Tag Archives: suspense/drama

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!!

The Pirate of Fathoms Deep (Tales of the High Court #2) by Megan Derr

The Pirate of Fathoms DeepThe Pirate of Fathoms Deep (Tales of the High Court #2)

Released July 13, 2016

Published by Less Than Three Press

Pages/word count: 206 pages; 54,000 words

Blurb:

High Commander Lesto Arseni is the most feared man in the Harken Empire. None but the High King dares risk his wrath—and a pirate who once punched him in the middle of the imperial pavilion. A pirate who later snuck away with Lesto to an empty room, touched him in ways far more memorable. And then immediately bolted like a man who’d gotten what he wanted.

Shemal just wants to live a normal life, leave his pirating days behind him and prove that he’s respectable now. The last thing he needs is the two idiots who show up wanting his help with the noble they’ve kidnapped—the very man Shemal had been hoping to prove himself to, the man he hasn’t forgotten since Shemal punched him a year and a half ago.

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Our thoughts:

I like bold, brash, confident characters and Lesto fits the mold perfectly. From the first few paragraphs, I enjoyed being pulled back into this fantastical world Megan Derr featured in The High King’s Golden Tongue. It’s in that novel that we first meet Lesto and his boisterous and stern personality traits.

In The Pirate of Fathoms Deep, Lesto is unwittingly taken captive by some incompetent fools who mistake him for the noble, Lord Bestowen. It’s the eye patch. I guess if one shares that physical attribute with the intended target, they’re scooped up regardless. Lesto is no ordinary prisoner. He’s the High Commander to the King, Sarrica. The King’s former brother-in-law and best friend. Commander of Fathoms Deep. I could go on with his impressive list of credentials, but it only serves to show how fierce a fighter and soldier Lesto has been. He rants and raves and gives his men grief, but he’s a true leader. Confident, smart and arrogantly brave and skilled.

When he is laid upon Shemal’s door, drugged, by the two kidnappers, Shemal’s heart skips a beat for he knows exactly who the kidnapped man is. He isn’t some noble, but the man Shemal had been intimate with just once and has haunted Shemal’s dreams since– Lesto.

What results is a mad dash to get Lesto home and figure out what is causing a country, that’s been relatively quiet for the High King, to strike out against the throne in a ship attack and kidnapping.

Of course we get the misunderstanding that come with a one-off that ends before either party has a chance to confess feelings or intentions. Misunderstandings due to class disparity and language barriers result in flustered men that made me laugh and my heart sing with joy. Shemal isn’t some faint of heart gentleman easily swoon by Lesto and his wealth. Shemal is a pirate from the Farlands and he’s had a rough life.  He’s fought many battles and endured many hardships. He’s fiercely proud, but not too proud to know his place in the order of things in this world. He knows he’s a pirate and not worthy of any titles.  That, Lesto plans to break him of.

Together they’re a good fighting team but they just don’t have enough time between all the haste to get Lesto back home and the impending upheaval with Treya Mancee to work through all the particulars of what they want and expect from each other. Again, emotions get in the way and have the potential to drive Shemal away from Lesto for good.

This world is utterly fabulous!! Extremely detailed and exciting. A world of kingdoms, nobles, armies and fighting. A long ago time that is also a bit fantastical with its mpreg. By far one of my favorite of this genre. I thought The King’s Golden Tongue was impressive, but the books in the series just continue to excite and exceed expectation. This pursuit was far different from that of Sarrica and Allen and will surely be different from the next with Jader and Kamir in The Heart of the Lost Star.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

 

Absinthe of Malice (Sinners #5) by Rhys Ford

absinthe-of-maliceAbsinthe of Malice (Sinners #5) by Rhys Ford

Released on June 22, 2016

Published by Dreamspinner Press

Cover art by Reece Notley

Pages/Word count: 200 pages, 64,435 words

Book link: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb:

We’re getting the band back together.

Those five words send a chill down Miki St. John’s spine, especially when they’re spoken with a nearly religious fervor by his brother-in-all-but-blood, Damien Mitchell. However, those words were nothing compared to what Damien says next.

And we’re going on tour.

When Crossroads Gin hits the road, Damien hopes it will draw them closer together. There’s something magical about being on tour, especially when traveling in a van with no roadies, managers, or lovers to act as a buffer. The band is already close, but Damien knows they can be more—brothers of sorts, bound not only by familial ties but by their intense love for music.

As they travel from gig to gig, the band is haunted by past mistakes and personal demons, but they forge on. For Miki, Damie, Forest, and Rafe, the stage is where they all truly come alive, and the music they play is as important to them as the air they breathe.

But those demons and troubles won’t leave them alone, and with every mile under their belts, the band faces its greatest challenge—overcoming their deepest flaws and not killing one another along the way.

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Our thoughts:

Crossroads Gin is going on tour. Miki, Damien, Forest, and Rafe are hitting some of the dive bars and run down stages in towns across the US. Damien wants the newly formed band to really connect and this seems the best way to do so. Along the way we get to experience what is still haunting each man as he tries to make music, build friendships, and deal with being away from his lover.

I absolutely loved this book. I felt like it was a compilation of little shorts from each band member. We see Rafe fighting the demons of addiction and how much Quinn still keeps him centered. The irony of Quinn needing medication to stay focused and to feel like the world isn’t crushing him. On the flip side, Rafe craves meds for an entirely different reason–desire and addiction.

Forest and Connor are just so stinking cute together. Also, fierce and extremely hot. Molten hot. Forest and Connor have a big secret and it’s just perfection. They’re very secure in their relationship and seem to handle this road tour quite well.

Damien seems so strong and totally in his element. It isn’t until tragedy strikes the band again that we see him falter. As always, his Sionn is there to help Damien work things out and accept what he cannot change– his past. Damien’s meltdown helps us understand why he wanted this tour to go down the way it did, small tour van, roach motels, gas station hot dogs, and small venues.

The biggest troubles always seem to find Miki. The guy just can’t catch a break. He’s attacked twice and after a third freak accident we see him totally lose his grip. Kane, and even Donal, is there to show him he is loved, cherished, and cared for. Miki is so afraid he will lose what he has. The fear that everything good has always been pulled out from under him can’t be shaken. Kane and Damien realize that Miki has too much locked inside and it might be time to talk it out with someone who can help him. Of all the guys, Miki is the one who still grabs my heart and holds on with an iron fist. His life has been so hard and tragic. He’s endured so much pain and suffering, I just want to see him happy and settled. Maybe that will happen with Kane and the whole clan, but it seems something else just might shake the stable ground beneath Miki’s feet.

The Sinners series is by far one of the best! Rhys Ford is a talented author and I’m always enamored by her stories, happy to know the men she creates, and experience the love and pain they endure.

RATING: STILETTOS!!!

Wet Heat by R.D. Hero

Wet HeatWet Heat by R.D. Hero

Released June 20, 2016

Published by Riptide Publishing

Page count: 107 pages

Blurb:

Most omega werewolves want a mate and pups, but Lee Aung prefers an unconventional party-boy lifestyle. Yet at forty-two, he’s stopped going into heat, which means he’s expired goods—no longer a fertile, young omega that alpha wolves drool over. So Lee uses Wet Heat, a synthetic pheromone, to reel in the alpha hookups.

After losing his job at the bank, Lee can’t afford to keep up his Wet Heat habit. His solution: scam free samples by pretending to be a happily mated test subject at Wet Heat headquarters. There, Lee spends two years being interviewed by the reserved alpha scientist, Cain, who at thirty-two is unmated and—up until this point—content with that.

Cain never really felt his alpha instincts, nor took part in the usual alpha/beta/omega social dynamics. But after discovering that Lee has been lying about his unmated status for two years, Cain finally admits that for the first time, he wants to court an omega. Unfortunately, he’s picked the one omega who doesn’t want to be courted.

Book/sales link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/wet-heat

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Our thoughts:

Lee is a 40-something year old Omega that loves to play the field. He refused to settle down and mate with an Alpha or Beta in his prime. Now, the pheromones that attract potential hook-ups to him have stopped being produced, forcing Lee to use the synthetically produced Wet Heat.

Always one to party and becoming more addicted to the game, Lee loses his job and now moves about in an effort to score Wet Heat for free. He steals samples from perfume counters, stalks the free samples at grocery stores, and even entered a trial for free Wet Heat vials. The trial was for married Omegas, so Lee just makes up a story and continues it for two years.

Cain is the person Lee has to tell his fake stories to. Lee is sure that Cain is an Alpha, but he can never get him to break his stoic demeanor in all the time they’ve been doing this song and dance. That soon changes when Cain finally has a chance to meet Lee in a private setting. His nature is so different from most Alphas that Lee is thrown, causing Lee’s natural Omega tendencies to emerge.

The cat and mouse game Cain and Lee play was fascinating and entertaining. How does a calm Alpha who’s never played the field catch an Omega that doesn’t want to be tamed? By playing the game just enough to keep the Omega playing the game and feeling like he’s winning.

Throw in an interesting plot twist with a potential poisoning and another Alpha doing some seriously devious business with Wet Heat and we have a story that piques all interests. If you like Alpha, Beta and Omega stories, this one is a must read. Its uniqueness sets it apart, the wolves break the rules of most Alpha/Beta/Omega novels. Very refreshing.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!