This story is part of a series and is best read in order. Simon is co-chairing the latest convention for Charles Dickens' uncompleted novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, in Dickens Junction, the Droodists have come out in force, a wide selection of characters who love Charles Dickens work. Simon has his hands full with the activities but when a theft occurs of a priceless ring it is only the beginning of a week of murder, mystery and intrigue.
This is a great mystery story of the old fashioned sort, Miss Marple and Poirot spring to mind when reading The Edwin Drood Murders, taking you to a quaint town where a mystery falls into Simon's lap. The story starts out with Simon asking his boyfriend Zach an all important question but being put off for the time being until Zach has time to think about it, then Simon sets off for the convention. We are then treated to an interesting array of characters as all the players arrive at the hotel and some of them are not quite what they seem.
The mystery we are led on has us wondering what will happen next, has us guessing which suspicious character could be the culprit and what others are hiding. We discover horrendous and surprising murders and are left puzzled as to why the thefts occurred, and at the last, we appreciate Simon's fine mind at putting the puzzle together and explaining the fine details we overlooked. Simon's relationship with Zach plays out in the background, their loving relationship making itself known without any overt gestures. Simon does have his moments of insecurity at Zach's refusal to instantly accept his offer of moving in but it doesn't affect his relationship in the least.
This is a wonderfully written story that is an easy story to read and keeps you gripped with it's storyline, we connect with the characters as we get to know them and we mourn along with Simon in places. Each character has their own unique personality and while we take some to heart, we keep a suspicious eye on others but they all come together to keep your attention on the pages of this book.
I recommend this to those who love Dickens, mysteries, great characters, intriguing discoveries, a sweet relationship and a wonderful ending. ...more
Oliver is called by the dead to find their killers and assists the police in locating dead bodies, his contact is Detective Langham a man he has found himself falling in love with but he doesn't even know if Langham is gay. Oliver finds himself in the middle of a field after answering the call of a dead woman, soon after he is chased and driven off the road and Oliver knows it is the killer. Langham and Oliver work closer than ever before to track down the killer and the mystery of the sugar strands, and as more bodies pile up and suspicion is rampant, Langham makes his move and makes it clear to Oliver just how gay he is.
This story has a great premise of a psychic helping the police solve murders, but I found it sadly lacking in some areas. Oliver goes when the voices call, he goes to the bodies of the recently murdered and he helps the police locate the killers, but this new murder hits closer to home when he realizes he interrupted the killer. Oliver is also in love with his police contact Langham and it is an awkward dance as the two finally change their relationship in the midst of the investigation. There is also the chase to catch the killer as more people are murdered in brutal fashion, it is gory and bloody, and they discover that children are being experimented on.
The relationship between Langham and Oliver was confusing at first because they were constantly picking at each other and cursing each other out, I would not have called it a friendship at all, but then Oliver explains it is just the way they are with each other. Their relationship heats up as they work closely together and they track the leads, they face some homophobia from a fellow detective but don't let it effect what is developing between them. The one thing that got me more than anything was that we never learn Langham's first name, Oliver only ever calls him Langham and even thinks of him that way all the time and it made me feel the lack of real intimacy between them.
I really wanted to love this story because the blurb pulled me right in but I just couldn't. The storyline and plot was pretty good with the mystery of the murders and who was behind it all, and the investigation into the murder/s was exciting and intriguing, but, (and this is where I vent like a teenager) I gather that the setting is in England and while the author has done a fair job with the investigation she should have watched reruns of The Bill (an old British cop show) or A Touch Of Frost (British CID drama) to see the real workings of the 'Detectives' in England. (CID is the Criminal Investigation Department or Coppers In Disguise LOL)
I will recommend this to those who don't have a clue about British police, who love psychic's and murder investigations, love mystery and mayhem, a relationship that is both frustrating and passionate and a pretty good ending....more
Cort Strang is a homicide detective who is over worked and without a partner, when he is assigned a new case, involving a man strangled with a keyboard cord, he ends up asking the man who discovered the body, Patrick Gallagher to give him a helping hand. Gallagher is a detective in Computer Crimes and discovered the dead body of his neighbour, Strang catches his interest right away and Gallagher decides to pursue the man. With a murder to solve Strang juggles the case and Gallagher, even combining the two at times but will his attraction to Gallagher distract him from finding the murderer?
This was an enjoyable read that has some great investigating and some hot steamy encounters. Strang is investigating a murder of a socially inept man, but he finds himself finding parallels in his own life. When he meets Gallagher he takes the man up on his flirtation and also ropes him into helping on the case. Gallagher and Strang strike sparks off each other and have some hot steamy encounters but Strang can’t forget the case he is working on and although he might get a touch distracted nothing will stop him for hunting for the murderer.
Strang and Gallagher have a very intense fast moving relationship, they both like what they see so they get what they want. The murder and investigation is where the story really focus’, we see the steps that Strang takes to solve the murder and the sheer determination to carry on even though he is basically investigating it by himself and he is exhausted. I found the investigation to be really well done and it had me gripped as I followed the case and seeing the threads being pulled to bring the answers to the fore.
This is a great little story that is great for an afternoon murder mystery read, eat your heart out Poirot. If you love hot sex, a great storyline and the beginning of a hot relationship than you should give this one a go. ...more
WARNING: Some readers may find some scenes disturbing, Kidnapping, Rape, Murder.
Ben and Hugo are looking forward to their wedding and honeymoon, with only one or two niggles bothering them. Enjoying their honeymoon to the fullest the pair have a great time until the last day, when both men succumb to temptation but one of them lands in great danger. Hugo’s world is turned upside-down as Ben’s predicament becomes known. Someone from Ben’s past is pulling the strings for their own amusement and monetary gain and he has no plans on letting Ben slip through his long reaching grasp. As Hugo searches for husband and prays for his safe return he meets new friends. As the journey is continued love and loss are discovered.
Okay this story shows the dark side of BDSM, it shows people who prey on others and it shows, that sometimes, love just isn’t enough. Even though Ben loves Hugo he is very much led around by his dick, Hugo isn’t happy with Ben’s promiscuous behaviour but he loves the man so lets it go. On their honeymoon Hugo gives into temptation when Ben is sunning himself by the pool, but Ben is far from innocent as he slinks off for a tryst only to find himself bound and gagged. As Hugo frantically searches for his husband he makes new friends who help and support him, but as Ben’s captivity unfolds Hugo has to wonder if he will ever get his man back. Ben is used, abused and drugged and his recovery is far from over but the psychological effect are what everyone worries about and they are right to be concerned when his unconscious actions lead to tragedy.
I will be the first to admit that this story wasn’t for me, I don’t like cheating so it started on the wrong note for me when Hugo is thinking of Ben’s indiscretion with his best man before the wedding, it doesn’t get much better when Ben is openly suggesting threesomes and sleeping with other people. I also couldn’t understand what a man like Hugo was doing with such a self-centred prick but each to his own. The story got better as it delved into the psychological effects of the kidnapping and abuse and the glimpse it gave us of Ben and his actions after.
The writing was a bit stilted so it didn’t quite drag us into the horror of what is happening. The storyline left a distinct bad taste in my mouth for how all the men wanted to sleep with others and how they fell in love at the drop of the hat, I also found the last parts of the book harder to swallow and hated Ben for his lack of compassion and grief. I will also warn you that the loving couple at the beginning isn’t the same loving couple we find at the end. I will admit that the story premise was a good one but there were too many things that I personally found distasteful, especially the characters who had the emotional commitment of a gnat.
I will recommend this to those who love dark BDSM, kidnapping and sexual abuse, an interesting story premise and a happy for now ending. ...more
Dax is a police detective and an alpha wolf, he is currently trying to find out the reason why three black bear shifters were murdered. With no clues and completely stumped Dax turns to his ex-lover Adin to see if he could shed some light on what is happening to his fellow black bear shifters, Dax finds that his feelings for Adin never faded and as the murders continue Dax has to try and rein in his possessive, protective nature. Adin’s always regretted that things didn’t work out with Dax but he refuses to be ordered about, when Dax turns up asking for information on bear shifters Adin and Dax burn up the sheets but the problems are still between them. When Adin comes into the killers sights Dax sees for himself that Adin can take care of himself and the two come to a happy medium.
This is quite a good shifter story with some great background and insights, the story is well written and quite enjoyable. I liked the characters and the storyline and also enjoyed the fact that there was no insta-love or fated mates, it was just two shifters who were attracted to each other compatible in bed but seemingly incompatible out of bed. Dax is pure alpha and wasn’t able to control his need to protect what is his, Adin is a bear shifter who has always taken care of himself put the two together and you have smoking hot sex but a clash of personalities. There is a killer silently killing bear shifters for their own twisted revenge and it is the catalyst that drives Dax back to Adin. While trying to catch a killer Adin and Dax’s explosive relationship reignites but they still have issues to overcome if they don’t want it to splutter out.
This story is actually written from three perspectives Dax’s, Adin’s and the killers, so we can see everything that is going on. The relationship between Adin and Dax is explosive and they are fantastic together in bed, but out of bed Dax has to get a grip on his instincts because Adin won’t be coddled. You get a great feel for both characters and what they both feel and how they both struggle with Dax’s protective instincts, their relationship isn’t perfect but this time they are willing to try. The killer is someone who you, in a way, feel sorry for, they have been through their own hell and it has twisted them and that shines through from the killer’s thoughts and feelings.
I recommend this to those that love shifters, a twisted killer who is determined to get revenge, two shifters who have to work through their instincts, hot sex and a great ending. ...more
After returning from Afghanistan with a bum leg, no job and images of friends burned into his memory Sean doesn’t know what he is going to do next and has no real interest in anything, until he gets drunk one night, falls down a manhole and wakes up to Roman. Roman is a wounded ex-soldier who is part of a secret group of former soldiers who live in the forgotten underground tunnels. Roman has no interest in sex, but he wants a relationship for the love and comfort, which is something nobody else really understands. Kristian is in charge of their little group and is very protective of Roman. Detective Michael Brackett is a friend to the homeless soldiers. A serial killer is on the loose and homeless veterans are being targeted, there are very few clues but Roman knows more than he thinks and when he begins to remember, all their lives are in danger.
This is a great story of homeless veterans who have basically been forgotten by their government, who all have their own nightmares and injuries and come together to support each other. Sean returns from the war with no clue as to what to do next, meeting Roman sets him on a course he would never have ventured on before and he meets men that has him exploring something that he never knew he wanted. Roman has a very faulty memory as a result of a war injury, he is asexual and has many good friends. Kristian is a protective man he will do anything to keep his friends safe and when he discovers that another homeless veteran, a man who he called a friend, has been murdered he tries to keep a closer eye on all of them. Brackett is a detective who was once close to Kristian, now they are at loggerheads, but when Roman asks for his help Brackett is introduced to Sean and he introduces Sean to rope-play.
This is a brilliant written story, dragging us into the underground of Philadelphia and the lives of a group of veterans who live there. The relationship aspects of the story is jumbled and confusing, not just to us but to the men involved as well. Finding friendship and sex and love and mixing it all together to give us a complex storyline that isn’t quite resolved at the end of the story. The murder side is very interesting especially as bits and pieces of Roman’s memory flashes giving him hints that he knows more, and then we have the mystery water and its magical healing powers, a very interesting twist.
All the characters are good and we get perspectives mainly from Sean and Roman, although we do get brief perspectives of others. There is some casual sex in this story but not much on page, we do get some wonderful rope-play scenes and great descriptions about how Sean feels about it. But what I loved about this story is that it doesn’t pull punches about how the veterans are treated and ignored by the government they fought for. I loved the incredible descriptions of Roman’s memory when we see through his eyes. I loved the descriptions of the underground, being taken down into a world that has been long forgotten.
I recommend this to those that love veterans finding a way to survive, a murder mystery that’s interesting, damaged men who are just trying to find something better and finding friendship, and companionship and love. ...more
This story is set in 1997. Thomas Noel is a priest turned homicide detective with the Kansas City police, when the body of a boy is found crucified Thomas is assigned the case. With his new partner, Daniel Qo, he investigates and the clues all point to a secretive traditional Catholic group, a group whose leader will do anything to keep his secrets. Thomas also has his fierce attraction to Daniel to deal with and the unexpected return of his mentally ill mother.
This is a great little mystery story that is steeped in Catholic history and murder. Thomas is a character that is a mystery himself, after an abusive childhood he turned to the Catholic Church (Franciscan) for comfort and becoming a priest, but he never quite found what he was looking for and he explored other religions before settling on Buddhism, now he is a homicide detective. Daniel is his new partner who is pretty blunt and to the point, he likes what he sees in the older Thomas and makes no apologies for it. The murder investigation is quite involved with Thomas and Daniel both slogging their way through trying to find even the smallest of clues, which leads them to a secretive Catholic group where they have to tread carefully.
The murder investigation is very interesting and you also get pulled in by the mystery of Thomas’s past, Thomas’s relationship with Daniel is just in the beginning stages but looks like it has huge potential. We are treated to a large amount of Catholic history while they investigate the murder and it is more informative rather than religious. Surprisingly, with Thomas, we don’t get treated with guilt because he is gay, he accepts his sexuality easily, what we do get from him is confusing emotions concerning his mother and we get blatant facts and hints as to why. I have to tell you that I admired Thomas’s powers of deduction because I didn’t have much of a clue as to who the murderer was other than an idea that it was someone involved high up in the Church group, how Thomas put it together was pretty impressive.
I can’t say this story was perfect though because throughout it felt like something was missing, that small something that would give it an edge. It was kind of bland, even in some of the descriptions they never quite came alive for me, reminded me more of a medical textbook instead of a description of torture and murder. Even though there is potential between Daniel and Thomas, and Thomas seems to be really into Daniel, I found their sexual couplings lacking because it felt more like a quick hook-up rather than a build-up to something more meaningful.
I recommend this to those who love murder mysteries, danger, attempted cover-ups, Catholic Church history, pretty good characters and interesting storyline. ...more
This book is part of a series and although I recommend reading them in order this book can be read as a standalone. Jack is frustrated when his leave is cancelled but is thankful for a few extra days with his lover Rory, working together in the British Army they have to be extra cautious in their relationship because discovery could ruin them both. Being called to a Germany base to investigate the brutal murder of a Territorial Army translator gives them the chance for some room hopping, but the investigation takes a sinister turn as they dig deeper and they discover a connection to a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
This is a great story based within the British Military and following the Military Police as they investigate a murder but we also get to delve into the relationship of Jack and Rory and see how it’s progressing. Jack is looking forward to visiting his parents in Spain for Christmas, while Rory has New Year’s off, but Jack’s plans are thrown into chaos when his leave is cancelled at the last minute and he and Rory have to go to Germany and get to the bottom of a grisly murder.
We get to see how both Jack and Rory struggle with the strictures placed on them in their relationship by them both being in the Army especially with Rory being a Captain and Jack a Staff Sergeant, they are cautious but Rory is extra cautious because of what happened in the past and Jack learns he doesn’t know his lover as much as he thought he did. We also see Rory’s jealousy of Jack’s loving family but it doesn’t interfere with their relationship, these men are very hot together and make a well suited couple even if they are forced to stay in the closet.
The investigation is really good with some interesting characters, the language is blunt and there is no beating about the bush in this book or political correctness… all the characters are blunt and to the point. I liked the way that even though Jack and Rory’s relationship is very important it faded into the background when it came to the investigation, because damn was that part of the story great with both Rory and Jack using any means necessary (well nearly) to get to the truth.
I will recommend this to those who love their men blunt and manly, their sex hot and rough at times, their murders gruesome, their military British, strict and blunt and their men getting a happy for now ending. ...more
This story is part of a series and best read in order. Nick and Jeff are on a mundane case, taking photos of a cheating spouse but the case gets complicated when the spouse is shot dead in front of them, they soon become involved in a mystery and kidnapping with Nick and Jeff puzzling over who is behind it all. Is it the wife of the dead man, his fiancée, her father or her brother?
This is quite a good murder mystery with a kidnapping/disappearance thrown in. Nick and Jeff find themselves embroiled in a murder when the man they are following gets shot dead in front of them, just as they think they can put it to rest the man’s fiancée, Shelley, is kidnapped and her brother asks them to find her. Things get more complicated as they dig deeper and Nick’s gut keeps him going and Nick ends up facing a brush with death, will Nick survive long enough to get the one’s responsible?
I found this story to be well written and the characters to be very interesting; there are references to previous storylines so it’s best if you have read the previous books and maybe the Portrait series as well. We see Nick and Jeff along with their partners Eric and Peter as they work their way through a new investigation and also as they juggle their relationships with work. The murder and kidnapping are a great mystery and the twists and turns keep you reading.
The story is mainly about Nick so although we do see the other characters they aren’t as deeply involved, although we do have some hot sex scenes between Nick and Eric, the story is mainly about the investigation. There is a background relationship between Shaun (Shelley’s brother) and his ex-boyfriend Colin and it’s quite sweet, it is woven in well with the rest of the story and adds a touch of happiness to a bleak landscape.
I will recommend this story to those who love murder, mystery, kidnappings, private investigations, heartless fathers, concerned brothers, a great storyline and a great ending. ...more
Tadd (Ares) and Declan (Hermes) are living happy mortal lives when they discover Sofia (Athena) dead in their foyer, now they are commanded by Bront (Zeus) to discover who the murderer is. But investigating their fellow Gods and Goddesses is not easy, and the strain starts to show in their relationship as the death count mounts and their fellow Olympians cause problems.
This is a very interesting storyline of murder and revenge amongst the Greek Gods. Tadd and Declan are happily married and they own successful businesses, but a spanner gets thrown in the works when they discover the body of a woman in their home, and even worse she was the Goddess Athena. Now they have been told by Zeus to discover who committed the murder but the bodies keep coming and they are no closer to finding the murderer. Their own lives come into danger as they try to track the killer and their relationship begins to fall apart when Declan listens to whispers.
I have got to admit I was excited when I first got this book; the cover interested me, so I read the blurb and it intrigued me, someone is picking off the Gods and Goddesses of Olympus and it is one of their own number. It had me interested even before I opened it and yes it was pretty good but I found the writing strange, instead of pulling me into the book and living it with them, it felt like I was just an observer on the side-lines, as though the author was setting the stage each step of the way and the characters were actors being given direction.
The storyline was good and the mystery was interesting, and I must admit discovering who it was and why I felt sorry for the poor Olympian and, well, let’s just say I may have snapped hundreds of years before, lol. The interaction between the characters didn’t work for me, I just couldn’t connect with them and I don’t know if it was because of the way it was written, but I couldn’t see any real connection between Declan and Tadd other than them saying they loved each other.
I will recommend this to those who love Greek Gods, murder, mystery, revenge, angry Gods and Goddesses and a happy ending (for some of the Olympians anyway)....more
Zack and his partner, Claire, are the detectives in charge of the murder outside the club Inferno. Jack pegs club owner, Dante, as the murderer and is determined to bring him in. but, against all odds he can’t fight his attraction to the dark sexy man.
This is a wonderful novel from Scarlet Blackwell where the characters are as complex as they are interesting. Zack takes an instant dislike to Dante when he interviews him about a murder behind his club. Is it because he really believes him to be the culprit or because of his fierce attraction to the man? One thing Zack knows for sure is he won’t rest until the culprit is behind bars and he will do everything he can to prove Dante is that man. But, his attraction blindsided him and puts him in a position where everything falls apart and he only has one thing left to hold onto… Dante.
This is one of those books that grip you from the beginning. It pulls you into the complex world of two strong stubborn men and gives you an array of twists and turns you truly don’t see coming and all the while it is feeding us with hot sex, complex characters, an interesting police investigation and two sexy stubborn men. This so didn’t follow the formula that I have got used to in crime stories, I was gobsmacked by some turns of events and wondered what the hell Zack would do next. His relationship with Dante always seemed to hit a brick wall and it takes some deep determination from Zack to begin to crack Dante’s ice encased heart.
Dante is one of the coldest characters I have come across, but there is vulnerability that we catch glimpses of. he truly thinks he doesn’t deserve happiness and that he is no good to anyone. Jack has his hands full proving otherwise, so there are clashes between them, but when they are together there are sparks between them that become explosive and passionate when they have sex. It is far from easy for Zack, mostly because of how Dante treats him, but also because he has no control over how he feels for Dante.
The writing, storyline and plot are brilliant. Actually seeing a MC paying for the consequences of his actions is pretty rare, but damn it was done well. Dante has some deep-seated issues which we just catch snippets of and Jack is deep in the closet at work. A character I liked, which surprised me, was Claire, we see things from her POV a couple of times and that actually added to the story.
So, I am going to recommend this to those who like hot broken men, crime dramas, mistakes made and paid for, conflicting emotions and a surprising happy ending....more
Sean is in serious trouble. His past has come back for him, but he really doesn’t have a clue who from his past it could be. When Sean flees the scene of a murder, he runs right into Harry’s arms. Harry convinces Sean to let him help and it is the beginning of a game of cat and mouse with an insane killer who will stop at nothing to make Sean pay. As the two men try to think of a way to end the game, they become what Harry had always hoped for.
This is an incredible well-written story that starts out intense and doesn’t let up until the very end. Sean is a hustler and while he dreams of having a better life, he knows that at the moment hustling pays well. Harry owns his own hair salon and is forty-five. He dreams of having a relationship with Sean, who is more than half his age. These two men come together when Sean needs protection and it is a fight for both of them to survive. The pale man is out to punish Sean. Sean caused him to commit his one sin and now he needs cleansing, he is doing God’s work, a mission that would give him absolution and nothing will stand in his way.
This book is from several POVs, from Harry and Sean’s, to the Pale man, to the lead detectives. We get a well-rounded full view of all aspects of the story and I have to say I loved it. We get the feelings of each person and the reasons behind why they do stuff. So, instead of sitting there baffled by what a person has done you completely understand exactly what is going on. You get to relate to characters that we wouldn’t normally get the chance to and it gave the author a wider scope to work with. The main story in this book is about the plan to set-up and kill Sean, the reason behind it and the murders the Pale man commits. The story of Harry and Sean is there, but it lingers in the background, only coming forward when it needs to. We also get to know the two main detectives very well and they add a bit of light relief at times.
The relationship between Harry and Sean really is secondary, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important because seeing these two come together is really nice. Yes, at first, you doubt that Sean is being serious, but then you realize that he really does genuinely care for Harry and they fit together nicely.
With this one I am going to recommend it to those who love mystery, suspense, danger, tension, conflict, protective friends, fantastic characters, a brilliant story-line and a happy ending for Sean and Harry....more
Billy and Ethan are partners on the job and have just caught a murder which is brutal. As they investigate, they discover the victim was gay and the person who did it was someone who had been close to him at one point. Now, it is up to Ethan and Billy to find the killer before he strikes again.
Okay, everyone this is not a romance; there’s no kissing, no sex scenes and no declarations of undying love for a lover. (Oi. where do you think you’re going? Get back here and read this review) but, what we do have is a great mystery/detective story and one of the detectives just happen to be gay. Ethan is partnered with Billy, when they get a murder case they start to investigate. Ethan discovers that Billy already knows that he is gay and doesn’t have a problem with it. By the end of the case, he is out of the closet at work and fully accepted.
The mystery was really good and I liked the way it progressed and the weaving of the characters and their interaction with each other. I found this story to be quite humorous and thought Billy was a hoot. Ethan is a great guy and the supporting characters were great as well, even the annoying gay activist. You only meet Ethan’s partner in life near the end, so you don’t get much interaction between them, but, what you do see is a solid relationship. This book seemed to be more about the relationships that Ethan has with his friends and how he sees Billy’s family as his own. And Billy and his family accept Ethan and Robbie with open arms, which Ethan never got from his own family.
So, this one I will recommend to those who want a gay character in a story without relationship angst, the everyday life of a gay police detective and his straight partner, watching the bonds of family strengthen between friends and a happy ending where the police catch the bad guy in a good mystery....more