Tomorrow I'll announce how to go about winning the ruby and diamond necklace that marks the release of Lovers' Stone later this week. I promise it won't be too hard. I'm all about simple and will definitely make this simple.
I wrote a couple of months ago about three books by Brynn Paulin that had given me a wonderful new perspective on the Dominant/submissive lifestyle within the BDSM community. Paulin's erotic romances gave me a lot to think about when it came to the dynamics and the depth of feeling between people who lived the lifestyle and didn't just engage in some recreational spankies and tie me ups/tie me downs. Her stories about the Cress brothers, Ryan, Max and Theo were just as filled with love, affection and respect as any romance. The true distribution of power, how much control the submissive actually has in the situation was surprising. And I thought I'd read all the Cress brother books. I was wrong. It was announced recently that all of the Cress brother's books would be going into print as an anthology called Brotherly Bonds in the next few months. As I looked over the announcement I discovered that Paulin had released the story of the youngest Cress brother, Josh.
I don't know how I missed it because Josh was definitely an intriguing guy just from his supporting role. The family rebel, pierced in ways and places that made his brother's wince, the computer expert did things his own way. And after reading Gentle Control I can tell you that even the way he lives his D/s lifestyle is different than his brothers. That I found Josh's story to be incredibly erotic, and the depth of emotion that Paulin is so skilled at communicating was no surprise. What did catch me off guard was how identifiable the situations in Josh's story were and how incredibly appealing this Dom was even to a nice, tame, butterscotch pudding reader. (Not quite vanilla, but not getting too wild there, either.) Those who might hesitate to pick up a BDSM content will, I think, still be drawn to and delight in this book. Josh is a keeper. His dominance is powerful, loving and gentle, just as advertised.
Some authors I know and I were discussing a variety of things on a chat loop yesterday. As is want to happen when you get romance and erotica writers together, we occasionally share our inspirations and attitudes about men. We have even been known to support each other's muses with bits of eye candy to perk up that boring day. In the course of this conversation and exchange of interesting photographs came the question of men and hair. Now this arises on two levels.
First hair length. Some women find a nice clean cut short cut to be sexy and some love long flowing locks. Myself I fall somewhere in the middle. Just at or below the collar, looking like he just missed his last haircut is about perfect for me. I always worry that a guy with hair too long will take too much time in the bathroom and use up all my conditioner. Just kidding, but extra long hair, for me is about equal to the short cropped buzz cut look. Neither really gets my engines revved.
Second on the issue of hair arose the conundrum of manscaping. A good number of the pictures out there of sexy men and 99.9% of all romance cover models sport the smooth chest look. For some guys this is natural and that's fine. The part that puzzles me is the guys who naturally have hair on their chests but choose to wax it. And based on my diligent research of the photographic evidence available, far too many of them are also manscaping a good bit lower. When did we decide as a society that men should all be smooth? Give me a guy with a nice sprinkling of hair on his chest, even a bit on the abs, and for heaven's sake, guys, don't deprive us of the inspiration of the treasure trail. But smooth or hair, guys the sexiest thing of all is just to be real.
Well that's my two cents, anyway. I'm wondering what everyone else thinks. Where do you come down on this issue?