Leather Spirit Stallion by Raven Kaldera
The writing is fine and well-paced as we are introduced to quite a different Dom. Erlik Solongo is a short Asian with a small bit of insecurities and a wonder sense of exactly how he appears to others. Unlike other Doms I might know I in real life and in books, Erlik doesn't over compensate or denies his short comings. He simply accepts and deals with it.
Of course, it might help his confidence in knowing that he carries a spirit posse of ancestors and earth elementals with him to help guide him. Erlik is a buu (or a Mongolian Shaman, if you prefer). He reclaimed his heritage and when the book opens, Erlik has arranged his life to incorporate the old, important traditions of his Mongol ancestors while walking in modern streets.
His spirits approve.
His family does not. They consider themselves Americans who just happen to be Chinese. So, between his coming out as gay and declaring himself Mongolian (he had his DNA test, and he's at least partially Mongolian), they've written him off. So, he's on his own and cruising the leather bar scene on a shoe string budget.
I found the Mongolian aspects quite interesting and inspiring, I may appropriate at least some of that in future stories. The word, WINDHORSE, and the concept, is quite interesting to me.
The BDSM involvement was a tad too quick and risky, for me personally. Not an unusual happenstance in the BDSM romance/erotica, gay or otherwise. Although, honestly, agreeing to bottom for someone shouldn't automatically mean that it's OK to tie them up. I prefer rules and negotiations, but then I'm a switch.
While I would have preferred a different path, Erlik is at least established that he moves fast to BDSM with Curt early in the book and that he is honorable. Why would he go slower with Paj?
His spirits all but gave Paj to him. While the sex scenes were good, I think Erlik earning his "warrior" title by rescuing his future lover was one of the best parts of the book. I would like to see these two return in an adventure of sorts, but I may have to look elsewhere for my Mongolian flavored magic story-lines. I liked Erlik's soul searching; it really made me feel that they were both stretching and growing.
I read 1 review that called out the author on Erlik's choice of which portion of his heritage he chooses to "celebrate." I do not see a problem with cultural appropriation in this book. The spirits, after all, approached him and no blood line can truly afford to be pure. He had his DNA tested, as I mentioned earlier (although that might just have been a way to see if the voices in his head were spirits or madness).
In the LGBT+ community, where it's perfectly acceptable to pick your own family, I think it's perfectly acceptable to pick your heritage and traditions -- if that incurs some soul searching, researching, and education, then even better. More power to you.
I like the ending here. At the risk of adding a spoiler, Erlik finds a way to make Paj's parents allies.