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Wes’ Denial, by Joseph Lance Tonlet – A Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review

Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review
Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review

OJ’s Rating: 5 stars
Lisa’s Rating: 5 stars
Lisa’s Review

DISCLAIMER

I was a beta reader for this book and worked closely with the author. My review, however, is my true and honest experience of my feelings and thoughts regarding this story and this author’s writing style. I will always strive to give an honest depiction of my reading experience.

CONTENT NOTIFICATION

This book is a work of fiction that contains explicit erotic content (heavy verbal denigration, orgasm control/denial, forced chastity, etc.), between adult men, and it is intended for mature readers.

BLURB

Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.

Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.

However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.

And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?

WES’ DENIAL

OJ’s Thoughts

When I first read Grif’s Toy, the precursor to Wes’ Denial, I was totally blown away and suffered a severe case of book hangover! I needed more. I craved to know what Wes was all about. See, no one is as perfect as Wes was in Grif’s Toy. His incredible self-control and spot on determination bespoke of something deeper, more profound, and ominously dark. I waited patiently, biding my time. Good things come to those of us who wait!

Wes’ Denial is nothing short of a tour de force reading experience. Right from the opening scene the tone is set for one heck of ride.

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times. The emotional roller coaster is about to begin, and this ride’s a doozy!

Lisa’s Thoughts

**Full Disclosure – I was a beta reader for this book and worked closely with the author. My review is certainly colored by that experience. However these are my true thoughts and impressions.

I’ll assume you’ve read Grif’s Toy and, like me, couldn’t wait for Wes’ story. After all, Wes is strong, honorable, and generous. But you knew, didn’t you? Didn’t you? That there was something else there? Something dark. Something…wrong. This book isn’t Grif’s Toy. That was a sweet, tender love story. This is something entirely different. Be warned, JLT will try to lull you into a sense that everything is perfect, so enjoy that tease because he’s setting you up for gut wrenching denial. Wes’ Denial.
And there will be tears.

THE CHARACTERS

OJ’s Thoughts

Weston ‘Wes’ De Luca:

Wes. What a complex, and yet sincerely honest, man. Since his early adolescence, when he discovered his penchant for being a Dom and, yes, a sadist, he’s been searching for his one, true soul mate.

Wes doesn’t just enjoy, he doesn’t just get off on, he absolutely craves seeing the tears in his sex partners. He loves to inflict that just right amount of pain that will take his sub to that marvelous place where time stands still and you float on nothing but the pure rush of endorphins and the ebb and flow of pain/pleasure, experiencing a continuous orgasm of ever increasing intensity. As a Dom’s Dom he lives for this. And something else. See, Wes has a thing for impact play – his one craving that he’s terrified of.

Wes’ Denial is his story. His efforts to control his craving and his undying love for the soul mate he’s found. Can he keep him? Does he deserve Grif?

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times.

Marcus ‘Grif’ Griffin:

“You’re always saying how you don’t like the characterizations of a broken sub who is magically fixed by an omnipotent Dom.”

Grif is the epitome of an intelligent, well rounded, well-adjusted man who happens to be a sub. In everyday life Grif is a successful businessman, in the bedroom Grif needs Wes. Not just any man, Grif needs Wes. However, Grif never cuts himself short even though he’s submissive and wants to be taken to those deep, dark, exciting places that Wes can take him to. Grif is a realist that can cut through the BS and hone in on a problem with razor sharp accuracy and then dissect it until he can ascertain a solution. He’s no one’s fool, least of all Wes’.

Sit down, buckle up, shut up, and keep your hands inside your car at all times.

Lisa’s Thoughts

Weston “Wes” De Luca – The solid rock of a man. Pure strength, loyalty, and committed love. Wes isn’t afraid of anything…except showing his fractures.

Marcus “Grif” Griffin – I know you love Grif, but you haven’t even scratched the surface. I’m willing to bet you’ll be wildly surprised by his strength of character.

Additional Characters –
Henrik – stunning
Paul Eaks – scary
Thomas – Dom of Doms
Grif Two – Heh, yeah. You’ll see.

THE STORY

OJ’s Thoughts

“Because that’s the point. We allow things to happen to us. We allow ourselves to do things to other people. And we allow ourselves to be happy or sad about those things. You’ve allowed the past eight weeks—allowed yourself to do things you never thought possible— just like you’ve allowed this thing with Paul and Henrik…”

Paul and Henrik. Yeah. Paul and Henrik. Two pivotal individuals in Wes’ life experience that I cannot get enough of, intense as they may be, and intense they are. I need to warn you right now, these are two incredibly for mature audiences only story lines, the likes of which only an author such as Mr. Tonlet would be able to pull off. Here’s what’s real: I can so relate. Perhaps that’s what I love – they’re so close to reality it frightens me, to a degree.

Wes’ undying love and devotion to Grif is palpable throughout the story, as well his not being this perfect, flawless character. No one is, and that’s the beauty of this story. We get to see it all, warts as well as soaring, euphoric moments. Grif’s individuality and wholeness always remain intact, such an integral part of this love story, and a love story it is. Kudos to you, Mr. Tonlet!

The Epilogue. I love you. I hate you. Thank you for that epilogue. How dare you give us that epilogue! You deserve a flogging for that epilogue. Oh, wait. Never mind. Damn you, man!

Lisa’s Thoughts

Spanning some fifty-five years this is an epic look at not only the full relationship between Wes and Grif, but also of Wes as a young man just discovering what makes him tick. He learns pretty early on that he ticks differently than the other boys, but his natural curiosity and openness allows him to explore and develop relationships fully.

There are three distinct periods in Wes’ life prior to Grif. His pre-military school days. His early military career. And a term of self-education and discovery. Each of these periods are vivid, striking and eye-opening.

As the reader learns about who Wes is, who Wes really is, we also see and understand what is so very special about his most important relationship, Grif. They are the perfect couple, with the perfect life both publically and personally. But something dark is lurking just beneath the surface that could destroy that perfection. Grif feels it. But Wes is in denial.

THE WRITING

OJ’s Thoughts

I honestly must say that Mr. Tonlet is a master storyteller extraordinaire. To be able to take this subject matter through two books and tell each man’s story distinctly, through each one’s specific experience flawlessly? Yeah, good stuff here. Both Wes and Grif come alive, through Mr. Tonlet’s craft, as completely whole, different, individuals with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. This is no small feat.

The cast of supporting characters: Paul, Henrik, Thomas (oh, so wonderful Thomas!), Matthew, Quinn and Gage. I need to fess up: I’m in love with Quinn and Gage! So, so much there that I want to know about.

I seriously cannot recommend Mr. Tonlet’s writing more than what I already have. Every single one of his works I have devoured and desired more of. Go ahead, give yourself a treat, you deserve it.

Lisa’s Thoughts

If you read my review of Grif’s Toy, here, you’ll see that I held back a bit on my praise. The reason for that is because I knew JLT had this book in him. A book that would come from his core. A book that would shatter boundaries.

As I said earlier, JLT begins by lulling you into a sweet, tender romantic view of Grif and Wes’ early relationship, but right from the start there is a thread of darkness. An undercurrent of trouble. He keeps the reader on edge by applying just the right amount of tension, by degrees, at just the right moment.

I think this may be JLT’s signature attribute. Even in his other writing he builds a story in a way that keeps you so connected that you don’t even see the intensity building around you. Bravo, Joseph.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS FOR LISA

1) As a Straight Girl, I need to know your thoughts, feelings, experience regarding Paul and Henrik’s story line? What did you honestly think? It’s gritty and that’s what I want to know about. Too much? Are you OK with this? Feelz!

2) Are there any further writings along this story line you’d like to see? I have my own thoughts about this, FYI.

3) Did Wes deserve Grif’s final decision? Curious here.

4) I don’t want to divulge anything, or give any spoilers, but I’d like to know: Which one was your favorite scene and/or scenes.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS FOR OJ

1) Without giving anything away what was your favorite scene?

2) I want to deny it, but do “Eaks'” exist?

3) Again, without giving anything away what did you think of Grif’s resolution?

4) Bonus. Tears?

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Joseph Lance Tonlet with providing OJ He Say! with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

THE AUTHOR

Joseph Lance Tonlet

JOSEPH LANCE TONLET is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing. A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.
#PleasureThroughDenial

WES’ DENIAL
Published by Joseph Lance Tonlet
Copyright © 2016 by Joseph Lance Tonlet
ISBN: 9781370323111
Edited by Men in Ink
Cover Art by Preston Hultz – http://www.prestonhultz.com

Risk Aware, by Amelia C. Gormley – A Gay Guy/Straight Girl Co-Review

Risk Aware
Risk Aware

OJ’s Rating: 5 Stars
Lisa’s Rating: 4.5 Stars

http://www.attentionisarbitrary.com/2016/08/gayguy-straightgirl-co-review-risk.html

WARNING: Triggers: Extreme Consensual BDSM, Needle Play, Blood Play, Sensory Deprivation, Hemophilia, Intense Consensual Adult Situations, Intravenous Injections, Extremely Coarse Language

BLURB

Tattoo artist Geoff Gilchrest is convinced his life is some sort of cosmic joke. Why else would a hemophiliac also be a masochist? He’s given himself more than one elbow bleed since puberty just doing what guys do when alone and bored, so forget about whips and chains. How many partners would contemplate playing with someone even a mild flogging could kill?

Gallery owner Robin Brady knows he can deliver what Geoff needs: to be taken to the edge of danger but never beyond. But Robin came to Saugatuck to get away from the leather scene and heal from a betrayal by his former sub, so he’s not sure he should get involved with Geoff. His ambivalence isn’t helped by the fact that Geoff’s unwillingness to communicate about his well-being hits Robin in some very raw places.

Geoff’s hemophilia isn’t the obstacle he thinks it is. Instead, a lack of trust— on both their parts— is what could end them before they have a chance to begin.

Risk Aware

OJ’s Thoughts

In all honesty? I don’t even know where to begin with this book. Risk Aware is so unlike anything I’ve ever read before that I have few comparisons to base much on. I mean, writing about a hemophiliac, BDSM sub is challenging and interesting enough, as it is, but to on top of that go where Ms. Gormley went, in such exquisite and tantalizing detail? Yeah, good stuff boys and girls.

As a connoisseur of the more intense, pleasurable adult pursuits, I can tell you this has been exquisitely researched and executed. Some (most?) of the activities described in this book, while real and actual, are not to be taken lightly, or undertaken, without someone knowledgeable and sane to guide you. I bow to you, Ms. Gormley.

Make no mistake about this, guys and gals, this is some heady stuff right here. The amazing part? Dayum! And the research? Exquisite. I don’t give many 5 stars out and Risk Aware is a must for an MM BDSM aficionado. Enjoy.

Lisa’s Thoughts

I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I didn’t want to read this. Being honest here, I have a character flaw and don’t do well with disabilities. Hemophilia terrified me. How could it be something I’d want to read about? Much less, kinky. I’ll tell you how – by being written by a clever genius, that’s how.

THE CHARACTERS

OJ

Geoff Gilchrest:

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what caught my eye about him. He wasn’t gorgeous. Fairly ordinary, in fact. String-bean thin, maybe a little taller than I was. Pale and unmuscled. Dishwater-blond hair. Blue-gray eyes in a face with high cheekbones, a long, protuberant nose, and lips that managed to be both thin and lush looking. Above average, I guess I’d have rated him. But skinny had always been my type.

…once in a while I saw him stare, from under his lashes, at one of the dominants when the guy wasn’t paying attention. The looks he gave them were hungry, full of yearning.

Robin Brady:

Hot, hairy, muscular, successful, blond Robin Brady escapes to Saugatuck to start anew after his ex in New York ruined his career and life by accusing him of domestic violence. As a result of the legal accusations he cleared himself of he has decided that he is going to walk away from the whole Dom/sub thing… sure… until he comes to the leather event at the Dunes resort in Saugatuck and comes up against Geoff. Geoff ticks off every single box for Robin. It’s his sure, steady hand that steers Geoff to everything he’s dreamt about and always felt he couldn’t experience.

Lisa

Geoff Gilchrist

This bratty and broken tattoo artist needs kink. His hemophilia is an issue, but his attitude is what needs an adjustment.

Robin Brady

Wealthy, gorgeous, and on the surface very together, but he’s hiding from his past and denying his true self.

THE STORY

OJ

“It’s about consent, Geoff. Yours and mine. RACK: risk-aware consensual kink. That acronym does actually mean something. If I don’t know all the facts, I can’t give meaningful consent.”

This is an amazing story! Geoff, traumatized by growing up a hemophiliac in the age of Ryan White, when all his school mates thought he was HIV positive and the parents pulled their kids away from him and with an overprotective mother that smothered him, comes face to face with his wants and desires as an adult – he’s a sub. Not just any sub. An intense BDSM sub. For reasons we can surmise, he’s drawn to blood play and needle play and wants a Dom to take him to those wonderful places a sub yearns to go to. Deep, dark, wonderful places.

Robin, the son of wealthy parents who strikes out on his own in New York and is betrayed by his sub, and accused of domestic violence, manages to clear his name. As a result, he decides to start anew in Saugatuck and open his art gallery. As he is inexorably drawn to Geoff he must confront his past and how it is going to affect the relationship he is building with his one true love and as their relationship grows they must confront the realities of day to day life.

This is a powerful, and exquisitely written, statement on our society today.

Lisa

I could get into the trajectory of the story – both of these men are coming from heavy pasts that have molded them into who they are – but trust me that the plotting is perfect here. Even with the false starts and do-overs, this story moves right along and is perfect for this developing relationship. The way the guys work thru their challenges is as encouraging as it is erotic. So good.

But what I want to tell you about is the clever kink! Oh my gosh, each time I thought Robin had no way to satisfy Geoff I was completely surprised by Ms. Gormley’s craft. Surprised and devastatingly satisfied. Whips and chains are lots of fun, but sensory deprivation and mind-fucking are off the charts hot in this book. And there’s one scene in particular that had me flying afterwards. Thank you, Amelia!

Robin’s mastery of Geoff’s particular needs is a thing of creative beauty. Exactly when I thought things would need to back off, Robin just notched up the intensity. And Geoff tests Robin at every turn.

“There’s something phallic about a needle, don’t you think? You’d watch me sliding it into you, knowing there’s no part of you I can’t penetrate. Nothing off-limits. There’s no reason it can’t be part of our play if we want it to be.”

THE WRITING

OJ

Good golly, Miss Molly! Such wonderful, descriptive, detailed writing. I can’t begin to describe how good this is. I felt as if I was there, in the midst of it all. The attention to all pertinent, and superfluous, details makes this story come alive and drew me in. Each BDSM scene, one kinkier, more intense, hotter, than the next, is so well drawn and executed. As someone who’s been there, and other places, is there something you’re not telling us, Ms. Gormley?

I became so totally lost and consumed into this book that it took me a couple of weeks before I could sit down and do it justice in my review. I want more. I want a sequel. Geoff and Robin deserve it.

Lisa

Ms. Gormley does an absolutely brilliant job here. My overwhelming takeaway was with how real this all felt. So often BDSM feels like utter fantasy and not real. But here I was instantly connected. I felt like I was peeking in on a real relationship. Flaws, miscommunication, emotions are all palpable here and made me feel part of rather than apart from the story.

And here’s the thing, Gormley doesn’t rush this at all. We get lots of up’s and down’s, starts and restarts, because that’s what these guys need. It’s how relationships develop. No insta-love here. But believe me, it doesn’t drag, each twist and turn is necessary to solidify this complicated relationship.

Lots of kink, but lots of story too. Perfect combo.

THE THREE QUESTIONS FOR LISA

1) Sequel?
2) I need to know about your thoughts and feelings as you read this. (I know, not a question).
3) Hot? Or not? If so, which scene did you feel was the hottest?

THE THREE QUESTIONS FOR OJ

1) I think from now on I’m going to seek out Clever Kink. Gormley has raised the bar for me. As someone with “experience” did any of this surprise you?

2) Do you still love me even though I have a character flaw? Seems I’m the one with the disability here, Geoff is golden.

3) I had one tiny, tiny issue with this, not worth mentioning in the review, but I was left wondering if Geoff’s tattoo studio was successful. Did that bother you?

THE DISCLAIMER

I would like to thank Amelia C. Gormley and Riptide Publishing with providing OJ He Say! with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

THE AUTHOR

Amelia C. Gormley published her first short story in the school newspaper in the fourth grade, and since then has suffered the persistent delusion that enabling other people to hear the voices in her head might be a worthwhile endeavor. She’s even convinced her hapless spouse that it could be a lucrative one as well, especially when coupled with her real-life interest in angst, kink, social justice issues, and pretty men.

When her husband and son aren’t interacting with the back of her head as she stares at the computer, they rely on her to feed them, maintain their domicile, and keep some semblance of order in their lives (all very, very bad ideas— they really should know better by now). She can also be found playing video games and ranting on Tumblr, seeing as how she’s one of those horrid social justice warriors out to destroy free speech, gaming, geek culture, and everything else that’s fun.

Risk Aware Copyright © 2016 by Amelia C. Gormley
Cover art: L.C. Chase
Editor: Kate De Groot
Layout: L.C. Chase

ISBN: 978-1-62649-412-1

Riptide Publishing
PO Box 1537
Burnsville, NC 28714
www.riptidepublishing.com