Friday, March 25, 2011

Walking Spencer by Chris Owen

At twelve pages long, this is an ultra short story. But it's a pretty good one. It's all about the thought processes behind the first time one is given an idea (such as being walked on a leash), carrying through to it happening for the first time, and then being told how much farther it can be taken. Such a simple concept, and it's perfect for a short story.

Here's the blurb:

When the next door neighbors ask Dean to walk their dog while they're away Dean is happy to help out. Spencer is equally happy when Dean's playful game with a dog leash leads to something far more intense than Spencer had bargained for.

I had just a bit of trouble with the head hopping on this one, so I had to backtrack to figure out who was thinking what. Not a huge problem, but something I don't expect from this author.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 0 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: 2 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3
As for the writing elements, no real plot but it's so short the story is fine that way, pacing was fine, prose and dialogue were fine, character development is okay for such a short story.
  • Book Rating: Walking Spencer: 8 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 2 of 10
  • Heat Level: 3 of 5

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ermine & Bougainvillea by I.D. Locke

Ermine & Bougainvillea by ID Locke

Ermine & Bougainvillea is a nice little short that is most memorable for the world building.

I've never thought dryads were exceptionally cool before... but now I do. The level of worldbuilding in this relatively short story was top notch.

Here's the blurb:
Wynn is an ermine shifter running for his life from homophobic coyote shifters who took exception to a gay shifter in their territory. He makes it to the safety of a dense tangle of bougainvillea vines where the coyotes can’t follow and falls into exhausted sleep. When he wakes, he discovers that the bougainvillea is actually home to a half-dryad named Etireh who pushes all of Wynn’s arousal buttons without even trying.

Etireh turns out to enjoy some of the same things that Wynn does, namely, Otherworldly gay men with a thing for kink and BDSM who would take pleasure in games of domination and submission. In Wynn, Etireh finds a partner who enjoys being submissive to his dominant and is more than willing to push boundaries and play in ways Etireh barely dared to dream about.

A few things fell flat for me. The introduction of Etireh's mother didn't make much sense. If we'd seen her again later in the story, so she could approve (or not) of Wynn then it would have been different.

And how is Etireh's name pronounced? Authors, if you're going to name your characters something exotic, give us a clue as to pronunciation. Please.

I'm still trying to figure out what didn't work for me with the sex. All of the elements were there... creativity, power exchange, a good balance of pain, some bondage. But it didn't especially work for me. I have no idea why it didn't.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 2 of 3 for the bondage
  • Dominance and Submission: 2 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: 1 of 3 
  • Extra Point: Yes
As for the writing elements:
  • The plot was just the story of meeting and then a first sex scene
  • Pacing had issues, which is a real problem in a short story
  • Prose and dialogue were fine
  • Character development was okay, not great, but it was a short story
  • World-building was really well done 
I'm going to give Ermine & Bougainvillea a 7 of 10. It was a good story with good characters and great worldbuilding, but it didn't really work for me and I'm having a hard time putting my finger on why it didn't.
  • Book Rating: Ermine & Bougainvillea: 7 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 6 of 10
  • Heat Level: 2 of 5


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Where he Belongs by DC Juris

Where He Belongs is short. At not quite five thousand words, I'd say it falls under the extremely short heading.

Here's the blurb:

Vance and Raine had the perfect little life, until their shared sassy sub, Andrew, threw a hissy fit and left them. But the big, wide world turned out to be far too lonely, and Andrew is back, wanting to come home. Vance is willing -- he knows he'll always do anything he must to keep Andrew -- but Raine isn't. Raine's heart still hasn't mended, and he's going to need some convincing before he lets Andrew back in. Fortunately for Andrew, Vance has a plan.

For such a short story, we learn a surprising amount about what happened before, so we know why these three characters are where they are in this brief moment in time we are shown. There is one surprise twist thrown in, and just enough of a scene to get us interested. It's a nice short story.

BDSM elements:
  • Bondage and Discipline: 1 of 3
  • Dominance and Submission: This story is primarily about a relationship that has broken up, and whether it's possible for it to get back together. There is some D/s, enough so we know that in a functioning relationship it would be front and center... but what we see is mostly just people talking. 1 of 3
  • Sadism and Masochism: 0 of 3 
  • Extra Point: 0 of 3
As for the writing elements: the plot is simple enough for such a short story and there is even an unexpected twist thrown in, prose and dialogue are both fine, character development gives us more than one would think in such a short story. 

I'm giving Where He Belongs an 8 of 10 for several reasons. One being that I think it was too short. Even just another thousand or two thousand words could have shown us enough to have knocked the enjoyment factor so much higher.  It's a perfectly good plot with perfectly good characters and I want to see more than the 30 or 45 minutes of their lives that we got to see.
  • Book Rating: Where He Belongs: 8 of 10
  • BDSM Intensity Level: 2 of 10
  • Heat Level: 3 of 5
I loved Finding Sanctuary by DC Juris, if you haven't read this author before I would recommend Finding Sactuary over Where he Belongs.