Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday's Safe Word Shelf: The Hampton Road Club by Morticia Knight


Hesitant Heart #1
Summary:
Sam is a naïve young man who arrives in Hollywood to escape his brutal father. When the older, sophisticated Aaron rescues him, Sam discovers what it means to fully surrender himself to another.

Eighteen year-old Sam Cunningham is used to living with lots of secrets. He’s had to hide his true nature his entire life or else incur the wrath of his strict and abusive father. When he’s faced with a horrible ultimatum, he flees to Hollywood where he hopes he can escape the fate his father has planned for him.

Aaron Rubenstein is a wealthy and sophisticated man who loses himself in painting portraits of bound men to help stave off his loneliness and despair. Unable to find a lasting connection with anyone, he’s had to resort to paying lovers not only for their affections, but to be allowed to indulge in his darker passions. Aaron’s only respite is his nights at the Hampton Road sadomasochism club where he’s a respected Dominant.

Naïve and inexperienced in the ways men can please one another, Sam takes a job at a bathhouse where he first glimpses a beautiful older man. Aaron notices the sweet towel boy watching him with interest every time he patronizes the Temple of Eros bathhouse. A traumatic incident for the innocent towel boy triggers Aaron’s protective tendencies and he’s compelled to rescue the gentle Sam from the clutches of the Temple’s manager.

They embark on a journey together that teaches them both things about themselves that they never knew. As their bond deepens and Sam is trained for his first night at the Hampton Road Club, an unknown danger lurks. Will Sam’s father find him and destroy both men’s chance for true happiness together? Or will Aaron protect his boy and keep him for always?

The Rules of Love #2
Summary:
Master Saul is captivated by the beautifully submissive Kenneth and the boy’s love of pain. Unfortunately, Kenneth belongs to Master Preston.

It’s 1926 and as one of the founding members of the Hampton Road Club, Master Saul Liebowitz has enjoyed the charms of many willing submissives over the years. One of the newer submissives to the club has captured his attention more than anyone has in a long time. Kenneth is tall, muscular and also seems to have a greater love of pain than most. If only Kenneth didn’t already belong to another Master.

After Kenneth’s Master died years before, he allowed himself to be taken in by the promises of Master Preston. As time has gone by, Preston has become increasingly crueler to the point where Kenneth fears for his life. They’ve recently joined a sadomasochism club and Kenneth can’t help but yearn for the handsome Master the other boys speak so highly of—Master Saul.

Preston takes things too far one night, and when Saul and his good friend, Master Aaron, do some investigating, they realize that Kenneth might be in real danger. Amidst turmoil at the club over whether there should be rules to keep the boys safe and Preston’s play for power, Saul searches for a way to save Kenneth from what he’s sure is a deadly situation.

Both men fight for what they believe to be the right thing. When they find their way to one another, a wonderful new world opens up to them. But there’s one man out there who refuses to let go of the old ways. Kenneth is his property and Master Preston won’t give him up.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and dubious consent.

The Fear of Surrender #3
Summary:
Master Thomas sees a submissive man aching for surrender if only Linus can be convinced not to fear The Hampton Road Club.

Linus never wants to return to Hampton Road after being attacked by a Master there. Even though he aches for the attention of Master Thomas—the one who he’d originally wanted—he isn’t sure he can ever trust another Master not to abuse him again.

Thomas is furious with himself for not protecting the beautiful young submissive whose company he’d enjoyed on a few occasions. He’s relieved that there have been some recent changes to help protect the men who offer themselves at the sadomasochism club. It’s about time to bring Hampton Road into the progressive age of the 1920’s. Now that the new rules are in place, perhaps he can woo Linus into giving him a chance.

As Thomas goes out of his way to be kind to him, Linus wonders if he’s misjudged the Master. He’s still not sure if there’s a future for them. What if he never wants to surrender to another man? When he allows Thomas to teach him the joys of Dominance and submission, Linus discovers that he not only wants to surrender, he wants to be claimed permanently. If only Thomas’ old life doesn’t come back to haunt them and destroy their chance of being together forever.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of figging and piercing.

Mastering Love #4
Summary:
Evan sees a Master who could be his whole world and Ned sees a beautiful boy in need. But shattered trust and broken hearts could keep them apart forever.

Evan landed on his ex-Master’s doorstep after Master Gabriel dumped him for a virgin. He’d hoped Thomas would take him back, but he’s moved on with his new submissive, Linus. Evan has nowhere to go and barely a penny to his name. Fortunately, Master Aaron and his boy, Sam, invite him to stay at their guesthouse. Alone and abandoned, Evan aches for a Master who can give him more—if only he knew what ‘more’ meant.

Master Ned has finally decided to settle down in one place after traveling on the road for years. He’s always loved the Hampton Road Club—it’s a private sanctuary for men such as himself. The roaring twenties might be freer than ever, but the decadence of the sadomasochistic club could put its members in danger if they’re not discreet.

Ned’s on the lookout for an untried boy who’s ready to fully submit to him on a daily basis. In return, he plans to train and care for his submissive. If he can also find love, then his life will be perfect.
After Evan is introduced to Ned at the club, they have an intense encounter that catches them both by surprise. What should lead to a possible future for them as Master and submissive is destroyed when Ned mysteriously casts Evan aside. Evan wonders if he’ll ever be good enough to keep a Master, and Ned fears he may have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

Shattered trust and broken hearts have to be repaired before Evan and Ned can find their way to each other—if it’s not already too late.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of exhibitionism.


Hesitant Heart #1
Aaron lightly stroked the soft skin of the ass he had just marked with his belt. Angry red stripes covered the young man‘s taut buttocks in a delicious pattern that Aaron had created by using the leather implement. He thanked the heavens that the newest style of men’s trousers was such that the fashion accessory had become all the rage. Suspenders had been quite unwieldy for him to use successfully.

But then everything had taken a decidedly modern turn in the nineteen twenties, and the current year of nineteen twenty-five was no exception. There was even a fascinating tape that didn’t need to be heated or moistened to make it sticky. It could be attached and ripped off at will. He smiled to himself at the uses he could make of such an item, especially on the areas of men’s bodies that were sensitive and decorated with hair.

“Are you still comfortable?” He kept his voice soft and soothing as he gently caressed.

“Listen, mister, I dunno what your definition of comfortable is, but having some fellow beat my rear end with a belt ain’t what I call enjoyable.”

The man lay on his belly across the padded table, his arms folded under his head, his face turned to one side.

“Would you prefer that I stop?”

“Will I still get my money?”

Aaron winced. It was always the same. The knot in the pit of his stomach returned. If it wasn’t for the club his good friend Saul had introduced him to when he’d first arrived in Los Angeles to stay the previous year, he would’ve gone completely mad. At least when he patronized the private establishment, the men were anxious for his beatings, his restraints. The rest of the time, he had to pay someone to submit to his demands.

“If the belt is too harsh, I can employ something different. But you would have to stay to receive the full payment we discussed. You did agree to be here with me under these circumstances for at least three hours, so I was not untruthful with you.”

The man—Harry?—remained silent and still as if he was considering Aaron’s words.

“Okay, mister. But my posterior is killing me. I’d be much obliged if you’d leave that alone.”

“I can make it better. Pleasurable.”

Aaron ghosted his fingers along Harry’s crease then dipped into the space where his ass cheeks and the top of his thighs met. He pushed farther in, encouraging Harry’s legs to open, hoping to be allowed access to his entrance, the tempting balls and what he’d noted was an increasingly lengthening shaft. Harry flinched then abruptly rolled off the table, away from Aaron. He leapt to his feet.

“Don’t you dare touch me like that, you deviant! I ain’t no queer!”

Raising one eyebrow in query as he glanced down at Harry’s stiffened dick, he hardened as well. He’d had to pick up his evening’s playmate off the streets in one of the seedier areas of town instead of at a pansy club the way he normally would have. He’d been too emotionally drained to go through the ritual of going to a speakeasy—dressing well, socializing with acquaintances. The dark moods that sometimes plagued him had assailed him that day with a vengeance.

So he’d settled for Harry instead and it seemed as if he’d made a mistake. Men who fancied themselves uninterested in other men could be such a challenge.

If only he would let me go a bit further, I could show him how wonderful it could be…

“I only meant to offer you some enjoyment. I wouldn’t expect anything in return.”

Harry bent to gather his clothing from the floor. “You’re sick. Perverted. Your kind should be wiped off the face of the earth.”

The words had served their purpose well enough. Aaron experienced the typical agony that they always inspired. But he’d become an expert at masking his hurt.

“Forgive me. Please stay and at least let me paint you. You have a lovely form. I’ll remain on the other side of the room. I won’t touch you at all. I’ll even pay you the full amount we agreed upon.”

There was a grunting noise and Harry quickly put on his trousers over the one piece underwear set he’d already hurriedly tugged on. He slipped the still attached suspenders over the shirt he’d finished buttoning up, not even bothering to tuck it in.

“I ain’t staying, no matter what. You make me sick.”

Sighing heavily, Aaron walked over to the tall cherry wood secretary. He lowered the closed writing surface then reached into one of the compartments to remove some bills. As he advanced toward Harry, the man jumped back.

“Please. Take it.”

Aaron held out the three ten dollar bills. Harry moistened his lips as he gazed at them then glanced up at Aaron with narrowed eyes.

“What’s the rub?”

“There is none. Please take it and leave.”

He tossed the money down, no longer wishing to interact with the man at all. Sauntering over to his black and gold etched glass bar cart, he didn’t take the trouble to stop and get dressed. If temperature and societal convention didn’t dictate his need to wear clothing, he would never even bother at all.

As he poured himself a brandy, he heard the tell-tale sounds of his previously desired companion for the evening preparing to leave. The door slammed and as soon as he turned, he saw that the bills he’d thrown on the ground had been retrieved. After taking a healthy swallow of the amber liquid in his glass, he allowed one tear to roll down his cheek, but that would be the only one. Weak men and the fairer sex gave in to the emotions of their sufferings. Aaron saved his soft feelings for the art he created—whether it was with paint on a cotton canvas or on the delectable canvas of flesh. For years he’d also saved it for love, but since he’d reached the age of thirty five, he’d allowed himself to let go of that ridiculous notion.

Harry had been right. He was a deviant. It had been pointed out to him enough times in his life that he knew it to be a fact. So he would continue to carry on as best as he could in his loneliness. He could release his internal agony through his paintings and practice his perversions with like-minded people. The Hampton Road Club called to him stronger than ever. It had become a safe haven.

* * * * *
It wasn’t easy working at the bathhouse, but Sam didn’t mind it at all. When he’d first arrived in Hollywood from San Francisco just a couple of months before, he’d been very lucky to find employment so quickly. The motorist he’d hitched a ride with had introduced him to the manager of the private men’s establishment after unsuccessfully attempting to convince Sam to live with him as his lover.

Louis had seemed like a nice enough fellow, but Sam would never just go with someone because they would take care of him. He wanted real, true love. When he’d explained that to Louis, he’d laughed heartily and tousled Sam’s hair.

‘You are so delightful, darling Sam. I envy the lucky man who steals your heart.’

The Rules of Love #2
“He’s quite beautiful. Wouldn’t you agree, Saul?”

As one of the founding members of the Hampton Road Club, Saul Liebowitz had seen many stunning submissive men over the years. Sweet, pliant, handsome men who surrendered themselves to capable Dominant men—or if they were very lucky—an adoring Master.

I would adore someone that beautiful. If only he were mine to adore.

Saul turned to his good friend, Aaron Rubenstein. The younger man was attending Hampton Road with his magnificently trained submissive, Sam. It had been a joy to watch their pairing unfold into a glorious permanent union. Aaron had allowed himself to suffer through many dark years of loneliness until he’d rescued the naïve little Sam from a disreputable bathhouse. Saul held back a grin. He couldn’t help but take some credit for pushing Aaron in the innocent Sam’s direction.

“Quite. But it’s irrelevant, as he’s Master Preston’s boy.”

An expert at self-control, he’d managed to keep the disgust at the mention of Preston Cornwall out of his voice. At least, for the most part.

Aaron’s mouth quirked as he considered Saul. “Not a fan of Kenneth’s Master, are we?”

Saul let out a small grunt. “He’s of questionable character, old sport, and you already know how I feel about their…relationship.”

They had kept their voices low as they sat in the back of the grand ballroom located on the second floor of the Hampton Road Club mansion. Saul continued to watch with concerned interest as Master Preston used a long single tail whip on Kenneth. The spectacular naked form of the mid-thirties submissive writhed and twisted each time the end of the implement snapped against his visibly abused flesh. He was tall with some definition, his arms and legs well-muscled. Saul surmised he must use them a lot, based on the intricate positions and rough demonstrations he’d witnessed Preston put him through.

His wrists were tied with leather strips, restrained above his head and attached to a chain. A muzzle gag was strapped over Kenneth’s face, the black leather panel completely covering his mouth and chin, then held in place by leather straps and metal rings. Muffled grunts and the occasional cry could be heard as Kenneth reacted to the harsher strikes.

Saul wasn’t sure if the gag was there to quiet Kenneth or to humiliate him. The entire piece had the feel of a horse’s bridle and Preston had bragged that he’d purchased it at an antiquities auction. He’d claimed that it was an authentic device that had once been employed in a medieval dungeon. Saul found Preston’s boast to be rather ridiculous, but knew that some of the newer Dominant men fell for his antics rather easily. That, in and of itself, made Saul question the worthiness of those recent initiates.

As the presentation continued, more concerns nagged at Saul. He couldn’t help but wonder how Kenneth would be able to beg for mercy if he couldn’t speak. There had been no indication at the beginning of Preston’s display that Kenneth had another means of stopping the whipping.

Such irresponsible behavior had recently become a point of contention at the club and that greatly worried Saul. The nineteen twenties had seen America and the rest of the world become freer than ever, but gay men could still be arrested for sodomy and were generally shunned or mistreated. Practicing sadomasochism would get them into even more trouble, were they ever to be discovered. So far, their best defense had been unity. Lately, it had felt as if that camaraderie was crumbling at the San Marino club. It put them all at risk.

He angled his body toward Aaron. “Would you mind coming with me to the smoking room? I’d like to have a word with you.”

Aaron turned to Saul, a slight furrow on his brow. “Of course. Let me get Sam situated first.”

Sam had been resting his head against Aaron’s thigh, having been encouraged to relax by his loving Master. Aaron got Sam’s attention by caressing his head, then carding his fingers through Sam’s hair as he lifted his chin with his other hand. Saul didn’t want to eavesdrop, but he was transfixed by the tender scene before him. He’d personally never experienced such a relationship before. The two men were the envy of more than one member of the club—Dominant and submissive alike.

Aaron placed a soft kiss on Sam’s lips. “Sweet boy, Saul and I are going to go and have a smoke. I’m unclipping your leash. You may go to the submissives’ den and I’ll send for you later.”

Even in the dim lighting, Saul could detect a flicker of disappointment cross Sam’s features. Aaron reached down to grasp the naked Sam’s cock, then gently stroked it until it was hard. Sam’s mouth opened on a sigh and Aaron took it in a deep kiss. When he finally pulled back, Sam’s expression was one of bliss, his eyes hooded, his lips parted with a hint of a smile.

“Yes, Master.”

“That’s my good boy. Now, run along, little Sam.”

Aaron removed the leash from the collar he’d gifted to Sam when they’d first made their commitment to one another. As soon as the lead was off, Sam gracefully rose to his feet. He really was a pretty little thing, just barely nineteen. He wasn’t the type of man Saul typically went for, but he appreciated his allure in general. Overall, what Saul found to be the most alluring attribute to Sam was how eager and heartfelt his submission was to Aaron.

If only…

Oh well. It wasn’t as if he didn’t have a full life. Since he was one of the founding members of the club and a long-time respected Dominant, he had an abundant choice of compliant men willing to do his every bidding—not necessarily any that he would ever consider long term, but sometimes those dreams were not meant to be. His gaze wandered to Kenneth, who glistened from head to toe with a fine sheen of sweat. He locked his eyes on Kenneth’s taut ass as it flexed in time with the snap of his Master’s strikes. Saul plucked a handkerchief from his smoking jacket pocket and swiped at his forehead.

Damnably stuffy in this room tonight.

He turned in time to see Aaron reach his hand behind Sam’s backside. Sam’s eyes rounded, but as a credit to his training and Sam’s self-control, he didn’t cry out, despite whatever it was Aaron had done to him. Judging by how much Sam’s rigid cock leaked, it must have been something quite wonderful.

“No touching, sweet Sam. Remember, the rewards will be much greater when I get you home.”

Aaron winked at him and Sam whimpered.

“Yes, Master.”

The Fear of Surrender #3
Thomas leaned against the white sports car he’d purchased the year before when he’d lived in Santa Barbara. It was a 1925 Buick Convertible, and still looked as good as the day he’d bought it. There had been a new model out for ‘26, but he was more prudent than that. As a professional bookkeeper, he knew that the careful use of a dollar was essential to creating a secure existence. But a sexy motorcar was still a nice addition to that existence.

Crossing his arms in front of him, he remained on alert, scanning the surroundings of the Hampton Road Club from where he was parked in the long driveway. The three-story mansion, located in one of the richer areas of Pasadena, boasted elegant Tudor Revival architecture. He found it impressive, always had. It was the perfect setting for a gentlemen’s private sadomasochism club.

A slight breeze helped cool the warm spring night, but it remained nice enough to ride in his open vehicle. He checked his pocket watch, a bit on edge and more than a little curious about what was happening inside the club at that moment. One of the heavy oak side doors to the house flew open and he straightened. Anger rose up, increasing his tension as soon as he spotted the culprit bursting from the home. The scoundrel appeared in a great hurry to leave.

Preston Cornwall.

His desire to run over and grab the snake before giving him a good thrashing was almost too irresistible, but he’d promised Aaron that he’d control himself. As one of the Masters, fellow board member, and his dearest friend, Aaron had assured him that Cornwall would be dealt with then tossed out of the club for good. Thomas was there to whisk away Kenneth, Preston’s boy. It had become necessary to step in after it was revealed that Preston was keeping Kenneth as a virtual prisoner as well as abusing him.

And abusing Linus.

He clenched his fists, nodding toward another good friend, Bruce. The hulking boxer stepped out of the shadows, blocking Preston’s path.

“Get out of my way, you oaf,” Preston snarled.

Bruce widened his stance, punching one fist into the other. “Talk like that’ll land you one in the kisser.”

Preston stilled. He straightened, almost as if he dared Bruce to sock him one. Thomas ached to get closer, to see what Preston’s expression might reveal. It had become much too clear from the Master’s recent behavior that he’d gone off the rails. Kenneth had rescued Linus from his clutches and the other Dominant men of Hampton Road had taken it upon themselves to rescue Kenneth. Banishing Preston from the club permanently was the final part of their plan for the evening.

“If you’re going to hit me, go on then and be done with it.” Preston’s voice was low, menacing. “I’ve had enough of this horseshit. But let’s be clear on one thing. All of you purported Masters may think you’ve won, but this isn’t over. It’ll never be over until I get my property back.”

Thomas winced. Preston had only ever spoken of Kenneth or treated him as if he was little more than a possession that he could do with as he wished. His words only served to reinforce that perception.

And there’s what he tried to do to Linus…

He’d sworn to Aaron—as well as Saul and Theodore—that he would behave. But that still didn’t stop him from wanting to rip Preston apart—to make him feel as afraid and vulnerable as he had made Linus feel.

Bruce stepped to one side to allow Preston to pass, but continued to glare at him, following behind the lunatic as he marched to his motorcar. As soon as Preston had stepped into the blue sedan then roared down the driveway to the street, Thomas relaxed somewhat. However, that didn’t answer his curiosity as to what had gone on inside while he’d been waiting in the driveway. Soon, his part in the evening’s scheme would come into play.

“Thanks, Bruce.”

Thomas called his friend over. Bruce and his fellow pugilist, George, had relocated from Santa Barbara to the Los Angeles area with Thomas to join Hampton Road permanently. It had been about six months before and Thomas was glad Aaron had talked him into it. The men of Hampton Road were honorable and the submissives delightful. He’d been embraced even more than he’d hoped for when he’d been asked to be a part of the board that ran the club.

“Don’t worry about him none. He’s nothin’ but a big palooka. George an’ I can handle that rat.”

Thomas clapped Bruce on the back, chuckling. “I have nothing but the utmost faith in you both.” He glanced around the mostly darkened area, frowning. Only the electrified lanterns by the door gave off any light. “Where is George, by the way?”

He jumped as George slipped into the glow cast by the lamps, seemingly out of nowhere. With a hand over his thumping heart, he let out a shaky laugh. “Are you sure you’re not illusionists as well as prize fighters?”

George, an even more thickly compacted version of his hombre, shook his head. “No, chief. We’re just light on our feet. Gotta move fast in the ring.”

“Ah, yes.” Thomas smirked. “However, I’m not sure the same skills are required to master the submissive men here at the club.”

Both men shrugged simultaneously and Thomas was reminded of why they worked so well together as Dominants—they were always so in tandem with each other. If they ever fell for the same boy and decided to keep him, that would be one lucky submissive.

“Thomas!”

He turned to see Aaron waving frantically at him as he exited the mansion.

After thanking Bruce and George again, he trotted over to Aaron. He was anxious to know everything that had gone on when the confrontation with Preston had taken place and when Preston had discovered that Kenneth was done with him for good.

“Well?”

His friend was out of breath. “Change of plans. Kenneth is staying with Saul.”

“He…?” Thomas broke into a smile. Things were much improved already. “That’s wonderful news.”

“Yes, well, it is. But we have other problems now.”

“Oh?”

“Otis and a few of his cronies are demanding to see the owner of Hampton Road immediately. They’re questioning whether we did the right thing by interfering with Preston and Kenneth.” Aaron ran a hand through his hair, as if attempting to get the greased strands back in place. “The whole idea of doing the nominations tonight for board membership has gone to hell too.”

Thomas pressed his lips together as he considered the turn of events. Otis had proven himself to be the one board member the most resistant to the idea of establishing rules to protect the safety of the submissives at the club. Initially, Thomas had been somewhat in agreement with Otis. He’d had his own issues with how easily the implementation of rules in the wrong hands could cause harm, but he’d relented once he’d witnessed Kenneth’s abuse for himself. After he’d also found out what Preston had done to Linus and that Kenneth hadn’t consented to much of what had been done to him, he’d come to agree that there did need to be at least some policies put into place. But there were still those who disagreed with that stance.

Mastering Love #4
Evan glanced around the living area of the small, unfamiliar house that was to be his home until God only knew when. He swallowed down the emotion clogging his throat and turned to face the two men he’d only just met. They stood silently, undoubtedly waiting for his reaction. They’d been kind enough to offer him shelter when he had nowhere else to go, so he wanted to be sure that he conveyed to them how thankful he was.

I would’ve been on the streets in a strange town. No money. No friends.

“Th-thank you very much. I don’t what I would’ve done…” He couldn’t keep going, or he would embarrass himself by crying.

The older of the two, who’d been introduced to him as Aaron, stepped forward then placed a hand on his shoulder. Aaron was taller than both him and the younger man named Sam. On the drive over to the guesthouse with his ex-Master, Thomas, and Linus, Thomas’ new boy, Thomas had explained that Aaron and Sam were Master and submissive. He’d assured Evan they’d be more than happy to have him stay on the big property they owned. It included the structure where he’d be living, plus a grand home and a plant nursery. Located in the foothills of Altadena, it was in a suburb of Los Angeles, just over the hills from Hollywood. But his exact locale meant nothing to him for the time being. It was all a big unknown, everything too uncertain.

“Everything’s going to work out, Evan. We’ll all be looking out for you. Why don’t you have Sam show you around the grounds, get you acclimated? Then he can take you to the main house, and we can find some extra clothes for you to go with what Thomas already purchased.” Aaron seemingly pondered his words, glancing around the room as he did. “Some fresh towels too, and linens of course. As far as the clothing goes, you’re a bit taller than Sam, but I’m sure we can figure something out.” He let go of Evan then regarded his submissive. “Little Sam?”

“Of course, Master.”

Evan’s cheeks had heated at Aaron’s mention of Thomas buying him things. He hadn’t expected anything from his ex-Master—not after Evan had shown up at his door unannounced. It had been a crushing blow to discover that Thomas already had a boy, one who had come to live with him for good. That was when it had become all too clear that Thomas wouldn’t have any interest in Evan anymore. Not much longer after that, Evan found himself occupying what had been Linus’ old home only hours before.

Just like we swapped places.

Aaron had already strolled out onto the small landing. Sam motioned to Evan.

“Come on. I’ll show you around.”

Evan nodded. Sam moved to take Evan’s hand, but he shrank back. Sam froze.

“Geez, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do anything you don’t like.”

Evan chewed at his bottom lip. Sam furrowed his brow then leaned in as if he was sharing a dark secret.

“I get in trouble for that all the time from Aaron. When you get a new Master, he might not like it either.”

“Little Sam, are you and your new friend coming along then?”

Friend?

“Yes, Master.” Sam leaned in again. “We’d better get going.” He snickered. “I wanna be allowed to come later.”

Evan followed Sam outside into the bright sunshine of the hot day, squinting against the assault of light. It was much warmer than he was used to from where he’d been living by the sea in Santa Barbara. As Sam prattled on happily about all his plants, flowers and trees, Evan tried to make sense of his explanations. He knew nothing about gardening or raising things. All he’d ever known was working in restaurants and diners. He’d grown up helping his parents with their diner then waited tables when he’d been with Thomas. He’d continued working at the same place with his last Master, Gabriel. Plants were a complete mystery.

He swallowed down tears again, his stomach queasy from the heat and the fear of what might become of him. Sam’s words fell into the background as he attempted to unravel how his entire world had disintegrated within a forty-eight-hour period of time.

“You have to understand, Evan. I’d keep you too, but Albert won’t agree to it.”

“But why do you have to have Albert at all? Aren’t I enough?”

Gabriel hadn’t been able to meet his eyes, but he’d made his intentions clear by the gruffness of his voice. Gabriel had used that tone a lot to make sure that Evan always agreed to whatever he proposed.

“If you were in my shoes, you wouldn’t even have to ask such a thing. Albert’s eighteen. He’s never been touched by another man. This is a rare opportunity for me, and I don’t want to… I won’t lose it. I can train him to my specifications. You have your charms, but you were already with a man for almost three years before I had you. You aren’t new. We had our fun, but it’s time to move on.”

Evan had never realized how words could have such a physical impact until that moment. It hadn’t felt any different to him than if someone had punched him in the gut. He’d never kidded himself that Gabriel was madly in love with him and truthfully, Evan hadn’t felt that way either. But Gabriel had worked so hard at denigrating Thomas to pry Evan away from him, he’d assumed that at least there’d been something there. And Evan had genuinely cared about Gabriel. He’d been a good lover and had taken care of him well. There had been times when Gabriel had been a bit brusque and wasn’t very affectionate, but overall, it had been a decent arrangement.

For men such as themselves, love wasn’t always readily available. They had to meet in secret, had to be careful they didn’t reveal their darker passions to the wrong man and risk discovery. The specter of institutionalization, even castration, loomed over them. For the sadists, prison was a very real fear. It was difficult enough finding another lover of men without adding the need to either dominate or submit into the equation. If they found someone who matched them in desires and they got on well, it was better to have that than nothing at all.

It had been Gabriel’s idea when he’d sent him back to Thomas on a bus from Santa Barbara. Evan had been so frightened over what would happen to him. Gabriel had controlled everything, even his money. All he’d left there with was the clothes on his back, bus fare and a few extra dollars for a meal or two.

“You won’t need anything once Thomas takes you back.”

“But what if he doesn’t? What then?”

Gabriel had laughed as if Evan’s well-being was of no importance. He’d already seemed irritated that he’d had to pony up the dough for the bus ticket.

“That sap mooned around the club here for months waiting for you to run back to him. He’ll take you back.” Then Gabriel had fixed him with an odd leer Evan had never seen before.

“And if he doesn’t? You’re still reasonably young, could pass for younger. You can always offer your favors for a price. Probably do pretty good too if you let men beat you.” He’d seemed conflicted, rubbing his chin.

“If I was sure Albert wouldn’t kick up a fuss, I’d keep you here. Make some extra cabbage on the side.”

“Oh, God.”

The sweat poured off him, and the burger Thomas had been kind enough to buy him earlier was swimming around in his gut. He was doomed at twenty-three—of no use to any man unless they paid him for a quick fuck if no one else was around whom they really wanted. No one would ever fall in love with him. He would be alone forever, no one to take care of his needs. It was clear to him now that men only wanted a virgin. It was that way with women, so why would it be any different for men? He’d had his chance with Thomas when he’d been unspoiled, and he’d ruined it by believing Gabriel’s and the other club members’ lies about his ex-Master.

Author Bio:
M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys hot stories of men loving men forever after. They can be men in uniform, Doms and subs, rock stars or bikers - but they're all searching for the one (or two!) who was meant only for them.

When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on more installments of Sin City Uniforms and The Hampton Road Club, as well as the follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey's story from Rockin' the Alternative.


FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  BLOG  /  GOOGLE+
KOBO  /  ARe  /  ITUNES  /  GOOGLE PLAY
EMAIL: MorticiaKnight@gmail.com



Hesitant Heart #1
AMAZON US  /  AMAZON UK  /  B&N
KOBO  /  iTUNES  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe

The Rules of Love #2
AMAZON US  /  AMAZON UK  /  B&N
KOBO  /  iTUNES  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe

The Fear of Surrender #3
AMAZON US  /  AMAZON UK  /  B&N
KOBO  /  iTUNES  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe

Mastering Love #4
AMAZON US  /  AMAZON UK  /  B&N
KOBO  /  iTUNES  /  GOOGLE PLAY  /  ARe



Author Spotlight: MB Feeney

Author: MB Feeney
Genre: Range from Military Fiction to Contemporary Romance
Cover Designs: The Graphics Shed

Honour
Summary:
An anthology of short stories by M. B. Feeney

The world is filled with people destined to help and to serve. Doctors, nurses, police, and firefighters—each and every day, these special people work to help others in times of need. Often, this means putting their own lives at risk in order to do their jobs. They give of themselves to benefit society, and they do it without any expectation of thanks.

And then there is the military…

These are the men and women who don’t head home to their families and safe homes to relax at the end of a shift. They are on the front lines, far from home and often fighting someone else’s battles because it is the right thing to do. Military families struggle to cope with the constant worry and the long periods of separation, staying strong to support those who serve in everything they do, and often are left to pick up the pieces when the highest price is paid.

Servicemen and women are heroes in the purest sense of the word. Even when the world’s gone mad and their hearts are breaking, one thing remains unchanged.


 My review from November 2013 originally posted on The Hive:
You better have tissues handy when you sit down to read this collection of short stories. Everyone of them tugged at my heart. It's amazingly written and so beautiful. Some of the stories are pretty easy to guess what direction it's heading but it doesn't take away from the story or the characters at all. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a real pull on the heartstrings.

RATING: 

Right Click, Love
Summary:
Disheartened about not being able to find “Mr. Right” on the London dating scene, best friends Jodie Lynch and Louise Hewson create a blog to not only document their disastrous dates with the numerous “Mr. Wrongs” and “Mr. Okay-for-nows” but also to help those going through the same experiences and to see where they’re going wrong. How will they deal with everything the dating scene has to throw at them — planned or otherwise?

 My review from August 2013 originally posted on The Hive:
“Sipping her hot coffee, Jodie Lynch tapped in her login details to check how well the latest blog post had been received. The stats were through the roof, and there were almost thirty comments awaiting approval. She’d never expected that writing about the nonexistent sex life being experienced by her and her best friend Louise Hewson would garner so much attention.”

And with this first paragraph we begin a not quite year-long journey in quest to find love for two best friends who have grown weary of the dating scene. They start a blog to showcase their experiences and in doing so they meet some interesting people. If you’re looking for a nice and fun look at the world of dating and friendship and how blogging can and does affect those involved, then this is definitely the story for you.

“So, there you go. Our next step? Who knows? Maybe when one of us posts again, it will be another big announcement. You’ll just have to wait and see.”

And with those final words, we are treated to a perfect blend of actual experiences and dialogue mixed with blog posts we learn where our characters, Jodie and Louise are taken on this journey, I highly recommend tagging along for the ride.

RATING: 

The One That Got Away
Summary:
There’s something about that one person we date in our teens but never become intimate with. Why does a sexless relationship render us unable to stop carrying that person, the what if, with us into our adult life? 

For Heidi Johnson, Shane Hughes is her “one that got away.” Through the years, he has stayed in the back of her mind while she became an adult, a mother, and her own person. Meanwhile, Shane has lived a life of regret that he let Heidi go for the wrong reasons: fear and a misguided sense of not wanting to hurt either of them. 

When they reconnect online, the memories they've tried to suppress over the years return, reigniting the feelings never explored ‘back in the day.’ Will a school reunion in their home town of London, surrounded by old school friends, help the pair address the questions the years apart left unanswered? Or will they still be left with wanting more?

Dear Diary
Summary:
Born and bred in the UK, Holly is getting the chance of a lifetime—six weeks abroad. The Kings, a host family in the US, have invited her to stay with them and get a chance to experience life as an American. When she discovers that the King family includes two teenage boys, will she be glad she came or ready to hightail it back across the pond?

Just Like in the Movies
Summary:
Ava Jones has settled for a life that she’s not sure she wants anymore, but won’t admit it. Her best friend, Erica Davidson talks her into taking a break on the Isle of Wight. Her days on the island are spent thinking things through, and arguing with Morgan whom she hates on principal. 

Is it so wrong for her to want a life that follows the script of a honest to God romance film?

Honour
Billy Skinner 
19 August 2012 
London 
20123639
Pte Jonno Cooper
Operation HERRICK
BFPO 7721234567

Hey Shit Face,
Jonno, my man! Got a wicked tan yet? Or is it one of those ‘White Van Man’ tans: face and below the t-shirt sleeves only? I’m not ashamed to brag; I am golden brown, and it’s driving the ladies wild! Wild, I tell you! I think I may be getting pretty lucky this summer. Don’t you just wish you were me? Well, more than usual.

In some ways, I wish we could switch places. Being a soldier was all I ever wanted to do, and my own body betrayed me. We were supposed to do the Army thing together, but my bloody asthma soon put a stop to that. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of you, ‘cause I am, more than I’ve ever been proud of anyone. Well, let’s face it; no-one’s ever given me reason to be. I guess that’s one of the reasons I wanted to sign up. I wanted people to be proud of me for once.

Crap! Hels warned me that writing this letter would be like going to see a shrink. She told me that now you aren’t around to take the piss, it makes it easier to write the words. I swear, if you take the piss when you get back, I will rearrange your face for you. It’s not that I’m ashamed to be writing what I just did, I would just rather you didn’t use it as ammo against me when we’re out on the lash, mate.

Speaking of being out on the town, a bunch of us, including Stace, were in Leicester Square for Jim’s birthday. The lads decided that he needed to go on a ‘pull a pig’ night to see how many mingers he could cop off with. He managed to pull some right howlers, but then he met Emily. He sat with her all night ignoring the rest of us. They’ve been inseparable for the last three weeks. I must admit, I felt like an utter shit after joining in with the lads. I met her yesterday, and she’s alright. I don’t know how she puts up with him, but to each their own, I guess.

I assume Stacey told you about Suzi’s birthday being a total wash out. I felt sorry for her; she’d been planning it for ages. Why she wanted a garden party is beyond me, but it was her day, I guess. Shame the heavens opened the night before and carried on for three days straight. We ended up down the pub. I’ve never seen that girl so drunk in my life. Stacey had to sit up with her all night in case she threw up in her sleep. She’s a good ‘un, your missus. I promise she’s doing okay, mate.

We were all worried about her at first but your letters are really helping her and she’s been spending a lot of time with Suzi, too. As much as the girl bugs me—no, not ‘cause we shagged that one time—she’s been a good friend for Stace.

It’s too quiet without you, you loudmouth toerag. I’m still struggling to get used to not calling you when I see something funny, or you not being with us on a night out. I’m so used to having you backing me and my mouth up, that I’m getting myself into a bit of trouble. You need get your arse home so you can start talking me out of shit again because I refuse to think before I speak. It’s just not my style.

Hurry back. We need to go drinking.
Love you, mate, Billy.

Right Click, Love
Conversation Two:

Me: *looks at his sticker* “Hi, John.”

John: *mumbles* “Hi.”

M: “So, tell me about yourself . . .”

J: “Um . . . I’m thirty, I work in the city . . .” *takes nervous sip from his bottle of poncy beer*

M: “That’s . . . er . . . nice.” *gulp* “So, you live local?”

J: “Not too far. Me and mum co-own a house about ten minutes away.” *alarm bells*

M: “Oh . . . that’s great.”

J: “Er . . . so, what do you do for a living?”

M: “I’m a legal secretary.” *tumbleweeds*

At this point I’d given up the will to live and knocked back almost a whole large glass of wine. We sat in silence until the bell rang again.

The One that Got Away
I scrambled to get my thoughts straight, wishing I’d thought this meeting through better.

“Sorry.” I apologised again, bringing a small smile to her face. “I thought I had what I wanted to say clear in my mind, but the moment you walked in, it all went to shit.”

“Don’t worry about it. This is your rodeo, take your time.” I glanced at my phone. There was still a decent amount of time to catch my train.

“Thanks.” I took another deep breath to steady my nerves. “I know we spoke last night, after. . .” I trailed off, not sure how to phrase my words.

“We had a rampant fuck in a dark alley?” Heidi supplied, making me laugh.

“If you want to put it that way, fine by me.” My face began to ache from my grin, but I didn’t care. I was finally at ease and knew what I wanted to say and how to say it. “I wanted you to know that I didn’t turn up just looking to get in your knickers last night. I know I’ve flirted, some of it got pretty hardcore, but I never expected anything.”

“Look, Shane. Yeah, the flirting online got pretty intense, but if I hadn’t wanted it to continue, you know me well enough to know I’d have put a stop to it. I did go to the reunion with a purpose. I wanted to remind you exactly what you’d let go. It makes me sound big-headed and full of myself, but it made me feel good. Like you, I never even considered for one moment that we’d end up in that alley, but we did.” She paused to take a sip of her coffee.

I watched her intently, blown away by her frankness. This woman never ceased to amaze me, or make me regret my rash decision fifteen years prior.

“As I said last night, it shouldn’t have happened, but I won’t regret it. It made us both feel fantastic, and if need be, has given us some closure.”

Did I want closure? I’d told her last night that I left wanted to know how it would feel to make love to her and I hadn’t lied. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I must have thought that us having sex would, as Heidi mentioned, give us a closure on our unresolved history, but it hadn’t.

“It hasn’t for me.” I had promised myself to be open and honest with her before we parted ways once again. She maintained eye contact even though her skin was flushed with a blush that spread from her throat to her cheeks.

“Me either.”

Dear Diary
April 2012
Dear Diary,

You know in the movies, when a girl is met off her flight by a hot guy holding up a sign with her name on it? Well, only I could miss it when it actually happens to me. That'll teach me to look at my iPod when I walk into arrivals. There I was, the last one left waiting, feeling a bit lost when this guy taps me on the shoulder. He was fucking HUGE! I nearly peed myself and ran away—until I saw the sign in his hands. Yeah, I'm an idiot.

So . . . Tyler King . . . is fucking BEAUTIFUL! There is simply no other way to describe him. He's gorgeous, in that big, brawny rugby player kind of way. His hair glows like a bloody neon sign saying "Hey girls, look at me" it's so pale. I've never actually seen anyone with white-blond hair outside of a magazine before. Then there are his eyes . . . My knees may have actually weakened slightly. They were beautifully wide and ice blue, almost colourless, but not in a creepy way. When he looked at me it was like he could see right into my soul. Urgh, corny much?

He grabbed my case as if it were lighter than paper, while laughing at me. His voice was all deep and rumbly. I have to admit, my girly bits tingled a little.

Maybe I can make the most of these six weeks.

Sitting in his beast of a car was kind of awkward. He chatted away to me, mainly taking the piss out of my accent and my height. He actually called me dinky! The cheek of it. Then he told me all about the school I’ll be going to, giving me the lowdown on all the teachers and stuff like that. I really didn't know what to say without sounding like a total airhead. Eventually I stopped even trying to respond to him and spent the rest of the drive gazing at him sneakily out of the corner of my eye while he bopped his head to a song I've never heard of.

We arrived at his huge house. When I say huge, I mean it was like a fucking palace, especially compared to our crappy three bedrooms back home. The King house is all white and postcard worthy. The inside is just as amazing, like something out of that American makeover show where they rebuild houses from scratch, and I cry every single time I watch it.

Just Like in the Movies
We tried for a couple of years to have children, but it never happened. After many serious discussions, we decided to give up on the idea altogether. That was when we bought our first fur baby: a beautiful Collie cross called Rhea. She was our little girl, and we both doted on her. We assuaged our guilt over our mutual neglect by caring for Rhea, devoting our attention to another living being rather than to each other. The puppies, Remus and Romulus, soon joined her, and our “family” was complete.

For as long as I’d known him, Marcus had played Sunday League football, which was followed by an afternoon with his teammates at the very pub I was now approaching. Coupled with training one evening a week, his evenings out gave me more than enough time to spend with Erica or at home with the dogs.

“Have you thought any more about that holiday I mentioned?” Erica asked while we claimed our usual table. Our customary bottle of red wine was already ready and waiting for us.

“I have . . .” My words drifted away when I thought back to her idea of a girlie getaway on the Isle of Wight. Just as its name suggested, the top-class Lakeside Hotel with attached spa was located right next to a beautiful lake. Bliss.

“And? Why the hesitation?” Erica pushed like she always did, her blue eyes flashing once more as she looked into my brown ones.

The idea of a real getaway caused the blonde hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, but I tried to rein my excitement in. “I don’t know. It sounds amazing, and Lord knows I could do with some time away.”

“Do it, then.”

I knew I had enough holiday time available at work. Screw it.

“Let’s do it.”

Author Bio:
M. B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog. Currently at university studying for her BA (Hons) in primary teaching, she procrastinates on her assignments by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open. She is also a serious doodler and chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love ever since she could spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.

Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she currently has multiple projects under way whilst Honour, a compilation of her own military based shorts, was released in November 2013 and her short novel, The One That Got Away was released February 2015. Always having something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by good music and an even better book.

Her main reason for writing is to not only give her readers enjoyment, but also to create a story and characters that stay with readers long after the book is finished, and possibly make someone stop and think “what if...”


FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  BLOG



Honour
AMAZON CA  /  B&N  /  GOODREADS TBR

Right Click, Love

The One that Got Away

Dear Diary

Just Like in the Movies

Brought to you by: