on m/m romance, baking, knitting, and occasional smut

Tag Archives: Voodoo Lily Press

safewordTitle: Safeword
Author: AJ Rose
Publisher: Voodoo Lilly Press
Length: 110,000 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary BDSM Mystery Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Sexy to Story
Keywords/Tags: Series, Sequel, Cops, Psychologists, PTSD, Serial Killer, Family, Child Abduction & Abuse, Obsession, Paparazzi!, HEA
Rating: Loved It!

Reviewed by Sadonna

****Spoiler alert****

This is a sequel to Power Exchange and as such contains quite a few spoilers for that book.  It is NOT recommended to read these books out of sequence.

BLURB

Everywhere Detective Gavin DeGrassi looks he’s reminded of his attack by the Breath Play Killer. It’s in the house he lives in with his partner and Dom, Ben Haverson. It’s in the sympathetic yet pitying looks he receives from his fellow detectives when he returns to the force after a year-long hiatus. It’s in the suffocating coddling of his entire family, and the relentless reporter demanding an exclusive of his ordeal.



Most of all, it’s in his lack of submission to Ben, who isn’t convinced Gavin’s recovered enough to trust the power exchange between them.



The miraculous recovery of two teen boys from a twisted kidnapper gives him heart, and Gavin’s determined to prove he can handle anything despite increasing strain between him and Ben, painful nightmares, and panic when anyone touches him.



But his next case is too close for comfort: a friend and colleague found raped and murdered in a fate chillingly similar to what could have been his own, and this killer isn’t stopping with one cop. As the body count rises and taunting souvenirs are being hand-delivered to Gavin, he faces a frustrating lack of leads, a crushing need to prove himself, and a sinking suspicion the imprisoned kidnapper’s reach is further than originally thought. A miasma of uncertainty and fear threaten to suffocate him when he asks a question with which he’s overwhelmingly familiar: what happens when a victim is pushed too far?

REVIEW

Safeword begins about a year after the events of Power Exchange.  Gavin and Ben are still together and Gavin has just returned to work after a year’s disability leave.  He’s been through intensive therapy with Ben’s partner Laura and he and Ben are also seeing her as a couple.  Things seem to be going OK with his return to work and his partner, Myah, who is now engaged to his brother Cole.  While Gavin is still dealing with some residual anxiety, he is able to work effectively even when his first case back turns out to be the murder of a fellow police officer.  And it’s not just any officer, but a colleague of Gavin and Myah’s who broke a big case involving two abducted teens and the man who was holding them hostage – one for a number of years.  This case may or may not be related to his murder.

As Gavin and Myah are investigating the case, there doesn’t seem to be any real motive or potential suspects but Gavin can’t help feeling there is some connection between the murder and the victim’s last big case.  While there are no real leads in the case, another cop is murdered and there are some potentially disturbing similarities between the murders and some coincidences that can’t be ignored.  This of course brings more stress to Myah and particularly Gavin who is still dealing with his own recovery and anxiety.  The other annoying issue is the reappearance of Gavin’s former partner Trent, who it turns out is still with Gavin’s ex-wife.  Trent has done nothing but bad-mouth Gavin since he was run out of their precinct after being caught in bed with Victoria, Gavin’s ex.  He’s a complete pain in the ass, but it turns out that he has a really disgusting skeleton in his closet that he doesn’t want public, so he tows the line – at least being civil.  And only for a little while.

Things have not gotten back to normal between Ben and Gavin in their sex life and while they haven’t given up getting back to their Dom/Sub relationship, things are moving much more slowly than Gavin would like. However, Ben is unwilling to risk Gavin’s psyche any more than it already has been compromised.  They are continuing to work on their relationship and Gavin’s limits, but he has to push Ben to get any forward movement. This is further complicated by a third cop murder and the murderer’s fixation on Gavin. Regardless of what precautions Gavin and Ben and the force take to protect him, there continue to be breaches in Gavin’s security. Needless to say, Gavin once again being in the crosshairs of a killer takes a toll on him and Ben.

If you read my review of the previous book, Power Exchange, you know that I was somewhat disappointed in the mystery and particularly with the resolution of the case and the identification of the murderer.  No such complaints with this book.  The murder mystery is really well done with some surprising twists and turns and some good police work by Gavin and Myah along with another nail biter of a climax.  There are plenty of villains to hate in this one and some pretty good payback as well, which really did give me some perverse satisfaction unlike the end of the first book 😉

The other central story of this book is the ongoing love story of Gavin and Ben.  I though the first book was incredible in describing the progression of their relationship.  It was incredibly intimate and intense and hot and so well written.  This part of the story in this book does not have that same level of intensity, but it is still really well written and very intimate.  Ben and Gavin are still trying to find their way back to themselves and each other in the aftermath of their ordeal in Power Exchange.  They are working through all of the issues together and they are incredibly committed to making things better and getting back to where they were before.  There are some really hard moments for them in this story but the one fundamental factor that prevails over everything else is their love for each other and what they are willing to do to fight for that love.

I really loved this book – so much so that I went back and reread Power Exchange again because I couldn’t get enough of Gavin and Ben.  I don’t know if A.J. Rose is planning to write more about these two, but I’d definitely read it!


LST-Cover-book-3-AReTitle: The Lightning Struck Tower (Precog in Peril #3)
Author: Theo Fenraven
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Length: 35k words
Genre: m/m Paranormal Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 2 – Few and Far Between
Keywords/Tags: Series, Psychic, Superpowers/Talents, Sea/River/Sail, HEA
Rating: Pretty Good

**This review contains spoilers for those who haven’t read both prior books in the Precog in Peril series, Three of Swords and Knight of Wands**

BLURB

Gray Vecello and Cooper Key are back in the last book in the Precog in Peril series. Snatched by PsiOps, a covert arm of the government, they’re offered training in exchange for their psionic help. Will they take the deal, and if they don’t, what will PsiOps do to them?

Gray and Cooper meet new friends and enemies in this final chapter of the trilogy. The story takes the reader from New York City to Ely, Minnesota, and back to Gray and Cooper’s marina in Red Wing, where they will face the ultimate test of their powers. Someone will live… and someone will die.

REVIEW

Finally reading the end of this story was a treat 🙂 As I mentioned in my other review today of the second book in this series, Knight of Wands, though this is one story in three parts each book is rather different. And while Cooper and Gray leave the houseboat and drifting on the river for most of the book (one of my favorite settings!), I really enjoyed the characters introduced in this story and the circle of friends that Cooper and Evan are able to make.

The Lightning Struck Tower starts where the second book immediately ended, with Cooper and Gray trapped in a warehouse under surveillance by their former friend and foe, whom they now know as the leader of the PsiOps, a secret branch of the government which is charged with finding, training and using those with special powers. Their search has led them here, where they’re really stuck between a rock and hard place. While they think they have a bargaining chip, the fact that they’ll hopefully soon be set for life, agreeing to work for The Man once or twice a year (albeit with some of their own limitations) seems like the lesser of two evils. After all, could they really have lasted trying to work against the government? Especially one with such a powerful reach?

This decisions leads them to Ely, Minnesota, to a remote PsiOps training camp where their powers are put to the test. They’re human guinea pigs, but they soon find a way to make their psychic boot camp worthwhile. They meet the other trainees there, a severely damaged young man and a vivacious woman who become their friends and allies. And they’ll need them — the man who tried to manipulate them into bringing his son back from the dead is still out there, looking for another way to get Gray to do what he wants.

It may be the fact that I’ll forever feel as if I’m in Harry Potter withdrawal (it’s never the same after the first read!!!), but I can’t help but love any book where there is magical training, or a magical school of any kind. Seeing the direction that this story moved in was very pleasing for me. I was really happy that we got to see such a large portion of this book dedicated to the characters exploring their powers (though it would have been nice to be shown more of Gray learning his power). That made most of this book seem as if they’d left their mystery chasing behind and left quite a lot of time for character and relationship growth. Getting to know the secondary characters well, especially Wade’s emotional childhood story of being trans and abuse was, made this a really nice read.

So, I can’t deny that I enjoyed this book probably… more than the first two, though also in a different way. In my review of Knight of Wands, I talked about how the earlier bits of this book explored Cooper and Gray’s relationship in an insular setting, and this book does the opposite, expanding their relationship into the outside world.

For all of that, however, I still had a few problems with the book. I really liked the ending, but it felt rushed and there seemed to be very little transition between the first part of the book and the action at the end. Though the book was coming to a close and I had a natural wariness, waiting for something big to happen, there was very little lead up to the action even, little foreshadowing in this book specifically.

Now, taking all three books as one, I really enjoyed the series and would recommend it to readers. It’s light in most ways. Though dealing with some heavy issues, especially related to abuse, gay teen throwaways and trans issues, the tone isn’t heavy and these issues are passing.


KoW-Cover-300x4501-200x300Title: Knight of Wands (Precog in Peril #2)
Author: Theo Fenraven
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Length: 38k words
Genre: m/m Paranormal Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Series, Supernatural Powers/Talents, Psychic, Sea/River/Sail, Cliff
Rating: Pretty Good

**This review contains spoilers for those who haven’t read the first book in the Precog in Peril series**

BLURB

Gray Vecello and Cooper Key are back in the exciting sequel to Three of Swords.  Graham’s treasure is only the tip of the iceberg as a thief helps himself to a hidden stash of cash, Jolly Roger makes another appearance, and the guys finally meet others with special abilities when an emergency meeting of the group is called.

Accompanying them on this new adventure is Gray’s cousin, Harper, who’s having problems of her own. Peace and quiet will have to wait as they take another trip downriver on their houseboat, The Constant Companion, before flying to New York City to beard a lion in his den and unexpectedly meet the SOS.

REVIEW

In the first book, Three of Swords (my review), we meet Gray, a hair stylist from St. Paul, Minnesota who has a major gift — he’s psychic, and a very strong one. He’s similar to his grandfather in this way, but hasn’t shared anything with the man who he knew so little about in a long time. Word that his grandfather has died and left him his houseboat comes as a major surprise. It seems like kismet in a way, with his own life, job and relationship seeming so much like failure, so he quits and moves to the boat before even seeing it. He’s surprised to find once he gets there that he inherited more than a boat, but a resident that lived with his grandfather, a boy named Cooper.

Gray and Cooper learn to live together and get to know each other, gradually finding that they like one another all while trying to solve the mystery of Gray’s grandfather’s death and the mysterious clues he left behind about Gray’s powers and the community of people who have similar talents. Their travels down the river to get information lead them to meet many mysterious characters, and show them that Gray’s grandfather had more secrets than they could have expected — dangerous ones. Soon, they’re on a race between their lives and for information.

Knight of Wands starts immediately where Three of Swords left off, with Cooper and Gray about to reveal a what they’re clues led them to, something secret hidden on the boat. What they find there completely blows them away and gives them further clues as to what they need to do to find out who is really after them, as well as giving them a way to do it, a unique way that provides a link to Gray’s heritage.

I’m happy that it ended up so that I could finish this series in one sitting. I really enjoyed Three of Swords, but mostly what I wanted was to know more about what was to come in the next two books, and getting that story in one piece was very nice. Especially since this second book ends on a cliffhanger that had me squirming more than the first book’s! In many ways this novella is a typical middle book in a trilogy. It furthers the plot, characterizations, and romance, but is still holding back. The middle book can be difficult, and is usually no one’s favorite out of the bunch, because it’s all the work without the payoff. I actually appreciated that Fen played with that structure a bit in this series. While it is somewhat true for this book, it is interjected with a heavy dose of information, which brings some of the payoff into this book and leaves most of the action the characters take based on that information until the next and last book.

We’re also introduced to new characters in this book, as well as reintroduced to some from the first. Gray’s cousin, Harper is along for most of the ride in Knight of Wands. And besides the fact that I really liked her as well as appreciated a strong, funny, great female role, one of the most important roles she plays in this book is to bring the relationship that was so insular in the first book into the real world, in preparation for the third. Gray and Cooper have spent so much time by themselves, drifting on the river. They’re not totally insular, but those they interact with are all part of the somewhat transient life of river-dwellers, all people who live on boats in the marina and people they meet as they travel the river. The fact that she has little to do with the problems they’re dealing with, as well as the powers they have was quite nice. She gives perspective and a dose of real-life into the relationship that solidified it in a different way in my mind. Part of that is shadowed by the fact that her relationship with her partner is, at the moment, fallen apart. The dichotomy between the two relationships serves to give reflection and perspective with Cooper and Gray’s relationship.

I’ll leave the mystery up to you, as a reader to enjoy. Now that all three books are out, I really encourage you to read them all in one sitting, like one book. They’re more enjoyable that way, but they’re all also very different, so keep that in mind.


Title: Fifteen Shades of Gay (For Pay)
Author: T Baggins
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Length: 70k words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Rent Boy, Politics, Coming Out, Bi, GFY/OFY, Multiple Partners, Cancer, NYC, a bit of BDSM, Kink (Spanking, Breath Play/Edge Play), First Times
Rating: Really Like It!

BLURB

MONEY…

Andrew Reynolds is determined to stay in New York City as long as his sister Marie, a cancer patient, needs him. But despite his good looks and talent, Andrew hasn’t managed to find work as an actor. With his bank account empty and his credit cards maxed, Andrew needs money fast. Gay escorts make a nice living, but there’s one problem—Andrew isn’t gay.

SEX…

Ever since his early teens, when Andrew’s father shocked everyone by coming out, Andrew has been uncomfortable around gay men. Pretending to be gay will be the role of a lifetime. From male/male dates to erotic toys, spankings and more extreme play, Andrew must satisfy his clients without revealing his usual tastes.

… AND ROMANCE

Andrew’s first date with closeted politician Cormac Donovan ends in disaster. Yet with each successive booking, the attraction between them grows. As Andrew struggles with unexpected new feelings, Cormac puts his senatorial career in danger. And what began as a way for Andrew to earn money becomes a one-way ticket to heartbreak—or lasting love.

REVIEW

I have to tell you… I did not expect the story I got when I started reading this. I’m not even sure what I expected really — something funny/facetious?. To be honest, I tend to not expect much when I read a first time author, or at least an author I haven’t heard of and I took a chance to review this when the author contacted me for review. Well, I’m really glad I did, because this turned out to be another book I loved that I hadn’t heard anything about before reading that I’ve gotten this fall for review (the first was JC Lillis’ awesome YA novel, How to Repair a Mechanical Heart).

Though the cover and title don’t suggest much in the way of good plot and writing, the reference to the much argued about “mommy porn” book actually has a place in the story. Andrew has always been straight, and he’s always been afraid of gay men. Of course, that all stems from finding his father in bed with his favorite teacher in school, and the subsequent trauma of the breakup of his family and his school life turning upside down. Bitten by the acting bug at a young age, Andrew doesn’t find many opportunities in small town Kansas, but finds himself looking for work in New York City when his sister, who moved to the city for an adventure a few years prior, is diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Now Andrew finds himself a primary caregiver and looking for difficult to find work in a difficult economy. When the bills start to pile up, Andrew admits that he needs to find work, now — and waiting for a well paying acting job just isn’t smart when he has to consider his sister’s care.

Andrew’s neighbor is the proprietor of a stable of escorts and offers him a job. Sure, he’s straight, but he’s also an actor, and what better role than this could there be to test his chops? It might even help him get over his aversion to gay men. But he doesn’t really know what he’s getting into, and even though he’s memorized the laws and isn’t being pressured into sex for pay, he knows that that’s where the extra (and big) money is. Could he do something like that? He’s forced to face up to all his preconceived notions, his fears, his family history, and the possibility that his sexuality might be a lot more fluid than he ever allowed himself to consider as he goes out on job after job. And the worst, or maybe best, is a repeat customer: Cormac Donovan, a republican congressman from California who is nothing like he ever suspected.

Don’t be mistaken, what might seem from the blurb a lighthearted tale is really quite a serious book that deals with several heavy issues. First and foremost is the extremely frank, honest and real look at what cancer does to a patient and the people around them, supporting them. I know firsthand what that is like from my mother, who cared for my grandmother as she died from cancer in our home. This book shows all sides of that, in a very frank and honest way. Very little of the details are spared, just as the bond grows stronger between the siblings and love and laughter are shown as well. But, take this as a warning for some who might be sensitive to the issue. I was very impressed with the level of dedication and emotion written about this, and it was the undercurrent that brought the rest of the story together.

Two parts of Andrew’s life as an escort are shown in this book, that rarely, if ever, meet. First, are the few men that Andrew meets first at a pool party put on by a wealthy Indian man along with several of the other escorts. Paresh takes a particular “shine”, shall we say, to Andrew who can’t help but show his green colors. No matter how good of an actor Andrew thinks he is, it is obvious to most that he’s new to his job and straight. But for Paresh, that is a turn on, and his repeat business (along with the other people and intense situations that come along with him), awaken Andrew to the sort of self-reflection that he needs the most. On the other hand is Cormac, the republican congressman who takes Andrew on dates, starts to fall in love with him and at the same time touts his party’s line views of “Family Values.” I liked that you could measure Andrew’s real feelings, maybe even subconscious feelings, by how reactions to seeing Cormac on television, going along with the republican values that he uses to stay elected and as he says, do some good from the inside. But his feelings for Cormac are confusing, and they definitely have a real and possibly lasting relationship, if you take away the impossibility the outside world represents to them and their vast differences.

But really, what brought this story to a higher level for me was Andrew. He’s a great character. He really considers himself and works through his feelings, which allows him to change. Part of that is done through writing his memoir, Fifteen Shades of Gay (for Pay). Though he finds it difficult to put certain things into word (like his sister’s illness and his sexual experiences, he’s still working through it in his head. So, along with the different aspects of his life that are woven into his narrative, we really get to his his reaction and thoughts with it, and they go quite deep. I felt like I got to know him really well, and even more than that, I liked him.

I definitely recommend this one. Don’t let the title fool you! But be sure check out this book and give it a chance — it is worth it.


Title: Power Exchange
Author: A.J. Rosen
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Length: 117K words
Genre: MM BDSM Contemporary Mystery Romance
Heat: 4 – Spicy & Smutty
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average sex to story ratio
Keywords/Tags: Cops, Serial Killer, Psychologist, Brothers, Coming Out
Rating: Really liked it

Reviewed by Sadonna

BLURB

From the moment Detective Gavin DeGrassi steps into the world of BDSM to solve the brutal slaying of Dom George Kaiser, his course is not his own. Mesmerized by the context in which the victim lived and the images of the lifestyle seared into his soul, Gavin must find a way to navigate these unknown waters. With his personal life in upheaval due to marital trouble, and his professional life uncertain with the assignment of a new partner, Gavin needs all the help he can get understanding the case.

Enter Ben Haverson, a psychologist and a well known Dom. With Ben’s help as a consultant and attention to Gavin’s own murky truths, Gavin delves deeper than he ever thought he would into the world of restraints and paddles. Forced to scrutinize his true nature and his innermost desires, Gavin has a choice: keep the fear of submitting at bay, or dive in and solve the case with the knowledge he gains. When another victim is discovered, Gavin’s choice is made for him, and he’s pulled headlong into the deepest, most emotional journey of his life.

Unfortunately for him and Ben, a killer has noticed, has taken stock, and has set his sights on the D/s pair. Can Gavin outwit him, or will his first exchange of power be his last?

REVIEW

Where to start! So I read the first chapter of this story online and was hooked immediately. The character of Gavin DeGrassi is so well written that I just wanted to read faster and faster to see what was going to happen to him. In this book, there are really two parallel journeys/stories: Gavin’s journey of self-discovery and the race to solve a string of serial murders in the local BDSM community.

It opens with the killing of man involved in BDSM and the staging of the murder in the man’s playroom. Gavin is one of the homicide detectives called in on the case. His partner, Trent, is kind of a jerk even if he is a pretty good detective. Gavin and Trent meet with consultant Dr. Ben Haverson who is not only a noted local psychologist, but also a Dom. Ben is to provide insight into both the BDSM world as well as the killings. Unfortunately Gavin is also extremely attracted to Ben. This is a problem since he is married and his partner is pretty homophobic. Gavin has spent years denying his attraction to men. Given the pressure from his family of 3 brothers – also all cops – and his retired police Lieutenant father and his social climbing wife, he is already on the edge.

The pressure from his family (really two of his brothers, his parents and his wife, Victoria) includes his refusal to go for a promotion. He is happy being a homicide detective and he’s good at it. He doesn’t like paperwork and politics and has no interest in climbing the ranks. At the family Sunday brunch, he feels blindsided by his wife and mother and father who start talking about his career and the possibility of starting a family. Later in the day, Gavin is blindsided yet again by Victoria’s actions and he leaves their home, thereby setting up his evening trip to a BDSM club where he runs into Ben.

From this point in the story, we learn much about Gavin’s pent-up desire and why he has been firmly in the closet all these years. However, he cannot resist Ben and begins a physical relationship with him. Ben believes that Gavin is a natural submissive and that he can show him the true meaning of the power exchange in such relationships. As they embark on this journey, another murder occurs and they are no closer to solving the original murder.

Gavin gets a new partner, Myah, who has transferred from Chicago. She is a beautiful woman who is used to not being taken seriously. She finds Gavin to be a breath of fresh air and they build a very good relationship – both working and personal. Unfortunately as soon as she joins homicide, another murder takes place of another Dom also staged in the dungeon of his home. This couple has a closer tie to Ben and Gavin is upset about that as well as the fact that there are now two unsolved murders and no physical evidence or suspects.

As Ben and Gavin deepen their relationship and Ben tutors Gavin in BDSM, they are racing against the clock to solve yet more murders within the community. As the case escalates, Myah and Gavin’s brother Cole are also instrumental in trying to solve the murders and find the killer. Unfortunately this is the place where the murder mystery part of the story falls apart a little for me. I was disappointed that Gavin didn’t figure out who the killer was since I’m sure virtually every reader did.

The relationship part of this story between Ben and Gavin was fascinating and hot and really well written. The exploration of the BDSM culture and the meaning it has in the lives of the participants was sensitively portrayed in the budding relationship between these two men. The mystery part – well that wasn’t too mysterious. But overall, it is still a very good read and I really enjoyed it. Recommended especially for anyone who wants more insight into BDSM.


Title: Three of Swords (Precog in Peril #1)
Author: Theo Fenraven
Publisher: Voodoo Lily Press
Length: 36,819 words
Genre: m/m Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Heat: 3 – Sexy & Mild
Sex Frequency: 3 – Average Story to Sex
Keywords/Tags: Series, Psychics
Rating: Pretty Good

BLURB

An old houseboat, a hot young guy, a couple of murders, and more mysterious keys than you can shake a stick at: this is what awaits Gray Vecello after his grandfather, Graham, is killed on his way to pick up high blood pressure pills.

A letter Graham left behind sends Gray and his unexpected ally, Cooper Key, on a journey downriver in an attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding an unknown treasure. On the way, they encounter both friends and enemies, one of whom will target Gray and Cooper for death.  One thing working in Gray’s favor: he has the sight, just as Graham had, but will it be enough to save them both?

REVIEW

Two weeks ago, Gray cast the cards for the first time in a long time and saw that his grandfather was going to die. He feels guilty that he didn’t say anything, and now he’s attending his funeral. But his fear of his gift trumps all. He’s surprised when his grandfather’s will states that he’s left his houseboat to Gray. It all offers a much needed changes in Gray’s life. Searching out the houseboat on the river and meeting the 18 year old Cooper who his grandfather had taken in gives him an insight into the grandfather that had secreted himself away from Gray and the family, the grandfather he’d grown almost to hate. It also offers a very tantalizing future for Gray as he gets to know Cooper. Yet, it also sheds light on his grandfather’s secret life, and the origin and meaning of the power inside himself that he’s afraid to claim.

Much of this book was wonderful, and I suspect that much of what dissatisfied me about it was due to the fact that this book is fairly short for the setup of the world. We don’t get into much of the paranormal aspect of the story until the second half, or even end of this book. I would probably be angry if I didn’t know it was the first book of a series and the second was coming later this year. As it stands, no matter how much I liked it, I still felt as if this was really only Chapter One and I wish we’d gotten much more story that this. That said, I think that with the format the author decided on (series and length), the author did all that was possible to make this story feel complete in itself, even offering a resolution to the smaller story (somewhat a mystery) within the larger plot arc. Still, it seemed a little rushed together without much information. I like that things are being left to discover; I won’t say that I want all the answers. I think what I was a little unsure about was that I’m not quite sure of the direction of the series, and that leaves me feeling a bit adrift at the end of the story. That said, perhaps the second book will help set the course and satisfy me.

Apart from that, I really did enjoy this story. Gray and Cooper are great characters on their own that when together create a unique dynamic that really intrigued me. Most of this stems from their age difference (Gray — upper 20s and Coop — 18). Gray himself is adrift in his life and the houseboat, Coop, and adventures on the river give him a new pace in life that he was missing, something that allows him to connect to himself. Secreting away the part of himself that is gifted, his precognition, cut him away from everything else in life and for most of this story you can still see that separation being repaired by contact with nature and Cooper, whose fresh-faced worldview and innocence Gray cherishes and envies, I think. Cooper is a young man that is surprisingly resilient to the life he was given. His time on the streets and his witness and loss of Gray’s grandfather seem not to have affected him they way they would have Gray and Coop is innocent at each successive betrayal in life. That relationship is solidified before it is ever defined in a paranormal way, later in the book.

I’ll have to wait for the next book before I really get into the rest of the story, but I am most definitely looking forward to it. Being the first book of the series and having to build those relationships didn’t leave as much time for the paranormal world building to start as I would have liked, so I’m looking forward to see which direction the next book will take. Hopefully it won’t be too long in coming! Recommended, although some readers might want to wait for the next book and read them together.