5 Stars and 3.5 Stars for Paper Kisses by R. M. Grace @RMGraceAuthor #MM #Romance #darkromance


Title: Paper Kisses
Author Name & Publisher: R. M. Grace
Publication Date & Length: February 13, 2016 – 357 Pages


“So you want to hear a story?”
“Depends. It isn’t a love story is it? I don’t want to hear a love story—they’re all diluted by cliches.”
“It’s not a love story. It’s about two people coming together under complicated circumstances to find they can care for one another.”
“Sounds like a love story.”
“Well, it’s not. It’s more a tale of survival. Do you want to hear it?”

Dark Winters, an eight year-old from Coventry, is set to go on holiday with his parents. In a rush, they pack their bags and head into the storm in search of The Jurassic Coast’s warm beaches.

They have only been driving for twenty minutes when they hit something in the road that changes their lives forever.

Dark finds himself in a strange building with no idea how he got there and, to his growing horror, his parents are no longer with him. But when he hears movement above his head, it dawns on him he is not alone . . .

This novel is intended for a mature audience with scenes of kidnap and M/M themes.

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Wow. I have such mixed emotions about this book. In some ways I hated it but in other ways I can almost understand where the characters are coming from. Then I also found myself feeling grief for these characters and myself in tears because of this grief.

Travis is a deeply troubled individual who goes about it the wrong way to try and rid himself of the pain and anger that he feels dues to his parents horrific abuse of him. But at the same time I think that somewhere in there is a deeply caring man who feels as if he does not deserve to be live because of the abuse he sustained as a child.

Dark is such a victim of circumstance. When Dark came to be with Travis, he does not realize that in a very big way it is to protect him from people who are more horrible then Travis could ever be. The longer that Dark is with Travis the more they come to care about one another even though I think Travis does not know how to show it. Once Dark becomes an adult and realizes he has feelings for Travis I believe that Travis does start to change for the better. That is until he gives in once again to his dark side and sets into motion a storm that neither will ever recover from.

This book is definitely not for everyone. But for those of you who like a dark read with somewhat of a love story mixed into it and an ending that will leave you shocked and wondering if it is a good thing or a bad thing, then this is he book for you.



I finished this book several days before sitting down to write a review, simply because I don’t quite know how I feel about it. There are very few books that I finish with and just feel weird, but this was definitely one of them. Travis is a serial killer. That isn’t a spoiler, you find it out almost immediately. He kills people to help him cope with past trauma. After causing a car accident, he kidnaps a boy named Dark from the car. The book is divided into three parts. The first part takes up a good half of the book, and is spent with Dark as an eight year old, being yelled at and hit by Travis, who continues to kill people. The second part sees Dark, now 17, grow to love Travis. You heard that right. He falls in love with Travis, the man who physically and emotionally abused him. Somehow, though, it manages to work. I found myself rooting for them, even given who they were in relation to each other. And then part three happened. Without giving away what happens, let me just say there is no happy ending. That was really the kicker for me. I sat staring at my computer screen for about five minutes after I finished the book, trying to process how I felt about it, and what had just happened. I still don’t know if I fully know how I feel about it.
To call it a romance would be a mistake. Yes, there were romantic elements in it, and you could go as far as to call it a dark romance, but even then, there is some HEA or HFN. This had neither. Another thing I found odd was the descriptions. The murder scenes were described in more detail than the sex scenes, which were fade to black. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing. I know some people prefer fade to black. I just found it a bit strange.
I only found a few things negative (aside from the lack of an HEA or HFN). The first was Dark’s characterisation as an eight year old. Sometimes, he acted very much like an eight year old, wanting mummy and daddy. His writing, though, was much more sophisticated than any eight year old’s. The other negative was the sheer believability of the plot, at points. The whole deal with Dark and his parents didn’t quite sit well with me as believable, and I didn’t care for the way it was handled. 
Overall, the book was good…I think. It was well written, and kept me wanting to read more (partially because I wanted to see how part one could move into part two). I would recommend this to fans of extremely dark romance, and also fans mystery/crime/psychological thriller.


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R. M. Grace was born in Australia in 1986 and grew up in Coventry, England where she still lives with her partner, two children and dog.

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