Thursday, May 31, 2018

Audiobook Review: Up-Ending Tad, Bundle 1 (Up-Ending Tad: A Journey of Erotic Discovery #1-3) by Kora Knight

Volumes One, Two and Three of the Up-Ending Tad series: 

Loser Takes All 

Test of Endurance 

Sideline Submission 

Warning: Contains gloriously explicit gay sex. 

Intended for mature audiences only. 


Loser Takes All  

Tad’s weekend started out like any other: hitting a college frat party with a handful of buddies. But just as the evening hits its peak, things get up-ended fast. Ditched by his drunken, trolling friends, Tad winds up getting hustled by three jocks playing poker. Now he’s forced to pay his dues in the most outlandish of ways: accepting a couple broken bones or spending an hour with his victors’ favorite flogger, Scott. But the tantalizing torture quickly proves to be the least of Tad’s worries… and the kickoff to a night of raw, shocking lust.

Experience the graphic, minute-by-minute account of that hour spent at the hands of Tad’s insatiable tormentor. Addicting chemistry lights the stage as Scott ignites Tad’s reluctant desires into a frenzy of forbidden need. 

Test of Endurance  

The last time Tad saw Scott, the ripped physical trainer left him with quite a lot to think about. And that's pretty much all Tad's been doing for nearly two weeks straight. At his wit's end, he seeks Scott out, voluntarily, on his own terms. Will the completely different setting offer what he's seeking; proof that their exchange's unexpected turn was just a random mishap? Hormones run amok and truly nothing more? Or will being in Scott's presence suggest something different... their newest encounter tempting Tad's resolve while testing his ultimate limits.  

Sideline Submission  

Round two with Scott hadn't been what Tad expected, but it did end up providing a few important realizations. For one, that crazy first encounter was definitely more than mere male hormones. Which meant he felt a true attraction to the guy. Something that explained his defenselessness against Scott's smoldering charms. Seriously, the dude had cut through his fortifications like the things hadn't even existed. 
Which, yeah, was pretty unsettling. 

So Tad had resolved to cope with his findings the only logical way he knew how: purge the guy from his system once and for all by staying away for good. Unfortunately, that proved way more uncomfortable than he'd anticipated. Seemed his 'stupid infatuation' ran considerably deeper, which made going cold-turkey one miserable chore. 
So when Scott unexpectedly seeks him out, Tad's too drained to fight his turmoil any longer. Allowing himself a much needed fix, he agrees to hang out, neither he nor Scott knowing Dom boy Max will end up part of the deal. What starts out as an unassuming evening quickly turns shockingly licentious. Question is, will Tad be able to handle it? And more importantly, what path will it send him down in his ongoing journey of discovery? 

Story: 4.5 Stars!
Narration: 4 Stars!
Overall: 4.25 Stars!

Wow, just wow! *fans self* One thing I can say for sure is that Kora Knight can write erotica very, very well and that Michael Pauley was an amazing choice for narrating this series.

These three novelettes show us Tad’s evolution from a perhaps not quite straight guy, who hasn’t realized that there might be something that he’s not noticed about himself, to one that is realizing he might be feeling more for this one man than he's ever felt for anyone else in his life. Not that he’s ready to admit to it fully, at least not yet.

In Loser Takes All, Tad loses on a poker game against 3 jock hustlers, who give him the option to choose between being flogged or getting his fingers and nose broken. Having heard before that the flogging might be the lesser of two evils, he agrees to that and the jocks take him to the house of the person who will administer the flogging. Unbeknownst to Tad, the jocks have worked out a deal with Scott (the flogger) that the punishment should last until Tad comes.

Scott isn’t what I expected at all. He’s quite sweet and very laidback and seems taken with Tad almost immediately, it’s obvious by the way he behaves with him, despite the circumstances. Tad was nice and had no clue what he was getting himself into, and while the circumstances in which he ended up in Scott's dungeon bordered on dub con, they never got to that point.

The whole encounter was almost surreal, with Scott pushing Tad to his very limits and offering him an alternate way of getting off, rather than the one the jocks had asked for. A way that, by that point, Tad was more than happy to agree to.

I really liked the dynamics between the two and how, even during the flogging and the subsequent, ahem, events, it never felt forced. Scott always made sure that he wasn’t really hurting Tad at every moment and while it was the first time they’ve met, the chemistry between the two of them was ever present throughout the encounter. They connected and even if Tad wasn’t ready to admit to it, well, it opened his eyes in more ways than one.

In Test of Endurance, Tad is dealing with trying to forget about Scott and failing, then finally giving in and calling Scott with the excuse of helping him with a weight lifting video for Scott’s blog.

Scott jumps at the chance of seeing Tad again, and I loved that while Tad notices some of the signs of Scott’s interest in him, he downplays them. He truly is a shy boy, and thinks Scott is out of his league.

In this volume, we meet Max, Scott’s roommate and a Dom and more like what I thought Scott would be at first, but in the end, they couldn’t be more different.

Anyway, I loved that we get to know more about Scott’s job as a personal trainer and blogger in this installment. He’s a genuinely likable guy, mature, funny, and very into Tad. That much is obvious, at least for us readers, because Tad remains sort of oblivious, although not as much as at first.

One thing leads to another, and they end up having sex… again, and again it was just about as good as it was the first time around. Only this time, Tad has to pass a test of endurance, staving off his orgasm for as long as possible, to make it as good as the first time, only without the aid of the cock ring.

Their chemistry is off the charts and Scott is just the stuff dreams are made of. Never mind that we got to see their growing intimacy and I was in heaven!

Volume 3 is Sideline Submission, and while I wasn’t too fond of Max and Sean when I read this book the first time, my impressions have changed after reading The Dungeon Black Duology. It was quite eye-opening now that I listened to it while being privy to the whole story.

I loved seeing Tad again all out of sorts because even after staying away for a month, he hasn’t been able to put his sessions with Scott out of his mind and on top of that, he’s realized his friends might think he’s gay or something like that, considering he’s not all that much into girls and never has been. Tad just knows that Scott rocked his world and that the connection he felt with the personal trainer was like nothing he’d felt before.

This time it’s Scott who reaches out for him, and it was lovely seeing Tad lite up when he receives his call. They end up at Scott’s place again and after a weight lifting session, they are about to head up to hang out when Max, Scott’s roommate, asks them to be active observers in a BDSM scene he’ll have with a client.

Tad is not all that convinced about this, but finally accepts, and as before, neither he nor Scott are able to fight their attraction to the other and end up having sex again, only this time, Tad seems more open to explore things with Scott than on other occasions.

Again, more than anything, even the incredibly hot sex, what I’ve loved the most about this series is the connection between Tad and Scott. I love that Scott keeps pursuing Tad, even if now he’s more waiting for him to realize what they can have. And that Tad is getting there, his mind (and his heart) more open each time they see each other. I love the trust that Tad implicitly has in that Scott won’t hurt him, and that he grows more confident with each encounter.

Regarding the narration, I really enjoyed it! Michael Pauley has a very pleasant voice and he provided us with different tones for each of the characters. My favorite, as with the books, was Scott, though. The rumbly, deep tone used for him was all kinds of sexy! I felt the first volume was a bit rushed. I would've enjoyed it more if the narration's pace hadn't felt a bit too frantic. Other than that, just be ready because you'll probably need a change of panties (or more) while reading or listening to this bundle! This was one very hot audiobook!

I'll definitely be looking forward to the next one for sure.

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