Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala

lg_claimingTitle: Claimings, Tails and Other Alien Artifacts

Series: N/A

Author: Lyn Gala

Genre: MM / Sci-Fi / BDSM/Space Opera

Length: Novel

Publisher: Loose Id (January 29th, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: Liam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. He won’t risk letting anyone come too close because he won’t risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age. This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him.

Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam’s past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to love.

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Review: This book brought such a smile on my face my cheeks still hurt. What a beautiful world Ms. Gala created here, how very fascinating. This story is located on Prarownt, the planet of a reptile-like species called Rownt. Rownt are traders at core, everything in their life is seen in pure logic and calculation in order to gain outmost profit. Their entire take on life, their beliefs and life structure is often not even conceived by human logic.

Liam job is to trade with the Rownt and learn as much as possible from them, about them. He loves his job, he adores this planet, but unfortunately his new Commanding Officer is threatening his life here. His CO’s abuse is taking its toll on him and affecting his trading. Rownt trader Ondry, one of Liam’s favorite, notices his discomfort and changes his entire attitude toward Liam. In his five years on the planet, Liam has never seen such display, never has a Rownt came too close to him and never, ever has one attempted to touch him. Confused he might have somehow unintentionally insulted Ondry, Liam’s control is fast slipping from his hands. His CO’s public confrontation and insults does nothing to help the situation and suddenly Liam find himself in the inexplicable position of being chained in Ondry’s bed.

Confusion, panic, fear and hurt claim Liam’s mind. While the Rownt tries to explain to him that Liam’s new status is to be his palteia, a new term that gives him no explanation at all, Liam only finds his mind drifting to darker places of his past. Back when he was used, abused and shattered to pieces. Burying his sexuality for years this new situation not only awakens him, but it terrifies him. His longing for a strong man who will provide safety and love and his inability to let go and trust has him nearly torn in half. The fact that human and Rownt concepts are so very different do not help at all and Ondry has to find a way to get in his mind and make Liam see life through his eyes. If only Liam would give up and trust him his sanity.

And I am not doing a good job in my attempt to tell you what this story is about. How could I, this book approach so many things. Perhaps if I were to tell you that this books focus is more toward the relationship and feelings aspects than the sexual one. After all, Rownt and Human biology are not compatible. Rownt are a species that do not use sexual intercourse for pleasure, nor intimacy. They do not display such behavior and only use sex to reproduce, the very act being somehow brutal in human eyes.

This book focuses more into D/s relationships, on how a Dom and a sub react, what they expect and what they give, seen from different perspectives. The Rownt logic that sees things human would call brute as normal and vice versa. How one’s status is scorned from some societies and adored from others. How the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder so to speak.

For me this was a lovely read. A great Science Fiction with a wonderful take on BDSM and especially on D/s. I totally loved it, it was brilliant and I strongly recommend it.


Taking the Gardener by T. J. Masters

TakingtheGardenerLGTitle:  Taking the Gardener

Author:  T.J. Masters

Genre:   BDSM

Length:  Novel (189 pages)

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press (January 31, 2013)

Heat Level:  Explicit

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥2½Hearts

Blurb:   Mourning the sudden loss of his parents in a car crash, experienced Dom Eric Broderick escapes London society and his high-pressure law firm and retreats to Glebe House in Pittlesburne, a small village in Buckinghamshire. He tours the nearby woods and the charming village, but it’s really the guesthouse’s garden he’s taken with—or, rather, the gardener.

Tom Bestwick maintains the grounds of Glebe House for his fiancée and does odd jobs around the village. With little experience outside Pittlesburne, Tom finds fulfillment through his true passions, rugby and art. He has just one unrealized desire—one the guesthouse’s new occupant would be happy to help him with.

Late one night, while walking through the garden to clear his mood, Eric spies Tom enjoying a BDSM video starring two men. Having a sub to train might just help Eric forget his troubles, but as their feelings deepen, the real world intrudes. Eric can give Tom everything, but not until Tom decides where he’s meant to be.

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Reviewer:   Any

Review:  Hot and intriguing sex, but lacking in romance.

Let me start with the hot & intriguing part:

There is a lot of sex in this book, and not too much lead up before it happens. For a moment, I saw a glimmer of an interesting conflict that could really propel this book on a more mental level (Tom is engaged to a woman), but this is treated more as a simple circumstance that, other than the occasional ‘feel-bad’ reflection, doesn’t mean anything.

If you are put off by cheating, this is not the book for you.

However, if you can get past this, and you are reading to have a little carnal pleasure—or are super curious at an insight into the BDSM lifestyle—then this book has a lot to offer. Because, yeah, the sex is hot and a little mind bending too; I often found myself frowning and cocking my head while turning the screen around as I was reading, as if that would clarify the mental images of exactly how some of this sex worked. (On occasion there were more than two good-looking men involved.)

I think this was the most fascinating part of the story for me; especially considering the author has thirty years personal experience in the BDSM lifestyle. That gave the story/sex elements more credibility. So that is a definite plus.

Now on to the lacking in romance part:

It’s not that there’s no romance in here, in a way, there is a touch of care/love that simmers through between Tom and Eric, but I felt this development grew much, much too quickly. Eric is drawn to Tom from first sight and falls in love in the blink of an eye.

I guess it suits the more erotic story line just fine, but there are glimpses of some really nice writing in the story (especially in the first part of the book) and I can see this author could possibly offer a bit more than mostly mind-bending sex in his stories. (For example, there was so much potential for conflict with Megan, her father, maybe even some of Tom’s rugby players.)

So yeah. Hot and intriguing sex, but lacking in romance.


A Volatile Range by Andrew Grey

VolatileRange[A]LGTitle: A Volatile Range

Series: Stories from the Range #6

Author: Andrew Grey

Genre: MM / Western

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (February 4th, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5Hearts

Blurb: Since mustering out of the Marines, Gordon Fisher has been off the grid and out of money, so when a group of ecoterrorists promises him big bucks to set some mistreated animals free, Gordon agrees. Unfortunately, the animals are Wally Schumacher’s large cats, and one of them decides to take a chunk out of Gordon.

Still hurting from a breakup, Mario Laria finds Gordon and escorts him back to Dakota’s ranch at gunpoint, only to have his heartstrings tugged on when he discovers Gordon is living out of his truck.

With Dakota doctoring, Wally wanting Gordon gone for good, and Mario falling in love, Gordon hangs on for the ride. But what looms on his horizon threatens to tear apart what little hope he’s found. No one knows Gordon’s past keeps him up at night, and the military wants answers he just can’t give.

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Review: This was quite an interesting read.

A Volatile Range is book 6 in the Stories from the Range series by Andrew Grey, yet it stands very well alone. You can get into the concept and follow it without the need to read the previous books. It follows the foreman of the Range, Mario and a new character, Gordon, with the plot being somehow full. What do I mean?

Gordon Fisher is an ex-Marine. He is a veteran of both Iraqi and Afghanistan war. The proud Marine he once were no longer exist as an ambush that took down his patrol and killed his two best friends has left him with serious post-traumatic stress. Not only has the loss of his best friends has him mourning, but there is tremendous guilt caused by the fact that he has no memory of the incident and which makes him think and believe that he must have done something wrong. Driven by his ugly feelings and shame, Gordon runs away from everything and everybody becoming vulnerable to the hands of fanatics. Some very passionate ecoterrorists approach him and convince him to infiltrate a range where the owners supposedly abuse their animals.  Money being scarce, he decides to take that job and tries to get them animals free. Little did he know of the change his life would take from that one mistake.

Mario Laria is in limbo. After his lover and the man he thought would spend his life with abandons him, Mario keep wallowing in the lost relationship, keeping his hopes up that David will see how they belong together and will in the end come back to him. Day in, day out he mechanically lives and works waiting. What comes though in the middle of the night is not his ex-lover, but an ex-Marine who tries and fails freeing the wild cats from their cages. The handsome man is found wounded from one of their tigers and although they have every right in them to charge him for trespassing the man’s puppy eyes tug in Mario’s soul. Not understanding precisely why Mario offers Gordon a place to work and sleep.

Now Gordon has to face with the addition guilt of nearly putting lives and animals in danger too. He owns up to what he did and vows to himself to make it right. In between facing his past’s demons and his present’s mistake Gordon has a new challenge too, love for the wonderful foreman. And Mario, while trying to move on from his pinning over what’s lost has to stand by Gordon’s side and help him through his demons while making him see that feelings are not a bad thing once you own up to them. But, things change on all sides when David, the ex-lover, shows up, the eco-terrorists keep infiltrating more and more and Gordon’s past finally comes rushing from the hidden chambers of his memory.

This story has many fronts to deal with. You get your perfect cowboy character, nice, charming and strong, with deep feelings and a manly attitude. And, you get the Marine character, silently strong, faithful and ready to jump through heaven and hell for what’s his. Always adorable and incredibly sexy, both Mario and Gordon are two characters that will charm you and make you love them. Each one’s stories are enticing and blend with the one they try to create for them both. However, I did find this quite a short book for so many stories. The rush of information, the quick pace they took to happen and the even faster pace it took to overcome some incidents was a bit too much and it didn’t help creating a bond between characters and reader.

Another fact that somehow displeased me was that every single soul in the Range was gay. Instantly it lost the realistic illusion for me and became a mere fantasy. As much fun as it was seeing all those pairs around and interacting with each other, it was way off reality and so the story lost that edge and became more of a tale.

Bottom end though I liked the story, it was fun and enticing. The pair’s lovemaking was sexy and the heat went up a lot when Gordon took over. Caveman, as Marion called him often, indeed. And as a treat for me was one of the last scenes where there was shooting and wounding and blood and bullets involved. That was the highlight of the story action-wise for me, with Gordon’s jealousy display coming right after.

So if love western stories, Cowboys and Marines, wild cats and noble causes you will love this book. Recommended.