Review: Confidential Encounters Anthology by Various Authors

When the pressure at work rises, so does the passion. Five sweltering shorts to heat up your kindle and set your pulse racing.

Relationships in the workplace sound like a fantasy come true, especially with your sexy boss, but it’s not all hot encounters in the stationary cupboard and stolen kisses over the coffee machine. Being a couple in both your professional and personal world could make it easier to face what life throws at you, but it could also threaten to drive you apart.

Confidential Encounters includes five short stories, each very different in their own way with equally different men, but all have one thing in common… their professional and personal lives are mixing.

Though the passion and the heat is off the charts, can they turn hot encounters at work into something more, or is that a step too far?

All the proceeds from this anthology will be donated to the Kaleidoscope Trust which promotes LGBT rights internationally. By reading, you’re helping support a very valuable service to our community. Thank you.

This was a pretty entertaining anthology. Some hot sex, a bit of love at first sight and a lot of naughty work dalliances.

The Newcomer by April Wallington - 2.5 hearts

The idea of this story was good and I started out really enjoying it, but the writing was a bit disjointed. The characters lacked chemistry and the plot jumped all over the place.

Dylan is nineteen, living with his physically abusive father and working in a mailroom. When his HR manager approaches him and asks him to go and work at a competing company to find out their secret to success, he accepts. This was plot weirdness number one. The HR manager was an overly sleazy character, who I was sure would play a big part in the story. I was looking forward to Dylan eventually punching the guy in the nuts, but alas it was not to happen. In fact this character just completely disappeared, which was a disappointment.

When Dylan gets to the new company he is interviewed by the three CEO’s who are all extremely attractive men. Over the period of his first week at his new job he see’s a fourth man getting fucked in separate encounters by two of the CEO’s, first in their office and then in the staff room. Dylan also gets a lot of sexual innuendos thrown his way by all of the CEO’s. After his previous HR manager I would’ve suggested running as far as he could, but alas, they were all hot so it was fine.

Dylan soon discovers that the three CEO’s and the mysterious fourth man (who is an old school classmate on Dylan’s) are in an open/polyamorous relationship. Dylan is slightly more drawn to Jaime, one of the CEO’s, and they end up sharing a beautiful night together where weird things are said….

His cock was ready for everything Jamie promised and demanded it even if his head was slow to catch up. "I ache, Jamie, make the pain stop."

"Just lay back and let me take you places you've never experienced…”

The sex was fairly clinical, and I really didn’t feel much chemistry between any of the characters.

Anyway, then a whole lot of other stuff happened... like a whole lot, and suddenly we’re three weeks into Jaime and Dylan’s relationship and they’re engaged…..

This was the type of plot that needed to be told in a full length novel, not a short. This storyline was so complicated and so much happened that if it was told over a longer period of time, maybe then the characters could have developed more chemistry and the story may have made more sense.

I actually really liked how Jamie and Dylan ended up. Not the engaged after 3 weeks part, but their relationship dynamic. If the story had been longer, or the plot less complicated I really would've enjoyed reading this.

Below the Line by Louisa Mae - 4 Hearts

This was a lovely sexy office romance.

Connor and Jason have a smoking hot one night stand one Wednesday night. When Connor goes to work the next day he meets his new boss, and guess who it is? That's right, it’s Jason!

This was a fairly standard storyline. A one night stand which is different to all the others. Should they mix business and pleasure? How will that affect their lives and relationship? There’s also a jealous ex-lover, and a sprinkle of misunderstandings. I really liked it, sometimes simple is best if it's written well and the characters are engaging, which it was here. It was probably a good palate cleanser after the last story, which was overly complicated, and not written as succinctly.

Connor was a pretty fun character. The flip-flopping of his emotions towards Jason were a tad annoying, but not so prominent that I couldn’t enjoy the story. Jason’s character didn’t get developed all that much, but it worked for a short story. The sex scenes were pretty yummy, and made special because we had fucking over a desk! Let's face it, all office romances need some desk fucking to feel complete!

Double Dealing by Nicole Colville - 3.5 Hearts

This was a very unique story, I don't think I've ever read a contemporary M/M with an arranged marriage, which is essentially what this is all about.

Ryder is a self-made billionaire with a multitude of companies under his name. Trace is the son and heir to the Lyon corporation, another million dollar company based in Atlanta. Trace’s father is deeply homophobic. He knows that Trace is gay, but refuses to acknowledge it, and has Trace’s life virtually under his complete control.

Ryder and Trace meet and have a one night stand, and both feel the undeniable connection but part ways in the morning due to Trace’s father’s controlling nature. Two years later when Ryder is trying to buy out the Lyon corporation is when this story really starts.

I won't even try to explain how these two go from being just attracted to each other to getting into an arranged marriage, because I can hardly understand it myself. I'll just touch on the basics of what worked for me and what didn't.

These characters were really well developed. Ryder is an arrogant man who's used to getting what he wants, but Trace makes that exceedingly difficult for him. While Trace is so used to bending to his father's wishes, he has to learn how to take things for himself, but is finding that hard when he's smothered by such an imposing person as Ryder.

This was probably the best fleshed out story so far, but I found it dragging at times. It got a bit tedious hearing Trace moan about the marriage, and having Ryder telling him ‘this is more than just business’ but never backing it up with anything more thoughtful. Ryder has some serious communication issues. He has no idea how to express his feelings in any way other than to invade and conquer. But everything does end up with a beautiful HEA, it just takes a while to get there.

The sex was also yummy! Ryder is fairly dominating which was delicious.

Trace spread his legs, teasing Ryder as he threw his head back, his fingertips tantalizing his hot flesh as they drifted lower. Before they could reach their goal and grasp his stiff cock, Ryder took hold of his wrists, climbing onto the bed, nudging Trace’s thighs wider and securing himself in between them. “That’s mine, and I’m the only one who touches it.”

Trace isn’t so bad himself. When he decides to take something, he has the confidence and seduction to do just that!

Skin Deep by T.A. Reign - 3.5 Hearts

This was such a sweet fluffy fluff story, but also with the seriousness of issues such as insecurity and low self-esteem. These themes are handled really well.

Jai is a scrub nurse who has vitiligo, which has caused his naturally brown Indian skin to be scattered with different spots and patches of pale white skin. He has this over his whole body, and has gotten used to hiding behind large hoodies and his surgical masks. He has some fairly severe self esteem issues, and has never had a serious relationship because of people not accepting his looks.

Dr Lazarus Sukas is a generally high tempered and ill-mannered surgeon, and when Jai has to assist him in the O.R. he becomes taken with Jai.

I really liked Jai’s insecurity. It was well written and I loved seeing him overcome it with Laz’s help. Some nice ‘comfort’ moments there. Like many people with insecurities or low self-esteem, they tend to act irrationally about these issues, which Jai does a fair bit. This became a tad annoying at times, but Laz was always there to comfort and reassure him.

The sex was all loving touches and intimate promises, which was lovely, however some of the dialogue was quite stilted and there were a few ‘overdone’ lines that took me out of the beautiful moments.

“Fuck, you’re so beautiful, Jai. I want to come all over your beautiful skin and mark you as mine. Just thinking about it is bringing me closer to the edge. I don’t know how much longer I can hold off!”
Jai suddenly felt wanton. He loved the idea of being claimed and marked. “Do it!” Jai demanded. “Do it so I can feel your seed on my skin.”

The story also dragged a teeny tiny bit because of the fluff, but I still highly enjoyed it!

Beautiful by Laura Raven- 4.5 Hearts

By far my favourite one! This story is about a gender fluid individual. Now in this story we aren’t made aware of the characters biological gender until the end, and I thought the mystery of it was done rather well. So if you want to be kept in the dark, don’t read this review. Though given the nature of the anthology I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by giving it away.

I love, absolutely love, crossdressing stories! Especially when there is gender identity involved in it. This was probably one of the best genderfluid stories I’ve read so far.

Nathan works at a telemarketing company while trying to ‘make it big’ with his band. The HR manager calls a meeting discussing the importance of non-discrimination in the workplace due to a new employee starting the next day who has chosen not to disclose their gender. Nathan doesn’t expect to have an instant attraction to the leggy woman named Skye who walks into work the next day.

Nathan is of course straight, and all of a sudden has to reconcile his attraction to this woman, who he’s not entirely sure is a woman, to his own idea of himself.

This is an entirely sweet and ridiculously beautiful story. There are of course a few moments where people ridicule Skye for being who he is, but generally this story is all love and acceptance.

I’m kissing and caressing the most beautiful woman in the world, and he’s getting hard against my hip.

Skye is such a beautiful character, someone who has been through a lot but chooses not to let life bring her down, and I love how readily Nate accepts who she is.

Their relationship/friendship development was such a joy to read, everyone communicated what they wanted and how they felt. It was quite frankly, astounding! Their sex scene was also really hot, very sensual!

Just a little heads up to exclusive M/M readers, Nate has a masturbaton scene at the beginning, and there’s some relatively detailed description of lady bits. Just thought you'd like to know ;-)

My overall thoughts of the anthology are that I think I would’ve liked it more had I read it in reverse, from end to beginning. Obviously I liked some of the stories more than others, and I may even re-read some of my favourites again.

A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Find out more on Goodreads.

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