Tobias is a skilled Dom, able to bring even the most hesitant submissive around. Noah is a man in need of just that. He wants to sub badly, but has yet to find someone he believes can take him where he needs to go. Through a series of encounters in the world of bondage and discipline, Noah reveals why he has trouble trusting, why he needs such a firm, steady hand. Tobias may allow himself to dominate, but he has trouble letting himself love. Still, Tobias can't resist Noah's charms, and the two of them set about making a scene for themselves, one that works for them and their unique set of problems. They learn to love, but can they stay together while they explore each others' secrets, in a world where all is laid bare and emotions run high?
From authors Chris Owen, writer of the popular "Bareback", and Jodi Payne, writer of "String of Pearls" comes a romance on the deviant side, where love is all tied up with the need to submit, the need to dominate, and the need to share a life of exploration and care.
These two skilled authors create a world that's hard to resist, and a book that's even harder to put down.
In this sequel to Deviations: Submission, Dom Tobias and Sub Noah are back, learning more about each other and their relationship, testing the boundaries of what they can and cannot handle, both together and apart. Tobias works at becoming more comfortable and finding his balance as a full-time Master again. Meanwhile, his work brings out the true submissive in Noah, who faces some of his greatest fears, and his greatest secrets, confessing to Tobias about a terrible time in his past. He's not the only one who has a rough time. Tobias breaks down and shows Noah he's not all dominance, too, which sends shockwaves through their romance, leaving them to wonder if they can keep it together.
Taking place in the midst of the Deviations series, Ratchet shows Tobias and Noah at their best: playing games, having fun, and loving each other. What is a Dom to do with a sub who actually works with such handy tools as handcuffs? While the answer may seem predictable, Tobias and Noah know how to make any such scene their very own, and Tobias finds that police training is an instinct almost as strong as Noah's need to submit.
Originally published in Toy Box: Handcuffs
Tobias and Noah explore their relationships more deeply than they ever have, not just with their own dominance and submission, but with their friends. As Noah helps Tobias through the loss of someone dear, he finds Tobias helping him, too, leading him through some intense sexual games, breaking down the last of Noah's fears, and helping him face his biggest one. The cage. Meanwhile, Tobias' ex-lover, Phantom, becomes close friends with Noah as they discover and try to resist the simmering sexual tension between them. Their teasing turns to real support when Phantom reaches the breaking point thanks to the lack of a master in his life, something he desperately needs. While Bradford works to become that master, Tobias and Noah go to Paris, where they see the sights, go to sex clubs, and re-negotiate their contract. Returning from Paris to their own lives brings then all sorts of new difficulties, from deciding whether they should love together to trying to figure out just where Phantom belongs in their ever-changing relationship.
Noah and Tobias come back from Paris with a renewed contract and a deeper personal bond. Too bad things don't go as smoothly at home. When they get back, they face a crisis that might just threaten their contract, and their personal intimacy. The crisis has a ripple effect, but Tobias and Noah finally learn that they can evolve with it, instead of collapsing. They experiment with scene after scene, making them longer, deeper, which allows them to explore more than they've ever dared. They even explore moving in together. When Noah is forced to face the danger of his job, he starts to question why he became a cop. Tobias is also questioning his job. Soon enough, their external life is changing enough that they're forced to lean on each other to sustain them. Can they achieve a comfortable balance between their outside life, their scenes, and their love?
Safe Words #5
In Safe Words, which picks up where the Deviations series left off, Tobias, Noah and Phan are all working on finding their place, both at Bradford's club and in their personal lives. They're all living together, and Tobias has taken on the roll of full-time Dom, which he loves, but finds incredibly challenging.While Noah finds comfort in the new state of things and is looking forward to deeper submission, Phan is finding it harder to strike a balance. Too many changes happening too fast are making Phan act out, and neither Tobias nor Noah are sure how to deal with it. Life is not perfect for Bradford, either, as he discovers new feelings for his sub Nikki. Can Tobias help his friend, manage his job teaching the other Doms, and his relationships with Noah and Phan, or will the house that he's built for himself fall down around their ears?
There were many truths in this life, Tobias decided as he knotted his tie for the evening. Death comes to all, taxes must be paid, and fortieth birthdays were a reason for one's friends to buy nice wine, make lavish cakes, and throw dinner parties. Forty-first birthdays, on the other hand, went unremarked upon by all but one's nearest and dearest. As he had cards from a few friends and a message from Phan, he thought he'd just about exhausted the expected well wishes.
But turning forty-one did not mean he was dead or unable to make his own fun. He'd made his arrangements for the evening, planning with as much detail as he could—which, admittedly, wasn't much. He knew what to wear for his mood; he knew where he'd go and what he'd eat; he knew what he wanted. But there were an amazing number of variables at play, more than he usually allowed.
He was thinking about that as he straightened his dinner jacket and pocketed his keys. It was a highly planned evening of spontaneity that lay ahead of him, the novelty of which made him smile. Perhaps letting the fates blow once in a while was a good thing. In any case, he'd find out shortly; the worst he could do was have an evening of fine dining and a bottle of wine. The best would be far, far better, but it was rare to find exactly what he sought.
Tobias ran a comb through his hair one last time as he waited for his car, the light in the entry to his condo making the few stray silver hairs shine among the darker brown. Forty-one wasn't too old, he decided. It was a fine age to be, the height of his success and skill. He lacked for nothing, really.
Only someone to share his birthday with.
The phone rang and he pushed the thought away, startled to realize it wasn't the house phone signaling his car, but his landline. ''Dr. Vincent,'' he said as he answered. God, he hoped it wasn't an emergency—he really wasn't dressed to have a lamb be born, or to nurse a horse through colic.
''Good evening, Doctor, I'm sorry to call like this. I'm sure you have plans,'' came the smooth and cheerful voice of his elderly housekeeper.
''Oh, Mrs. Miller, hello. I do, yes—I'm just on my way out, but I have a few minutes.'' He smiled to himself ruefully; he would talk for as long as the lady decided, and he knew it. No matter how successful he got or how many birthdays he had, there would always be Mrs. Miller to defer to.
''I'm merely calling to wish you a happy birthday,'' she said, ''and to ask if you'll be out to the farm this weekend.''
Tobias’ smile grew. ''Thank you, Mrs. Miller, that's really very kind of you. And yes, I'm planning to drive out tomorrow afternoon until Monday.''
''Should I tell Peter not to come then, or would you like him to exercise the horses?''
''No, I'll do it,'' he decided. It was one of the best things about going to the country, and he wouldn't happily pay someone to do it for him when he was there. The house phone buzzed at him, two shorts. ''Thank you again, Mrs. Miller.''
''I'll see you tomorrow, Doctor,'' she said, and he could picture her grinning. ''Enjoy your evening.''
''I hope to,'' he said with a smile. He hung up, buzzed the front desk, and headed to his club.
The car pulled up in front of the building and Tobias lowered his window for the security guard. ''Good evening, Tobias,'' the man said with a smile that was entirely professional, despite his use of Tobias' first name. It was a club rule that all members were to be treated equally until there was an agreement in place between individuals, and as last names were not used at all in order to preserve anonymity, given names were expected.
''Timothy,'' Tobias said with a warm smile. ''When did you start out here?'' The last time Tobias had been to the club Timothy had been inside.
''About five months ago. I like it, though I'm called back inside if needed.'' Timothy made a note of the number on Tobias' membership card and smiled at him again. ''Have a nice evening, Tobias. And welcome back.''
The car moved slowly ahead and stopped at the wide front steps; by the time Tobias had opened his door the driver was there, and the front door was opening.
''Tobias! Timothy said you were here.''
Tobias shook his head and smiled again. ''I trust you don't mind me appearing again after all this time?'' he asked Bradford.
Bradford met him on the steps and shook his hand. Tobias' friendship with Bradford went back far too many years to count anymore, and even after Tobias’ long absence from the club, the man’s firm handshake felt as familiar and comforting as a favorite sweater. ''The day we turn you from here, my friend,'' Bradford told him with a warm smile, ''is the day I close the old place up. Now, come in! Eat. Enjoy your birthday. I have a room reserved for you, as you requested. You're not meeting anyone are you?''
The club had a small, exclusive membership made up of carefully screened Dominant and submissive men. These men had been screened not just for their level of training but also style and personality, thereby keeping the membership diverse and varied. It wasn’t a BDSM club in the common sense; it was more a place for men to meet, socialize and fulfill each others’ needs and fantasies in a safe and monitored environment. Bradford had taken over management of the club a number of years ago, and eventually assumed ownership as well when his mentor, a smooth, confident Dom who had also been a mentor of Tobias’, was ready to retire. Bradford was a natural host; he knew his membership well, and he had a knack for making everyone feel right at home.
Tobias shook his head again and allowed himself to be led inside. The solid doors closed behind him and he took a deep breath, immediately relaxing. There was just something about the dark interior, the plush fabrics and deep wingback chairs that called to him. Or perhaps it was the crossed whips decorating the walls.
''I don't have a guest, if that's what you mean,'' he told Bradford as they made their way to the small bar. ''But I'm open to possibilities.''
''I was hoping you would say that.'' Bradford suddenly looked speculative. ''In which case...''
''Wait,'' Tobias said, laughing. ''I'm not saying I want you to find me a date. I'm just saying I want to have a pleasant evening—a nice meal, people I like around me—''
''And it's been eight months since you've been here, Tobias. I know you spend your weekends on the farm and your weeknights in town. I'd certainly have heard if you had someone new.'' He shook his head sadly, making Tobias grin. ''No, my friend, you deserve to play. And I might just have the right someone for you.''
Tobias tilted his head and considered his friend. Bradford had been running the club for a number of years, had been an integral part of Tobias' own training. There was perhaps no one more capable of knowing the type of partner Tobias needed, liked... desired.
''Tell me,'' Tobias invited, accepting a glass of ice water from the bartender.
Bradford beamed at him, delighted. ''I can, and will do you one better. Come.''
Tobias had little choice but to follow as Bradford crossed the room with purpose to a small table. Tobias, being behind, could see little other than a man sitting alone. He rose quickly as Bradford made a direct path to him.
''Tobias,'' Bradford said grandly, ''I would like you to meet Noah. Noah, this is Tobias. It is my opinion that the two of you are well suited. Of course, you may decide otherwise, but I encourage you to at least discuss the matter.'' He then bowed his head and stepped back, wishing them good evening with a knowing grin before turning and walking away, leaving Tobias to face this stranger alone, knowing no more than his name.
I live and write in eastern Canada. I went to a bunch of schools, learned a lot of things, and now make stuff up because not to do so is unthinkable. I'm fond of fountain pens, Levenger's Circa system, and Steampunk fashions. Lately I've been watching a lot of Discovery channel. I've seen every episode of CSI Las Vegas and New York, but I'm not terribly keen on CSI Miami. It might be due to weather envy. I have a crush on the whole cast of Criminal Minds, and fondness for wool. The two are not related. Hoarders keeps me honest.
I'm inspired by the day to day minutia of life, and find beauty in the way words go together. I like texture and richness of experience. I'm not shy. I'm happy, I'm learning, I'm living.
I live and work in the Northeastern United States with my partner of seven years. We have two cats, one skinny boy kitten and one fat old lady, and a little seventy-five year old Dutch Colonial that we're in love with.
I have been writing for in one form or another since I was very young. In addition to the work that I publish, I write character-driven gay and lesbian fiction as a pastime and for entertainment, and share it with like-minded friends. Whether it's erotica or mainstream gay fiction, I prefer to read about real people with real flaws living real lives.
Several years ago, after tirelessly searching for lesbian erotica that suited my tastes, I finally gave up looking and decided that if I was going to find what I'd been looking for, I was going to have to write it myself. That was how my first lesbian short story, Virtuoso, was born. It was later published by Torquere Press, and my writing career took a turn for the professional.
In addition to my lesbian work, which has a wonderfully loyal and encouraging audience, I have also broadened my repertoire to include work that centers around gay men. I started by co-writing with the talented Chris Owen early in 2002, and then branched out into short stories, and my first gay novel, Founder, was published in July 2007. I don't consider writing men to be betraying my lesbian readers, I'm still publishing plenty of lesbian work. I have always written character-driven stories, and sometimes the characters that come to mind happen to be men. Men are hot, too.
Check out my Upcoming Publications page for more information about my upcoming releases.
I love cats. I row Masters crew. I enjoy a good meal with good friends and lots of garlic. I can't tell a joke to save my life. I am most inspired in the fall and winter, when the days get short and I can bundle up and hibernate with my computer to write. If I had a million dollars I would buy a little cottage on the ocean somewhere that was snowy in the winter and warm in the summer that I could hibernate in.
Ratchet: Goodreads TBR