Review of: Inked Music by Sean Michael

TITLE: Inked Music
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 9, 2019

BLURB:

Can a wealthy but bored businessman rescue a tortured musician from his self-imposed purgatory with a scorching kinky romance?
When Rene Conette attends an intimate performance at a local bar, the guitarist moves him enough that he attempts to go backstage but is stymied by the man’s bodyguard. Putting it down as not meant to be, he goes on with his life only to run into the man again, late at night at a bookstore.
Gavin Turner used to be a famous musician until an obsessed fan kidnapped and tortured him. Then it came out that he was into the BDSM lifestyle, and the court of public opinion ravaged him. He lost his Master and his self-confidence. Now he hides behind his ink and his bodyguards, who make sure he doesn’t come into contact with anyone or anything he doesn’t want to. Though it’s been years since he satisfied his needs, he doesn’t think he can trust again.
If Rene can work his way past Gavin’s defenses, they might find they complement each other perfectly.


Inked Music by Sean Michael is the best book of his that I have read and I have read quite a few of his books. It had the perfect amount of plot to heat ratio. I loved that the book started as a slow burn as the characters got to know each other and work through some past trauma that has made one of the character’s, Gavin Turner, reclusive. His twin bodyguards are his only friends and family and the only people that he trusts besides his brother who works at a used book store/homeless hangout. Gavin used to be a famous musician until an obsessed fan kidnapped and tortured him. Then it came out that he was into the BDSM lifestyle, and the court of public opinion ravaged him. He ended up losing his Master and his self-confidence. Now he hides behind his ink and his bodyguards, who make sure he doesn’t come into contact with anyone or anything he doesn’t want to. Though it’s been years since he has satisfied his needs, he doesn’t think he can trust again, but if anybody can tempt him to try, it would be Rene Conette.

Rene Conette attended an intimate performance at a local bar and is mesmerized by the guitarist and attempts to go backstage to meet the musician but is stymied by the man’s bodyguard. Putting it down as not meant to be, he goes on with his life only to run into the man again, late at night at a bookstore. The fact that Rene owns the bookstore isn’t known to any of his employees. They think that he is just one of the regulars that frequent the bookstore at all hours since it is open 24/7. Rene also has a soft spot for homeless and underprivileged youth and likes knowing that he can provide a warm place for them to hang out away from the streets.

I loved that both men have more than enough money on their own and so that isn’t a factor in their friendship. It is one less thing for Gavin to worry about that he is just being friended to get to his money. I also loved that Rene never had any problem with one of the twins always being with them wherever they went, whether it was to dinner, movie, or each other’s house for a little fun. I loved that Rene treated them like family instead of a roadblock to get through to get Gavin alone. I loved seeing Gavin and Rene interact together, and I loved seeing Gavin interact with his bodyguards. The scenes between Gavin and Rene were hot, and you could feel their chemistry. I loved watching Gavin get his self-confidence back. They were perfect together.

I do wish that we had a little bit more background on what had happened to Gavin when he was kidnapped, but his actions after the trauma showed us just how traumatic it had been and how long it had taken him to get to where he is when he meets Rene.

This book reminds me a little bit of Sean’s other book Guarding January which I really enjoyed reading also. I would recommend reading this book to everybody who loves reading BDSM books.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Amber Korgh

Review of: Making it Better by Lyss Em

TITLE: Making it Better
AUTHOR: Lyss Em
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Lyss Press
GENRE: BDSM
RELEASE DATE: Jan 21, 2019

BLURB:

“You still mess me up after all this time, Luc.”
“Not my problem.”
Court’s forceful brand of dominance pushes Lucan’s buttons like nothing else, but he can’t forget how badly Court hurt him in the past. Their romance six years ago was heady, intense, and sizzling—and left Lucan with deep emotional scars. When he runs into Court at a fetish party, the spark is still there. But so is the pain.
For Court, Lucan is the mindfuck he never got over. He still doesn’t know why Lucan ended things, and when he sees Lucan in the flesh again, the desperate need to dominate comes rushing back. Court would do anything to have a second chance, but he won’t let Lucan mess with his head and break his heart again. Or so he tells himself.
“I’ll do it all right for you this time if you just teach me.”
When Lucan agrees to show Court how to be a good Dom, the two headstrong men toe a delicate line between restraint and uncontrolled passion. Will the same sick love that consumed their past destroy their future?
Making It Better is a standalone enemies to lovers, second chance, contemporary, BDSM romance with an HEA ending.


This is the first time I have read this author and OMG. I will definitely look for more books. This is a very intense and dark BDSM book that definitely has the masochism side of it. This is not for the light-hearted or for anyone that struggles with pain being inflicted on another person. Warning, there is knife play and some other physical pain that is requested from the sub. If you’re good with all, then you should really enjoy this book. This author hit on all aspects of a true Dom/sub relationship. What I really enjoyed was how the sub was teaching an inexperienced Dom how to get what they both needed and explained how there is a Top high for the Dom just like sub space for the sub. The author also explained Dom/sub lows and how it can happen a few days later. I have experienced this, and this is the first book I’ve read that has had this in it.

Lucan is a sub that loves pain and torture but hasn’t been able to let go completely since his breakup six years ago. He has a good Dom now, and he does great aftercare with him, but he can’t find that release he’s looking for. Then, one night at a BDSM party, who comes to say hello but the only one he’s ever totally surrendered to.

Court has been away for six years but has recently moved back to his hometown. He gets on FetLife and gets invited to a party, and he’s excited and wants just a plaything to get some release. Imagine his surprise when he sees his love of six years ago there. He never understood why Lucan just ended things with a text message, but he can’t help but to go say hello.

Things heat up quickly for these two, but is it too fast? Can these two work through their differences and trust issues they have? Can Lucan have the patience to teach Court how to be the best Dom? Can Court listen and learn to what he needs to in order to keep the love of his life? These are all very good questions, and I hope you get the answers you’re looking for.

***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reading this ARC. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Impacted! by Mickie B. Ashling

TITLE: Impacted!
AUTHOR: Mickie B. Ashling
SERIES: Bay Area Professionals
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM, Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 12, 2019

BLURB:

On his way home from vacation, Scott Gregory, a closeted sub, hooks up with the gorgeous Red, a flamboyant Dom, for a thrilling one-off at a BDSM bar. They part ways after a satisfying scene… but meet again when Robin Kennedy—Red—arrives at his new job as a dental hygienist and discovers one of his two bosses is Scott.
Robin and Scott embark on a journey of exploration into their kinkier sides and discover they’re more than compatible—they’re a perfect match. But keeping employer/employee and Dom/sub separate at the office presents difficulties, and to make matters even more complicated, the owner of the dental practice is an acknowledged homophobe.
They fall in love, but Robin chafes at all the secrecy, refusing to live in the shadows. Scott isn’t as brave; he’s desperate to protect his job and his future. Will they be able to find some middle ground… or will their entire relationship fall apart because of fear?


I loved Impacted! by Mackie B. Ashling. Impacted! is the first book in the Bay Area Professionals series. This is my first time reading a book by Mackie B. Ashling, but I can guarantee it won’t be the last. I loved the blurb and have been on a BDSM reading kick lately, and this book had everything that I love in a BDSM book. A Dom that is younger than his submissive but is no less experienced just because he is younger than his submissive. The Dom and sub end up working together and have a hard time keeping their professional and private lives separate. I also love a super needy sub and a protective, dominate Dom who’s there to push the sub’s limits and give him what he needs. Mackie B. Ashling gave me all of those things in this book, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series to see how Scott and Robin’s relationship evolves.

There were a couple of things that I thought were a little unneeded in the book. The book is told primarily through Scott and Robin’s POV which is expected, but we also got the POV of Scott’s best friend Susie, who’s straight and is looking for her forever boyfriend. So it’s kind of like having an MF subplot while you are reading a MM story. So if you don’t like reading MF stories at all, then this is probably not for you since the MF subplot does continue into the next book which is the sequel to this story and continues Scott and Robin’s story. It does continue the BDSM theme with Susie becoming a Domme, and she’s looking for her perfect submissive male. There were also the POVs of Scott’s boss Ron, who is a homophobe and I think there was a couple of other’s that I really didn’t think that we needed to know what they were thinking or why they were doing what they were doing. I don’t think it brought anything extra to the story. It sometimes took the focus away from Scott and Robin who the story is supposed to be about.

Scott’s a closeted submissive. He has just moved to San Francisco and has a contract to take over a successful dentistry business in a year. He didn’t know that his boss was a huge homophobe when he signed the contract. Who would have thought that there could still be homophobes in San Francisco, which is like the most gay-friendly place to live? But Scott was unlucky enough to have to work for one. He shoves himself back into the closet, telling himself that it is only for a year and that he can handle it since the reward is a four million dollar practice. He will be set for life. On his way home from vacation, he stops at a BDSM bar for a final scene before returning to his closeted life and hooks up with the flamboyant Dom, Red, who was bartending that night. After a very satisfying scene, they part ways, and Scott’s sad that he won’t be able to see Red again since Red’s moving soon. He definitely wasn’t expecting to see him when he goes to work the next day and finds out that he was hired by Ron, the owner, as the new assistant dentist.

Robin’s a Dom and has just finished getting his degree as a dental assistant. He would have gone on to be a dentist but didn’t want to be indebted by student loans. Even though he hasn’t been in the BDSM community long, only a couple of years, he did go and get trained to be a Dom and had been doing scenes with subs for a couple of years. He likes having one-off scenes and isn’t looking for a contracted sub. His last night bartending, he serves a sub a drink, and they have instant chemistry and agree to do a scene after he gets off work. He has no idea that the sub will turn out to be his boss at his new job or that they will get to continue to explore their kinks. Their chemistry goes through the roof, and they find that they are very compatible, are perfect for each other. But can they keep things under wrap under their boss’s homophobic nose or will he find out and fire them both. You will have to read the book to find out.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Amber Krogh

Review of: Educating the Professor by Sean Michael

TITLE: Educating the Professor
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM
RELEASE DATE: Jan 29, 2019

BLURB:

Kenneth Brannigan is a small-town history professor. He’s happy with his life, loves the classes he teaches, and lives in a tiny apartment in a converted house with his best friend, Tim, next door. He’s still recovering from a bad breakup and is content to stick to his comfortable routine. It’s Tim who insists he come to the Queer Alliance’s Rainbow Mixer.
At the mixer, Kenn meets David Burgundy, a new-to-town TA who is working on his masters. Dave is drawn immediately to Kenn and is thrilled when Kenn offers to show him the best pizza place in town. One meal leads to two, which leads to Dave and Kenn spending most of their free time together… and Kenn loosening his self-imposed rules regarding dating and sex for some kinky fun.
Kenn’s ex isn’t going to just let Kenn be, though, and the happier Kenn is with Dave, the less the ex likes it. Will Kenn continue to run away from his past, or will his relationship with Dave help him face it head-on?


I loved Educating the Professor by Sean Michael. I love reading Sean’s books when I’m in the mood for a book with lots of chemistry between the main characters and lots of kinky scenes. This book started out as more of a slow buildup toward the sexy times, but the book also had more of a plot than some of the other books that I have read by this author. If I had to improve on anything in the book, I would have liked to know more about what happened to Kenneth’s ex. The last time we saw him, he was ready to hit Kenn, and the police had been called, but we don’t know if he went to jail or if he backed off and gave up or even if the harassment from the private investigator that his ex had hired was still bothering them. I’m not entirely sure that they needed to be in the book, but like I said before, the book had more of a plot than some of the others. The ending and epilogue just didn’t answer all of my questions about what had happened. There were other parts of the book that definitely made up for the missing answers, like when Kenneth gets his piercings and all of their fun weekends together.

Kenneth had been verbally and physically abused by his ex-husband when he was caught watching what his husband considered perverse videos. He’s told repeatedly that what he wants is perverse and he was beaten until he couldn’t move because of it. He managed to run away and get a divorce, but it’s been over three years, and he’s still being harassed by his ex, which makes sense since he told him that he would make sure that he would forever be alone. So naturally he hasn’t been looking for a relationship, and he’s been relatively happy with just his teaching job and his friendship with his bestie, Tim.+

I loved Tim. He was the perfect best friend, bubbly, happy, and forcing his bestie to get out and do things like going to the Queer Alliance’s Rainbow Mixer. It’s at the mixer that he meets David Burgundy, a new-to-town TA who is working on his masters. They get to talking, and Kenn offers to show David around to all of the best places to eat. And they go from there to being friends with benefits to being in a relationship.

I loved how David is a Dom and has more experience than Kenn but he doesn’t rush Kenn into doing anything that he wasn’t ready to do, and I also loved how supportive he is in reassuring him that his desires aren’t perverse so long as they aren’t hurting anybody.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan

TITLE: Dirty Laundry
AUTHOR: Heidi Cullinan
SERIES: Tucker Springs
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM
RELEASE DATE: March 29, 2019

BLURB:

Sometimes you have to get dirty to come clean.
When muscle-bound Denver Rogers effortlessly dispatches the frat boys harassing grad student Adam Ellery at the Tucker Springs laundromat, Adam’s thank-you turns into impromptu sex over the laundry table. The problem comes when they exchange numbers. What if Adam wants to meet again and discovers Denver is a high-school dropout with a learning disability who works as a bouncer at a local gay bar? Or what if Denver calls Adam only to learn while he might be brilliant in the lab, outside of it he has crippling social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder?
Either way, neither of them can shake the memory of their laundromat encounter. Despite their fears of what the other might think, they can only remember how good the other one feels. The more they get together, the kinkier things become. They’re both a little bent, but in just the right ways.
Maybe the secret to staying together isn’t to keep things clean and proper. Maybe it’s best to keep their laundry just a little bit dirty.
Second Edition
First Edition published by Riptide Publishing, January 2013.


I loved Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan. This is the third book in the Tucker Springs series. It looks like this series is being written by three different authors: L.A. Witt, Heidi Cullinan, and Marie Sexton. The book is a stand-alone, but it does have cameos from El and Paul and Jason from the first two books. El and Paul are Denver’s friends, and Jason is the owner of Lights Out where Denver works. I will definitely be looking forward to reading the next two books in the series.

This is the first book that I have read in the series, and I can’t wait to read the first two books. I just bought the first book in the series, Where Nerves End by L.A. Witt, and so I just need to buy the second book, Second Hand by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton.

I found the characters to be complex and loved that they had real issues and disabilities that they were living and working with—for Adam: social anxiety, panic attacks, and OCD, and for Denver: learning disabilities and self-esteem issues due to his disability.

I liked some of the secondary characters and some I wanted to hit like Brad Adam’s ex-boyfriend. I loved Louisa. She was there just when Adam needed a friend and somebody that could sympathize with what Adam was going through. I hope that she will have cameos in some of the future books in the series. I wish that she could have her own book but as she’s a transgender woman, I don’t see that happening since the authors write mm books. But if they did write a book about her, I know that I would read it. She was a fabulous character and a wonderful friend to Adam.

I don’t know anybody personally that has OCD or anxiety, but I thought that the author did a great job with giving us a glimpse into what Adam goes through just trying to make it through a day without a panic attack. It was interesting and heartbreaking to see how he’s learned how to cope and maneuver around things that are triggers for him while all he wants is to be normal.

Something that he will never be. I do like how the BDSM helps calm the voices in his mind that keeps trying to ramp everything up into a panic attack. I also loved that he got a kink-friendly therapist, Sid, and Sid’s analogy about likening the voices to horses pulling a carriage and visualizing holding their reins and directing them instead of them running away with him.
I also thought that the author did a great job with Denver and conveying the stigma that comes with how you see yourself and how others judge people that have a learning disability. The only thing that I wished the author had done in the book was actually identified what kind of learning disability Denver had.

If you like to read books with real-life characters with real-life issues and disabilities, then I recommend this book to you and to everybody else that has ever wanted to see inside the mind of somebody that struggles with disabilities and see how they overcome them.

***The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press. My review is an honest opinion of the book ***

Review edited by : Laura McNellis