Joseph Lance Tonlet, the master of the word! He brings us another intricate story for the Tease and Denial series. In Wes’ Denial, we go back and explore Wes’ past and also his present. For every scene with Wes and Grif, there is a scene from the past. We have Wes in high school, as he’s exploring his sexuality and his desire to dominate. We also get to explore Wes the Marine. In the Marine Corps he gets a real taste for the need to hurt while dominating and it scares him. He has to figure out a way to control himself to keep the person he’s playing with safe. That’s when we’re introduced to Thomas and Henrik.
Tonlet has a way of weaving a story so that we’re hanging on every word, every page, as we keep turning to find out more. I really like Wes and Grif together. They have quite the dynamic. Grif’s insecurities and his strength of character are ever-present during their vanilla and chocolate play. Wes has a way of controlling every situation, dominating Grif, but also being completely respectful of the boundaries set. In between all of the domination and submission and the play/games, we actually have a true love story between Grif and Wes. Wes is always needing to reassure and console Grif that he will stay with him as he is very insecure in the fact that Wes will truly be around forever.
Wes has two big secrets that he’s keeping from Grif. They’ve impacted what he will and won’t do with Grif in scene or chocolate. Those secrets rear themselves during the flashbacks. That how he discloses to Grif. But, we get the actually reliving. It’s intense and yet gives great insight into Wes and his mindset.
Grif is remarkable. In the end his strength is the ultimate and his love, deep. Tonlet leaves us shredded but it was a lovely end to a true lifelong romance.
JOSEPH is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.
A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.
Leo promised to keep Aaron and Kaleb forever. Yet he’s left them with nothing more than a note with instructions to obey the commands of another god? A god who has the key to Kaleb’s collar. A god who will tell them nothing about what’s happened to Leo or where he’s gone.
Kaleb and Aaron both fear the worst. That Leo has not abandoned them, but left them because he won’t be coming back. Not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t.
Too many have died and the god-son is growing stronger. With no way for any god to track it, Leo has only one choice left. Fight fire with fire.
Or in this case Chimera against Chimera.
The problem is Leo has always maintained control of the beast within him. Using its natural senses to do what no other can. In order to stand a chance at tracking and killing the god-son Leo must give the Chimera within complete control.
And the Chimera might not let him return if he does.
This felt like the end of one series but the beginnings for potentially another.
Leo is tested beyond measure as he has to come to terms with his Chimera, his inner monster. The god-son is on the loose and must be stopped. He’s killing doxies and older families who’ve supplied doxies to the Gods for years. Who made the god-son and why, still remains to be seen but Alton and the others have a pretty good idea.
We’re introduced to the goddesses for the first time. They’re old, wise and realize that it is time to join with the Gods again as the world will be changing. They must join as allies and prepare.
Leo must leave Kaleb and Aaron under the care of The Priest. He does a good job providing for the two doxies, but he’s not Leo. Kaleb is struggling because he can’t fathom why Leo would leave them and fears they may never see him again. Meeting more of the Gods and their talents was a nice addition to this story and series as a whole. The Priest was extremely interesting and being one of the oldest living Gods, his wisdom and past experiences were an asset.
The really interesting dynamic was between Kaleb and the Chimera. The bond they seem to build is like no other and it really hits an epic level while Leo is off to find and destroy the god-son. I enjoyed learning more of the history behind the gods, goddesses, doxies and ambrosia but for me it was all about Leo and Kaleb. When Kaleb flees and the Chimera hunts, there was nothing better. The result was quite beautiful and life changing for Leo and his brother within.
Such an interesting series this has been! I can’t wait to see if there is a spin-off or second part to the series. I’d love to know what happens to Pandora and the son of a god and goddess. Will Aaron stay forever? What about The Priest?! So many characters I hate to leave behind, but so many more we have yet to enjoy.
As the god-son closes in leaving more bodies in its wake, treason and betrayal against the Association is unveiled. An inquiry for the Goddesses has been called, threatening everything Leo holds dear.
And the Chimera is not about to let go without a fight.
Despite the dangers lurking in the shadows, Leo wants his doxie Kaleb to think of only one thing. Him. His training. His purpose. And embrace the reality of what he is and not be ashamed of his attraction to Aaron, the doxie tossed aside by Sol.
Attraction is one thing. Bringing the boy to their bed is something else entirely. Kaleb can’t possibly want anyone but Leo. A lie Kaleb will pay dearly for. Penance Leo will be more than happy to deliver.
But penance for a lie will pale in comparison to what Kaleb must do to keep Sol from taking Aaron away, and invoking the Chimera into a lifetime in chains.
First, I want to say how much I love the warnings and notes from the author at the beginning of each book in this series. Before starting Betrayed, we’re told by the author that we are sure to hate her over the turn in the story! That made me want to delve into the contents even more!
This series is pure erotica so if you don’t like a lot of sex between sexy Gods and their submissive doxies (who are bound to take care of Gods in any and all ways, sex, ambrosia and pain) then you might want to steer clear of this series.
What I enjoy about the series is the progression in Kaleb as a resistant doxie, one not born but sold into the position, and his trainer, Master, monster, and God, Leo. The Chimera and Leo are coexisting as they train Kaleb but the Chimera has been challenged by another and that has considerably changed the dynamic of Leo and Kaleb’s relationship.
I wasn’t sure about the addition to Leo and Kaleb’s duo, Aaron. Mutilated by a god-son monster, whom everyone is certain could be a Chimera as well, Aaron is discarded by his God Sol. He’s pretty broken as he was a born doxie and being sent home mutilated is pure dishonor to himself and his family. They’ll surely kill him. Kaleb has wanted him and his disfiguring hasn’t changed that.
When Leo brings Aaron into their bed, I wasn’t sure how it would work, but it added an edge and more of a challenge to those Leo and Kaleb already faced. How will Leo keep both doxies safe? Leo can’t claim two. How far is Kaleb willing to go to save Aaron? How far can Kaleb fall and let go to please Leo, the chimera and Aaron.
The primary mission is getting Aaron and Kaleb trained and focused. Leo is determined to make Kaleb the strongest, most pure doxie so no one can have him or drink from him except Leo. His chimera makes him unique to the others who’d die from overdoing on ambrosia if they took from Kaleb. So, there’s a huge focus on that training. The pushing of limits, the fear, pain, and unexpected requests.
It also opens up Aaron’s only hint of vulnerability and humility. Kaleb’s prized part that he’s never been able to release is finally broken and it rips him apart. Leo and Aaron must tear him down more to put him back together so he can be the purest doxie ever, and this greatly pleases both Leo and his inner monster.
This book was definitely setting up the final events that will take place. The god-son must be destroyed, the traitors exposed, Aaron and Kaleb claimed or safe, and Leo held in check. Question is, will they all survive and how far are they each willing to go to achieve their ultimate goal?
As you can guess, this was an exciting book within the series. Definitely some ups and downs as far as emotions. Some fears as to how things will work out for the three men. All will hopefully be addressed in book four that is already out and next to be reviewed here at 3 Chicks After Dark.
Fairy tale endings weren’t made for people like me. Happy for now usually ain’t in the cards, either.
The dents on my wall from where my headboard kept knockin’ against the same spot was the first clue that I needed to calm my ass down. At the rate I was racking up notches and plowing through hookups, I wasn’t ever gonna find nothing real. Guess I kinda jinxed myself. I created my circumstances. You can’t get what you want if you keep falling back into the same pattern of bad habits. But then things changed. I stumbled onto somethin’ I never in a million years expected to happen. You gotta understand, I’m never the guy who wins. It was supposed to be just sex, but that shifty, rhyming and scheming bastard, Cupid, pulled a fast one.
I may have changed some stuff to protect a couple of people. But before you go believing the tabloids, make sure you understand that you’re gettin’ the lowdown straight from the source.
I needed to get this off my chest and it’s only fair that you at least get my side of it all. At some point, I might regret telling you any of this, but for now, you need to know.
*Disclaimer* This is a novella. Not a short story, novelette, or novel. This tale features an M/M pairing. If gay erotica/erotic romance is not your cup of tea and you are offended by same-sex relationships or crass language, you should bypass this story. Content is intended for a mature audience, 18+.
Complexity is the fourth installment in The Kinky Connect Chronicles. The Kinky Connect Chronicles are short erotic stories/novelettes all wrapped up in neat little bows. These stories are standalones. No cliffhangers in the lot!
“Ain’t no easy way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it. You can ask me whatever you want after. Cool?”
Marisol looks up from the phone, and Juan shifts her on his lap, asking, “What’s up, Emmanuel?”
I take a deep breath and let ’er rip.
“I wasn’t seeing a girl, a woman. I was um . . . dating a guy. His name is Chris. I’m bisexual, and we were involved for a bit before things got too serious and I . . . we . . . called it off.”
Both Marisol and Juan stare at me, stunned. Juan’s mouth is parted in an O, but he quickly closes it.
He scratches the back of his head with this goofy-ass look on his face, and Marisol looks down at the tablecloth, her cheeks flushing. Moms and Lucia are quiet.
“Now’s the time to speak up if you got some shit to say, Juan. Let it out.”
Moms frowns at me. She hates when I curse.
“I-I had no idea you were gay, um, bi.”
“Not something I go around shouting since who I fu . . . uh, have sex with is nobody’s business.”
“Moms, you and Titi Lucia are quiet. Too quiet. You knew?” he asks.
Moms nods at Juan. “Sí.”
My mother grabs my brother’s hand and gives it a little squeeze. “Juan, I love you both no matter what. Manny is an adult and he’s living his life. He knows I care about him protecting himself and being safe more than anything. Doesn’t matter if he’s with a woman or a man. A mi no me corresponde, ni es mi derecho, juzgar a alguien a base de su orientación sexual.”
Moms is saying that judging me, or anybody, on the grounds of their sexual orientation isn’t her business nor her right. I’ve never loved my mother more than I do in this moment. She let everyone in the room know that her job is to love me, and never judge. Moms displayed exactly what unconditional love is.
Titi Lucia chimes in, “He’s your brother. Nothing about him has changed. He’s the same guy you grew up with. The one who made you breakfast, helped you with your homework when your mother was working, washed your pissy sheets when you wet the bed, taught you how to fight and how to shoot a basketball. He was the father you should’ve had if yours wasn’t a deadbeat loser. Manny loves you no matter what, and you’d better feel the same, Juan.” Lucia’s voice is threatening as she wags a finger at my brother.
“Okay, okay, let’s chill out and let Juan process this for a sec. We cool or what?” I ask, staring at him. Marisol lifts off his lap and excuses herself. Lucia follows her and Moms takes a seat at the table.
Complexity. Never has a title better fit a story. Harper Miller hits the ground running and never stops in this spunky contemporary romance, introducing deep, complex characters who quickly find themselves in endlessly complicated situations. What starts out as a simple quest for a hookup leads to a complicated maze of twists and turns resulting in a lot of heartache and introspection. It’s been a while since I’ve lost myself in a novella as quickly and wholly as I did this time, but there’s something compelling about Manny’s story.
Manny’s a hard-working guy with hopes and dreams of owning his own private training facility. His genuine, likable character comes through in just about everything he does, and when he meets someone with the potential for more than just the usual hookup, it’s tough not to be hopeful. He’s juggling cultural, financial and sexual struggles – a lot for any one person to manage – and it’s really hard not to root for his success and acceptance.
Miller takes us on an emotional and sexual journey that may not be quite as kinky as the series name implies. While there’re plenty of sexy, erotic encounters, much of the kink is implied or off-screen. If you’re looking for a short, satisfying read with equal parts sex and substance, Complexity is sure to please. My only question is what’s up with that ending? I’m dying here…I need more.
RATING: ONE BADASS BOOT, ONE STILETTO
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Harper Miller is a thirty-something native New Yorker. She’s traveled the world and lived in a variety of places but always finds her way back to the Big Apple. A lackluster love life leaves time to explore new interests, for Harper it is writing. The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance is her debut novel. In her mind, the perfect Alpha male possesses intellect, humor, and a kinky streak that rivals the size of California.
When she isn’t writing, Harper utilizes her graduate degree in the field of medical research. She enjoys fitness-related activities, drinking copious amounts of wine and going on bad dates.
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