Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/Aleksandr Voinov/L. A. Witt blog tour for our thriller, Hostile Ground!
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off our backlists (excluding Hostile Ground) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 17th, and winners will be announced on May 19th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
About the Book:
Enemy territory is a dangerous place to fall in love.
After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave.
To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires—including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he’s a cop—and before they both grow too close to betray one another.
As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there’s much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.
Hostile Ground is available May 12th from Riptide Publishing.
Hostile Ground is an excellent reminder why L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov are one of my favorite writing duos. They create a fast-paced, intense action/suspense drama that had me absolutely riveted. Seattle is the perfect backdrop for this undercover cop thriller.
Mahir Hussain’s going undercover in an attempt to infiltrate a powerful crime ring. The complex operation is flawlessly built and conveyed through descriptive storytelling and imagery. I felt so in touch with him as a character as well as his alter ego, Saeed. The differences and similarities between the two personalities are clearly delineated, and I was amazed by how seamlessly Mahir could flow from one to the other despite the stress of any given situation. At times it was tough to believe this was his first deep cover job.
The nature of Mahir’s case causes him to face numerous tests and challenges to prove himself. It’s understandable that in a crime organization leadership would be wary of undercover cops. They’ve had others try to crack the case and fail, resulting in those officers making the ultimate sacrifice. Mahir knows what he’s facing and what’s at stake – he has to constantly remain one step ahead, always anticipating the action/reaction his employers will expect from someone like Saeed. The tension created in every scenario is palpable; I was constantly waiting for him to slip. That kind of anxiety is only caused by good writing, and it turns out, it’s completely warranted. Nothing goes exactly according to plan – Saeed’s ever changing plan – so there’s plenty of action and excitement.
As if just trying to stay alive on the job isn’t enough, Mahir manages to further complicate things by getting involved with his superior, Ridley. I don’t know how to explain it, but I liked Ridley from the beginning. I can’t tell you how much time I spent conflicted by this, because let’s face it – Ridley is not a nice guy. What did it say about me that I wanted to see them continue their relationship despite the fact he’s a psychopath who’s deeply entrenched in a crime ring? These guys have chemistry and a connection that tells you things are going to be messy. Witt and Voinov masterfully reveal the depth of Ridley’s character as the story unfolds, and in the end I didn’t feel half bad about my irrational adoration. How they managed to work a love story into all the action and suspense is beyond me, but isn’t that how it goes? Sometimes you find love in the most unlikely of places under the most unlikely circumstances, definitely when you’re not looking for it.
Another unwelcome complication for Mahir is his nephew, Kinza. I have no trouble understanding why Kinza would run to Mahir for support when he’s facing issues with his dad, Adil. Mahir’s brother is notoriously homophobic and barely accepts his brother’s sexuality, so it’s unsurprising that he’d reject his son’s proclamation that he’s also gay. I think the authors carefully and sensitively addressed this issue – it would have been easy to just chalk Adil’s attitude up to him being a complete jerk. Instead they convey his stance by addressing his religion and sense of family pride, making it easy to understand his position even if I didn’t agree with it. It’s a tough lesson for Adil that his love for his son is greater than his hatred of homosexuality, but ultimately it’s one he learns. It’s a shame that it takes such a drastic situation to enlighten him, but sometimes that’s the way it just works.
Kinza’s role in this story was probably the only predictable part for me – almost every other aspect kept me guessing. I was turning page after page waiting to see what would happen next, each twist and turn a delicious surprise. Hostile Ground is a story that will keep you on edge and engrossed for hours.
RATING: ONE BAD ASS BOOT, ONE STILETTO!
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About the Authors:
Aleksandr Voinov has been published for twenty years, both in print and ebook. He has ten years’ experience as a writing coach, book doctor, and writing teacher, and until recently worked as an editor in financial services.
After co-authoring the M/M military cult classic Special Forces, Aleksandr embarked on a quest to write gritty, edgy, sometimes literary M/M and gay fiction (much of which is romance/erotica)—the only way he can use his American Literature degree these days.
He’s been published with Heyne/Random House, Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and others, and is an EPIC Awards winner and a Lambda Awards finalist.
Connect with Aleks:
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer currently living in the glamorous and ultra-futuristic metropolis of Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband, two cats, and a disembodied penguin brain that communicates with her telepathically. In addition to writing smut and disturbing the locals, L.A. is said to be working with the US government to perfect a genetic modification that will allow humans to survive indefinitely on Corn Pops and beef jerky. This is all a cover, though, as her primary leisure activity is hunting down her arch nemesis, erotica author Lauren Gallagher, who is also said to be lurking somewhere in Omaha.
L. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).