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The Saturnalia Effect

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Troy Khoury is serving a life sentence in Westgate prison for a robbery gone wrong. He just wants to keep his head down and do his time, but he runs afoul of an old-timer named Franchetti. Franchetti offers Troy a simple choice: kill fellow inmate Daniel Amato by Christmas in exchange for protection, or be tortured and raped to death by Franchetti's heavy, Pliers. Troy's n ...more
ebook, Bonus Content Edition, 52 pages
Published December 20th 2011 by Storm Moon Press (first published December 19th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Prison Love + MM = one happy me!

An interesting little tale about Troy, a gay Lebanese young criminal who is too pretty for his own good. He gets chosen to carry out a death sentence to a lifetimer with a simple instruction either seduce and kill this lifer, Daniel, or die a horrible death himself. Only a problem occurs, Troy falls for Daniel.

"The Saturnalia Effect" was a little gritty, surprisingly romantic and I wished it was longer.

Plus this writing pair definitely can deliver the goods.

The e
More of my reviews and ramblings at PANTS OFF REVIEWS

I spent hours in complete *ponder* over this novella. I don’t know if I will get this review right, but I will express why this unusual and deeply intense story is worth being read. I expected there to be the dark, because what else can you find in prison right? I expected a lot of rape, violence of the worst kind, and some hope that this book would end happily. I was proven wrong in two out of three of them.

Troy Khoury is serving life in pris
Jan 02, 2012 Jenre rated it really liked it
I read this story before Christmas and was going to review it then but I read a review by DarienMoya (this was quite unusual because I rarely read reviews of books I'm going to review myself) which made me look at the story from an entirely different angle. Since then, I've spent a bit of time pondering the story. It begins as a fairly straightforward prison drama. Troy has been imprisoned when a robbery he was involved in with his twin brother went wrong. His brother killed a cop before going d ...more
Very good story, although I expected it to be more... suspenseful, I think?
A few niggles:
Are guys in jail really so open to homosexuality? I get that in this environment sex is seen as an affirmation of property and strength, but they seemed strangely accepting of a sweeter relationship like the one between Troy and Daniel.
I would have liked to get to know these two better, but I think they are not what this story was really about. In my view, it was more about possibility - meaning the possibil
Sep 02, 2016 Eve rated it really liked it
Lovely story - very well written, stylistically beautiful, and Troy and Daniel make a sexy pair. This would have been a five-star for me if the ending had been just a little bit better supported by the earlier parts of the book. Actually the character development is well supported and consistent throughout, and I felt the plot needed more foreshadowing. (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 18, 2011 Alex rated it really liked it
The dark halls of prison are no place to celebrate Christmas, especially when you're a pretty boy without much desire to hurt anyone. This is the case for Troy, who is stuck between a rock and a hard place. While "The Saturnalia Effect" is a dark, fairly heavy story, there is still a struggle to keep hope and love in one's life, a theme that weaves throughout and keeps the novella from becoming too bleak, especially for it's holiday theme. In multiple instances, I was emotionally moved an
Feb 27, 2012 Madison rated it really liked it
This is a short and sweet little story with a holly, jolly 'Christmas in Prison' theme with enough character work and background that I felt like I'd just finished a full-length novel. This is a good thing with the only downside being that I wanted to turn my novel upside down, shake it, and ask "But... is there anymore?".

Heidi and Violetta take the prison-setting and work it for everything it's worth: Troy is the new kid, a fish in a sea of sharks. He's got to make the best of a bad situation a
Jul 02, 2012 Kassa rated it really liked it
Storm Moon Press continues to publish thought provoking, edgy, and very compelling stories. The Saturnalia Effect is no different and offers an absorbing and clever novella. It’s the perfect length to tease the reader but could easily have been longer and more involved. The short scene at the end attests to how much more the story still has to say. Nonetheless, TSE is a great quick tale that excites, engages, and leaves you wondering. My only criticisms are that the characters could have been ex ...more
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
May 15, 2014 JustJen "Miss Conduct" rated it really liked it

A review by The Blogger Girls.

This was an interesting little story. Poor Troy is a sweet guy who basically took the fall for his dead twin’s botched robbery. Unfortunately, he got in with the wrong prison crowd and is being forced to kill inmate Daniel in exchange for his own life. He takes quite the beating or two, including some torture for his failing to do so, as he and Daniel fall for each other. There are a few graphic scenes, and I’m not really sure how realistic prison-wise they were, bu
Mar 10, 2013 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-contemp, fr
A young man coerced to choose between two evils.

Troy, an innocent man imprisoned for his misplaced loyalty is ill-suited to surviving the harsh realities of prison. One of these realities leads him to Daniel, a man with a history and a reputation. Like all prisoner love stories the themes of non consensual/ dubious consent and gay-for-you are present. Here the darker themes are flirted with but not engaged. The level of D/s was lower than I was expecting and surprisingly bordered on the sweet si
LiveYourLife BuyTheBook
May 13, 2013 LiveYourLife BuyTheBook rated it really liked it
4 Stars

I love prison books. So when Whit, my Goodreads Guru, saw this book she knew straight away who to pimp it to! Whit seldom steers me wrong, and this was no exception. It was good!!

Troy Khoury, as the blurb says, is in prison for life. He isn’t guilty, of course. Well, not of that crime. He is a bad kid for sure, but he was caught in a terrible burglary-gone-wrong with awful ramifications for him, his family and, obviously, the cop that was killed. This is one of the aspects about prison th
Ruth Diaz
Dec 27, 2011 Ruth Diaz rated it really liked it
This is better than a four-star book, but rating system won't let me give it 4.5 stars. *g*

The Saturnalia Effect is an engaging read--it was hard for me to put it down and go to sleep at night only part way through it!

Pros: Troy and Daniel are people you really care about, and you care about them falling in love and about their ongoing welfare. Their difficult circumstances bring out qualities they didn't know they had, in the way a good story should: Troy is braver than he thinks he can be, and
Jul 24, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this! I generally avoid prison-themed stories because they make me uncomfortable, especially with the high probability of nonconsensual elements, but I'm so glad I gave this a chance. Troy's character was well-developed, especially considering the short time they had to do it, and the relationship between him and Daniel was interesting and super enjoyable. All of the other characters, even the minor ones, were diverse and memorable.

I loved the ending, and I've been thinkin
Valentina Heart
This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found there.

I'm still debating how to rate this short story although I've read it days ago. Maybe I should give a star extra just because it was interesting enough to induce such a conflicting reaction, but in any case I've finally decided to write a review thinking it might help me decide.

Troy is serving a life prison sentence despite not being the man behind the violence when it came to his crimes, but all he really wan
Jan 12, 2012 Natalie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Veronica /  V
When I bought this book I though this can't possible finish well, and I wasn't expecting a HEA.
Although the story is not bad for only 55 pages the ending is shocking, very vague and silly for 2 people who are in jail serving a life sentence.
Jan 07, 2012 Andrea rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. The story was unique, the sex was hot -- I just wish it were longer. There was definitely a novel's worth of content packed into this novella, and I loved the ambiguous ending.
Violetta Vane
Mar 23, 2012 Violetta Vane added it  ·  (Review from the author)
For anyone who might be interested, we just put up a dedicated site with multimedia extras.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 22, 2012 Adara rated it it was ok
The first word that comes to mind for this story is: disappointing. I don't know whether to label it contemporary or fantasy. It is basically contemporary, and then at the end there's a magical POOF! of "there's your HEA." OMG, I wanted to hurl it so badly for that cop out for which there was no build up at all. Just there, done.

I was looking for something along the lines of Under Grand Hotel, Volume 01, and thought this would fit the bill. And certainly the first 85% to 90%, that's true. It's c
Andie Johnston
Mar 07, 2013 Andie Johnston rated it really liked it
I really, really liked this! I generally avoid prison-themed stories because they make me uncomfortable, especially with the high probability of nonconsensual elements, but I'm so glad I gave this a chance. Troy's character was well-developed, especially considering the short time they had to do it, and the relationship between him and Daniel was interesting and super enjoyable. All of the other characters, even the minor ones, were diverse and memorable.

I loved the ending, and I've been thinkin
I like The Saturnalia Effect but I'm not really sure why. The story was short, there was not much room for background, the plot was cliché. Little guy needs protector in big prison and falls in love with him. (Something has to be seriously wrong with a penalty system that teaches thieves to become murderers instead of nice neighbors.) I already forgot the names of the MCs but I'm generally bad with names. I liked the fluffy fairytale feeling and the weird twist of roman magic. This is my favouri ...more
Jul 27, 2013 Rita rated it it was ok
Wasn't into it at all... I get that it's some kind of supernatual stuff, but I really couldn't believe the ending... why so many books have these stupid endings?? The story wasn't that interesting also, when I picked it up I thought that prison would be... well... kinda aggressive I guess, but this? I just don't... no words... It gets 2 only because the sex was interesting to read.
Apr 11, 2014 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I agree with a lot of reviewers that the ending felt a bit off, but I thought it was kinda fun... a bit of a forced happily ever after. But I liked the characters and the prison world... rather scary. And the sex was good, definitely D/s with the minimum of accessories.
Jan 13, 2015 Amy rated it liked it

The characters had hot chemistry and the story had great potential if the author had made it longer with a more realistic ending. The ending was ridiculous.

3.5/5 stars
Hearts On Fire Reviews
Reviewed by:Vivian A.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Rated: 3 hearts

Check out the review at: Hearts On Fire Reviews

Minus 1 star for the paranormal ending... I would have love this more (even) with a bittersweet ending, but hey we got a HEA, a weird one.
Mel rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2012
Nov 27, 2012 Saya rated it it was ok
Shelves: m-m, paranormal, romance
The ending is terrible...
Rute rated it it was amazing
Oct 10, 2012
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Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, graduated with a degree in history from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and now lives outside of Edmonton, Alberta, with her tradesman husband and two kids. A proud bisexual woman, her writing reflects everything she loves: diverse casts of queer characters, a sense of history and place, equal parts witty and filthy dialog ...more
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