Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Toy Box: Pine Switches by Mav Anthony, Lee Benoit and Jay Lygon

Toy Box: Pine Switches consists of three stories:
  • The Scent of Pine by Mav Anthony
  • Hamadryad Essence by Jay Lygon
  • Tripod by Lee Benoit

The Scent of Pine takes us back to another time, where clothes are formal, overcoats are a necessity, and there are fireplaces in the bedroom for heat. Pine switches across a bare bottom can also generate some heat, apparently. Halfway through the story I was enjoying it, but the ending wasn't terribly satisfying for me.

I usually adore the writing of Jay Lygon, but Hamadryad Essence appears to be the exception to the rule. It was a good concept, a nice plot, and what could be a fun world to play around in. It just didn't come together for me.

The final story is Tripod, and Lee Benoit came through in shining colors. The characters, the world, and situation, and the sensory information we get... Wow. The blurb explains better than I can what it's about, so I'll put the blurb in for all three while I'm at it.

The pine switch is an old fashioned tool that acts much like a flogger. The men in the three stories in this Toy Box use them to maximum effect! In The Scent of Pine by Mav Anthony, Aaron has been watching his lover Aime at a fine party all evening, hiding and feeling like he doesn't belong. When everyone goes home, Aime proves that Aaron belongs at his side more than anyone.

Jay Lygon brings us Hamadryad Essence. Young agent Hayden Fischer of the Bureau of Alchemy wants to impress his boss, the very macho, handsome Captain Bryer, but when he does get Bryer's notice, it's for screwing up. Bryer believes that discipline is the best cure for a wild young agent who won't obey him. 

And finally, in Tripod by Lee Benoit, a temple whore, a horny slave, and a dungeon's master priest prepare to punish the whore for misbehavior. As the whore faces his ordeal, he must bend or break, like the priest's switches. Whore, slave, priest -- when none prevails, can all three stand strong?

I have trouble rating anthologies. If I were rating the three stories then the first two would get pretty low ratings, and Tripod would get a 9 of 10. So how do I rate the anthology? I think the answer is that I don't try to give it a number rating.


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