I have an affinity for community romance series. Where each book is about a different couple, but secondary characters you’ll continue to see through the books and a few might become major characters at some point. Elan Isle follows that concept. The individuals of Elan Isle looked and found a place, a private island, where they could practice their kinky lifestyles without fear of reprisal. That it also houses a kinky renaissance faire is just a perk. *grins* Some of the books main characters are het, some are lgbtq+ oriented.
Making His Stand is the 2nd novel in the Elan Isle series, and the first where the main couple is gay. People have asked me at times why I write both LGBT and het romance. I’ve given lots of reasons over time, but I think it all goes back to the fact I’m tri-gendered and genderfluid. So romance of all sorts is part of my framework.
Enjoy these two wonderful men (and the scene-stealing Chihuahua Zippo) and our shy accountant’s intro into BDSM by moving to a kinky island.
He kept his head faced toward the oncoming wind as breathing it in kept the nausea at bay. His shoulder bag jiggled and he reached in and patted his dog. “Shh,” he said quietly. “I don’t think I’m supposed to have a dog here. Keep quiet.”
Zippo, who was used to staying quiet, stilled. James scratched his little head and went back to holding onto the rail.
His decision to accept the job of accountant for the Elan Township Cooperative had been more out of desperation than deliberation. He really should have thought it out. With a groan, his body gave emphasis to that fact, and he bent over the rail. He hated boats.
When he saw the docks ahead, he stood up again and reached into his bag to pull out a napkin. After hopefully getting all evidence of his recent sickness off his face, he dropped the napkin in a waste bin and sat down to wait. As soon as the ferry docked and the motor calmed down, he grabbed his two suitcases and dragged them behind him.
Getting his feet on solid ground felt wonderful. The world stopped shifting and he took a deep breath. While the air was filled with salt water, it also had the combined scent of trees and flowers. Land.
As he was the only person getting off on Elan Isle, the ferry took off again and he was left to walk from the docks toward the large gates ahead. A sign above them read Ye Olde Kinke Faire. He’d read about it in the information Kendrick Finleigh sent him on the accounts he would oversee. A renaissance fair for kinky people. What would they think of next?
As a non-kinky person… well, technically he didn’t know if he was kinky or not. He didn’t have a lot of experience except for a few groping hands in back rooms during his bachelor’s degree program. He’d been too afraid that someone would find out he was gay and tell his family, so he’d kept those to the bare minimum. There’d been nothing except porn during the three years of his master’s program and the added four years of his doctorate.
So here he was, practically a virgin at the age of twenty-nine—he figured having used dildos and plugs kept him from actually being a virgin—and working on an island where there’d be kinky stuff everywhere. He seriously should have thought this through.
His phone buzzed and he stopped walking and put his suitcases down before pulling it out of his pocket. The caller ID made him smile. “I’m here.”
Stan, his roommate during undergrad, chuckled. “Good to hear. Are you green?”
“A little,” James admitted, looking down. The dark olive skin tone covered most of it, but on the inside of his arms, there was an unhealthy pallor and he was sure his face was showing the worst of it.
“What’s your place like?”
“I just arrived and am on land. Haven’t talked to Mr. Finleigh yet.”
“All right. Well call me when you’re all settled. How’d Zippo do on the trip?”
James smiled. Unlike his family who didn’t think animals should be pets, Stan had supported him when he found the wonderful little dog. “Great, as usual. He’s still curled up in my shoulder bag.”
“Give him a treat for me. I’ve got to head over to my aunt’s house. Supposedly she’s found the perfect girl for me.” The droll way he said the last four words made James snort. “You’d think the fact I’m dating the perfect girl for me would have stopped her. But no.”
“I don’t think,” James said with a snicker, “that a relationship with a blow-up doll can classify as dating.”
“Fuck you,” Stan said with a bark of a laugh. “I’ll have you know that Amber is more than just a blow-up doll. She’s animatronic.” James shook with laughter. Amber was Stan’s on-again, off-again girlfriend and looked like the life-sized rendition of a Barbie doll. Personally, James thought she was too fake for Stan, but he never said so. “I think that kink community is rubbing off on you already. Good for you. Go find some bear of a Dom and let him fuck your brains out. Time to officially no longer be a virgin.”
Heat flooded into James’s cheeks. “No comment.”
“All right. I won’t tease you anymore. But I wanted you to know I’ve got all your things in my shed. When you know if you’re staying, call me. I can ship everything out within a day or two.”
After they hung up, James put his phone away and picked everything up again. He didn’t like being secretive, but the fact was that he left in the dead of night. His father expected him to take a job with the family back in Saudi Arabia, and he’d been turning him down for years. In fact, the only reason he went for a masters and doctorate was to keep from having to go to the Middle East. Since he was a teenager, his father had been pushing him to convert to Islam and he’d found ways around it. There was no way he was telling his father he was gay.
Kaliq Zaman was Muslim and James knew how Muslims viewed homosexuality. In many Middle Eastern countries, just by being him, he could be put to death.
He took the job when Kendrick Finleigh offered it without thinking too much about it and had left three months before graduation. All of his work was done and he’d already defended his dissertation. His father didn’t think he’d be free until June. Stan picked up James’s boxes and James took a bus across the country to a place he’d never been before. He hoped it was better than the alternative.
A trail ran to the side of the gates. A small sign read Elan Township with an arrow to the left so he went in that direction. There was a ten foot tall fence between him and the Faire so he couldn’t see in, but he wondered what it looked like. Just what did a kinky renaissance faire do? He had no idea.
Zippo lurched as though trying to get comfortable. “I know,” James said. “As soon as we get into our cabin, I’ll let you out.” He hoped they got their own bedroom. Mr. Finleigh had explained that since James was working for the co-op, he would be housed in a cabin with other people who, like him, had a six month span of time to decide if they wished to buy into the co-op or leave. He wasn’t sure about the whole thing, but as he rounded a bend and took in the gorgeous trees ahead of him, he thought that it looked like a beautiful place to live.
A couple voices to his right drew his attention and he turned to the strangest scene. Two men stood talking and a naked woman knelt at their feet. She looked calm and happy. And very nude. James averted his gaze, not sure what to do.
James Kaden-Scott’s method of coping with fear is escape and when his father tries to force him to do something that could kill him, he takes a job on Elan Isle as their accountant. While he knows the town is kinky, he has no idea what that means. Until the day he arrives.
Alec Rowland has been in the BDSM lifestyle for seventeen years and loves it. For the first time in his life, he craves having a sub of his own. From the moment he meets James, he feels a pull toward him. When James asks him to teach him about kink, he’s thrilled.
Between having his eyes opened to the kink world and trying to find his footing on Elan Isle, James finds himself torn between the old him and the new. When his worst fears come calling, history says to run, but for the first time in his life, he has something… someone to fight for. But those fears are strong, and some of them are real. If he makes a misstep, he could lose everything. If that happens, running may be his only recourse.
Heat Rating: High
Age range: 18+ only
Buy Making His Stand:
A Thia Thing
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She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.
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