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Ben in the Shadows (MM)

Dreamcatcher 2

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SCORCHING
Word Count: 48,873
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[Siren Everlasting Classic ManLove: Erotic Alternative Paranormal Romance, M/M, older hero, werewolves, spanking]

Ben, a werewolf, has spent a decade being experimented on by a mad scientist. Retreating into a fantasy world to cope with his pain, he eagerly awaits a hero to save him. Jasper, a lifelong screw up, proves heroic in rescuing him, but is convinced of his own ill-worth and terrified he won’t be able to live up to the romantic fantasies Ben has of him.

Once mated, the two broken men gain access to each other’s dreams, where neither man can hide from the shadows of his troubled past, and the skeletons in both their closets threaten to overcome the love they both need so badly. Jasper and Ben are bound together for eternity, but will they find in each other their destruction…or their salvation?

Note: Each book in this series features a different romantic couple. Even though the Dreamcatcher collection by Ellen Ginsberg shares an external story arc with the Songmates collection by Rayna Bradbury, each series can stand alone.

A Siren Erotic Romance

 

Ellen Ginsberg is a Siren-exclusive author.

User Reviews
Definitely worth buying.

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Professional Reviews

5 CUPS: "From the moment he was found wandering around by Dr. Pierson, Ben’s life was changed forever. For ten years, he was poked and prodded and tortured beyond his wildest dreams. Jasper gave up on fate and hope when his parents were found unconscious ten years ago. As his parents continued in their coma state, Jasper continued on a road of self-destruction and self-loathing that spiraled out of control. Even though Dr. Pierson gave him no reason to hope for help, Ben has continued to wait for some hero to rescue him from his horrible captivity. When Jasper shows up, like some knight in shining armor from one of the television shows he has watched, Ben knows his life will once again be changed forever. But before Jasper and Ben can get the happy ever after, they will have to deal with the issues between them as well as how Ben’s life is intertwined with Jasper’s unconscious parents. What an unbelievably fantastic novel Ben in the Shadows turned out to be! I loved how emotionally contrasting the main characters were. Ms. Ginsberg gives us Ben, who wears his emotions on his sleeve while Jasper holds everything inside to the point of bursting. Their overall existence is a yin-yang of emotional pitfalls and superb actions that overwhelm all of your senses as you read about their struggle to have a “normal” and healthy relationship. This is not some pretty tale that is wrapped up and tied with a cute bow; instead it is rough, edgy, and with enough calluses that the story will grip you with enough force to leave a mark. I cannot wait to see what is next for this outstanding series!" -- Danielle, Coffee Time Romance

4 HEARTS: "Ben is trapped in the basement of a scientist and dreams of a hero to come and save him. He has it all worked out in his head about how everything would progress… after all he'd seen enough films to know. Jasper stumbles across Ben when he visits Dr. Pierson ex-PHD and Bio-revolutionary about a Miracle drug of epic proportions and discovers the Dr's test subject is a werewolf and rescues him. Another fantastic story where we are given more world-building for the other plane, Morgana. We get a closer look at Ben and Jasper this time round. With Ben, you wonder how he isn't a quivering wreck curled up in a corner rocking back and forth after being held for ten years having experiments done on him. And you really have to admire his determination to have a hero even if that hero is flawed because that was the only thing that kept him going for so long; your heart breaks for him. Jasper is an emotional mess and you really feel for him. How he pushed his feelings away after what happened to his parents, it's not surprising; he tries his best not to give into any of his feelings. and it makes you want to weep at how much shame and disgust that he holds for himself after he went off the rails and how it affects him now with his mate. A truly wonderful story where you can empathize with the characters and know that it isn't all a bunch of roses for them but that they actually have to work at it and let go of their own fears and worries. Some fantastic hot sex scenes and angst, and some danger that is pretty freaky. This has a strong storyline with a good plot that leaves us open for the next book which I guess with be Alex and Jacob's story. Hopefully, we will find out what happened to their parents for the last 10 years (pretty please). So I recommend this for those who love shifters, hot sex, angst, danger, hot men, a brilliant storyline and a promise of more to come." -- Pixie, MM Good Reviews

"This second book in the Dreamcatcher series deepens the mystery, building up to the solution we will hopefully see in the third book. In my experience, it is rare to see such a perfect arc of tension across more than one book and, while it may require more understanding and attention to detail than most series, I find it a lot more rewarding as well. At the same time as we see the overarching story unfold, each book also focuses on the issues and growing love of a central couple. It not only keeps the interest even more alive, it also provided me with a mini-relief from the overall situation, which I appreciated a lot. Ben is a werewolf with amnesia. He can't remember where he is from, and has been experimented upon for years. A cruel, definitely mad scientist wants to use him to cure all human diseases, but has no regard for the pain and suffering he inflicts on Ben. While Ben in clearly a victim, he is also incredibly strong. To come through what he's had to go through with your mental faculties intact is a pretty amazing achievement. And with the events unfolding once he has been set free by Jasper, he will need all this strength and then some to make it through the next set of obstacles. Jasper is a truly fascinating character. He doesn’t look like a victim at all. He seems to be strong and self-confident but he is just as damaged, psychologically and emotionally speaking, as Ben. His wounds are devastating and so deep that he tends to forget about them. Interestingly, he is the exact mirror image to Ben. Where Ben has suffered pain and was helpless for many years, Jasper is using pain, welcoming it even, to punish himself. When these two mate and start sharing dreams, all hell breaks loose. Their combined pasts cause nightmares, and force them to deal with what has happened. In a complicated, but expertly woven net of conspiracies and mystery, their relationship develops and blooms into more. While the cliffhanger was exactly what I expected, I am no less curious as to how all of this will be resolved in the third book. If you're looking for a new and different paranormal world, if you think you can hold your mental breath across three books to find out what is going on, and if you enjoy wounded characters finding and helping each other as they fall in love, you will probably like this book as much as I did." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews

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Excerpt

ADULT EXCERPT

 

“If we do this…” Jasper stopped himself from saying we can’t mate. He didn’t believe in mating, didn’t believe in destiny. Quickly, he amended his words. “If we do this, you can’t bite me.” Ben’s hand dipped all the way down to the base, cupping his balls. Jasper’s hand squeezed around his hip bone as he pressed his lips to his forehead, his temple, his cheek. “Even if you want to, I can’t…” His fingers pressed gently against Ben’s Adam’s apple, but he wanted to kiss him on the mouth. “I won’t be…” His thumb caressed his collarbone, that spot he longed to lay claim to, and oh, he wanted to love him, love him, love him. “I’m not…”

Ben’s hand stilled on his balls and then pulled away. Jasper moaned from the dull ache it left in its place. He stared at him hard. “You’re just scared,” Ben said sullenly. He practically spat the words at him.

The word flared Jasper’s anger and his need in equal measure. He raked both hands down Ben’s back to cup his ass and pull him closer. Ben’s chin pressed against his chest, and he growled. “I don’t get scared,”  he said, but despite his bravado, there was a tremble in his voice.

“Then fuck me.”

Ben’s lips had barely formed the words before Jasper’s mouth crushed into them, kissing, nipping, sucking, licking, wanting to swallow him whole.

Slow down, he told himself, remembering the splash of crimson on Ben’s lip earlier, remembering his naked vulnerability. How long had that been? An hour? Two? He’d promised himself then that he wouldn’t touch him again, that he would bring him here and get him help and do the right thing for just once in his life, and now here he was, playing this scared and confused kid for some kind of quick fuck.

Except it wasn’t. Somewhere inside him, he knew that. His heart might be pulsing liquid fire through his veins and his hands might be fumbling at his clothes to feel them skin-to-skin and his mouth might be gasping against Ben’s like it held his own breath inside it, but something—everything, idiot, everything—about this experience was different than every stupid, self-effacing lay he’d had in his shallow, sorry life.

He tore his mouth away from Ben’s long enough to pull his shirt over his head, his hands sticking in the buttoned-up cuffs of the sleeves so that he nearly popped the buttons off when he had to yank them out. Ben was right, he realized. Clothes were a goddamned inconvenience. Ben needed only to slip his hands into the waistband of his boxer briefs and slide them down his hips, but Jasper still had his undershirt to deal with before he could feel that smooth, young torso pressing against his own. Jasper kicked at his shoes to get them off, silently vowing to never wear the things again if he could just get inside that tight, naked ass his palms had wrapped around, but it was a futile struggle. He knew his socks were still there.

 Except that it was all worth it when he felt their naked bodies pressed together for the first time. In the struggle against his shoes, he had practically fallen onto the floor, and Ben met him there, yanking the hated things off for him before he crawled into his lap. He straddled him just as he had up at Ecstasy Rock, only this time Ben’s cock was fully erect and enormous as it pressed into his stomach. Jasper wrapped his arms around his neck and his legs around his back and pressed soft kisses all along his jaw. He closed his eyes and breathed, in and out. Every inward breath drew Ben’s scent into his body. He roved his hands up and down his arms and back, slowly at first, feeling every curve of his body, the points of his elbows, the ridges of his ribcage, the crest of his spine, then fast, faster. Ben pulled his hair and sucked his tongue, and his every movement up and down stabbed his cock into his stomach until Jasper couldn’t take it anymore.

He laved his tongue along his throat—oh, he wanted to bite him there, but he didn’t, couldn’t, promised himself he could at least refrain from that—tracing a trail down, down, down. Ben fell back, drawing a sharp breath when his body hit the hard floor beneath him. Jasper’s eyes flew open in fear.

“You’re okay?”

He nodded, frantically, drawing up his legs and stroking the sides of Jasper’s face as he continued to kiss down his stomach to the slick spot on his dick. His hand had groped against it a moment ago, and he’d been so desperate to taste the pre-cum there. Now he savored Ben’s flavor, closing his eyes as he sucked the juices into his mouth and rolled them on his tongue. He took the tip into his mouth and the balls into his palm and put a gentle pressure on them until he heard Ben’s happy whimper. He laved his tongue all over it, up and down, slowly, licking and sucking and kissing its every inch.

A hand pressed into his hair, and he heard Ben’s voice. “Oh, please. Please, please, please,” he begged as he spread his legs wider, bucking his hips against Jasper to try to force more of himself into his mouth. Jasper raked his fingers down the backsides of those pale thighs, swallowing him greedily, or at least as much of him as he could take. Ben bucked his hips into him, both hands now pressing hard against the back of his head, thrusting him in and out.

With each thrust, his movements grew more uncoordinated and his breath grew more ragged, as if he was teetering on the edge of losing control. He had hardly gotten started, and Ben was already close to coming. He wanted to meet him in that raw moment of ecstasy. He wanted to be inside him when he did.

Reluctantly, he pulled his mouth away from the slick, swollen cock. He ran his hand along the path he’d traced with his tongue, slickening his fingers with spit and running them down beneath Ben’s balls, trying to find that spot he was so desperate to get inside. He traced his finger along the outside of the hole, watching Ben’s eyes close and his hips jerk as he wriggled into it. He winced as Ben succeeded in impaling himself and drew in a sharp, pained breath. Terrified, Jasper withdrew his finger, but before he could pull out, Ben thrust down on it again.

“Hey,” he murmured, pressing a kiss against his thigh. “Careful.” 

Ben’s eyes closed and his mouth opened as he breathed in big desperate gulps. His fingers twitched and his legs pressed against Jasper. “I want…I need…”

“Turn over,” Jasper whispered.

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