A Russian Bear by CB Conwy (353 pages)
Mischa is a dom who only does one boy one night. He's sent to a hotel bar to meet up with a young man when to his total embarassment he hits on grad student Tom who is at first totally freaked out, then curious and goes to a hotel room to try some of the things Mischa told him about. To his surprise he actually gets off on pain, a lot. Soon he's meeting Mischa again but Mischa has managed to convince himself that it's not a scene, he's just helping Tom who is so not a typical sub. he's smart and stubborn and curious and he likes him. Before long they are getting more and more into the lifestyle and Mischa has to admit Tom is something more. When Tom is attacked it throws their relationship for a loop as Tom suffers the after-effects. I'm not a huge fan of pain in my BDSM, but this one didn't bother me as I think there was lots of talk about what was happening and why and Tom and Mischa were both such likable people. Mischa was NOT the smug dom, and Tom was not the simpering kneeling sub, it worked for them. I made the mistake perhaps of checking this on Good Reads before I started (I couldn't remember what it was about) and lots of people disliked the ending and while I think it could easily have been cut and just ended the sweet story of two people finding their way, it didn't bother me that much. On the whole I really enjoyed this one.
Neon Yellow: Obsessive Adhesives by Andy Slade & Ali Wilde (119 pages)
Jason is an outgoing guy who finds Spencer the quiet guy in accounting more and more intriguing, however not his type. Nope. When he runs into Spencer in Sky's store, they all end up at Sky's place looking at his pics from his trip to Australia, and Jason finds out Spencer does have interests outside of work such as mineral collecting and astronomy. He starts to pursue Spencer and Spencer is a bit shocked that a hot guy like Jason would be interested in a nerdy virgin. However things are going well until the "love notes" someone has been leaving on Spencer's computer get more and more threatening and it comes to a head when they are on a camping trip. I got quite excited when I realized that this was Sky and Nathan from Sandalwood and a Potato and even mentions Avery from Mist Gray. I have to admit I'm a sucker when stories overlap and mix like that. (However you don't have to have read either to read this.) This was a cute story about seeming opposites who have more in common than they thought. I liked both guys a great deal and how they got to know each other through real dates, not just falling into bed. I know some people may not love the stalker storyline it worked for me.
Under the Desert Sky anthology (59 pages)
A collection of six gay erotic stories with mixed themes including alfresco, contemporary, historical (1920s), group sex, sex on holiday and cross-dressing.
Under the Desert Sky by Zee Kensington - Tim has followed his negligent boyfriend out to Nevada's Flaming Fool Festival, hoping to have a 'meaningful experience' at the celebration. Instead, he finds friendship - and a whole lot more - with sexy local boy Randy, who teaches Tim what a real 'meaningful experience' is under the desert sky. This was a nice story where Randy helped Tim figure out what he needed in his life as far as relationships go. A cute read and having seen pics of Burning Man I imagine this was based on that.
Lipstick in the Rain by Michael Bracken - During a routine traffic stop for a busted taillight, a closeted small-town cop finds himself frisking a female impersonator dressed as Courtney Love, and it soon becomes evident that the cop has more in mind that just writing a ticket. What the cop doesn't know is that the driver he's pulled over has an ulterior motive for lifting up his dress and bending over. I won't say what the motive is but this one I found a bit less compelling as you don't really get to know either man.
The Sculpture by Tabitha Raine - The Sculpture is the story of artist, Jason, who is carving a bust of a new client Quentin. Jason can't help being utterly turned on by his stunning subject and breaks his self imposed rule of fraternising with clients. A steamy studio romp ensues and the finished sculpture turns out a little different than the initial brief... A cute ending, but beyond one sexy interlude you don't know anything about either character so I was a bit removed from their relationship.
Soldiers of the Night by Landon Dixon - The Roaring 20's. War on the noir city streets, gangland-style. But as the lead flew and the booze flowed, there was still time for night moves, man-assault of another kind - sexual combat, gang-bang style. America was on the gayest, gaudiest spree in its history, and the soldiers of the night were at the forefront of it all. This had a lot of atmosphere of the time but I'll be honest, some of the slang I'd never heard and I was just using inference to get the meaning. Much more violent and sex-filled and less romance, but definitely a unique era and environment.
Without Words by Josephine Myles - Nick thinks it's worth the risk of getting his head kicked in to find out if the gorgeous redhead on the building site really is checking him out. Only trouble is, even if he is interested, Nick tends to end up spoiling things with his nervous babbling. This time he's going to have to keep his mouth shut. It's either that or he'll have to find some other way to occupy it... This was a cute story and I tend to love the babblers whose imagination runs away with them and I smiled more than once at Nick's random musings, however there is a bit of a touch a serious side as well when Nick finds out more about his mystery man then he expected. A sweet ending though.
Honey Do Me by Patrick Myers - When Lon discovers a handsome handyman he didn't hire repairing the gutters on his house, he turns the mix-up to his advantage and invites Handy Andy back later that day. After a dinner he pretends wasn't carefully planned and prepared, Lon learns just how handy Andy really is. A cute story about a guy who recently lost a lot of weight who finally makes a play for the hot handyman.