Book Reviews

Review - Slave in Training

Posted in Book Reviews on Jul 17, 2014

Slave in Training (originally Esclave à l'entraînement)

This is a case where the title of a book is probably more illuminating than the blurb. The style of the story is in the form of a memoir recounting the main character's youth and early training as a slave in the 1970s. Max knows he is different from an early age, and it isn't just his bisexuality, but it isn't until he meets his gym teacher, James Teka, that he begins to understand that he was born with a deep seated need to serve others. This is a rather unusual story, in that it is not your all-to-typical non-consensual enslavement plot, nor is it a sexual romp. Max describes his training in detail, and a lot of it involves both physical as well as mental challenges. In fact, the sex comes long after he begins training under his master James. More

Review - Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure

Posted in Book Reviews on Jul 12, 2014

Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure

The planet of Valchondria was once great. They sent people out among the stars to colonize other worlds, but then they turned inward and forgot about their former glory. An engineered virus has eliminated most diseases, but there's nothing much to live fore. An ever more oppressive regime seeks to remove every perceived source of differences between people, attempting to turn the population into docile sheep. However, some of these sheep are not so docile, such as the scientist Taldra, who wants to bring back the glory days of Valchondria by returning to space. More

Review - Virgin Territory

Posted in Book Reviews on Jul 01, 2014

Virgin Territory

The blurb for this short novelette sets it up rather nicely:

Danny may be a virgin, but that's not all he is...

When a fellow dom points Aaron in the direction of the new guy visiting in their local leather bar, there are a lot of things that draw him to Danny. One of those things is the rumor that Danny is a virgin in terms of leather, guy-on-guy action, and even in so far as his experience with girls. Add to that the fact that Danny is hot as hell and knows how to throw down a challenge, and Aaron is helpless to resist.

Danny knew as soon as he laid eyes on Aaron that he wanted him. He's not going to let a little thing like complete inexperience get in his way. He survived his best friend drunkenly admitting their virginity to the entire club on their first night there, but that doesn't mean he likes the way people have treated him, or the assumptions they've made about him since that night. More

Review - Sub Zero

Posted in Book Reviews on Jun 24, 2014

Sub Zero

Major Aren Dalsgaard died on the planet Drass more than a hundred years ago. Or at least that's what everyone thought. The military had other ideas. They retrieved his body and put him in cryogenic suspension. Now, for reasons never made clear to him, they've thawed him out, reversed the poison that killed him, and are sending him back to Drass to investigate a series of settler murders apparently carried out by the ‘goblins’, a race of genetically engineered humans adapted to live on the icy planet. More

Review - First You Fall

Posted in Book Reviews on Jun 19, 2014

First You Fall (Kevin Conner Mysteries #1)

Kevin Conner is a high priced call boy who enjoys his work. The petite blond twink has a steady base of undemanding clients, and a drag queen pimp who carefully screens new customers. Kevin's ‘job’ is ostensibly in aid of furthering his education in psychology, but with his attention deficit disorder it's easy for Kevin to stay in the moment.

Everything changes when Kevin's friend and mentor falls to his death. The police, including Kevin's old flame Tony, think it's a suicide but our young hero doesn't believe it. With the help of friends and clients he sets about trying to find out what really happened, while trying to sort out his parent's marriage and what he feels for Tony. More

Review - Not Just Friends

Posted in Book Reviews on Jun 13, 2014

Not Just Friends

This review originally appeared in slightly different form at New Adult Book Reviews.

As Lewis moves into his university housing to start his first year of college, he meets his new roommates. There's the loud jock Dean, Andreas, Rob, and then there's Max. Openly gay Max confuses Lewis, awakening feelings that he has never acknowledged before. He and Max become good friends, and Lewis is prepared to come out, as well as tell Max how he feels, but then Max gets into a relationship of his own, so Lewis resolves not to interfere. More

Review - The Silvers

Posted in Book Reviews on May 27, 2014

The Silvers

‘B’ is the captain of the first human mission to the Silver planet, in search of water for an earth that is running dry. The Silvers themselves are a bit of a surprise, as the unmanned explorers that were sent to the planet didn't record them. Although humanoid, the Silvers don't seem to feel greed, anger, lust, or any other ‘human’ emotions. This allows B and his crew, as well as their commanders back on earth, to view the Silvers as less-than-human, and thus perform downright criminal experiments on them. Of course, some of the crew enjoy inflicting pain more than others. More

Review - The Dark Farewell

Posted in Book Reviews on May 20, 2014

The Dark Farewell

Reporter David Flynn is on his way to Little Egypt. He wants to see how feelings run a year after the Herrin massacre, and it's a good opportunity to pay his respects to Amy, the widow of his old mentor. Amy's boarding house, where Flynn will stay, is full of eccentric characters, from the matronly Mrs Hoyt and her daughter Joan to the local doctor, Pearson. And then there's Julian and his grandfather, who travel the small towns putting on shows where Julian pretends to talk to spirits. More

Review - Ask the Oracle

Posted in Book Reviews on May 13, 2014

Ask the Oracle

This review originally appeared in another form on BDSM Book Reviews.

Grayson Muir knows things. In fact, he knows just about everything. He is one of a handful of “oracles” in the world, and probably one of the best. Gray makes a good living off corporate clients, and helps out the police when he can. In fact, Gray likes helping people. Emphasis on people. When a demon from the underworld comes asking for Gray's help to sort out a sticky situation, his first instinct is to refuse. But there's something about this Lust Demon Dreo that Gray can't quite get out of his mind.

After Gray reluctantly agrees to look into the case, things prove to be even more complicated that he thought. Not only is he sucked into a web of intrigue, but Dreo announces that Gray is his destined mate. Too bad an oracle can't see into his own future, huh? More

Review - Gaysia Adventures in the Queer East

Posted in Book Reviews on May 06, 2014

Gaysia Adventures in the Queer East

“Gaysia” offers an interesting, if highly selective, portrait of gay life across the vast stretch of Asia, home to 60% of the world's population. This was clearly a personal journey for Chinese-Australian Law, but he manages to maintain a very journalistic approach throughout, allowing the people he meets to tell their own stories, with minimal editorializing. Sometimes what comes out is surprising, sometimes funny, and often poignant.

While the book covers a lot of ground and offers a lot of insight into the lives of some gay men and lesbians, it is by no means an exhaustive study of LGBT issues in Asia. That would take a lifetime to write and would probably not be as readable as this entertaining little tome. Instead, the author shines a light on very specific groups or issues in each country. Like a stereotypical Australian, Law ignores the other 15,000+ islands of Indonesia and zeros in on the tiny speck of Bali. With the small Hindu enclave practically over-run with tourists, it's only natural that there are men willing to satisfy the more carnal desires of some of the island's visitors. We get some rather surprising answers as to why these men do what they do. More

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