Review ~ Until I Fade: A Kol Anderson Anthology #Taboo #MM @AndersonKol

REVIEWED BY LARK

 

TITLE: Until I Fade: A Kol Anderson AnthologyUntil I Fade

AUTHOR: Kol Anderson

PUBLISHER: Self-Published

LENGTH: 330 pages

BLURB:

A collection of taboo, dark shorts.

(New Edited Version)

(A collection of brand new and previously published Kol Anderson taboo shorts. Newly edited and never before seen stories.)

Release Date: July 04, 2016

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark 

Destiny is a strange thing. It can be fickle at times, and it can make you miss out on incredible connections that would set you on the journey of your lifetime. But the thing is, you’ll never know what you missed out on.

Sometimes Destiny takes pity on you and lets you meet the person you are supposed to, at just the right time. When Jensen first saw Liam, he lost his heart. Even if it took him a while to realize that. It’s okay, though. He had to grow and learn some more before he was the man Liam needed to save him from a life he was trapped in.

Supernatural forces collide to give Jensen the strength he needs to evolve into the man Liam waited his whole life for, and when their souls finally slam into each other, neither will be the same again.

WARNINGS: VIOLENCE, DUB-CON, NON-CON, ABUSE, VIOLENCE

Slave 

It’s the worst feeling in the world, seeing him with someone else. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do, no limits I won’t go to get him back. But he won’t give me a chance. He won’t so much as look at me because he thinks I don’t belong to him anymore.
But that’s the whole thing.
I don’t belong anywhere.
Doesn’t matter where I go or who I am with I am always alone. There is something wrong with me, there has to be because no one else seems quite as miserable at being without a master.
But don’t we all owe our freedom to something?
People are slaves, aren’t they? To their jobs, to their partners, to their children, even to their lifestyles?
We all have those little kinks that we don’t tell anyone about, because we think we’re going to be judged for them, and because we’re slaves to society’s rules.
In a world where slavery is the norm I’m a slave to my needs.
To him.
And I need to get him back.

WARNINGS: HARDCORE BDSM, DUB-CON, NON-CON

Sin 

Samuel “Sin” Taylor doesn’t know the difference between sex and intimacy, but maybe that’s not his fault. He grew up in a world where it was easier to get physical pleasure than to find love. But as a prostitute working the streets, Sin thinks he’s finally found his true calling. After all sex is the one thing he’s good at, right? But when Isaac enters his life through mere coincidence, Sin finds it a relief to be someone other than Sin.

How long can he keep up the charade?

WARNINGS: DUB-CON, NON-CON, ABUSE, VIOLENCE, DRUG USE

Fugue 

Ever felt like the world thinks you’re crazy? Welcome to my world. I tried normal, but eventually the truth catches up to you. Thank God for Evan, he believes me. But no man is a saint, and eventually the stories of aliens and tentacles and kidnappings just become too much for anyone to believe anymore.

But I know what happened. I know what they did to me. The voices are calling me back now. They’re calling me to be with her, my daughter. And I can’t resist it anymore.

WARNINGS: ABUSE, SELF HARM, OFF PAGE NON-CON AND KIDNAPPING, VIOLENCE

Goodreads Link

REVIEW:

Kol starts out gently, his voice like a lover’s tempting whisper in the dark. His poetry sets the stage for what will be four very different stories within an extremely well-written anthology, and the tone carries on throughout. There’s desperation and hope, desolation and solace; there’s pain and relief, peace and terror. It all goes on through these pages. There are similarities in the four stories, but overall, they couldn’t be more different.

There’s an almost dreamlike quality to these stories, something that lures you in and refuses to let you go until the end. I found myself highlighting line after line of beautiful words that appealed to me and I wanted to remember.

In Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, we get a taste of the paranormal set against the backdrop of a world that seems grim for the characters involved. I want to know more about the characters and the world; my only complaint is that I’m not a huge fan of insta-love angles. But this line: “I don’t need you to feel sorry for me, that’s not what I want. I want you to love me” more than made up for it.

Slave follows the path of a broken-hearted sub whose master turned his back on him, and he tries to find solace anywhere and everywhere he can. There’s a surreal feeling to the entire peace, as though I’m in a dream that I can’t fully awake from. I’m not sure what I like better — the opening poem or the story itself. I loved Jesse, and everything he did felt real throughout the entire piece.

And then there was Sin. Sin isn’t for the faint of heart — and while I don’t consider myself particularly faint of heart, I think mine broke all the same. Those with issues involving incest and rape should steer clear of this one completely. There’s just enough hope to keep my heart from being completely crushed, but I noted at this point that the anthology is steadily darkening.

Finally, there’s Fugue. Fugue isn’t my type of story, but it’s an interesting one all the same. It follows a young man who believes he’s been tortured by aliens and his doctor, who’s desperate to help someone he feels has been failed by others. There are points where you can’t be sure if it’s a sci-fi short or a short on the effects of mental illness, but either way, the effect is profound.

Overall, the taboos mentioned in the tags and above are very much a present part of the stories, but they aren’t dwelled upon for too long. There’s just enough detail to let you know what’s going on, and then Anderson continues with the story: because this is all about the story, not the taboos.

Beautiful writing.

RATING: I loved it! (Even if it is going to haunt me for a while)

DARK ARTS CATEGORIES:  

Abuse, Angst, BDSM, Captive, Drug Addiction, Drugging, Dub-con, Dub-con BDSM, Forced Incest, Incest, Kidnapping, M/M Horror, Non-con, Non-consensual BDSM, POV of Victim, Psychological Trauma, Rape, Rough Sex, Sex Trafficking, Sex Worker, Slave, Taboo, Underage

BUY LINK:

Amazon KU

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Cover Reveal: North to Zombieville by Meg Bawden #MMScifi #Horror

Final

North to Zombieville (Zombieville #1)

Meg Bawden

NorthtoZombieville_FINAL1

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Length: 67,114 words

Release Date: May 18, 2016

Blurb:

The year is 2028, and Dallas and Raleigh Jenson are torn apart when a worldwide zombie apocalypse ravages their home of Townsville, Australia. After a year of searching, Dallas, a former Australian army rifleman, finally reunites with Raleigh, but it’s not like old times. Not only do they have zombies to contend with, but also other humans, changed by desperation and willing to do anything to survive.

Dallas and Raleigh have changed too. So much so, that Dallas struggles with the idea that Raleigh no longer needs or wants his protection. But they will need to rely on each other and find strength in their love as they are forced to evade zombies and watch their friends die. As they fight for their lives in a brutal landscape where every supply and every step toward a potential cure is a battle to the death, only their trust in each other can keep them from perishing.

Goodreads Link

Categories: Horror, M/M Romance, Science Fiction

BUY LINKS:

Dreamspinner Press 

EXCERPT:

“Everything will be all right.”

“Will it, though?” Raleigh stared at him out of the corner of his eyes. “I’ve seen the movies, Dallas. I know how it goes. I don’t want to live in a life like that.” When they reached the door to the next floor, Raleigh twisted the knob and opened it, guiding him inside. “I thought about killing myself, you know.”

“What?” Dallas reeled back. Silence filled the room, the only sounds a dripping pipe and zombies’ roars from outside.

Raleigh wouldn’t look at him. He stared at the peeling black walls, his jaw tense. The Raleigh that Dallas remembered would be in tears, but this Raleigh wasn’t. He was sad, but he held in the tears. With Raleigh crossing his arms over his chest protectively, though, Dallas saw more of his Raleigh there, his soft heart hiding beneath the tough shell that this world had created.

“When?” Dallas asked, trying not to choke on his words. This room stunk of antiseptic liquids of some kind, and it nearly burned his nose. But nothing could distract him from what Raleigh was saying, not with the bombshell his husband had dropped on him.

“About six months in.” Raleigh took a step forward, and Dallas opened his good arm, pulling him closer. Raleigh pressed his face into Dallas’s neck. “I looked for you. Janey and I did. I was beginning to think you were dead. And this world… I hate it, Dal. Your friends die every day. You don’t know when it will be your last. There is no hope. No future. They outnumber us, and they are getting stronger. I was so lost without you. You were always my rock. I… I looked at my gun and I thought, maybe I could end it all. Right now.”

 

MEET THE AUTHOR

Meg Bawden was born and raised in North Queensland, Australia. She’s loved stories since before she can remember and has always enjoyed creating characters of her own, even if it did begin with drawing faces on toilet rolls and giving them names. Wiring has always been a passion of hers and she’s loved the M/M genre since 2004, the first book she read being Rainbow Boys by Alex Sanchez.

Writing M/M since 2007, Meg has never had the confidence to attempt publishing her own stories, but in 2015, she decided that it was all about to change thanks to the amazing friends she’s made in the M/M genre and their support and encouragement. So watch out world, Meg Bawden is coming out to have some fun!

Facebook | Facebook Author Page

Twitter: @megbawden

GIVEAWAY

Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

TOUR DATES & STOPS:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, A.M. Leibowitz, Kirsty Loves Books, Alpha Book Club,

Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Bonkers About Books, MM Good Book Reviews,

The Hat Party, Full Moon Dreaming, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Molly Lolly,

Velvet Panic, Outrageous Heroes, Oh My Shelves, Chris McHart, The Dark Arts, Havan Fellows,

Open Skye Book Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Caraway Carter,

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

 

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Spotlight: Stygian by Santino Hassell #Paranormal #MMRomance

TITLE:     StygianStygian

AUTHOR:     Santino Hassell

PUBLISHER:     Dreamspinner Press

LENGTH:     217 Pages

BLURB:

Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music, but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroways’ secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

RATING: I loved it!

DARK ARTS ELEMENTS:

Abuse, Bewitching, Biting, Brain Washing, Captive, Child Abuse (off page), Cutting, Dark M/M Fantasy, Dark M/M Romance, Drug Addiction, Dub-con, Forced Seduction, M/M Dark Erotica, M/M Horror, Ménage, Murder, POV of Victim, Psychological Trauma, Rough Sex, Sex Ritual

BUY LINKS:

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

 

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

To learn more about Santino you can follow him on:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/santino…
Twitter: @santinohassell
Facebook: theonlysonnyhassell | santinohassellbooks
Instagram: santinohassell
Newsletter:http://santinohassell.com/newsletter/

And at his official website: http://bit.ly/16sgcSu

Spotlight: The Grand Ballast by J.A. Rock

TITLE:     The Grand Ballast The Grand Ballast

AUTHOR:     J.A. Rock

PUBLISHER:     Self-Published

LENGTH:     301 pages

BLURB:

In a future where live sex shows abound to keep a jaded population entertained, dancer Bode Martin falls for the brilliant and unstable Kilroy Ballast, who molds Bode into the star attraction of his erotic circus, the Grand Ballast. Drugged beyond any real feeling, Bode trades freedom and his once considerable pride for an illusion of tenderness—until he inadvertently rescues a young man from a rival show, and together they flee to an eccentric town in the west where love still means something. Valen’s not an easy man to know, and Bode shed his romantic notions under Kilroy’s brutal employ. Yet their growing bond becomes a strange and dangerous salvation as they attempt to overthrow the shadows of their pasts and wade together through a world of regret, uncertainty, beauty, and terror. But Kilroy won’t let Bode go so easily. Long ago, Bode was responsible for the loss of something Kilroy held dear, and he still owes Kilroy a debt. As the three men battle toward a tangled destiny, Bode must decide if his love for Valen is worth fighting for—or if he was and always will be a pawn in the story Kilroy Ballast will never stop telling. WARNING: Contains violence and noncon. Not a genre romance.

THOUGHTS:

Extremely dark with a lot of off page dark erotica and taboo elements. I would categorize this as m/m horror. Recommended to anyone who likes bittersweet m/m erotic romance.

RATING: I liked it!

DARK ARTS ELEMENTS:

Abuse, BDSM, Captive, Dark M/M Fantasy, Dark M/M Romance, Drugging, Dub-con, Forced Prostitution, Humiliation, M/M Fantasy, Non-con, POV of Victim, Rape, Taboo, Torture

BUYING LINKS:

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.