4.5 - One Last Lie by Rob Kaufman in a word is awesome, an incredible psychological thriller that will have the reader hanging on the edge during the4.5 - One Last Lie by Rob Kaufman in a word is awesome, an incredible psychological thriller that will have the reader hanging on the edge during the explosive and thrilling final pages. Which is odd, since the reader knows a very important fact very early on that drives the novel - and yet, I found myself shocked and stunned by the actual event. To say that I was affected is an understatement.
The first half of the tense and romantic novel seems tame at best, a love story between two men wanting desperately to have a child and the one driving this dream is the one who is sterile due to a previous bout with cancer, of which he is a survivor.
Kaufman is a master of romantic suspense. The novel is set in the beautiful, romantic Westport, Connecticut. The subject - gay couple wanting to father and raise a child - popular in today's gay culture. The protagonists, Jonathan Beckett and dashing Philip Stone, are successful, love their careers, very wealthy and can afford the finer things in life - and to fulfill their dream of having a child.
In comes Angela, an old college friend – err, girlfriend – of Philip’s, squirreling her way into Philip and Jonathan’s lives, ironically offering what the boys are looking for – someone to carry Jonathan’s child via artificial insemination. Angela experiences a Jekyll-Hyde complex, able to turn on a dime with both her low-life moronic boyfriend, Tommy, and her brooding – and easily manipulated -- best friend, June. Angela manipulates anyone around her that she feels able to advance her agenda, an agenda set into motion the moment Angela picked up and moved to Connecticut, without invitation, to assist the boys in having a child with her via artificial insemination.
Kaufman’s gift as a writer is detailed within the sharp dialog, vivid imagery, skillful flashbacks, and well-rounded multidimensional character portrayals, but his inherit talent lay in his remarkable ability to craft a spell-bounding story, laid out for the reader in a way to have you cheering for the good guys and demonizing the psychos.
There are critical clues dropped within the novel that are thrilling, yet disturbing the same as Kaufman’s hurls the readers toward a well-crafted, suspenseful climax that will leave some breathless and others – like me- angry. Yes, I said it; angry. The reason for my anger is simple: I didn’t want the ending to happen as it did yet I KNEW what the ending would be and still, the author managed to shock me.
Angela is neurotic, psychotic and delusional – all required traits in portraying the villainess she becomes. Several characters that came before her came to mind as I learned more and more about her character, such as “Alex Forrest” (portrayed stunningly by Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction”), or Annie Wilkes in Stephen King’s “Misery” (portrayed in film by the astounding Kathy Bates), even the sultry Rebecca de Mornay’s portrayal of Peyton Flanders in “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle”.
The malicious plot Kaufman’s Angela devises years before putting the such an evil plan into motion upon signing the co-parenting legal contract with Jonathan’s and Philip’s attorney.
But, I digress…Kaufman has created a spectacular psychological thriller that is sure to stun – is that the right word? – Readers of the genre. [Book:One Last Lie|14624158] is chock full of tense drama, betrayal, lies, compassion and violence; all the marks of an excellent thriller.
My only complaint is likely due to the HTML uploading issues unique to Amazon’s conversion technology for uploading e-books. The reader can become confused with the sudden backward or forward in time breaks without the benefit of section dividers. However, these small inadequacies are easily overlooked.
Ultimately, Kaufman has created a “must-read” novel for anyone searching for a kick-ass psychological thriller with a strong romantic theme. One Last Lie will suck you in and won’t release you until the shocking ending, indeed the ‘one last lie’. ...more
The tag line for Rent by Rick R. Reed reads, “Sex can be a dangerous business. So can love…”
I could not haRent
By Rick R Reed
Reviewed by Jon Michaelsen
The tag line for Rent by Rick R. Reed reads, “Sex can be a dangerous business. So can love…”
I could not have penned a better one-line mark to espouse the appeal of this new sexy romance thriller if I tried. Reed has returned with the release of his latest in fine form, returning to the murder-mystery, thriller genre fans have loved in his previous novels IM, Tricks, Obsessed, Crime Scene and Reckless, to name a few.
Readers of Reed’s earlier novel, Tricks, are treated to a sequel of sorts in that gay go-go bar, Tricks, features prominently within the storyline, with some mentions of previous characters – though not central to the plot. Rent easily stands on its own without reading its predecessor a requisite.
Wren Gallagher wants nothing more than to lose himself within alcohol’s nectar to chase the bad day away following his firing from a dead-end job he didn’t much care for anyway. Making matters worse, he’s somehow misplaced or lost his wallet, but all is not lost when a mysterious stranger steps forward to pay his tab and presents Wren with a rather tempting offer of richness -- and the promise of finding true love.
The stranger is the odd, rather diffident proprietor of À Louer, a male escort agency and he wants the nerdy handsome Gallagher to join his stable of boys for hire. Though initially uninterested, bad news and more unfortunate luck forces Wren to reconsider his financial alternates. He accepts the offer presented to him to become a high-end “whore”, as he refers. Yet what Wren did not expect, was to meet the man of his dreams so soon in Rufus, an older, wiser escort who is assigned to be Wren’s mentor.
On his first call, Wren is partnered with Rufus to perform for a client who only likes to watch, an opportunity to ease the young man’s apprehension, that which becomes the catalyst to the swooning of Wren’s heart. No sooner has Wren begun his newfound career of hustling his smooth, trim body for successful, often older closeted professionals, does news of the shocking murder of one of À Louer’s escorts stun Wren into quitting, but not before encroaching in the personal privacy of Rufus, an act of suspicion sure to drive the love of his life away from him.
Rent is an outstanding sexy, romantic thriller full of dark, deadly secrets as one after another escort is murdered within a short period. The novel is well-plotted and suspenseful, a surprising thriller that will keep readers on a roller coaster ride through the final pages, with a jaw-dropping shock or two near the end– a trademark Reed eminence in crime fiction.
This heart-wrenching romantic thriller is quite simply brilliant! ...more
Wow! IM is the first novel I've read by Rick R Reed - but it certainly won't be the last. Reed takes a modern-day twist of the gay serial killer thatWow! IM is the first novel I've read by Rick R Reed - but it certainly won't be the last. Reed takes a modern-day twist of the gay serial killer that is at once unique and intriging; the killer meets all his victims online. Unlike typical serial killer novels, where bodies stack up will police search clues to find the person responsible, IM displays a strong backstory of the killer's life that is served up to the reader in doses throughout the novel. Just when I thought I'd figured out the reason driving Timothy's terror on the city, Reed tosses in a different twist. I thoroughly enjoyed the POV changes throughout the novel, a fine balance that allows the reader a chance to experience what each of the characters are feeling. Odd to say that IM is a love-story, too, however, the emerging bond between the ex-cop, Ed and his boyfriend, Peter, is real...I was sorry to see the novel end for this reason and hope that perhaps, Reed will return later with their continuing story! If you've never read a Rick R Reed Novel, I'd strongly suggest you begin with IM! ...more
Loose zippered, tough talking and violet ex-Marine Dan Stagg is a likeable character.
The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery Written by James Lear ReviewLoose zippered, tough talking and violet ex-Marine Dan Stagg is a likeable character.
The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery Written by James Lear Reviewed by Jon Michaelsen
If you have read author James Lear before, you know he is a prolific erotica writer, and you also have come to know how effortlessly Lear can reach out, grip you by the neck and pull you head first into his story before you have a chance to realize what is happening and can breathe. THE HARDEST THING: A DAN STAGG MYSTERY proves no different, and if I may dare say, one helluva thrilling ride.
"City Knight begins with a lurch, grabs on tight and doesn’t let go until your eyes are burning and blurry from reading too fast to find out what’s on"City Knight begins with a lurch, grabs on tight and doesn’t let go until your eyes are burning and blurry from reading too fast to find out what’s on the next page, not wanting to put the story down until done..."
Read my entire review at Gay/Lesbian Book Reviews:
Fast start...Hooked from the very first few pages; quick read; engaging, exciting and great mystery/thriller. The final 20-30 pages is a race to get tFast start...Hooked from the very first few pages; quick read; engaging, exciting and great mystery/thriller. The final 20-30 pages is a race to get to the finished! Loved it!...more
This novella was one roller-coaster ride!!! I thoroughly enjoyed "The Dark Horse"; As a reader, I felt like I was "dropped" in to the novella after soThis novella was one roller-coaster ride!!! I thoroughly enjoyed "The Dark Horse"; As a reader, I felt like I was "dropped" in to the novella after so much had happened; the stalker, Paul Hammond was dead (or was he?), the Hollywood actor, Sean Fairchild had been stalked for a while before the stalker's death and assighed a body-guard, the hunky LAPD Dan Moran....therefore, I was immediately captivated. I read the novella over two days - I couldn't put it down!!!
My only disappointment is that the novella didn't begin at the beginning of the stalking of Sean and the assignment of the LAPD Detective, Dan Moran. There is SO much more story here (perhaps Mr. Lanyon will oblige us at a later date); there is, however a sequel with this pair titled "The White Knight" which I've already purchased. The first installment was just too damn good to pass it up.
Basically, the story is about a Hollywood actor, Sean, who has been stalked by a man named Paul Hammond. Appears Paul is thought to be dead following a police chase (happened before this novella) and Sean has escaped to the coast to relax and get his life back together. He's forged a relationshipo with the LAPD detective that once protected him....now, a postcards with stalker Paul's handwriting start appearing in the mail. Sean is freaking and Detective Dan - er, lover, is trying to make light of the situation. Sean is on the verge of another breakdown, Dan is beginning to question his lover's sanity and clearly "someone" wants to scare the actor into hysterics....
A very fast read; great dialog - wonderful pull and tug between Sean and Dan; very sexy and erotic at points....a genuinely good read!!!
Once again, writer Josh Lanyon outdoes himself. In the follow-up to Dangerous Ground, Special Agents Will Brandt & Taylor MacAllister return againOnce again, writer Josh Lanyon outdoes himself. In the follow-up to Dangerous Ground, Special Agents Will Brandt & Taylor MacAllister return again in yet another roller-coaster ride of suspense, thrill & tough-guy romance. Though partners and best friends for three years, everything recently changed during a weeklong camping trip and their love for each other boiled over. Now, Taylor and Will are trying their hand at a real relationshsip not based just on hot sex.
When a mysterious bottle of rice wine containing a Cobra arrives in time for Taylor's birthday, Will fears something in Taylor's past--something Taylor won't talk about--just might put a damper on their budding relationship. But, will the myster hinder any chance they have at a future romance together?
You'll have to read for yourself to find out, but I can assure you that once again, you will not be disappointed if you like an action-packed, mystery & suspense story - not to mention the macho romance between Will & Taylor!
4.5! Incredible intensity, excitement, romance and thrill - an-edge-of-your-seat page turner the last few chapters! The passion, intense romance betwe4.5! Incredible intensity, excitement, romance and thrill - an-edge-of-your-seat page turner the last few chapters! The passion, intense romance between a damaged Adam and skeptical cop Jake, is awesome; I enjoyed reading the deep passion between these two men who have found each other - but what's most incredible, is the mystery/thriller aspect of the novel - with the grit of reading a James Patterson psycho-thriller and the aching love of a Felice Picano romance...I really enjoyed the first novel by this author and look forward to his future releases! ...more
What a pleasant surprise to read an author (new for me) that penned a sexy-romance, suspenseful thriller! I thoroughly enjoyed Holed Up and would recoWhat a pleasant surprise to read an author (new for me) that penned a sexy-romance, suspenseful thriller! I thoroughly enjoyed Holed Up and would recommend the title to anyone looking for a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat-ending, romantic (and erotic) love-story! Simply great and I cannot wait to read the sequel. There is a sequel, right Hank!
Holed Up is in the same vein as Josh Lanyon, John Simpson, to name a couple masculine (hot!) suspenseful/thrillers!...more
Okay, when it comes to action-packed, gay Special Agents - there is no one better than Josh Lanyon. I absolutely loved this novella and have immediateOkay, when it comes to action-packed, gay Special Agents - there is no one better than Josh Lanyon. I absolutely loved this novella and have immediately purchased book two to start right away because I didn't want the characters to end, though the situation they were in resolved. If you like your men, strong, able-bodied, manly-sexy - and action/thriller, edge-of-your seat excitement, then Dangerous Ground will not disappoint!...more
A very good, suspenseful/thrilling read - especially the last 50 pages or so - edge-of-your-seat drama... The first part of the novel is tough to getA very good, suspenseful/thrilling read - especially the last 50 pages or so - edge-of-your-seat drama... The first part of the novel is tough to get through with the introduction of so many characters and several pieces to the mystery toss around until all begins to come together. I will definately look for more by Russ Gregory......more
Spectacular...Incredible! A not-to-be missed gay mystery-noir-thriller that is beautifully written, hauntingly pervasive. Perhaps the best release ofSpectacular...Incredible! A not-to-be missed gay mystery-noir-thriller that is beautifully written, hauntingly pervasive. Perhaps the best release of 2014! ...more
A terrific little spooky and dark ghost story - a perfect lazy, rainy day afternoon read! del Mar provA Terrific Dark Ghost Story - Very Hitchcockian!
A terrific little spooky and dark ghost story - a perfect lazy, rainy day afternoon read! del Mar provides just enough of a mystery and thrill to pull reel this reader in and not let go until the end. Reading this short is like dropping in on the harried lives of two young men on the run after robbing a bank and following their path of discovery to an abandoned, century old mansion in the swamp. A great ghost story that hints at further adventures. ...more
Was it even possible that I'd enjoy the second enstallment of the Dark Horse series more than the first??? I didn't think so, but now that I'm finisheWas it even possible that I'd enjoy the second enstallment of the Dark Horse series more than the first??? I didn't think so, but now that I'm finished - It's hard to say which I prefer more. I loved the first, Dark Horse, because it was fast, had mystery and the relationship between Sean and Dan was very believable and romantic....in The White Knight, I started out angry (can't tell without spoiling it), but quickly go sucked up into Lanyon's wonderful suspenseful tale. The relationship between Sean and Dan starts off rocky in this second installment, but ends clearly leading an opening for a third book, which I certainly hope Mr. Lanyon writes soon! I simply love the characters of this novel and recommend it for any Lanyon fan and certainly for mystery readers alike....more
I am so glad I came across The Incident. The novella is a painfully vivid portral of a cop suffering from post traumatic stress over killing an innoceI am so glad I came across The Incident. The novella is a painfully vivid portral of a cop suffering from post traumatic stress over killing an innocent boy while aiming at a suspect; such a raw portrayal - but what I really loved about the story is how Michael (the suffering cop) and his partner, Bertram Angel allow their mutual attraction for each other to surface through a friend aching to help his best friend and a tormented cop yearning to rid himself of bad nightmares....I'll definately come back for more from Axelson and hope he continues the characters in further offerins......more
Once again, Rick R Reed had me at "hello" - with a suspenseful tale of two very unlikely lovers meeting in very unlikely circumstances - ultimately toOnce again, Rick R Reed had me at "hello" - with a suspenseful tale of two very unlikely lovers meeting in very unlikely circumstances - ultimately to end a very likely path of togetherness! I simply loved this book; Reed grabbed me from the beginning and kept the suspense and thrill going until the very last page - in fact, I dare anyone to put Tricks down within the last 40 pages...Impossible! ...more
This book was incredible! I love sexy thrillers and The Good Thief proved far better than I expected. The pairing of a life-time criminal (thief) andThis book was incredible! I love sexy thrillers and The Good Thief proved far better than I expected. The pairing of a life-time criminal (thief) and hunky, masculine police office (cop) is one of the best I've read. Ths novel shines; sexy, dangerous, a love-story, and a fantastic ending to an incredible story. I will definately look for the follow-up and certainly look for other titles by Mr. Buchanan. Exceptional!!! ...more