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

Review of: Exploring Limits by Nicki Bennett, Ariel Tachna

TITLE: Exploring Limits
AUTHOR: Nicki Bennett, Ariel Tachna
SERIES: Exploring Limits
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: BDSM, MMM
RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2019

BLURB:

Jonathan Braedon’s successful acting career and consideration for his young son have always kept him from acting on his attraction to men. Newly cast as King Arthur in a BBC miniseries, he manages to conceal his interest in co-stars Devon Aldridge and Kit Webster-but Kit and Devon are just as interested in him. Rather than fighting over Jonathan, the two decide to seduce him together. Jonathan might have been able to hide his attraction to Devon and Kit individually… but together, they’re too much to resist.
The three find themselves deciding what they want out of their lovemaking and their relationship, exploring options they’d never before considered or thought they’d left behind. Add a touch of kink to the mix, and Jonathan, Devon, and Kit discover that the perceived limits of the past are really just the beginning.


This is the first book that I’ve read by these authors, and it probably won’t be the last. I liked the blurb for the book and was excited to start reading it. I like ménage, BDSM, and contemporary books. The book is told in detail, and I liked how the sentences flowed. The characters were interesting and felt real and had real problems, like co-parenting, getting divorced, failed relationships, and abusive relationships.

I started reading and was immediately confused on whose point of view the book was being told in. That is until I realized that the story is told through the three main characters simultaneously and would change without any warning or indication. It took a little while to get used to. And I still tended to reread some of the paragraphs when I got confused on who was thinking what. I did like that I didn’t have to reread a scene from three different points of views. But this is the first book that I’ve read like this.

I also thought that the book could have been about fifty to a hundred pages shorter without losing any of the growth that the relationship went through. It just seemed to drag on.
The book is super heavy on sex scenes with a little bit of storyline in between, and while I do like my books on the heavy side of sex, I did start to get a little bit bored since all of the scenes are between the three guys. There are no sex scenes just between two of the characters, and so I had a hard time seeing the relationship grow. I had a hard time believing that they wouldn’t want to make individual connections with each other in addition to their relationship as a threesome. Maybe there will be more individual connections in the next book in the series.
I did like the twist that the authors put on the movie Camelot that the three actors are working on and how they bring more of a bisexual or gay attraction between Lancelot and King Arthur.
I did like how Jonathan, Devon, and Kit all come from different home situations. Like Devon is in the middle of a divorce from his wife and Jonathan is supposed to be straight and Kit is the youngster of the group but doesn’t lack for a whole lot of experience and loves to wear skin-tight clothing.

I did like that they are constantly testing their limits and that both Jonathan and Kit try to help Devon work through the issues and bad experiences that he had from a previous relationship in relation to his BDSM experience. So I did like how they communicated and tried to help each other with their issues and stuff.

I’m interested to see what happens when the movie wraps up and they are no longer working together, and so I will eagerly await the next book in the series. The book does have a happy for now ending. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis

Review of: Home and Heart by Sean Michael

TITLE: Home and Heart
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: –
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
GENRE: M/M/M; BDMS
RELEASE DATE: December 25, 2018

BLURB:

Is it possible to find the heart’s home twice in a lifetime?
Six years ago, Sawyer Burroughs’s life fell apart. His soul mate and husband of four years died of cancer, and he fell into depression… and a bottle. It’s taken six years, but he’s turned his life around and is ready to start again on the other side of the country.
In his new apartment, he’s welcomed by his young and carefree neighbor, Derek, from across the hall. Derek is eager to make Sawyer feel welcome and even offers him a place to stay when Sawyer arrives ahead of his furniture.
The upstairs neighbors are just as friendly, and soon Sawyer finds a place with the friends-with-benefits threesome. He’s not the shy, vanilla lover they think he is, though, and he’s hiding more than a pair of nipple rings. As it happens, the guys have kinky secrets of their own, but for four men to make a BDSM relationship last, they’ll have to figure some things out.


I can always rely on Sean for some hot sexiness. This book is no different. Sean has a way of making the temperature rise and give your little bits a wonderful sensation. If you enjoy lots of sexiness, a little BDSM and lots of men together, then this is the book for you.

Sawyer is a man restarting his life after his husband and Master had died five years before. Sawyer fell into depression and the bottle but has cleaned up his act and has moved to a new life. He’s sure that he will never find a Master for him again, but he knows he has to give life a go. His new apartment is just what he needs until the hot neighbor knocked on his door.
Derek knocks on Sawyer’s door excited to meet this little hottie. Derek just walks in and starts talking with this quiet little man. He notices that Sawyer has no furniture and just outright asks him to stay the night with him. Derek is not shy and immediately takes to him. He invites him to a BBQ in the yard with the other two men in the building, but Sawyer is not ready for all these men, at least he thinks he’s not ready.

Benny and Luke are a couple, and Luke is obviously the Dom. They’re excited about Sawyer moving in and can’t wait to get him to play with them all. But they see the way Derek is so into him, and they hope this will not deter the plan. Luke also see right away that Sawyer is a perfect little sub and how he needs a strong Dom. Luke agrees to teach Derek how to give him what he needs. Derek is a natural Dom and can’t believe he has gotten so lucky.

This is a fun read with lots of hot sex. So if you’re ready for all the different scenarios, then get to reading.

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

Review edited by : Laura McNellis