1. Leather Wishes – The Adventures of the Fancy Man by Julian Keys - Gender: Gay - Genre: Anthology / Collection / Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 358 pages
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing (December 1, 2015)
Amazon: Leather Wishes, The Adventures of the Fancy Man
Amazon Kindle: Leather Wishes, The Adventures of the Fancy Man
1) Julian Keys speaks with a distinctive and lively voice. His writing, direct yet nuanced and with many an arresting turn of phrase, is a joy to read. This is high praise from a reviewer who is not drawn to the M/s, D/s scene and can gauge the erotic content with a dispassionate eye. His characters are sharply delineated, and their motivations are complex and subtly shaded. Even though I couldn't tell exactly where the action takes place, setting deserves a high score. The spaces the characters inhabit telegraph who they are, what they feel, and how they live their lives. Examples include the apartment complex, with its communal storage space, where the protagonist's mother lives, the Cockpit leather bar and its down-at-the-heel Christmas ornaments, and the protagonist's flat, stripped to its bare essentials but stacked floor-to-ceiling with books. Here, setting shed lights on character and even advances plot. Plot is, however, the weakest link. Because this a collection of stand-alone stories strung together into one long book, Keys falls back on saying "but that's another story" when recapping events that occurred earlier in the book. When the stories are read in succession, the recapping just gets in the way. But perhaps Keys couldn't revise already published stories to edit out the "feather dusting" relating circumstances the reader already knows about.
2) My favorite kinds of stories are the ones where I start out thinking "this kink/pairing/genre/etc really isn't my thing," and then the author changes my mind. This was that kind of book and then some. Yes, the stories are some of the sexiest I've ever read, but it's the characters who make them unforgettable. Mason, the Fancy Man, is one of the most intelligent, thought-provoking, passionate and compassionate characters I've ever read. I love the interplay of race, power, and kink. The writing is elegant, spare, and thoughtful. Truly an outstanding collection.
2. Sweet & Sexy (4 novellas as 1 submission) by Jeff Adams - Gender: Gay - Genre: Anthology / Collection / Contemporary Romance
3. Love Unlocked by Claire Davis and Al Stewart, Victoria Milne, Dawn Sister, J P Walker, Caraway Carter, Ofelia Gränd, Debbie McGowan - Gender: LGBT - Genre: Anthology / Collection / Contemporary Romance
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