Review – Hot Head by Damon Suede

Blurb –

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire…

Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.

Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness make them an unbeatable team. To protect his buddy, there’s nothing Griff wouldn’t do… until a nearly bankrupt Dante proposes the worst possible solution: HotHead.com, a gay porn website where uniformed hunks get down and dirty. And Dante wants them to appear there—together. Griff may have to guard his heart and live out his darkest fantasies on camera. Can he rescue the man he loves without wrecking their careers, their families, or their friendship?

Review – 

We all know where we were on the morning of September 11th, 2001 when the world as we know it altered beyond comprehension. I was three thousand miles away, watching the live news coverage, horrified as the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed. Less than a year earlier, I sat on a bench in the plaza at WTC with my youngest daughter, eating hot dogs from a street vendor and marveling at the energy vibrating through the air.

Two months post 9/11 I was back in the city, this time with my oldest daughter. By then, much work had been done at the WTC site, but no amount of debris clearing could erase the overwhelming sense of sadness that had settled over the city. Healing had begun, but the wound was still raw, and far from being scabbed over. We visited the site to pay our respects to those who’d lost their lives there, and where once I had been moved by the energy of commerce surrounding me, I felt as if a black hole had opened up and swallowed everything good that had once occupied the space.

Hot Heads takes place ten years post 9/11, but Griff Muir, a New York City firefighter, is still dealing with the emotional trauma of that day. Through Griff’s eyes, we experience the horror of the event, and the day-to-day struggle to deal with the emotional upheaval so many brave first responders went through.

It’s human nature, following a tragic event, to reassess what’s important in our lives. Brave enough to risk his life amid collapsing skyscrapers, Griff struggles with a personal truth that threatens to bring down everything he holds dear, and he’d rather run into a burning building than admit he’s in love with Dante, his best friend and a fellow firefighter.

Griff can only stand by and watch as Dante digs himself deeper and deeper into financial trouble. When Dante finally admits he needs Griff’s help, the solution he’s come up with is Griff’s private dream and a public nightmare that might destroy them both if Griff can’t find a way out.

Extremely well written, the emotions will tug at your heart, and you’ll want to keep a fire extinguisher handy because the sex scenes are guaranteed to light your fire.

Damon Suede takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster and reminds us that bravery and heroism aren’t allocated according to sexual orientation, and that sometimes, loving might be the bravest thing of all.

I was simply blown away by this book. I give it – 

Damon Suede’s website.

Buy Hot Head

A Brave New Woman: Aphrodite Calling

A brave new woman – that’s an apt description of the heroine in Jennifer Lynne’s new erotic novella, Aprodite Calling. Before I read the book, I was not sure if I’d like this transsexual woman, but as soon as I met Gina, I couldn’t help but like her. She’s strong and brave, and fragile and vulnerable, all at the same time. She’s one-of-a-kind, and yet she’s just like every one of us.

And then there’s her hunky hero. If you thought his brother was hot in Platinum Passion, look out for Himeros, he’s even hotter! This series is about the Greek gods of love, and each of them is a sexy blend of human appetites and god-like powers. Sort of super-heroes of sexuality. And of course each one has the body of, well, a Greek god!

Now how do these two fit together? Amazingly well actually–their bodies fit together as perfectly as their needs. She fills a need in him that no one else has even seen before. And he touches her in a new way, bringing her to heights she’d never dreamed of.

This story is sexy and erotic, romantic, and surprisingly sweet. In the end, it is the author who is the brave woman, giving us a new story that will stay with us long after the heat of the moment dissipates, because these two characters will reach in and touch your heart.

Aphrodite Calling (Gods of Love #2) is available now at Amazon, Smashwords and All Romance ebooks.

Sexual Freedom in Greek Mythology

One of the most interesting aspects of the research into Greek mythology for my Gods of Love erotic romance series, has been the discovery  that the ancient Greeks did not define sexual orientation or behavior by gender. Rather, they looked at sex from a Dom/sub point of view. One person as the dominant penetrator, and the other as the submissive penetrated, regardless of gender.

Gender in fact, became almost irrelevant as sex and sexual activity did not come attached with the social “labels” that we use today – gay, lesbian or transgender, for example.

The lack of moral judgement on sexual activity, and the growth of mythologies around particular gods and goddesses as patrons of different types of love, was extremely appealing to me as an erotic romance author developing ideas for a GLBT themed trilogy that would place ancient Greek gods into a modern day setting.

Shades of…hmm, dare I say it? Yep! Grey, rather than black and white. The idea of almost infinite possibilities for love and desire, without the moral labels, intrigues me. And I’m wondering if maybe we should be taking some lessons from ancient history?

In my first story in the Gods of Love trilogy, Platinum Passion, I introduced Pothos, god of sexual yearning and one of the erotes (aspects of Eros and the children of Aphrodite, goddess of love and sexuality). Pothos visits Jake and Jeannie on the night of their twentieth wedding anniversary to fulfill Jake’s wish to experience bisexual love and to help Jeannie regain the sexual spark that their long-term marriage has been missing.

Aphrodite Calling (Gods of Love #2), is about Himeros, god of sexual desire and brother to Pothos. He responds to the call from Gina, a post-surgery, male to female transsexual, whose desire to be accepted as a woman touches Himeros like no other call before.

The third story in this trilogy, tentatively titled Sex Club Secrets, will be about Anteros, god of requited/unrequited love, who has settled into modern life as the owner of a sex club. Anteros is a naughty boy at heart, and he has a whole lot of fun with two bisexual friends who need the blinkers removed in order to see the truth directly in front of them.

Each of these stories is a stand-alone read, but with the common theme of the erotes running as a thread throughout them all. The freedom I’ve felt in writing these varied storylines has come directly from my research, and from my discovery that not everyone throughout history has defined sexual orientation or gender in the same way that we do today.

What do you think? Can we learn something from those ancient Greeks? Do you enjoy a touch of mythology in your erotic romance, and if so, what are your favorite mythologies/myths?

Here’s a short snippet from Platinum Passion (Gods of Love #1)– a Best Book of 2011 nominee in GLBT Fantasy Romance at The Romance Reviews. It is available for only 99 cents at Amazon, All Romance ebooks and Barnes & Noble:

“Are you ready again, Jake?” Pothos asked, and he nodded.

“Yeah.” His voice was hoarse.

“Jake.” Jeannie spoke his name again, but this time with understanding. She could probably read the rampant desire in his face. Her lips parted and she asked hesitantly, “Who do you want?”

He reached for her beneath the water, felt the curve of her hip and pulled her close. She gasped when she came into contact with his cock. Hell, he felt like gasping himself, he was so ready. “I want you, Jeannie,” he said. Then he looked over his shoulder. “And I want you, Pothos. I want you to fuck me, hard, while I make love with Jeannie.”

He didn’t wait for a response from either of them, confident that the ache of desire he felt was about to be amplified by Pothos. However their new lover did it, Jake didn’t care. He just knew that this night was like no other he’d ever experienced, and the heady lust that filled his nostrils had just gotten stronger as Pothos’ eyes flashed bright and his wife let out a faint moan and shifted impatiently against him. He lifted Jeannie, taking her weight easily with the help of the water’s buoyancy, and settled her warm pussy onto his dick. She immediately wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck and clung like a limpet while she kissed him. His hands kneaded the rounded cheeks of her buttocks and he pushed up into her hot center, taking her resulting gasp into him as they continued to kiss, feeling the tip of his cock connect with her body in that deep, dark place inside her.

He broke off the kiss. “You’re mine.” He thrust again, not sure why he felt he had to stake his claim, and she let out a strangled cry.

“Always, Jake.”

Then he felt the hardness of a male body up against his back, pressing into his thighs, and he buried his face in Jeannie’s golden hair, almost overwhelmed with a mixture of fear and excitement at the realization of what was coming.

“And you’re mine, Jake,” Pothos said. “You and Jeannie. Mine.”

Here is a short snippet from my upcoming release, Aphrodite Calling (Gods of Love #2):

She felt the zipper on the back of her dress begin to wend its way down her spine, and her breath caught when the warmth of a fingertip followed in its wake, urging the edges of her dress to slither away more easily until the material pooled at her hips. Then his lips were against her skin, branding her with heat, just at that dip where her neck melted into shoulder.

She let out a shuddering breath, one she hadn’t even known she was holding, and arched her head to one side to allow him better access. So hard to think straight, when his hands were spanning her waist like that, caressing the edge of her ribs. When his lips and tongue were doing the most incredible things up the delicate line of her neck to nuzzle in such an intimate manner at her earlobe.

“Himeros,” she whispered, as her knees threatened to buckle at the heat and the heaviness between her legs. And it felt different, this time, from what she remembered of past encounters. It wasn’t just centred in her groin, that familiar feeling of an impending explosion. It was her pussy that was hot and heavy, and aching to be stroked, yes, but she also felt the ache throughout her whole body, like a river of spreading warmth. She hadn’t realized it could feel this…damn…good

She reached back to find his hips, pull him closer in against her, wanting to share this newfound sensation of desire.

“I do desire you,” he growled in her ear. “So much.”

“I know,” she said, emboldened by these new feelings, wiggling her ass against the rock-hard core of him. “I can feel how much you want it. Me.”

She turned in his arms then, and she caught the momentary grin that lit his features before his mouth swept down to claim hers. And if she’d thought the sensations before were unique, they were as nothing to the onslaught that swept through her when his lips and tongue forced their way in to brand her with his essence. The power behind his kiss was so intense she couldn’t even respond, other than to let out a moan that he swallowed then continued on.

Demanding more.

Dominating.

Find out more at http://www.jenniferlynne.com.au

 

 

Where’s the “T” in GLBT Romance?

The recent nomination for my ménage erotic romance, Platinum Passion, as Best Book of 2011 in GLBT Fantasy Romance, got me thinking.

What about the “T” in that GLBT tag? Where are all the transgender/transsexual romances?

I googled transsexual romance heroines and found only a handful of books that I would class as a romance (there are several in the straight erotica/porn field, but I write erotic romance so that’s what I’m discussing today). Why so few?

Is the issue of transgender (and its sub-category transsexualism) too removed from the wider experience to be a topic of choice for romance authors? Is it something that people feel they can’t relate to, and therefore they don’t want to tackle such a subject – either as author, publisher or reader?

The recent interest in Canadian transsexual beauty queen, Jenna Talackova, and her bid to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, has perhaps brought this topic more directly into the media spotlight in recent days. Yet I would argue it is still an extremely marginalized and misunderstood topic.

I wrote about ménage a trois and bisexuality in Platinum Passion (Gods of Love #1), yet in real life I’m not interested one bit in sharing my guy with anyone else! Hands off, ladies and gents! The book was nominated for an award, so I must have done something right in the telling of that story, even though the topic is outside my own personal experience.

Could I do the same with a transsexual (post-op) romance heroine? Could I possibly do justice to such a story and create a believable and engaging romance, when I have no direct experience of this myself?

I had already written most of Aphrodite Calling (Gods of Love #2), but the story wasn’t grabbing me the way it should. I sat down to rewrite it, and with the LGBT label floating in the back of my thoughts, my beautiful and courageous transsexual heroine, Gina, came to life in my head. I knew she deserved no less a hero than an amazing Greek god like Himeros – someone who could accept her for who she is, as well as who she was – and help her to understand it is possible to be accepted even if you don’t fit into the mainstream idea of “the norm”.

So a bit of a rewrite for Aphrodite Calling has become a unique challenge and a whole new story, and my first transsexual romance heroine, Gina, is fast becoming one of my favorite characters.

What do you think about transgender or transsexual romance stories? Why are there so few? Is this something an author who labels herself as LGBT could be venturing into on a more regular basis? And is it something readers would enjoy? Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Here’s a taste of what is to come when Aphrodite Calling (Gods of Love #2) is released:

He’d just told everyone in the room he was taking her upstairs to fuck her brains out. Only he’d said it slightly more poetically than that. She reached up and rubbed her temples. “That’s the last school reunion I’ll ever be able to attend!”

Himeros pouted, looking slightly put out by her response. “Would you have wanted to attend another?”

“Well, no, but that’s not the point, really, is it?”

“Why not?”

“Well, because…I don’t know, it just isn’t!”

“Aha! So you don’t have an answer, then.” His triumphant smile made her laugh again.

“Who are you, Himeros, and why are you doing this? Helping me escape, I mean. Though,” she paused and looked at the numbers flashing as they ascended in the elevator, “maybe I’m not escaping out of here, as such. Am I going from the frying pan into the fire?”

He shifted a little, and the confined space suddenly seemed a lot smaller than it had a few seconds ago. She had the impression of vibrating energy, reaching out to encompass her, and if she hadn’t known better, she would have said his tanned skin held a strange shimmer that made him seem lit from within.

“I am Himeros, god of sexual desire, and I am here to answer your call to Aphrodite,” he said. “You are most certainly heading into the fire, but this is one fire you won’t want to extinguish, once you’ve felt the heat of these flames.”

“My call to Aphrodite? What does that mean?” It’s certainly getting hot in here, she thought. Why am I so…aware of him? I’ve been around men before. Sexy men. But it’s never felt like…like my body is finally waking up…

“Gina.” When had he moved closer? Why was he now standing directly in front of her, his arms raised to press a hand against the elevator wall each side of her head? “We will wake you up…together.”

Her breath caught. He was now leaning forward, almost…almost…touching her, his face so close to hers she could see the flecks of green in the blue of his irises, so close that if she raised her hand, she’d be able to trace the angled shadows cast by those gorgeous cheekbones…

“We’re here.” His words whispered in a puff of warmth across her lips and she parted them involuntarily.

“Are we?” How she was managing to keep talking was beyond her. She wanted to close the few centimeters of distance between them and explore that mouth again, to feel the firmness of his body up against hers, to enjoy the heat of a hard cock that wasn’t her own pressing up against the soft curve of her stomach.

“You have a choice, now, Gina,” he said. “Join me here, tonight, and I promise you will not regret your decision. But if you don’t want that… tell me now, before we step over the threshold…”

“Himeros,” she whispered, knowing what she needed to say. “I want to, so much, but there are things about me you don’t know…”

“I know everything, Gina. I told you, I heard your call and I am here to answer it, if you wish.”

She shook her head. “I’m afraid.” She closed her eyes to avoid seeing the revulsion and started when she felt the touch of his fingertips on her cheek. A touch that sent shockwaves right through her body, unfamiliar shockwaves in places that had been numb for too long. She’d been wrong. She wasn’t strong enough to handle everything. She wasn’t strong enough to handle this.

“Himeros.” She took a deep breath and pressed back as far as she could against the wall. “I’m not…well…I wasn’t…” Just say the damn words. Get it over with. “I wasn’t always a woman. I used to be—”

“You were born a man, and you used to be Gerry. Now you are Gina. I know, gorgeous one. I told you, I already know. Open your eyes and see how much I want you right now.”

Aphrodite Calling (Gods of Love #2) will be out soon. The first novella in the Gods of Love trilogy, Platinum Passion, is available now from Amazon and All Romance ebooks.