Tag Archives: drugs

Broken Soldier by Jamie Lynn Miller

Broken SoldierBroken Soldier by Jamie Lynn Miller

Released March 5, 2016

Published by Lulu.com

Word count: 51,000

Categories: Romance, LGBT, M/M, Contemporary, Military

Blurb:

Sergeant Connor Finley and Sergeant Shawn Weller are dedicated soldiers working covert ops for Shadow Unit — a joint UK/US anti-terrorism task force.

Partners in the field and out, they had been through hell together for the last four years and made it through standing side by side. But when their latest undercover op to bring down an arms dealer plunges them into a world of drugs, sex and violence, Shawn must literally get in bed with the enemy in order to complete the mission. And Connor is forced to watch, helpless, as his partner is broken into pieces.

Will love be enough to put them both back together or will this be their final mission?

WARNING: Contains scenes of drug use, graphic sex and realistic situations

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Our thoughts:

Broken Soldier is definitely not a typical M/M romance! Connor and Shawn are both Ex Special Intelligence Agents who’ve been recruited into an elite group known as the Shadow Unit, made-up of members from both American and British intelligence and special ops. Shawn is American and Connor is British. They’ve been together about five months but have worked side by side on missions for over four years.

Now they’re faced with one of the hardest assignments they’ve ever had to endure. It’s not a mission of extreme strength and physical tests, but one that will test the strength and depth of their relationship and it’s ability to endure stress and an outside stressor.

Shawn must go undercover to lure in a drug and arms dealer Jae Chan. A creepy guy who’s in love with seducing foreigners, preferably Americans, getting them addicted to drugs and then discarding them. His arms deals are single-handedly responsible for some heinous attacks so the Shadow Unit is anxious to get this guy and shut his operation down.

Connor goes in and wins a spot as a bouncer in Jae’s club and Shawn must do what he can to replace Jae’s current boy toy. Unfortunately, Shawn gets in way over his head. There are drugs forced on him and it escalates quickly to heroin. Jae uses Shawn’s body as well. I found that to be a little hard to accept. Undercover work will make people do things they wouldn’t normally and I think that’s hard for most to accept, but it happens and it happens to Shawn and Connor in Broken Soldier.

Shawn has to stick it out until their window of opportunity arrives for them to take down Chan, his buyers, and distributors. The problem is the mess Shawn is left in. Can a relationship that’s so new carry Shawn out of the dark depths he’s entered at the hands of Jae Chan?

A dark love story. One that really tests the belief of duty and honor as well as love and commitment. Two men stressed and pulled to the maximum manage to grasp onto each other and hope it’s enough.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Stripped Raw – Coffin Nails MC California (Sex & Mayhem #3) by Miss Merikan

Stripped Raw coverRelease Date: April 2, 2015
Published by Acerbi & Villani Ltd
Review Copy from Author

ABOUT THE BOOK:

— What’s left when you strip away the lies? —

Sam. Loyal to the Coffin Nails MC. Lives by his own rules.
Weakness: Damsels in distress.
Jolie. In a deeply ambiguous relationship with the Coffin Nails MC. Lives from paycheck to paycheck.
Weakness: Bad boys.

As a patched member of the Coffin Nails MC, Sam is finally living the life he was destined for. A life of Harleys, guns, drugs, and eating pussy. A life of brotherhood above all.
When he goes to pick up some pot brownies for the club president’s old lady, he meets a girl so sweet, his inner wolf wants to eat her there and then. What is supposed to be a typical fling, gets damn more complicated when the Coffin Nails decide to involve the pretty blonde baker in their drugs operation.

Jolie has a knack for baking delicious cakes, but when it comes to her taste in men, she is a self-professed failure. After a disastrous relationship, she is still picking up the pieces and working three jobs to manage the financial carnage her ex left her with. The last thing she needs is a hot piece of tattooed hunk stomping into her life. Sam calls her ‘Candy’, but with a talent for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Jolie should be called ‘Trouble’.

To be with Jolie, Sam would have to disclose a secret he kept locked away for years. A secret so raw, that it might destroy his place in the brotherhood he’s fought so hard to be a part of.

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POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: Outlaw motorcycle club, drugs, gender identity, secrets, misunderstandings, criminal activity, entrepreneurship, bad luck, debt

OUR THOUGHTS:

If you’ve been reading the Sex & Mayhem series, you’ll notice this is a different sort of book. I was warned ahead of time that this one features a different chapter of the Coffin Nails based in California, so I was prepared for a new cast of characters. It’s nice to know this chapter of Coffin Nails is full of guys just as deplorable as the original.  The author switch from K.A. Merikan to Miss Merikan suggests a slant toward more m/f romance, which is true…to an extent. You see, those clever Merikans managed to create a het pairing with a twist making for a very interesting read.

On the surface, I enjoyed this book for the sex and mayhem promised in the series’ title. That alone is reason to read this book – it’s full of the unique plots and events I’ve come to expect from Miss Merikan. The Coffin Nails are hard core, constantly at the center of one dangerous job or another. I love the edge with which Merikan delivers the story,  rough and tough just like the Nails. The sex is playful and intense with a side of kink. These guys don’t mess around no matter what they’re doing, and that includes activities in the bedroom. (Or against the wall.) ;)

Despite expecting the unexpected from Merikan, I never for a second saw Sam’s secret coming. If you look at the spoiler themes for the book, I’m sure you can make a good guess as to what it is, but it still took me by surprise. I applaud Merikan for such an ingenious decision, and I love the way she handles it with the utmost respect, sensitivity and honesty. Knowing someone as tough as Sam harbors a secret that can ruin him gives him a vulnerability uncommon to his tough guy character, increasing the complexity of an already complicated situation. This is the type of writing that sets this story apart from other criminal/outlaw stories. Many authors write entertaining, action-packed, high-level crime novels, but not all create these kinds of nuances unique to the players. Sam lives in constant fear of being found out, and it’s not just the club that has the power to hurt him. Letting anyone too close – even the seemingly harmless Jolie – could change everything.

Looks like the fourth book in this series heads back to where it all began. No Matter What released in April, so no waiting to see what happens next. Sounds like a little bit of catfishing going on in Ghost’s story; can’t wait to see what happens when he finds out the truth about Zara.

RATING: ONE SNEAKER, ONE BAD ASS BOOT!

Road of No Return (Sex & Mayhem #1) by K.A. Merikan

Road of No Return CoverRelease Date: July 17, 2014
Published by Acerbi & Villani ltd.
Review Copy from Author

K.A. Merikan does it again! Her stories are always super complex and involved without being excessively convoluted.  The first installment of the Sex & Mayhem series is no exception.

Before we get down to the business of discussing the ins and outs of this book, I have to be up front: I struggled with Stitch. I’m so used to an author creating a main character I can identify with, support and rally behind that I was caught completely off guard by this one. Why would K.A. Merikan create a guy that I basically rejected outright? I mean, early on I wanted to feel sorry for him, because he’s clearly closeted and afraid of being discovered. He’s constantly evaluating and reevaluating his behavior to make sure no one will suspect he’s gay – the homophobia in this book is ugly and never-ending. That kind of vigilance and living on edge takes a lot out of you, so no wonder his temper is super short. But he’s just such an ass. I’m amazed by some of the things he does and gets away with, all the while justifying it by laying blame elsewhere. If he’s such a tough guy, he needs to own up!

Then there’s Zak who I ADORE. I don’t even know how he put up with Stitch. Hell, at one point I wanted him to break things off just to see Stitch go crazy. (How’s that for a sadistic reader?) I was clearly feeling for him as the new guy in town – that’s never easy – and wanted things to really work out. The one true flaw in Zak is that he’s just too smart to let Stitch get away with all the things he does and keep coming back for more. What about Stitch’s controlling, overbearing ways doesn’t cause him to run far, far away? Love, that’s what.

In many ways Road of No Return is a great story full of awful, awful people. What I’ve discerned after finishing it is that it is possible for an author to purposefully create someone you will fiercely hate as an instrument of the story. Stitch is a member of the outlaw biker gang Hounds of Valhalla, I’d hardly expect him to spend his free time volunteering at an animal shelter and feeding the homeless. His lifestyle isn’t exactly one I can relate to, and that’s okay because this is fiction. Part of the reason I love biker books is because they’re dead sexy, but in real life the closest I’ve ever come to one is my über-suburban uncle’s Harley club during their annual Toys For Tots ride. This story works because the way these guys live is off the grid and way different; they play by another set of rules the majority of people don’t, following a code we may never understand.

The emotions in this book are raw – K.A. Merikan flays these guys and forces them to acknowledge what’s between them. It’s very intense, and I’d expect nothing less from guys as dominant and confident as they are.  There’s a bit of a disconnect between Stitch and Zak at first, but then it’s like they just click. They go from being the worst communicators ever – causing all kinds of headaches – to firing on all cylinders and communicating better than anyone. It’s a bit of a roller coaster as they iron out wrinkle after wrinkle, but for me that kept it real. I think it’s the emotional connections they make that help redeem Stitch for me, and by the end I was actually on his side.

If there’s anything I didn’t enjoy about this book it’s the way the storyline involving a certain cop plays out. To avoid any spoilers, I won’t mention specifically what happens, but I will say I can almost see why Merikan did it, even if I think it was unnecessary.  The way it all goes down and the choices Stitch and Zak make seem to solidify their commitment. For both of them love is enough – enough to make them do and accept things they once thought impossible. They’re both gravely affected and moved by the experience, and it changes what they see in their future.

By far my favorite, favorite scene is Stitch’s first time. I know what you’re thinking, way to choose the smutty scene as the high point, right? I promise you, it’s not for the erotic content that I love this encounter. I really feel like it’s the first time we see Stitch allow himself to truly be present and vulnerable. In their previous moments together, he’s still all in his head about things and feels the need to be in control of the situation. For the first time in this scene, he lets his guard down and acknowledges the tenderness between them. That kind of intimacy paired with the intensity of the moment is really moving, and I think it’s probably one of the best scenes I’ve read of its kind.

As I mentioned this is the first book of the Sex & Mayhem series, a series of outlaw biker books. According to the author’s note at the end of Road of No Return, each book in the series will stand alone but will be loosely tied together by characters and clubs. I’m anxious for the sequel – I’m sure it’ll be one wild ride.

RATING: BAD ASS BIKER BOOTS!

Guarded by Cat Grant and L.A. Witt

GuardedPublished 7 April 2014
Published by Cat Grant and LA Witt
Copy obtained from author for review.

This review may contain a few spoilers. I’ve tried to keep it to a minimum but some things just had to be mentioned. Read at YOUR OWN risk.

Loved, loved, loved the intensity of Guarded! Everything I love in one book: broken boys, rockers,and a little kink/BDSM!

The band No Rules is out on tour and it is slowly starting to unravel for them. Jordan is seriously stressed from being Daniel’s keeper night and day but Jordan sees the spiraling progression toward rehab happening once again for Daniel. Daniel, talented guitarist and Jordan’s best friend. their bond is deeper than just meeting in high school and forming a band. Their lives have been entwined for so long they have become a part of each other. So much so that Daniel struggles to see Jordan with others or even get hurt by them. He wants some control in a part of Jordan’s life that should be off-limits to him.

On the flip side, Jordan is constantly protecting Daniel from himself. He is deep into drugs and is constantly in and out of rehab. Sticking one of the No Rules guards on him 24/7 doesn’t seem to be working all that well when Daniel is determined to undermine Jordan and his efforts. A junkie will always find his fix. That leaves Jordan under so much stress handling the band, manager, tour, record label, DANIEL and his own needs. An attraction between Jordan and his new bodyguard, Jase, might just be what Jordan needs to escape.

The thing is, Jordan’s need for escape involves a very dangerous kink, breath play. He has managed to seduce Jase (believe me, Jase is 100% willing) and even get him to participate in the play once but even as a trained Dom, Jase is not comfortable with the act. He knows just how dangerous it is to play like that. Add in the fact Jordan doesn’t have a hard-line he won’t cross with the act. Jordan is willing to pass out for quite awhile to achieve the escape he is seeking. Now it is up to Jase to find a less dangerous alternative that can achieve the same thing for Jordan, if he will let him.

Jase is like the perfect guy! He is very caring. Always taking care of Jordan and his every need. He feels this tremendous need to protect Jordan and keep him safe, even if that means protecting him from Jase or even Daniel. Jase is willing to give all of himself to Jordan and he even shares a common thread between them as his past boyfriend was a junkie. He’s walked this walk before and the knowledge he has in the situation is helpful but also harmful for Jordan and Daniel’s relationship let alone his and Jordan’s.  Jase knows how to take control of Jordan and give him what he needs. He is willing to choke him but not let him pass out from it. They replace that need with subspace, as it becomes apparent that Jordan is a total masochist and that works perfect for the sadist in Jase. Their relationship quickly moves from plaything to boyfriend to lover. Jase is really good for Jordan but at times I felt Jase was totally being used. Just once I wanted to see Jordan give more to Jase but then it becomes apparent that just taking care of Jordan and seeing him submit are enough for Jase.

If there was ever a train wreck it is Daniel. His problems project onto Jordan which deeply impacts his relationship with Jase. Jordan admits upfront that he cannot give to Jase like Jase will give to him. He knows he is a user and he is honest about it. I thought that might change a bit as their relationship progressed, but it never really does. The way Jordan uses Jase changes and it doesn’t feel so off-balance from then on. Jordan is good at communicating, after the big blow-ups. He is also a damn good submissive for Jase. He gives all of himself and really flies. I was surprised to see him submit so freely since he is always so in charge but,  it is his chance to feel and let go. They really have beautiful chemistry.

It’s just too bad everything always has to go to shit when drugs are involved. The drug use causes some major issues and a lot of pain. My heart just breaks for Jordan, Jase and Daniel toward the end of the book. The hardships are so beautifully woven through the pages. The loss is palpable and the grief is immense. The final chapters are just so emotionally charged. There will be tears of sadness, pain, joy and triumph.  Dedications that will give you chills from their poignancy and thoughtfulness. Overall, an emotionally charged, story of holding on and letting go.

RATING: STILETTOS!