CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME!!!! Stealing West by Jamie Craig

Leon Stroud is wanted for robbery and a murder he didn’t commit. On the run to California with his partner-in-crime, Kenneth, he spots the relentless bounty hunter, Thomas Grady, on the train. The only way to protect Kenneth is to create a distraction, and that’s what Leon does when he flees the train at the top of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He forces Thomas to chase him, but nothing can prepare him for what it means to be caught.

Thomas Grady always gets his man, and Leon Stroud is no exception to that rule. But almost from the moment Thomas touches Leon, he wants the outlaw for something besides his bounty. Driven by desire he doesn’t understand, Thomas repeatedly claims Leon’s body on the long journey from Soda Springs to San Francisco—and Leon only begs for more. An even bigger threat, with a larger bounty, could be the very thing they need to drive them together...or tear them apart.

Why do I think Jet picked Stealing West for me? That's easy. Because cowboys, duh! Also because of the dirty, filthy sexy times and she knew I would need the 'aww' factor and this one is so very 'aww' worthy. Of course, she knew the ending would get me reeeaall good too.

Now, I love me some cowboys and I've been meaning to read this book since Jet first told me about ages ago but for some reason I just never got around to it. Thank the gods for CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME 'cause I could kick myself for not reading this delicious filth sooner!

Let me just tell you.  This book is dirty y'all.  Like down-in-the-actual-dirt, screaming-obscenities-while-being-pile-driven, got-scratches-from-tree-bark-on-my-dick dirty.  It. Was. Awesome!

We first meet Leon on the train with his partner in crime Kenneth and Kenneth's new family.  Leon's feeling a bit out of sorts and like a fifth wheel ever since Kenneth married the love of his life and decided to settle down.  He decides to take a walk down the length of the train to try and calm his mind.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately, however you want to look at it it) he spies the last person he wants to see, the best bounty hunter in the West, Thomas Grady.  So, doing what outlaws do best, Leon makes his getaway the moment the train stops.

And the adventure begins...

I honestly didn't expect to love this book as much as I did.  Now, I like me some dirty, raunchy sex as much as the next person but for me to really enjoy a book it needs to have an actual story.  For some reason I had it in my head that this was nothing more than PWP with some cowboys thrown in.  So imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered this not only had a plot but was a well written, sweet story.  And it had feels.  Oh, did it have some feels!

The cat and mouse game these two men (and they were men - not boys) played made me squirm.  The sexual tension was delectable and the sex!  The sex was absolutely divine.   All the manhandling, the tying up, the holding down... guh!  And that bathtub scene!  If you read this for nothing else, read it for that bathtub scene.  Gives me the good shivers. 

Throw all that in with a plot and loads of emotions and I was hooked.  The only reason it doesn't get a full five hearts is 'cause it's too damned short!  I could have read a 100 more pages of this story.  I fell in love with both of these men but Leon especially.  Leon now has a pocket reserved just for him.  He was so adorably snarky I could just eat him up.

So thank you Jet for making me read this.  You really do know how to pick 'em.
Find out more about Stealing West over on Goodreads

CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME!!! Stories Beneath Our Skin by Veronica Sloane

Tattooing might have once been Liam’s passion, but he left it all behind along with ugly memories when he went to college. When his uncle’s health fails, Liam must come home at last to say his goodbyes. His days are spent at the hospice, leaving his nights to rake over the past. To fill those empty hours, he takes a job at Great Sin Ink. The close knit friendship of the workers there both intrigues and shakes Liam, who has spent the last four years keeping everyone at arm’s length. Neither Deb, the no-nonsense piercer, nor Goose, a manic tattoo artist, will let Liam get away with his isolationist ways for long.

If it were just those two, Liam might have stood a chance -- but there’s also Ace, the owner of Great Sin. He hires Liam despite a thin resume, and that is a kindness Liam can’t forget. The two start up a tentative friendship, learning about each other as the summer days melt into each other. Slowly, Liam reveals a tender heart underneath the wall of quotes he uses to keep everyone out. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stand still, and both Liam and Ace have hard struggles before them that might break them up before they can even get together.

Why did Jem choose this story for me for CANDYLAND THUNDERDOME? Because she knows me. She knows me well. Couple of tattooed boys with broken hearts and an ENTIRE book filled with snark? Yes, please! Good job Jem, you done good!

You know how sometimes you can read a story that tells you profound things in one simple collection of sentences that you can’t get out in rambling paragraphs of word vomit with any kind of clarity? This is one of those stories. There were so many things I loved about it. Liam came from a background of heartache, but he wasn’t a ridiculous mess of angst. His pain read true without being overly dramatic and I really appreciated the subtlety the author used to tell his story. The impact was so much greater with fewer, well thought out words. The secondary characters were just as important as the mains. These guys were so close with their friends and ‘family’ so the strength of the secondary characters gave Liam and Ace a lot of depth because I could see them as more than just a “boyfriend”. They were fully fleshed out because of Deb, Goose, Frankie, Gene and Cole. I didn’t mind when one of the MC’s was off talking with the secondary characters instead of to one another because the conversations were just as important and just as entertaining.

Most of all I loved the love story here. It was quiet and real and beautiful. Liam and Ace were perfectly meshed. Each provided the other with the missing pieces they need to be whole and balanced. It was a slow build up to get to their relationship and I thoroughly enjoyed the journey. Anything sooner would have cheapened what they had. My favorite part was the first real conversation the two of them had alone in the diner. Liam is very quiet but the words he does say have a lot of impact and Ace can appreciate them and draw them out. I loved that they were honest with one another. There was never a moment of “I can’t let him know how I feel even though I’ve basically already told him and the rest of the world knows and wants to smack us upside the head and just freakin’ say something already” crap. That was refreshing and it didn’t take away from the UST at all.

Finally, the snark. The snark is hilarious. There were so many great lines and so much love, even in the bickering between any and all of the characters. It was like listening in on best friends and just wanting to be a part of their world.

I did a lot of highlighting with this story, but this line stuck with me:

“The epiphany broke over him quietly, the groundwork long since laid.”

They are beautiful words on their own, but taken in context, at this part of the story, they are everything.

So Jem, you were spot on. Everything you knew I would love is here in this book in spades. Jem wins ALL the things.

Find out more about Stories Beneath Our Skin over on Goodreads . . .

Review: Neon White E1 by Wulf Francu Godgluck

Belail took another drag from the blood tinted clove cigarette, the puffs of putrid smoke swirling to show the chosen image again. "So, the former High Commander of Second Hell has finally set his heart on Raven White."

Such pity that the dear Detective assigned to enforce supernatural and paranormal cases in Quebec would be chosen by this particular demon.

Bla'Gar is well… different.

Another drag, another puff. Relishing the new image of a chained Raven; withering in pleasure on Bla'Gar's Hellfire bed.

Clearly a scenario that would keep Belail entertained… for now.
One to watch; intriguing to see at what lengths Bla'Gar would go to court the human Detective. And possibly… feasibly claiming the human's soul for Bla'Gar himself?

Licking his lips Belail returned to the shadows from once he came. Scoffing his barbarous thoughts to the darkness. Though it would be fair to say that supers and paras aren't the only ones that have teeth, claws and horns.

Well, this story certainly is fresh.

No spoilers in this review.

This story felt like a snippet, just a little look and a promise of something more. But with episode 2 on the horizon, if you set your sights on episode 1, I'd suggest buying both so that you can read them side by side.

Pretty unique premise, despite these paranormal cop/mystery novels popping up all around me lately. If you're on my Goodreads, you likely know that's not exactly my genre, but here I am, stepping out of my designated comfort zone, and you know what? I'm happy I did.

Bla'Gar and Belail are quite a hot couple (although, I'm using the term couple loosely, at the moment), and I can't wait to read more of them in the next book. I think there's a definitely chemistry, especially one that's a little more dom/sub, but it works well in this short.

This story was quite raw, and it was definitely filled with, and ended with, tension, which is fantastic and left me wanting more. I felt like this is a really interesting world, and I could've definitely used some more world building. I want to know more about the time and the place, and the feels of it in its entirety. Keep in mind the length of this book, though. So I'm hoping the next book will delve even deeper into this world and the beings that inhabit it.

I must say that there are some editing issues. They aren't too distracting from the story, since it's so unique and fast-paced, but I felt a small need to mention them.

Oh, and btw, I think this series has a really bitchin' name.

My next review for Episode 2 will likely be more in depth because I'll have more of the story to base my review on. Check back for that on October 30th.

Review: A Taste of Copper by Elin Gregory

Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.

Olivier the squire worships the Black Knight and takes a fierce joy in his prowess as he defends a bridge against all comers. Olivier only wishes that his master loved him as much in return instead of treating him as a servant and occasional plaything.

Then word comes that the King desires to cross the bridge. With an army approaching, a bright eyed archer enticing him to desert and the first cracks beginning to show in the Black Knight's gruff demeanour, Olivier is left wondering if his honour is worth more than a chance for happiness.

Honor, thy name is Maheris the Black. That quality in him that made his character so true to the time period was the same thing that made me want to throttle him repeatedly throughout this story. But, that was what was so good about this book. Maheris has made a vow to defend a bridge against all comers regardless of risk to him or his squire Olivier. His vow is a matter of honor that he absolutely will not waiver on no matter the cost. Olivier has the same sense but as I read I could feel that Olivier also had a greater sense of the bigger picture.

Romance does take a back seat in this one. But, it was so well done I was pretty fine with it. Olivier is SO in love with Maheris and Maheris is SO blinded by his chivalrous code. My heart went out to Olivier repeatedly because GAH! Maheris was such a dick to him. But, honor above all else is the theme and was what made this historical so good. I didn’t feel like I was just reading a historical, I felt completely immersed in the history. It’s very obvious the author did a serious amount of research into the time period to make A Taste of Copper read so organically.

There is the introduction of an additional character, Hywel, the Archer that I LOVED! I hope he gets his own story, I would read the hell out it. He’s charming, witty and brave and he deserves all good things. While things didn’t unfold how he wanted them to in this one as it really wasn’t meant to be, it did leave me with hope for him and his big heart.

The story is full of challenges and jousts and jousts and challenges. They were completely necessary for Maheris to get any kind of enlightenment or release from his vow. So, Olivier has to just suffer and serve while he awaits the outcome of the final challenge. I did like the resolution between the two and to finally see the non-Knight side of Maheris. I would have liked a little more because I really only knew him as a Knight and not a man while I felt like Olivier and Hywel were both fully fleshed out characters. I think that would have given this one bit of balance with the romance as well because while I completely enjoyed the story, I was left a little wanting in that respect.

Major kudos to the author for nailing the time period and making this read so true. Not that I would necessarily know any specific differences as I’m just not that knowledgeable, I enjoyed the flavor of it very much.

***a copy of this story was provided for an honest review***
Find out more about A Taste of Copper over on Goodreads . . .

Cover reveal and Giveaway: Hook, Line and Sinker by Piper Vaughn

Today, Boy Meets Boy Reviews are proud to host Piper Vaughn's, Hook, Line and Sinker, cover reveal. Many of us Unicorns are Piper Vaughn fans so it is a privilege to have this opportunity.

 When they were teens, Castor McCormick was the bane of Blake Kowalski’s existence. Their mutual animosity led to summers filled with rivalry. Now, nearly two decades later, Cas is moving back into the neighborhood to live in his grandmother’s old house. Blake tells himself he isn’t interested in seeing how snarky little Cas grew up, but when his mother dupes him into visiting his former nemesis, he finds out “pretty” can evolve into “sexy as hell” on the right man.

Cas didn’t think he wanted to see Blake again. No one has ever pushed his buttons like the arrogant boy he remembers from their youth. Turns out, the adult version of Blake still gets him hot under the collar—and everywhere else. With Blake on leave from work to nurse an injured leg and Cas taking time to move and unpack, they form a tentative friendship that turns into a sexual affair neither man can deny. But when Cas’s job sends him out of state to deal with a difficult client, their new relationship will be tested, and if they fail, Blake’s broken leg might not be the only thing to end up scarred.

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance

Blake's mother didn’t live on a busy street, but being summer, the kids were out in full force. The occasional shout or burst of laughter broke the monotonous silence. And then there were the comings and goings of a certain new neighbor whom Blake had absolutely no interest in watching, even if he found his gaze frequently straying in that direction. He’d caught glimpses of the moving truck over the weekend, along with a dark blue Prius, which made him snort. No doubt the driver of a hybrid would hate his gas-guzzling Ford F-150. For some reason, it seemed fitting. He could picture the old Cas growing up into the tree-hugging, granola type.

Idly, he let himself wonder what the adult Cas might be like. When they’d first met as teenagers, the kid had reminded Blake of a scrappy little Irish chimney sweep, minus the accent. The pale skin, the freckles, that mop of messy dark hair. Put him in a newsboy cap and some wool trousers, and he could’ve been an extra in Oliver Twist. Blake had constantly ragged on him about it too. That is, until the following year, when postpuberty Cas showed up. Gone was the scrawny, gangly limbed half-pint from the previous summer. In his place stood a boy with the lithe, wiry body of a distance runner and a face like something out of a goddamn Botticelli painting. Only his smartass mouth had stopped Blake from falling to his knees in worship—though it certainly hadn’t prevented a wet dream or three.

Blake couldn’t lie. His mother’s mentions of Castor had made him curious despite himself. But he didn’t intend on giving in to her badgering about going over there. What the hell would he even say? Welcome to the neighborhood? Here’s a fruit basket. Let’s be friends? He could only imagine Cas slamming the door in his face in response. Blake chuckled and shook his head. Not going to happen. Not in a million years. No matter how much his mother pestered him.

Like what you've read so far? Then without further ado, here's the cover...isn't it fab-u-lous?

Buy the book from Dreamspinner press.

About the author:
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Author Contact:
Facebook 1 
Facebook 2

Click on the Rafflecopter link, for a chance to win an e-copy of Hook, Line, and Sinker upon release and a $10 gift card to Amazon or ARe (winner’s choice).

Good luck!

Review: Duck! (Avian Shifters #1) by Kim Dare

A modern day M/M, BDSM retelling of The Ugly Ducking Fairy Tale using avian shifters.

Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species.

But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy.

Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?

I had wanted to read this one forever. I know how much it is loved and have no excuse for not having read it before now. I think it’s probably because I’m really not the hugest of the shifter fans though. I do like them once in a while, but they usually aren’t my go to. That being said, I really didn’t pay enough attention to the blurb. It states very clearly that this is a fairy tale and it is and I love fairy tales! Sure, these guys are shifters, but it’s not the typical shifter story. This is about a D/s relationship between a couple of men who happen to be shifters which is really a vehicle for the fairy tale aspect of the story.

So, the moral here – Read The Freakin’ Blurb Ann!

This retelling of the Ugly Duckling was done so well. It truly was a fairy tale of Ori’s evolution and I loved the dynamics between Ori and Raynard. They were a perfect match from the beginning and reading about their journey as they figured out their place in each other’s life was really fascinating. Some D/s stories just tell that one is the Dom, one is the sub and then throw a story out there. What I loved about this one was it really explained why. Why their personalities fit together so well. Why Ori needed Raynard and vice versa. I really “got it”.

When Ori finally completes his first shift and his true species is revealed poor Raynard is really thrown for a loop and the frustration and loss that he felt was palpable. Add in Ori’s own feelings of confusion and fear and it was a heartbreaking read for a while there. Thankfully Hamilton, the eagle shifter and big bird at the nest, was able to help Raynard see things in a different light and pull his stubborn head out of his hawk ass and do the right thing.

 The last 15% or so pulled the story all together and balanced their relationship out perfectly. The power shift evened out in its own way and for me, the story went from being a D/s fairytale to a true love story.

I had just a couple of little niggles that I know can be a bug for some readers and want to throw those out there because if I caught them, someone else will too. There was an overabundance of references to Raynard as the “older man” or the “dominant”. For instance, “The older man took complete possession of Ori’s mouth. Holding Ori tight against his larger body, the dominant thrust his tongue past his lips and devoured him.” It’s not enough to take you out of the story, but it is noticeable. There were a few things I didn’t complete understand about their world, why Ori’s true species was really so special and royal and what was the relationship between shifters and humans in this world? Neither of those things are imperative to the story at all, but I was curious.

Overall, I loved it completely and was completely impressed with how the author told the story of these two. I also had my interest in Everet piqued and cannot WAIT to read Magpie.

Check out the abundance of Unicorn love for Duck!: SheReadsALot and Wench.

For more info on Duck!, check it out on Goodreads.

NOTE: This book is currently out of print and not available for purchase. A new edition will be released soon.

Review: Imaginary Beings by DorienStray

How to find happiness when you see yourself as emotionally crippled, hellishly lonely and trapped in something you can't name.

So - no cover image, no proper blurb? What the flippety fiddely's going on here? I'll tell you what, this is not an actual published (in the conventional or ebook sense) novel, it's a novel written at fiction press. Which means it is 100% absolutely free. This was recommended to me by Suki Fleet and I have to say it is better than many of the novels I've bought and read this year.

Although it has an HEA the content isn't always the happiest - it's emotional...emotionally quite dark in places, yet I loved every word. There was something very familiar, almost nostalgic about this. When I thought about it I felt it had echoes of mid-nineties, British indy films. I'm not thinking of any one specifically, just that general feeling and vibe those films had.

In this book we follow Dolph, both in the present and flashbacks to his life four years prior to the current day. It's basically a love story. A proper, grab-your-heart-and-don't-let-go, love story. Or to be more accurate, how did I fuck things up story. It's about Dolph's conscience and guilt and those freaking crappy decisions we all make. The ones that make sense to nobody but you when you're a teen with an inferiority complex and little self worth. It makes Dolph sound like a drip - oh, but he isn't. He was witty and sharp and a fantastic actor. At times I wanted to slap him...but only because I can remember feeling that way at eighteen. Who these days is really brave enough to write about proper self doubt? The kind that the character really and truly believes? The kind that isn't just there for lip service? DorienStray does. Dolph and Tristan are two of my favourite ever characters now. I honestly love them.

All the characters are fantastic in this. The setting is fantastic. The writing is fantastic. The flashbacks...yep, they're fantastic. It teases you with information. Drip feeds you it. A bit here, a bit there, pulls you into the story, makes you care about the characters more than you want to. Drip. Drip. Drip. Keep reading because you can't put the bloody thing down even if it is nearly getting up time.

There are flaws, the odd grammatical error - I assure you I didn't care at all. I'm quite sure I loved the story enough to have overlooked pretty much anything, the ones that were there felt relatively minor to me. It didn't interrupt the story arc or characterisation. I have no idea of the author's actual identity, but I really, really hope she/he has gone on to have a writing career, because otherwise it is a huge waste of talent - in my very humble opinion. Do yourself a favour and delve into this story - you have nothing to lose, it is free.

Imaginary Beings by DorienStray

Fangirl Review: Tribute by Lisa Henry

When the fearsome warlord Brasius chooses Kynon as his tribute, Kynon tells himself it’s the price of peace, and that he can endure anything. If his slavery will save his father’s kingdom, then he will be a slave and submit to every indignity the warlord and the senate of Segasa require of him. He can live with the shame; it’s the mind-blowing pleasure that frightens him.

But the warlord wants more than a tribute who will respond eagerly to whips and bondage. The warlord might just want the man underneath: the prince, the soldier and the tribute, if Kynon can figure out who that is. On an enforced journey of self-discovery, Kynon learns that being the warlord’s tribute isn’t just about submission. And, to be the tribute that Brasius wants him to be, Kynon will have to defy all the traditions of Segasa and risk the wrath of the senate that really holds his chains.

Publisher's Note: This book is primarily LGBT m/m but contains one or more scenes of m/f sexual interaction. It also contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: strong BDSM theme and elements, dubious consent, violence. Readers with a history of rape or sexual abuse may find elements of this story disturbing.

Tribute exemplifies everything I enjoy about Lisa Henry's writing. She puts her characters through hell and puts her readers in the passenger seat for that ride and make no mistake, Kynon goes through hell more than once.

Kynon's journey reminded me quite a bit of Beauty's from The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. The difference being that Kynon is more insightful than Beauty. Well, and Beauty was fickle. Cute lil thing. 

Anyhoo, Kynon is a born prince of Caralis. He's the youngest of the princes and is precocious, outgoing, brave and loyal to the crown. When Caralis gets sacked by the feared Segasain warlord, Brasius, he believes he will be put to death as punishment for Caralis daring to defend itself against invasion. Instead he and several of his friends are taken as tributes with the intent of turning them into sex slaves.

Brasius has chosen Kynon and Alysia (for a short time) to become his. The training process they undergo is grueling. The transition from being a prince to a slave is a near constant struggle for Kynon. He's humiliated and degraded again and again, sodomized, kept naked, collared, drugged, flogged, whipped, bound, teased and shaved. He and Brasius have a brief but memorable backstory which seemingly influenced his choice. It's difficult to tell what exactly Brasius desires from Kynon oftentimes which is precisely what I enjoyed so much about this book.

Tribute is told entirely through Kynon and we are right there for his struggles with the transition as well as trying to understand Brasius. I don't think Kynon has ever failed at anything. He wants to please and keep people happy. The trouble is Brasius is hard to read, intimidating, cruel at times, plainspoken and demanding. At times Kynon hates him and at others sees him as comforting, but there's always a component of striving for obedience. It's the motivation for the obedience that vacillates.

So many times I read dub/non-con wherein the slave accepts his or her situation almost immediately which I find absurd. To go from being free to being a slave has to be, at minimum, difficult even under consensual circumstances much less having your freedom stripped from you. Lisa Henry gets that and showed us just how onerous the experience is especially when you have one too many cooks in the kitchen. 

Mistress Hera complicates matters. Her and Brasius are at cross purposes in Kynon's training which complicates everything. This was really the only point of the novel that confused me. I never understood why she was so fixated on Kynon and Brasius' relationship. In the end, I wanted to kill her. With my bare hands. As did Brasius, I'm sure.

The sex/kink is pretty hot with moderately heavy SM even when I knew I probably shouldn't be thinking it was hot I still did. I think this makes me a terrible person. I blame Lisa Henry. 

There are girly bits, though, just so you know. 
Had they seen something in him that he hadn't even known was there? Maybe there was a part of him that had always wanted to be subjugated.

Truly a stunning debut novel from Ms. Henry. I'm amazed more people haven't read it.
This review was previously posted on Goodreads

Review: Once a Brat by Kim Dare

Experienced dominant Marcus has a stalker. On the plus side, the boy following him around his local leather club is gorgeous and a self-professed submissive. Unfortunately, he’s also inexperienced, bratty, and liable to drive Marcus insane with his incessant chatter and questions.

Bret Daniels fell head over heels with Marcus the moment he first saw him. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Marcus’s attention and prove his worth as a submissive. He might not be a traditional sub, but he knows he has a lot to offer a dom who can handle his quirks.

When Marcus gives in and agrees to do a scene with Bret, sparks fly. One scene quickly becomes another, and another. But will it be a case of once a brat, always a brat? Bret intends to prove to Marcus that—expectations and experiences aside—he deserves his master’s collar.

This title is part of the Kinky Cupid universe.

October Author of the Month!!!

I've been thinking quite a bit about why it is Kim Dare resonates with me so. Let's call a spade a spade. I normally like kink that's harder than what she delivers and erotica that's probably closer to porn than erotica. So why am I so horny for her?

What I've narrowed it down to is twofold. She could turn a legal brief into something akin to a cozy-blanket-with-hot-cocoa-by-a-fire-and-a-great-book kind of good which is a talent in and of itself. But what really impresses me is her ability to construct unique characters. I've not read her complete body of work, but I've never felt like I was reading different permutations of the same characters. That's unreal given how prolific she is and speaks to her creative talent.

Bret and Marcus were yet another example of two unique characters. 'Bret the Brat' really wasn't that bratty, much to my relief. Well, not the bratty that makes me cringe. He's chatty but obedient to Marcus. He's also a newbie to kink but decisive; he's no wallflower. He zeroes in on Marcus straight away and is persistent. I like that. I also liked his intelligence and logic, the way he considers situations and weighs his options rather than acting on impulse.

Marcus is some indeterminate number of years older than Bret and well acquainted with the scene. He's never really committed to a sub before and his feelings for Bret escalate quickly which shocks him. Kim always makes her doms conscientious and adherent to SSC. It's the level of strictness that varies and Marcus values obedience. Bret's motor-mouthiness he finds amusing and it is.

Maybe most of all, he longed for Marcus to tach him how to kneel, defenceless and vanquished at his master's feet, gratefully submitting to his dominant's better judgement.

They meet at Spread Eagle (haha! love that name!) and begin working on trust. Things progress nicely mainly focusing on power dynamics. The swing/O-ring gag scene was my personal fave. I liked both of them and their romance, but I feel like it needed more time to percolate before they got to the HEA.

Once a Brat is a great start to a series which I look forward to completing once she's completed editing.

As a side note. I also read: 

A hot little morsel about two guys who meet under… unusual circumstances. I gave it 3 Stars. AND it's free!