3.5 Stars for An Act of Duty by Elizabeth Coldwell – #MM #Romance @Totally_Bound


Title: An Act of Duty
Author Name: Elizabeth Coldwell
Publication Date & Length: March 14, 2014 – 43pgs


When duty becomes mixed up with desire, can a battle-scarred soldier leave behind the horrors of war and enter a world of fantasy and fulfilment?

For Corporal Mark Stockdale, a trip to Amsterdam won’t just provide some much-needed R and R away from the horrors of the Afghanistan battlefield – it’s also a way of keeping a promise to a fallen comrade. But violence has a way of seeking Mark out, even in the most peaceful of locations, and when he stops for a drink in a quiet bar, he finds himself stepping in to help its owner, Robin Sneijder, fight off a group of opportunist thieves. Robin shows his gratitude, and Mark is stunned by the depth of the passion between them, and when Mark wakes in the night from a vivid nightmare of the attack that killed his best friend, Ozzy, Robin is there to comfort him.

Robin seems like the perfect partner, and what started as an act of duty turns into an unforgettably erotic encounter. But when Robin confesses he has an overwhelming urge to submit to a hunk in army uniform, Mark is not sure whether he can put aside the realities of war and fulfil his new lover’s most cherished desires. Can he separate fact and fantasy, and give Robin the domination he craves?

Reader Advisory: Contains graphic descriptions of a roadside explosion, and acts of domination and submission between men

Publisher’s Note: This story has been previously released as part of the Stand to Attention anthology by Totally Bound Publishing.

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Mark is on vacation in Amsterdam, a location him and his long time friend Ozzy wanted to visit. Going into a bar off the beaten path, he wants to experience what it’s really like instead of visiting another tourist trap. What he encounters is completely unexpected.
I liked the thought behind the story. I wish it’d been made more clear that his friend Ozzy hadn’t made it home since I didn’t realize that until halfway through the story. That bit of information makes the trip more significant. I liked Mark and how he handled the situations he was in. He took his responsibility serious and the loss of his friend to heart.
However, I felt that there was a connection to Robin that was missing. We didn’t learn much about him at all except that he works at a bar. I think it’s why for me the entire story just seemed sort of lacking. I wanted to know more about Mark and what he’d been through and for him to find someone that connected to him to help him deal with it all. I didn’t feel like we got that though.


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I am Rotherham’s foremost (okay, only) writer of quality erotica and erotic romance. Though I’m now based in London, family and football take me back North on a regular basis. Indeed, if you’re ever at a Rotherham United match (I know, what are the chances?) and you spot a small blonde with a large ‘London Millers’ flag, that’ll be me.

For twenty years, I worked on the UK edition of Forum magazine, for most of those years as editor. In that time, I built up the fiction side of the magazine, and was responsible for publishing the first stories by lots of now well-known and established erotic authors – most notably Portia da Costa and Lindsay Gordon, who was until recently Black Lace’s series editor.

However, I love writing even more than I love editing, and I’ve finally taken the plunge to write full-time. I’ve had stories published by Black Lace, Xcite Books, Cleis Press, Circlet Press, Mammoth, Ravenous Romance, Total-e-bound and more, and my collection of three gay erotic novellas, Wild Rides, will be coming out as a print book from Xcite in 2012. And I’m happy in my work…


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