Title: Toy Box – Candles
Authors: Elle Parker, Sean Michael, Alexa Snow; edited by M. Rode
Genre: Contemporary GLBT, BDSM (M/M)
Length: short stories
Rating: 4.35 stars out of 5
Candles as sex toys? You bet. They’re the right shape, the right size, and they have all the heat in the world. In Shine Out Brightly by Alexa Snow, Eric and Jack have a fight that Eric isn’t sure they can recover from it. Jack is always in control and Eric lets it happen. Will a candlelit dinner convince Eric that Jack is trying to change his ways? In Waxing Jack by Elle Parker, Jack Jones is working as an exterminator — the latest in a long line of jobs he doesn’t like. When he’s called to Elliott’s house, though, all of that might change. Will an afternoon of candle play convince Jack that Elliott’s the right boss for him? Finally, in Deck the Sub, by Sean Michael, Marcus has plans for Jim, but Jim isn’t sure candles are the best idea. Can the boys from Bent come to an agreement?
Shine Out Brightly by Alexa Snow 4.25 stars out of 5
Eric was mad at his lover Jack, and after their last fight he didn’t know if they could put Humpty Dumpty together again. Jack was a control freak and Eric hadn’t minded initially but recently he’d had it and wanted to be able to manage his own affairs, plus it seemed that Jack had withheld information from him – which was why they had fought. Now here he was at Jack’s request, at one of their favourite meeting places, and Eric isn’t sure if he wanted to be there.
Jack really would like to make up with Eric and realized that he would have to change a few things or he would lose him forever. Then Eric tells him what he needs – more power in their relationship and Jack agrees because, really, he doesn’t have much of a choice. He invites Eric over for a candlelit dinner but when Eric shows up nothing had changed in Jack’s attitude – he was still calling the shots. Eric is so angry that Jack is not taking him seriously, probably because of the 8 year age difference, that he’s determined to take a stand and show Jack who is “the man.”
Jack is surprised and excited at Eric taking control and when he shows Jack his other side with the aid of some hot candle wax, a blindfold, and finally the piece de resistance, he realizes that giving up control is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Waxing Jack by Elle Parker 4.50 stars out of 5
Jack Jones arrived at the huge mansion to do some exterminating, the latest in a long line of dead-end jobs. When he rang the doorbell and is shown into the mansion he is told by Elliott, the owner, that the call was a ruse to interview him for a job. “Killer” as Jack is known in the exterminating business, is intrigued because he doesn’t remember applying for a job. He’s told by Elliott that the job is hands-on and quite different from his current occupation. Jack accompanies Elliott into his bedroom where the interview is to be held, as he explains that he runs a brothel and the job he has in mind for Jack is to be the newest addition to his stable.
Jack can’t believe his ears and right away he gets himself ready for his job interview by having a shower. Elliott tells him that part of the interview involves candle play and hot wax which Jack would have to administer. This test was not successful as Jack wasn’t an expert in the art of applying hot wax and it soon became clear that poor Elliott would have to change strategies if he wanted to come out of the interview without third degree burns. He decides on another approach and moves into the driver’s seat, which worked out a lot better as he demonstrated how an expert wields candle power. Then Jack shows his area of expertise as he passed his initiation with flying colours and got an “A” for effort.
Deck the Sub by Sean Michael 4.25 stars out of 5
Marcus and Jim from Bent are taking a break. Marcus has declared a week of holidays for his boy, starting with turning off the alarm. Since it was Christmas he gave Jim the option of changing his usual routine, and their wake-up is unique to them as Jim gets a choice of how to serve his Master. After breakfast Marcus decides to assess Jim’s tolerance for hot candle wax and he preps him by shaving his body.
Jim is fearful of the next step because he’s concerned that the candle wax could burn him. After being tied up he realizes that all he can do is submit as Marcus weaves designs on his body with wax. Then the candle is used as a sex toy and Jim is beside himself as Marcus makes the ultimate mold which he planned to have made into a plaster replica.
This is definitely an intriguing, innovative and intense story as Marcus ensures that Jim is given what he feels he needs to celebrate the holidays.