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review 2017-02-03 05:02
Like erotic thrillers? This is one to check out!
Max - Bey Deckard
A tag team review with Sara!



4.5 HEARTS--

There was no climbing back out of the rabbit hole; he was fucked and fucked good, but at least the company was interesting.

Down the rabbit hole indeed...




What a twisted, psychological thrilling roller coaster of a ride Max turned out to be.

I'd rather warn potential readers there are triggers in here: rape, dubious consent, unethical practices, cheating, some violence. (A checklist of sorts that guaranteed me reading) And I don't consider this a trigger by any means, but there are readers who don't like vaginas in their fiction *gasp*...whelp, there are few in here (put to good use might I add. I mean it is a Bey Deckard title *grin*) Is Max dark? I don't think so. On a scale from 1-5, maybe 1 or 1.5? It's more a head game...a devious fucking head game.

Lying.

There's oodles and oodles of lies. And I've read this 1.5 times, and I'm trying to figure out where all the truths were.

Set in Montréal, Dr. Dennis Crane is a newly minted psychologist, married and seems to have a normal life. Enter his patient, young Max, who he can tell has a madness in his eyes, that Max is hiding something. But Dr. Crane is drawn to the younger man. Maybe he can diagnose him, fix Max. He doesn't even realize he's been ensnared in the spider's web and Max is running the show.

"Are you afraid of me, Dennis? You shouldn't be. I'm trying my very best to make you understand that I like you. And I'm offering you the very thing you desire the most: me. You know I'm a fine specimen of amorality. I'm giving you the opportunity to look behind the curtain. No holding back."

I believe I've made it known I enjoy reading the cray crays, especially when they're well written. Psychopaths, sociopaths, amoral puppet masters that treat others they encounter as their toys...I enjoy reading them.


This is Max.

He's a level 7 on my scale, 100%.  And I was plugged in for his show. Really enjoyed that twisted fucker.

Reading Dr. Crane lose more of himself to the miasma of the depravity that reeks from Max, and you read it as Crane knows and still can't help himself. *claps hands wildly* That was everything. The story is told in a journal style, from Dr. Crane's POV. Max and Dr. Crane's interactions starts with sessions, and steadily moves from the doctor's practice, taking over Crane's life. A mild mannered man who develops kinks he didn't even know existed. The sex was scorching hot, while the lines between doctor and patient blurred, melded and made new definitions.

"I've opened you up to a whole new range of experiences. Once you get acclimatized, you'll see it the way I do."

I had minor quibbles.  I wanted to know more. What exactly happened during the missing days? There are hints, subtle hints dotted in between the lies. It's a little frustrating not knowing. Maybe there'll be a B-side to Max? Maybe not. Who knows if the world's ready to know what's going on inside that "lizard brain" of Max's. *wink*

The ending is...I'm still a little wide eyed after that ending. I don't know what else to define it other than a little sad, yet fitting.

Recommended for readers who like amoral liars, characters who don't care to define their sexuality and twisted psychological erotica.

Watch your step.



That rabbit hole, man...it's a helluva ride.



A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2016-04-05 00:56
Shady Cross by James Hankins
Shady Cross - James Hankins

*Suspense*

Highly enjoyable read! Stokes, the anti-heroic MC, comes across a fat chunk of money. He thinks it's his lucky day until being mistaken for someone else on the phone and learning that the money was intended to save the life of a little girl. What to do; What to do? This book kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Great writing, great plot.  I listened to the audio book version, and I also enjoyed the narrator.

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review 2016-02-12 05:55
Gritty with a side of romance, what more can a reader ask for? ;D
Happy Birthday - B.D. Roca
  A Hearts On Fire Review

FOUR HEARTS--Consider me impressed by B.D. Roca's debut, "Happy Birthday": where a suicidal killer meets his love match unexpectedly…in his latest target.

For his twenty-third birthday, Aussie MC enforcer and killer Nick should be celebrating his life, celebrating the start of adulthood. Instead, he’s performed numerous killings for a criminal MC he wants to leave, fought and scrabbled too many times with nothing but scars on his knuckles and soul. And he doesn’t care about ending it all.
“You still want that little secret to stay secret?”
“You wouldn’t.”
“You’re right, I wouldn’t. Not unless I heard you talked. In which case, all bets would be off.”
“You’re a fucking bastard, Nick. I thought you were better than—”
“I’m a paid killer, Mike. What the fuck were you expecting?”

He hides who he is, a gay man, in fear of retaliation or worse by the very MC he kills for.

He has no one to trust, no one at all.

Enter Nick’s target of his last “cleanup” job, Jake Rushman. Jake was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, a witness to a botched MC murder and unwanted loose end. He left his home and was on the run for a few days before Nick catches up.

This first time author took a few of my favorite themes and made it interesting, suspenseful, not depressing and hot with enough backstory to keep the pace going. We have a killer, who is not really a good guy underneath but sadly had some shitty circumstances thrown his way. And he rolled with the punches. But the best part about Nick is that he needed something, or should I say a chance with someone, to prove to himself that he could be that guy. A man with purpose.

Reading Jake’s angle was pretty intriguing. Imagine being a regular Joe Schmoe IT guy, with a good life and background and it all changes at the blink of an eye. The way he and Nick come together might read fast for some, but when you have a barrel at your dome, priorities change, views change.
“I’ve got plans for you, Nick No-Last-Name. I’ve got plans and tricks, and I’m going to fuck you so hard you won’t be able to say no when I tell you what we’re gonna do. You understand?”
“You’re crazy.”
“No. You’re the crazy one, but I like that. I like it a lot. And I’m going to have more of it.”

Sometimes, I question couples who get together under duress, but not these two. Even though the length is short and some passages weren’t transitionally smooth. This is something the author can work on for the future. There were some passages that verbally slam dunks:
“Savage, the thing that started it. His death wish and Jake’s desperation to just keep living. The trade Nick had been willing to make. That trade, never made, that had brought them both here.”

But then there were passages that would end at a strong point and instead of having some lasting filler to smooth it out, the story would jump ahead a couple of paces. The suspense was good but…I wouldn’t have minded Italy to go a little differently. A certain someone was slipping and they weren’t previously. Even with my quibbles, the story is strong. The couple made an impression and if this was longer, I would have thrown 5 hearts at its feet. I don’t think it needed to be a full length novel because the story gives you more than just the basics to get by.

As is, I’m in heavy like, super crushing on both main characters. I like my killers to believable. I think Nick definitely was. And Jake was the perfect match for him. He really does have a pair of “steel balls”.

The epilogue made me soft and pink. I gushed a little. Fitting.

I’ll be rereading this, which says something.

Recommended for readers who want something short to read but want some depth as well, don’t mind romance on the run and a bad guy who gets a second chance at making something of his self in his own way.

I am definitely checking out future work from this author. Loved the tone, feel, word slinging and characters!

 

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review 2016-02-06 03:16
"Wicked Sexy Liar" by Christina Lauren
Wicked Sexy Liar - Christina Lauren

A lot of series lose steam as they go along, but this one keeps getting better. This is book four in the "Wild Seasons" series, and it's better than book one, "Sweet Filthy Boy," though connected to that story more than the subsequent books in the series. Each book stands alone, but it will probably be a little more satisfying if you read at least "Sweet Filthy Boy" first, because that book introduces Mia, who is the ex-girlfriend of the hero, Luke, of this one. 

 

"Wicked Sexy Liar" is a Reformed-Rake/Taming-of-the-Manwhore story. Five years ago, Luke broke up with Mia, his high school sweetheart, and went a little crazy on the rebound. He's spent the interim having lots and lots and lots of casual sex, and when he meets London, that's what they're both looking for. 

 

Of course, London's got a magical hooha, and as soon as Luke hooks up with her, he can't get enough, but she has good reasons for wanting to keep things casual, especially when she realizes Luke is her friend Mia's ex. (Because friends' exes are, of course, off limits.) 

 

The entertainment of the Manwhore-Taming trope usually stems from watching the hero get his comeuppance, after years of dismissing clingy women, in finally finding himself in the role of the Clinger rather than Clingee. "Wicked Sexy Liar" does the same, but even though it isn't groundbreaking, it's entertaining. Christina Lauren does snappy dialogue really, really well, and the secondary characters are well developed and contribute to the story (rather than merely being scenery in it -- yet another reason to read the series in order, though again, this would stand alone). 

 

I loved Luke's relationship with his sister Margot, and I love how smart and sassy and grounded London is as a heroine. The ending of this book was a little too abrupt, but still emotionally satisfying, and the first 4/5ths of the book were great fun. 

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review 2016-01-07 07:26
Dark, bloody and slightly gruesome.
Thirst - T. Baggins

Dark, bloody and slightly gruesome.

Var, a 2000 year old deranged vampire, sets his sights on his neighbor while fucking his meal for the night. It turns him on when his naked neighbor finally notices him across the way, through the window. There is no HEA to be found. Instead, non-con, brief piss play, murder. With a twist!

Recommended for those who like it veering toward dark. This is not a romance.

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