Mane and Tail by Sean Michael (review)

Tagline: Unsatisfied executive meets otherworldly man who says he can fulfill his secret wish to be kept as a pony – for a supernatural price

Mane and Tail Book Cover

Title: Mane and Tail
Author: Sean Michael

Genre:  Gay Erotica (pony play – D/s)
Format:  Novella (32k words)
Series: Modifications #1

SitesGoodreads | Amazon

Publisher: Self-Published (June 2016)
ISBN: 9781988377117

Retail: $3.99

Rating:   star1 star1 star1 star1 half-star  (4.5 stars – I really liked/loved it!)

Synopsis: Eric Martin is an executive who is missing something in life.  When he meets a rather forward and somewhat strange man named Daryus, he is unable to stop thinking about the stranger’s promise to make his fantasies come true.  At their second meeting, Daryus leads him to a world of stables and to Soren, a trainer of pony pets.  Eric’s deepest and darkest secrets are laid bare at the talented hands of the master groom. Soren’s skillful hand tries to force the executive to face his desired fantasy and attempts to bind him to his wanted and wanton fate.  In the end, will he be willing to pay the price to truly live his in his true nature?

Review: The author frames a somewhat intriguing but also very erotic story of a master groom attempting to guide a man (who is accustomed to being in charge) through a descent into a fully trained pony/servant mindset. The pony training is framed with a brief and nicely whimsical but also potentially dark supernatural theme.

The core of the book is a relatively gentle but firm pressure on a needy, unhappy executive to look at his more secret fantasy – serving as a fully trained and cared for pony by a strong but attentive master. The somewhat forced training highlights a very Dominant/submissive theme. It is explored here with less outright pain and force than I have found in many romance or erotica with a BDSM or D/s label. In many ways this approach seems much more realistic (and true to my own experiences) than more typical harsh, painful, and/or brutally controlling domination found in much BDSM-D/s fiction/erotica. The author includes a well-written, step-by-step journey (with just enough emotion and motivation) through the mechanics of becoming a trained pony, from light currying to fully functional, well-attached reins and finally to the ultimate in tail and cart play.

Much of the story, especially the personal reactions through the heart of the training, are viewed through the groom’s eyes, one who is fervently dedicated to mastering, dominating, loving and transforming his pony. One small critique may be that the reactions from the submitting, bound man are increasingly described in physical (and at times very heated) terms rather than through his thoughts and emotions – but in some ways that just reinforces the potential pony’s ultimate choice of whether to be reactive pet in the hand’s of a master groom more than an active instigator in his own right.

In the end, the ultimate questions are asked, with a delightfully devilish touch to complete the story

Recommended for fans of:  pony play; slow and patient but firm journeys into submission to a Dominant; pet play; BDSM -D/s with gentle but firm domination.

Sizzle:
Heat: fire fire fire fire fire – Fully sizzling D/s erotica, with explicit step-by-step assertions of control and submission, not too harsh but nicely firm heated encounters.
Passion: heart heart  heart  – Extremely strong on the Groom’s side with a bit less exposition but more implied from reactions and actions on the pony’s side.
Genre:  Erotica


Other Comments and More Personal Reactions (including spoilers):
I started posting on this blog to feel more free to include rather personal reactions to stories, and this one evoked such pleasant memories I am taking advantage of the personal space to react more, well, personally.

 

The author includes a well-written, step-by-step journey through the mechanics of becoming a pet pony.  The progression and range struck me as right, slowly moving into more and more serious submission, moving from light currying to fully functional, well-attached reins and finally to the ultimate in tail and cart play.  Kinks explored included currying (which made me purr), binding, blinders, hand feeding, piercings, reins, cuffs/mitts (the feel of lambskin – oh yes!), dressage and cart runs, spanking, stocks, and even a touch of light whipping (if only there were a riding crop…).

 

Favorite Quotes (spoilers) with personal reactions:

 

“Please help me.” This world was so wrong.
“I am, Petyr. I am. You need to give everything up to me and trust I’ll take care of you,” Soren said softly, voice so gentle.
Life didn’t work that way, though. Nothing worked that way.
(Fortunately, it sometimes does!)

 

Some trainers use constant pain, but that’s not me.”
(Nice to see a range in kinky, D/s stories)

 

He did the wrist restraints first, knowing those were easier mentally for his pony. He slid the lambskin-lined leather around each wrist and tightened the straps.  (Makes me whimper from a wonderful flesh memory)

 

He put the reins over Petyr’s shoulder, then dragged them along his pony’s skin so Petyr could know what it felt like. Then he attached the clasp of the reins to Petyr’s right nipple, then his left, letting the leather hang down and pull against Petyr’s them. Petyr’s chest moved, his pony beginning to pant for him, obviously a bit worried.  (But it’s the most delicious kind of worry!)

 

 As he kissed, he reached behind Petyr and gently tugged the reins, letting his pony feel them. Petyr jerked, his whole body bucking. The only reason Petyr didn’t pull completely away was because he was bound in the stocks. (And the feel of that kind of binding on one’s limbs and actions just drives the senses into overload.)
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Five Golden Beads by Sean Michael (review)

Five Golden Book Cover

Title: Five Golden Beads
Author: Sean Michael
Genre:  Male/Male Holiday Erotica
Format:  Short Story (31 pages)
Sites: Author | Publisher Goodreads | Amazon
Format:  Short Story (31 pages)
Series: Reindeer Games
ASIN: B019EKTSKO

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Tagline:  Christmas BDSM elf tops eager human

A brief, heated, and nicely Christmas-themed piece of male/male kinky erotica, this short story provides a quick and sizzling holiday escape into elven debauchery.  Harper is an inventive and playful top/Dom, providing a nice range of holiday-themed kinky BDSM gifts (including the titles’ “five golden beads” for some rear-passage pleasure). There is a tiny bit of a story which simply puts a little seasonal flare and a bit of a hopeful yearning into smutty, kinky bondage play.  Shay’s human sweetness sizzles and swirls in and around his submission and lust for his Elven partner.

I received a free copy of this work from a giveaway from the author’s blog