Author Visit & Giveaway: Garrett Leigh Talks "Rare" and "Freed"

Today Garrett Leigh visits BMBR's clubhouse to hang out and chit chat about Rare and a freebie, Freed.  Garrett toted along a copy of Rare to giveaway to a lucky reader, so check out the post and then enter below!

Dear Readers,

I made a pact with myself a while ago that for every full length novel I released, I would do my best to write an accompanying free short. Of course there are marketing reasons for this, but also, for me, I felt it was a way of giving back something to the folk who put their hands in their pockets to support not only me, but the characters I’ve created.

Ash is a perfect case-in-point. I’m staggered by the amount of emails and messages I get about him. Last week, I even got an email addressed TO him. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I’ve dreamed up many characters over the years, but Ash will always remain the closest to my heart. He’s not perfect, and he was never meant to be, but he IS Ash, and I love him.

An extract from Freed, which is told entirely from Ash’s point of view:

…I TRACED my fingertips over Pete’s sweat-slicked back. A lazy hum was his only response. I wasn’t surprised. We hadn’t been in bed long. A detour to the hospital to have a two-inch gash in Joe’s head stitched up had made us very late home. Still, we’d been back long enough for me to fuck his brains out. I couldn’t resist. When Charlie had shouted out to the parking lot for Pete from the club’s entrance, seeing him go from a horny, buzzed drunk to a totally sober medic in a matter of seconds had riled me up. I’d jumped him the moment we’d gotten home and fucked him all over the apartment. Now he was passed out on his stomach with that euphoric half grin I loved so much. 
Long ago, before he’d truly enlightened me to the world of bottoming, I’d often stared at him after sex—at his boneless contentment and blissed-out smile—and wondered how something so intrusive could make him so happy. I understood now. I’d felt the light-headed rush of sensation for myself and despite pathetically missing his company, I wasn’t about to disturb his postcoital haze. I scooted down the bed and wrapped myself loosely around him. I was tired and sleepy, but I was wired too. I’d fucked him from behind tonight, something I’d gotten much better at. We’d practiced it a lot. Flipping him over and sliding my dick into him had become almost natural, and it felt amazing. I pressed my face into his back with a wry smirk. It still felt amazing…

Can you tell where this is going? I hope you can, and if you can’t, just know that it’s a scene I’ve had TONS of emails and messages about. A scene I honestly NEVER thought I’d write for Pete and Ash.

The title of the book is apt, and when you read it, you’ll see why. Download FREED for FREE (har har) from Dreamspinner Press and ARe now. Freed is my gift to you, and will remain free until the end of time.

Garrett <3

PS. The artwork is the original piece Ash created when he began therapy, as documented in Rare (Roads #2), the full length novel that Freed is taken from. It was produced by my wonderful friend, Samantha Jane.

Freed and Rare are now available from Dreamspinner Press.

Garrett has brought along a copy of Rare for a lucky commenter to win, so check out the details below!

If you would like to win an ebook copy of Rare by Garrett Leigh, leave a comment on this BMBR post with some means of contacting you (e.g., email, Twitter handle, Goodreads link, etc.). The contest will close at 10PM (Pacific time) on January 27th, and a winner will be contacted shortly thereafter.  Please respond within 48 hours or else we will select another winner.

Thanks for visiting, Garrett, and good luck to the contest folks!

Author Visit: Tali Spencer Interview & Giveaway Details!

Today the UM has fellow unicorn enthusiast Tali Spencer visiting the clubhouse. Tali's Thick as Thieves was the subject of our Happy Hour Chat, so learn more about where she got her inspiration and read on for information about a big (awesome!) giveaway that Tali's hosting on an earlier blog post!

BMBR: The question on every Thick as Thieves reader's mind, unicorn did you come up with that idea?
The unicorn arrived thanks to a writing prompt for my Wednesday Briefs weekly flash. The week I joined the group, one of the prompts was unicorn, mandolin, some kind of plant. I love writing fantasy, so that prompt spoke to me. I was feeling playful, so decided to have fun with it. Unicorns are magical. And their horns are rather suggestive, symbolically speaking. I’d always had this plot bunny in the back of my head about a brawny, perpetually horny barbarian, so I threw him into the mix. He’s hungry, kills the unicorn thinking it’s a deer and—of course, being horny—uses the horn in a sexual manner… well, naturally, I nipped and tucked that idea, added the mandolin and plant, and tweaked it all into making some kind of sense. Thick as Thieves exists because of that unicorn horn!
BMBR: You had to know you would get a lot of reactions from the epic blurb for Thick as Thieves. Did you have any misgivings about using it? Did you worry about it being a little misleading at all?
Oh my gosh, that blurb! Where do I start? My publisher and I felt it was important to let readers know about the ridiculous premise upfront. Thick as Thieves is a sword and sorcery romp and we wanted readers who like that kind of fantasy to know the story would have some fun with sex and sorcery. The downside was some readers might read that first line and think the book was going to be pure smut. Those readers would either 1) be disappointed when it wasn’t pure smut, or 2) not read the book because they thought it would be smut. I tried different approaches, but no other version of the blurb quite captured the sense of fun. So I asked people who’d beta read the book or had read the first third of it on my blog (everyone who commented on the story received a free copy of Thieves) what they thought and universally they said, “Oh no! You have to mention the unicorn horn!” So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I will say this… the blurb has gotten a lot of attention!
BMBR: The UM was overwhelmingly Team Vorgell, he is such a great character. Of all your characters who is your favorite and which of your books would you recommend to a friend new to the genre?
Well, this answer might be different next time, but… I have a big old soft spot for Vorgell. We’re a lot alike, actually. Big, blond, smart but not necessarily quick, and plopped into situations where we don’t always understand what’s going on. We never quite fit in, but still manage to almost fit in everywhere.
I’d probably recommend Thick as Thieves to a friend new to the M/M genre because of the fast pacing and humor; it’s just easy to read—but it’s not really about being gay. Dangerous Beauty is a fantasy historical that’s definitely about being gay, so it might be a good one for readers who want a little less magic and fantasy.
BMBR: Are there any more plans for stories that feature unicorns, mythical creatures...unicorns?
You’ll be pleased to know the next book has a lustful harpy and a kickass kraken. I see a dragon in a story after that. There’s a unicorn in that one, too—the mate to the unicorn Vorgell killed. Unicorns mate for life, you see and, well, it sort of recognizes Vorgell’s magic. I haven’t decided yet if it will love him or hate him. Mythical creatures allow for all kinds of crazy, sexy, sinister fun.
BMBR: If you could choose to put any of characters into a favorite book of yours, who would you choose? Why? And what book?
Oh, I would love to put Vorgell into Brute, a wonderful fantasy by Kim Fielding. Actually, Ms. Fielding and I have talked about doing a story together featuring our two giant heroes but haven’t really gone anywhere with it yet. I can see our two worlds being neighboring countries, with danger and intrigue, and people who underestimate what our underdog characters are able to do to thwart an evil plan.

BMBR: Petal, she's darling. How in the world did you choose a basilisk as a pet?
Little Petal just popped up one day. Originally she wasn’t in the book at all! I needed to have some magical way to lock Madd’s collar, something he’d have to steal back from the Baron, so I thought, “Basilisks are cool. How about a basilisk egg? And the magic in the unborn basilisk binds the spell.” That worked. And it worked for Ibeena to want the egg as payment, because magical creatures are rare, right? So Vorgell pockets the egg to bring back to Ibeena. And that was the plan. Then the story hit a nice lull (all good, because it was after something intense) and I thought, “Well, Vorgell can go to sleep here but what if he crushes the egg? Wait! What if the egg hatches!” I loved the possibilities, so I hatched it. And Vorgell showed early in the book that he has a soft spot for animals. So of course he nurtured the little critter once it was hatched. It was also the best kind of fun to see Madd, and other characters, react to Vorgell having a basilisk. How could I not run with it?
BMBR: We here at UM not only take our reading seriously (the UM side-eyes) but we also take our unipornian delights just as serious too (the UM chants: FOR SCIENCE!). So if we had a chance to put "Thick as Thieves" on film, who would you cast? Would there maybe be a porn model or three involved?
This is going to sound strange, maybe, given how sexual my books are, but I don’t watch much porn—and when I do I don’t take note of names. I’m too busy watching. <coff> So while I can definitely see a porn model in Vorgell’s role, especially, I have no names to offer. I sort of envision him as a Chris Hemsworth on steroids, bigger and more rugged. Also whoever it is would have to sport a mighty nice cock. I actually do have a human inspiration for Madd. His name is Rasmus Ledin and he posts self-portraits on deviantArt. But I don’t know if he can act or if he’d be interested in appearing in sex acts. One thing for sure: if there’s ever a movie for Thieves, I want to sit in on casting auditions!!! For science, you know.

BMBR: Where do you see Madd and Vorgell thirty years after they meet?
They’ll still be together, lovers and best friends. From the start I’ve known they were forever. Despite their rocky introduction, they totally get each other. I would love for readers to see them grow into a sexually devoted couple with an unbreakable bond. In the first book, Vorgell is clearly the one more in love, and most of that stems from lust. In the second book, he and Madd grow closer as Madd’s significant barriers against sex being actually, you know, meaningful, begin to break down. Love starts knocking on the door for both of them, and they become even more sexually attuned, though still flawed and hooked on adventure. 
In thirty years, I see them being more settled. They’ll have gotten tired of thieving and always being either on the run or short of coin. They’ll have battered their bodies and spirits a bit (though never their need for each other) and will probably leave Gurgh and the decadent cities behind. Maybe they’ll take up with a community of witches that’s reformed its view of how men fit in and where they can use their accumulated expertise. Maybe a small country somewhere could use a pair of adventurers. Vorgell might even father a child along the way. Neither will ever marry a woman, but I can see them raising a child, or at least helping some woman they like a lot to do so. I would like to see them being respected members of a community. 

Thanks for visiting, Tali! Any friend of unicorns is a friend of ours. =D

Giveaway details: Last week Tali visited the blog with a guest post and mentioned an AMAZING giveaway. Check out the details and enter here.  The giveaway contest closes at 10PM (Pacific time) on January 27, 2014, so you still have time to enter by leaving a comment on LAST WEEK'S POST.

Good luck, and may the unipornian force be with you!

P.S. As a friend of the unicorns and January's author of the month, Tali is an honorary UM member with the unicorn name Daisy Rainbow Mane.

Review: My Warrior, My Slave by Nana G.

Orion’s promising military career is cut short when he is caught having a sex with another free man. He is condemned to a lifetime of slavery after a public trial, a fate which Meme, his ex-lover, shares with him. When he finds out he has been purchased by General Ares, he risks invoking the wrath of his former superior by pleading with him to also purchase Meme. Even though Ares is furious with Orion, he grants his request. Ares is determined to unravel Orion’s impassive facade and Meme may just be what he needs to break a warrior.

It's no secret that I love a good slave story. And this one was good and gritty and got down to business right away. And by down to business I mean turning this man who has been captured, Orion, into the sweet slave boy he should be.

Orion was sold to be a slave, it was never something he wanted but he's a man who wants to excel at anything he sets out to do. He's supposed to be a slave, well he's going to be the bast damn slave he can be. If he's going to do something, he's going to do it right. And boy, did he do it right. He totally embraced his slavery and loved being loved by his master.
"How do you feel now, Orion?" Ares asked, gathering his precious boy into his arms.
"I feel complete, Master."
Ares smiled. That was exactly how he himself was feeling at present. 
"Is that your way of telling me you are sore and stiff, Orion?"
The boy nuzzled his shoulder, spreading warm feelings inside him.
"It is, Master."
"Unfortunately for you, Orion, it will be like that every time I take you for my gratification. If you think that was bad, wait until I finish taking you again before allowing you to sleep."
"Is that a promise as well, Master?"
Oh fucking my. Please let that be a promise, please.

Oooooh, the master/slave and BDSM scenes were good. Whips, whips, whips...mmmmm... I love a good whipping scene. Ares knew exactly what to do and how to treat Orion in order to turn him into a slave. He was the perfect master for his slave. Not to mention how he was with his other slave, Meme. Sweet, loving Meme. He's one of those genuine slaves who sincerely needs to be mastered in order to be happy. He was just perfect.

So, Orion and Meme were arrested and sold into slavery for having sex with each other. Apparently, free men can't have sex, but they can if they're slaves? I'm not quite sure. The world-building was a bit fuzzy for me and I never really caught the gist of this whole 'slavery' thing they had going on. The why of everything was never clear, I would have liked to know more about why Orion and Meme were punished for having sex with a man and then sentenced to slavery where they would have sex with a man. Huh? *scratches unicorn horn* But, really, there were masters and slaves involved, so was I all that bothered? No, not really.

It was short, hot and to the point. If you're into slaves stories, I'd say pick it up. It's worth the read for the whips alone.

I recieved a copy of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review through the "Don't Buy My Love" event hosted by the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads.

Review: Special Needs 2 by K.A. Merikan

--- Caretaking. Like a boss. ---

So, Ryan isn’t disabled. Okay, he is, but he’s only got a foot missing, that’s hardly a reason to pretend he’s paraplegic and ride around in a wheelchair! Now Liam has to deal with being lied to since the moment they met, and he is not a happy camper. He doesn’t understand why sweet, innocent Ryan would do such a thing. What if there are other things his boyfriend lied about? Or ex-boyfriend for that matter.

Ryan is in a state of complete panic at the sole thought of losing Liam, his first proper boyfriend ever. But the show must go on and after the fire in his hotel, Ryan can’t only focus on his love life. He’s a serious businessman after all. Marketing, networking and promoting will be his new love life. Who needs a boyfriend anyway, when in the end, every guy is either a devotee, or freaks out about his transability? Yet... maybe if Liam stayed around the hotel, they could at least make up and become friends.

There is one more option to consider - walking. If Ryan started walking, would Liam want to be with him again? But how far can he bend to Liam’s wishes before he breaks?

One thing that I feel K.A. Merikan always has down pact is sex scenes.They never disappoint, they’re never dry, and they definitely take you on one hell of a ride. 3.5 Stars


SN2 was great. It tied up a lot of loose ends from SN1 and left me feeling full of gourmet burgers and completely satisfied.

To see my review on GR for SN1, please go here.
For the first bit, I thought Liam was being a baby. Then as the story progressed, I thought Ryan was being a bit of a bitch. I think that’s part of his character though. Liam was pissed about finding out that Ryan could actually kind of walk and they he didn’t tell Liam. I think lying about that and lying about not being gay, your sexuality, is probably just as bad. Maybe not entirely, but if Ryan can forgive Liam so easily, maybe Liam shouldn’t be such a prima donna.
Eventually they did kiss and make up and life was happy, but not before Ryan got to throw a few shitfits first. I kind of like this about him. I think he’s such a little diva. Like, I remember actually like that when I was 16 and young and pissed off and I had tons of piercings and pink hair and I’d throw temper tantrums and whine all the time, just like Ryan. Sometimes I just think, “Smarten the fuck up, Ryan! Stop bitching!” because man, sometimes he’d be so snarky for petty reasons, and I’d mostly just laugh because it became this hilarious game of what PMSy move Ryan would make next. I understand this probably isn’t hilarious to everyone, but to me, it was. I’ve accepted now that it’s part of his character. Maybe he’s immature, but that’s okay because it’s just who he is and Liam loves him for it.

 (Can we please pause for a moment to laugh at the fucking funniest gif on the internet? I’m so happy I found it. It’s perfect right here in this review.)

Rufio was my favorite. He was funny and sweet and vanilla and I loved him. He’s like the cute little puppy that barks at you till you pet it. The supporting characters, as in the previous book, definitely enjoyable. More from Cole this time which I liked. I always thought his arguments with Liam were funny. Again, maybe not supposed to be funny but I laughed, so sue me.

Roger thing was pretty obvious, but I liked that. I’m pretty sure it was on purpose. Nah, I’m sure since I read the afterthought thingy part of the book. I liked that everyone seen it coming. This wasn’t a mystery novel. Fucking Roger.

There was a lot of talking in this book. Chatty Cathy’s, we have here. The dialogue was good and enjoyable, but there was definitely a lot of it.

The overall creativity of this book was fantastic, like the first one. They try to tackle so much in one book, which is why I suppose it’s a bit of a longish read. The issues they covered were interesting and had me Googling shit that I didn’t know existed, and I appreciate that. Appreciate sexy books that make me smarter. I’m not going to touch too much on the issues in this book because if you’ve read the first SN, you can maybe guess on a few of them, but I guess I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, to figure them out. Let’s just say they are probably not something you hear about every day, which is definitely refreshing.

Again, must stress, very hot sex.

ARc provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Review: The Prince of Winds by Tali Spencer

Rimmon may be an eagle warrior, but he’s never known war, and he’s never known love—until his kingdom’s army is destroyed by Ekari, the demon of winds, and he is captured by Melkor, one of the Iron Horde that has been killing off the world's gods. Those gods have cursed Melkor and his brothers to be conquerors and never to be loved, but Melkor, hoping to overcome his fate, carries Rimmon off to his island.

There, he heals Rimmon’s wounds and teaches him about sexual pleasure, earning the young warrior’s trust and fanning the flames of an attraction both men yearn to embrace. But the curses of vengeful gods are difficult to break, especially when Rimmon discovers Melkor is the demon who destroyed his home.

How to describe Tali Spencer's "The Prince of Winds"? is a fantasy with a historical feel, a mythological tinged romance, a sensual,well written tale that can easily be visualized and has a fairy tale feel. Basically a book that I definitely enjoyed. You give me those elements and add a enemies-to-lovers AND a virgin theme, I'd hooked. This story hits a lot of topics I like. And if you haven't read a Tali Spencer book (this is my second and won't be my last), expect to take a journey to cool fantasy world. There's even flying carpets. It took everything to not sing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin each time Melkor showed up with his carpets. (Okay I show no restraint with singing Disney tunes, so I sung the song one or two maybe over five times)

In a land far away, there's a trio of brothers that are demigods and they are on the warpath. They are conquering gods, kingdoms and ripping the world a new one. Why? They are avenging their wronged goddess of a mother and also trying to escape the curses thrown upon them. The most important one is that they are cursed to never be loved. Melkor, the more scholarly of his brothers, controls the wind, he is, in fact, known as the Prince of Winds. Melkor wants to find a mate and even though he is cursed, he does not give up hope. He has the list of servants he has bedded to prove it. But while the Ake kingdom falls, most known for eagle warriors (that's right Ake's warriors use giant eagles as weapons) Melkor sees a fallen warrior being tended by his eagle and becomes enchanted with the ginger haired beauty, Rimmon.

Melkor whisks the injured Rimmon knowing his identity as a prince almost immediately but does not share who he is to the young man.Neither does Rimmon. The hidden identity ploy doesn't carry on for too long, so if you don't enjoy the trope, don't worry. Did I mention Rimmon is a virgin and Melkor takes pleasure in training (one word:delicious) Rimmon in the art of sex. The sex scenes and near sex scenes were sensual. The words are descriptive and I could just see the golden skin being licked or see that glass...instrument being inserted in...well you need to read what was put where, don't you? ;P

The niggles because I had a few but just a tiny few. I wish there was a more filler between Rimmon and Melkor on the island. Rimmon is injured and Melkor finds a quick fix to jump to sexy times (I'm not hating because that was some sensual sexy times). I would have loved a little more struggle, it's one of my favorite things to read in romance. Yes, the men spend days apart but the time jump was kind of quick so it has that instalove feel.  And Melkor has many names as does his brothers which is fine. I felt discovering their true names interesting but it felt a little much when there narration refers to one name, the brothers call each other either name and lovers are calling their partners the other name. It wasn't confusing but I just would have expected them to choose a name and stick to it. Like servants and chiefs calling a brother by their demon name but the demigod brothers would call each other by birth names. My issues are tiny, see. It might be a pet peeve of mine.

This story is definitely read worthy. I'm not going to recommend it for everyone. I think the readers who would most appreciate this story are ones who enjoy fantasy with an ancient, mythology feel. I hate comparisons but think a tamer, not dark or gruesome, more romantic Captive Prince with mythology/fairy tale based fantasy mixed in and you don't have to wait for the sex. A quick read that ends satisfyingly HEA.

I want to take a trip to Tali Spencer's world. It seems like a fun place.

Review: Sorting Out by Silvia Violet

Sequel to Fitting In.
Jack, Gray, and Mason have accepted that loves comes in many flavors and settled into a three-way relationship. Things haven’t been easy, and now that Mason has gone back to school and Gray is interested in a detective position, Jack is feeling lonely. His lovers aren’t around very often, and he misses lying around in bed, enjoying the benefits of living with two hot men. But Jack has secrets. He’s uncomfortable every time he puts his uniform on. He’s never recovered from seeing Mason held hostage, and he’s no longer sure he was meant to be a cop.

While stressing over his own future and facing pressure from Gray and Mason to bring their relationship out of the closet, Jack is severely wounded in the line of duty. His recovery, both physical and emotional might be more than their unconventional relationship can bear. Jack is going to need all the courage and support his lovers can give him if he’s going to bring himself back from the dead and create the life he wants to live.
Sorting Out is the sequel to Fitting In, where I first read about Jack, Grey and Mason. I liked that story a lot and it was hot-as-all-hell. Sorting Out fits into the hot-as-all-hell category just as well as Fitting In. Damn if these guys don’t get insta-boners as soon as a partner walks into a room and with a poly relationship, that’s a lot of boners. Not that I’m complaining mind you, I’m just saying, it’s a lot of boners.

I have to say I was put off a little bit in the beginning with “the misunderstanding”. It really wasn’t that big of a deal to warrant a sobbing hissy fit and Jack threw a sobbing hissy fit. I know it was a big deal to Jack, but it didn’t seem to fit in with what I remembered from his personality in Fitting In. When I read about a grown man throwing a pan of caramel corn across the kitchen, then slamming the door to his room so he can sob, not cry, sob, I just can’t buy into it. It’s a crime against snacks and kind of embarrassing. Not for any fully functioning adult do I buy that reaction. Man, woman, sad panda, honey badger, nothing. I just want to tell him/her/it/they to “sac up for cripes sake”. This is totally my own personal beef, it’s just one of those ridiculous things that puts me off. So, when there was grown up sobbing right at 4% I was not hopeful.

Then, the outside conflict came around and the story and the characters got much better for me. Jack was really the center to this story and I understood his confusion about his job and the stress of coming out publicly at work. It took outside forces and characters to give him perspective. He starts doing volunteer work at a youth shelter and there I got to meet Andy, who runs the center, and Henry who Jack will be mentoring. I liked both Andy and Henry a lot. They both contributed realistic voices that gave the story some depth. Henry is 17 and homeless, living at the shelter. He was a great character who had been through the wringer and came out wiser on the other side. Honestly, given the conflict Jack and Grey were going through, Henry was the mature voice of reason. I purposely didn’t mention Mason in the conflict there because Mason wasn’t really conflicted on any of the issues it seemed to me. Throughout the story he was more centered, knew what he wanted and was supportive to both his partners. In the relationship, he was the rock this time around.

It can be confusing reading a book about a ménage relationship, especially during rapid fire conversations and sex scenes. I can say, once you get your bearings, this author can write dialog and sex that I don’t need a schematic and a compass for, which is much appreciated. It helps that the three characters are very different and it’s easy to keep them separate in my head. The distinction is quite helpful, because sex is how these guys connect. I have to say, the dialog ran to the cheesy side, I just can’t imagine real people talking like that, but they got off on it, so who am I to complain?

If you liked Fitting In, you will definitely like this one too. Everything was wrapped up with a minimum of angst and felt just a little too glossed over, but it was good to get some resolution in their relationship and to see how far they’ve come.

A copy of this story was provided by the author for an honest review.

Review: Stroke Rate by L.M. Somerton

Lucien Thorne likes to be in control, but the boy he wants to own may take some convincing.

Gorgeous but shy, Benedict Astor does his best to keep a low profile at the rowing club where he works. However, unbeknown to Benedict, he has attracted the attention of Lucien Thorne, rowing aristocracy, an Olympic medallist and a Lord.

Whilst looking for a new rowing partner, Lucien believes he has found what he needs in Ben. He pushes him to his limits on the water and it becomes clear that rowing with the pretty young man is not his only interest. Ben is attracted to Lucien but confused about his feelings. Lucien is demanding, arrogant and dominant—which Benedict responds to even though he feels he should resist.

Fighting emotions he doesn’t understand, Ben has to contend with the bullying rowing club president and a humiliating auction of promises.

Lucien recognises Ben’s hidden submissive streak and makes his own need for control very clear. He bids for Ben’s time and then forces Ben to admit to his own desire to test the ground between them.

When the deeds to the boat club are gambled away, Lucien and Ben must work together to save it. Will their growing love survive the pressure, Ben’s uncertainty and Lucien’s desire to own him completely?

"Stroke Rate" by L.M. Somerton started strong and ended...less strong. There's kink galore in this novella with a Cinderfella feel. But a good story is not kink alone no matter fun toys Lucien takes to play. Lucien, Lord Thorne, is twenty-five years old, demanding, possessive, kinkily delicious and has his eyes set on shy, twenty-one year old English major, Ben. Ben works at the local rowing club as a maintenance man of sorts for free room and board on club grounds. He has a mean, pervy boss who comes up with demeaning tasks for him to perform. Ben puts up with this mistreatment because he has no other choice. So he cleans, goes to school and rows when he can find the time.

Lucien has been watching/ stalking Ben for six months and finally makes the first move by inviting Ben to be his stand-in rowing partner. Lucien is an Olympic rower, nobility, commanding and arrogant. (I have never read a bad Lucien in any book I've come across. It must be the luck of the name *shrugs*) Lucien takes over Ben, helps him find a undiscovered part of himself and never changed throughout the book.

Is it romantic? Yes, it is a insta-love story but with Lucien learning all there is to know about Ben months prior, it just came across as inevitable. Ben was a decent enough character, I like the shy ones and how kinky they can be with the right partner. But I am averaging out my rating to 3.5 Hearts because there were two separate parts that should be considered before reading this book.

The kink factor? 4 Hearts - Lucien loves his toys and to inflict pleasure filled pain. But it can only carry a story so far.(Can you believe I am saying this?)

Want a preview of most of the toys used? Internally Studded Chastity Device, Wartenberg Wheel, Studded Cock Strap, Riding Crop, Cuffs, Restraints, Nipple Clamps, Gag, Metal Ball Butt Plug [it's put in freezer]. I mean, Lucien, he likes to play especially if B&D and SM is involved. And who knew Ben was such a pain slut? But you see this brings me to an issue I have.

The story? 3 Hearts and I might be generous. There was not enough character development. There were a lot of kink filled scenes and little to no filler to connect them.Ben is virgin, he is pretty much consumed by Lucien, he takes over Ben's life. I have no objections to that but what I had a problem with is the spectacular first time and absolute acquiescence from Ben. He might have put up a weak reluctance at first but I knew who ran that show - Lucien. 1000% Maybe if there was a  scene with Ben fantasizing about being dominated prior to having Lucien insert himself into his life, I'd buy it. I barely bought the relationship...just barely.

And you know what else I found a smidge odd? Ben's professor and future boss was Lucien's former teacher/lover and the two discussed Ben before telling Ben pertinent things. And Lucien is super controlling you savvy? He doesn't want any man looking at Ben or touching. So when Ben is assaulted, what does Lucien do? Basically not that much. I thought he would have obliterated the guy but it felt like a hand slap, in my opinion.

I get not putting labels on relationships because if you and your partner have mutual respect, love and trust for one another, fuck it. But was this domestic discipline or D/s? It was an in between sort of mix. Ben never called or referred to Lucien as Master or a Dom but Lucien owned Ben's arse. He took over his life swiftly and smoothly and dealt out punishments like it was going out of style. I wish a side was chosen but *shrugs* it worked for Lucien. Ben too, I think he was just an afterthought at times.

Ben and Lucien...I guess it's a relationship made in kinky, sadomasochistic heaven. ;D

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Storm Moon Press's 4th Anniversary - "A Diverse Publisher - Mission Accomplished" by Lor Rose

Today we're helping Storm Moon Press celebrate their fourth anniversary by hosting a stop on their blog tour. Author Lor Rose stops by BMBR to chat fiction and life in the blog post below.

My life is [F bomb] insane.


I'm not kidding.

I get crazy calls all the time. The text conversations are crazy weird full of emoti-cons and colorful language. Other instances, I have no idea who I'm talking to (or texting) because there's no such thing as a "personal phone." Sometimes I come home to clothes thrown everywhere, boiling eggs forgotten on the stove, and things turned over; it looks like a ransacking, but I know that's not what happened. When out in public, people stare at me and whisper their disapproval, interest, or (in most cases) disbelief.

Why you ask?

That's a very simple question but it has a complicated answer. (Isn't that how it always works out?)

I'm a polyamorous gender-fluid demipansexual, and I live with my five male partners. We're a diverse group of folk, that's for sure. We're sort of like fiction.

Take a mythical beast with trust issues and a love for half tea half lemonade, a swash buckling hero who's sword is too big (compensating?), an android that doesn't understand he's not human at all but a complex network of synthetic organisms (ohhh, angst), a damsel in distress (but not really because she's really a he-- plot twist!), a poet who can't rhyme (or really write at all), and a serial killer (that doesn't like killing)... and you've pretty much got us nailed.

Any two characters above could work in a story together (it might be a little weird but people like "a little weird") but all them in one story? Hell to the no. It's weird. Things just don't add up. Those elements can't work. It's impossible. That fictional story is just too "out there", even for the most adventures reader.

Well, guess what. That book exists. The characters are real (sort of) and they thrive together. Those characters are my life. My partners and I are those characters. We shouldn't work when shoved all together, but we do. All the different elements that make us human, individuals, the personalities, mesh so well sometimes it's scary. Other times, our Android and Poet argue over the validity of Android's emotions (Does Android's soul really exist?). Damsel swoops in making everything better or worse; meanwhile, Serial Killer watches without much input. Our Hero tries brandishing his gallant sword but it's not enough. Only through the combined efforts of Hero and the Beast does peace finally return.

We each deal with personal issues (plot twists) differently. Sometimes, we can work it out without the influences of the group, but occasionally, all of us weird characters have to come together and use our own unique quirks to resolve the problem.

Our diversity makes us stronger.

We celebrate our differences, and Storm Moon Press does the same with fiction. Genres intertwine with the creativity of authors, both published and unpublished. Some genres celebrate the taboo while publishers (generally, not all of them) shy away. Storm Moon doesn't. It's one of the things that initially drew me to the press as an author.

What if I write something with a little incest? Or an extreme scar fetish? What about a rape fantasy, explicit and vivid, all for the purpose of the character's pleasure? Or perhaps something a little darker, the forced servitude of another? (Which is one of personal favorite reads, just so everyone knows.) I wanted a press that wouldn't reject what I wanted to write because of its taboo content but because it truly sucked.

Mission accomplished.

I win.

This post is part of Storm Moon Press' 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter our blog-tour-wide giveaway! The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year!

SMP's 4th Anniversary Rafflecopter Giveaway

About the AuthorLor Rose is a snarky, over the top, genderfluid, polyamorous demipansexual with dark hair and pink highlights (although sometimes the color varies). She started reading very questionable M/M fanfiction at a very young age in the closet. Literally. Though, that didn't stop her from getting caught once or twice. This early love of things M/M sparked her writing career. Her short stories are in Storm Moon Press' Gay & Lesbian Coffee Break Quickies and Dracones anthologies. She can be found on Twitter @Lor_Rose9009.

Sunday Funday to the tune of Brown Chicken, Brown Cowwwww!

In the clubhouse we were chatting recently about pornos and smexin' (as we are often wont to do), and Peachy (a.k.a. Ann) said "brown chicken brown cow!"

Which led me to rediscover this terrifying hilarious ridiculous outrageous memorable music video from Trace Adkins for "Brown Chicken Brown Cow."

It's got puppets.

And farm animals.

And sexytimes.

And you should probably not be drinking anything when you're watching it or else you might run the risk of ruining some electronics. :D