Category Archives: Hurt/Abuse

Hesitant Heart (Hampton Roads Club #1) Morticia Knight

💫Reviewed by The KimiChan Experience💫

TITLE: Hesitant Heart

SERIES: Hamptons Road Club # 1

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Knight Ever After Publishing (2nd Edition)

RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2018

BLURB: Sam is a naïve young man who arrives in Hollywood to escape his brutal father. When the older, sophisticated Aaron rescues him, Sam discovers what it means to fully surrender himself to another.

Eighteen year-old Sam Cunningham is used to living with lots of secrets. He’s had to hide his true nature his entire life or else incur the wrath of his strict and abusive father. When he’s faced with a horrible ultimatum, he flees to Hollywood where he hopes he can escape the fate his father has planned for him.

Aaron Rubenstein is a wealthy and sophisticated man who loses himself in painting portraits of bound men to help stave off his loneliness and despair. Unable to find a lasting connection with anyone, he’s had to resort to paying lovers not only for their affections, but to be allowed to indulge in his darker passions. Aaron’s only respite is his nights at the Hampton Road sadomasochism club where he’s a respected Dominant.

Naïve and inexperienced in the ways men can please one another, Sam takes a job at a bathhouse where he first glimpses a beautiful older man. Aaron notices the sweet towel boy watching him with interest every time he patronizes the Temple of Eros bathhouse. A traumatic incident for the innocent towel boy triggers Aaron’s protective tendencies and he’s compelled to rescue the gentle Sam from the clutches of the Temple’s manager.

They embark on a journey together that teaches them both things about themselves that they never knew. As their bond deepens and Sam is trained for his first night at the Hampton Road Club, an unknown danger lurks. Will Sam’s father find him and destroy both men’s chance for true happiness together? Or will Aaron protect his boy and keep him for always?

Reader advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

REVIEW: This story is absolutely fabulous. In fact, every single book that I’ve read written by this author is fabulous. Knight’s stories, characters and storylines are always well written and memorable. This series is unique in the sense that it takes place in a different era. The 1920s-1930s. That is what initially caught my attention; I wanted to see how she would create a story with BDSM in that particular time period. And let me tell you, it was glorious.

Sam is a young man who ran away from home to escape his abusive father. It’s there where he meets the wealthy and kind older sophisticated gentleman, Aaron. Together they travel a journey of sexual freedom and discovery for Sam and for Aaron, he’s finally found someone he can be himself with. Both men are happy together but of course, Sam’s past threatens to take away the happiness they’ve found with each other.

This is a fantastic May/December M/M BDSM romance set in the Roaring Twenties. I don’t know of any other storylines, books in the genre that combines all of those elements together. This author did such a wonderful job with these characters and this storyline. The little details of the fashions, technology, language of the times really held my interest. This is the first book of what is shaping up to be an amazing series.

This is a definite must read.

Side note: This is the 2nd edition of the series.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

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Because You Loves Me (Again #1) B.L. Morticia, Remmy Duchene

💫Reviewed by The KimiChan Experience💫

TITLE: Because You Loved Me

SERIES: Again #1

AUTHOR: B.L. Morticia, Remmy Duchene

PUBLISHER: Self Publishing

RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2018

BLURB: Hitoshi Ren has a pretty good life—a great education, friends he considers family, a crush on one of the world’s biggest crooners, and a secret he believes has died. But when that secret walks back into his life in the form of late-night phone calls, he has to put his life aside and hop on a plane to face his past demons. To make matters worse—Rixton Corrigan seems quite determined on turning Hitoshi’s head.

Rixton Corrigan has been on a nonstop ride and he wishes to get off. The exhaustion of touring the world in support of his latest album and his brother’s disapproval of his carefree lifestyle has taken its toll. Since he’s doing a video and a couple of shows in Japan, he decides it’s a good time to unwind and cut himself off from the western world. Time that’s best spent alone until he can get his head on straight.

However, those plans are tested when Hitoshi Ren shows up at his hotel, looking sexy and irresistible. His brother tells him to stay away, but how can he when he’s always been attracted to Dustin’s best friend?

REVIEW: Every book I read from these authors—regardless if they writing individually or together —keeps getting better and better. Their characters are beautifully diverse and rich with each personality shining through each page.

Rix and Hitoshi are as opposite as opposite can possibly be. Their personalities clashes were horribly hilarious. You know you have damn good story on your hands when you, the reader, want to Gibbs smack both MCs on the backs of their heads. You become immersed into the lives of and interested in the happiness of the characters.

These two authors took what could have been a run of the mill, basic enemies to lovers story and too it to the next level. There were outside forces determined to keep them apart but these men fought through them all for their HEA.

This book was filled with passion, heartache and humor. You go from laughing your ass of one minute to wanting to toss these men into the sea the next.

This book went way beyond a good read. It was a great experience. This book took me on a journey of emotions. It was one I thoroughly enjoyed traveling. This is the first book. I’m looking forward to the next trip.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

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A Vampire’s Heart (Ellowyn Found #1) Kayleigh Sky

💫Reviewed by The KimiChan Experience💫

TITLE: A Vampire’s Heart

SERIES: Ellowyn Found #1

AUTHOR: Kayleigh Sky

PUBLISHER: Kiss Drunk Books

RELEASE DATE: November 13, 2018

BLURB: Vampires live.

And they hunger…

Otto Jones, a cop assigned to the seemingly random murder of a vampire, would rather hide out in the nearest bar than waste his time on a dead vamp. He hates the bloodthirsty demons. But when the king of the vampires commands him to work with one of the lesser princes and find the killer, he has no choice.
Prince Jessamine Senera is ready to sacrifice his happiness in a loveless marriage for his family’s benefit… but not yet. He dreams of adventure, excitement, and true love. He lives on romance novels and detective stories and wishes he could drink synthetic blood like every other vampire. But he can’t. He needs human blood to survive and is hated by vampires and humans alike.

As Otto and Jessa draw closer to an entity that doesn’t want to be discovered, Otto finds the heart he thought long dead opening to the romance-loving Jessa. No good can possibly come from falling in love with a vampire, but when a shadowy assailant attacks Jessa, Otto will descend into the darkest pit of the earth to rescue him.

REVIEW: This is a new to me author and was absolutely blown away by this story. This book was very well written. The storyline, dialogue and characters were wonderfully fleshed out.

Otto’s character is a flawed hero. He’s has his demons and has not moved past the grief over losing his sister. It’s this grief, anger and distain towards vampires drives virtually every decision—good and bad—that he makes.

Jessa’s character is a complete opposite of what you would think a vampire’s personality would be. He’s gentle, kind and soft spoken. He was more human by way of personality and temperament.

These characters are so well written, you end up caring for them. The storyline moved among smoothly, the plot was well thought out and the dialogue is superb. This book held my attention from the first page to the last and I’m really looking forward to seeing more from this author and this series.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

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Ancient Bond by Dora Esquivel

 

 

Sometimes you need to fall on your knees to rise.

Centuries ago Lucien’s family and pack were slaughtered and betrayed by family. Lucien was then enslaved for five hundred years by the demon who killed his succubus mother.

One thousand years later his powers as Alpha and Incubus are growing. He is now ready to take his rightful place as Alpha Supreme, but first, he must claim a reluctant mate and escape from under the heel of his possessive Vampire master Sargon.

Lucien is a hybrid shifter in a world where being unpure is not tolerated. Lucien should have never been born. Enter a dark and savage paranormal world, where being weak is stamped out and exploited. Being dominant and unapologetic is key to survival.

Follow Lucien as he seeks vengeance against the uncle that betrayed him and the demon who enslaved him and murdered his mom. Where secrets, allies with hidden agendas, and political jousting determine the fates of many.

A dark, sensual, and paranormal fantasy series by new author Dora Esquivel.

Kimi’s thoughts:

As debut novels go, this was one offering I am glad I didn’t pass up. I picked this up via KindleUnlimited, which has been a fab way for me to try new authors (and to sate my hefty reading appetite without bankrupting us, haha).

This was definitely not your run of the mill shifter story. Esquivel took many of the tropes and stood them on their head, breathing new life into this popular genre. It’s not a light and fluffy romance, so if you need that, this is not going to be your cup of tea. Her characters were engaging and her prose sucked me in from the very first page. I ended up reading this in one sitting, luckily it’s a fairly fast read. Be warned though, there is a cliffhanger.

You can get it on Amazon, where it is in KindleUnlimited for those who read using the subscription service. 

5

His Light In the Dark ✨ Remmy Duchene

✨Reviewed by The KimiChan Experience✨

TITLE: His Light In The Dark

SERIES:

AUTHOR: Remmy Duchene

PUBLISHER: Self Published

RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2018

BLURB: Maxim Hagan’s father taught him one valuable lesson:

Life is like a game of baseball—three strikes and he’s out.

And to make matters worse, Maxim was already born with two strikes against him and has has spent his entire life trying not to swing for strike three. Running from his demons worked until a roadside bomb sends him hurtling back home. When he’s forced to come face to face with the one demon he could never outrun, Maxim has a decision to make.

Ethan Garrick’s life has descended into a world of loneliness after the death of his mother. Meeting new friends is never easy but, he’s managed to fall into a lovable group of brothers. When he meets his new friends’ best friend, Ethan knows one thing for certain:

He can try outrunning his desires for Maxim, but the end of the earth wouldn’t be far enough.

REVIEW: I can’t even begin to tell y’all how much I enjoyed reading this book. Where do I start? Let’s start with the cover. This cover is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The fact that two gorgeous black men grace the cover of this book is in itself amazing. The next amazing this about this book is that black love is front and center in this book. Not just black love, but BLACK MEN in love. This story and these characters were beautifully written. Maxim and Ethan…both of these men are battling demons: loneliness, heartache, pain, disappointment and loss.

These two men deserve happiness, and they find it with each other. This isn’t a book where the men fall into bed without getting to know each other. These guys take the time to build something permanent.

I really enjoy this author’s work. I absolutely love how she portrays her characters of color in general, black men in particular. She shows that black men are capable of love and tenderness. These characters experience the loneliness, heartbreak and pain but was able to find solace and love within and can heal each other. And it was a beautiful thing to read.

Take a bow, Remmy. You’ve done an excellent job with this.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

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Touch by Remmy Duchene

💫Reviewed by The KimiChan Experience 💫

TITLE: Touch

SERIES: N/A

AUTHOR: Remmy Duchene

PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press

RELEASE DATE: March 2, 2018

BLURB: One can’t walk the path of darkness and expect to escape unscathed. At eighteen, Foster Erickson stepped out of the closet into a world of homelessness, prostitution, and drugs. Years later, he’s pulled it together and is ready to rebuild. Determined not to let the demons win, Foster starts university with a plan to keep others from making the same mistakes he did. The last thing he expects is Sylvester Roberts. After years of working with his father, Sylvester decides to step out on his own. University at his age is strange, but for him, failure isn’t an option. After flunking a few tests, Sylvester’s professor assigns him a tutor—Foster Erickson. The moment they meet, Sylvester knows Foster isn’t like other guy

As the darkness hovers and Sylvester begins falling, he will have to decide if helping Foster fight his demons will be worth it in the end

REVIEW: Foster’s character intrigued me from the first page. His past was really heartbreaking but not uncommon, which is even more heartbreaking. Here was a young man who fell into homelessness, sexual assault, drugs and forced into prostitution to survive and to feed his drug habit, which I suspect he fell into as a way to cope with his situation. Reading about his painful past will have your heart in your throat, it was just so sad to read. With the help of a cop who befriended him, Foster was able to escape his circumstances and get himself together. Understandably, there were some residual effects from his past which he is getting help for. Foster’s life is going well and he’s starting college. This is where he meets Sylvester.

Sylvester is a successful older student who is striking out on his own after years of working for his father. He needed a tutor Foster was recommended to him. Sylvester was intrigued by the beautiful man but he sensed Foster’s general uneasiness at being touched, of getting close to anyone, both emotionally and physically.

This story flows so well. At first I thought that I would’ve liked to have had more information on Foster’s past but now that I think about it, I’m glad the author chose to place more emphasis on his present and future, the happiness he finds and the relationship (first friendship, then romantic) he’s building with Sylvester. I love how she gave both MCs equal amounts of attention. I also loved how she wrote Sylvester’s character. This man was beautiful, intelligent, compassionate and passionate, loving, patient, tender and kind yet tough. He understood that he needed to proceed with a great deal of caution and patience in pursuing Foster because of his past. I adored these men individually but together as well.

Foster’s painful past made me cheer that much harder for him to find peace and happiness with Sylvester. And Foster’s friend Jason is an absolute sweetheart who was always there to with a shoulder to lean on, cry on and advise to help him along.

I enjoyed everything about this book. The characters, storyline and flow were well executed. I loved that it’s interracial and there were no ridiculous stereotypes in neither them or the storyline. Really, if it wasn’t mentioned purely for the character’s physical appearances you would never have known the race or ethnicity of the characters as the author wrote them all the same. The two MCs were simply two men who meet, fall in love and work through some issues to make their relationship work.

I also loved the cover. It was strikingly beautiful and is what initially draws your attention to the book.

I will definitely recommend this book as well as this author.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/touch-by-remmy-duchene-9404-b

 

Promises (Bounty Hunter #4) A.E. Via

💫Reviewed by Kiwi💫

TITLE: Promises

SERIES: Bounty Hunters # 4

AUTHOR: A.E. Via

PUBLISHER: Via Star Wings Publishing

RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2018

BLURB: Men found him attractive, interesting even. He was like a fascinating experiment gone wrong that men liked to investigate. He’d get a date – or two, if he was lucky – but it wasn’t long before Brian’s darkness showed, and the men were running from him.

Brian King was honorably discharged from the United States Navy five years ago. He’d left with the highest honors a man can receive in his country, but he’d paid the ultimate price to earn them. He was considered one of the best; an Intelligence Officer in a Joint Special Operations Delta team that’d been a twelve-man wrecking crew. They’d thought they were invincible… until they weren’t. Brian was the only member that survived the ambush. He survived ten months of pain, of torture, only to emerge on the other side a warrior. A POW survivor. He’d returned home with all his limbs, his right mind, and with his only brother Ford, at his side. But, one thing had been lost, maybe for good… his voice.

Now, being a bounty hunter is Brian’s only means to satisfy his need to calculate, track, and capture. His only outlet to the stress caused by his silence. He was good at what he did. But, all work and no play for a forty-four year old man was taking its toll. Brian wasn’t a faulty experiment. He missed companionship, he missed communicating. So, when he met Sway Hamilton – in the most unconventional means – he’d been surprised at his special way of understanding Brian’s every look… and touch.

Sway grew up in the rough part of ATL, trailing behind his twin brother Stanton and his best friend, Dana. He and his brother had a bond only twins could understand. So when Stanton’s life was taken during their sophomore year in college, Sway didn’t think he’d ever recover. He finally finished school, got his masters in nursing, worked hard, and focused on taking care of his mother. However, Sway knew there was more to life than heartache, and caring for others. There had to be. But he didn’t know what any of those things were until he met a dark hunter that blew his mind… and the intense man had never uttered a single word.

Brian and Sway can feel the powerful connection between them. It was there from the start—but both of them have battled with loss and anguish for so long, neither understand that love can ease all of it. Do they have the courage to battle through it together? Sway has to learn to trust in love, and Brian has to believe that Sway will always understand him even if he never speaks again.

Sway held him tight around his neck, “I don’t need you to talk, Brian. I can hear you just fine,” Sway whispered softly, kissing his throat.

This novel is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone. No cliffhangers.

Trigger Warning: This story contains acts of bond recovery agent violence. Mention of war zones and descriptions of war prisoners. This story DOES NOT contain overly-described acts of torture.

REVIEW: As usual, this author has truly outdone herself. Just when I think her books couldn’t get any more exciting, any more perfect, she surpasses everything and brings another amazing creation. So, this is the fourth book in this wonderful series and gives us Brian and Sway’s story. Brian is a big, sweet, tough teddy bear of a man. A gentle giant to Sway, his friends and family but to everyone else, a tough ex-Navy SEAL and highly skilled bounty hunter who can kick some serious ass. He was captured and tortured by terrorists which rendered Brian unable to speak. Brian’s PTSD is heartbreaking to read and the author was able to capture the daily struggles service-members face when they return home. She did it with respect and sensitivity. She didn’t embellish, romanticize or glorify it. Also, I liked how she didn’t give super descriptive details of the torture Brian endured while captured.

Sway is a hard working and dedicated nurse practitioner. He works hard to provide a good life for him and his mother. Sway is a good man, he takes care of everyone but himself.

These two men absolutely belong together. The author did an exceptional job of writing their emotional responses to each other. You felt that simmering, intense…thing between them; it leapt out at your from the pages. You not only read them falling for each other, you also feel their emotions; the sadness, the loneliness, the joy, the pain. Every emotion in this book was intense and it was written just so. To write a character’s emotions to the point where it’s felt by the reader, I feel is not something that’s easily accomplished yet this author does it all the time, in all of her creations. That’s how you know that you have an author who masters their craft. It’s not an easy feat to accomplish yet she does it with ease. It was absolutely amazing.

I also love how her characters are more mature in age. These are gentlemen of a particular age and as a reader of the same age, I can really dig it. She shows that these men are still strong, sexy, and virile. They’re fabulous in their 40s and I am here for all of it!

This book, like all of her work is simply amazing. This author is truly a master of her craft. Her writing style, the way she uses her words is like an elegant work of art. She’s an artist who comes up with these beautiful creations which are her books.

RATING: 🌟🌟Amazing🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

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Switching Places (Kiss of Leather #8) Morticia Knight

💫Reviewed by Michele💫

TITLE: Switching Places

SERIES: Kiss of Leather #8

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: February 27, 2018

BLURB: Tai wishes Master Lucas wasn’t such an adamant Top, but he’s also crushing on the sweetly submissive Elliot. Could he have it both ways?

Tai has hit a wall in life. From all outward appearances, he’s the guy who has everything—looks, personality and money. But the modeling gigs are drying up and he still hasn’t found that special someone to call his own. The part-time work at Kiss of Leather is quickly becoming full-time to prevent the drain on his dream-business savings.

Elliot fell for the stunning Tai from almost the moment he met him. If he wasn’t so self-conscious about the weight he’s recently put on, maybe he could work up the nerve to make a move. However, not only is he a virgin who’s never done a scene before working in a BDSM club, but he’s also sure that Tai has a thing for Master Lucas. There’s no way he could ever compete with the handsome silver fox.

When Master Lucas confesses to Tai that he doesn’t only see him as a hookup and offers him a contract, there are a ton of considerations. They both realize that serious compromises would have to be made for them to have a relationship. But what if they found a third, a sub who could bottom for Tai and also do TPE with Master Lucas? Once the idea takes hold, Tai knows just the perfect boy for them both. Even better? He’s right there at Kiss of Leather, and Tai can’t wait for Elliot to turn them all into a throuple.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of assault, and attempted sexual assault.

REVIEW: This book along with this series is so good with each book getting better and better. Book # 8 gave us a little something more in terms of the ménage but with Tai’s character, it made total sense to me.

Tai is not a total Sub and I see how that would’ve strained the relationship between him and Lucas who is a total Dom. Lucas was aware of this and I think that was one of the factors of him being agreeable to bringing Elliot into the fold. Elliot is a complete sub and is the perfect man for them. I truly feel that he’s the important link that holds them all together.

These characters, as the case with all of her characters are so well and clearly written; the contrasts between them is always a pleasure to read. I love that she makes the reader see more to Tai’s character than just him being a brainless, rich, pretty boy, part time submissive. Elliot is sweet and shy but he has a strength to him that he doesn’t realize he has and Lucas is a Dom but he’s not hard or heartless or perfect. That’s also what’s great about this series: she doesn’t make her Doms these hard, heartless men who never makes mistakes. These men are Doms but they are loving and caring and far from perfect. What I also love about this author is that her characters are from all racial, ethnic, orientation, socioeconomic groups. Her books are wonderfully diverse and she writes them all respectfully pretty much dispelling the myth that it’s impossible to write diverse characters without stereotyping them.

Now, as with all of her characters, these men are themselves flawed and you see them deal with issues of physical, mental and sexual abuse. I like how she writes how these men get through those issues with help and with men who help them heal. And what I love about all of her books in general, this series, this books in particular, she doesn’t make these men superheroes, meaning, she doesn’t have the Doms heal their subs in one book. It’s an ongoing and long process that she shows spanning several books with the timeline being years.

This book was wonderful and I look forward to reading more.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing 

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Whispers of Love by Remmy Duchene

💫Reviewed by Kiwi💫

TITLE: Whispers of Love

AUTHOR: Remmy Duchene

PUBLISHER: Self Published

RELEASE DATE: February 12, 2018

BLURB: Hilo Adachi learned one very important lesson from his father—unconditional love is a sham that always comes with strings attached.

Broken and alone, he works as a bike messenger while moonlighting as a graphic designer. When he meets Matthew Ellington, the last thing Hilo is looking for is love, but how can he deny the fact that one look from Matthew’s beautiful, brown eyes leaves him yearning for things he has no right to? How could he possibly imagine he deserves a man like Matthew?

Matthew Ellington has it all – a successful clothing line, a loving family and money. But he’s missing love and while he isn’t actively looking, he isn’t going to ignore it should love come along. The moment he lays eyes on Hilo, he knows he wants him. But Hilo’s demons keep getting in the way.

Matthew is a fighter, and Hilo’s demons have met their match.

REVIEW: I really enjoyed this book. These characters were absolutely wonderful together. Hilo especially tugged at my heartstrings. If anyone deserved a HEA ending, it was him. Like most people, Hilo had issues that stemmed from his family life and from his past that negatively impacts his life and affects pretty much every decision he makes. He’s a man that’s pretty much given up on thinking he deserves to be loved.

Matthew was the perfect match for him. Matt’s light and love was the perfect balm that soothed Hilo’s bruised heart and goes quite a long way in helping him heal which gives Hilo the courage he needs to open himself to give and receive love. And Matthew! He pursues Hilo, but he wasn’t forceful, arrogant or obnoxious in his pursuit. He was firm in the sense that he knew that Hilo was the right man for him but he was patient because he understood that Hilo had issues stemming from his family.

I really enjoy this author’s work. Her stories always flows so well. There’s no unnecessary drama; the author doesn’t feel the need to fill the book with angst. There’s conflict, sure, but they’re resolved smoothly. There was the perfect balance of sex and romance. There wasn’t so much sex that it turns you off but just enough to keep it sexy. I also love that her books feature ethnically/racially diverse characters without the stereotypes. I don’t have to worry about getting ticked off while reading her work because she always seems to get it right.  And the cover was beautifully done. The soft colors were such a great choice. 

I really liked this story. My only complaint was that I didn’t want it to end. This was definitely a lovely read.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

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Dantès Unglued (Ward Security #2) Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliot

    💫Excerpt & Giveaway💫

Title: Dantès Unglued

Series: Ward Security Series #2

Author(s): Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott

Publisher: Drake and Elliott Publishing LLC

Release Date: January 26th

Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense,

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37923033-dant-s-unglued

Summary

When private investigator, Shane Stephens, is hired by the mayor of Cincinnati to track down the hacker who has been threatening him, Shane is sure this is the opportunity to launch the Merleau Detection Agency into the big time. He even convinces Rowe Ward of Ward Security to loan him one of his best IT specialists, Quinn Lake.

Shane, a man who prefers casual intimacy, is surprised by his attraction to the moody computer geek, but when Quinn suggests they have fun for the month he’s on loan, Shane happily agrees. Both men are expecting nothing more than a good time.

But the investigation takes an unexpected turn and they quickly discover they are facing more than a hacker out to ruin the mayor’s re-election chances. And as they spend more time together, they realize their relationship may be a lot more than just a good time.

With only weeks until the election, Shane and Quinn race to gather the proof they need while dodging bullets and possibly…falling in love.

Excerpt

After one quick knock on Rowe’s door, he stepped inside without waiting for him to call since he was already expected. But he stopped short when he saw the tall man standing next to Rowe’s desk, his hands on his slender hips as he grinned down at Rowe. Quinn couldn’t stop his eyes from quickly sweeping over his broad shoulders and chest that tapered into a narrow waist. His eyes snapped back up to find a pair of brown eyes that twinkled as they finished checking him out as well.

“Sorry,” Quinn mumbled, instantly taking a step backward. “I can come back.” Rowe rarely saw clients. He had customer representatives that handled talking to the clients. Of course, with Rowe’s lack of a filter, it was better if he didn’t talk to the new clients directly.

“No, come in, Quinn,” Rowe said sharply. He stood behind his desk, drawing Quinn’s gaze to his shorter but broader frame. His dark red hair stood up slightly as if he’d been running his fingers through it. Quinn never took that as a particularly good sign.

With a quick jerk of his head, Quinn stepped in and shut the door behind him. The other man was smiling at him, that assessing look still in his eyes, and Quinn didn’t want to think about the fact that he was dying to take another longer look at him, but not with the freaking boss in the room.

“Quinn Lake, this is Shane Stephens. He’s a private investigator with The Merleau Detection Agency,” Rowe introduced.

Shane extended his hand to Quinn and Quinn clenched his teeth, trying to hide his discomfort at taking Shane’s hand. His own palms were sweaty, making the momentary contact awkward. Why the fuck was he always so damn awkward around hot guys?

“Rowe tells me you’re the best,” Shane said, releasing his hand.

Quinn couldn’t help the skeptical look he shot at Rowe, who only shrugged as he sat down again. “Well, I said you <em>and</em> Gidget are the best.”

“Is this about a job?”

“Sit, Quinn.” Rowe absently waved toward the two chairs in front of his desk. He shuffled some papers around without seeming to actually look at them, placing them in piles at the edge of his desk.

Shooting one last uncertain look at Shane, Quinn moved to the farthest chair and sat, his tablet clenched in both hands. His mind raced as he tried to figure out why he’d been called into this meeting. Clients didn’t meet with Rowe, and Quinn didn’t meet with clients unless they’d already been assigned a bodyguard. And while they’d worked with some private investigators in the past, Rowe wasn’t usually involved. He had a company to run.

“Shane recently acquired a client who is the victim of a hacker,” Rowe started.

Quinn looked up at Shane, who was still standing beside Rowe’s desk, his mind finally turning away from too many questions to a problem he could understand. “Identity theft? Bank accounts drained?”

“No, not yet.” Shane shook his head, some of his dark curly hair falling forward against his temple. “At least, not that we’ve uncovered.”

“Then how do you know this client was hacked?”

“There are other signs…but I can’t go into it.”

Quinn frowned for a second. That certainly wasn’t going to make his job easier. “Well, do you just need improved protection? Alerts on accounts? We’ve got a comprehensive list of things we can do to help shore up the client’s account protection and privacy.”

“Shane isn’t looking for protection from the hacker for the client.” Rowe paused until Quinn looked back at him. “His client has hired him to track down the identity of the hacker.”

“Whoa…” Quinn said on an exhale, sitting back in his chair. That…that was not an easy task. Most hackers were pretty damn good at not being found. You had to be if you wanted to survive as one. If you sucked, you were usually snagged by the FBI pretty damn fast. Quinn would know. He’d started hacking at a young age—not stealing other people’s money but just breaking through security systems because he could. It took the feds a solid five years to catch him. But his boss knew all this. Rowe knew everything about the people working for him.

“We’re not equipped to handle this level of…” Shane frowned at Rowe’s computer as if he blamed it for his problems. “Well, we’re not staffed yet to handle computer things like this. I can do some of the forensic research in accounting matters, but I need a computer genius like you.”

“That’s why I agreed to loan you to Shane and his business partner, Ethan, for one month,” Rowe announced.

Quinn was out of his seat in a shot, hovering over the edge of the desk as he looked down at his boss. Pain shot through his chest, and he was suddenly having trouble catching his breath. Panic clouded all of his thoughts. He loved working for Ward Security. He’d been there for just less than two years, and he’d never found another place where he’d felt like he fit so damn perfectly. This was home. These people he worked with, they were his friends. He didn’t have to hide or pretend or feel uncomfortable.

And Rowe…Rowe had always been amazing. Sure, he could be cranky and a little crazy. He was always loud and tended to speak before thinking. But Quinn always knew exactly where he stood with Rowe. He always felt like Rowe had his back.

But this…

“Are you getting rid of me?”

“What?” Rowe snapped. “Where the fuck did you get that idea?”

“You’re hiring another IT person. I saw the listing. And this? Putting me ‘on loan’?”

Rowe groaned and scrubbed a hand over his face. With a heavy sigh, he pointed back at the chair Quinn had just vacated. “Sit.” Grudgingly, Quinn followed direction while Rowe looked over at Shane. “Can you give us a minute?”

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Meet the Author

Who are Drake & Elliott?

Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

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