Tag Archives: Riptide

If It Drives by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov

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Release Date: March 31, 2014
Published by Riptide Publishing
Review Copy from NetGalley

If you’re looking for someone to rip your heart out, I highly recommend  L.A. Witt  and Aleksandr Voinov.  If you want it done properly, they’re professionals and know just how to inflict maximum pain and suffering.  I challenge anyone who thinks Market Garden is simply an erotica series to read this story without getting emotionally involved. It’s the one thing I can always count on from these authors – whatever expectations I have going in, I always get infinitely more.

I was so ready for this book! Red Tie, or James as I should probably call him,  is back as they promised he would be after If It Fornicates. His past encounter with Nick totally piqued my curiosity, although I was more focused on Nick’s character at the time. It’s a nice change of pace to shift attention solely to James. Now that Nick’s no longer at Market Garden, what would he do? Who would he hire? Red Tie’s not your typical vanilla client – he has some pretty hefty submissive needs, so not just anyone will suffice.

Things are complicated from the very beginning when James’s driver, Callum, shows more than a passing interest in him. Cal wants to know everything: why his boss goes to the Garden, what exactly he does with his rentboys, and if Cal could ever fill that role. Okay, I’m pretty sure Cal knows WHY James goes to Market Garden, but the fact that James needs that outlet doesn’t sit well. When James  gives Callum an opening he never expected, it’s like a dream come true and he can’t refuse. At first I was willing to believe the connection could be purely physical, because let’s face it, their chemistry is off the charts.  Navigating the Dom/sub dynamic is tricky, and while the basics can be the same, the execution is unique to each pair. I wondered if Cal was just learning to unleash his repressed Dom and playing to James’s submissive needs, but after several encounters that’s definitely not the case.

It quickly became clear Cal was in dangerous territory. He cares an awful lot more for James than someone who’s just in it for the sex, otherwise why would who James lives out his sexual fantasies with even matter? That first encounter is a kind of point of no return – from that moment pretty much all bets are off and things get extra messy. I have to give him credit – Cal’s determined to make this work, but his desire to fulfill his boss’s fantasies slowly evolves into something more complex, rooted in trust and respect.  Cal is falling. HARD. His feelings are fully engaged, and it happens seamlessly. The nature of the game they’re playing is that even when you’re in control you’re exposed, and this is definitely about more than duty or mutual pleasure. Cal’s naked vulnerability appealed to my fiercely protective side, especially when James seemed rather oblivious. I wanted to shake him for all the ways he was unknowingly hurting Cal and making him question his self-worth.  One minute Cal’s elated over giving James what he needs and the next ashamed at being cast aside. Ultimately one thing’s abundantly clear: Cal wants something James does not. Or does he?

The emotional load in this book was a little unexpected. Don’t get me wrong, Witt and Voinov are always great at conveying depth and pushing all my buttons, but I wasn’t prepared for the heaviness of it. These guys aren’t emotionally bankrupt, but at times they’re pretty damn close. They’re lonely, guarded, and in need of things even they can’t seem to identify.  Their inner personas rival who they are outwardly – even Cal points out that it’s tough to reconcile the sub Red Tie with power executive James.  Witt and Voinov manage to maintain the delicate balance necessary to intricately weave the various parts of this story while allowing them to also function as mutually exclusive. It’s truly brilliant.

I haven’t mentioned Nick, but never fear, he’s a big part of If It Drives. In fact I was reminded just how fantastic Nick and Spencer are – in a  way they’re my favorite Dom/sub power couple.  Their friendship and mentoring are invaluable to Cal; it’s the support network he needs to have the confidence to proceed with James. BDSM stories frequently feature people training Doms and subs, and I’ve always wondered just how realistic it is. There has to be something intrinsic that lends itself to those roles, I don’t think you can just wake up one day and decide to be one or the other. Nick’s skill set allows him to identify those characteristics in others, and it’s genius how he can simply cultivate the tendencies Cal already has. This was one of the first times as a reader I’ve felt a true connection between mentor and student that was unstrained and without a struggle for ultimate dominance.

I hope it’s not completely selfish of me, but I really want to see more of James and Cal. I felt like this was a completion of Nick and Spencer’s mini-arc within the series, although I’d really like more of  them as well.  The way things end for James and Cal are good but with so many loose ends…I’d like to see them tie those up in the future. ;)

RATING: STILETTOS!!

BLOG TOUR: Excerpt & Giveaway – Payoff by L.A. Witt & Aleksandr Voinov

Payoff_TourBanner

Tristan and Jared are absolutely two of our favorite rent boys at Market Garden, so we’re thrilled to welcome you to the Riptide Publishing/Aleksandr Voinov/L.A. Witt blog tour for their newest Market Garden story, Payoff!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off our backlists (excluding Payoff) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on February 9th, and winners will be announced on February 10th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

About the book:

Payoff CoverTristan and Jared have got it made. When they aren’t raking in the cash together at Market Garden, they’re burning up their own sheets and getting closer by the day. But something isn’t right. Tristan’s on edge, and Jared doesn’t understand why.

Before they can hash things out, their services are requested by none other than Rolex. And Rolex doesn’t just want to be a bystander this time. He wants Jared while Tristan watches, and he’s more than willing to pay for it.

But Tristan’s reached a breaking point, and even that huge wad of cash might not be enough to keep tonight’s arrangement from crashing and burning.

Payoff is available February 3rd from Riptide Publishing.

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Click here to read our review of Payoff.

Got your attention? Enjoy a little nibble of Payoff

Rolex’s driver opened the limo door. Jared slid in first, then Tristan opposite, feeling oddly sticky in his leather trousers on the leather seats. More friction than normal.

Rolex joined them, sitting next to Jared on the backseat. And Jared slid closer, giving him one of those coy glances while he pressed up against him. Rolex glanced at Tristan first, winked, then lifted Jared’s chin with two fingers and kissed him. Jared had always said the man was a decent kisser, and that was obvious just by watching him—not timid, not sloppy, not the type of freaky john who’d be slobbering all over Jared’s face. The quiet little moans coming from Jared were anything but fake. Rolex knew exactly how to kiss him. Bastard.

The car began to roll forward, which disoriented Tristan. He’d been too caught up there for a moment in how their lips moved, their tongues. Jared had been the very picture of a boy with his sugar daddy, his fingers tightening on the john’s thigh muscle as Rolex’s fingers splayed possessively on Jared’s shoulder.

It might have been hot.

It should have been.

In different circumstances, it would have been.

In fact, it had been hot the first time. And the second time. When Tristan had finally had the chance to get his hands on Jared, it had been a thrill to touch him and taste him and fuck him and having another man to watch there had just made it hotter. The lap dance? Bloody hell. Tristan still got shivers thinking about that. Jared would have been stunned if he knew how many times Tristan had jerked off thinking about that night. Though he’d done a lot less of that over the last few months because he didn’t need to jerk off with Jared in his bed.

Leather squeaked softly as Jared draped his leg across Rolex’s lap. His hand was on the front of the john’s shirt, a couple of buttons undone now, and Tristan’s heart skipped a little as he remembered Jared touching him that way.

Does he think of me the same way he thinks of the johns?

***

Just reading this again brings back all the feelings! We love these guys!!

About the Authors:
Aleksandr Voinov has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and he works as a financial editor in the research department of a pan-European investment bank.

After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write edgy, dark, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days.

He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, Loose Id, Dreamspinner, Storm Moon Press, and others.

Connect with Aleks:
Website: aleksandrvoinov.com
Blog: aleksandrvoinov.blogspot.com
Twitter:@aleksandrvoinov
Goodreads: goodreads.com/Vashtan

***

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.

L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

Bump in the Night Blog Tour: Interview with Sam Schooler & Giveaway

BumpNight_TourBanner3 Chicks After Dark welcomes Sam Schooler to the blog to share a little bit about herself and Bump in the Night, the recent anthology from Riptide Publishing. We’re thrilled she’s here!!

Hi! I’m Sam Schooler. My six talented co-authors and I will be stopping by various blogs until Halloween to celebrate the release of our spooky-sexy dark erotica antho Bump in the Night. It’s also Riptide’s second anniversary, so if you tag along on this blog tour, you have plenty of chances to win an awesome, super-sized prize pack full of sweet (and naughty) goodies!

A big thanks to my host 3 Chicks After Dark for having me, and thank you to everyone for stopping by to hang out with me! :)

Heidi and I decided to interview each other with seven lucky questions each, so here are Heidi’s seven to me and my answers! Keep an eye out for her interview with me, too!

1. I’m an experienced co-writer, but as I understand it, you’re new to this game. How was the whole process for you? Anything that surprised you?

Oh man, I was totally unprepared for what writing with Heidi was going to be like! I’ve done a lot of cowriting over the years, but it was all roleplay-style—I wasn’t experienced in writing the same characters as my partner, or in both writing the same paragraph. Heidi and I jived well during the whole plotting and researching phase, but when it came to the writing, I was a little shy at first. It was nerve-wracking knowing that Heidi was sitting on the other side of the Google Doc, watching me write in real-time (and sometimes editing lines as I wrote them, which I ended up doing to her once I worked my courage up!), but once the shyness faded, I ended up loving it.

I would say I was most surprised by the mind-meld that happened during the latter half of the story. I would think a line and before I could write it, it would appear word-for-word, like I was thinking for Heidi’s hands. That’s how you know you’re hooked into a good cowriting partnership! :)

2. “Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint” is set in Victorian England, so we did a bit of research as to the setting and the period. What was your favourite thing you learned?

I am a HUGE Jack the Ripper buff, so I’ve done a lot of reading about 1880s-1890s Whitechapel, but when it came to research for BSS, the queer aspects of Whitechapel blew me away. Lots of our research revolved around male prostitutes, and in the course of researching how common queer sex was, I stumbled on this:

Sam Schooler Quote

HOW COOL IS THAT?! I have it sitting on my desktop, waiting for me to write a story about it.

3. Okay, this question might be a little personal. Writing sex with a co-writer . . . sexy, or all business?

Depends on the cowriter. ;D

In all honesty, I don’t tend to get turned on when I’m writing sex in general, and it’s the same with a cowriter. I will say, though, that while we were writing the sex scene in BSS, I walked away from my computer to get a drink, and when I came back Heidi had started writing some dialogue that involved a lot of “please Master” and I damn near dropped my drink. Way to hit one of my kinks right over the head!

4. Of the story’s three leads, who do you sympathise most with, and why?

David, by far. David is the “saint” of “Blasphemer, Sinner, Saint,” and it’s for good reason. The son of an alcoholic father, David was raised with our other main character, Tobias, in Tobias’s father’s home for orphan boys. David and Tobias fooled around when they were younger, and when Tobias’s father found out that David was prostituting on the side to help keep his family afloat, he kicked David out. Tobias has since repented and believes what he and David did was sin, and that David is an unrepentant sinner, since he remains a prostitute to get the money to send his younger brother to school.

What Tobias doesn’t understand is that David’s financial situation simply doesn’t allow him the luxury of another trade. For most of the story, Tobias berates David, telling him about all the opportunities he could have taken to “better” himself, and the class divide between the two of them provides as much friction as Tobias’s homophobia and hypocritical bigotry.

Aside from sympathizing, though, of the main three characters, I think Mr. Ashmedai is my favorite. Do I sympathize with him? Not so much. Do I like him? Hell yes. What a gloriously clever purveyor of awful he is.

5. Any thoughts on writing erotic horror versus erotica? Do you approach writing sex in a different way, or does the subject matter do most of the heavy lifting?

I do approach it differently, yeah! Embarrassing story time! When I was a junior in high school, I wrote a short story about a writer who believed he needed to do method research about his main character, a werewolf. It culminated in him eating the heart of a recently murdered man, and the way the cannibalism scene was written was paralleled to an orgasm scene, and it was visceral and sexual and, well, the punchline is that I had to read it out loud to my class.

When I’m writing erotic horror, I focus more on body words—flesh, blood. I’ll use words like raw, slick, torn. . . There’s a certain violence to the phrasing, really. Where, in erotica, I may say that someone is bent back over the bed, spread out supine and waiting with sweat beaded on their skin, in erotic horror I’d say that they are wrenched at an angle over the side of the bed, arms thrown out, spread like a sacrifice, the red flush at the hollow of their throat begging for the attention of teeth.

6. Neither of us has read the other stories in the anthology yet. Which one are you most excited to sink your teeth into?

“Resurrection Man.” Laylah Hunter and I were in Torquere’s vampire anthology, Masks Off Too!. Theirs was my favorite in MOT!, and I’m expecting greatness from them this time around, too.

7. Would you ever make a deal with the devil? For what?

I’m no Winchester! I don’t think I’d trade my eternal soul—or, uh, other things—for anything. Except maybe a limitless supply of iced caramel lattes.

 

About Bump in the Night:

BumpInTheNight_500x750_0Turn off the lights . . . and turn on your darkest fantasies.

Demon pacts. Ghostly possessions. Monsters lurking in the depths. The things that go bump in the night frighten us, but they also intrigue us. Fascinate us. Even turn us on.

Join us as fan favorites Ally Blue and Kari Gregg bring over-amorous aquatic beasts to life with their mythic twists on the Siren and the monster in the lake.  Erotic horror pros Heidi Belleau, Sam Schooler, and Brien Michaels show us just how sexy scary can be with a pair of demon deals destined to curl your toes and set your heart thrashing. And literary masters Laylah Hunter and Peter Hansen weave haunting worlds where ghosts and dead lovers can touch our hearts (and other, naughtier places too . . .) and teach us lessons from beyond the grave.

By turns exciting, evocative, and exquisitely explicit, the stories in Bump in the Night are sure to scratch your sexy paranormal itch. Explore your wildest fantasies with us in this collection of dark erotic tales.

You can read an excerpt from each story and buy the whole antho here!

Contest:

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a $25 Riptide Publishing gift certificate! Entries close at midnight, EST, on November 2nd, and one grand prize winner will be contacted on November 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.

About Sam Schooler:
Sam Schooler was born on a Saturday in Cincinnati, Ohio, raised by a geek, and was recently released into the wild. A university student, a journalist, and a Tumblr addict, she is most comfortable at night, basking in the healthy glow of a laptop screen. She loves queer romance in all its forms, and has found a home in writing both contemporary and speculative New Adult stories with a focus on queer characters, trans* characters, mixed-orientation couples (or threesomes, or foursomes…), and badass ladies. She can often be found crying over TV shows and comic books, and she is known to passionately campaign for the preservation of the Oxford co

mma. She has associative prosopagnosia. Jeremy Renner played her in a movie once.

Catch up with Sam and her backlist at her website. Or, if you’re feeling daring, follow her on Twitter as @samschoolering or on Tumblr to get the full immersive experience.

An Inch at a Time by Heidi Belleau & Amelia C. Gormley

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I had no idea exactly how appropriate the title of the second Professor’s Rule book was until I started reading. Inches. Rulers. Teachers. They all go hand in hand, and this time literally.

James Sheridan could use a little help salvaging his history grade, and his professor’s rumored to exchange personal favors for better grades. After propositioning Professor Carson he learns the rumors are partially true, but getting a better grade isn’t going to be as easy as he thought. He settles for weekly, off campus, private tutoring sessions.

Evander Carson has some pretty unorthodox tutoring methods – for every incorrect answer James gives, Carson spanks him with a ruler. For every correct answer, he receives a caress or some form of pleasure. The ultimate goal? Ace the final and Carson will give him what he asked for – sex.  It doesn’t take long before James is questioning how badly he wants to be rewarded. Eventually he seems to cross a line where the punishments become the reward, and I think this frightens him just a little bit.

I’ll be honest – this isn’t the type of story that always appeals to me. I know students who had flings with or crushed on professors in college, but I just didn’t really get it. Maybe because my professors were mostly much older and held zero allure. I can, however, understand feeling desperate enough that you’d do almost anything to improve your grade. James is already in a second chance situation, so he knows he can’t screw this up. Combine that with the way Belleau & Gormley approach the situation, and it becomes hot and steamy rather that creepy and seedy. Let’s face it, Evander Carson is HOT.  He’s not called the silver fox for nothing. ;)  I was constantly wondering what tricks Carson had up his sleeve and how he was going to continue their “tutoring.” The fact that this arrangement progresses into more than just a game between these two guys attests to great writing by Belleau & Gormley. Not to mention how they pen their version of hot office sex. WHEW. *fans self*

One thing I want to specifically mention is the amount of character depth in both these guys. Frequently in erotic short stories or novellas you get the bare minimum – background information and action. Rarely do I feel like I get to know the characters and get a sense of their drive and motivation. James has past experiences that influence his life in many ways. As these were revealed, I no longer viewed him as a student just desperate to improve his grades so he wouldn’t disappoint his parents. That’s only part of the bigger picture; he’s a guy with serious problems driving him to do desperate things, and my heart broke for him. I actually finished reading and wished there could be more. I’d love to know where things go from here.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS