Title: Cairo Curse (Vampire’s Lair #2)
Author: Geoffrey Knight
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Length: 14k words
Genre: m/m/m Fantasy/Paranormal Horror Erotica
Heat: 5 – Off the Charts!
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often (including the sexual tension)
Keywords/Tags: Series, Short Story, Charlie Harding Presents, Mythology, Egypt, Suspense, Models, Vampires, Cats, Orgy, Public Sex, Rent Boys, Sexy to the 999s
Rating: Pretty Good
Love is dangerous. Life is fleeting. And the choices we make can last an Eternity.
On a photo shoot in Cairo, lovelorn American model Nash Sommers harbors a secret lust for his handsome and confident colleague Ryan Thomas. When a drunken evening leads them to Cairo’s coolest nightclub, the two young men decide to explore the undiscovered pleasures of their relationship with the inclusion of a third party-a handsome, mysterious young Egyptian who lures them away from the nightclub…
…and into the dark realms of the City of the Dead. There, deep within a secret tomb, Nash’s languishing lust for Ryan will be put to the ultimate test in the presence of a dark and ancient Egyptian vampire, the evil Ramseth.
Will the young Americans be seduced by sin? Will passion and pride lead to eternal punishment? Will the one thing Nash desires most be his doom?
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this story, especially when after I reviewed the first book in this series, Miami Moon, Geoff told me that the second story in the series was quite different. Well, in the sense of hot hot hot sex, it wasn’t at all! But, I found this story to be much more mysterious and with tinges of horror, where the first story seemed more exciting than suspenseful. This story was actually better, in my opinion, though I think they can definitely be read as standalone stories and if I’m not mistaken, don’t have a whole lot to do with one another besides theme and style of writing.
In Cairo Curse we’re taken to a more exotic locale, where our two main characters are excited about the somewhat dangerous possibilities of the city. Nash is an ex- rent boy turned model who is in love with co-model Ryan. The two are often photographed together because of their chemistry and beauty as a pair. But Nash is in love with Ryan, and Ryan just seems to be a playboy — hot, single and ready to fuck the next guy — and the life of the party. Nash, on the other hand, is somewhat of a shy guy. His singular beauty makes him stand out, but away from the camera Nash always seems to be in Ryan’s shadow, allowing himself to follow Ryan just for the chance to be near him.
After their shoot in Cairo, where Ryan seems to be much more sexually forward with Nash than usual, he decides that tonight might be the night. Ryan drags Nash to a club and convinces him to have fun with an exotic Egyptian beauty who has caught their eye. It’s a chance to be with the man he’s wanted for so long. And… the other guy is pretty hot. Nash decides to go for it.
But when the unknown man takes them through a dark labyrinth of the city, where their journey seems to take them back through time in the amazing secret history of the city, Nash starts to have doubts. Ryan keeps him going, blinded by the thought of what will happen when they reach their destination, they have no idea that they’re being led into a trap.
I actually specifically marked Horror in the genre and tagged this book with Suspense, because I found the story to be really done well in this regard. I wouldn’t say specifically that this was scary, so those of you who don’t like Horror at all can be comforted. But, the intention of the story is what I would call Horror, the darker side of vampires as prey instead of emo teenagers 😉 In some ways this story reminded me of many of Rick Reed’s paranormal horror stories. They have ambiguous endings that lend to the suspense in the story. I quite like this style of story and I always really like when we see vampires and such as ruthless hunters because the vampire genre is lately so tipped in the other direction towards tame creatures. Seeing a more historical understanding of a demonic creature of the night is satisfying to me. And Ramseth was definitely a horrific creature of the night.
In that regard, I really loved the sex in this story! Storm Moon Press recently published an anthology of horror sex, called Queer Fear, about the heightening of sex through fear, and this story would have gone perfectly in that collection, where many of the stories focus on the paranormal. I mention this because the suspense in the story starts right from the beginning. The strange and beautiful Egyptian man hovers over them throughout the story as the sexual tension builds between them. Fear and Heat go hand in hand and it works really, really well to heighten the sexual satisfaction from the story. I mean… if you’re into that kind of thing 😉
So I’m quite satisfied from this sequel to Miami Moon, which I also really enjoyed. I just didn’t quite expect the difference in the stories and I didn’t expect that there seemed to be little cohesion between the stories. That was the only thing that I wasn’t quite sure of. I don’t know the direction this series is going in; or, even if there is a next book or if it’s coming soon. Both stories Recommended.
Posted by Cole in 4 Pretty Good, Authors J-L, Erotica, Fantasy, Heat 5 - Off the Charts!, Horror, m/m/m Polyamorous, Paranormal, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often, up to 15k Tags: Cats, Charlie Harding Presents, Egyptian, Geoffrey Knight, Models, Mythology, Orgy, Public Sex, Rent Boy, Series, Sexy to the 999's, Short Story, Suspense, Vampire, Vampire's Lair, Wilde City Press
Title: The Gravedigger’s Brawl
Author: Abigail Roux
Length: 66k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Paranormal Horror Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Ghosts, Bartenders, Nerds/Geeks, History, Mystery, Scary!, The Occult
Rating: Really Liked It
When the past comes back to haunt you, order a double.
Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix.
Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.
But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.
It’s been a while since I read anything by Abigail Roux, not having read any of her Cut & Run series yet (I know, I know!), so I was really excited to read The Gravedigger’s Brawl, especially since I heard it was rather scary. While I didn’t really find it that scary, there were a few moments, which made me quite happy. I decided a while ago that I’d rather not read anymore really sweet ghost stories. I don’t know why, but they just don’t do anything for me. If I read a story about ghosts, I want something scary. So, while I didn’t find myself wanting to turn on the lights while reading in bed at night, I did find it pleasantly spooky enough to be an exciting and engaging read. Much of that comes from the mystery portion, which I found rather interesting with the real tidbits of unique American history thrown in. But most of all, Abigail showed just how good of a suspense author she is.
Dr. Wyatt Case is the Director at the local History Museum and his job is on tenuous footing. The board is trying to push him out, using low ticket sales and interest as the reason, no matter their own choices to move forward with a renovation plan that only exacerbates the issues. After all, Wyatt is an easy scapegoat. More than just the possibility of losing his job though, Wyatt loves the museum. He’s a history geek through and through and not much is as important, until his best friend and co-worker brings him to Gravedigger’s, a local bar famous for their flair bartenders and spooky history. Ash Lucroix is great at spinning a bottle and he and Wyatt immediately hit it off, their eccentric personalities meshing well. But when Wyatt’s lack of confidence leads him to make a major faux pas, their relationship gets off to a shaky start, and might be finished entirely.
Meanwhile, they have some major problems on their hands. The workers at the bar are hearing and seeing strange things, but most of them are eager to dismiss them. When the forces at work start to target Ash, however, Wyatt’s disability to take anything on faith and his need for concrete evidence throws another wrench into their relationship, serving to drive them apart and drive Ash further down a depressing spiral and right into the hands of the malicious force.
I’m sure this isn’t news to most of you, but Abby Roux really is a fantastic author. Here, all the elements of the story are interwoven harmoniously, so that while I can pick out and pinpoint certain things that were really good (like the suspense, the history, and the characters), they don’t really stand out much because the whole story was wonderful. That’s the way it should be. Nothing really stood out to me as disruptive to the flow of the rest of the story and I don’t really have many criticism. The only thing that I could really say, is that I thought the final confrontation a little … well, cheesy. Maybe I’m alone in this. I purposefully haven’t read any reviews for this novel in months so that I’m not biased by anyone else’s feelings. But… I felt like this really great story that had me on the edge of my seat went a little … Halloween-y. Still, it was a minor thing and it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. And I could see where it might have been supposed to be a bit funny. The problem was that it made me bust out laughing and I’m not sure that’s the reaction I was supposed to have!
So if you haven’t read this yet, be assured that it’s another good book from Ms. Roux, and that it definitely isn’t a historical. I know I’m not the only one that thought it was at first 🙂 You’ll enjoy it, and you’ll probably find it scary. Okay, I admit that there was one part that really got to me (do the words alley and keys make sense to anyone?). If you aren’t me, you might have a lower tolerance for scares and thrills, so I’ll just go right ahead and say it’s definitely got a scary element. Definitely recommended!
Posted by Cole in 41-75k, 5 Really Like It, Authors P-R, Contemporary, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Sex Freq 3 - Average Story to Sex Tags: Abigail Roux, Bartenders, Ghosts/Spirits, History, Mystery, Nerds/Geeks, Riptide Publishing, Scary!, The Occult
Author: KJ Pedersen
Length: 56,489 words
Genre: M/M Contemporary Paranormal Horror Romance
Heat: 3 – Mild & Sexy
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sex to Story
Keywords/Tags: Young Adult Characters, Bisexual, Homophobia, Religious Mythology, Drinking/Drug Use (weed), High School, Hawaii, Closeted/Coming Out
Rating: Not Feelin’ It
Reviewed by Sadonna
Josiah Halden’s life is coming apart. He’s an athletic, handsome high school senior bound for college. He should be on top of the world. Instead, he’s struggling with his sexuality and nursing a crush on John from his gym class, and he’s plagued by nightmares and impossible visions of the night his parents died—visions he fears are an early indicator of the mental illness that runs in his family.
But the nightmares are part of something more sinister than madness, something linked to the strange black iron idol of a Caananite warrior-god Josiah inherited from his father, which keeps showing up in his dreams. Josiah’s friend Makani insists the statue is “wrong”—but that’s ridiculous, isn’t it? After all, it’s only a statue….
When it took me several days to read this book, I knew that something definitely was not working for me. The opening prologue was quite unsettling. It read like something from a horror novel, which is a genre that I avoid like the plague. This did not bode well. What follows is a book that seemed to me to be very confused as to what it wants to be when it grows up. Horror? Coming of age/coming out? Paranormal? Religious/alien mythology? There were so many elements and so many things going on that I found myself trying to keep up with the various threads of the book and ultimately not really caring about any of them.
The main story is about a boy, Josiah Halden, whose British parents were brutally murdered and the culprit was never caught. He has been raised by his aunt and uncle on the Big Island of Hawaii (a really lovely place that you should try to visit), which is the setting of this story. He is a senior in high school and he’s in the “popular” jock crowd but he’s got a secret that is causing him a lot of angst. He is definitely not straight and he’s getting some grief from his friends. On top of that, he is on his own while his aunt and uncle are away and he’s having horrible nightmares that seem to be linked to a mysterious statue that he inherited from his parents. He is also attracted to a boy in his class, John, who is new from mainland. His friends are giving John a really hard time and he also has an awful home life that includes a lazy homophobic father. John is attracted to Josiah as well, but he is terrified of anyone knowing that he might be gay.
Josiah also has a good friend Makani who he had grown distant from over the years, but they seem to be rekindling their friendship – which has had a sexual component. Makani is also good friends with John and especially John’s younger brother. There is quite a bit of conflict with these different groups of friends for Josiah and he tries to walk the line and keep friendly with all of them. The stress of this social pressure and the nightmares are making Josiah think he is going crazy and since there is a family history, he is really concerned. He confides his concerns to Makani who tries to calm him.
Interspersed in this narrative of Josiah’s life is this ongoing “history” of the origin of the statue in question. This statue seems to be the source of the bad things that happen. I have to say that part of the story held zero interest for me. I just wanted to get through it and get on with the story. Ultimately there is a tragedy that devastates all of the boys and there is a confrontation that was pretty unbelievable to me and finally it was over.
While the population of this novel is mainly young adults (high school age boys 18 and under), I was a little surprised by the amount of underage drinking, drug use and casual sex that takes place. I know it has not been marketed as Young Adult, nor should it be for these reasons. In the end, this story just didn’t work for me on any level.
Posted by Sadonna in 2 Not Feelin' It, 41-75k, Authors P-R, Contemporary, Heat 3 - Sexy & Mild, Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Sex Freq 3 - Average Story to Sex Tags: Bisexual, Closeted, Coming Out, Dreamspinner Press, Drug Use, Hawaii, High School, Homophobia, KJ Pedersen, Mythology, Religion, Young Adult Characters
Title: The Flesh Cartel #3: Choices
Author: Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz
Length: 18,800 words
Genre: m/m, Contemporary, BDSM/Kink, Erotica, Poly, Horror
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Angst, Captive/Slave, Cliffhanger, Dark, Dub/Non-Con, Emotionally/Physically Damaged, Family, Humiliation, Non-Romance, Physical Abuse, Serial, Sexual Abuse/Assault, Short Story, Watersports
Rating: Pretty Good
Reviewed by Nikyta
**This review contains possibly major spoilers so read at your own risk!**
The Flesh Cartel returns for a compelling second season with “Choices.” Brothers Mat and Dougie Carmichael thought nothing could be worse than being snatched from their home and brutally dehumanized in preparation for sale as sex slaves. But they learn their suffering has only just begun when they’re shipped to their new master’s home.
Professional trainer Nikolai Petrovic is a master of his trade. His ultra-rich clientele pay him to create perfectly tailored playthings, and Mat and Dougie are the latest in a long line of men who have walked into his remote mountain home as terrified victims and left it permanently altered: subdued and obedient, ready and even eager for a life of service.
To achieve this, Nikolai must take a drastically different tack with each brother. Dougie, manipulated with affection and denial. Mat, controlled by pain and fear. The one thread in common for both men is choice. Nikolai prides himself on never forcing, but will Mat and Dougie submit willingly to his vision, or will they first need to learn the price of disobedience?
Choices, the start of season two of The Flesh Cartel, starts off right where Auction left off. Mat and Dougie have been bought and are being moved to their new master. First, Dougie is stripped of almost all his senses, forced into sensory deprivation, he slowly starts to go mad, fearing he’ll lose his mind and they’ll break him. Mat is now the only one subjected to constant torture, abuse and rape while Mat and Dougie wait days before they can finally leave the Madame’s facility. Unfortunately for Mat, their new master, Nikolai, is almost as bad when he forces Mat to endure endless pain throughout his body brought on by drugs. Dougie is given a reprieve when Nikolai treats him like a precious toy. Treating each brother differently – Mat with pain and Dougie with care – he’s training them by giving them choices. But they must remember, choices come with consequences and it’s up to the brothers to decide what type of consequence they’ll receive.
One thing can be said about these authors, they sure know how to weave a captivating tale! Whereas the previous two stories were gruesome and intense, this story was not as bad. It still provided some moments of cruelty and abuse but most of the damage is told rather than shown and all of it through Mat’s perspective and only briefly. It seemed like most of the story is told from Nikolai’s POV and his reactions to the brothers. Whereas he must train Mat for his client, he wants Dougie, covets him it seems like. He’s under the impression when he’s done training the brothers, he’ll sell them and give them a life of contentment, something that they’ll be eager to embrace and take great pleasure in. The brothers obviously disagree but Nikolai is firm in his opinion.
Nikolai is actually a creepy person. He’s adamant he’s not a sadist or even enjoys the work he does, yet he does take great pleasure in seeing the brothers submit, especially Dougie. I find him worse than the Madame, which I didn’t realize was possible until Dougie and Mat arrived at Nikolai’s home, where Nikolai’s true colors are shown and the brothers must make their choices on how they’ll proceed. Mat fights as much as he can, as is his nature, but he’s not very successful. Dougie grows a bit of a spine but then realizes he’s in for pain and quickly reevaluates his situation.
One thing that sucks about this serial is that they literally pick up right where the last one left off. Unfortunately, because of the weeks/months in between each reading and the lack of a recap before the story starts, I was pretty much confused on what was happening in the beginning and why because I couldn’t really remember how it ended. There’s a brief mention of the auction but that didn’t help in reminding me or what exactly Dougie had done to Mat. It took a bit before I was able to recall at least the major pieces (I do have a horrible memory though lol). I won’t deny it’s still a captivating story. I was drawn into it and no matter how much I wanted to stop, I had this compulsion to keep reading. Unfortunately, that compulsion was quickly followed by disappointed when the story actually ended leaving me extremely dissatisfied. I didn’t feel like there was much progress with this segment as there possibly should have been. Considering how much weight episode one and two held, I was expecting something a bit more.
Overall, I liked the story. It’s an alluring read, well-written to the point I didn’t want to stop reading. However, with the way each story is ending, and with this one not feeling like it progressed much, I feel like I’m left with more questions and a slow sense of frustration. With that said, for those who are brave enough and have liked the first season, they’ll enjoy this one as well.
Posted by Nikyta in 16-40k, 4 Pretty Good, Authors A-C, Authors G-I, BDSM / Kink, Contemporary, Erotica, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Horror, m/m/m Polyamorous, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often Tags: Angst-alicious, Captive/Slave, Cliff-hanger, dark, Dub/Non-Con, Emotionally/Physically Damaged, Family, Heidi Belleau, Humiliation, Non-Romance, Physical Abuse, Rachel Haimowitz, Riptide Publishing, Serial, Sexual Abuse/Assault, Short Story, The Flesh Cartel, Watersports
Title: Lesser Evils
Author: Andrea Speed
Length: 150,486 words
Genre: m/m Paranormal, Horror, Mystery, Romance
Heat: 2 – Romantic & Tame
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Shifters, Serial Killer, Urban Fantasy, Series
Rating: Really liked it
Reviewed by Sadonna
Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t read the first five books in this series, information in this review can be considered spoilers. It is not recommended to read this series out of order as each story builds on the previous history of the characters and events.
In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.
Until recently, Roan was ahead of the curve when it came to reining in the lion that lives inside him. Now his control is slipping at the worst possible times. A new drug has hit the streets—one that triggers unscheduled changes in infected users. Street hustler Holden Krause gets attacked by one of his clients, then is surprised to find himself involved in an unwanted, unexpected relationship. And a serial killer begins targeting infecteds in their cat form—something that’s 100 percent legal.
To stop the murders, Roan has to work outside the law. But his newfound thirst for violence makes him worry he might be more like the killer than he thought, and his reluctance to talk about it with his husband, Dylan, puts an extra strain on their relationship. So Roan isn’t just fighting the killer and struggling with his mutating virus… he’s trying to save himself.
This latest installment of the starts with a bang and we continue on the usual roller-coaster ride that is the Infected series. If you are not familiar with this series, each of the published books includes two stories/mysteries from Andrea Speed’s serial, but the flow of the stories is not impeded by this format.
Roan is less able to control the lion and he feels like he is becoming a danger to everyone human around him – especially after he accidentally cracks a skull when he attempts to pull his punch. He has recently gotten news from his doctor that the virus is mutating yet again and his physiology is changing in new and unexplainable ways. He confesses the truth to Dylan and Dylan is worried that he is giving up.
The Church of the Divine Transformation approaches Roan about becoming a leader among the Infected which he promptly dismisses. But as the first story/mystery evolves, a new “designer” drug that specifically targets and kills infecteds gets his attention and he begins to think maybe he does need to do something. He is repeatedly called to intervene as the drug continues to crop up in various venues costing both infected and human lives. The race is on to figure out who is making the drug and why and how they are distributing it. It’s so sophisticated even Dr. Rosenberg, Roan’s doctor and an authority on the werevirus can’t figure out how it’s being made. Of course Roan decides to hunt down the drug dealers. As the incidents become more deadly, Roan determines that he can’t just sit on the sidelines.
In the meantime, Holden, his sometimes assistant who is also a high class rent boy has gotten involved with a high profile client who decides to try some rough stuff with him. When Holden informs the client that he won’t tolerate that, he is nearly beaten to death. Needless to say, Roan does not take kindly to this. His method of dealing with the perpetrators scares him – he feels himself becoming less human. Dylan once again tries to convince him he is wrong.
One of the fun aspects of this book is the reappearance of Roan’s hockey team posse. Local minor league players Tank and Scott and Grey and Jeff are around to perform various functions for Roan: getting him out of the hospital and protecting him from bigots, protecting his house, cheering him up when he’s down, and distracting him from the crap that just keeps coming. These guys are a great addition to this series and I hope we continue to see them. We also get treated to/tortured with some more conversations with Paris. These always make me sad but I love that the author includes them as the series continues.
In the second half of this installment, the mystery and pace of the novel and didn’t match the first half for a few chapters. There is a one off rescue with Holden and then a mysterious “missing persons” case that didn’t work for me, but it was shorter section of book. Somehow for me, these pieces felt like they didn’t belong in this book.
The final episode of this volume involves a serial killer who is hunting cats. Unfortunately it’s not really a crime to kill infecteds in their cat form. Roan is appalled by the lack of concern from the police. It seems that they are only “people” in his mind. He decides he will stalk the killer since nobody else is willing to spend any resources try to protect these “undesirables.” Holden is of course involved in this case as well – he has become Roan’s go-to guy. As Roan merges more with the lion he seems to have more trouble controlling his shifts and his health is once again endangered. The cliffhanger of at the end of this book is making me anxious about the next one (which has been contracted, but does not have a release date).
This is one of my favorite series because of the characters. In case you haven’t realized it yet, I have a particular affinity for really f*ed up characters and Roan is certainly one of the best the genre. He’s fighting against everything in his life, but mostly himself. His “family” of loved ones and friends keeps pulling him back from brink when he sinks too low. Each book is an emotional ride, so be warned if you are considering diving into this series. The pool is deep, but worth it.
Posted by Sadonna in 126k+, 5 Really Like It, Authors S-U, Heat 2 - Romantic & Tame, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Sex Freq 2 - Few and Far Between Tags: Infected series, Serial Killer, Series, Shifters, Urban Fantasy
Title: The Flesh Cartel #2: Auction
Author: Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz
Length: 17,600 words, 63 pages
Genre: m/m, Contemporary, BDSM/Kink, Erotica, Poly, Horror
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 4 – Very Often
Keywords/Tags: Dark, Kidnapping/Abduction, Physical & Sexual Abuse, Family, Captive/Slave, Serial, Short Story, Angst, Non-Romance, Humiliation, (Semi) Incest, Dub/Non-con, Cliffhanger, Double Penetration, Exhibition
Rating: Really Liked It
Reviewed by Nikyta
**Some may consider this a tad spoilerish, so beware!**
Sublime service, made to order.
In episode two of The Flesh Cartel, the dark purpose behind Mat and Dougie Carmichael’s abduction is revealed. Though Dougie is protected from the worst of the guards’ brutality, he’s disgusted to find himself halfway to broken—despairing of escape and terrified of pain. Mat holds onto hope despite repeated rapes and beatings, but threats toward his brother teach him well to lay aside his pride and pick his battles carefully.
Worn down by days of unrelenting fear and abuse, Mat and Dougie are packaged and marketed with the same ruthless efficiency as any consumer product: Dougie the prettyboy twink, Mat the rabid pit bull. They are led to the auction block as the showpiece of the house’s collection.
Mat would rather be beaten to death than play the role of obedient slave for sale, but Dougie, desperate not to be separated from his brother, strikes a deal with the pitiless Madame who runs the auction house and controls both their fates. It might just be enough to keep them together—slaves, but together—assuming Mat even wants to be after Dougie fulfills his end of his deal with the devil.
Auction, episode two of The Flesh Cartel and the end of season one, picks up right where episode one, Capture, leaves off. Where Mat and Dougie just finished being processed into the slave facility, they are now being held there. Beaten, raped and tortured, both Mat and Dougie are struggling with their new lives with nothing to wear and nothing to sleep on and the constant threat of more abuse. While Mat is still a fighter, he’s losing the strength and energy to fight but every time something happens to Dougie, he gains back that heated anguish and rage he possesses at what’s happening to them. In turn, Dougie is complacent and obedient being a “hole” because he knows it’s less painful to accept things. While Dougie is ashamed of not being brave enough to stick up for his brother, Mat is ashamed and humiliated into giving in to his abusers. After undergoing days of beatings and rapes, things change when they are outfitted for the Auction. With the threat of being separated, the Madame gives Dougie the option of being sold together or losing his brother forever. Dougie knows this is his time to save Mat, in the only way he can, even if it means torturing Mat himself to keep them together.
As with the first one, this book is intense, powerful and well-written. Where there were left over questions before, we get some answers this time. We know why the brothers are there and we get a hint into how they were selected to become prime stock for the Madame’s collection. We also get a more inside look into Nikolai, the mysterious man from the first story. This time, we know he’s looking into the brothers and why he wants them, and ultimately buys them. It’s interesting to see the dynamics of the process, how the brothers were brought in, how they’re treated and how they’re eventually manipulated into what the Madame wants them to do so their price becomes higher. Dougie is the pretty twink while Mat is the dangerous thug. They are polar opposites but together they are beautiful and the Madame realizes that and utilizes that to her satisfaction.
I was once again sucked into this world. While in Capture the violence was often experienced second-hand by Mat, this one we get the full details of a lot of what happens first-hand. We experience, in those moments, what the brothers are thinking and how they’re coping and when they break. Granted, there are some scenes that are experienced second-hand still but it’s no less powerful because, while one brother is being tortured or raped, the other brother has to physically see it so it’s just as intense. The first half of the book takes place over a few days and focuses being held in their cells. The second half went by very quickly because there’s anticipation and anxiety of what will come next. I knew something far beyond just the cruelty would occur and I was right but waiting for that to happen was torture in itself. It left me hanging on the edge of my seat, wondering if there would be a little happiness at some point and for one sweet moment there is… and then it becomes extreme and brutal and almost made me want to cry because of who does it and how it’s played out.
It’s a gripping tale that doesn’t let up, you’re thrust right back in to the cruel and harsh world Mat and Dougie were forced into. They’re still treated like dogs, humiliated and inserted with different types of objects but now they’re also treated like real slaves, at the mercy of anyone that wants them. Mat gets more abuse than Dougie but only because Dougie has been granted some protection to keep his price up. Everything these boys go through is heartbreaking but my sympathy will always go to Mat first because he’s so strong but reduced to such a lowly thing whereas Dougie can easily adapt to being a slave, it’s harder for Mat because of who is.
This was a captivating and fascinating story, one I couldn’t put down once I started. It leaves off right after Dougie had to make his sacrifice, so to speak, but that’s to be expected. Everything felt charged and heated. My heart clenched all over again for these boys but as with the first episode, I’m still left with a lot of questions about why they were selected and what will happen next. I’ll be eagerly looking forward to the next one but the wait might possibly kill me! For those that liked episode one, you’ll definitely like episode two. It’s just as dark, gritty and harsh as the first.
Posted by Nikyta in 16-40k, 5 Really Like It, Authors A-C, Authors G-I, BDSM / Kink, Contemporary, Erotica, Heat 4 - Spicy & Smutty, Horror, m/m/m Polyamorous, Sex Freq 4 - Very Often Tags: Angst-alicious, Captive/Slave, Cliff-hanger, Dark Theme, Double Penetration, Dub/Non-Con, Exhibitionism, Family, Heidi Belleau, Humiliation, Kidnapping/Abduction, Non-Romance, Physical Abuse, Rachel Haimowitz, Riptide Publishing, Serial, Sexual Abuse/Assault, Short Story, The Flesh Cartel, Twincest/Brothercest