exchange: the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another; power: the ability or right to control people or things
In matters of the heart, what happens when there’s an exchange of power, even for just one night?
Both veteran and new authors make up the eleven stories about the power shift between Doms/subs, vampires/werewolves, teacher/apprentice, Alpha/beta, Necromancer/zombie, superhero/arch nemesis, and incubus/medium.
Anthologies are always so hard to review because there’s a wide range of authors, stories, subgenres, content and so many factors. In every anthology there’s one story that you love the most and one you love the least. Of course, in well compiled anthologies there may not be much space between the “most” and “least” stories as far as how much you like them. This anthology was that way for me with only one story that tripped a personal “no way” for me. That story isn’t poorly written, or have badly created characters. That one story just has a content item that I don’t enjoy reading. That said, I highly recommend this anthology for the play on power exchange. Not all of the stories were about BDSM in the way many people think. There were some wonderful flipping of metaphorical tables, and stories where someone gave up control where you wouldn’t expect. The majority of the stories were at least four stars if not higher. Most of the stories I desperately want sequels for because I enjoyed them so much. I normally rate each story individually but I don’t want to single out a story that I didn’t enjoy. I’m only giving the anthology an overall star rating, and the one story I didn’t like isn’t factoring into that rating.
How the Mighty Have Fallen by Bailey Bradford
Hadrian sat up straight and stuck his nose in the air. “And, just for your information, I have not been–”
“Liar, liar, leather chaps on fire,” Larry sang. “Shut up already, you vestal virgin, and go get fucked and whipped. At least one of us should be having fun tonight. Since I can’t find anyone who wants to do only one of those things with me, I’m giving up. Plus, Thomas’ ex is busy trying to fuck everything that crosses his path. I’m guessing he thinks he has something to prove.”
Hadrian bristled a little when Larry called Master Thomas just by his given name instead of using the honorific, but he got it. Master Thomas wasn’t Larry’s master, nor was he Hadrian’s. However, Hadrian always thought of him as Master Thomas, perhaps because he did harbor a secret desire to serve the man. Although, maybe it wasn’t such a secret, since Larry had picked up on it.
“I guess he does have something to prove,” Hadrian murmured since Larry seemed to be waiting for some kind of agreement from him.
“But is it to himself, or to Thomas, hm?” Larry asked. “You gotta wonder what went down between those two, though… I heard stuff about Kelly. The guy’s an asshole and a half.”
Hadrian arched a brow at Larry. “And what, exactly, is a half an asshole?”
“A fuckin’ mess who likes to screw with people’s heads, that’s what,” Larry drawled. “Now grow a pair and go make that dom feel better.”
Hadrian wanted to smack Larry, but the smug smartass would just enjoy it if he did.
Larry narrowed his eyes at Hadrian. “Or, you know, I suppose I could go see if he wants to do a scene together.”
Hadrian was irritated despite his desire to remain unaffected by Larry’s attempt — damn it, a successful one! — to goad him into action.
Because suddenly, Hadrian’s body was determined to circumvent any argument his brain might have made. He was standing up and flipping Larry off before Larry could do more than cackle.
“You’re an ass,” Hadrian muttered.
Larry gave him two thumbs up. “You love me.”
Hadrian didn’t dignify that statement with a response. Besides, Larry was right and he knew it.
“Go get ’em, stud,” Larry urged, not nearly as quietly as Hadrian wished he had. Of course he was loud enough that Master Thomas glanced their way.
Where To Buy:
Torquere Press: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=200
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