Title: Testing Lysander
Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Extreme photographer Lysander Brock is accustomed to challenging places and situations but nothing can prepare him for the journey that his dominant lover, Kyle Dawson, takes him on.
A commission to photograph the cloud forests of the Colombian Andes becomes the cover for a dangerous mission to expose a terrorist group. Brock and Lysander must negotiate treacherous terrain, a hazardous climb and unexplored caves to achieve their goal.
When Lysander is captured and tortured, he has no expectations of rescue. He understands that his life comes second to the mission but Kyle has no intention of leaving his beautiful, submissive lover in the hands of a madman. Kyle can deal with the intense pressure of fighting lethal enemies but the guilt of pushing Lysander into a life he never asked for is much harder to accept.
Lysander and Kyle journey together into a life of adventure, dominance and submission, and an uncertain future.
Publisher's Note: This book is a sequel to Picturing Lysander and is best read in order.
Author: L.M. Somerton
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Living on the Edge , What's His Passion?, Hard Riders Anthology, Racing Hearts
Published by Totally Bound Source: Publisher
Published: May 15, 2015
Genres: BDSM, M/M Erotica, Suspense
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Visit the Author's Website
Last September I reviewed an anthology called What’s His Passion. Most of the stories were okay stories, but I felt they were nothing more than a tease and there was so much more to tell in each. The anthology included the short titled Picturing Lysander. My thoughts were: “Picturing Lysander by L.M. Somerton 3 stars out of 5 Well, this had the beginnings of an exciting adventure story with some HOT something extra on the side. The “training exercise” was interesting. But, the story didn’t get to the actual mission. We are kind of left hang about what is going to happen. Very unsatisfactory ending.”
Testing Lysander takes up where Picturing Lysander left off. *sigh* Again I was left a bit disappointed. Oh, the story ended with a satisfactory ending, but it was the getting there I found disappointing. The first half of the book was spent with “preparation” for a trip that had actually been planned weeks before. In other words, there was sex all over the place – for the two days they were reviewing the plans and what they hoped to accomplish. Now, I like hot m/m BDSM sex – a lot – but, I was expecting an action adventure story. By the time Lysander and Kyle finally get on a plane to actually start their mission, I was losing interest. The sex was becoming repetitious and I was falling asleep.
Once they arrived at their destination, things got a bit more exciting. I especially enjoyed the trek through a, basically unexplored, cave system. There was some rather tense, hold your breath moments there. The “captured and tortured” part of the story was relatively brief and rather predictable really. But it provided the vehicle for Kyle to “save the day.”
I think if the ending would have happened there I may have been a bit happier with the story. But, we were treated to some heartbreak and angst before the happy ever after. I guess it was okay, but well, by this time I was just wanting to finish this book. I wasn’t engaged in the story. It didn’t pull me in.
Those readers who like an m/m BDSM story will probably like this, especially if you like just a little bit of action/suspense. Personally, I was looking for more action/suspense. *shrugs* It wasn’t a bad story, but I was looking for something more.
When I was choosing the location for Brock and Kyle’s adventures, there were sadly plenty of choices. I needed a place where current or recent activities would lend some realism to the situation, even though the events that occur are entirely fictitious. That meant a country where terrorism is an issue that impacts on the wider international community. However, I also wanted a location where the surroundings themselves lent to the atmosphere of danger and adventure.
Colombia has a reputation all its own. It also has an amazing diversity of landscape. The cloud forests have an air of mystery that seems absent from jungles but are equally challenging in terms of access, so the decision was made. The cloud forests are nature’s “water towers,” providing billions of gallons of fresh, clean, filtered water. They are home to thousands of indigenous peoples, and storehouses of biodiversity, at least 80 percent of which has not yet been catalogued. I loved the idea that my setting could lead to new discoveries, just as Brock and Kyle are newly discovering their passion for each other.
Cloud forests are broadly defined as forests that are frequently covered in clouds or mist. In Central and South America, cloud forest stretches from Panama to northern Argentina. It’s the belt between the jungle and the highlands and, as such, is narrow and delicate. The habitat is often almost vertical and virtually impenetrable. I wanted to push my characters to their physical and emotional limits and see how that impacted their relationship. Though there are plenty of stunning, remote landscapes to choose from, Colombia gave me the perfect combination of mystique, danger and dramatic beauty.
Excerpt from Testing Lysander:
Brock began to feel the burn in his calves and thighs as the route got steadily steeper. Sweat soaked his body beneath the thin raincoat and the ever-present mist saturated his hair until it clung in tendrils about his face. He recalled the maps he’d seen back in England. This stage of the journey was particularly arduous as they had to scale the lower slopes of a heavily forested mountain before reaching the base of the cliff they needed to ascend. His boots skidded on the slippery ground and he adjusted the pack on his back to regain balance. He put his head down and trudged on, concentrating on keeping his footing. Neither of them could afford an injury so early in their journey.
From then on, the territory got more unyielding. At times, Kyle had to use his machete to cut a trail through the dense vegetation. Several times they crossed waterways clogged with debris. Brock took pictures when he could, though it was usually Kyle who spotted the wildlife first and pointed it out. Several colorful birds, a bright yellow frog and some spectacular orchids were enshrined on Brock’s memory card, along with plenty of atmospheric shots of light filtering through the mist-shrouded verdure. They stopped for a break in a clearing where the land fell away to reveal a sweeping view of the endless trees. Along the side of the valley, a cliff face could clearly be seen—a stark white streak against the green. Kyle observed cracks and ledges running down most of the face and the silver glitter of falling water.
Kyle chewed on a cereal bar and took deep swallows from his water canteen.
“That’s where we have to get to.” He pointed across to the cliffs. “We need to climb up a bit farther before we head across the valley side. It will level out somewhat but the going won’t get any easier until we reach the base of the rocks. Then we follow them for a quarter of a mile or so to reach the place where we can get out of the trees and start the climb.”
Brock tossed Kyle an apple. “It’s going to be an interesting climb.”
“It’s seven hundred feet, but not technically difficult. The surface is rough. Plenty of hand and footholds. The worst part is just before the top where there’s a slight overhang, but there is a route around if it’s too dangerous to go over.”
“I can’t wait.” Brock munched on his apple. “Can you imagine the shots I’ll be able to get of the view? I’ll bet there will be plenty of birds nesting up there, too. I love to catch them in flight. Climbing makes it feel as if I’m out in the air with them.”
Kyle smiled, warming Brock’s heart.
“You are amazing. You see beauty in everything, don’t you?”
“There is beauty in everything.” Brock lifted his camera and took a shot of Kyle against the dramatic backdrop.
“Even in me?”
“Especially in you.”
The newest addition to the What’s his Passion? imprint.
Like the sound of Testing Lysander? Buy it here.
About LM Somerton:
Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.
She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.
Trailer for Testing Lysander:
Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZLUZlPYgF0