Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 13, 2016
After his parents are killed in a gang shooting in Phoenix, 10 year-old Gabriel is raised by his aunt and uncle in Mexico City. He matures into a smart and athletic young man, but one thing from his childhood remains constant: his love of Lucha Libre, the popular form of wrestling that combines athletics, performance art and folklore. When attending an event with his would-be boyfriend, Gabriel witnesses a match featuring a wrestler known as La Rosa and is instantly enthralled. La Rosa is an exótico, a persona that is strongly gay, yet he commands the ring with his prowess as well as his charisma. Gabriel convinces the wrestler, whose real name is Miguel, to train him at his gym, setting Gabriel on the path to becoming a luchador. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Feb 02, 2016
It's a not-so-guilty not-so-secret that I have a penchant for quirky titles. It probably started with Dwarf Rapes Nun; Flees in UFO/a Novel of Journalism, and then there was The Aerodynamics of Pork, which introduced me to a writer who went on to give us several more great reads. So, it was almost a given that I would read “Love for the Cold-Blooded…” even before knowing what it was about. Fortunately, my little weakness didn't let me down. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Dec 03, 2014
Whenever young Jake breaks up with his latest girlfriend, which seems to be fairly regularly, he packs up his Jeep and heads off into the mountains for a little backpacking, stargazing and contemplation. On one such trip he meets Phaedrus, a much older man who lives a bit like a hermit, yet seems strangely connected to what's going on in the world. He opens Jake's eyes to the idea that the world is headed for some sort of cataclysm. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Apr 29, 2014
Nicholas is dead. His older brother has come to start cleaning out his New York apartment, but everything around him holds memories of the dead man. Through this brother, who remains nameless throughout the story, we learn about Nicholas and his life.
From a very early age, Nicholas is aware of his extraordinary good looks, and the leeway it buys him. He quickly becomes accustomed to accepting favors from men, and even comes to see it as his due. Already well-to-do, he doesn't see any need for his life to have any purpose other than to be the object of adoration. In short, he is a narcissist. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Oct 09, 2013
Isaac dreamed of being a starship pilot, part of an elite force in the galaxy. Unfortunately, the brain implant required to interface with advanced ships failed, leaving the young man subject to massive migraines and unable to even be trusted to fly less advanced ships. Discharged from the military, Isaac is lucky to find a job as communications officer on the small courier ship Hermes, which is where the story really begins. Responding to a distress call, the Hermes finds a disabled ship with everyone on board torn apart, except one man, a huge warrior called Turk.
Isaac finds himself strangely drawn to the mysterious giant, who has been severely traumatized by his ordeal. Turk is also drawn to Isaac, but he has commitments to fulfill as part of an agreement between his secretive people and the military powers. Despite Turk's efforts, Isaac is drawn into the intrigues which surround the warrior, and now both of their lives are in peril. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Jul 01, 2013
Volume 0 of Memoirs of a Houseboy
Spoiler alerts: If you haven't read the earlier books in the series, then this review might give away some of what you'll best discover for yourself. Also, there are strong hints at what happens in this book.
It's time for another year with my favorite sometimes-but-often-not submissive houseboy. This volume covers the year of 2008 and returns to the style of the first two books, with lots of little 'diary' entries alongside longer, detailed stories of particular episodes in the topsy-turvy world of Gillibran Brown, houseboy and young pup to two masters, Dick and Shane. It isn't easy, being Gilli. The young man's struggle with epilepsy is once again front-and-center in this book, and it really does become a literal struggle as his two daddies try and force their young lover to come to terms with the limits the condition puts on how he lives his life. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Jun 27, 2013
The man known only as 374215 is a prisoner of war, far in the future when mankind is spread out among the galaxy, much of which is under the control of a ruthless corporation. The man has been stripped of his name and much of his humanity, and is now used for medical experiments, when not being brutalized by the guards.
The only tiny glimmer of respite in the man's life is at night, when he is watched over by a guard he thinks of only as 'Scar'. Scar doesn't talk, and the prisoner isn't allowed to talk to him. The guard just sits by the door and watches the broken man, which is somehow comforting. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Apr 09, 2013
In spite of recent events, the Vietnam War remains one of America's most controversial foreign entanglements. It was the first 'television' war, in which the brutalities of conflict were brought right into people's living rooms every night. The result was perhaps the first time any war was openly debated in American society, and that included the rank and file of the armed forces.
Against this background, the unnamed narrator of “The Brig”, a seminary dropout, joins the navy. However, while he largely enjoys military life, as he is exposed to more and more of the debate about America's involvement in Vietnam, he concludes that the war is wrong and decides to get out as a conscientious objector. The navy can't refuse to let him go, but they can make the eight weeks it takes to process the paperwork as uncomfortable as possible. The young man is transferred to the brig, where his three marine guards subject him to a regime of pain and sexual torture that breaks him down and remakes the 'straight' man into something new. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Jan 21, 2013
The title character Aaron is a deeply disturbed young man. As a high school sophomore, he and his best friend were grabbed off the street, beaten, raped, slashed and left for dead. His friend Juliette died but by some miracle Aaron survived. However, he is deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. As the story opens, it's two years after the attack, but Aaron is still barely able to function. “Post traumatic stress” is altogether too mild a term for Aaron's almost catatonic state. He can't tolerate being touched, and even the most innocent question or statement can send him into meltdown.
Aaron's family treat him like the invalid that he is, but the knowledge of just how much they have had to adjust to care for him just adds to his depression. His mother home-schooled Aaron to get his high school certificate, and now his parents want him to consider going to college. The thought of being around people, who would see his scars and think of him as a freak, horrifies Aaron, but the thought that his parents might institutionalize him frightens him more. More
Posted in Book Reviews on Sep 07, 2012
“I Once Had a Master” is a collection of nine short stories by one of the masters (if you'll pardon the expression) of gay BDSM erotica. Preston passed away in 1994 and the book, originally published in 1985, is only available in print, so it's taken me a while to get my hands on it.
The collection isn't exactly what I was expecting. While the stories are almost all hard-core in one way or another, there's a lot more to them than just the kinky sex, which often plays a minor role. These tales are much more about relationships, and their ups and downs, rather than sex. Some, like the title piece, are rather melancholy in the end, while another, titled “Authenticity”, is quite sweet. In many of the stories Preston expresses a certain jadedness about the new-found acceptance of the lifestyle. In “Authenticity” he's exasperated by a pair of bottoms who treat leather as just another kind of drag and worse, treat him as just a piece of meat whose only purpose is to fulfill their fantasies. They talk about what they'll do for him, but they're really just giving him a shopping list of what they want. More
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