Category Archives: m/m

Facing Fears (Kiss of Leather #7) Morticia Knight

REVIEWED BY Patricia 

TITLE: Facing Fears

SERIES: Kiss of Leather Book 7

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: July 4, 2017

BLURB: As the men at Kiss of Leather celebrate the resolution of the case of Corey’s kidnappers,Master Hunter worries that he’ll never see Tobey again.

Chuck isn’t about to let one of the key figures behind Corey’s kidnapping get away from him again.
Everything he and Stone have discovered through their months-long investigation is about to come together. However, when Chuck follows the suspect to a shipyard, it’s not only his own life that’s in danger.

Master Hunter is officially part-owner of Kiss of Leather, so he’s thrilled to raise a toast in celebration now that the mystery of Corey’s kidnapping has been solved. However, he can’t help but feel left out. Everyone is paired up except for him. He’s never believed in
monogamy before, but after Tobey unexpectedly left Kiss of
Leather and no one knows where he’s gone, did Hunter make a horrible mistake by not sharing his true feelings?

Tobey has been miserable ever since leaving West Hollywood and going back to Idaho. After breaking his own promise to himself by falling in love with his trainer, Tobey impulsively left Kiss of Leather because of something awful Master Hunter said. But things at home are worse than ever and he’s come to realize that those who are related to him by blood aren’t necessarily hid true family. The only place he’s ever felt he truly belonged was at Kiss of Leather.

Tobey has to face Hunter if he goes back to Kiss of Leather and Hunter has to figure out what he really wants from life and love. It takes a charity slave auction to show them what they’ve both been too stubborn to
see.

REVIEW: This great book is the 7th entry in Morticia Knight’s sensuous and sexy series Kiss of Leather. The ongoing drama and danger of Corey’s kidnapping comes to a completely unexpected ending that caught me by complete surprise. I really enjoyed seeing the whole gang make an appearance in this story, getting a quick glimpse into how each of the couples are doing. Tobey is a real sweetheart, but tends to be impulsive, running whenever he gets hurt. Ah Hunter!! He’s one of those silent loner alphas who make me want to scream with frustration!! He knows what he wants but it almost takes an act of Congress (pardon the pun) and someone lighting a fire underneath him to get him to go after it. Reading this series has been a fantastic
journey, and I would definitely recommend starting from the beginning.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing 

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Promises 3 (Bounty Hunters) A.E. Via


💫💫Reviewed by Kiwi💫💫

 

TITLE: Promises 3

SERIES: Bounty Hunters

AUTHOR: A.E. Via

PUBLISHER: Via Star Wings

RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2017

 

BLURB: A bounty hunter’s partners to lovers’ story. The hunt is on… and he’s the prey.

Bradford (Ford) King was sure he had the rest of his life mapped out. Though he was no longer a SEAL Lieutenant, his brother was home safe and he had a job that still allowed him to satisfy his hunger for hunting bad guys. Life was simple, no distractions or complications – at age forty-six – that’s all Ford wanted. What he didn’t want was his work partner, sniper/watchman, Dana, giving him s**t all the time.

Dana Cadby had grown up labeled a roughneck from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d fought, scrounged, and survived despite a father that constantly told him he couldn’t. Dana pulled himself up by his own boot straps and made a name for himself in the marksman community. He’d been Duke’s bounty watchman for five years. It was his job to ensure their safety, watch their backs. At thirty-three, he was trusted, well respected by his peers, his bosses, his friends… so why couldn’t he earn the same respect from his partner?

Dana knew he was bisexual before he graduated high school. He also knew he was attracted to the huge, 6’3”, SEAL from the moment he and his brother came to join their team. It wasn’t easy for him to tamp down his immediate reaction to Ford’s thick muscles, full beard, and dark eyes. Still, Dana exhibited nothing but professionalism towards him, not wanting to make his ‘straight’ partner uncomfortable. So why did Ford constantly give him hell?

After Dana took back his ex-girlfriend, he’d noticed an intensification in Ford’s bad attitude. One that turned aggressive and downright antagonistic, and Dana was damned if he’d just lay down and take it. He was gonna make that man respect him if it was the last thing he did.

When Duke sends Dana and Ford out to track down their most dangerous bounty yet, they both embrace the fact that they make one hell of a team… but they fight tooth and nail against the powerful intimacy brewing between them.
Beware: If Ford and Dana connect completely, god help the fugitive who’s in the sights of the hunter and his watchman.

This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA.

 

REVIEW: This is the third book in this fantastic series by this author. And when I tell you that it’s amazing, I mean it. This book continues with Dana and Ford’s story. This story, as with all this author’s work was such a pleasure to read. It was also a pleasant surprise because I wasn’t expecting this pairing.

Dana is the youngest on the team and in my opinion, the most vulnerable, emotionally speaking of course. I loved Dana’s character. His personality was an interesting juxtaposition of vulnerability and strength. He was shy yet…not. He was confident yet insecure.

Ford was a gruff and tough former Navy Seal. He’s loyal and fiercely protective of his younger brother. He’s also stubborn. Well, both men are stubborn. So much so that I wanted to reach in and Gibbs smack both of them at the backs of their heads to knock some sense into both of them. I especially wanted to snap Dana’s girlfriend like a twig. The ole bony, salad eating wench that she was.

You know a book is good when the characters make you yell at your reading device. I was yelling at, smacking and positively howling at my iPad, these characters are just that vivid.

I love her writing style. You’re not going to get any pretty lavender words or flowery dialogue from the men in her books. I also love the fact that her characters are men of a particular age and everyday working men. What I also appreciate is the fact that she’s not afraid to use the word bisexual. These men are BISEXUAL. Not ‘gay for you’, ‘out for you’ or any of the other tropes that  erases the bisexual identity. 

I can’t express how excellent this book is. I equate reading this author’s work to mama cooking in the kitchen and when she’s finished, you end up with the most delicious meal. Yes, she has truly put her foot in the pot with this book.

This book, heck, this series is definitely highly recommended.

 

RATING: 🌟🌟AMAZING🌟🌟

 

BUY LINKS:

Amazon (Promises 3) 

Amazon (Promises series)

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Rattrap (Wyverns # 3) LM Somerton

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Rattrap

SERIES: The Wyverns # 3

AUTHOR: LM Somerton

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: February 9 , 2016

BLURB: Sometimes the only way to spring a trap is to use live bait.

Teddy Austin has had more than his share of run-ins with local law enforcement. The Wyverns have a reputation to maintain, and Teddy feels it’s his duty to cause havoc whenever possible. Of course, getting arrested means time in the company of Sheriff Adrian Hayder—always a bonus—though Teddy would far prefer to have the sheriff wearing the cuffs.

When The Knights of War MC arrives in Phoenix, Trap orders The Wyverns to get inside information. In order to infiltrate the gang, Teddy must appear to betray his friends and switch his allegiance. Working undercover, however, he confirms what they have all suspected—The Knights of War are a cover for something much more sinister than a hell-raising bunch of bikers, and they fully intend to turn Phoenix into a battleground.

With Sheriff Hayder getting far too close to the truth, Teddy is left with a few problems—how to stop a war, keep his balls intact and ensure the man he loves keeps breathing.

REVIEW: This is my favorite so far in the series, but it had a few issues. The first issue was the use of some British terms that seemed out of place for Arizona biker gangs to use. Also, with the introduction of Kit in the story and both Teddy and Adrian’s attraction to him, I fully expected it to be a ménage story but nothing ever came of that. It was like a delicious dessert being dangled in front of you as a reward for eating all of your peas only to be denied at the end of the meal. The meal in his case, was delicious but I really would have loved the enticing dessert of the three of them forming a relationship.

I loved Teddy and Adrian together. Their chemistry between the two men is sizzling. The way Teddy intentionally did and said sexy, flirtatious things to get under the gorgeous sheriff’s skin was adorable. It wasn’t just sexual attraction that Teddy felt for Adrian; his feeling went a lot deeper than sexual.

It’s odd, but I felt that unlike the others, this story ended abruptly and unfinished. The characters were engaging but I felt that something should have been done with the attraction between these three men. It felt a little unfinished.

Despite this, I still liked the story and consider these two men my favorite characters and this my favorite book in the series.

 

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

Pride Publishing

 

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Death Trap (Wyverns # 2) L.M. Somerton

✨✨Reviewed by Kiwi✨✨

TITLE: Death Trap

SERIES: The Wyverns # 2

AUTHOR: LM Somerton

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: June 14 , 2015

BLURB: A man without scars never had to fight for something he believed in.

A new relationship takes time and effort. A new relationship with Orlando de la Pena takes a whole lot more. As a Dom, Rogue knows what he wants, but Orlando refuses to fit neatly into the box labeled ‘submissive’. He’s feisty, demanding and far too pretty for his own good.

Orlando loves Rogue and he’s learning to love The Wyverns, but he hates being stuck out in the desert. Finding a niche in the world of bikes and fierce warriors is difficult, and Orlando’s impatience gets the better of him. He walks out into the desert and runs in to an antisocial diamondback.

Rogue has more than one problem to deal with. The Longhorns MC issues a challenge for territory. The Bellazi cartel is out for Wyvern blood. The Wyverns are under siege, and Rogue has to work out how to save not just Orlando, but all of them.

Reader Advisory: This books contains scenes of mild BDSM.

REVIEW: Death Trap is the second book in this series which is a continuation of Rogue and Orlando’s story. Orlando and Rogue’s D/s relationship has grown deeper. They both realized that their feelings went beyond sex. Life at the Wyvern compound is nice but not as exciting as Orlando is used to. He hates being confined and decides to take off on an adventure that didn’t go as well as he had planned. Rogue is dealing with territorial dispute with a rival gang when he realizes that Orlando is missing.

I really enjoyed this book and so far, this series. The stories are short (less than 100 pages) but the characters and storylines are developed and don’t at all feel rushed or incomplete. I am loving this rough and tumble group of men.

I definitely recommend this series.

RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

Pride Publishing

 

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Perfect Alignment (Thorne and Dash # 3) by Sylvia Violet

✨✨Reviewed by Kiwi✨✨

TITLE: Perfect Alignment

SERIES: Thorne and Dash #3

AUTHOR: Silvia Violet

PUBLISHER: Silvia Violet Publishing

LENGTH: 242 pages

RELEASE DATE: November 15, 2016

BLURB: Thorne proposed to Riley. Riley accepted.

Thorne thought that was that. They’d take a nice trip, get married, and spend a week luxuriating in a five-star hotel with occasional excursions to fabulous restaurants.

Riley imagined a traditional wedding with all the trappings. With all their friends and family. At Christmas.

Thorne concedes reluctantly, and a flurry of wedding planning ensues. At the same time, Thorne is wrestling with a recalcitrant client, and Riley and his business partner, Susan, are consumed with renovations and planning for the opening of their bakery. Stress on top of stress makes both Riley and Thorne doubt their relationship, and a major misunderstanding nearly silences the wedding bells.

By the time they reach their happily ever after, they’re both going to deserve all the romance they’ve been dreaming of.

REVIEW: This is the third installment in the Thorne and Dash series. In this story, the two become engaged. The proposal and engagement was cut and dry: Thorne proposed and Riley accepted. It’s the actual wedding planning that becomes a major issue. Both men have different ideas on their dream wedding. Thorne wanted something simple with little fanfare with just their loved ones in attendance with a long relaxing honeymoon whereas Riley wanted a traditional wedding, complete with all the pomp and circumstance. Stress from work and lack of communication causes the two men to crack. Reading this story gave me unpleasant flashbacks of my own experiences planning a wedding. It were those memories that had me wanting to Gibbs smack Riley at he back of his head. I thought that Thorne’s idea of a simple ceremony with a very nice reception then off to a luxurious honeymoon was a great idea and much more practical considering the date. There was too much outside stress these men had to deal with in terms of work and to with the added stress of planning a wedding scheduled for Christmas was a logistical nightmare. Reading that stressed ME out.

I absolutely love this author’s work and reading this made me want to strangle both men but the ending was so very sweet. I love how this author portrays her characters. These men aren’t perfect but they’re perfect for each other and with love, patience and hard work, they always find their happiness.

I would definitely recommend this series.

Please note that this is a series and even though it may be read as a standalone, I definitely suggest you read them in sequential order so you can get a better grasp of the characters.

**This book is also available in audiobook format.***

RATING: 4.5 stars

BUY LINKS:
Amazon

 
Audiobook Format

 

 

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Cutting Cords (Kiss of Leather #6) Morticia Knight

                  ✨   REVIEWED BY: Patricia Nelson ✨

TITLE: Cutting Cords

SERIES: Kiss of Leather Book 6

AUTHOR: Morticia Knight

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: May 23, 2017

BLURB: Liam yearns for Master Neal’s harsh touch, but Neal fears that a part-time Master can’t give a full-time sub everything he needs.

Liam’s world crumbled after the unexpected death of his Master. Prone to panic attacks and other social anxiety, Liam doesn’t believe he’ll ever find another Master who would be willing to take on such a challenged sub full-time. Too distraught to go back to Club Consequence, where he met the man he thought he’d be with forever, he decides to give Kiss of Leather a try.

After doing a piercing gig at Kiss of Leather, Master Neal signs up to become a member. On the night he performs a demo as the final step to being accepted, he meets a sub who brings out his protective urge and makes his heart come alive. Neal isn’t scared off by Liam’s anxiety or social awkwardness. On the contrary, he finds the sub to be refreshingly honest and endearing.

They try out a scene to see if they’ll click, and their connection is everything they’d both hoped it could be. However, the road to love and a Total Power Exchange isn’t an easy one. Neal still hasn’t discovered all there is to know about Liam’s traumatic upbringing, and he’s not sure if he’d ultimately be the right Master for Liam.

Both men are forced to face the truth about love, life, and what it means to share it with another person. But before Liam can start over with Neal, he’ll have to cut the cords to his past and trust that Neal will be there to catch him when he does.

REVIEW: This great book is the sixth entry in Morticia Knight’s smoking hot Kiss of Leather series. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Liam, wanting to hug him and protect him from everything bad in the world. Neal had my admiration from the very beginning, with his upfront, straightforward attitude, and the care and gentleness with which he handled Liam has me almost in tears. This is a gorgeous, beautiful, and sexy story that I would recommend to everyone.

RATING: ❤️❤️❤️❤️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing 

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Sand Trap (The Wyverns #4) LM Somerton

Reviewed by Kiwi

TITLE: Sand Trap

SERIES: The Wyverns #4

AUTHOR: LM Somerton

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: May 2, 2017

BLURB: Exposing secrets can be lethal.

Crow has had his eye on baby-faced Shelton since the young man became part of the Wyverns, but Crow is a committed Dom and unsure that Shelton is ready, or willing, to become his submissive. Getting trapped together during a dust storm provides an opportunity to find out.

When the dust settles, the winds have scoured the desert and uncovered a shallow grave full of bodies. Smuggling people across the border is big business and Crow knows that the traffickers will not want their gruesome secret revealed to the authorities.

When Shelton is taken and used as collateral, Crow and the Wyverns have to decide just how far they are prepared to go to serve justice and save Shelton’s life.

REVIEW: This is the fourth novella in the Wyverns series. In this one, we finally get to Crow and Shelton’s romantic development. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that this review is form this novella which is the 4th in the series. Even though I was a bit confused as there were back stories and peripheral
characters that I was unfamiliar with, I truly enjoyed this story. The author did a wonderful job with these characters and the storyline. I loved Shelton. At first glance, it appears that he doesn’t really belong among these rough and tumble outlaw bikers but it’s clear that he is actually and integral part of their team. I think that he and Crow are the perfect fit: the rough biker and this smart, geeky and nurturing intel gatherer.

Crow’s had his eye on Shelton for quite some time but wasn’t sure if Shelton could handle being in a D/s relationship. Little did Crow know that Shelton was ready for whatever Crow was willing to dish out.

The love, respect and strong bond that these men have for each other is displayed when Shelton is danger. These men pull together in an extraordinary way and go all out to save one of their own.

This novella was most definitely an exciting little read. My confusion over the peripheral characters and backstories was minor as this was novella. With that said, these definitely aren’t standalone reads and must be read in sequential order to have to full understanding of the characters and their backstories.

I definitely recommend this series.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

Pride Publishing

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Toxic (Treacherous Chemistry #2) Avylinn Winter

                  ✨REVIEWED BY: Patricia Nelson

TITLE: Toxic

SERIES: Treacherous Chemistry Book 2

AUTHOR: Avylinn Winter

PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing

RELEASE DATE: May 2, 2017

BLURB: When true love is a lie and pleasure turns to pain…

Adam Webb spent most of his teenage years in love with his best friend, Gabriel Connor, only to be thrown out of their shared apartment when he finally found the courage to reveal his feelings.

Seven months later, Adam’s effort to save their lost friendship finds him more than he ever asked for. After all, being thrown out has to better than being thrown into a wall. However, Adam isn’t ready to give up. Trapped and isolated in a dangerous relationship, he falls deeper and deeper into Gabriel’s world. Despite Adam’s attempts to push them away, his friends are determined to help, but the man who fights hardest is Cameron McCain, Adam’s photography teacher–a man who treasures what Gabriel does not.

They say love should conquer all. But when passion breeds fear and love turns toxic, will Adam make the right choice?

REVIEW: I was totally blown away by the gritty, heartbreaking, in-your-face, take no prisoners, grab-you-by-the-throat, no holds barred honesty of this compelling story. The author doesn’t sugarcoat, or try to gloss over, just how people can be sucked into a dangerous situation where it’s nowhere near as easy to escape from as you might think. This book carries a powerful message, and left me thinking about it long after I reached the end. This story may have triggers for some people, but for me, it was well worth the journey.

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

Pride Publishing

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Tall, Dark and Deported Guest Post with Excerpt by Bru Baker

 

Title: Tall, Dark, and Deported
Author: Bru Baker
Release date: April 1, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 236 pages
Tags: Gay; M/M; Dreamspun Desires
Blurb
Crossing the border into love.
Snap decisions and misguided ideas bring Portuguese national Mateus Fontes and businessman Crawford Hargrave together at the Canadian border crossing.
Mateus is caught in a catch-22. With his almost-expired tourist visa, entrance to Canada is denied, but the US won’t let him back in either. Crawford thinks he’s solved things when he tells the border agent they’re engaged, and it works—except now they have to actually get married before either of them can get back into the United States. But Crawford has been burned by marriage once, and he’s determined not to make that mistake again.
Neither of them expects real feelings to bloom out of their fake marriage, but they do. And the two of them have to learn how to be honest with each other to make things work, which is especially hard when their entire marriage is based on lies.
Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play

Attachments: [cover] [headshot]

Hi, I’m Bru Baker. Thanks for joining me on the Kimi-chan Experience today as I wrap up my blog tour for Tall, Dark, and Deported. I’ve had a blast talking about the book, and as always I’m a little sad to be finishing up. If you missed any of the posts (especially the three video readings I did!) you can find links to all of them on my website, http://www.bru-baker.com.

I’ll be at the L.A. Times Festival of Books on April 22-23 at the Dreamspinner Press booth, and I’ll be signing copies of Tall, Dark, and Deported that weekend. Last year I had a book signing at Romantic Times and thought that was a huge event, but the Festival of Books is exponentially larger. I’m torn between quaking in my boots at the sheer size of the event (I’m told average attendance for the weekend is about 150,000 people) and vibrating with excitement. Admission is free, so if you’re in the LA area come on by and say hello!

All through the tour I’ve talked about how much I love the tropes and fluff of the Dreamspun Desires series, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I jumped at the chance to write a Dreamspun Beyond, the new paranormal line Dreamspinner Press is introducing later this year. While Adrian and Tate aren’t quite as sweet as their counterparts in Tall, Dark, and Deported, they’ll get their shot at a fluffy romance in Camp H.O.W.L.

Here’s a sneak peek at the book’s blurb:

Adrian was born into a family of werewolves, so he has no reason to think he won’t have his “werewolf puberty” right in line with everyone else his age. But he doesn’t, and the doctors are stumped. It seems he’s human. That is, until almost eight years later, when he finds himself starting his Turn halfway across the country from his Pack, scared and alone.

Tate walked away from his crazy Pack more than ten years ago, and he’s done everything he can to cut ties. He’s even changed his name to distance himself from his father, who is not only the Alpha of the Pack but also a polygamist. Werewolves believe in moonmates, a rare bond between two werewolves who are the perfect complement for each other. Tate’s father has claimed five, which is part of the reason Tate is stalwartly against the idea that moonmates exist.

Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L., a facility where Adrian ends up because he needs to learn how to control his shift. All the other campers are nineteen, which doesn’t exactly make for a comforting environment for 27-year-old Adrian. The fact that he and Tate are moonmates further complicates things, especially since Tate is so dead-set against it.

As Adrian learns to control his wolf, Tate has to learn how to come to terms with his past and move forward—preferably with Adrian. A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But don’t worry, Adrian is up to the challenge.

— Camp H.O.W.L., release date late 2017

Bio:

Bru Baker spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now balances her time between writing and working at a Midwestern library in the reference department. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

Visit Bru online at http://www.bru-baker.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Leap of Faith Blog Tour Guest Post and Excerpt by Jackie Keswick

Thank you so much for hosting a stop on the Leap of Faith blog tour and for giving me the chance to talk a little about my FireWorks boys, Joel Weston and Kieran Ross, and the town I built for them. FireWorks Security, the firm Joel’s father Joseph and uncle Dale have founded, has its base in Lissand, a seaside town in Connecticut. Which – for those of us not living in that part of the world – is entirely fictional.

I was born and grew up inland, but I studied at the coast and ever since I’ve wanted to set a story in a seaside town. Not necessarily the beach variety that heaves in the summer and goes dead in the winter months, but a place where the sea is an ever present backdrop, as unremarkable as trees in a wood but with undeniable influence.

As a student, I would come off a nightshift in the local hospital and pick up still-warm bread rolls and a bottle of milk at the station. Then I’d head out to the Wieck for an hour away from people and noise to recharge before I went home or to class. I’d find somewhere to sit along the harbor side, or simply walk along the quay when it was too cold or windy to sit still. Sometimes I’d watch the boats land their early catch, and if I was lucky the tiny smokehouse had flounders or mackerel ready to eat and I’d get an extra-special breakfast.

Weekends were spent lazing in the dunes – we called it revision – before wandering home along the canal, sunburned, windblown and sandblasted. And all through the year the cries of seagulls hung in the air and northerly winds brought the tang of brine on the breeze.

I’m not a water baby, but I loved having the sea on my doorstep – which is why, when I needed a base for my fictitious security firm, I invented an equally fictitious seaside town.

Lissand is a place with a busy past. Once upon a time it was one of the busiest ports on the East Coast. Then trade moved south to larger harbors and Lissand’s fortunes fell. These days, it’s making a comeback. The harbor is home to a small fishing fleet, and the town’s marina has doubled in size in the last four years. And the rows of dilapidated warehouses that stood unused for decades are being renovated, rebuilt and put to better use.

Lissand is once more a city on the up, and many of its citizens seek relaxation and entertainment near the water. Joel, who grew up in the town, is a case in point. When their whole team had a horrid week and needs a chance to relax and regroup he takes them out for dinner in the harbor and a stroll along the pier. It’s nothing conscious on his part. It’s just that when looking out at the sea a lot of everyday problems appear wholly insignificant. It’s soothing.

Unless you walk into the middle of an active police investigation and a yacht blows up right in your face, of course.

I made up Lissand because I had a detailed shopping list for my fictional town. To make sure the story worked I needed a harbor with a pier and a busy marina for Joel and Kieran to get into trouble. The town needed to be big enough to warrant a large hospital with a trauma centre. It needed a long sandy beach for Marius to go running, a historical town centre, and a warehouse district between the old town and the harbor. And finally it needed an upscale residential area a little way out of town in the hills.

A tall ask I’m sure you agree. I wasn’t surprised when I couldn’t find all the critical “ingredients” in one place. So I indulged in a bit of world building and hope you’ll enjoy Lissand, which is not on any map.

Excerpt: 

Marina

“Back! Everyone stand back or I’ll shoot him right here!”
They were passing the entrance to the marina when a hoarse cry ripped through the air. It made Kieran’s hackles rise, and the heartrending scream that followed almost stopped his breath. Then his training kicked in and he raced toward the sounds, dodging people and lampposts on autopilot.
The marina had almost doubled in size during the four years Kieran had been in Lissand. It now attracted all manner of working and leisure boats, and on this sunny afternoon, was just as busy as the pier. And the screams pulled a crowd.
A woman stood by a slipway, arms out toward a small boy who struggled in the hold of an older man.
“Shane! Let him go, Luke, please! Let him go!”
“Stay back or I’ll kill him!”
Kieran skidded to a stop as soon as he had the gunman in sight, Smith & Wesson already in his hand.
Footsteps thudded behind him. Joel.
“No clear shot. Boy’s in the way.”
The man dragged the boy up a gangway toward a moored yacht. He had the boy’s back pressed to his legs, the gun aimed at the boy’s temple.
“Call the police and look after the mother,” Joel told him. “I’ll get on the boat.”
Kieran didn’t like the arrangement. He hated it when he wasn’t close enough to watch Joel’s back, but now wasn’t the time to argue. As long as the man used the boy as a shield, guns were not an option.
Then again, Joel had never needed a gun to be lethal.
Like a ghost he slipped away, blended into the crowd until he reached the stern of the moored yacht. Kieran had a glimpse of his partner reaching for a mooring line.
Then Joel was gone.
Time blurred as Kieran did his half of the job. He called for backup. Called the authorities and identified himself as a member of FireWorks Security. He even kept the crowd at bay, though he gladly relinquished that job the moment Rigby and Hartnett came sweeping in on the heels of the police.
“Can’t leave you two the fuck alone.”
“You said it.” Only a tiny percentage of Kieran’s attention was on the conversation. The majority was focused on the yacht the man had boarded with the boy. “Looks like a domestic that’s gotten out of hand. Attempted kidnapping by the father.” He indicated the scared, teary woman in jeans and an unseasonably short crop top who was being comforted by one of the uniforms. “The boy’s Shane Bicknall, aged six. That’s his mother. And the guy who threatened to kill him is his father, Luke Bicknall.”
“Where’s Weston?”
“On the boat.”
Kieran listened out for sounds of a fight, for shouts, maybe gunshots. He wasn’t expecting an explosion. One moment the yacht was there. Then the whole side of the marina was on fire.
Before he knew he’d moved, Kieran was in the water. He didn’t much care about the man toting the gun, but Joel and the little boy were somewhere in this inferno of burning oil and unrecognizable debris that had been a boat only minutes earlier.
Kieran had to find them.
Fast.

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