Out of Uniform story for being the most kinky. They’re delicious and sensual and painful and emotional and erotic and loving and so hot they risk spontaneous combustion.

The drama is caused not only by Curtis’ own fears, but also by the interference of family who should know better. Logan is 27 but his parents still look on him as if he’s a scared and shy teen. Their helicopter parenting leaves him frustrated and doubting his own determination to be his real self.

And I could have slapped Troy’s mother, even though I also absolutely understood and sympathized with her feelings, for her guilt tripping as she sees Curtis making tentative steps towards a new life with Logan in it permanently.

I could wax lyrical about this one for hours more, I never wanted it to end. Utterly gorgeous cover too, the lumbersexual look isn’t usually my thing but Curtis just floated my boat.

#ARC received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Fabulous exercise in how to write a submission romance

The Master Will AppearThe Master Will Appear by L.A. Witt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

LA Witt is one of my favourite writers no matter which section of the MM genre she’s focussing on and this book is a stunning example of her BDSM work.

The BDSM in this book is light, it’s a Dom/sub pairing with some pain play but mostly it’s an exercise in how one man, taught his whole life that he’s worthless, can come to discover he’s the most precious thing in the world.

The fencing setting was also fabulous, as I actually have friends who fence for the British Olympic team and who train the British Paralympians, and it made a change from the normal mainstream sports setting.

I loved both Ryan and Misha, and their emotional and sexual connections were incredible, the Dom/sub scenes were sensual and the consensual ‘gang bang’ was blissfully erotic and never felt like porn.

This book also has a wonderful epilogue.

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