Tag Archives: Carter Quinn

Vanished 2 by Carter Quinn

Release Date: September 26, 2015
Published by Carter Quinn Books
Review Copy from Author

ABOUT THE BOOK:

It’s only been three weeks since Henry woke up to discover his husband, Tom, had vanished. He’s still struggling to come to terms with his new reality when he receives a haunting phone call: “Henry. Help me.” It’s Tom’s voice, but Henry is afraid to believe. His world has already come crashing down around him twice in the last six months. Is Tom really alive, or is Henry losing his grip on reality?

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OUR THOUGHTS:
WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING??

Tom? Is that you? Are you there? Is this real?

Carter Quinn gave us a tiny- minuscule – sliver of hope at the end of the first Vanished book that maybe, by some miracle, Tom hadn’t died after all. Where does that leave poor, heartbroken Henry? He’s already suffered a breakdown because he’s so bereft and can’t fathom moving on, but that’s what he must do in this next installment of the series. It’s all about moving forward, one foot in front of the other, staying firmly rooted in reality. Needless to say someone has other plans.

You see,  that’s when it starts – more of those little glimmers of hope. Just as Henry’s finally making strides toward his new normal, he hears Tom’s voice in an anonymous phone call as if he’s reaching out beyond the grave. The longer it continues the more I imagine someone is fabricating the entire thing; my main questions are who and why? But most of all I’m back to my very original question: WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?

The main suspects for me? Tom’s parents. They have to be involved in this somehow, right? Their business dealings are everywhere and suspiciously connected to Henry’s professional life. Their recent activity raises some flags for sure.  Beyond that it seems that it could be anyone, but I’m reminded that often in mysteries it’s the person you least expect. Carter Quinn does a masterful job of keeping you guessing.

Overall this is a fantastic continuation of the Vanished series. I didn’t feel the disconnect from book one to book two you often find, and the characters are consistent as are the mood and pace. Quinn methodically – almost maddeningly – weaves an intricate, emotional story that gives you satisfying answers while leaving the door open for still more questions.

RATING: STILETTOS

Into the Light (Avery #2) by Carter Quinn

Into the Light (Avery #2) by Carter Quinn
Released: 26 May 2015
Published: Carter Quinn Books
Pages: 166 pages

Blurb:

Avery spent years in the blackness, fighting memories of abuse and feelings of self-loathing. His only sanctuary used to be his brother Sam, but after two years of intensive therapy and a long-term relationship with Noah, his world is a much brighter place.

Things have changed in the year and a half since Avery and Noah confessed their love for each other. Noah’s mother and brother have moved East. Sam and Kira are married. And Avery and Noah are moving in together at long last. Family dynamics strain in uncomfortable new ways, especially when Avery’s past reappears.

What will this mean for Avery’s recovery? Will he surrender to the Blackness or is he strong enough to continue his journey Into the Light?

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Our thoughts:

Into the Light is the sequel to Out of the Blackness, when Avery was struggling to overcome the demons from his past. Trying to claw his way out of the closet and into a life he’s worthy of having. As the title suggests, Avery is no longer as haunted and shut in the dark but living a full life with Noah. He’s loved and cherished every single day.

That doesn’t mean Avery doesn’t struggle. He still sees a therapist but now it’s once a month. He could still fall into his old ways, but Noah and his extended family are all there for him. Helping Avery in any way he needs.

What I was surprised by was how much growth we witness in Avery. He’s strong now and really doesn’t need the consistent sheltering everyone is used to providing. I think the real growth and change in Into the Light comes from Avery’s support system. Noah understands that he doesn’t have to protect Avery, but be his partner and confidant. The person to love him unconditionally and that is all. Avery’s strong enough to do the rest on his own.

The biggest dynamic change is with Avery and his brother Sam. There’s a positive change in Sam’s life that he’s not dealing with very well.  Then Avery’s real younger brothers show up out of the blue and shake Sam to his core. Honestly, I was a bit shocked by how Sam and Avery’s relationship is rocked. I never thought either one would be so damaging to the other.

Carter Quinn does a phenomenal job with the emotional struggles of the characters in this story. Their feelings are intense, real and breathtaking at times. The struggle is different and the emotions are more positive, happy ones. What a treat to be able to revisit Avery and Noah and see what path their love has led them down. It’s refreshing to experience all the love and happiness!

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Vanished by Carter Quinn

Vanished CoverRelease Date: September 17, 2014
Published by Carter Quinn Books
Purchased Copy

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Henry Cooley has good friends and a good life. He’s secure in his job and his relationship. He and Tom, the love of his life, are about to celebrate their twenty-first anniversary as a couple. Their son, CJ, is in his second year at Cal Arts. Henry’s only problems are his growing dissatisfaction with his job and the fact that Tom’s parents still hate him, even after all these years. At least those are his only problems until the morning he wakes up to discover Tom has vanished.

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OUR THOUGHTS:
Carter Quinn warned readers ahead of time not to expect a HEA from Vanished, but I found myself still woefully unprepared for the reality of what that would mean. In fact, I dropped a few choice expletives in the reading of this one.  Sure, I’ve read plenty of HFN books and even a few that left the main characters shattered and picking up the pieces at the end. Vanished isn’t like the others. It’s never blissfully happy spiraling into despair, but rather it’s desolate and dreary from the start. The somber tone is sobering, and despite it all, I wasn’t able to resist becoming engaged. Henry’s straight-forward manner in relating the tale gives you a front row seat to the heartache and fear, his misery and anxiety thrown in sharp relief to happier times.

How is it possible to build a romance with only one partner present? That’s precisely what Carter Quinn manages to do in this melancholy novella. I could feel the love and devotion Tom and Henry share despite Tom’s absence through the entirety of the story. Quinn shares flashbacks and emotional thoughts which cleverly build the foundation for their very solid relationship, each instance connecting you back to this couple.

Ultimately while reading I felt bereft and bewildered. How could this happen?  About 1/3 of the way through my mind was racing with possibilities – had Tom left? Was Henry delusional or suffering some kind of dementia? Had some horrible fate befallen Tom? As the drama unfolded, I began to formulate my own version of a conspiracy theory; it seems as though everywhere Henry turns for help, someone’s dissuading him from taking action. This struck me as peculiar, and since I’m generally skeptical, the logical solution was some kind of collusion. Of course that begs the ultimate question: Why?

As the story builds, it’s clear Quinn hasn’t even begun to unleash the full extent of heartache and devastation. I thought I had experienced Henry’s emotional distress, but it was nothing compared to the numerous twists which left me in tears and feeling raw. Kleenex – you will need them. There’s so much I want to say about this book, but just simply can’t. I’ve probably already said too much. I really want each of you to experience the shock, surprise and pain firsthand without anything to spoil it. When you do, I hope you’ll come back and share your reactions.

One thing I can say is how this story reinforced that we need to live every moment to the fullest and never miss an opportunity to tell or show a loved one how much they mean to us. Time is precious, and you never know exactly how much you have with anyone. Also, beyond all else, always have hope. Even after ripping my heart out and shredding it into a million pieces, Quinn manages to give just that.  Hope.

RATING: ONE BAD ASS BOOT, ONE STILETTO

Kristy’s Top 10

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It has been an interesting book year! I’m taking the opportunity to highlight my ‘top 10′ books read in 2013. Not necessarily released this year, just read this year. It was supposed to be a top 10 but I just couldn’t cut any more titles. I’m also cheating by adding complete series for two of my entries. That’s just the way I roll, I don’t follow rules very well!

To date, I’ve read 215 books in 2013.  I have so many 2013 releases I’ve yet to read and I’m sure some would be worthy of this list. Who knows, maybe they will make it on my 2014 list. :)

The diversity of my list pretty much reflects my vast taste in books. There are zombies, a prison novel, a few broken boys, homelessness, loss, sadness, BDSM, a glitter pirate, an agoraphobic musician, a leather convention and severe trauma on this list. I hope you will find a gem here that you’ve yet to discover.

Kristy’s ‘Top 10′ Books Read in 2013 (in no particular order):
• Zombie Gentlemen Series by K.A. Merikan
• Cold by Brandon Shire
• Illumination by Rowan Speedwell
• Finding Master Right by L.A. Witt
• Speechless by Kim Fielding
 After Ben by Con Riley
• Out of the Blackness by Carter Quinn
• Pudding Jones by D.C. Juris
• An Unlocked Heart by K.C. Wells
• Glitterland by Alexis Hall
• Something to Believe In by Sloan Parker
• Home Series by Cardeno C
The Sky is Dead by Sue Brown