Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: O Come All Ye Kinky Anthology

Title: O Come All Ye Kinky
Author: Joey W. Hill, Ava March, Alexa Snow, Elyan Smith, Jane Davitt, Katie Porter, Kim Dare, L.A. Witt
Publisher: Riptide
Genre: Erotic Romance with Heavy BDSM
Length: Novel
Release Date: December 3, 2012
Reviewer: Kris

Christmas is a time of love and joy, and the New Year is a time of renewal. But they are also times of stress and strife, family drama, pressure and heartache—a potent mix of high expectations and conflicted emotions. Add in power exchange relationships, kinky gift swaps, and unconventional love in a sometimes unforgiving world, and you have a formula for a sizzling anthology of stories that tug at your heart.

From Ava March’s forbidden Regency love among men, to Katie Porter’s scorching hot contemporary tale of two women discovering holiday happiness, everyone will find a favorite here. Pervertible toys abound: Lambda Literary Award finalist L.A. Witt’s candy cane, Jane Davitt’s wrapping paper and tape, and Alexa Snow’s Christmas candles all please and delight. Newcomer Elyan Smith and fan favorite Kim Dare both celebrate New Year’s Eve with romantic flair and kinky fireworks, while bestselling author Joey W. Hill’s poignant story of love lost and regained will lead you home.

Whatever your desires, we invite you to explore new fantasies and old with these eight kinky tales of holiday happy endings.
20% of all proceeds from O Come All Ye Kinky will be donated to the Domestic Violence Project of the National Leather Association–International.

I love short stories so anthologies are right up my alley. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I thought I was safe with the caliber of authors contributing. Although the writing skills for all of the authors is excellent, some of the stories missed the mark for me completely and most were only 3-4 stars. I was hoping to discover a new author or two, and I'm excited to say that I did. I had not read Ava March before, but I will definitely be reading more. Kim Dare is always a must-read for me and did not disappoint!

Most of the stories take place over one evening with characters that are already in some sort of relationship but trying to move it up a notch. This is also a somewhat heavy BDSM book. Almost all of the stories include some element of pain - biting, caning, flogging - and some include humiliation and candle-play. The majority of the stories are M/M, but there is also 1 F/F and 1 M/M/F.

Tree Topper - Jane Davitt - 4 stars

A Dom with a bratty sub trying to determine how to improve the relationship.

Twas the Night - Ava March - 5 stars

Historical romance about moving a forbidden love forward. I loved both of the characters and enjoyed watching Michael help Percy with his family issues by building his self-esteem.

Fire Works - Katie Porter - 3 stars

This is one of the few F/F books I've read, and unfortunately it didn't work for me at all, but not for the reasons I expected. There is a lot of pain and humiliation in their play, including some serious biting, which I just don't enjoy. On top of that, I failed to understand why anybody would like Rachael let alone want to follow her around the world. I did, however, like the author's writing style.

Candy Caning - L.A. Witt - 5 stars

Stephen and Nate were some of my favorite characters, and I enjoyed watching them work through family issues. The candy cane in the bedroom was delicious in more ways than one!

Submissive Angel - Joey. W. Hill - 3.5 stars

Although this was the most emotionally gripping story in the selection, it missed on a couple of points. First, I love Ms. Hill, but she sometimes gets carried away with her bondage contraptions taking me out of the story as I try to envision it. Maybe pictures would help. Second, there were some issues that were discussed and never answered - like why Ange was homeless with old gunshot wounds. There was also a scene in a manger which was a bit odd especially coupled with some of the religious discussion.

Open Return - Elyan Smith - 2.5 stars

A woman, who was part of a menage relationship, leaves for 15 years and returns as a man. The time gap alone made me think that this was not meant to be a short. On top of that, there was too little dialogue and too much time describing unimportant things leading. I also didn't really care for how the couple treated Hannah/Zach.

Ring out the Old and in the New - Alexa Snow - 4 stars

Very touching story of Evan, who suffered a physical attack that left him physically scarred, and Russell, his lover who helps him heal. I really enjoyed this story and found it amazing how the author conveyed their love for each other in such a short story.

Chance - Kim Dare - 5 stars

Kim Dare is one of my absolute favorite authors and this story was a great example of her work. The uncommunicative Dom, who loves and adores his sub but fails to do a good job sharing his thoughts, wants to make amends. A sub who thinks his Dom is about to let him go and tonight is his last chance. An evening of fun and love for both of them. Loved every minute of this one.

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