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Spotlight: Games of Rome (Dominus #2) by JP Kenwood #Menage #Paranormal @JPKenwood

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Title: Games of Rome (Dominus #2)
Author Name & Publisher: JP Kenwood (JPK Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: November 18, 2015 – 339 pgs

Synopsis

In this sequel to Dominus, Gaius Fabius Rufus, the victorious general of Rome’s brutal Dacian Wars, finds his loyalties and his affections pulled in different directions. Should he return to Rome and secure his claim to the imperial throne, or remain at his seaside villa and protect his pleasure slave, the fierce Dacian prince, Allerix?

Retaliation for the murder of his beloved friend beckons him home, but his desire for justice could put both him and Allerix in mortal danger. As Gaius’s deceptions multiply, another tragedy strikes. Will the Lion of the Lucky IV Legion be forced to sacrifice his besotted heart to achieve his aspirations for supreme power?

Every moment since Allerix’s violent capture has tested the young prince’s fortitude and cunning. If he can kill the triumphant emperor who decimated his Dacian nation, revenge and immortality will be his glorious, everlasting rewards. But to realize his scheme for vengeance, he must deceive the Roman master whose body he lusts, the handsome, arrogant man whom he has grown to adore and admire. Can two former enemies—the conqueror and the conquered—find trust and true love, or are the consequences of war destined to tear them apart? Can Gaius and Allerix survive the perilous games of Rome?

Dominus is a plot-packed erotic m/m fantasy set in ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Trajan (AD 98-117).

Games of Rome is the second book in this alternative history saga—a tumultuous journey of forbidden love, humor, sex, friendship, political intrigue, deception, and murder

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Excerpt

“On your knees, Allerix. There’s to be no screaming here at Domina’s estate, not with Avia sleeping down the hall from my guest room. Will you be able to stifle your cries?”

Alle looked up and swallowed. “You’d better gag me, sir.”

Gaius laughed. “Wise answer. I intend to spank your fit bum until your fucking toes tingle. And once I’ve slapped your arse scarlet hot, I’ll introduce you to a most wicked device I’ve brought from the playroom. Do you have any idea how much I love watching a boy squirm in ecstatic frustration, how much I enjoy denying him his exquisite release?”

Alle exhaled loudly but said nothing.

“That was a direct fucking question, Alle.”

“Yes, Dominus.”

“If I’m satisfied with your obedience, I’ll impale your tight heat until my thick, noble cream spills out of your arse and drips down your long, furry legs. And if you beg sweetly, I might suck your gorgeous cock until you come so hard those beautiful eyes of yours roll back in your fucking skull.”

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5 and 3 Stars for Mythologically Torqued Anthology by Alisha Monroe, Alyx Shaw, Angelique Voisen, Carol Tierney, Delilah Storm, Eva Lefoy, Jacey Mills, L.J. Hamlin, Leigh Ellwood, Logan Zachary, Max Wilde, Salome Wilde, Shiloh Saddler, T. Strange, V.L. Locey

1.4

Title: Mythologically Torqued Anthology Volume 1
Author Name: Alisha Monroe, Alyx Shaw, Angelique Voisen, Carol Tierney, Delilah Storm, Eva Lefoy, Jacey Mills, L.J. Hamlin, Leigh Ellwood, Logan Zachary, Max Wilde, Salome Wilde, Shiloh Saddler, T. Strange, V.L. Locey
Length: 106, 000 Words

Synopsis

Torquere’s largest anthology to date features a total of 15 authors pleased to bring you 15 unique tales from when gods and goddesses ruled the world. This collection features both m/m and f/f content for your reading pleasure. Dare you enter this realm of Mythologically Torqued fantasy? Be on the lookout for Volume 2 summer 2015.

Mythologies from around the globe receive a happy little twist in this first volume of Mythologically Torqued. A Scottish kelpie, Greek gods and goddesses, a Japanese princess, and demons delight and intrigue in these stories, each containing LGBT elements.

OR…

Whether it’s Greco-Roman gods and goddesses or heroes from tales around the globe, Mythologically Torqued, volume 1 brings together not-so-classic lovers with a Torquere twist.

OR…

Eros finds his soul mate in the arms of a demigod friend in L.J. Hamlin’s In Love with Zeus’ Son. In Shiloh Sadler’s Clipped Wings, two men on a plantation find love under the most unusual circumstances in 1842 Missouri. V.L. Locey’s Back to the Garden, Pan hits up Woodstock with the sun god Apollo—sex, drugs, and rock and roll take on a whole new meaning. In Brísingamen, Carol Tierney offers us the story of a magical necklace, and the payment goddess Freyja delivered to four dwarven sisters for it’s creation. Delphinos, by T. Strange, is a modern-age retelling of Dionysus’ creation of dolphins. In Angelique Voison’s version of the Japanese Moon Princess myth, Reiko is tasked with bringing the Emperor’s future bride, the fabled Moon Princess to court, and complications arise when Reiko falls head over heels for Kaguya. Charged with ensuring Sisyphus fails, Hercules is conflicted by his feelings for the former ruler in Angelique Voison’s How Hercules Got His Bruise. In Leah Ellwood’s Styx and Stone, Ferrying souls across the Styx is a lonely business, but Charon doesn’t mind—newly arrived Stone is more than willing to keep him company. No one believes in the Greek gods anymore, and Apollo is in a rut, Ganymede—cupbearer to the gods— tries to get Apollo to see what’s in front of him in Jacey Mills’ Another Night at the End of the World. Salome Wilde’s Eternal Grind offers a corporate take on Christian Hell, populated with horned and hoofed demons inspired by medieval monks’ fertile imaginations, which follows a pair of lesbian demon baristas, determined to find their own happily-ever-after. In the distant past, Ero was the god of desire, but in present day, he looks for love with Psy—a peerlessly gorgeous mortal man—and needs to keep a secret, in Alisha Monroe’s The Myth of Ero and Psy. Bound by chains and defenseless, Thor is being held captive by Garrick, a young man also forced to service until demands are met in Logan Zachary’s Bound by Desire. Together, attraction ignites between Thor and Garrick—can love grow if it is bound by desire? In Delilah Storm’s The Golden Balls, true love’s kiss is powerful, and Jasper’s sexuality awakens—will Anur be able to keep Jasper in this sleepy little kingdom? A spurned lover, mythical horse, and a public official walk into a pub—murder, mayhem, and everlasting love result in Alyx Shaw’s The Kelpie.

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Review

FiveStars

5 stars for the whole anthology

This is a terrific collection of retold myths and fairy tales. Many are based on Greek mythology, though there are a few from other traditions. The stories are erotic and sensual, ranging from romantic to scorching. It’s one of the best collections I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.

Styx and Stone (Leigh Ellwood)

A funny, sweet story about the ferryman of the dead. I enjoyed the light fun and the cute happy-ever-after. A well-written and unusual take on the Underworld.

How Hercules Got His Bruise (Eva Lefoy)

This one is hot as Hades. I’m not usually a fan of muscly studs getting it on, but this one was done just right. Hercules and Sisyphus make one gorgeous pair, and the writing is fantastic.

In Love with Zeus’ Son (L.J. Hamlin)

This one was a little lacking for me. It was a bit cookie-cutter for my taste, and it wasn’t especially memorable. However, I think it would work well as part of a larger story, as there was some interesting world-building.

Clipped Wings (Shiloh Sadler)

This was an exceptional concept. A retelling of the Swan Princes set in 1840s Missouri is a bold undertaking. What a beautiful, happy-sad story. My only hesitation was that some of the dialog sounded too contemporary and it pulled me out of the story a bit. Otherwise, this was excellent.

The Kelpie (Alyx J. Shaw)

This one was eerie and mysterious, yet it also had a sense of playfulness. Norman, the kelpie, seems to possess my own somewhat snarky sense of humor. This was the best shivers-up-my-spine story for more than one reason. Another very well-written and unique tale.

Eternal Grind (Salome Wilde)

I loved the concept of this story, about a hellish (literally) coffee shop. However, it ended up being a bit too cynical and anti-religious for my taste. I did enjoy the payoff at the end.

Another Night at the End of the World (Jacey Mills)

Although I didn’t feel there was a whole lot that stood out to me in this story, I thought the idea of love creating new perspective was lovely. There was also quite a bit of humor and fun along the way. This was a well-written tale with a very sweet, magical ending.

The Fifth World (Max Wilde)

This was one of my favorites. Photographer Maggie discovers wolf-woman Yara in the snowy wilderness. The love that grows between them is tender and deep, and it creates a beautiful sense of longing. This is another one on the theme of love changing one’s perspective. What a treasure.

Bound by Desire (Logan Zachary)

I really enjoyed this story. Both Garrick and Thor are prisoners, and Garrick is in charge of holding Thor hostage while also being forced to serve his basic care. It does skirt the bounds of consent, but it never breaks them. Very well-written, both suspenseful and erotic.

Brisingamen (Carol Tierney)

This is another one of my favorites. It is everything from softly sensual to scorching hot. At first, I wasn’t sure about the idea of Freyja trading sex for the necklace, but it turned out to be really beautiful and passionate. The story is marvelous, and there were moments that brought me to tears.

Delphinos (T. Strange)

On the surface, this seems like a story about somewhat odd people meeting each other. Underneath, I loved the way longing and sadness were woven through the story. The end was a complete surprise, and it left me with the best kind of happy-sad feeling.

The Myth of Ero and Psy (Alisha Monroe)

I’ll be honest, this wasn’t one of my favorites. I’m not sure if it’s just my non-interest in the club scene or that I’m a bit tired of this myth being retold, but I thought it was just okay. There was plenty of passion, and I liked the characters all right, I just didn’t find it overly memorable. Still, it was well-written; it’s more personal taste than that the story was flawed in any way.

The Golden Balls (Delilah Storm)

I loved this one from the very beginning. I’ve never read an m/m telling of the Frog Prince, and this was so wonderfully done. I’m partial to pretty men and gingers, so Jasper utterly delighted me. I found it suspenseful wondering who was telling the truth and whether love would win out in the end.

Kaguya (Angelique Voisen)

I’ll admit I’m not familiar with Japanese mythology, so I’m not sure if there’s something I missed here. I didn’t quite understand the story. It mostly seemed like an excuse to have Reiko and Kaguya have sex with a little magic thrown in to fit the theme. It was passionate, but I prefer a bit more story to hold it together. Still, I liked the setting, and I was glad for a non-western myth.

Back to the Garden (V.L. Locey)

Another favorite of mine. This one had me laughing out loud. Woodstock is absolutely the perfect setting for a gods-descend-to-earth Greek myth tale. What better place for Pan to meet his lover? Witty and wonderful, sexy and sweet, this one charmed me from beginning to delightful end.
Amy

ThreeStar

An interesting collection of novellas, covering a wide variety of situations and characters from historical settings to the contemporary. Others just relying and succeeding with the humorous approach.
Many well written, some however, relying more on unusual names to context. However a very entertaining anthology that gives the reader the choice of dipping in to what ever subject they feel compelled to read at any given time.
The short biography of each author was quite educative.
Disappointed that there were not more lesbian episodes.
This anthology is ideal for those who wish to explore a variety of genres and sexuality.
Chris

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3 Stars for Dreams of the Forgotten (Sumeria’s Sons #3) by Lexi Ander #Polyamory #UrbanFantasy #AuthorInterview

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Title: Dreams of the Forgotten (Sumeria’s Sons #3)
Author Name: Lexi Ander
Publication Date & Length: April 15, 2015 – 193 Pages

Synopsis

For Tristan and Ushna, nothing comes easy and with each passing day the challenges grow and the dangers multiply. The safe home they are building for their family and tribe is threatened from all sides, and the peace they seek is being torn apart by enemies and internal strife. Tristan dares not reveal his condition to any but those closest to him, all the while he’s plagued by dreams he cannot remember upon waking…

And over all of it hangs the knowledge that his time with Ushna is running out. Because Ushna already has a Flame awaiting rebirth, and though Tristan would die to protect that bond, he constantly struggles against his beast who demands they bind Ushna to their side.

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Review

ThreeStar

Lexi Alexander considers some universal themes in this story. I love the idea of a Twin Flame, a predestined soul mate. Even better is her characters’ scrutiny and challenging of this teaching.

I love the mix of gods, magi, shifters and others who form this world. Alexander’s world-building is as complex as it is unique and I was intrigued.

This is the third book in the series and the first I’ve read. For me, it didn’t quite work as a stand-alone. To fully understand Alexander’s complex world, I think readers will need to start from the beginning of the series.

Alexander’s characters are well developed and I enjoyed watching relationships form, strengthen, and in some cases re-form under new circumstances.

For a warrior prince, the pregnant Ushna spends a great deal of time caring for children and pups. I really struggle with m/m books about pregnant men. To be fair, I find most books about any pregnancy tedious and avoid reading about breeders.

Personally, I need a little more action and a little less domesticity in my fantasy stories.

Sarah

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Excerpt

Ushna’s Lupe, the third form of half-man and half-wolf that all Lycan warriors used for battle, pushed forward as his need to protect took over. Short, fine, black hair burst through his skin under my hands as his chest and arms thickened, his face elongated, and his mouth filled with jagged teeth. Even with fingers tipped with razor-sharp claws, he was careful as he delicately held me in his protective arms. He growled loud and long in warning.

The light switched on, flooding the room with blinding white light. I heard Gregori in the background yelling in anger, followed by a hollow thumping noise, and wounded yells. I scented who’d invaded our bedroom before I gazed over Ushna’s shoulder.

Several weeks ago, Elder Koller had made a call to pull childhood friends of ours, Stanley Kendall and Jory Swaine, from California. The suggestion had been made after the Magi Triad had tried to kidnap both Gregori and Ushna, and the elder knew these two were men I trusted. We had been expecting them at any time, and I would’ve laughed at their antics if I wasn’t worried Ushna would eviscerate our friends.

Gregori, his red hair wild, clad only in blue sleep pants, had a fistful of Stan’s dark hair and a foot planted in the middle of his back, bowing Stan over backward. Gregori wielded a shoe like it was a Sumerian sword and beat Jory with it. Jory tried to defend himself against the onslaught of the shoe and fight off the two guards who were attempting to subdue him.

“You stupid idiots!” Gregori yelled at the top of his lungs. “You could’ve hurt him, you oversized oafs! What’s wrong with knocking?!”

Thwack. Thwack. Thwack.

“Ushna is going to eat you and I should let him! It would remind you to respect your alpha!”

Thwack. Thwack. Thwack.

“Senseless overgrown children!”

Half a dozen guards filed into the room, taking charge of Stan and Jory, relieving a bedraggled Gregori. Scowling furiously at our friends, Gregori gradually crawled onto the bed, talking soothingly to Ushna, who hadn’t stopped growling. I ran my hands down his fur-covered back to soothe him.

“Everything is okay, Ushna,” Gregori cooed.

I cupped my hands around his face, gazing into his ruby red eyes. “I’m okay,” I whispered to him. “Come back to me.”

He released the Lupe, and Ushna the man emerged, the harsh and horrific features melting away. His body shuddered, muscles clenched and convulsed as his control returned.

It’d been years since I’d seen our two friends. Where Stan was dark, Jory was light. Stanley Kendall had wavy dark brown hair that roughly covered his brow, but didn’t quite touch his collar. His eyes were so brown they were virtually black. He sported a couple days of growth on his chin and cheeks. The stubble looked good against his bronzed skin.

Jory Swaine, on the other hand, had short blond hair, was clean shaven with bright turquoise eyes and golden skin. Stan was broader through the chest with his athletic build while Jory was leaner. Both wore leathers; Jory’s pants where loose, hanging low on his hips and revealing the waistband of his boxers, while Stan looked like he was poured into his.

Ushna turned a furious gaze on Stan and Jory, who were standing in the farthest corner, appearing chastised and contrite. “What in the hell were you thinking!” He roared at them. Gregori and I made shushing noises, but Ushna continued to rumble.

“Ah… surprise?” Stan offered weakly, slightly confused.

“Ushna, it’s okay; they didn’t know,” I said.

Ushna snapped his human teeth at our friends. I swear if we’d been alone, I would’ve jumped and taken him right there.

“Xenres, are you injured?” Corey Bahar was the first to swear a blood oath to me. He’d been Captain until this unexpected growth of the tribe and now he was the newly appointed Arms Master of the Royal Guard. In private, he was most adamant in the use of my title, Xenres, which meant prince in our language. Corey didn’t take his sable gaze off Stan and Jory as he approached me. The man looked like he’d been up for hours with his braided blond hair gleaming, clothes pressed and tucked. Did he ever sleep?

Jory chortled at Corey’s words, which caused Gregori to throw a shoe and bean Jory in the head.

A string of curse words exploded from Jory. “Dammit, Gregori! What the hell was that for?” He rubbed the sore spot.

Gregori didn’t answer. Corey’s question was all it took to make Ushna start snarling again as he ran his hands over me, checking for obvious injury. Gregori rubbed small circles on Ushna’s back. I grabbed his hands and craned my head around to get him to look me in the eye, to see me.

“Hey, hey! I’m okay. I’m not hurt.” I kissed his hands.

“I want Nathan to look at you.” Ushna’s worried gaze continued to study me. Nathan Janick, my brother and the resident doctor, had meticulously cared for me during my pregnancy so far.

“All right.” I knew nothing less would appease him.

Stan watched our exchange. The longer he listened, the more confused he appeared. “What’s the big deal?” He crossed his arms, scowling hard. He and Jory had acted as they normally would around us, with carefree roughhousing.

I grabbed Ushna’s attention before he could bark back a reply. We’d purposely kept my pregnancy within my inner circle. I hadn’t left the Clearwater area, which was my territory. When I needed to go to town, I wore a ring Gregori had made for me, a ring of illusion that had hid my swollen stomach. I didn’t meet with outsiders without it.

We hadn’t told Stan and Jory. All communication had gone through Elder Janus Koller, who’d recruited them to work for the Elder Council in the Enforcement Division. Neither Ushna nor I had spoken to these two before now. Needless to say, we hadn’t anticipated their surprise.

“Master Corey,” I calmly said, “we’re all right. I’m sorry we woke you.” I needed privacy for the talk we were going to have with our old friends.

Corey gave a slight bow. The expression on his face let me know we would be revisiting the issue of posting guards outside the bedroom. I had been successful at convincing Corey that the small group of warriors staying in the house was enough security. We didn’t need someone standing on sentry duty in the hallway. To appease Corey, I had even agreed to allow an armed detail to shadow me around the ranch when I left the house. This stunt of Stan’s and Jory’s would make Cory feel vindicated in his original assessment. I would have to talk quick at the next security meeting to keep the arrangements the way they were now.

“It was no bother, Xenres.” Corey shot Jory a hard look when my friend snorted a laugh. He appeared to be gauging whether Jory was being disrespectful to me or making fun of him. “I won’t be far if you need me,” he said before closing the door behind him.

Jory tried to hide his smirk by rubbing a hand over his face. I knew what was coming before he opened his mouth. “Damn, Tristan. You’ve got people bowing and scraping to you. What’ve you been doing?”

AuthorInterview

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

I have two writing environments that I prefer to use. My desk in the loft. My husband built it for me so it can take just about anything… not that I dance on my desktop or anything. The walls behind the desk look like swiss cheese because I have a habit of printing out and tacking up inspiration collages for the series I’m working on. Recently I bought a new office chair. It’s like sitting in the seat of a luxury car. And the chair is RED, thank you very my. The second place I use is the living room couch with a lap desk. The room has huge windows and lets in all this light. In the winter, there is the fireplace which I utilize—a lot. ^_^ It’s a nice alternative space.

 

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

*soft smile* That would be Athena from the Valespian Pact. I didn’t realize it until over year after I wrote the story. When I was building Athena, I wanted her to be this character stuck in the middle of events not of her making. What she wanted and her fervent wishes were pitted against what would be, and she had to learn to cope and compromise. Athena ended holding much more of me than what I usually apply to any character. My parents divorced when I was eight. I didn’t understand my parents and I spent many years trying to hold my brothers together in a family, even though they were determined to drift away. All that frustration and heartbreak, I applied to Athena.

 

 

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

Ha! Every time I’m asked this question, the answer changes following what I’m in the mood for. It was the same when I was in high school. Trying to pinpoint an occupation that I wanted to study changed all the time. Today, I would go back to school to become a zoologist.

 

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

Don’t be afraid to let other people to read your work before you submit it to a publisher. My first manuscript was terrible. I knew it was terrible, and I subbed it because I wanted feedback from someone who didn’t know me from Adam on how to make it better. Instead of a rejection letter, I received an acceptance but that whole “I know my manuscript sucks” came back when it went to an editor. Nowadays, I don’t worry about what others will think when they read a raw manuscript but it took quite some time to become comfortable with it.

 

 

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

Not really. Well maybe. I sorta wish I had alternated Tristan and Ushna’s POV. I had not anticipated that the story would need more than Tristan’s POV. The way I had originally envisioned Sumeria’s Sons, his POV was all that was needed. But along the way, some fundamental things changed, requiring more than Tristan’s incite. That’s was happens when the author is a pantser.

 

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

Wow, uhm, lots of stuff. Pictures. Songs. Conversations. Book hangovers. Can’t find that one story I want to read but it doesn’t seem as if anyone wrote it. After I read a comment that *insert subject* would be a terrible love interest. Random pieces of information that I picked up doing research from something else. In short, I can pick up story ideas pretty much anywhere. ^_^

 

 

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m working on the last book of Sumeria’s Sons. When that is complete I’ll work on the next couple books in the Valespian Pact, Bespoken and then Axis’s story. I’m also plotting out an Urban Fantasy MC Biker story with Kenzie Cade. *happy wiggles*

 

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I live in central Indiana. It doesn’t influence how I write. I spend way too much time in my head. Since I stick predominately to Science Fiction/Fantasy genres, where I live doesn’t influence what I write either. Well, unless Indiana suddenly becomes a moon or something.

 

 

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

Non-romantic urban fantasy. Sometimes romance is such a huge part of the plot that a fantasy setting/world goes unexplored. So falling back on something like the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher can be very refreshing and I get the type of plots that’s not as popular in romance.

 

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Coffee, coffee, and coffee. I do drink a good amount of tea as well. My other vice is book shopping. I love going through websites, looking at the covers, and reading the blurbs. I horde my book money for all the good sales because I can never buy just one.

 

Thank you for having me. I had such a delightful time. ^_^

AuthorBio

Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty- pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

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