Sweetwater by Lisa Henry

22611970
Grade: B-
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Moderate Kink
Genre: Historical, m/m, BDSM
Published: 8/19/14
Reviewed by Kate

This one is such a tightly woven story that I find it hard to write a summary of it without giving you the entire play-by-play.  But here goes : When Elijah was little, scarlet fever took his family, and his hearing.  Although he isn’t 100% deaf, most of the town thinks he’s an idiot.  Elijah knows that being deaf isn’t the only thing that makes him different from everybody else.  He’s also gay.  His first “relationship” is with Harlan Crane, the owner of the saloon.  But Elijah is also attracted to cowboy Grady Mullins and Grady’s interested as well.

Elijah is around 20, but is just starting to try and figure out who he is and what he wants.  Unfortunately most of what he wants conflicts with the way he was raised.  Lots of internal conflict for Elijah.  Lots.

His relationship with Crane is dirty and nasty.  It made me flinch whenever I had to read it.  Their relationship is about pain and humiliation and subjugation.  Even though Elijah discovers he needs the pain, there is nothing romantic about Crane and Elijah.

In Grady, Elijah finds something that he never knew existed.  Gentleness, caring, compassion.  And while part of him craves that from Grady, another part of him is terrified spitless at this new type of relationship.  Elijah’s relationship with Grady, which doesn’t start until half way through the book, is the only part of this book that would qualify as a romance.

This one felt more like a coming-of-age story, rather than a romance.  Outside of the relationships with Crane and Grady, Elijah goes on a heartbreaking journey of self discovery.  A journey which takes him through highs and low—although mainly lows.  The relationships with Crane and Grady are a definite, but minor, part of his journey

Lisa Henry has written a gritty, raw, page turning tale about a young, deaf, gay man on a self-discovery journey in 1870.  And while the relationships in this book were not my cup of tea, I would not hesitate to read another of her books.  In fact I hope to do so soon.

As a romance, this one disappointed me a bit.  As a novel, in general, I loved it.  What’s the last book that you read that didn’t hit the romance note right, but you enjoyed regardless?

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Bound to be Taken by Becca Jameson

19852370
Grade: B+
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Moderate Kink
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM, menage, m/m/f
Series: Emergence #1
Published: 4/8/14
Reviewed by Kate
272 pages

Stephanie overhears her bosses saying that if she was more personable, they would give her the promotion she’s been after.  So she decides she needs to bring a date to the upcoming office party.  But who to bring?  Aiden and Dane live in the same apartment building as Stephanie, and they’re looking for a date themselves.  They have an upcoming dungeon party but they need a submissive.  In exchange for a date to her company party, Stephanie agrees to act as their submissive at their party.  But it quickly turns into more than an act for Stephanie.

After finishing the second book in this series, Bound to be Tamed (Review here:  https://dirtygirlsgoodbooks.com/2014/08/20/bound-to-be-tamed-by-becca-jameson/ , I knew I had to come back and read the first book.  I had to see how Steph, Aiden, and Dane got their start.  And what a start it was.  The chemistry between the 3 of them is almost overwhelming at times.

My one complaint is that Dane and Aiden are supposedly new to the whole being a Dom thing.  They’ve only been studying it for 6 months and have never had their own sub.  They’ve been taking turns being subs for each other (did I mention that Dane and Aiden have a well established sexual relationship?) and have decided they’d like to add a third partner to their relationship.  For being such newbie Doms, they really seemed to just instinctually know way too much.  They recognize the fact that Steph is more than a part-time sub, she’s a full-time one before Steph has even admitted to herself that she’s a submissive.  They were just way too able to read her and I kept thinking “there’s no way they could recognize/know that if they’re so new to this whole Dom thing.”  Of course maybe they’re Dom prodigies.  Other than that…

If you enjoy your menagés with m/m action and a heavy dose of BDSM this one is for you.  It will keep you turning pages and fanning yourself until you reach the last page.  Then you’ll be reaching for the second book.

I really enjoyed the m/m aspect of this menagé.  Do you have any other menagé books to recommend that have the male characters involved with each other as well?

Show Me, Baby: 1001 Dark Nights by Cherise Sinclair

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Grade: A
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Moderate Kink
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM
Series: Masters of the Shadowlands #9
Published: 8/19/14
Reviewed by Kate
207 pages

Rainie has been avoiding Jake, her secret crush, since she was 16 but the winds of fate seem to be blowing in the wrong direction lately.  When she comes across a dog that was hit by a car, she ends up taking him to Jake’s veterinary practice.  Then later, Jake is put in charge of the trainees at Shadowlands, herself included.  Soon she finds herself offering to help him out at the veterinary clinic and in way over her head with Jake.  On his part, Jake doesn’t remember Rainie in her younger days.  He can’t figure out why she’s been avoiding him, but he’s glad that fate seems to be throwing them together.

Cherise Sinclair is one of the few authors whose book I preorder.  And then wait with baited breath for them to download on my kindle at midnight on the day of release.  I know I’m guaranteed a book with deep characters, moving plots, and off the charts sex.  This one did not disappoint.  It was everything that I’ve come to expect from Cherise Sinclair.  As a bonus, we get to attend the double wedding of Sally and Gabi.

I have read this series in order but this one could easily stand on its own.  Be warned though, if you read one book in this series, you’ll quickly be devouring them all.

I’ve caught up on all the Shadowlands goodness from Cherise Sinclair.  Do you have any other BDSM series to recommend?