July 13th, 2011

andrew potter

Servant of the Seasons by Lee Benoit

Autumn (Servant of the Seasons 1) by Lee Benoit

In a futuristic world, I imagine it like a post apocalyptic world where people lost all their technology and are now living like in the nineteen century or before, Edor is a man running away from his previous life, who chooses to live in an abandoned farm.

The first winter is really awful but Edor manages to harvest a crop and he gives it to his neighboor to sell and bring back seeds and a beast. Months later, when Edor thinks his neighboor lost, he comes back with seeds and two slaves instead of the beast. Edor can only accept, but when the man goes, he put free the two men, expecting for them to run away.

Tywyll and Lys instead decide to stay with Edor, and they seem bent to make a better life for him, helping him with the harvest and the house. Tywyll and Lys share a bond, also sexual, and Edor sometime envies them, but he has no courage to intrude between the two men, even if Tywyll, and above all Lys, would like it.

Tywyll knows that Edor is like the crop, he needs time to grew and a lot of care to do it in the better way. The first Autumn of their life together is ending and the Winter is near and with it a lot of change in thier life.

Servant of the Seasons is a continuing series, I believe of four stories, following the seasons and with them, the life of Edor. Probably he will grew like the crop and at the end he will be ready to embrace his new life. The first story is setting the basis for all the series and so there are a lot of open points in the end. Plus, I don't know if this will be the trend also of the other enstallment, but this one is almost "chaste", with very few "hints" of sex... well, not that I'm saying that without sex the story is not worthy, only that the author is teasing me with some bratty attitude of Lys, and I'd like to "see" more.

All in all Lee Benoit has teased me enough to leave me eager for the next chapter.

Winter (Servant of the Seasons 2) by Lee Benoit

Lys and Tywyll, the two amichu who arrives to Meco's farm in the first chapter of the Servant of Seasons series, are starting to settle into a "normal" life under the lovely cure of Meco. And since the two live according to the seasons, Tywyll is bond to summer and Lys to winter, it's time for Lys to face his "seasonal" sleep. Meco and Tywyll are preparing the turf but at the same time Tywyll and Lys are trying to convince Meco to become part of their couple. 

Meco has never had the chance to be near another human, nor man or woman, with a love or sexual expectation. When he was an Edor, a construction worker in the city, all the men where sexually inhibited with chemicals, and so he never felt the urge to be with another man. But now, alone in the wilderness, and with two lovely men under his roof, he is beginning to wonder if he lost something, and if he can be part of their love. Probably his reluctance is given by the fact that Tywyll and Lys obviously are one for each other, two part of a same unit. 

In this second chapter I understand a bit more both Meco, than Tywyll and Lys's culture. A lot of unanswered question from the first story here find a meaning, and also Meco is a lot more easier to understand. Even if Tywyll and Lys have a great part in the story, I feel like Meco the real main characters. 

In  comparison to the first chapter, in Winter, other than comprehend better the characters and the setting, there is also a bit more of sex, but always like a supporting way for the men to bond and never like the true purpose of the book. This series is not an erotic series, it's a very complex fantasy tale, and I think that, when it will be complete, all the four part will be a very good long novel.

Spring (Servant of the Seasons 3) by Lee Benoit

As I imagined in the last book in this series, the distance between the pair of amichu, Tywyll and Lys, and Edor, if not physical is for sure emotional. Edor loves the couple, but it could be more a friendship feeling than the type you have for a lover. Edor feels that something is lacking in his life and more he is near to Tywyll and Lys, more he is aware of it. Then Cynar, the other Norvigi who lost his mate, step by step obtains a special place in Edor's heart. Edor can't be for Cynar what Tywyll and Lys are for each other, but Edor and Cynar can be lovers, if both men manage to overcome their natural distrust of feelings.

It's not a simple life for the strange little family: nature seems a friend, but everytime other humans enter their little compound, it seems that they bring only problem.

This third chapter in the series is more a transit book: like the first was for the second, with Edor who learned to trust and love Tywyll and Lys, this one I think is the transit one for the fourth, where probably Edor will trust and love Cynar, closing the circle. And so this one is also more sweet than erotic, and also the little sex in the book is more light than angst.

Till now Lee Benoit proved that my feeling in the story were right; I always felt like Edor was not a real part on the bond love of Tywyll and Lys, and it was obvious that his fated mate had still to arrive. In this book I believe that that mate arrived. In the next book I hope to read the realization of the bond love between Cynar and Edor, and to finally find a little of peace for Tywyll and Lys.

Summer (Servant of the Seasons 4) by Lee Benoit

The circle is close, the last season of this series is began and like most of the plants do in Summer, also the seeds Edor planted in the previous season, are blossoming in this one.

As to deny my previous statement that the series is not so sexy, Lee Benoit decides to start this last chapter with a very sweet but erotic sex scene. For the first time I also have a physical impression both of Edor than Cynar, and in this way the author also reinforces the concept that Edor and Cynar are a couple, like Tywyll and Lys. They can share their body with the other two men, but it's more like a pack thing, a way to prove that they are a family, but clearly a family made by two different sets of men.

Other than having a physical impression on Edor, in this Summer I also have also a clear description of Edor as leader of the community that little step by little step is growing around Edor's farm. He seems to have the strange skill to gather homeless and abandoned creatures, they arrive to him like draw by an hidden power: the river that flows beside the farm is the path and when someone in need of shelter is near, he is drawn to Edor... he is like some unwillingly leader, unwillingly since he didn't listen to an holy "call", unless you don't count the call of nature, the necessity to learn again to live accordingly to the nature rules instead of the human ones.

Even if apparently Edor is the alpha male of the pack, both being bigger in body, but also stronger, I believe that Cynar is clever and more aware of himself. Where Tywyll and Lys are almost a "classical" couple, where Lys is the smaller one, the one who needs to be protected and cherished, Cynar has a stronger wit, and at the end he takes Edor around on a leash, always doing what he wants. So apparently Edor is the leader, but really he is only a willing pawn of Cynar's wishes.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=3224

Amazon Kindle: Servant of the Seasons
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (July 12, 2011)

Reading List:

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andrew potter

Lost & Found by Syd McGinley

The Complete Dr. Fell Volume 1: Lost by Syd McGinley

Pet sitting by Syd McGinley

I was wandering around this sip for a bit. I liked very much another D/S story by Syd McGinley, and the first time I read the blurb of this one I was very attracted. But I have to admit that I don't like very much too much short stories, usually they leave me eager for more. So when this morning I read that it's starting a chaser series on Dr Fell, I took the chance to read also the start point, Petsitting.

John is a post graduate student (I think it's late twenty-mid thirty, maybe more). After the death of his lover and pet, Rob, he took a leave from his studies and he chose to move back home to take care of his mother, fighting cancer. Now he is again alone, and he needs time to finish his thesys.

Ben has the perfect solution: he has to go out of town for work and he doesn't want to leave alone his pet, Charlie, a young guy just out of a detox process. John can leave in his house and complete his thesys and meanwhile take a look on Charlie. But when their cohabitation starts, John realizes that Charlie is not at all a good "pet": he is spoilt and lazy, and he needs a firm hand, just like John.

When Ben returns home he almost doesn't recognize Charlie and the new life of John as Dr Fell is starting...

In less than 20 pages, Syd McGinley decipts a whole universe, where D/S is not only a life style, but it's a necessity to survive: for John to give a meaning to his life, now that he is without Rob, and for Charlie to have something to live, something that preserves him to fall again.

Even if there is sex, this is not a love story. It's a journey of two men that temporarily choose to walk together along the path, helping each other.

Pet Rescue (Lost and Found 1) by Syd McGinley

First of all I finish this one in only a day so it's clear that I liked it but still... I have the feeling that this story will make me feel a lot sad in the future.

Lost and Found is an ongoing series about Dr Fell, John. He is a Dom without pet. His former and true pet was killed during a gay bashing and since then Dr Fell lives without a real meaning in his life. He sometime trains other pets for their too tender Dom, but he is not ready to start again with a real D/S relationship.

Then John finds a scared pet in an alley, Jamie. He ran away from his abusive Master, a Master who went beyond what is "allowed" in a D/S relationship. Dealing with Jamie brings a lot of painful memories in John, of Rob, his former lover, and of how he wasn't able to save him. And now he has a chance to save Jamie, and doing so he maybe can put an end to some guilty issues. But John knows that he can't be Jamie's Master, since he would never be able to "master" him with the right dose of pain and pleasure, since Jamie is "damaged", he has suffered too much in his life and now for him pain can't be no more also pleasure.

This is the main reason cause I feel sad. Even if this is only the first chapter of three, I don't think that the following two will tell us about John and Jamie. I fear that John will choose a different path that will lead him far from Jamie. And since I'm an hopelessly romantic, I would so love too see this two together... But this is a problem of mine, cause if I really am into the D/S matter, I would see that John's choice is the right one.

Exotic Pets (Lost and Found 2) by Syd McGinley

Lost and Found 2 has an happy underlining mood that makes it lighter than the first installment but also harder to digest if you are not into the D/s relationship.

Dr. Fell is become almost a guru among his Dom friends, and he is also a referring figure for all the submissives. For the fourth of July weeks, all the Doms and subs organize an outdoor activity outside John's cabin: there is entertainments and picnics, like those parties at school where proud fathers look how good are their "sons", but also commitment ceremonies which include branding and inking session.

It's also a way to see different Doms at "work" and how they are able to deal with their little brats. There are the old tested couple, like Mike and Chris, a ten years old relationship, or the new ones like Greg and Rory. There is the pet in training Charlie, alias "twink", and the sub in need to be rescued, Rinnie. And there is also the little but exotic hustler, Tommy, that, in the end, will be Dr. Fell next project... will he be also the new pet that Dr. Fell is searching?

As I said, there are some activities we witness reading this book that heavily test my beliefs on what is romance and what is a committed relationship; for me, who hardly consider romance a threesome, and only in certain condition, a relationship where one of the partners can be borrowed and shared like a common propriety is a very difficult one to accept. Truth be told, the borrowed partner is not against the idea, and sometime he seems also eager to be shared, but still... maybe this is a problem of mine, since this type of relationship implies a total surrender from one side and so also a total trust.

Then there is the emotional involvement of John; even if he worries for Tommy, I still don't feel him totally involved in this relationship: he has too much reasoning power, he analyzes things everytime and in every details... since he will not lose a bit of his self control, I don't think he will find another companion like Rob.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=77&products_id=1991

Amazon: The Complete Dr. Fell Volume I: Lost
Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press (June 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603707204
ISBN-13: 978-1603707206

The Complete Dr. Fell Volume 1: Lost by Syd McGinley
Table of Contents:
Pet Sitting
Pet Rescue
A Short Leash
Rude Mechanicals
Exotic Pets
Catch and Release
A Secret Vice
Samhain
Sol Invictus
Saturnalia

The Complete Dr. Fell Volume 2: Found by Syd McGinley

Teacher's Pet (Lost and Found 3) by Syd McGinley

Yes! at the third story, plus some novella here and there, about Dr. Fell and his pets, I have finally closed a book and started to write a post without having to say "well, even if BDSM is not my thing...".

I like Dr. Fell, truly, but I always had this feeling about his stories, something like I should not become too fond of a "pet" since at the end he would be not the one. All the previous stories are always quite angst, but truly romantic: a wounded soul who, in the healing power of love and discipline, finds solace and is born again; a soul that, in the end, is ready to love again, but not John.

Why everytime John is not reaty to live again? why he always needs to break my little pink romance bubble? Yes, I was a little angry with John, and I almost skipped the third chapter in his series. But then, I wanted to give him another chance and I was right about it.

The problem with John is that he always takes care of the others, the wounded pets, but he never heals himself. And to heal himself he needs to give up the control to someone else, someone from his past, that knows him well. Only then he will be ready to love again.

And so in Teacher's Pet, John becomes the pupil, and at the same time he meets who has many chance to be his future pet for good.

Teacher's Pet is at the same time more angst than the previous book and more romantic. John is not so stern in it, he probably is learning his own lessons, and he lets go more: if he is doing that since he is learning to grow on the pain of Rob's loss, or since he has really met his truly pet, I don't know, but I like him better in this way.

Deeper Submission (Lost and Found 4) by Syd McGinley

From the title of the last novella in the Lost and Found series, you would think that Dave, the new pet of Dr. Fell, is fated to be even more a submissive for the more and more dominant John... and instead I believe that the Deeper Submission of the title is referring to a different type of submission, the one that will see John surrenders to love and to the need to finally have a little family of his own.

Now don't get me wrong, there are no babies or smushy feeling between John and Dave, but there is for sure a different type of relationship than what John is used to. Dave willingly decided to submit to John, but he is not a weak boy who couldn't have a different life if he wants; he is a smart man, with a deep proud, and he will not be the all to dependent man that you usually find in a D/s relationship, and maybe this is the reason why I like this novella, and why I think that finally John has found his match.

John's love for Rob was deep and true, but I don't know if it would have lasted. Rob was the perfect pet, always eager to satisfy his Master, and not only in a sexual way... maybe it would have lasted since John would have not been subjected to years of regrets and ifs. John and Rob together would have been a good item, probably more according the rule of a "classical" D/s relationship. But Rob is dead and John seemed unable to forget him... probably since he searched him in every following pets. When he stopped that uselessly search and accepted a man totally different than Rob, in that moment he starts a new life. Dave is not Rob, and he even wants to be like Rob, and he is exactly what John needs: a man that is young enough to be molded to some of John's quirks, but clever enough to not be totally controlled and dominated.

This is a very nice wrap up of Dr. John Fell's adventures, and the four book is probably the more romantic of them all, since you have finally the chance to see the tender side of John.

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=77&products_id=2323

Amazon: Dr. Fell Volume II: Found
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press (November 25, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1603708626
ISBN-13: 978-1603708623

The Complete Dr. Fell Volume 2: Found by Syd McGinley
Table of Contents:
Teacher’s Pet
Let the Games Begin
Epithalamion
Attitude Adjustments 1-6
Deeper Submission
Attitude Adjustments 7
The Junk Drawer of Dr. Fell
To Your Good Elf
Thank You Letters
Attitude Adjustments 8 and 9
Rinnie-Rønne
Attitude Adjustments 10 and 11
Curtain Fic
Attitude Adjustments 12
Back in the Day

Lost & Found: Chaser compilation

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=3223

Amazon Kindle: Lost and Found
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc. (July 12, 2011)

Lost & Found
Table of Contents:
Pet Rescue (Lost and Found 1) by Syd McGinley
Exotic Pets (Lost and Found 2) by Syd McGinley
Teacher's Pet (Lost and Found 3) by Syd McGinley
Deeper Submission (Lost and Found 4) by Syd McGinley

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
andrew potter

Devlin and Garrick (Seeking Redemption 2) by Cameron Dane

It was a bit that I hadn’t read a book by Cameron Dane and so I had almost forgotten one of their peculiarities: the extremely erotic undertone of the stories. As soon as I started to read this book, I was thinking, well, this is pretty hot stuff; the good thing is that the hot stuff was good and plenty, but was not a substitute for the plot itself: the story was there and it was developing along with the sex. When I was more or less at the middle of the book, I went back reading the review I did for the previous book in the series, the story of Aidan and Ethan, and I found out that the same eroticism was also in that story and that it left me the same feeling as well.

The plot is at the same time complex and simple: Devlin met the man of his dreams five years before in San Francisco and his name was Gradyn; after a weekend of sex and six months of long-distance relationship, Gradyn completely disappeared from Devlin’s life, leaving him pining after the perfect man he is not able to replace. Devlin is not living in Redemption, Maine, far away from San Francisco but the man he meets here, Garrick is different in body from Gradyn, but Devlin knows he is the same man. What Garrick/Gradyn is doing in Redemption Devlin doesn’t know, but for sure Devlin will not the man waltzing away from his life as easily as he did before.

The complex part of the story is that, at this point it almost runs in parallel ways, the Devlin and Gradyn of the past living their perfect weekend together (and most of the hot sex is there too) and the Devlin and Garrick of today trying to find a way to reconcile their differences to have a future together. As I did in the previous story, what I like in this story is that, even if one of the men, Devlin, had all the reason to hate the “prodigal lover”, he doesn’t refuse the second chance at love they have, even if he doesn’t make it easy to his lover to ask for forgiveness.

When I said that the story is also simple is because the reason why Gradyn had to go years ago to me was quite clear and it was not necessary to arrive to the apex when Garrick comes clear to Devlin; that sincerely is not an issue for me, since it was more important that the balance between sex/eroticism and plot was maintained, the characters developed nicely and the supporting characters were good (above all little Shawn).

http://www.king-cart.com/cgi-bin/cart.cgi?store=linda018&cart_id=38672.45000&product_name=Devlin+And+Garrick&return_page=&user-id=&password=&exchange=&exact_match=exact

Amazon: Devlin and Garrick
Amazon Kindle: Devlin and Garrick
Paperback: 378 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (July 13, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1463711867
ISBN-13: 978-1463711863

Series: Seeking Redemption
1) Aidan & Ethan: http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/449674.html
2) Devlin & Garrick

Reading List:



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Cover Art by Anne Cain
andrew potter

Hot Head by Damon Suede

Up front, this is one of the best M/M romance I have read lately, even more surprisingly since this a debut from Damon Suede. The author is not new to the M/M crowd and so maybe he socked up a lot of do and don’t about this genre, and he wonderfully displayed them in this novel.

The story is simple but hot as hell, the sex is so good I probably for the first time in a long, long period, read it all instead of “mentally” skimming it (yes, I do that, when the sex is too much, I tend to do my own personal editing/cutting on the scene, without even realizing it). The plot is so romantic that was almost (not too much) bearable, and no, it’s not a complaint: it had that level of romanticism that makes your heart ache good without thinking, all right, that is not realistic. But there was also that right level of sadness, when the author was remembering that telling a story about fire-fighters in New York City is not possible without paying his homage to who died on September 11, 2001.

As I said, there was a certain level of pink glasses perspective, Dante is an Italo-American man coming from a conservative family, but the conservatism of his family was not of the negative shade; the family is tight knit like most of the Italo-American family you heard about, but they were also supporting, and there was no opposition coming from them, on the contrary, Griff, the man Dante loves, is almost like another son to them. There is an hint of trouble coming from their job environment, the NYFD maybe is not “gay-friendly”, but again, the author chose to let the reader know he was aware of the issue, but he also chose to not face that issue now (btw, in many point I had the feeling Damon Suede was taking inspiration from a real-life case, a certain Michael Biserta, firefighter, who got into some trouble since he filmed a blatantly gay video, and then was the star of the NYFD calendars).

The main concept of the story is that, both Griffin and Dante had a scaring face-to-face meeting with death during September 11, 2001, and after that nothing was the same. They had to cling to what was safe, and the only thing was the love they had for each other and for “their” family. That love moved from friendship to real love without even them realizing it, and than it was too late, too late to fight it, too late to not acknowledge it. What I really loved of this novel is that both Griffin than Dante are men in one piece, there is no half measures, or you totally love or you don’t love, and when they take a decision, their love is full and complete, without exceptions.

I strongly recommend this novel to all the romance lovers, I’m sure you will love it as much as I did.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2394

Amazon: Hot Head
Amazon Kindle: Hot Head
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (June 17, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615819487
ISBN-13: 978-1615819485

Reading List:



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Cover Art by Anne Cain