So...tentacles. Specifically, in m/m. Look, you'll either like them or you won't, and nothing I say will change your mind.
*whispers* I like them!
But if you want to dip your toes into the dark, mysterious waters of tentacle sex, here's a good place to start. My three favourite m/m (m/something else?) tentsex stories:
This free, fun, and surprisingly sweet story is all about the tentacles. But more than that, it's all about the boy with the tentacles -- Kip -- who is lonely, unloved (except for his sister, who's off to join the Peace Corp) and still suffering from being rejected by Aniket, his high school crush, when they both realised the same night he was a tentacle monster. Then, years later, Aniket walks back into his life.
Most tentacle stuff I've read is all about the alien non-con, but not here. Here, the monster is just a sweet young guy with some unusual biology.
Read this one, guys. It's super short, super fun, and has some seriously hot scenes going on. Check this out even if you don't like tentacles, because Kip is such a lovely character that it won't take you long to see past them.
First of all, ignore the title, the cover, and probably the blurb. This isn't cheesy like you think it is. We all know how it's going to go, right? Sexy, cocky guy gets entangled and ravished by a tentacle monster, and has the forced-gay time of his life.
Well it kind of goes there, but for starters the writing is better that. There's some nice world building that you don't usually get in shorts like these, but more than that it's atmospheric. I mean that. This isn't PWP tentacle sex, this is almost a horror story. It's dark and weird, and the ending was really, really unexpectedly creepy and wonderful.
Much more than I was expecting!
And now, the best for last: Kraken, by M Caspian
I thought I knew was I was getting into -- a smutty piece of fluff with a man who is molested by a tentacle monster but it's okay because he likes it in the end. That is not this book. This book is creepy. I said that, right? It's the word I keep coming back to.
It has the following elements:
1. A monster. See title. Check.
2. An isolated location. An island. Check.
3. Creepy locals. You know those assholes know exactly what's going on, but you don't know whose side they're on. Check.
4. A guy who wanders into the middle of everything and happens to be the next chosen sacrifice. Check.
But that's not all this book has got. It's got a fantastic sense of place -- the descriptions of the landscapes weren't just visual, they were visceral. The island has it's own history, of both its people and its industries. And the atmosphere just gets creepier and creepier, like the rolling fog in a 1940's gothic film. The details here are fantastic. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I'll just say -- the birds! Oh my god, the birds! There are so many layers here, that I will definitely be rereading it, and at a slower pace this time so I don't miss a thing.
Make no mistake. Kraken is not romance. What Kraken does is take the basic set-up of a romance and twist it around until you realise you're looking at a horror and you have been since the very beginning.
This is a great book if you like darker fiction. Dip your toes into these waters, and I guarantee you'll be back for more.
And I'll be interviewing M Caspian soon on my blog, so stay tuned for that!