Almost Gothic (MF)

Suncoast Society 65

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: Sextreme
Word Count: 43,562
24 Ratings (4.9)
[Siren Sensations: Erotic Contemporary Consensual BDSM Romance, M/F, HEA]
Rusty’s childhood is far darker than it looks on the surface. When he falls in love with Eliza on the day they meet in high school, he knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, no matter how long he has to wait. Even if it means waiting forever.
Eliza has no plans to get married—her education comes first. She’s happy to play hard with Rusty, whether at D&D or LARP combat, even if Rusty has one pointless and annoying line he won’t cross in their personal life.
But the night he finally confesses his worst secret, he becomes hers for life. She’ll risk everything to make things right for her beloved barbarian. Sometimes, the darkest and most twisted fairy tales are also the most perfect. Now, nearly thirty years later, the past has returned to haunt him. Can the Lady once again rescue her faithful Knight from his own personal hell?
A Siren Erotic Romance
Tymber Dalton is a Siren-exclusive author.


Almost Gothic (MF)
24 Ratings (4.9)

Almost Gothic (MF)

Suncoast Society 65

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: Sextreme
Word Count: 43,562
24 Ratings (4.9)
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Cover Art by Harris Channing
Love getting to read Eliza and Rusty's story! And being a fan - laughed at the reference to Nora Roberts. Can't wait to see if their daughter or Rusty's brother show up in future stories.
From the moment Rusty met Eliza in high school, he knew he loved her. But are things ever really that simple? While Rusty may be happy, responsible, and loving on the outside, he carries darkness deep in his soul, darkness he's never revealed to anyone. As Rusty and Eliza become friends, Rusty's utterly devoted to her. Despite that, Eliza's certain she'll never marry. And Rusty has responsibilities that would crumble a man twice his age. As their lives move forward with LARPing, SCA, ren fair, and martial arts activities, the two develop trust, rely on each other, form a gothic-type relationship. Eliza's the lady fair, Rusty the knight in shining armor. Rusty's Eliza's barbarian. Eliza's Rusty's rock, the force that secures him. But Eliza knows the darkness in Rusty's soul is ever present. She can't push him. If he's ever going to open up, it'll be on his terms, in his time. Eliza could never have been prepared when that time comes. Anger, loathing, and hatred erupt in Eliza when Rusty's secret's revealed. And it's up to her to protect her barbarian, her knight. But at what cost? What happens when Rusty realizes he's opened his soul to Eliza? How can they deal with the consequences of his confession, the aftermath? It's not easy. But as the future passes and the threat seemingly disappears, Rusty locks the trauma behind steel doors in his mind. Is it gone? Absolutely not! But he and Eliza have an unbreakable foundation. Their lives move on. Then, after nearly 30 years, Rusty's past returns, wreaking havoc, ripping his soul to shreds. It's up to Eliza to pull her barbarian back from the brink. Can she? Does Rusty even want her to? The doors behind which he'd locked that agony are shattered. Old trauma returns with a vengeance, ready to destroy everything. Does Eliza have the strength to give her knight what he needs? Or will all they've built, their love, trust, and devotion, be totally annihilated? This book hit me on such a deeply personal level that there were times I had to literally stop and take a break. I've never had to do that with one of Ms. Dalton's books before. This is a look at the BDSM world through the lens of a Domme and her sub. It's utterly fascinating. Rusty and Eliza's love, their BDSM dynamic, and how it formed over the span of their lives to the present is a wrenching, heartbreaking, and life-affirming story well worth reading. These two fit together like two interlocking pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Their love is undeniable. The trauma is so very real. As I already stated, this hit me a little too close for comfort at times. Rusty's past absolutely shattered me. But the affirmations of hope, belief, love, and absolute trust that Rusty and Eliza share filled me with joy and the deepest hope that love can conquer even the most gut-wrenching situations. Rusty and Eliza's story reflects truth in so many ways. Ms. Dalton always shows her understanding of not just the BDSM world but of people, how life events shape and mold our life choices, and the power that genuine love has to heal. She also demonstrates an innate understanding of life, that it can deal out all sorts of cruelty and horror. But, as always, she's also shown that love truly gives us the ability to rise above any trauma and transcend the pain. Congratulations, Ms. Dalton, on yet another absolutely stunning story. One final note. Please be an informed reader! This is an ADULT book. It contains explicit language and BDSM sexual scenes. If you already know you won't enjoy this genre, this book may not be for you. There are book synopses and reviews available on Goodreads and all booksellers' websites. Use these resources. DON'T LEAVE A NEGATIVE REVIEW WHEN YOU KNOW YOU WON'T ENJOY THE BOOK. It's not fair to the author! She works hard to provide a quality work product. If you know you'll object to the book's subject matter before you buy it, you're doing yourself and the author an extreme disservice. Thanks for reading my review and happy reading!
Pam S.

More From Suncoast Society





Rusty McElroy fell in love with Eliza when he was sixteen years old, on the day they met.

That also happened to be the first time she thoroughly kicked his ass.

It was the first weekend of their sophomore year of high school, and the first weekend their medieval LARP group had gotten together since school let out for summer break late last May. He’d never seen Eliza before that day, but she’d been invited by one of his friends who shared Biology with her during second period.

Brown eyes and short, reddish-brown hair, slim, she was dressed in a men’s costume—a blue tunic, grey leggings, authentic-looking leather boots, and black leather bracers on both arms.

Not cheap-ass, Costumes-R-Us bracers, either. Custom-made, embossed leather, and considering how small she was, they must have been fitted to her.

The green thread of envy over kids being better equipped than him had never extended to women before, but this girl looked like she’d just walked out of the 1600s and was ready to battle somebody.

Some of their group, comprised of kids and adults, was either in SCA, involved in BARF or the Sarasota Medieval Fair, or other local Ren Fair groups, or all of the above.

The rest of them just liked to dress up, run around, and beat the crap out of each other with fake weaponry while pretending to talk in very bad British, Scottish, and other accents.

What Rusty hadn’t realized at that time, however, was that Eliza was a weapon.

And there was not a damn thing fake about her.

He was about to learn that.


Apparently his friends thought it’d be funny to pair him with her to spar, since she was new to the group, he didn’t have a girlfriend, and they knew he hated fighting women—unless he knew they could hold their own against him—because he was terrified he’d accidentally hurt them.

Well, that was one of the reasons. The other reason he kept to himself, because no one else needed to know that. And based on his size and behavior, everyone assumed the first reason.

That meant there were only two women he’d willingly fight in their group, both of them in their twenties, but neither was there today. One was a karate black belt and the other a kickboxing teacher who’d spent eight years as an MP in the Marines over in the Middle East.

Already six two, despite being gangly, he’d grown into his limbs and was fast and sure. Two years of judo hadn’t hurt any.

Except the local rec center, where he’d been taking the classes for free, lost their instructor and that meant an end to his lessons. No way his mom could afford to pay for private lessons.

Another reason he wasn’t in SCA or active in the local ren fairs yet, because it just wasn’t in their budget.

So he kept in shape by running, usually late at night when it was cooler and nobody around. He couldn’t afford to be on the cross-country team at school, but he knew he needed a way to keep burning off the darkness in his brain. Between running and the combat, it helped.

Gave him a way to zone out.

Run to exhaustion, step into a dark and wooded area to jerk off and get rid of the boner the pain of running caused him, and get himself home to collapse.

This group was free to all comers. Since they met at a county park, it didn’t cost them anything for the facility. There were people there dressed in everything from shorts and T-shirts, all the way up to full plate armor.

Rusty had cobbled together his tunic with clearance fabric for a buck a yard and a sewing machine he’d checked out from the library for two weeks after the librarian spent ten minutes showing him how to thread it and change out the needle in case he broke one.

His mom had found the black, plus-sized women’s stirrup pants that he used as leggings at a thrift shop, and he’d taken them in at the waist so they’d fit him and cut the elastic stirrups off the bottom. They hit him about six inches above his ankles, which was fine, because he wore second-hand leather hiking boots and black socks.

In other words, he’d put in some effort despite his lack of funds.

His wasters, a short sword and a broadsword, both wooden, he’d bought used from another kid after mowing lawns for neighbors to earn the money. And the same friend’s dad had just set up a garage forge and was going to start teaching them how to make better, more realistic weapons this fall, once the weather cooled a little. Rusty had made a wooden shield that looked like crap but had saved him a few bumps and bruises over the years.

Of course Duke, one of the guys running the combat today, ordered Rusty and Eliza into a combat area first. They used an elimination process with three chalk circles in the grass, but made sure everyone got to fight at least once per session. Sometimes the older kids and adults would spar with the younger, less experienced ones, not giving them an easy win but letting them get some time in, at least.

Rusty swallowed hard as he stared down at the girl, who was maybe five three. Instead of a sword she wore a long leather pouch slung crossways on her back, the strap to the front.

A challenging gaze on top of a confident smirk beat its way into his heart and almost made him take a step away from her.

“Don’t hold back, dude,” she softly said.

He forgot to use his accent. “You’re a girl.”

Her smirk widened. “Thanks for noticing.”

Rusty’s heart did a weird little shimmy he’d never felt before. “Rusty.”

“Eliza. We gonna talk or fight?”




He didn’t stop after he’d teased the first orgasm out of her with his tongue flicking her clit. As she recovered from the first, he hooked his arms around her thighs and pulled her down the bed a little, her feet resting on his knees, hips angled up, all the better to eat you out, my dear.

And his cock, that sweet, cut, nine inches of stiff meat ready and eager to service her once he’d taken care of her first. The purple head already smeared with pre-cum leaking from it and proud and sensitive. She loved tying him up and edging him with her mouth, making him beg for relief.

No begging tonight.

Not from him, anyways.

He rimmed her, teasing, his tongue punching through and making her moan before he moved up and buried his tongue in her pussy, fucking her there, too, lapping up her juices. Back to her clit, long strokes up and down the length of her cunt as he toyed with her. He knew her body as well as his own and every languid swipe up her labia and around her swollen nub were meant to tease. To remind her he knew his place but he enjoyed this.

No chore for him.

He’d start out every morning eating her out if it was up to him and she knew it.

He’d tried that, too, early in their relationship, until it was making them late every day and she had to put a stop to that except on weekends or special occasions.

His lips latched onto her clit and with his chin wedged between her ass cheeks and his nose buried in the short and well-trimmed landing strip of dark hair along her mound, he took her to heaven again. He had this special trick of lightly tugging on her clit, not quite sucking, but just as powerful and right along the edge of too much and not enough at the same time.

Eliza’s back arched as she came again. Her fingers dug into his scalp and his fingers dug into her thighs. A low, sweet growl rolled through him and now he sucked, hard, setting one final series of explosions off in her cunt that rattled her spine all the way to her brain and curled her toes.

Then he was on her, dragging her into his lap and onto his cock before he fell forward, hands planted on both sides of her head, Eliza caged by his body. This was always his reward when she signaled him like this, he was allowed to take what he wanted then, and he did.

Slanting his lips over hers, he kissed her, another moan rolling through him as his sweet cock fucked her. She tasted herself on his lips, and now her hands were on his head, his shoulders, holding him close and never wanting to let him go.

Tonight he fucked her hard, deep, jabbing thrusts that dragged the head of his cock along the front of her pussy with every stroke and threatened to tip her over the edge once more.

“Give it to me, baby,” she whispered. “I want it. Please.”

His thrusts slowed, long-stroking her as he bent his head to her ear, another code unlocking this drawer in his soul and opening it for his pleasure…and hers.

“Maybe I’m just hitting my stride. Maybe I want to fuck you all night like this.”

He could, too. Operant conditioning was a heartless bitch. She’d inadvertently trained him so well that he could hold back hours if he tried hard enough.

And he had one Saturday, when he’d earned very special privileges and she’d let him tie her up and have his way with her for the day.

He’d fucked her in every way possible, playing with her like a dog with a chew toy.

Sure, she could trip several switches in him and flip him back, set his orgasm off in her time and not his, but what was the fun in that? He’d wanted this, needed it.

And sometimes, she needed it, too. Not that she needed him on top, but she needed proof his spirit wasn’t broken. That he was under her by choice, by desire, not because he felt compelled to for her reasons and not his own.

A soft reset.

A sexual palate cleanser.

Reassurance that he really was happy with her and what they did.

He sat up and cupped her breasts in his hands, his fingers tugging on her nipples and his body grinding against her clit at the bottom of every stroke into her pussy.

It was more than enough. Her cunt clamped down on his cock when she exploded, and he grinned down at her. “Oh, yeah.”

When he’d sensed she’d finished, he pulled out, flipped her onto her hands and knees, and before she could even brace herself his cock slid into her cunt and bottomed out, making her and him moan in sweet harmony.

That’s what I wanted, baby.”

She rested her head on the bed and held on for the ride. He didn’t disappoint, either. Grabbing her hips he rode her hard, not just thrusting into her but pulling her onto his cock and all she could do was brace herself and let him. It didn’t take him long to finish. He’d started coming and kept fucking her all the way through it, his cum filling her and leaking out around where they were joined as he fucked and fucked and—

The gasp, and the way his hands clamped down on her hips as he buried himself deep inside her one final time. Primal and raw and dirty. A far tamer version of how he’d fucked her the night they’d found out she was pregnant with Kailey. During those days while trying to get pregnant, he’d wanted to make love to her face-to-face every time, watching her come on his cock, and she’d wanted to see him come, too.

But the celebrations were always this, animalistic and primal and coring through all the daily bullshit and masks they wore for civilization.

This was them, their nature.

Their love story had always been sweetest and hottest played out in the shadows, dark mansions with tall windows and endless moors outside, the two of them free to unleash their needs with each other, almost like a gothic love story except for that one little point—that she was always in charge.

And they both liked it like that.

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