5 Star and 4 Star Review for Cervena by Louise Lyons #MM #Romance @louiselyons013 @dreamspinners

Červená-HighResTitle: Cervena
Author Name & Publisher: Louise Lyons (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 22, 2016 – 170 pgs


When Joel Jones finds homeless Russian, Sasha, outside his gay nightclub in Prague, he cannot find it in his heart to turn him away, so he offers him a home and a job as a dancer and stripper.

Despite a fifteen-year age gap, romance develops between them, but is interrupted when Joel has to return to England for many weeks to deal with a death in the family.

Upon Joel’s return, he is horrified to discover his business partner, Karel, has gambled away the club’s money and put them all at risk. Joel buys him out of the club, but when Karel continues to gamble, the people he owes pursue Joel for the debt instead—and they’ll stop at nothing to get paid.

Suddenly Joel and those he cares about—especially Sasha—are in danger, and Joel finds himself with no choice but to seek the help of known criminal, Vincenc Jankovic. Ensuring a happy future for himself and Sasha will mean a struggle and some difficult decisions, but Joel is determined to protect what they’ve built together.



Cervena is the name of a gay nightclub in Prague. Points for exotic setting. Sasha is a homeless Russian immigrant who gets work thanks to Cervena’s kind-hearted owner Joel. Points for confronting social issues without condensation or ire. There’s sex, sex, sex. Points, points, points. This is a fun, romantic, thoughtful novel. Lyons knows what she’s doing as she presents Joel’s heart to us in the midst of strippers, snow, and antagonists.
This book is also marketed as a thriller, so there’s some violence. Boys getting hurt isn’t everyone’s thing. The romance is a little thin. It doesn’t matter. The story is the perfect length and the characters are perfectly dreamy. I feel like I’ve been on a vacation to Prague.
Five stars
~ Christy
I liked the setting for this book, which was in Prague. Here we have Joel, who meets a homeless boy named Sasha, who is also 15 years younger than him, but that doesn’t stop them from falling in love.
The story was actually very sweet and Joel was such a wonderful character. He was kind, caring, patient and willing to do anything to be with Sasha. There were a lot of nice naughty scenes *wink* *wink* lol
This is just a simple story to get lost in when you wanna get lost in a romantic story. There’s a little bit of violence, but it’s not overwhelming. By the end of the book, I wanted a Joel. lol.


Sasha’s pale face lost the little color it had and he pressed close to me again. “What are you going to do? Can the police help?”

“I haven’t told the police. I don’t know who this man is, or how many people he has working for him. All I have is a description of the man who came into the club. They want the money paying electronically into a bank account, so I don’t even get to meet them. I don’t see what the police can do. They can’t watch us every minute, and they won’t have anything to go on to find this guy. Paying what he’s asking for is the only way I’ll know you’ll be safe.”

“How much?” Sasha whispered.

“It doesn’t matter.” I hugged him tight and breathed in the scent of his skin.

“How much?”

“They want fifteen million.”

Sasha hissed one of his favorite curses in Russian. Then he drew away from me. “It’s too much. After everything Karel did already, it’s too much. You can’t give him the money, Joel. I’ll leave. Then he won’t be able to use me to threaten you.”

“You can’t leave!” I cried, horrified. “I love you. I’m not letting this come between us.”

“It’s the only way. I love you, too, but… fifteen million, Joel. I’m not worth it.”

I thrust him from me and gripped his shoulders hard enough to make him wince. I gave him a little shake before I released the pressure. “You are worth it. Don’t you ever think that. I’m not losing you over money. No way. Besides….” I took a breath. “You think those men will just go away if you disappear? They’ll find something else to blackmail me over.”

“I still think you should call the police. They’re used to dealing with this kind of thing. I know you think they won’t be able to find these guys, but they’ll have ways of doing it we haven’t even thought of.”

“No, Sasha. I’m not taking that risk. And you won’t tell anyone.”

“I said I wouldn’t, didn’t I?” He pulled away, his face angry. “But I think you’re crazy to try to deal with this on your own. You’re not a superhero, Joel.”

“No, I’m just me. An ordinary man with two businesses I worked hard for and a man I love very much. I’m just doing the best I can to hold onto that.”


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Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing.

She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.


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