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★★★★★ Trusting Thomas by K.C. Wells ★★★★★

The Collars and Cuffs series:

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Trusting Thomas (Collars and Cuffs, #2)Trusting Thomas by K.C. Wells

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Christmas is a time for goodwill to all, but Collars and Cuffs co-owner Thomas Williams receives an unexpected gift that chills him to the bone. A Dom from another Manchester club asks Thomas for his help rescuing an abused submissive, Peter Nicholson. Thomas takes in the young man as a favor to a friend, offering space and time to heal, but he makes it clear he’s never had a sub and doesn’t want one.

Peter finds Thomas’s home calm and peaceful, but his past has left him unwilling to trust another Dom. When Thomas doesn’t behave as Peter expects, Peter’s nightmares begin to fade, and he decides he’d like to learn more about D/s life. A well-known trainer of submissives, Thomas begins to teach Peter, but as the new submissive opens up to him, Thomas finds he cares more for Peter than he should. Just as he decides it’s time to find a permanent Dom for Peter, they discover Peter’s tormentor is still very much a threat. With their lives in danger, Thomas can’t deny his feelings for Peter any longer. The question now becomes, can Peter make it out of the lions’ den alive, so that Thomas can tell his boy that he loves him?

So what did I think?

“One day you will see things differently. One day you’ll awaken to sunshine, not just in your room but in your heart, and you’ll be able to step out of the shadows, to become the person you were meant to be.”

The character of Peter was beautifully written,so broken and sad. It was wonderful to watch his blossoming under the tender care of Thomas and the friendship provided by Alex.

Peter’s view of submission was warped by his experience with a cruel and uncaring man. Peter knew where his natural inclinations lay but his trust was abused until he lived a life in fear.

The story is very focused on Peter’s emotional healing, his learning to trust and ultimately learning to love while giving himself to a man who loves him in return.

Thomas is the man to meet all of Peter’s needs but it takes Thomas a while to come to that realisation. He is fearful of the significant age gap between Peter and himself and has been alone for so long that the club had become his focus. Thank goodness for good friends to help him see the light!

Abuse, emotion, submission, sex, love, friendship, drama…this book was a wonderful continuation of the series!

Another thing I did like was the small cross-over with the Learning to Love series characters. Detective Inspector Mark Saunders appears in this book and there is reference to his son Josh and his housemate Daniel – Daniel helpfully lent DI Saunders a cock-ring to fit out as a listening device! 🙂 Make sure you check out my review of that series. Josh’s story can be found here.

5 Stars

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To find out more about K.C. Wells and her books visit her website.

Buy Trusting Thomas from Dreamspinner Press.

Buy Trusting Thomas from Amazon.

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★★★★ September’s Tide by K.C. Wells ★★★★

The Island Tales series

  • Waiting for a Prince (book #1) – click her for review
  • September’s Tide (book #2) – in this review

September's Tide (Island Tales #2)September’s Tide by K.C. Wells

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

David Hannon hasn’t written a word of his latest detective thriller since he threw out his lover Clark five months ago after he caught Clark cheating on him. So when his agent informs him that he’s about to leave New York to take a little trip to an island off the south coast of England, David is torn. It could be just what he needs—or the vacation from hell. Once he arrives there, David quickly falls in love with the beautiful, tranquil Steephill Cove. The quiet little bay has everything David needs, including the opportunity to get laid regularly, in the gorgeous shape of Taylor Monroe, who runs a water sports equipment hire business. David’s a happy man. He always writes better when there is a plentiful supply of good sex.

When Taylor first meets the Lighthouse’s newest occupant, he can almost hear the click. David is just what Taylor needs—an older, sexy guy who is willing to share his bed, no strings, no promises. At least, that was the plan. As the two men spend more time together, Taylor finds himself growing to like the confident writer more and more. Taylor’s family like him. Taylor’s friends like him. And then there comes the moment when Taylor realizes that maybe it’s no longer a matter of liking David, but something a whole lot stronger.

Unfortunately, his epiphany occurs a little too late, when a visitor to the bay forces Taylor to accept that David might be spoken for. In any case, David is leaving at the end of September—and it looks like he’ll be taking Taylor’s heart with him…

So what did I think?

I just liked this book. I’m not sure I really even know why. There is no stand out reason, no major event or climatic moment that enthralled me, the characters are lovely but not spectacular – something just appealed.

The story is about David, a well-published author who is suffering writer’s block after being betrayed by his lover. His publisher forces him to take a break and books him accommodation on an island off the English coast.

Here he meets free-spirit Taylor, a younger man who eventually captures his heart.

I loved the location, I loved Taylor and I enjoyed the story with it’s low-angst but a few moments of tension and misunderstanding.

This was a great sequel to the first book, although totally able to be read stand-alone.

4 Stars

To find out more about K.C. Wells and her books visit her website.

Buy September’s Tide from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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★★★★ Waiting for a Prince by K.C. Wells ★★★★

Island Tales

  • Waiting for a Prince (book #1) – in this review
  • September’s Tide (book #2) – expected publication Sept 2013

Waiting for a Prince (Island Tales #1)Waiting for a Prince by K.C. Wells

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When trainee hairdresser Mark sees Sam for the first time in the salon, it’s lust at first sight. Sam is Mark’s living, breathing fantasy guy. He couldn’t be more perfect. Of course, there’s the tiny, insignificant detail that Sam has a girlfriend. Hell….. A chance meeting on Mark’s favourite beach brings the two men together, and Mark finds himself with a new friend. As they spend more time together, Mark grows to see Sam less as an object for his lust and more as someone who just… fits. But falling in love with your new best friend—especially when he’s straight—is bound to bring heartache in the end.

Sam likes Mark. As in, he really likes him. And he’d like to get to know him even better. But Sam has secrets. There are things going on in his life that he can’t bring himself to tell Mark about, because the shame Sam feels is too much to bear, and not something he ever wants to share with another living soul. And if Mark ever finds out how Sam really feels about him, and the fact that he’s lied to him…. Sam can’t take that chance.

Then one drunken night in the pub changes everything…

So what did I think?

This is a lovely story. It is emotional and touches on some serious issues but also with some fabulous sex scenes between the wonderful leading men! There were a couple of elements to this story that made this book stand out from other friends-to-lovers stories.

Mark is a trainee hairdresser and not totally satisfied with his life. He lives in a small town without much chance of meeting his ‘Mr. Right’ and so far has only experienced casual hook ups when he travels to seek these out. When he sees Sam, who is accompanying his girlfriend to a salon appointment, he feels immediate attraction. When they later meet by chance at the beach, the two men start up a friendship.

What I loved was the way Mark’s attraction was handled and how he responded to Sam. Yes, he thought Sam was gorgeous but it was actually Sam’s personality that was most attractive to Mark. “He liked Sam. During their time together, he’d come to see him less as on object of lust and more as a warm, personable young man who was easy to get along with.” Mark wasn’t portrayed as a shallow man, just after sex. Rather he had strong morals which he would not sacrifice just for a quickie even when the opportunity was presented to him.

Mark struggles with his attraction to Sam, knowing they can’t be more than friends. But Sam has his own secrets and there is a lot more behind his relationship with his girlfriend than meets the eye. At first I was wary of the typical bitch girlfriend but this story isn’t quite what you expect.

Oh, and one thing I did question was Sam’s tattoo placement, nipple piercings and Prince Albert. For some reason they seemed unexpected for someone so sexually inexperienced and they immediately screamed gay to me (surprise!). Guess I am just stereo-typing! 🙂

4 Stars

To find out more about K.C. Wells and her books visit her website.

Buy Waiting for a Prince from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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★★★★ An Unlocked Heart by K.C. Wells ★★★★

An Unlocked Heart is the first of the Collars and Cuffs stories and is a fabulous start to the series. I can’t wait for number two – definitely looking forward to seeing some more of Thomas!

 

An Unlocked Heart (Collars and Cuffs, #1)An Unlocked Heart by K.C. Wells

4 out of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Since the death of his submissive lover two years ago, Leo hasn’t been living—merely existing. He focuses on making Collars & Cuffs, a BDSM club in Manchester’s gay village, successful. That changes the night he and his business partner have their weekly meeting at Severinos. Leo can’t keep his eyes off the new server. The shy man seems determined to avoid Leo’s gaze, but that’s like a red rag to a bull. Leo loves a challenge.

Alex Daniels works at Severinos to scrape together the money to move out on his own. He struggles with coming out, but he’s drawn to Leo, the gorgeous guy with the icy-blue eyes who’s been eating in his area nearly every night.

Leo won’t let Alex’s hesitance get in the way. He even keeps him away from the club so as not to scare him. And as for telling Alex that Leo is a Dom? Not a good idea. One date becomes two, but date two leads to Leo’s bedroom… and Alex discovers things about himself he never realized—and never wanted anyone to see.

So what did I think?

This was a beautiful story of two men fulfilling an emotional need in the other.

Alex is extraordinarily shy and his character is portrayed brilliantly. His mannerisms, actions and dialogue show him to be a naturally submissive person in all aspects of his life. His submissiveness does not feel forced, rather a part of his inner nature.

Leo is also portrayed very naturally. He is a dominant but also a man with a broken heart, grieving for lost love.

The way the two men come together is gentle. There are doubts on both sides but they are drawn together and compliment each other wonderfully. I enjoyed the building of the relationship and thought the use of Alex’s diary entries was a unique and cute way of seeing the relationship evolve over time and move the story along.

There are dramas caused by an interfering jealous submissive, a bit of blackmail, unloving parents and a great cast of secondary characters. I am very much looking forward to book 2 in the series!

It is so very interesting to read a book that provides lists of other authors and books. It must be a real tribute to those authors to be called out by this author in her own book! My own To-Be-Read pile got a few additions! Although one certain book did get pulled up for its inaccurate portrayal of the D/s lifestyle but I won’t go there…..

4 Stars

To find out more about K.C Wells and her books visit her website.

Buy An Unlocked Heart from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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Making it Personal by K.C. Wells

Making it PersonalMaking it Personal by K.C. Wells

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Blake Davis is in the closet. And he’s going to stay that way. Because if his father finds out he’s gay, Blake could lose everything he’s worked so hard to achieve during the last six years as CEO of Trinity Publishing, the fastest rising star in the publishing firmament. Not that coming out wouldn’t solve a couple of problems. Maybe then his father would stop trying to set him up with yet another empty-headed, social-climbing girlfriend. And better still, Blake could stop using that escort agency when he wants a night of hot sex with a cute guy…

Will Parkinson has had a tough life so far, but he’s back on his feet. Okay, so he’s working as an escort – with ‘benefits’– to pay off his student loans, but that does have its advantages, such as the really hot guy who hired him. Yeah, Blake rocked his world last night – several times. So imagine how Will feels when he arrives to be interviewed for his dream job as PA in a publishing company, and the guy who’s hiring is….. Blake.

And then things get really complicated…

So what did I think?

A thoroughly enjoyable romance in a corporate setting!

The blurb gives quite an outline of the story. Blake is successfully running a publishing company but has not come out. His father still owns the company and is trying to find him a wife. Blake doesn’t want to jeapardise his future ownership of the company so goes along with his father’s plans. He uses an escort service for sex and has one hot night of sex with a gorgeous guy he feels a real connection with. That guy turns out to be Will, the guy interviewing for a role as his PA. He is most qualified for the position so Blake gives him the job.

It sounds like the story is pretty much covered off by this blurb but there are many more elements to this book. Yes, there is a huge amount of sexual tension. Yes, Blake and Will can’t resist each other. Yes, there are some interesting office characters. Yes, Blake’s current girlfriend becomes an issue. Yes, things go terribly wrong. But there are also some surprises. Blake’s father doesn’t turn out to be as expected. Will has a history that introduces some heartbreak but also hope.

I particularly liked the character of Will and the way he fell in love with Blake. “The physical attraction which had been so obvious since the night they met hadn’t gone away. Instead, Will felt an emotional connection to the man.” With his past and his willingness to acknowledge his feelings for Blake, he showed great courage and I really wanted him to get his happy ending.

Throw in some drama with a sex party, a confrontation with the girlfriend (who was luckily a total conniving bitch so easy to dislike), allegations of assault, unexpected forced coming out and ultimate grand gestures and you have a really interesting story.

I also liked the cute little references to the growing popularity of m/m romance books as Blake justifies to his father why he is taking the publishing company in that direction!

4 Stars

For more information about K.C. Wells and her books visit her website.

Buy Making It Personal from Amazon.

View all my reviews

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Learning to Love: Josh & Chris by K.C. Wells

The Learning to Love series

  • Learning to Love: Michael & Sean (book #1)
  • Learning to Love: Evan & Daniel (book #2)
  • Learning to Love: Josh & Chris (book #3)

Learning to Love: Josh & Chris (Learning to Love, #3)Learning to Love: Josh & Chris by K.C. Wells

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When Chris Andrews gave evidence against the men who manipulated him into taking part in a homophobic assault, Josh Saunders was his rock, and his support gave Chris the courage to come out. Now that Chris finds himself sharing a house with Josh, he wonders where that strong, sexy guy has disappeared to. Chris wants him back—but he can’t wait forever.

Josh has been attracted to Chris from the get-go, and the more time they spend together, the stronger the pull grows. But he needs to make sure Chris feels the same attraction, and not just gratitude. Josh bides his time, waiting for the right moment… and misses his chance when Chris starts seeing someone else.

Somehow Josh has to convince Chris they are perfect together. But first, he needs to figure out who has been sending Chris malicious letters, threatening him over the phone, and writing hateful slogans across their front door—and persuade his own ex, who seems determined to win Josh back, to get lost. In fact, Josh’s life may depend on it.

So what did I think?

Josh & Chris’ story is the third in the Learning to Love series and is pretty much similar to the earlier books – lovely characters, sweet romance, lots of sex and some drama.

Sharing a house are the couple from the first two books – Michael & Sean and Evan & Daniel – plus Josh and Chris. They all make an appearance in this book as they gather to support Josh and Chris but also have their own story lines.

Chris is still doing community service for his part in an attack on Michael. But because of the forgiving nature of all these boys/men and because he testified against the others and outed himself at the trial, he has been welcomed into the home. He is still struggling with his sexuality as his parents have threatened to cut him off. He is still a virgin but has strong feelings for Josh. Believing these feelings could surely not be returned, he starts dating another man.

Josh has put his nursing career on hold to study medicine. He has strong feelings for Chris and has yearned for him for a long time. Everyone, including his father, are aware of it, expect Chris.

What I enjoy in this series is the open love and affection shown by these men. They are truly a family, offering love and support to each other. They are very physically demonstrative about their love and also quite vocal. They are not afraid to let each other know how much they care and share feelings (of course, accept for Josh and Chris with each other because that would be too easy!). I like the blend of friendship, romance, sex and drama.

The sex is interesting because in some ways it greatly contrasts with the characters of the men – just because the men are so sweet and lovely, it doesn’t always mean the sex is gentle and romantic. Daniel and Evan in the epilogue are a prime example. They also don’t seem to require much privacy and with their high sex drives, there always seems to be someone having sex while the others can hear.

What I don’t like so much is the total overuse of endearments – sweetie, honey, love (here is Australia “Love” is an endearment my grandmother would use, it isn’t romantic) and some of the dialogue has a slightly unnatural feel to it. I just can’t imagine men speaking to each other like that in real life. Here is where I suspend worrying about reality and just think what nice guys they are! I also think the marriage thing is a bit overdone with ALL these really young men making this commitment so early.

This book does contain some violent acts so we get a real contrast between the sweet loving and the violent abuse. It is handled well and it is good to see that the character undergo appropriate therapy and have support to recover.

The ending leaves a few things open so hopefully another book won’t be too far away. I would like to find out what is going on with Sean (I have my suspicions) and it would also be nice to see the character of James re-introduced. James is the guy who was dating Chris and seems so lovely. When Chris breaks up with him he is so nice about it and encourages Chris to talk to Josh. I would like him to have a happy ending too.

Overall I think I enjoyed this book slightly more than the others in the series, perhaps because I knew what to expect in terms of the writing style.

4 Stars

To find out more about K.C. Wells and her books visit her website.

My review of  Learning to Love: Michael & Sean can be found here.

My review of Learning to Love: Evan & Daniel can be found here.

Buy the Learning to Love series at Amazon.

View all my reviews