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While I enjoyed 'The Mystery of Nevermore' book 1 in C. S. Poe's Snow & Winter series a tiny, tiny bit more than this one that does not mean that 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' was anything less than enjoyable.
I think possibly part of my added enthusiasm for the first book was just the joy of discovering a new author who was writing a new series that I wanted to read...see all the shiny new that's going on here? I was dazzled...that's right I suffer from magpie syndrome. However, while this book isn't the shiny new of a first book in a new series by a new author it still holds it's own with a well written story about characters that I truly like solving a well done mystery. Ms. Poe had me guessing right up until the end when I knew who did it and why only to find out things were not as they seemed...well done, I love a mystery that keeps my brain guessing from start to finish.
While I did get a bit frustrated with Seb for his perpetual lies of omission and half-truths, I do have to admit were I in his shoes I'm not sure I would have done any better and I think that while I don't advocate his behavior I probably felt a little more lenient towards him once my initial frustration wore off and I was force to admit that while his decision making skills weren't always stellar neither were they malicious or intended to do harm...in fact, it was quite the opposite he wanted to resolve things in the hopes of keeping anyone else from being hurt...so his intentions were good...mmmmm...I think there's a road somewhere paved with good intentions...just sayin'
Apart from the mystery and just the story in general one of the things that I truly loved was the approach that the author took with Calvin's PTSD. It wasn't made light of with implications that little more than some good sex would fix it. While Calvin doesn't want to seek medical help neither is Seb willing to give up on getting him to reconsider this decision. There is real concern for Calvin on the part of his partner, Quinn and Seb's father and not just Seb, but as we all know you can't help someone until they want to be helped. So to me Seb was being realistic about things in that he wasn't forcing Calvin to do something he's not ready to do but neither was he willing to stick his head in the sand and just hope it'd go away.
I love Seb and Calvin the passion is there and it's wonderfully tempered with humor and sweet yet sometimes awkward moments of them sharing their feelings whether saying 'I love you' or when Calvin is trying to explain how much he needs Seb to be safe or Seb seeking Calvin's forgiveness for something that he new he shouldn't have done long before he ever did it. These two tug at my heartstrings and make me smile contentedly as I travel along with them to solve their latest mystery.
While 'The Mystery of Nevermore' gave us the shiny new 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' proved that this author's candle is still burning bright.
An ARC of 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
In the late 70's, I started reading horror in earnest, and I honestly thought I was familiar with most horror writers of the time. I was wrong. I'd never heard of Ken Greenhall until Valancourt Books brought him to my attention. Now, I want to get my hands on everything he's written.
Baxter, the bull terrier, is a sociopath. But he's just a dog, you might say! It's true, but he's observant, willful and extremely dangerous. With some portions of this book being from his point of view, the reader gets a clear look into what's going on in that doggie head of his. I know this book sounds cheesy, and perhaps like a rip-off of Cujo, but the facts are that it's not cheesy at all, and it was written before Cujo. Featuring keen insights into human behavior, precise but spare prose, and bringing to the reader a growing sense of dread and horror, I'm pretty sure this will be among the best books I will read this year.
My highest recommendation! You can get your copy here: Hell Hound
*Thanks to Valancourt Books for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
"I love you, Phil, Sir, all of the yous."
Phil chuckled against the side of his neck then inhaled as if taking some of Terry inside of him. "I love all of the yous too."
Trigger warning: the title refers to a consensual rape scene between a master and his sub!
Well, wasn't this a nice little find. Of course, the premise was more than a little silly: three years ago, Phil abruptly left Terry because of a job. He basically dumped him without a proper explanation or good-bye. Now, Phil is back and tries to rekindle things with Terry. They agree to go out for lunch, where Phil confesses to Terry that during his absence he discovered that he's a Dom and into the BDSM lifestyle. And while Terry had never wasted much thought on BDSM at all, he immediately jumps head first into the role of Phil's sub only a few hours later. Um, sure. Ok. Whatevs.
But once I accepted that premise (or better: once I've put on my pink glasses) and decided to just roll with the story, it turned out to be actually really good.
The writing was more than just a little decent, it was actually surprisingly good and fresh. That and the author did a really nice job explaining the BDSM 101 basics.
The final chapter, which culminates in the title's role play scene, was really well explained and executed. While Terry's dark rape fantasy didn't bother me (probably because I saw how much effort Phil has put into it to make it satisfying for both Terry AND himself), it might still be a little too much for some readers, maybe even upsetting. So mind my trigger warning!
I recommend this book to people who never read a BDSM story before and want to dip their toes into this genre. You'll be rewarded with two flawed, but likable MCs, a respectful D/s relationship, and a second chance story with a lot of love. Oh, and did I mention that it was also HAWT?