4 STARS: "These are the friends people fantasize about and not in a kinky manner. Another fabulous private play party is provided to readers courtesy of Ms. Dalton. The sex scenes in this story are hawt and erotic. The games are hilarious and once again show the fun side of kinksters. The blowup doll flotation device is a real crowd pleaser. In this bridge story, it sets up the readers for the next book, Vicious Carousel. Still, this story continues to build connections between the kinksters and shows how their life isn't perfect. Even those who have millions of dollars still have issues which need a little help from their friends. What I like about the BDSM set in this story is how each grouping's dynamic is shown and accepted. In addition, the variety of how people can play is explored and show. Even a couple who isn't in a kinky mood shows up and begins to relax and reconnect. Whether reader catch this or not, it's an important distinction I'd like to make and applaud Ms. Dalton for showing. There are times people just come to a party and hang out. They don't use the equipment and they don't play. There are times people don't even go to be voyeurs. Because let's be real, this lifestyle does tend to have a high number of both exhibitionist and voyeurs. Sometimes, people attend a play party just for the community. This is what Ms. Dalton built in this series. A strong community with bonds of friendship not only in Shibari bondage. FRIENDS LIKE THESE is a mish mash of all our well-loved Suncoast Society members gathering together and having a good time. It's more than just sex. It's a shared experience where friends of like minds can feel at ease in their own skin around people who can accept them for who they really are. This is a very alluring element to this story and pulls me in every time. With few egos and many good-hearted people, this community is a haven. This erotic romance is highly recommended for kinky readers who love reading about a support community that gets by with a little help from their friends." — BookAddict, The Romance Reviews
Loren and Ross arrived shortly after with apparently a metric shit-ton—according to Tilly a perfectly valid unit of measurement—of stuff for the baby shower.
As Lucas watched, Nick reached into one box of party favors and pulled out an adult diaper. “Um, I’m calling red on this game right now, for me, at least.”
“Aw, spoilsport,” Loren teased. “But lucky you, they’re not for humans.”
“Then what are they going on?” Lucas asked.
“The blow-up dolls,” Tilly said. “Come on, you don’t honestly think we’d have a non-kinky baby shower game, do you?”
“Well, you have to admit putting adult diapers on people is straying from the norm in terms of party games,” Nick said.
Loren took the diaper from him and dropped it back into the box. “It’s a two-part game. Whoever can blow their doll up and get it diapered first wins.”
Leigh let out a laugh. “Okay, that is funny.”
“I know, right?” Tilly said. “A bunch of Doms blowing hot air, they’re so friggin competitive, they’ll be passing out left and right from hyperventilation.”
“That sounds like nonconsensual medical play,” Nick teased.
“Picky, picky,” Tilly shot back. “It’s funny.”
“I do admit,” Lucas said, “watching a bunch of straight Doms giving blow jobs—so to speak—is a hysterical mental image.”
Tilly threw up her hands. “Thank you!”
“So what other delights did you cook up?” Lucas asked Ross. One of the boxes seemed to contain a disturbing number of pacifiers and baby bottle nipples.
“I don’t take credit for all of them,” Ross clarified. “Tilly and Loren are the ones who did most of the work. I only made a few suggestions. We also have bobbing for nipples. I took a page from Tilly’s Halloween playbook for that one. And then there’s pacifier spitting.”
“We figured four games was more than enough,” Tilly said. “Probably overkill, actually. We’ll start with the nipple clamps and the diapering.”
“There’s a phrase I never thought I’d ever hear,” Lucas joked.
* * * *
More friends arrived. Max, Sean and Cali, Tony and Shayla, Seth and Leah, Derrick and Marcia, and over two dozen others. Including Clarisse, Mac, and Sully, who’d had friends agree to babysit overnight for them. They were staying at a hotel a few minutes away in Venice, near the interstate.
As they fired up the barbecue and the house filled with the happy sounds of their friends chatting, Leigh wistfully tried to think of ways to transport them all to LA, to the condo they had there, and knew that was wishful thinking.
Her friends had lives, families, jobs. And hers was definitely a first-world problem to have. It wasn’t like she could just whine about it to anyone, even to most of her friends. She didn’t want people to think she was ungrateful for the way life had ended up for her and Lucas and Nick. Yes, there was a fairly public dark moment that precipitated their meteoric rise to happiness, and she wouldn’t wish that bad—and fortunately brief—patch of time on anyone.
Still, there were always trade-offs. Friends like these had come into their lives over a long period of time, and in a way that she knew she’d not be able to connect with people out in LA. Hell, even when she looked back, she did a lot of vanilla things with her kinky friends. The bulk of her friends were kinksters, involved in the local BDSM community, or the Suncoast Society munch group, or both, in many cases.
Tilly joined her in the kitchen. “Shaping up to be a great party,” she said as she gently bumped hips with her friend.
“Yeah, it feels good to be around everyone again. I’ve missed this so much.”
“When do you head back to LA this time?”
“Next week. The guys are going out first. I need a couple more days here. I’m going to have some routine bloodwork done and go over stuff with my doctor before I head back. It’s not anything the guys need to be there with me for.”
“Wise. I thought maybe you’d have a doctor lined up out there.”
Leigh laughed. “Nooo. No, thank you. Hiding a baby bump will be hard enough without trying to sneak in and out of an OB/GYN’s office.” She stared down at the counter. “I’m sure tabloid speculation will run rampant once I am, tying me to Nick romantically, stuff like that.”
“Not that it matters.”
“In this case, it does. We don’t want him to get a bad rep. It doesn’t matter that the rags are trash, we don’t want to damage his rep with the fans. If people think he’s involved in an affair with a married woman who works with him, or worse, they find out we’re a triad, it could cause a major PR headache.”
“I figured stars were more easily able to absorb that kind of press.”
“If we were both single, sure.” She let out a sigh. “One day, we’ve talked about sitting down and writing a documentary about poly relationships and then revealing our own dynamic. I’d rather focus on the stuff we’re doing now, and the BDSM documentary, and wait on the poly one. It’s weird, but people are okay with kinky sex between two people. You talk about a relationship with three, and everyone loses their shit.”
Leigh realized who she was talking to. “Then again, I don’t have to tell you that. You’re in the same boat.”
“Not exactly,” Tilly said. “Not publicly. Everyone at Lan’s offices here and out there know Cris is his partner, and I’m his wife, but beyond that, they don’t ask questions. He pays their salaries. They don’t care what we do in the privacy of our own home as long as they’re getting paid well and on time.” She smiled. “Although he did seem to get a sadistic giggle out of it when he was finally back to work full-time after his treatments and told everyone the news.”
“So how are you doing?” Leigh asked.
Tilly’s facade faltered the briefest of moments. “Adapting,” she said.
With the unexpected earlier addition of the Sybian races to the program, Tilly and Loren decided to forego the other two games, even though they set the items out in case anyone wanted to make impromptu challenges to each other.
Which, immediately, Rusty and Gilo did, to the absolute surprise of no one in attendance.
Max, Sean, and Cali, who ran an online store selling BDSM implements, custom wearables like collars, and portable bondage frames, had brought a few new things for R&D testing with their friends.
Tonight, it was the latest model of their Doom bondage frames. This one had been powder-coated in a pretty shade of dark blue.
“I heard about the ugly neon one,” Leigh said as she and Tilly stood out of the way and watched Max and Sean assemble it.
Tilly let out a shudder. “It was horrible. Seth and Leah could have turned out all their lights that night and it still would have cast an eerie glow of its own.”
“It wasn’t that bad,” Max groused.
“Yes, it was,” half the room replied, making him stand up and look around.
Cali leaned in and kissed him. “Stop with the pouty face. It was your own damn fault, if you’ll recall. Someone trying to save a buck with cheaper powder-coating.”
“That rigger out in California bought it, didn’t he?”
“Only because I offered it to him for cost and I called him personally and begged him to take it off our hands,” she said. “It was hideous.”
“Dude,” Sean said, “it was ugly.”
This newest version of their Doom line of bondage frames had a few new features. It articulated in a few different ways, had extra straps and padding, and even more adjustable attachment points for things like vibrators, dildoes, and other…extras.
Once it was fully assembled and the men had made sure it was secure, the three of them looked at each other.
“Who’s on top tonight?” Tilly asked.
“We haven’t decided yet,” Cali said. She held out a fist. “Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.”
“Dammit,” Sean grumbled. “I always lose this.”
The three of them put their fists together, and in unison said, “Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.” Cali threw lizard, while Max threw Spock and Sean threw paper.
“Ha!” Cali said.
“Finally,” Sean said.
“Dammit,” grumbled Max.
“I don’t get it,” Leigh said to Tilly.
“Lizard poisons Spock and eats paper, paper disproves Spock. That means Max is totally on the bottom. Had there been a tie between two of them, they would have had a run-off.”
“How do you know this?” Leigh asked.
Tilly must have correctly interpreted Leigh’s bewildered tone, because she shrugged. “So sue me. I watch a lot of The Big Bang Theory reruns. I have too much free time on my hands.”
* * * *
Cali wanted to make sure they were the first ones to use the frame tonight. While they’d tested it at home under weight and stress, they hadn’t had time to do a full scene on it yet.
The last thing she wanted was someone—especially one of their friends—getting hurt on one of their devices.
Consensually getting hurt with one of them was another matter entirely, and usually a desired outcome by all parties.
“Strip, buddy,” she told Max. “You’re in the hotseat.”
Sean grinned. “Ooh, feels good not to be the test dummy for a change.”
“Oh, stop it,” Cali scolded. “You like being the test dummy and you know it.”
“I didn’t say I didn’t. I said it feels good not to be it for a change.”
One of the things Cali loved about her dynamic with her men was its fluid nature. At any time, any of the three of them could step into whatever role they felt like occupying. Sometimes, she liked being the one totally on the bottom, at the mercy of her two hunkalicious men.
And then there were times, like tonight, where she wanted to be in the driver’s seat.
There was already play getting started elsewhere, both on the lanai, including on the suspension frame, and on some of the other play equipment set up inside. Unlike some private parties, they didn’t have to worry how much noise they made out on the lanai. With the large property Leigh and her men owned, and the privacy fencing around the backyard, they could get as rowdy as they wanted. The only other place they had few worries about sound was at Seth and Leah’s house, which was set back on a wooded piece of property in a development of similarly wooded properties. Usually, any “noisy” kind of play, like impact play, had to be confined to the house so as not to disturb neighbors.
And this party was getting cranked up, for sure.
Max stripped and, with Sean’s help, started adjusting the frame to fit him. Cali picked out a few implements and waited until Max was completely immobilized facedown on the device to step up behind him.
“We gagging him?” Sean asked with more than a hint of glee.
“You can gag him with your cock, if you want,” she said. “I’m going to make him make some noise.” She reached underneath Max to find his cock already hard. That made her chuckle. “I think someone was protesting a little too much about being on the bottom.”
“Never said I was protesting,” he said. “I just said—”
And that was the last thing he said, because Sean had shoved down his shorts and fed his cock into Max’s mouth with a needy groan of his own.
“Dude,” Sean gasped. “Just shut up and enjoy it.”