This review was written for and originally appeared on BDSM Book Reviews.
This anthology of eight stories by British authors explores the role of toys in relationships between men. In some of the tales the notion of what is a ‘toy’ is stretched a bit, but almost all feature some object, to some degree, which plays a part in the plot.
The level of kink varies from essentially none to being a central part of the relationships depicted. Since these are short stories, don’t count on well developed characters or intricate plots. Most of these get right down to business with little or no introduction.
Hard Riders By Ashe Barker
Jackson and Liam meet through a mutual love of motorcycles. It soon turns out that’s not the only common interest they share. Jackson owns his own small chain of sex toy shops, and Liam enjoys having Jackson use parts of his selection on him. However, the two are from very different worlds. Can they resolve their differences?
“Hard Riders” is a tidy little kinky story. Despite it’s relatively short length, it has all the requisite parts of a typical romance plot. There’s the mutual attraction that seems undeniable, along with enough differences to create tension. The kink definitely lives up to the “boys with toys” theme, with Jackson providing a stream of items from his shop.
All Roped Up By M K Elliott
Reporter Alex is looking to uncover the illegal gambling believed to go on around the local underground bare-fisted fight clubs. He sets up an interview with Conner, the top fighter in one of the clubs. Alex plans to just use Conner to get inside the scene, but the fighter has other ideas.
Just in case it’s not obvious, “All Roped Up” explores rope play. In a couple of hot scenes, Conner ties newbie Alex up and takes him to places he never thought possible. Here again, a short story manages to create a somewhat realistic drama in a very short format. The shibari ties Conner uses are well described, painting a vivid picture of Alex all strung up.
Doctor’s Orders By Lucy Felthouse
Aaron and Blake have been together for a few years, with Aaron happily submitting to Blake in the bedroom, although with both of them working in a hospital their time together is often quite limited. Fortunately, they have a whole weekend together to celebrate Aaron’s birthday.
The essence of “Doctor’s Orders” is a long weekend away in a Bath hotel for Aaron and Blake. It’s more or less one long scene, with Blake introducing a few new toys to their play. This is really a rather sweet story of two men who have been together long enough to be very comfortable with each other, yet with a little spice from the BDSM play.
Toys for Boys By K D Grace
Caridoc ‘Doc’ Jones is looking forward to his long walk across England from coast to coast, collecting material and reviewing outdoor products for the special Christmas edition of the online magazine Toys for Boys. What he doesn’t count on is the magazine coming up with the bright idea of having their technology reviewer Will Charles tag along on the trip to record their adventure using the latest smartphone. That’s all Doc needs, having to babysit some geek on a 12 day trek. Only, Will isn’t the scrawny, whiny neophyte Doc expects.
The main toy featured in “Toys for Boys” is the fancy smartphone Will brings along, which the two use to video their various escapades. These include some rather hot scenes where the two prove nature provides some very good toys of her own. The only drawback is that the author seems to be one of those with a weak understanding of anatomy. Her characters would need to have freakishly long arms, that also bent backwards, to get their hands to some of the places described in the scenes. It’s not all fun and hot scenes with willow switches though, as the weather turns ever more miserable, and the boys’ spirits with it.
Mile High Kink Club By Lily Harlem
Rhodri is a powerful man with certain tastes. He’s frustrated trying to find someone who will submit to his brand of domination, so he enlists the aide of a gay matchmaking service, which sets him up on a date with Darius. The man immediately piques Rhodri’s interest, and seems more than willing to give up control. The date is a resounding success as far as Rhodri is concerned, but when he next meets Darius a week later, he finds out the man isn’t exactly who he thought he was.
The title “Mile High Kink Club” may give you an idea of where the main scene between Rhodri and Darius plays out, but the main kink takes place in the pages leading up to it. Rhodri’s favored form of domination is chastity. Enforced chastity, and he doesn’t mind teasing his sub while Darius is locked up.
Open Mike By Ashley Lister
Aspiring poet Ken is looking for advice from local celebrity Mike on how to improve it reading skills for a big upcoming event. He gets more than a few helpful hints from Mike, as the two hit it off. There’s not really anything kinky about “Open Mike”. The story stretches the toys theme a bit, since the only significant object the two men share is a notebook. It’s a somewhat interesting story, but not very hot.
I Get You By Sarah Masters
Morton has a bit of a crush on his chief accountant Warren, but he has never dared act on it, since the young man is his employee. But when Warren gives him a rather flippant opening, Morton somehow works up the nerve to take him seriously and the two of them go off on a week away at the Cornish coast.
“I Get You” is an interesting story about two men who are in the habit of pretending more confidence and experience than they really have. While it’s rather sweet, it’s not very kinky. The sex toys are almost an afterthought and don’t really play any role in the plot.
The Guitar By Tabitha Rayne
Kel is an average-looking guy, shy and introverted, with the corresponding low self-esteem. The only place he truly comes out of his shell is when he plays his guitar. It’s the one thing he believes he is really good at, and apparently he is. For Kel, playing his guitar is almost as good as sex. For several gigs, Kel has noticed a man in the audience who pushes all his buttons and fills his fantasies. The shy guitarist would never make a move on his own, but then the man, Damien, makes a move for Kel.
Although it gets a bit twisted, there really isn’t any kink in “The Guitar”. However, it is a rather good story about looking beyond surface appearances. Just as both men in “I Get You” are not quite as confident as they act, neither Kel or Damien are quite the people you might guess from the way they look.
“Brit Boys: With Toys” is available from Amazon.