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Review: Zoner – Michael Barnette

Zoner - Michael Barnette

Genre: Sci-Fi, Erotic

LGBTQ+ Category: Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

David Jessman has it all. A great job, a wonderful home and wealth. What he doesn’t have is a lover to share his life.

Bells is a gunwhore, a bodyguard and sex worker rolled into a single, neat package. He has nothing but his guns and a rather special set of skills.

When fate brings them together, neither man could have predicted the startling outcome.

Trigger Warnings: m/m, BDSM, dub-con (this book), dark erotic romance

Author’s Note: The series must be read in order as the books comprise a single story.

Originally published in Wired Hard #3, More Erotica for A Gay Universe, reprinted in Idols by Mondidore Editore (Random House Italy). And by several other publishers, this edition is not changed very much from those original versions.

The Review

Mr. Jessman was the Chief of Computer Research and Development for the Megalli-Loran Corporation (MLC). Three months ago, he was recruited by NeuroTech, which pays him much better and supplies him with the best and safest living arrangements. He has the newest in personal environmental maintenance and personal security – Environmental Control and Security Unit – NeuroTech EnCoSet 2400. Jessman lives his life in artificial sunlight from overhead lamps, as the environment outside is too dangerous. He’s suspicious that MLC hasn’t retaliated, but it’s hard to get to him – he lives behind bullet proof glass on the 58th floor of the NeuroTech Corporate Enclave.

Tonight he awaits a visitor, one he hired who is supposed to be the best. The anticipation is great, as he doesn’t know if they will be male or female. When he’s notified by security. he is surprised at the gunwhore who arrives with a gun on his hip and gorgeous cornsilk colored hair decorated with tiny silver bells. The beautiful boy must be a mistake. Gunwhores are hired from Liberty City FreeZone – the lawless part of the city.  The only way to survive in the FreeZone is with fists, feet, knives and guns. 

When Jessman and the gunwhore come face to face, Jessman decides to play the game. But he doesn’t know what he’s in for. He soon finds himself in a strange place with the gunwhore watching over him. What does this man have in store for him, and will he survive it? 

Barnette has crafted a dark, strange dystopian world in this erotic short story. Erotica and BDSM aren’t what fascinated me about this book – it’s the way the author worked them into this unique tale. Because this is a short story, I don’t want to give too much away. I like what the author has set up for these two characters and can’t wait to read more. 

There are all kinds of interesting things and ideas in this story: cosmetic enhancements, implants, simvideo, cyber-enhancements, the Sweet Sisters and Pleasure & Pain, gunwhores and much more.

Zoner is an intriguing escape, and I can’t wait to read the second book, Control.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California. Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018. My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen. New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012. She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series. Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book!

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing. I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews. One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group. Joining her site was such an eye opener. I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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