Firecracker by Jaye Valentine

Issac Lang is deeply in love with his live-in life-partner, Baltimore City police officer Jeff Taylor, and has a serious kink for risky role-play sex with strangers. Jeff finds Isaac’s wild ways incredibly hot, and he’s more than willing to help facilitate Isaac’s lustful cravings.

Jeff trusts Isaac to be emotionally faithful despite the sexual experimentation, and Isaac trusts Jeff to watch his back and keep him safe from harm. Not a lifestyle everyone might aspire to or could successfully manage, but Isaac and Jeff make their quest for kink work to keep the sparks flying in their relationship.

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Blue Ruin 4: Need You Tonight by Katrina Strauss

Blue’s summer is heating up in more ways than one. When he befriends Dusty Sterling, he sees the opportunity to give his master Derek their first true threesome. But first, Blue must meet a requirement issued by Derek.

Derek is content with Blue as his exclusive lover, but when offered the chance to bring the beautiful Dusty into their bedroom, Derek’s definitely tempted. He agrees to Blue’s idea under one condition – it’s Blue who must seduce Dusty.

Blind since birth, Dusty is proud, independent, and knows what – and who – he wants. In need of temporary shelter, he accepts an offer to stay with Derek and Blue. The fact that he finds them both attractive doesn’t hurt, but Dusty must let his hosts in on a secret – his unique and sometimes frightening way of “seeing.”

When Dusty’s nightmares reflect a pair of real-life murders, Blue uses his connections with the police to bring Dusty in on the case. The friends grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, but their bond will truly be tested by the evil that lurks in plain sight.

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Blue Ruin 3: Chains of Love by Katrina Strauss

As Blue’s master, Derek has plenty of toys and ingenuity at his disposal, but his high-priced loft isn’t the best environment for raising Blue’s BDSM training to the next level. If only he had a basement and the proper “hardware …”

Blue has other worries. Still conflicted between his love for Derek and his feelings for Cameron, he’s due to face a killer in court and the accompanying publicity storm once the press connects the star witness to his powerful father. On top of that, he’s waiting to be accepted into cosmetology school. Seeking a break from the real world, he expresses his darker fantasies to his master.

Blue should be careful what he wishes for. When Blue lands himself in the clutches of the Balkan mob, Derek must negotiate his freedom. The highly dangerous, very sexy Sasha offers the couple playtime in his private dungeon during Blue’s stay. The catch? In exchange for Blue’s release, Sasha gets to supervise. It’s a hot and wild ride as Derek becomes the trainee, while Blue faces off with a stern dominant determined to break him of his headstrong ways. But could it be that Sasha is in store for a lesson or two?

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Blue Ruin 2: Close To Me by Katrina Strauss

Blue finds pleasure in playing pet to Derek, but is eager to pursue goals outside of their relationship. When Blue starts GED classes and expands his social circle, Derek affords him room to grow, trusting their love is enough to keep his restless pet in line.

That love is put to the test when Cameron Carter reappears in Blue’s life. An abusive crush from Blue’s school days, Cameron is a reformed adult now and seeks absolution for old wrongs. While Blue must find it in his heart to forgive Cameron, the greater challenge lies in keeping his unrequited desire for the former bully at bay.

Derek’s torn between enforcing boundaries and allowing Blue closure to heal old wounds. Meanwhile, Cameron struggles to forgive himself for the pain he once caused the boy he secretly loved. As Cameron and Blue begin the road to recovery, the sizzling chemistry between them can no longer be ignored.

Caught between two strong-willed men, can Blue prove his loyalty to one while denying his attraction for the other, or, is it maybe just possible that Blue can have them both?

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Blue Ruin 1: Some Kind of Stranger by Katrina Strauss

Derek Graves’ desire for the perfect sexual “prisoner” has left him with a dark reputation and a string of jilted lovers. He needs a partner who wants the pleasure and the pain he can give. After his search lands him on the wrong end of the fantasy at the hands of ruthless predator, Derek returns to his accustomed hunting ground of Blue Ruin with one purpose in mind: revenge.

He gets it, but he also ends up rescuing the predator’s next intended victim, a homeless blue-haired waif who is just Derek’s type. He brings the incoherent young man home, needing to find out what he saw, and ensure he won’t tell anyone. The scenario couldn’t be more perfect to service Derek’s dominant fantasies.

Shane “Blue” McGowan wakes up groggy, blindfolded, and chained to a stranger’s bed. Upon finding himself in luxurious surroundings, the cunning Blue realizes two things: he has no desire to return to a life on the streets, and his handsome captor stirs strange and unfulfilled longings in him.

Manipulating the terms of his own “imprisonment,” Blue swings a place to stay in exchange for his silence about a second stranger left beaten and unconscious behind Blue Ruin. To sweeten the deal, Blue agrees to become Derek’s submissive. But as their relationship progresses, Derek finds himself wondering whether Blue is truly at Derek’s mercy, or is Derek at his?

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Forbidden Love by Jill Noble

Forbidden Love is an historical anthology edited by Jill Noble featuring four short stories by authors (in order of appearance) Stormy Glenn, H. C. Brown, Anna O’Neill and Aleksandr Voinov.

My Outlaw by Stormy Glenn
After getting injured and losing his horse during a cattle drive, Daniel Branson is ordered to ride the stagecoach back to his home ranch just outside of Brownsville, Texas. Little does he realize that it will put him in the hands of notorious outlaw Black Bart and his posse who take Daniel for ransom. While Daniel should be afraid for his life, all he can think about is getting naked with this handsome outlaw and Black Bart has plans for Daniel that don’t involve holding him for ransom!

Forbidden by H.C. Brown
It is England in the year 1075 and Sir Renoir Danier finds himself in an intolerable situation when he is ordered by King William to marry an elderly Spanish countess Lady Isabella d’Coutier. Five years earlier, he met the great love of his life, Sir Sebastian. This deeply sensual dark angel taught him all that a man could give to another. Renoir became a slave to his erotic punishment. After a month of bliss, Sebastian sailed to Spain leaving Renoir with a shattered heart. A wedding gift from El Cid sees the return of Sebastian to England and the possibility for a second chance for Renoir and his dark angel.

Poisoned Heart by Anna O’Neill
In Edo-period Japan, a prominent family might choose to foster a son from another clan in order to encourage peaceful political relations. When Raiden’s family invites twenty-three year old Masashi into their lives, their gesture has the opposite effect: Masashi kills Raiden’s parents. Now years later Raiden is studying with a master of magic who allows Raiden the chance to go back in time to kill Masashi before Masashi can lift a finger against his family. But when Raiden is faced with his guest-brother once again, much to his horror he finds that his old feelings for Masashi return. With the weight of the future bearing down on Raiden’s shoulders, can he overcome these troublesome emotions, or will his new weakness destroy everything?

Deliverance by Aleksandr Voinov
Deliverance takes us on a journey to Jerusalem during the time of the Crusades. Former professional tournament fighter and mercenary William Raven of Kent has joined the Knights Templar to do penance for his sins. He has pledged his life to God and to the defense of the Christian heartlands. One evening during prayers, the Templars are summonsed to battle in defense of Christian pilgrims who are under attack. As the fighting ensues, William takes notice of a pilgrim who is fighting along side displaying “knightly” skills. It is Guy de Metz his former lover and one true love. Their unexpected reunion brings William face-to-face with a past he thought he’d escaped and one that now threatens to shatter the life he has vowed to God.

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The Sight of Home by Sean Michael

Stone is used to getting around on his own, even if he is blind. When he decides to head out on a book tour to promote his latest title, though, he knows he needs more help than his seeing eye dog can provide. Stone decides to hire a personal assistant, someone to help be his eyes and ears on the road.

Mason seems like the perfect candidate, a strong, ex-military man who can take care of anything. Even if he can’t see Mason, Stone knows he’s attracted to the man’s gravely voice and hard body, and things start moving fast. Maybe too fast. Will Stone scare Mason off with his strong feelings, or can Mason see how good they could be together?

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Playing the Field: Served! by J.M. Snyder

Colby Johnson and his cousin Megan have been practicing all summer for Wildwood’s annual Beach Volleyball Tournament. The evening before, Colby drops by the bar where Megan works for a quick drink before heading home and meets sexy Vander “Van” Byron. The instant attraction is mutual, but they share only a few brief hours before Colby has to call it a night.

The next day, Colby and Megan are on a winning streak, advancing through the tournament ranks with ease. When Colby runs into Van and his twin sister Vallery at the tournament, he isn’t surprised – more than half of Wildwood’s population, tourist and local alike, are crowded on the beach for the event. But he is shocked to see the numbered vest Van wears, marking him as a competitor.

A quick look at the schedule shows that if both teams continue their winning streaks, the day will end with Colby and Van facing off through the volleyball net. To up the ante, Van proposes a little wager. Whoever wins their game advances in the tournament, of course, and continues on for a chance to win one of the grand prizes the next day, but whoever loses gets whatever he wants from the winner.

Playing the Field: Served! is the fourth installment in J.M. Snyder’s popular Playing the Field series and a great stand-alone novella for those looking to read a well-written and carefree story.

I have yet to come across an author of gay romance/erotica that writes athletic “men in motion” better than Snyder and this holds true of Served! Colby and Van sizzle on the page as Snyder expertly ratchets up the sexual tension in anticipation of who will win the volleyball tournament and who will win their clever side-bet. But I have to say that it is her descriptions that had me going throughout this story and made me nostalgic for those hot and lazy summer days spent on the beach checking out the life guards and ogling those lean boys in their cut-offs playing a haphazard game of beach volleyball.

Playing the Field: Served! is a fun, angst-free and easy-going story that serves up hard-bodied tanned beach boys for your reading pleasure and inspires all sorts of sex-on-the-beach fantasies. I’d say it’s an altogether winning reading proposition!

Playing the Field: Served! by J.M. Snyder is no longer available as a single title but appears in the collection Playing the Field: Volume I available at JMS Books.

NOTE: This review was originally published online by Rainbow Reviews.

Letting In The Light by Fae Sutherland

When Rowan Lee arrived in small, liberal Provincetown, he heard tales of the eccentric, brilliant, possibly insane Finnegan Clark. A world-famous mystery writer, Finnegan’s been to the top of the bestseller list more times than anyone can count. It’s about the only place he goes, sequestered away in his mansion by the sea.

Enter Rowan. The free-spirited lovechild of aging hippies, Rowan believes all anyone needs is love and when he makes a delivery to Finn’s mansion and meets the man himself, it’s infatuation at first sight. Not to mention lust. Never mind that Finn’s twice his age and snarls at him more than he speaks to him.

All Rowan wants is to make the world a better place, one person at a time, but all Finn wants is to be left alone. Sparks fly and if Rowan can’t break Finn’s walls down, he’ll burn them down … one sizzling encounter at a time.

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I Met A Man by Shabbu

An ailing young American novelist, Clifford, retreats to a small villa on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus to finish his last novel in peace and seclusion before he dies. There he meets a man, Erol, at the Tree of Idleness cafe in the Bellapais mountain village square, who struggles with Clifford to help him live fully before he dies.

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