Hi there! Today I’m excited to share a review and giveaway for a new M/M/M heavy kink romance from A.E. Lister. STABLE HAND is the first book in the Braided Crop Ranch series and is deliciously naughty and funny and a great beginning.
Scroll down for an excerpt and to enter the $10 GC giveaway.
About the book:
The Braided Crop Ranch is looking for stable hands. But this is no ordinary horse ranch. They cater to men with a certain interest. An interest involving harnesses, tails, and trainers.
Managed and expertly run by registered psychologist, Adam Marsland, the Ranch is a safe place for the expression of sex positive and kink positive needs and fantasies.
Jensen Moriarty is desperate for a job. He can handle horses. In fact, he’s a pro at it. Too bad the BCR doesn’t deal with real horses. But they do have “ponies”.
If Jensen can wrap his head around what the BCR actually stands for, he may have the opportunity to expand his resumé and experience something completely unexpected in the process.
How about a little taste?
Horses. They were what I knew. What I’d grown up knowing, riding, grooming, tacking in the small Alberta town where I’d lived.
I missed small-town life. Ottawa wasn’t a huge city, but it was big enough, crowded enough, it made me crave the peace and quiet of a smaller life.
My friend Mitchell hadn’t told me much about the Braided Crop Ranch except to say the place was secluded deep in the heart of the Muskokas in Northern Ontario, which turned out to be an understatement.
From my calculations I was only about twenty minutes away, but the brush had thickened, and the GPS wasn’t making sense. There wasn’t even a proper road. Out of desperation, I pulled my car over to the gravel on the side of the dirt track. I left the car on, air conditioner blasting, while I looked up the name of the man who’d interviewed me over the phone: a Mr. Adam Marsland. I found the number quickly in my contacts and hit call.
“BCR, Connor speaking,” a chipper male voice announced after a few rings.
The voice didn’t belong to Mr. Marsland.
“Uh,” I hesitated. “Hi. I’m trying to reach Adam Marsland?”
“Who’s calling, please?”
I cleared my throat, feeling like an idiot. Nothing like starting a new job and not being able to find the place. “This is Jensen Moriarty. I’m supposed to be there at noon, but I—”
“Oh, hi, Jensen. I’m Mr. Marsland’s personal assistant. Would you like me to get him for you?”
“I just need directions. My GPS isn’t making sense.”
Connor laughed. “He should have told you not to rely on the GPS. You should be using the map from the email.”
Email? “What email?”
There was a pause. “You didn’t get the welcome email? The one outlining our policies and practices? I’m sure I sent the form to you a few days ago…”
I wracked my brain but didn’t remember seeing an email. Unless the message had gone into my spam folder. “No, I didn’t get it. A map would be…helpful.”
“Sure, yeah, let me text the map to you. Hold on a second.”
“You might as well text me the other info as well.”
Connor cleared his throat. “Yes, well, I’ll let Mr. Marsland explain everything when you get here.”
I heard a notification and saw the map had come through. I opened the file quickly and had a look.
“Looks like I’m not too far.”
“Okay, come to the main building when you get here. You’ll see the BCR sign on the wall.”
“BCR?” I asked, wiping a crushed mosquito off the dash.
“The Braided Crop Ranch. That is where you’re trying to get to, right?”
“Yes. I just— Yes, that’s where I’m headed.” God, could I make a worse first impression?
“I’ll make sure Adam is here to greet you.”
“Thanks,” I said.
As I’d suspected, I wasn’t far out. If I followed this dirt road and turned onto another called Rattler’s Revenge in about three miles, I’d be there.
Would they put me to work right away, cleaning stalls and looking after the horses? Mr. Marsland hadn’t described my exact duties during our phone interview, but Mitchell had said they were looking for a stable hand.
Marsland had seemed like a nice guy. He’d appeared more interested in the kind of person I was rather than in any experience I’d had. I’d explained I needed a job that would give me some direction along with a decent salary so I could pay off my student loans.
The business degree had been a waste of money, no matter what my parents said. Turned out I hated accounting. Yeah, I was good with numbers, but working with them all day and night was too much to ask.
I needed to be outside. I needed to be interacting with other beings, human or animal. I needed hard work and adventure.
Now I had no idea what I wanted to do. Except for horses. I wanted to work with horses. Living on a ranch with a bunch of other cowboys wouldn’t be so bad either. Even if they didn’t share my orientation, the eye candy would be heavenly.
I’d been surprised when Adam told me the salary I’d be earning. The level was high for a stable hand. He’d also mentioned something about the special stock at the BCR so maybe they only housed Arabians or something. That would be a treat. I’d never seen a full-blood Arabian horse up close.
After following the serpentine curve of Rattler’s Revenge for about fifteen minutes, the brush thinned, and I emerged into a large clearing with the impressive outline of the ranch spread before me. The path took me to a set of steel black gates with BCR in big iron letters affixed to the bars.
A black intercom box perched on the stone wall to the left of the gates. I pulled in close, lowered my window, and pressed the button.
There was a crackle and then Connor’s voice. “Name please.”
“Jensen Moriarty. We spoke on the phone.”
“Awesome. I’ll buzz you in.”
An electrical humming noise sounded as the gates unlocked and slowly swung open.
“Welcome to the BCR, Jensen,” Connor said.
I drove forward and rolled up the window to keep the heat out.
An array of bright red and brown buildings crowded the far distance. In front of me stood an imposing clapboarded farmhouse with these words, painted in black, spanning the wall:
THE BRAIDED CROP RANCH STABLES
~ Pony shows every month ~
Pony shows every month, huh? Looked like I’d have my work cut out for me.
I parked in the small lot to the left of the front door and turned the car off. I wondered if driving all the way out here had been the right thing to do. At any rate, the job provided a new beginning and somewhere to spend the summer. If I enjoyed the work and found the people to be friendly and helpful, maybe I’d stay for a while.
Jensen Moriatry is a 25 year old college graduate in business, but that wasn’t his choice of study or career. He’s gay and out, but not too experienced in the world. Despite living in Ottawa, Jensen craves the small town life like he grew up in, and caring for horses like on his family ranch. Since his folks want him to make something of himself, he doesn’t feel cool about heading back home. That’s why he takes a friend’s advice and applies for a summer position as a stable hand at the Braided Crop Ranch. Unfortunately, his friend has deliberately neglected to tell Jensen that the “ponies” at BCR are human.
BCR is a kink retreat where members can block 6 weeks of pony play with BDSM-trained handlers and voyeuristic guests stay in luxury accommodations with the opportunity to watch some training and performances at pony shows. Jensen is floored. All his plans to calm his worries by grooming horses and mucking stalls are blown. But, the BCR still needs a steady hand, and Jensen isn’t creeped out by the kink. He agrees to stay as a trial…and he’s a bit captivated by the situation. Meanwhile all the “ponies” are more than a little interested in Jensen, as hes a bona fide cowboy, and they want him to massage and ride them all into the sunset. 😉 Stable hands are common sexual outlets for the ponyboys–as with each other–because they can’t have any sexual relations with their trainers, or guests at the ranch.
This is a fun and engaging triad romance for Jensen who is quickly cornered by the most unruly and beautiful of all the ponyboys, Luke. Luke’s always acting out, and his trainers have a hard time corralling him, but Luke and Jensen mesh immediately, and Luke admits he has another liaison with a ponyboy named Noah–whom Luke would be willing to share if Jensen is nice enough. It’s another mindblow for poor Jensen, but he’s doing alright using his horse taming techniques on these sexy sexy men.
I was hooked from the start and I loved the whole thing. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out with the Luke and Noah and Jensen, but they are really sweet and sassy together. Noah is smaller and more femme, but thrills in the ponyplay. He absolutely loves to preform and earn rewards from his service. Jensen’s “stable” hand gets a whole lot of work as he tends to the needs of the ponyboys in his care. We get a look into the psyche of Luke and Noah, and why they relish ponyplay to manage their anxieties and everyday struggles. The inside look at a fetish camp is interesting and engaging without being prurient. The six weeks of their residence flies past and Jensen is sad thinking Luke and Noah be gone from his life forever, but an arrangement is made and it leaves everyone in what seems to be a Happy For Now arrangement. I’m interested to see what a sequel brings!
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!
About the Author:
AE Lister/Elizabeth Lister is a Canadian non-binary author with a vivid imagination and a head full of unique and interesting characters. They have published many other books, one of which (Beyond the Edge) received an Honorable Mention from the National Leather Association–International for excellence in SM/Leather/Fetish writing.