Category Archives: Anthology
Several stories by varying authors published under one collective title.
A shifter leads two lives: one as a human, and one as an animal. Sometimes these lives are intertwined, and sometimes they are not, but always the shifter has to find a way to reconcile one with the other. Dark Menagerie follows characters as they explore the darker side of what it means to have one foot in the animal world and one foot in the human world. Some struggle to keep the animal starkly separate from their lives as a human being, but for others, their shifting leads them to a darker corner of the mind where human and animal are nearly indistinguishable.
First, in Dominant, Kade has left everything he valued in his life behind; his family, his fiancée, his entire future. He tries to make peace with what he has become by running away to a small town, but fails. Then, a monster in a suit walks into his life, a monster just like him. Then, the four in The Four of Us devised a game: pick two humans, lure them in, and hunt them down. The game, the shared thrill of the hunt, was what brought them together, but also what threatens to tear them apart.
Justin, of Horsefeathers, had one job—to get a new Mustang for his boss’ ranch. But at the holding pens, he can’t look away from a stunning stallion. He isn’t at all what the boss wants, but Justin can’t say no. He soon learns that he’s brought back much more than simply a beautiful horse, and that there are some legends that he wished weren’t based in truth. Finally, Breathe concerns a young dolphin shapeshifter who has to deal with his own hateful feelings about himself, a deadly dull partner, and the presence of a new shifter in town. And a hurricane bearing down on their home in Key West, of course.
“Dominant” by Katya Harris
This was a short but interesting little story. To me it felt more like a teaser. There is definite room there for a longer more in depth version that I would like more. Considering its length it was very good. I really loved the writing and the characters. I wish there had been a lot more to it. It felt incomplete the way it ended. I would actually love to have more of this story.
“The Four of Us” by Lor Rose
This is a creepy read, interesting, but creepy. Podagros and Deinos are legends along with their companions, Lampon and Xanthos. They are all monsters who hunt and eat humans, especially the heart which they need every other month to live. They can each nothing but human flesh. The two are sent out to seduce their next two prey. Unexpectedly they find emotion and feeling/touch again. Now what to do.
This was very well written. I actually felt for the characters and considering what and who they were that says something. No the characters aren’t deep but they still allow the reader to bond with the story. I can say I really enjoyed this creepy read.
“Horsefeathers” by Caitlin Ricci
Nohatu is a Native American that is also a shapeshifter/skinwalker. He was turned long ago and had remained a horse for a long time, enjoying the openness of the prairie to the closeness of a city. Unfortunately for Nohatu the BLM has gathered up mustangs in an effort to save them from overpopulation. Nohatu and many of those horses are up for adoption. Justin adopts Nohatu, as a mustang, for his boss even knowing his boss won’t be happy. Nohatu returns to human shape demanding to go back and senses something within Justin.
Justin is an interesting character. Nohatu is very mysterious though we get a good glimpse of the man when he tells Justin his story. Again this felt very incomplete, like an excerpt for a longer book. I enjoyed the small glimpse I got and hope the author plans on more for these characters.
“Breathe” by Arielle Pierce
Nathan is a spotted dolphin shifter. He lives on an island in the keys where there are a lot of other shifters. Nathan has traded most of his life as a skinwalker to live with a man that abuses him so he can be an artist full time. He is on a self destructive path that includes very rough, rape like sex with others. This is when he meets Jacob’s. Jacob and he are instantly attracted to each other but Jacob refuses to take what he wants from Jacob.
Jacob is a sweet man and poor Nathan is terribly messed up. I feel the same thing with this that I felt with most of the stories in this book, that it is just part of a story. A teaser to more weather with this particular story or with other characters within the story. This was a sweet story that is very simple. I liked it but it was missing something. I just didn’t connect like I thought I would with it. Still it is a cute story.
Overall these stories mostly felt like a smaller part of bigger stories. I liked them and most of them I would love to see more. It is a bit frustrating for a reader to read this though not knowing if/when we might get more. That is why overall the stories as an anthology will get a lesser rating than the individual stories call for. If you don’t mind feeling this frustration this is a wonderful read!
Strap yourself in and strap something on as you’re transported across galaxies and lifetimes by Kiernan Kelly, Kage Alan, Angelia Sparrow, T.C. Blue and Shae Connor. Whether it’s an interspecies pregnancy between two hormonal males, a swashbuckling group of pirates, or free gifts that talk, you’ll soon learn why in space, no one can hear you cream. Open wide for BUTT PIRATES IN SPPAAACCCEEE!
What to Expect When Your Boyfriend is Expecting
What fun is a cross-species pregnancy without an old-fashioned kidnapping to shake things up?
The Future of Perfect Love Is A Bitchfest!
There are times when even a space pirate needs to do the right thing. This isn’t one of them.
Free Gift with Purchase
Sometimes the free gifts are the ones that keep on giving…whether you want them to or not.
Pride of the Rangers
Disgraced Lieutenant Commander Cliff Cody of the Space Exploration Rangers escapes from prison and turns pirate.
“What to Expect When Your Boyfriend is Expecting” by Shae Connor
This was a cute, little story. Yes, it is shallow but it is fun. We learn really little about the main character, Zeke. We know for some reason he came to a different planet in the second landing of humans and met his boyfriend there. They had a quick relationship and moved in together. Zeke had no idea that his boyfriend could get pregnant and of course he does. Now the two are the first cross-species pregnant couple. They get word that privateers are after his boyfriend and baby. Poor Zeke ends up in their clutches though.
I really liked the background of the story. All the little details that make up this world are interesting. Zeke is a smart man and knows he and his boyfriend are in love and never wavers in his faith in his boyfriend. I would have loved to have seen more of the background and surrounding story of these two. I think it would have made an excellent novella with a little more detail. As is it is just a cute short.
“Spacehunters: Master Elite and the Maternal Order of Loganites Beyond Uranus” by Kage Alan
This was a lighthearted story that was more about humor than story. It was hilarious! Some of the “cult” names…lol. Jayden and Chace are boarding a station illegally to get a scroll. It is never said what is on the scroll. It really doesn’t seem to matter in the scheme of things. Jayden and Chace snark back and forth the whole story long. At times it is not always easy to follow them but that is the fun of the story. As I said this is more about humor than anything so the plot and all else is pretty thin, but it is an enjoyable read as it is. The only trouble that I had is that I got so tired of all the names…it got a little ridiculous.
“B’utopia” by Kiernan Kelly
Hmmm, this one just didn’t catch me. I thought that Rictor was interesting but personality challenged and Jerrick was just…Blah. The whole premise of the story sounds good but the actual story just was too over the top for me.
“Free Gift with Purchase” by T.C. Blue
This was a very interesting story. It is a well thought out one. I loved the characters. The story could have had a little more detail too it. It was tough to be in a short that had so much thrown at you so quickly with little time to truly absorb it. It could get a little confusing. I enjoyed the characters. Mama was a very interesting addition and Miss Jocelyn Uranus, lol!!! Ah, it was a very enjoyable read.
“Pride of the Rangers” by Angelia Sparrow
This book was definitely not for me. I didn’t like the characters. The premise itself was good but it had little feeling in it. There was lots of sex but it was stilted and lacked any emotional connection for me as a reader. It also made no sense to me how Cade, Jake, and Frank ended up together. There really wasn’t a connection there. I didn’t feel or see it. I had no sense of Jake and Frank as characters. One minute Cade hates everyone the next in love…yeah, no.
Overall the book is trying to be funny and lighthearted but really just ended up being too over the top to really enjoy. I know this was supposed to be funny but mostly I was glad to finish the book.
Shifting Sands by Jet Mykles, Willa Okati, Ally Blue, J.L. Langley, Kimberly Gardner, and Brenda Bryce
Witches, shifters and ancient curses, such is life on the Shifting Sands.
A woman’s wrath is bad, but a witch’s wrath is hell on earth. No one knows this better than the six men of Shifting Sands Ranch. When the owner’s Chinese witch of a wife abandons him and the ranch, she takes one of the cowboys and leaves behind a curse that dooms the remaining inhabitants to a life that is anything but normal. Now, every month when the moon comes full, each man takes on the form of an animal. Witches, shifters and ancient curses, such is life on the Shifting Sands.
Unlike most anthologies I have read this one begins with a story that will tie all the others together. The men on Shifting Sands Ranch in Texas have been cursed by their boss’s wife because they are gay. She is a witch and so the curse comes true. Each cowboy turns into an animal from the Chinese zodiac. Daniel, the boss, is the only mythical creature, a dragon.
“Snake Charmer” by Kimberly Gardner
Cy turns into a snake. Bobby Lee is his lover and love. Problem, Bobby Lee is afraid of snakes. Cy knows he needs to tell his Bobby but is so afraid. This is such a short story segment that it is hard to get a real “feel” for the characters. I thought the writing was good but the story just didn’t quite catch me.
“All the Moon Long” by Ally Blue
Judson turns into a rat. He has had a crush on Woody for a long time. Woody is difficult to figure out. He loves animals and collects injured ones. Judson is usually a fairly level headed guy but just can’t help himself around Woody. Well written but just like the first one I couldn’t connect to the story or the characters. It is sweet and cute but missing something.
“Cock of the Wall” by Willa Okati
Michael turns into a rooster. Zan is an excitable little guy. They meet at a dance and Zan won’t give up on have Michael. Michael fights hard. I liked Zan’s character, he was a fun guy. This one was a little better than the first two. I was laughing and having a good time. Yes, the story is still shallow but it is well written and the characters are fun.
“Hare of the Bull” by Brenda Bryce
Gordy turns into an ox. Tristan is a new addition to the ranch. He cleans the house and bunkhouse. He has been abused by his last boyfriend and is scared of all the large men on the ranch. Gordy can’t help liking the man and of course that means he goes after him. Like the other stories in this anthology it’s shallow and not real detailed. I loved the characters. The writing was well done too but still too short.
“Lost and Found” by J.L. Langley
Ben turns into a horse. Shay is a witch. Shay has been discovered by the cowboys he works with of being a witch and they have decided to do something with him. Shay escaped but is injured and falls into a stock pond at Shifting Sands Ranch. Ben and Gordy save him from drowning. I thought this particular story was very good. Well written and entertaining. It was interesting to see if Ben could handle being with a witch. In my opinion this would have made an excellent longer story.
“Pulling the Dragon’s Tail” by Jet Mykles
Daniel turns into a dragon. Russell is the cowboy who betrayed the ranch by sleeping and leaving with Daniel’s wife, the one that cursed them all. Russell didn’t though, he was spelled into it. This was a cute story. Once again not much depth but good overall writing and characterizations. I loved the little detail about the dragon, like the vision and how Daniel learned how to control his size.
The ending of the book is a wrapping up of loose ties for the whole of the story. It’s a cute little anthology but due to the lengths of each individual story very shallow. I think it would have made a nice series but a so-so for a book.
A Book in the Mates Series
Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.
Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can’t resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.
This book is out there. I mean the language used and the situations are just…too much. There is really a little too much slang and accent to Ethan’s “voice”. It was WAY over the top. Ethan having an orgasm as he seems near death! Ummmm…..yeah I just didn’t buy that he would just trot right over to Miguel and make out and follow him home with all the bad he had seen the vampire do and heard they are. I know he believes in true mates but the boy has no clue that is a bad idea?
The other thing that bothered me was the sex. I know! I can’t believe it either but man it was crazy how much they went at it. On top of that Ethan had been a virgin before Miguel, never even kissed and yet no problem with sex.
Ok, now don’t think it was all awful. I loved the characters. They were so cute and fun. Ethan was a sweet little guy. Miguel was a definite badass. Loved Miguel even if he was quite violent he had such a soft spot from the start for Ethan. Unfortunately, I really didn’t feel it was a “good” book. For me for a fun read it wasn’t bad but I would not recommend it to others.
For some people there’s nothing more appealing than the idea of a man forced to serve against his will, as a second-class citizen: a slave. Despite the dark history surrounding forced servitude and slavery, there remains a growing desire for depictions of fetishized slavery fantasies. Like rape fantasy, the appeal for readers in slave fiction lies not in a desire for the actual act, but in the ability to explore such things in a safe space. Many people harbor a secret wish to be forced into certain acts that they know they want, but have been socially conditioned to abhor. Such is the core of the Serve Me anthology. Be warned: these are not stories of consensual, negotiated power exchange. The stories in this anthology focus on true sexualized, erotic slavery: stories of men forced, coerced, or otherwise bound into a second-class life servicing another in whatever ways their master sees fit.
Idris is part of The Spoils of war: the last surviving member of a barbarian clan, he is famed in the gladiatorial arena for his bloody ruthlessness and outside the arena for his carnal appetites. His inner beast is calmed by the presence of his slave and lover, Theo, but to be true to his heart, Idris may have to risk breaking it. Samuel has spent years striving toward the Viscount’s circles, where rich and fantastical parties are given and elaborate slave auctions held. He thinks he wants a young lover, but when he buys an Adonis known as Apollo, he realizes what he was truly missing. Now Apollo gives the orders, and it is Samuel saying, As You Wish. Life is Unforgiving for Aidan and Aaron, criminals who have been doomed to live as slaves to vampire masters, whose appetites can be agony… or bliss. When Aidan is given a new lease on life with a benevolent Master, his relief is tainted by pain at leaving Aaron behind; pain which only his Master Ryce has the power to end. Yuta is a gentle giant who joins a local gang for the sense of family that they can provide, but when they leave him high and dry in the middle of a failed heist, it’s his captor, Takashima, who shows him what family can really mean as the vicious gang enforcer tenderly turns him into Takashima’s Pet.
“The Spoils” by Anna Hedley
(Warning: For those that know what a “maenad” is you may have trouble with matching it to the story.)
This is a mix of Graeco-Roman culture and mythology with a dash of other. The world has very dehumanizing slavery for all creatures. The thing I thought was interesting was that they had a one line about a shortage of women that was recent but no other explanation or any other mention. I thought the world was interesting and brutal. The events that happen sound just terrible and sad but ultimately our “hero” gets redemption. This was a good read that was well written but missing something.
“As You Wish” by Gabriel Belthir
This was a much sweeter tale than the last story. The writing was good, nothing outstanding but good. The world was a steampunk one, which had a subculture of slave owning. It seemed that it wasn’t strictly legal but underground and to a degree accepted. I liked the characters. Samuel was a cutie and Apollo was a gentle guy. It seemed to be an unlikely part of his character that he had killed. I enjoyed the story but it was a little predictable and shallow.
“Life Is Unforgiving” by Lor Rose
This was another sweet tale. I really liked this one. It was really a warm tale all the way through. When I first started this story I thought it would end up being much grittier. I still don’t understand why Ryce starts his “relationship” with Aidan the way he did. I would have liked to hear why. The rest of what he did makes more sense. Ryce seems like a romantic guy which with Aidan’s past is nice. I really liked the ending. Would love to see a more expanded version of this tale but as is it is a nice comfy read.
“Takashima’s Pet” by Fox Lee
A bit of rough stuff in this story. Yuta is a boy in a gang in Tokyo. He doesn’t really want to be in the gang but wants the companionship and friends it provides. Takashima is the second in command of Tokyo’s yakuza. When Yuta is ditched by his so called gang “brothers” while trying to rob Takashima, Takashima takes Yuta. Yuta is a virgin and after when Takashima realizes this he tells Yuta he belongs to him now. This is a cute tale actually. Yes, it has BDSM in it and Takashima called Yuta his dog but they are both very happy in their relationship. It was actually very sweet.
Of humanity there are darker tales. Stories that take some squinting to see through. Unconventional stories. Tales that threaten to break the heart by cruel twists of fate, the dogs of war, or demons that are all too real; whether they be of unrequited love or a karmic slap in the face. Happy endings take a time in coming, and some never arrive. But through all the darkness there is light, a glimmer of hope and wonder…if one has the will to see it.
Warning, for the most part these aren’t “happy” stories. Not all are romantic or love stories and some are just down right rough, so be forewarned.
“The Demon of Jericho” by Eric Arvin
This wasn’t really a “romance” as such. There is a couple in it but the relationship between the two since what I’d call a romance. The story involves angels, a demon, a bad sheriff, a hunter, and a cursed city called Jericho. The writing is interesting in style. The story has an almost fairly tale flavor to it. The story is extremely shallow though. I think the author was going for mysterious, which just made me a little confused. I never really got into the story itself, it never hooked me in. I think it just wasn’t my type of writing.
“A Cruel Thing” by Abigail Roux
Ah, man! I do try and avoid unhappy stories. I admit it…I’m a sap:( I cried even though you know people are going to die. This is set in WWII, on the doomed Wake Island. It revolves around two couples and what happens there. Abigail Roux is a wonderful author. This is a short story but it pulls you into it quickly. The characters grab you and make you know them. This is one excellent read!
“Wrong” b S.J.D. Peterson
Okaaay, well, I admit the writing is good but I just couldn’t get past the story itself. The characters aren’t likable at all. I didn’t like the feel of the story. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters or storyline. I was just happy to finish it. Definitely didn’t like this one.
“Anguish” by Jason Huffman-Black
This is a very short story. The name of the character is never given. I have to admit though the title fits it well. I think the author did an excellent job with it.
“Hotel Luz” by S.A. McAuley
This is a story about lost love. I wasn’t sure about this one. I don’t believe in cheating, it is one thing to have an open relationship or be in a multiple partnership but another to cheat. I don’t find it romantic or sexy. As the story goes along and you find out about these men it becomes fascinating. This is very well written and pulls you in gradually. You don’t know what to hope for with these men, should they get back together, stay with their partners or what. I connected well with them and the story was very satisfying.
“John & Jackie” by T.J. Klune
Oh, sad but not. The descriptions and details are wonderful. The characters are easy to care about. This is a love story. It grabs your heart. It’s not something that is new or different but it is so well written you just have to read it.
So the hard part how to rate this overall…
Tentacles are a taboo subject for most, something most people look at from between their fingers as they hide. But for a growing number of people, it’s a subject that is fascinating and sexy! Tentacle erotica has been around for ages, fromThe Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife to Demon Beast Invasion—it’s a genre that is here to stay. All Wrapped Upexplores this genre through the lens of gay erotic romance, offering four science-fiction and fantasy stories featuring tentacled heroes in all their wiggly glory.
The men in Ground Mission are podmates, a matched set: Simon Pollux, the lethal scout, and Adrian Lovasz, his willing and even more lethal combat specialist. In the midst of exploring an alien world, Simon is infected with an alien virus; to what lengths will Adrian go to ensure Simon’s comfort? In the wood-locked town of Orm, ranger Koster meets the mysterious Irsing: the guardian of the forest. Is he the one letting the forest turn to wilds, or is the forest turning to wilds on its own? In Wildwood, Koster aims to do whatever it takes to set things right.
Eli exchanges his a life of poverty in Dark Covenant when tricked into signing a contract giving himself to the masters of the Academy. His body, his movement, his life is theirs to do with as they wish, until the enigmatic Eramus offers Eli his power—if Eli will join with him. Sebastian Reed lives on the legal limits in Situation Normal, barely scraping by in his hunk of junk ship until a Peace Officer, Ten, commandeers his ship… and his body. Not that Sebastian minds, except for wondering exactly where it is that Ten means to take him.
“Ground Mission” by Laylah Hunter
This was a fun tale. Since this is by necessity a short story, it will be a little shallow. The author does a good job of making you involved with the two main characters. Adrian is the storyteller so you get all information from his viewpoint. Adrian and his “podmate,” Simon are soldiers. They have been frozen and then only defrosted for missions. As the blurb states Simon is infected by…something when they go on a mission to a planet that all colonists have mysteriously disappeared from. The two men are interesting contrasts that make the story interesting and very sexy;) Roses: 3
“Wildwood” by Thea Hayworth
I must say this story is very interesting. I would love to see more of this world. The author did a wonderful job in setting up the world and telling the story in such a limited word count. Koster is such an interesting character and we get most of the story from his point of view. Irsing considers himself just too different for people to accept. Koster is just stubborn enough to challenge Irsing’s beliefs and maybe in the process bring the forest back under control. Be prepared for a rather abrupt ending! Roses: 4
“Dark Covenant” by Gryvon
Eli is such a grown up in some ways and such a boy in others. Eramus is a mysterious figure in most of the story. The characters really made the story. I think keeping Eramus so mysterious really worked for the story and made me keep reading just to find out more about him. The story was a bit predictable but I loved the characters so much I would love to see more of them. Roses: 3
“Situation Normal” by Morgan Harcourt
This one was a light BDSM and not light because of the characters but we are just not shown much of it. Sebastian is a high risk taker. He loves to push people’s buttons to get what he wants. Ten is a cop who takes over Sebastian’s ship to peruse a criminal. This is a very sex driven plot. Yes, there is a bad guy but it’s not a scene that holds my interest much. I like the characters but overall the story was…meh. Roses: 2