Some nights, American secret agent Ben Smith just wants to come home to his husband. He misses that English accent and smile and, of course, Simon on his knees. He wants his perfect submissive at his feet, so the world and his mission can fall away.
Some nights, romance writer Simon Ashley misses his dashing American other half. Tea is nice, but it can’t pin him down in bed and make him beg, reminding him he’s loved and belongs to someone. He wants to forget everything and everyone he’s left behind, and just belong to Ben.
Tonight they both get what they want when Ben comes home early. tea is very nice … but so is leather.
After reading this book, I was left with one very important question: why on earth isn’t everybody reading K.L. Noone??
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile (at least since the advent calendar last December) you know I loved K.L. Noone’s holiday story Revelry. I’ve been meaning to read Leather and Tea for awhile, since the release of the 2018 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology where it’s is featured. But somehow it slipped my mind, until I read this fabulous review of the anthology by Becca over at Love Bytes. The first few sentences of her review (“Damn this story was amazing! It was almost like reading a love letter. It was so poignant and beautiful.”) reminded me of this book’s existence, and I decided to read it at once.
And wow, Becca is right; it’s a 7779 word long love letter. It’s 7779 words of pure perfection, of a love so bright and beautiful between Ben and Simon, and I simply adored it.
This story is everything I love about short stories. It’s a slice of life in the main characters’ lives with enough back story to make me care for them deeply. Combined with K.L. Noone’s mastery of the English language, I’m a goner.
Summer-morning eyes found his gaze with excitement, disbelief, hope like emerging sunrise.
This book is a BDSM erotica. I’m ambivalent when it comes to BDSM; I’m not a fan of the St. Andrew’s Cross-filled dungeon, or the kink club BDSM. What I like is the power dynamics, the BDSM not overpowered by props, the BDSM where the emotions are in focus, where the need to give up control is respected and handled with care. What I like, is the BDSM described in this book.
I love you, you give me everything, you trust me with all of you and I want to deserve that, to deserve you. Those eyes and that smile and the way you looked up with that little gasp the first time I spanked you, only teasing, in bed. The way you offer me all those pieces of you to hold secure and sacred and I will, I will, forever.
Ben and Simon are two fantastic characters, and I loved them both, but maybe I loved the sassy, British Simon just a tad more, with his gilded locks, his clumsiness, and his complete trust in Ben. And who wouldn’t want to come home…
To crossword puzzles in bed and a trail of books like breadcrumbs from room to room and trusting fearlessness.
And then there’s the language.
Simon turned his head, studied their hands anew: Ben’s fingers tanned and powerful over that slender wrist, a study in light and contrast painted with the light from the bedside lamp.
Like I said; I read this book in the 2018 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology, but when I finished it, I marched (I marched virtually, okay?) to JMS Books and bought it separately, too. And I bought three other books by K.L. Noone too, because everything I’ve read from her so far have been bloody fantastic, and I need to support writing like this.
Thank you Becca at Love Bytes for reminding me to read this book, and thank you to K.L. Noone for writing it.
Leather and Tea gets my warmest recommendations and I added it to my re-read feelgood shelf at Goodreads. *Happy sigh and heart eyes*
Aaaaand I’m looking forward to the sequel that will be released tomorrow: A Leather and Tea Morning. I pre-ordered it weeks ago and I can’t wait to read it. I mean, this line from the excerpt made me one-click faster than you can say tea 🙂
Simon asleep looked like dawn, he decided: pale sunshine curls and fair skin and careless contentment, a miniature masterpiece painted in gold that’d collided with a pillow and learned how to very quietly snore.