The Dungeon Black Duology

by Kora Knight

Unearthed - Kora Knight - Dungeon Black
Part of the The Dungeon Black Duology series:
  • Unearthed
Editions:Kindle: $ 5.99
Pages: 422

Love. The most powerful force in existence, but also the most ruthless. Cunning and deceptive. Man’s greatest Achilles heel. Leaving all who embrace it weak and vulnerable.
At least that’s how Dom-for-hire Max Kelley sees it, after the love of his life knocked him on his ass. A brutal blow that not only stole his breath, but decimated his ability to trust. Turning him cold and cynical. The TKO he never saw coming.
Love. A mistake Max won’t ever make again.
Meaning no more relationships—not exactly a hardship. Just the thought of dating makes him queasy, and one of the reasons he doms for a living. To sexually engage without the poison of intimacy. The other reason? To keep his demons sated. With whips and chains, and scandalous kink. A fiery mix that always hits the spot.
That is, until a bright-eyed beauty walks into his life and refuses to leave.
Sean Matthews. College senior and flirt extraordinaire. Max’s newest—and greenest—client sub. Man, is he delicious; able to push Max’s buttons, able to make him crave the things he knows he shouldn’t. Sound the alarm, this can only mean trouble. Unfortunately, deterring Sean proves virtually impossible, and now Max finds himself at a crossroads.
Man up and kick his favorite sub to the curb… or succumb to his own buried desires.

** Warning: Contains references to sensitive matters involving teens, as well as mentions pertaining to child abuse, that some might find disturbing.
This BDSM romance also contains intensely explicit scenes both inside and out of the dungeon.

** Note from the author: While this duology can be considered a stand alone, I highly recommend readers visit the prior series (Upending Tad: A Journey of Erotic Discovery) first for two reasons: It was the chemistry of Tad and Scott that started it all and won these books such a devoted following. But also, the love interests in Unearthed (Max and Sean) were first featured in the previously mentioned series, giving the reader a unique first impression of them from Tad and Scott's POV. Most readers would agree that Max definitely made his mark in a very striking way long before Unearthed ever came to be.

This book is on:
  • 3 To Be Read lists
  • 4 Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Alpha Character, Class Differences, Fated Mates / Soul Mates, First Time, Healing Power of Sex, Hurt / Comfort, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Second Chances, Slow Burning Love, Tease and Denial
Setting: Northern Virginia, USA. Off-campus interactions between a college grad and his Dom
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Continuous / Same Characters

“Emotional attachments. They complicate things.”

Sean frowned. “So Doms are always and forever single?”

Max shrugged again. “Not all. Some don’t do it for a living. Others choose to endure the sticky shit to take on a full-time sub.”

Sean considered that concept; dating a guy who serviced others. “Have you ever done that?”

Max’s features tightened. “No.”

“Why not?”

“Because relationships are my hard limit.”

Damn. The way Max said that. Sounded really fucking final. As in, completely and utterly non-negotiable. Which made Sean sad in a shit ton of ways. He looked into Max’s eyes and tried not to frown. “Doesn’t that get lonely? Don’t you ever wanna love someone?”

Max stiffened, every muscle in his body going rigid. His jaw ticked. His gaze iced. His hand dropped from Sean’s hair. “No, it doesn’t, and no I don’t.”


Jesus. Sean could feel the chill radiating off Max’s frame. What in the fuck? Was it something he’d said? He opened his mouth to—

“Get up, Sean. It’s late.”

“But I—”

“Please, Sean. No buts.”

Confused and unsettled, Sean climbed off his lap. “What just happened? You’re mad. Did I do something wrong?”

Max rose to his feet and dragged a hand down his face. “No, Sean,” he exhaled. “You’re fine. I’m just tired.” He pointed to a hallway past the two doors on the left. “Shower’s back there. Go clean yourself up. I’ll meet you in the foyer in ten.”

Reviews:Kristian Erdmann on Amazon wrote:

This book was absolutely amazing!! It it's emotional gripping and fabulously hot. Don't get me wrong this book has amazing BDSM scenes but it is so much more. It's hard to find a book with this theme and still get the feels but this book delivers that in spades. The first part of those book will break your heart. You truly get tulip understand Max and his reasons behind being a Dom. Then there is spit fire Sean that twists Max up in the best of ways. When these two are together it's pure magic. I absolutely loved how this author dove so much into the feelings of a Dom/Sub relations. Truly amazing can't wait for more!!

Cammiliaholmes on Amazon wrote:

What to say about this brilliant novel? It's everything you're looking for in a BDSM story. Just the right amount of consensual kink, dirty talk, and even that tender sweetness between a dom and sub.
My heart broke for Max. He'd been through hell at such a young age. So he spent most of his adult life becoming this hard, bitter, angry man and who could blame him? He's stuck in such a dark place. He's shoved his heart where no one could ever reach it.
Or so he thinks.
Affordable, flirty, perfect for him even tho he doesn't know it Sean comes along and changes the game. Even with his mouthy, energetic, too bubbly personality you can see how well he fits what Max needs. There were times during the book that I wanted to ball gag this mouthy, sexy blond, but he is such a good guy. So sweet and caring. The perfect, kinky little sub. Everything Max needs to get his dead heart going again.
But it's going to take awhile before these two get their HEA and that's where the next installment comes in.
This pairing is my favorite of Kora's. I thought it was Tad and Scott until I read Max and Sean. Now these two have a permanent place along my favorite MM couples.
Kora, you're brilliant. You can write your butt off. I can't even properly express how good this was.
And just the title gives me chills and fits the story perfectly. Sean has unearthed Max's heart. And in the next story, Max will be brought back to life, revived by his mouthy little sub.
I can't wait to see it happen. I know it's going to be brilliant. How can it not be with Kora writing it?

Boosh on Amazon wrote:

Words cannot describe.
I loved this book. Just like I loved the Upending Tad series. This author can write kink like no other. I don't know how, but she manages to stay just on the right side of that fine line between kinky freaking awesome sex and boring salacious sex.
****And that book cover. Hats off to whoever put that together, because they killed it. The color and tone is so appropriate. And the model. Just. Simply. Perfect. ****
I so enjoyed how the author took the time to give us Max's full back story. We get to see him truly evolve, and we even get to learn about Scott's early years. As a reader, I appreciate really good writing. I crave all the rich details and the ups and downs the author is willing to share. Because, the more there is, the more I'm immersed and the farther away I'm taken. And for me, that's the ultimate goal. I'm so looking forward to book two. ..... 5 stars.

Anon on Amazon wrote:

I'd been looking forward to reading Max and Sean's story for a while and it didn't disappoint. Max is complicated and close off and Sean is like a ray of light breaking into his gloomy castle. This story is excellent and HOT HOT HOT. Can't wait to read the conclusion.

Meg on Amazon wrote:

5.0 stars. Love, love, love it. No one writes steamy, graphic scenes like Knight yet still somehow manages to have a plot run through it. I love explicit sex, but if it's all the same I can get bored after a while. Knight never EVER bores me. Each scene is something new and the intensity of emotion she manages to convey is amazing. A true talent. I can't wait for the next installment. So, so good.

J.M. Ford on Amazon wrote:

Unearthed: The Dungeon Black Duology is listed as “An Upending Tad Spinoff: Max and Sean”, but I don’t think that description really does Kora Knight’s new book the justice it deserves. This is nothing like the cookie-cutter plot continuations that plague some series spinoffs. Unearthed is a strong standalone novel.

First impressions are often so, so wrong. When Max is introduced in the “Upending Tad” series, he’s cool and aloof. He almost screams “back-off” with his frosty attitude and closed-off, don’t even think about effing with me demeanor. Even though I thought he was a bit of an a$$hole, there was just this mystery around him that I was instantly drawn to.

Unearthed takes the reader back to the beginning, before Max became Maximus. Teenage Max experiences something horrific, something so utterly heart-breaking that I was literally in tears reading it. When your life, your very being is shattered, you do what you must to pull the pieces back together. To survive you take back your control, and you never allow yourself to take that risk again. Until a gorgeous, sassy-mouthed college boy named Sean comes along and begins to tilt Max’s carefully balanced world.

There are other reviews that discuss the characters in greater depth, but I want to talk about the writing. I’m a greedy reader. I want details! Details! Details! Kora Knight is generous with the details in this book. She truly shines in her ability to present that level of detail with a subtly that allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. “Show me, don’t tell me!” Yes indeed, Sir. Yes indeed.

If you're worried about the level of BDSM and pain or violence, don't be. BDSM is a major plot point so the scenes are sexy and intense, but I felt like there was more focus on the BD aspect rather than SM.

I definitely recommend this one and the Upending Tad series!

About the Author

Born and raised in the Northern Virginia, Kora Knight has always loved to read, but it wasn't until her preteen years that she discovered her deep-seated love for writing. With published literary teachers and play writers in the family DNA, it probably shouldn't have come as a big surprise.
Her road to "authorhood" started with her involvement in social book forums, then trying her hand in literary role-playing. That, in turn, led to becoming a fervent online independent writer, which ultimately sparked her desire to share with the larger world her impassioned stories of love, adventure, and sensual wonderment. Her most recent delight? Glorious erotic gay romance.
Having recently finished the second installment of her Nira Chronicles series, Zercy, she will be continuing on with a handful of other projects, including the next Upending Tad spin-off for Breck & Kai, on target to release end of summer 2018.