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vivian01

No Glitter Blown

Honest reviews of things that caught my fancy, or not.

Currently reading

Art in Theory 1900 - 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas
Paul Wood, Charles Harrison
Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan
Gary P. Leupp
Daughter Am I
Pat Bertram
Lionheart
Sharon Kay Penman
Silver Bullet (Falls Chance Ranch #4)
Ranger, Rolf
Serve Me - Anna Hedley, Gabriel Belthir, Lor Rose, Fox  Lee Anthology rating as a whole: 3.5 StarsA collection of four stories that addresses slavery and issues of forced submission and dub-con. Yes, there are non-con elements, but they are periphery. I liked all the stories with some quibbles here and there. None were out-of-the-ballpark amazing, but one I really enjoyed and the others were entertaining. Definitely no duds in the lot. While there are the hardcore elements, these are romances and therefore fulfill certain expectations.Spoils of War by Anna Hedley, 3.5 starsIntriguing mix of Graeco-Roman culture and mythology to create a fantasy setting for this bloodthirsty story. Idris is a gladiator and beserker and yes, the matches are appropriately gruesome to reflect it. He's brutal and careless until he finally comes to care for another. The story has dubcon elements without a doubt and references noncon. It is a harsh world and when Idris meets his match in Kage it leads to some radical changes in his life. The games masters play with their slaves is for entertainment and Idris is a slave. When a slave can no longer fulfill their function the alternative is not pleasant and it is illustrated several times through out the story. And laugh if you will, but I found the use of the term "maenad" for a young male pleasure slave such a gendered disjunction that my brain rebelled every single time they used it. As You Wish by Gabriel Belthir, 3 stars A fun twist on Victorian morality with a slave auction that goes a bit differently than you expect. Samuel is a repressed and unsatisfied bank accountant until he finally gets a invitation to and exclusive party. Assured that his life and standing will be catapulted by having made such connections, but Samuel has no idea how much his life will be changed. I'm always a bit uneasy when race is a substantial emphasis of a story. Here it succeeds by unsettling the traditional paradigm. This is definitely a softer story compared to others though the submission required is done firmly.Life Is Unforgivingby Lor Rose, 3 starsThe dichotomy of vampires explored in this futuristic tale of slavery. Aiden's brutal existence takes a change that he never expected when he's sold to a new master. Ryce and Levent, daevas of a high class welcome Aiden into his new home. And though his new life is amazing, Aiden still morns for the love he left behind. I liked the twist in the story, but Ryce's behavior wasn't explained very well, mostly due to the first person narrative from Aiden's perspective. In addition, the resolution seemed rushed and very sweet. Takashima's Pet by Fox Lee, 4 starsRomantic yakuza story that starts dubious, but ends with devotion.Yuta is the patsy of his gang. Not that he particularly wanted to be in a gang, and what they wanted him to do is not what he's any good for. He ends up taking the fall when his brothers abandon him on a failed robbery attempt and he finds himself on knees in front of a rival gang leader. Takashima issues an ultimatum. Yuta can give up his pride or his life. The interactions between Takashima and Yuta are pretty hot. There's some aggressive TPE at the beginning that morphs as they get to know each other. It's short, but steamy and messy fun. My favorite of the collection.Recommended to readers who like a rougher edge to sex with some tolerance for violence.~~ A copy was provided to me for a No Glitter Blown review~~Reviewed for Hearts On Fire Reviews