Review: Unconditional Surrender — an M/M Military Bundle

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Title: Unconditional Surrender:  an M/M Military Bundle

Publisher: Cat Grant Books

Genre: Gay Romance

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This was a REALLY big anthology, over 900 pages long, with several novellas from different authors. I found it to be something of a mixed bag. Some stories were great, many were okay, but a few were bad enough that I flipped past them.

The GOOD:

Cruise Control, by Kerry Adrienne:  This was a cute story about a guy who needs to slow down and another guy who needs some excitement in his life. I enjoyed the atmosphere the author created, and there was a good blend of sex, conflict, and resolution.

Resilient Heart by Annabeth Albert: This story wrenches your heart, going into the effects of recovering from amputation and PTSD. Another really good one that focused a lot on issues being resolved.

Arctic Fire by Keira Andrews:  My favorite of the bunch. Hot but angry Canadian Captain meets laid back Eskimo. You’d better believe the sparks fly in the Arctic cold.

Civilian Master by Cassandra Carr: A funny and sexy meeting between two old friends and their introduction into BDSM. What’s not to like there?

Hometown Hero by Sasha Devlin:  This was another cute story with a mixture of awkwardness, humor, and awwww moments.

Desert Heat by Lucy Felthouse:  I really liked this one because the author dared to use a native of Afghanistan as one of the pair. Really great musings about how things are in that part of the world as well.

The Houseboy: Initiation, by Amelia C. Gormley. HOT. But what else would I expect from her? An excellent BDSM gangbang M/M story.

The Only One Who Cares, by Cat Grant:  Soldiers and a wayward girl, and a baby. This story took some interesting turns, dealing with PTSD in a few different ways, as well as the fear of becoming parents. I liked that not all the veterans were heroes.

Flight Risk, by L.A. Witt:  This one was rather a roller coaster, and a very enjoyable one at that. Interesting theme involving chronic pain, and I liked the flavor of the setting in Okinawa.

The BAD:

Storm Out,  by Brit Blaise:  This one was so awful I only made it through a few pages before flipping past it. It seemed to have every cliché in the book.

Blood & Peyote by Rhi Etzweiler:  Yeah, I couldn’t get into this one either.

The I’M NOT SURE WHAT:

His Guarded Heart by Lia Davis:  I kept trying to like this one, but it kept throwing me off, and I never really connected with it. Great premise, so-so delivery.

Irresistible Forces by EM Lynley:  This one started out great, then slowly died a painful death. It had another great moment in the bathhouse, but overall the story was just uneven, and I ended up skimming the last couple chapters.

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Free Novella out today for “Don’t Read in the Closet” event!

This is my first year participating in the Goodreads MMRomance group’s event, “Don’t Read in the Closet,” so I’m not exactly sure how this announcement should go. All I’ll say is my novella, “Vice and Exploitation” is now posted on the Goodreads group site, and soon will be available as part of the Love is an Open Road anthology. I also plan on uploading this book to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks, iBooks, and Google once I’m allowed to. I’ll make that announcement later.

The story is currently posted here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/12075903

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Story Prompt (From Calila):

Dear Author,

I never expected the cops to bust in on my photoshoot! How was I supposed to know that the modeling agency was just a front for prostitution? I’m not a hooker! You’d think the two Vice cops would have better things to do than to keep shooting me glances. What is with all the smirks? It’s not my fault they won’t let me get dressed! What am I going to do now? Why do I get the feeling I’m not ready for what I read in their eyes?

Notes: Ménage please! Other than that I’m open to anything. Go where your muse insists you go! BDSM would be nice, but not a must.

Sincerely,

Calila

Enjoy!!!

The classic Seme/Uke of M/M Romance

In all genres there are clichés. In the m/m romance genre, one of these clichés is from the Japanese tradition of yaoi–the masculine, dominant Seme, and the submissive, more feminine (or boyish) Uke.

Like all tropes or clichés, there’s a reason this one exists. A lot of readers like it.

Does that make it bad?

Shouta

 

I personally don’t think so. I know in m/m and gay romance there are many options, from both men being strong and dominant (and muscular) to both being twinks, bears, etc. There’s a lot of criticism about men being depicted in a “womanly” way in m/m, but I believe this is a separate issue. To a lot of people, the big strong top and the weaker smaller submissive is appealing. It’s the whole rescuing a damsel in distress, only this time it’s the lovely prince. There is nothing saying that a small man who may be physically weaker must therefore be feminine or womanly. He in fact could be the stronger one mentally, emotionally, socially, etc. So is all that negated by lack of physical strength? Are we that tied to physical appearance?

It’s a good question.

On top of the appeal of physically strong vs. physically weak, for those in the BDSM realm I think there is an added pleasure in seeing the big manly dominant physically outmatching the smaller submissive. (Otherwise, why would there be so much more call for male Dom/female sub? or Daddy/boy, for that matter?)

I think in the end we don’t have to run from tropes like this, but just find ways to expand within them. I’ve written stories between two equally fit, equally strong men. They’re fun.

And sometimes having one smaller and younger is fun too.