Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Cream: A Hammer Novel
SERIES: Hammer Club # 36
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 189 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 24, 2016
Storm owns the Beat & Cream bakery, popular with the Hammer Club members for its name, the amazing pastries Storm bakes, and his willingness to make all sorts of naughty creations. Not into the lifestyle himself, Storm loves the punny nature of the name of his establishment and everyone he’s met has been nice.
Zeb, an unattached Top and Hammer Club member hears about the bakery and knows he must check it out for himself, given he has the world’s biggest sweet tooth. He finds the pastries delicious, but he’s even more taken with the owner himself, and sets out to woo Storm.
It’s easy to fall in love with someone who makes you laugh and brings your life joy, but what happens when that’s with someone who isn’t into the same things you are? Zeb and Storm are about to find out if they can find some mutual ground, or if Zeb’s lifestyle will keep them apart.
Previously published by Torquere Press.
Like the previous books I’ve read in the Hammer Series, I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit. It was rather low on the kink scale in my opinion, but that gave the characters more focus both in and outside of the bedroom. As with most books in that take place in this universe, the main characters got together pretty darn quickly but, unlike a lot of the others, the quick progression from lust to love didn’t feel unnatural to me, or rushed. Zeb and Storm were just a good fit together all around and I liked just seeing them together in general; they also dated for a good couple of weeks before the word love was ever uttered. That’s still fast but when I’m used to the characters busting out those declarations in a matter of days, this was a fairly glacial pace. 😀
The bulk of the book just features the main characters progressing through the stages of their relationship while also exploring the bdsm lifestyle, which Zeb is fully invested in. Storm just kind of slides smoothly into kink and while he doesn’t care for being labeled a submissive, he’s fully on board with anything he and Zeb may get up to in the bedroom. Like I said earlier, there isn’t an overwhelming amount of kink here, mostly a bit of bondage and one major spanking scene. What the book did have, however, was a focus on something I’m not sure I’ve seen before: nipple play. Granted, I’ve seen nipple play in other books but not to the extent or focus that happens here and I liked that. Even better, the play is on both sides of the relationship, not just Storm which was refreshing.
Aside from one minor incident that takes place earlier in the book, there really is no angst to speak of here but I found I liked the characters together so much that I didn’t need that extra something to keep me interested. Despite the quick relationship progression, things didn’t actually feel rushed to me and I liked reading about the ‘firsts’ that Zeb and Storm explored together. If you’ve enjoyed other books in this series or by this author you’ll enjoy this one.