Loki Renard-Pure Evil

Loki is once more taking us into the House of Vitali. The only family where the pre-requisite to join is the fact that you REALLY don’t want to join and where attempting to kill other members of the family is to be expected. The House of Vitali is so dysfunctional that it makes Norman Bates suggest that you might want to check yourself and Joan Crawford all of a sudden says that wire hangers aren’t all that bad.

In Pure Evil, Angelo is separated from his beloved boys. He has to go deal with stupid little legal challenges from the LEOs and he has to stay in the city so that he can keep going to court. Meanwhile, Mark and Bobby have to stay in a safe, hidden location. Mark because he is a disgraced FBI agent and Bobby because, well, he’s Bobby. Angelo left Mark in charge because if he left Bobby in charge, there probably wouldn’t be anything left to come back to. Bobby is smart, but he’s also impulsive and vicious. He really needs to not be unsupervised, ever. None of this would be an insurmountable problem except for the fact that one day, Angelo doesn’t contact Mark to let him know he’s done with court and he didn’t take his car home. Someone has grabbed Angelo.

Damien is a mercenary. He’s been hired to kill Angelo, but it’s obvious that he has a personal axe to grind. He keeps telling Angelo that he’s going to do terrible things to him, but Angelo, being Angelo, isn’t fazed at all.

OK, that’s all the synopsis I’m going to give you because A) it’s pretty short and 2) I don’t want to take any of the journey away from you. Angelo is so devious that he makes Machiavelli look like a piker. He makes Twizzlers jealous. Have you ever seen a double threaded screw? Yeah, that’s not as twisty and devious as Angelo is. He has plans, more plans, backup plans, backup backup plans, and then some really good ideas as to where he’s going to go next. This book has twists, turns, swerves, and corkscrews. Each of those twists has all its own twists and turns. I mean, seriously, it’s like those stairs by MC Escher. I was left with more questions than I started with. I have no clue who knew what and when, other than the fact that I’m pretty sure Angelo knew everything all the time, I mean, he’s Angelo. This book is dark. Each of the Vitali books have gotten darker and darker. This isn’t the darkest thing I’ve ever read, but it was dark enough that I looked at the husband and was like shit, damn, fuck. Just damn. I am going to reread it this weekend to see if I can answer some of my questions.

mc_escher-stairs-to-nowhere-750x500

Seriously, my biggest question is how much did Mark know and when did he know it? That’s all I really want to know. And of course, Loki isn’t going to tell us, which means I’m just going to have to guess.

I did like seeing a softer side of Bobby. It was really interesting to see.

That’s all I have to say on this one. Go read all of them. Seriously. Happy reading!

 

Advertisements

Loki Renard-Perfect Evil

Loki Renard is evil. That’s all there is to it. She is just pure evil, just ask Bobby and Mark. They will definitely tell you. Perfect Evil is the sequel to Taken Boy. You could read PE without having read TB, if you really wanted to, but you will not get near as much enjoyment from it. Knowing Angelo and Bobby’s story will help you to understand the changing dynamic when Mark gets added in.

So, here’s our story. It’s been some time since TB. Angelo and Bobby are still together. They don’t have the easiest relationship in the world, but they are making it work for them. The FBI is trying to put together a case against them, which means they are following our man and his boy around. They tried to bug everything, but Angelo is just a wee bit smarter and a helluva lot more paranoid than FBI are, so he has everything scanned for bugs constantly.

Agent Mark Locke was in the military and now he’s in the FBI. This is his first field mission. He’s gay and his teammates know it, but generally, no one is making a thing out of it. He also uses anti-anxiety medication, which he hides from his teammates, because he knows that they would rag on him about.

His team hears about a party that Bobby and Angelo will be at. The person throwing the party usually brings in some pretty boy escorts to act as man candy. So, his team figures since he’s the only gay member of the team and he’s very good looking, that Mark is going to be the one that is going in. Instead of anyone actually trying to figure out what the man candy would actually wear to such a party, they dress poor Mark up in ’80s leather boy style. That, of course, makes him stand out and not in a good way. Mark has everyone’s hands on him at some point.

Then, bullets start flying and Mark gets hit. Angelo decides that he’s going to grab him up and take Mark with him and Bobby. He’s not sure why he’s doing it, but he trusts his instincts, and his instincts say to grab this guy and take him, so he does. Angelo directs Bobby to drive them out to a house in the country.

They get there, and the fun and games get started. I’m not going to even say anything about the fun and games, except for the fact that Angelo is a right bastard with an incredibly inventive and sadistic mind. There isn’t a whole lot of safe, sane, or consensual about anything that Angelo does.

OK. You know the deal. Angelo has plans and schemes and more plans and schemes inside machinations and manipulations. I would never want to play chess with Angelo. I’m pretty sure he has already won the game we were playing and the next one and the one after that. I wondered how Bobby was going to handle having Mark around, and it was… interesting. I need more of Angelo, Bobby, and Mark so that I can watch their dynamic play out some more. Angelo may be evil, but he’s my kind of evil.

black-and-white-board-game-chess-40796

Since it’s a short book, there isn’t a lot I want to say about spoilers. But, I just want to say that I’m pretty sure that electricity isn’t going to be someone’s friend for a while. Also, the last chapter was a very interesting chapter when it came to Angelo. Gave some me some insight into him. I need more of Angelo. All the Angelo.

So, go check it out, it’s only $2.99. Happy reading!

Loki Renard-Taken Boy

So, you remember the last couple of Loki Renard books that I posted, Shamefully Broken and Broken Boy? Well, Taken Boy is another one in that world. It’s related to them, but you really don’t see Ellie or Aiden or any overlapping events, except for at the very beginning.

As a refresher, let’s go over what’s been happening. In SB, Ellie went to Mason, her brother Aiden’s best friend, and asked him to help out Aiden and get him out of trouble. Mason said that he would, as long as she agreed to be his. Well, after calling him a perv, she stomped away, but when Mason saved her life, she ended up going home with him and being his. Mason arranged for Aiden to be safe.

In BB, Aiden is being protected by two of Mason’s guys. They are both Dom-ly types, and Aiden, well, he likes it a lot. He gets protected by his Daddy and his Dom, and the bad guy, Bobby Cornoli can’t get at him.

In TB, we have Bobby’s story. Bobby is 22 and thinks that he’s on top of the world. He thinks that he’s all that and a bag of chips. The biggest problem is that he’s 22 and thinks he’s invulnerable and that he’s a bigger threat that he really is. Mason was really, really, really pissed that Bobby tried to touch Elliot. That was a major goof. And when Mason gets pissed, he gets even. In fact, he gets more than even. When it comes to his girl, he’ll go nuclear. And that’s exactly what he decided to do to Bobby.

Mason arranges for Angelo Vitalli, who really is in the Mob and who really is all that plus the giant bag of chips, to take Bobby. His job is to break Bobby, by whatever way possible, and leave him with absolutely nothing. When Angelo first sees Bobby, he gets ideas. Wicked, dirty, obscene ideas. Ideas that Bobby is going to find painful. In fact, in the first few minutes that Angelo has Bobby, he canes him but good. You would think that Bobby wouldn’t like that, but…

So, this is a pretty quick read. It’s also pretty filthy. But, filthy in such a good way. Angelo is hardcore. He’s pretty much a hardcore sadist, IMO. He likes to break men, and Bobby is actually perfect for him. Angelo is also very smart, and he puts that to work. This is a nice companion piece to the other books. It’s a standalone, so you don’t have to have read them to know what’s going on in this book. Its action is mostly isolated from the other two books, except for in the beginning.

il_fullxfull.906223548_cr8p

OK, I thought that Bobby was an asshole a good deal of the time, and he thought that he was a whole lot more than he was. I have a 22 year old son, and 22 year old young men are often assholes and think that they are more than they are. At 22, you’re still growing up. Even though Bobby has been working the streets for a while, the fact is that his brain hasn’t quite finished developing, which science says happens around age 25, so he doesn’t always make the best decisions. His whole reasoning behind going after Aiden just shows that.

There is one time when I feel really bad for Bobby. That’s after he makes a move that Angelo knew would happen. That time period made me feel sorry for him. Of course, I think that time was good for him, even if it was hard.

Ok, that’s all I have to say today. It’s only $2.99 right now on and is on KU on the Zon, so go check it out. Happy reading!

Loki Renard-Broken Boy

On Thursday, we had Loki Renard’s Shamefully Broken with Ellie and Mason. Today, we have Broken Boy with Aiden, Steve, and Rob.

BTW, I have bouncy box giveaways for both of these books going on right now. Click these links to try your luck. Broken Boy bouncy box Shamefully Broken bouncy box. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Before I get started on my review, it’s important that I point out that this is an MMm book. You have a Daddy, and Dom, and a very, very sorry boy. It is dark romance. Not as dark as some of the stuff that I’ve read, darker than others. So let’s get into it, shall we?

Aiden has never really had to grow up. His family is old money and his parents have been rather neglectful. Until he was 5, he wasn’t sure which of the women he saw around him was his mother. He’s never had anyone tell him no, so when he started getting into drugs, there wasn’t really anyone who could stop him. Eventually, his parents cut him off, but that didn’t stop him from his habit, so he tried other things, like dealing and pimping. Then he got into a jam with a local mob boss.

His little sister, Elliot, did what she could to get him out of trouble, and went to his old friend Mason. Mason runs a security company, and he made a deal with Ellie that he would make sure that Aiden was protected. To do that, he sent out two of his best operatives, Steve and Rob.

Steve and Rob found Aiden where he had run away from rehab and secured him in a safe house where they helped him detox. Steve is very Dom-ly and didn’t really want to care for Aiden. His idea of helping Aiden to eat was to tie him up and then force him to open his mouth. Rob, on the other hand, is much more paternal. He convinces rather than forces.

Eventually, Aiden gets clean and everyone is attracted to everyone else. Rob keeps reminding Steve that Aiden is a client and that nothing should happen, but that’s often easier said than done.

OK, it’s that time. I loved these guys. I love how Steve and Rob balance each other out and how they handle Aiden. I also liked seeing the interactions between Aiden and Elliot from his point of view. That’s always an interesting thing to see. Steve did annoy me once, but that’s because something he did hit a hot button on me, so that’s a me thing, and it might not bother someone else. BB can be read as a standalone, it isn’t really a direct sequel to SB. They are connected, but you get enough of the backstory to know what’s going on with no problems. The two books do take place at the same time so I would consider them adjacent to each other more than books 1&2 in a series.

pexels-photo-428427

OK, the thing that really annoyed me about Steve is that he gave Aiden the silent treatment. Yeah, Aiden fucked up by trying to prank the guys, but really, that was where he was in his head at that point, a naughty tween trying to get authority figure’s attention, which is what he did. I hate the silent treatment, and the fact that he gave it to Aiden for so long and after he had Aiden had advanced their relationship just bothered me. And it set the stage for some of the next things to come.

Other than that one thing, I thought that Aiden deserved every damn thing he got, and then some. He really needs strict and he needs parental, so Steve and Rob are perfect for him. They both meet needs that Aiden has.

OK, that’s it for this one. Go check out Loki’s books and see why I love them so much.

Heart2Heart: A Charity Anthology

I have a real treat for my MM lovers out here today. And yes, I meant in any way you want to take it. Today I’m sharing a beautiful anthology from several really talented authors who write MM romance. Heart2Heart is more than just a bunch of great stories though. It’s also a charity anthology, which means that proceeds are going to the LGBTQ+ charities of the authors’ choice. Awesome, right? So, not only are you getting a bunch of really lovely stories, you are going to help out some great charities, but stop reading this right now and go buy it.

Anyway, this book has an interesting setup. A couple of months ago, several MM authors asked for interesting and unexpected couple combinations. You know, like a sommelier and a criminal, or a lawyer and a lobsterman. Then 9 of the combinations were chosen, and the anthology was born. The premise is that all of the guys either signed up or were signed up by well-meaning friends and family for a dating app called Heart2Heart. They were running a Valentine’s Day special that offered a free dinner. The matches were supposed to be guaranteed love matches. The algorithms and coding were supposed to match you with the person who would be perfect for you. Except… It would be boring if it happened that way, wouldn’t it? There’s a glitch in the coding and the matches went all wonky. But, as this is a Valentine’s Day offering, you know that they are all HEAs, so you know that something good is going to come out of all the wonkiness.

I’m not going to review each and every one, mostly because I want you to go out and buy this book. Plus, the stories are all pretty short. There are funny stories and there are more serious stories. The one thing they all have in common is that they are full of true love and hot sex. I do have a couple of favorite combos, and I mentioned them above. You don’t think that these guys would possibly fit together, but they do, and it’s awesome. So, go check it out.

No spoilers today, but here’s a bouquet of roses. I hope that you have great plans for V-Day, no matter what you are planning on doing. Me, I celebrate 1/2-price Chocolate Day Eve on 2/14.

rose-roses-flowers-red-54320

JD Chambers-Only See You

JD Chambers has written a beautiful book that I think is one of the best ones I’ve ever read. I hope that when I am done, you think so too.

Only See You is the second book in JD’s Only Colorado series. One of the main characters in this book is Mal. Mal is one of my favorite characters ever. I’d want them to be my book partner, but I don’t have the plumbing that they are interested in. So, maybe my book friend. Mal is a non-binary character. That means that they don’t identify as either male or female. He/she pronouns would be misgendering to them, the appropriate pronouns are they/them. Gender is what’s in your head and isn’t an either/or choice. There is a whole fluidity and spectrum when it comes to gender. It’s a whole tangled mess, and I’m definitely not going to be untangling it here. Suffice it to say that Mal knows who they are, what they want, and is happy that way.

We first met Mal in the first book. They are a friend of Craig. When Craig asks them to help he and Zach move, Mal agrees because they are hoping to see Zach’s hot roommate. But, roommate hottie wasn’t there. Mal figures it was a wasted trip, right until they see Parker, Zach’s hot cousin.

Parker has been staying Zach while he gets his life back under control. He is in the process of divorcing his bitch of a wife, whom he had finally had enough of. She was always an evil nasty person, but Parker just kind of went along with it. He didn’t agree with what she was saying, but he didn’t stop her from saying it. That is, right until she accused Zach and Craig of causing her miscarriage, after using Zach quite terribly.

Parker can’t get Mal out of his head. Parker knows he’s straight, he was married to a woman after all. But that doesn’t mean that he’s not attracted to Mal. They seem to have taken up permanent residence in his head. When Mal goes out on a date with Ben, roommate hottie, it doesn’t work out well. But Parker is there when they get back, and Mal and Parker get real up close and personal, which is when Parker really starts wondering about himself. Maybe he’s not as straight as he thinks he is. But what does that mean about who he is and his entire identity?

This book. Wow. It’s all about discovery and exploration. It’s about finding out your truth and living it. Parker learns that what his truth is at 8 doesn’t mean it’s the same at 18 or 28. Who you are changes over your lifetime as you mature and as you experience life. You aren’t an immovable and unchangeable stone. What’s important is that you figure out who you are, no matter how long it takes, and that you live your truth, no matter what it is. I also think that it’s great that we are seeing more queer representation in romance and that it’s becoming more mainstream. Representation is always important. Everyone wants to read books or watch movies that have someone like them in it. I applaud JD for the choice of Mal and for how well Mal is handled in the book. One of the things I like best is that Parker asks Mal if it’s OK to ask them questions for a better understanding, and then shows that he had done some research into the matter. Good on Parker.

OK, here’s my picture of what Mal looks like in my head, minus the facial hair. This person is just beautiful though. I love their eyes.

26992520_772322719634857_2210225522270883865_n

I’m glad that the nasty ex gets hers, because damn. If I could’ve walked into that book and smacked the holy hell out of her, I so totally would’ve.

Mal is so good to Parker’s mom when they and Parker go visit. They really help Parker to come to grips with a difficult situation and one that could be heart-breaking too. They also helped Parker make up his mind about all his decisions. I think that the pair of them are perfect together and I hope that they are together forever.

I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

Kate Hawthorne-His Kind of Love

Kate Hawthorne is a brand new to me author. She’s written an MM book. Remember, MM means two guys in the relationship. It’s very, very hot. His Kind of Love is an interesting book.

I have to admit that even after having read this book, it took me some time to figure out my feelings about it. I like it, I like Joel, but Gabriel… He’s a whole different story. I kind of like him sometimes, kind of hate him other times. I’ve read other books that have people doing things similar to Gabriel. K. Webster has a good one, Notice, but there is something different with this one, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe part of it is that HKoL is Kate’s first book, and it takes some time to come into your own, and K’s book isn’t her first one. Whatever it is, there is something there. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like the story. I do. It just took me a little bit of time to unpack and process.

Joel is a 19 year old man. He’s been kicked out of the bosom of his family because he’s gay. He doesn’t date much, and he doesn’t have a lot of friends outside of his very best friend, Athena. Athena is a pretty awesome character in her own right, and I would love to see more of her in other books. She seemed pretty cool. Joel works at a second-hand bookstore, loves old books, old records, and haunting estate sales. He collects old family Bibles and is looking for someone who will treat him with precious care and cherish him.

Gabriel is much older. He is also estranged from his family. He’s a lawyer and is very successful at his job. He has one hobby, Joel. Everything he does, he does for Joel. Every.thing. When Joel runs into trouble, Gabriel has maneuvered himself so that he is right there to pick up Joel and save him.

OK, here’s where we part. This book has some dark themes to it. I’m pretty sure after reading the last paragraph, you can pretty much guess what they are. There is also a taboo line that Kate skates up to, but doesn’t quite go over the edge, at least, depending on how you look at it. Go check out the story. It’s on KU right now, or you can buy it for $0.99 and support a first-time author on her debut book.

tumblr_n1uk2a3jcN1so1ll1o2_250

OK, I’m just going to come right out and say it, Gabriel is creepy. And he’s a kind of a dickbag sometimes. But, he does everything he’s doing out of a place of love for Joel. Joel can forgive him, but does that mean that he was justified? And, when Joel gets pissed af at Gabriel, I think he chooses the wrong thing to get pissed about, IMO. He needed to kick Gabriel’s arse a little harder over that part.

The taboo thing is kind of a popular trope in taboo romance, but does it really count if they had no kind of contact prior to the relationship they found themselves in? I don’t find that one to be all that much of a problem, overall.

I have no problems at all with the ending. I just kind of wish that Gabriel seemed a little more remorseful. I dunno, that may not be the word I want. And he does realize at some point that what he was doing was fucked up, and on the crazy side. But… Something, I dunno.

Overall, I like the story. I know that it may sound like I’m running it down but I’m really not. It just makes me analyze things, which is good. It’s a sign of a well-written book, IMO.

OK, that’s all I have to say today. There’s going to be another blog post later, so watch out for that. Meanwhile, happy reading!