That seems to be the going price for gay erotica, and I’m not going to comment on the fact that my 360 page novel sells through my publisher for $7.99 (two cents per page) and they’re charging me three dollars for roughly 25 pages (twelve cents per page).
Rant over… I promise.
But honestly, the price does often stop me from indulging in these little treats. Well, that and the fact that I generally prefer to lose myself in a more well-rounded meal. Jane Davitt, Joey Hill, Sabrina Deane, and Heidi Cullinan all scratch that itch for hot and steamy when I get in the mood.
However, sometimes you want a meal, and sometimes you want to shove a handful of salty potato chips in your mouth and get crumbs all down your cleavage.
It started with a craving for Jesse Bond’s “Bound by the Enemy.” I wanted it, but it was too short, but I wanted it, but there was no way to develop a character in 25 pages, but I wanted it. The side of me that eats entire bags of potato chips won. I bought it.
And I was right. The characters aren’t developed. There is a hint of Stockholm, a hint of natural submission, but in the end, we see one whipping scene, and a man we are told is a strong soldier crumbles to sand. After being rescued, he even refuses to remove his collar.
There were such beautiful suggestions of a good story in there, so much that I would give this three stars, but I couldn’t lose myself in a world where I kept going, “But… but… but.”
However, the writing was so damn good that I bought the second book, and while this had more development, I was still ultimately disappointed, not at what I saw on the page, but at what I didn’t see.
The writing is stunning though. Absolutely stunning.
So, if I was going to really indulge in the darkest of my dark kinks, then I wanted to see what guilty pleasures were out there. Ophelia Lovelace’s “Riding the Slave” certainly went for one of my guilty pleasures… ponyplay.
Again, I had the whole stupid internal debate about cost because this time the damn thing was only 17 pages. 17! And again, my inner glutton won.
There just isn’t enough ponyplay or puppyplay in the world, and honestly, too much of it rests on the humiliation side of the fence. Yes, dehumanization and humiliation can be a huge part of this culture, but so can loving and caring for someone. Think about how much you cared for your first pet, for the dog that grew up with you, for a favorite horse or cat. Now think about all that unconditional adoration transferred onto a submissive. Honest guys, it can be incredibly hot.
So, back to “Riding the Slave.”
It has some damn good trappings. There’s a man who chooses to put himself in slavery to study a culture, so I don’t have to worry about non-con, and within three pages, it’s pretty clear that he’s as submissive as he can get, which would explain putting himself in slavery.
That’s all good.
And there’s a nice balance between some dehumanizing moments and the affection of the stablemaster toward our hapless slave. However, there’s no sinking into submission. There’s just some verbal wandwaving, and now Mike has no human ambition and only wants to serve master. Between the first day when he was put in tack and then whipped for disobedience and the end where the people from his university come to retrieve him, the story falls into empty generalities.
I want to like it. But I can’t. Two stars for some very good set up for hotness, but there’s a lack of follow through.
I almost stopped. I did. I mean, I can see where this trend is going, but luckily I have no self-control because the third time was the charm.
I found the 2.99 naughty treat I’d been craving without knowing it. Brad Vance’s “Sam’s Reluctant Submission”
Sam is straight, and so is Derek. At least Derek claims he’s straight, but he also has a penchant for competition and screwing the men who lose. He offers the military bad-ass Sam a deal… if Sam can evade him for two days, he gets $10,000. These are two strong men who know the stakes and go into it with eyes open. Derek is an expert at psyops (psychological operations) and stealth. Sam is an expert at SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape). There are no helpless victims here.
But what I love about both parts one and two is that there are two battles going on. Which man is the bigger military badass? Which man is the more psychologically honest with himself? Which can survive seeing the truth in all its raw glory?
Okay, so I wanted more, and I still chafe at the lack of those little details that would help me get to know these men, but the alpha dog posturing, the strong men, and the military details all make this a solid winner. Four stars.
I still have potato chip cravings. “Enemy Captive” by Clara Bright whispers to me, but you know, I haven’t had great luck. And at 11 pages, do any of us really think that Ms. Bright can overcome the potato chip nature of these short treats?
I think it’s time to go back to eating balanced meals.