Tag Archives: Crime

5 Stars for Rainey’s Release (Kansas City Heat #6) by Jenna Byrnes @pridepublishing #MM

Raineys Release COVER

Title: Rainey’s Release (Kansas City Heat #6)
Author Name: Jenna Byrnes
Publication Date & Length: March 27th 2015 — 92 Pages

Synopsis

This is book six in the Kansas City Heat series, see the full series listing here

A madman targets gay drug addicts. Can the KCPD track down the latest serial killer before more blood is shed?

Detective William Rainey is the newest man assigned to the KCPD’s Homicide Division, having just relocated from St. Louis with his life partner, Joshua Wolf. When a murder with the same MO as several St. Louis crimes takes place, the similarities are hard to ignore. The investigation turns personal and soon hits close to home. A suspect comes to light and Will finds himself in a battle to solve the most important case of his life. Enlisting the help of Detectives James Dixon and Nick Peyton is tricky when the men don’t feel like they know him yet. Can he earn their trust before it’s too late?

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Review

FiveStars

Book six has to be the best thus far.

Rainey is the new detective in town so he is not the most established with such a tight knit group of people and to be thrown into an investigation around the murder of gays and addicts does not make his newness any better. He has not earned the trust of his team yet but as time goes on they realize that he is good at his job and takes it seriously. Almost so much so that he gets close to ruining the other important part of his life with Josh his long term partner.

Rainey and Josh have a strong relationship when Rainey moves to the KCPD and even though they have a few issues they become a stronger couple as the book goes on. The love they share is the true kind of love and it is hot inside of and outside of the bedroom.

Another great read.

Tosha

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4 Star Review for Breathing Betrayal (Elemental Evidence #1) by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham (Author Interview) #MM #Crime @BelloraQ @SadieBermingham

  breathing betrayal coverTitle: Breathing Betrayal (Elemental Evidence #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: June 7, 2016 – 96,902 Words

Synopsis

Jake Chivis is the descendant of Fire Elementals with a gift for psychometry, the ability to see memories from touching objects. After a bad breakup and trouble at work, Jake gave up his career as a detective in Detroit and moved to England to join a research program studying Elemental gifts at University College London. It seemed like the perfect way to escape his past and start over, and this time he’s vowed not to fall into the trap of dating a coworker. At least that’s the plan, until he meets Doctor Ilmarinen Gale.

Mari Gale is blond, sexy, relentlessly academic and comfortable in his own skin in a way Jake envies. After a handful of embarrassing encounters, Jake is ready to resign himself to staying under the radar, but when a colleague’s brother goes missing, he and Mari must work together to find him. As they dig into the inexplicable disappearance, Jake is impressed with Mari’s competence and unique skills, and even more impressed by his ability to wrap Jake around his finger. Together the unlikely pair discover murder, betrayal, secrets and just how high Mari can fan Jake’s flames.

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Review

FourStars

There are so many amazing things about this book that I hardly know where to start. Normally in a romance, I’m all about the relationship and the characters, and the plot is secondary. But in Breathing Betrayal, I was equally as invested in the plot as I was the characters. It’s like CSI meets the paranormal. Jake and Mari must work together, using their special abilities, to try and figure out what happened to a colleague’s brother. The crime aspect of it was really cool, and seeing how they both use their abilities made it even better.
I also really loved Jake and Mari’s relationship. Both are men who have been hurt in the past, leaving them vulnerable and skittish when it comes to relationships. Seeing them work through their pain together was really sweet. And the sex scenes were so incredibly steamy! I’d read it again just for those! I do wish there had been a scene where they really laid bare everything that happened to them. They tell each other bits and pieces, like their experience with their exes, but I feel like they could have gone more in dept with the conversation.
Overall, this is a fantastic read for anyone who loves crime and M/M. While I hate the phrase “unputdownable,” I read this book in a single sitting, which tells you just how unputdownable it is! Definitely worth reading if you get the chance.
Alyson

Excerpt

Rain pink-pink- pinked against the window pane and drip-drip- dripped into the pot that Jake had placed under the leak in the hallway. Murky gray morning light greeted him when he opened his eyes. Another drizzly day. He had thought that was just some persistent stereotype, a comic exaggeration—about how rainy it was in London—but so far, this month, it was turning out to be true.

Jake was steadily getting used to the weather. It really wasn’t all that different from his native Michigan. He had been told by his colleagues this was an unusually wet November and that when winter finally kicked off, it wouldn’t be as severe as he was accustomed to. That was something to be glad about, at least.

The weather was not the only thing he’d had to get used to after moving a little over three and a half thousand miles away from the only place he’d known. London was worlds away from Detroit. It was still alive for one thing, not a dying husk. It was cleaner too, even with more than ten times the population. London had its crime and its dangerous places just like any large city, but even the urban degeneration here had a certain vibrancy to it that was unlike the desperation and decay of Detroit.

Enough of that.

Thinking about home was a guaranteed way to put him in a bad mood. At least he didn’t hate his new abode.

The apartment was small and leaky but it was clean and bug free and he didn’t have a lot of stuff anyway. Four rooms—kitchen, bathroom, small living room and a closet-sized bedroom that was barely big enough to hold a double bed and the armoire. The kitchen was equally tiny. A small fridge, sink and an ancient two-burner stove. There was just enough counter space to plug in his coffeepot. He was not complaining. The small space made it easy to keep warm and clean and discouraged clutter. It was also paid for, which was another big plus.

He hadn’t liked that idea at first. He thought the university should just pay him outright and let him figure out how to deal with the rent and utilities, but he had to admit that having them take care of the bills took some of the worry off his mind. Unfortunately he still had plenty of other things to worry about.

No, he told himself firmly. He was not going to start off the day thinking about home and everything he’d deliberately left behind when he got on the plane. That was over.

Jake dragged himself out of bed and across the living room to the bathroom. After a quick slash, he washed his face, finger-combed his hair with wet hands then threw on some sweats and he was ready for his morning run. There would be time for a shower and food later. Back in Detroit, he would have started his day by driving to the track or the gym to work out before heading to the station house. Here he could walk or use public transportation to get just about anywhere he needed to go. At first the idea of not having a car, of not being able to just hop in and drive wherever he had to go, any time he wanted, had given him more of a panicky, trapped feeling than being an ocean away from everyone he knew and everything familiar. A car was the very first thing he’d asked about, after moving his meager belongings into the apartment. The research assistant who’d been assigned to ensuring he got settled in and had what he needed had told him to give it a week or two and, if he still wanted to purchase a car, the university would arrange it.

At the time, Jake had thought there was no possible way he could survive for so long without a vehicle at his disposal, but by the end of his first week he had explored the Tube, the cabs and the buses, got himself an Oyster card and found he could get around remarkably well without having to fight through traffic behind the wheel. He hadn’t brought up the need for a car again.

There was a small park only one street over from where he lived, and several right around the university, but they were little more than decorative green space—compact garden squares hemmed in by the tall, dark façades of houses and office buildings—nice for a picnic maybe, but not big enough for a run. Fortunately Regent’s Park was fairly close to where he lived and the paths and trails there were perfect. The park was never truly empty but this early in the morning, especially on such a wet, gray day, only the dedicated were out. They all had little earbuds or headphones on and their eyes were fixed forward, everyone in their own private bubbles. No one stopped to say good morning. No one drew him to one side to ask if he could touch their grandmother’s wedding ring and tell them if she’d hidden cash somewhere in the attic. It was great. It was almost perfect, except for one thing.

There was one other person from the university that liked to run the same route he did and while Jake didn’t see him every morning, it happened often enough that he’d started looking for the guy while he ran. That annoyed him. Running was his time to clear his head. It was meditative.

He could tune out and think of nothing. Or at least he could until he started paying more attention to the people he passed than he did the simple rhythm of putting one foot down in front of the other. Now during his morning runs, he was distracted by looking around to see if he’d catch sight of a particular slender figure whose long legs ate up the distance like the wind.

Jake told himself that he was only looking so that he could avoid him, and thereby avoid having to make polite conversation. It definitely wasn’t because of the way the ridiculously tight Lycra leggings he wore outlined every muscle in his lean thighs or the way his perfect ass looked so tasty in them. No, not at all.

Jake never had been very good at lying to himself. Even so, admiring that sexy little derrière from a distance was all he would do. He had learned his lesson about getting involved with coworkers. Anyway, it was unlikely he’d see him today, given the dismal weather. He could stop looking around and just concentrate on pushing himself.

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3.5 Stars for Actual Stop (Agent O’Connor #1) by Kara A. McLeod #FF #Mystery

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Title: Actual Stop (Agent O’Connor #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Kara A. McLeod (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: June 14, 2016 – 312 Pages

Synopsis

Special Agent Ryan O’Connor’s life is exactly on track—she’s with a wonderful woman, and she’s doing something she loves. Sure, her boss can’t stand her, but she figures if that’s her biggest problem, she’s pretty damn lucky. She should have known it was too good to last and that when fate finally slapped her, it would do so hard enough to leave a mark.

When Ryan’s ex-girlfriend, Special Agent Allison Reynolds, suddenly reappears in New York, her carefully constructed world is thrown into chaos. As they’re forced to work together, Ryan is compelled to confront several realities that she wishes she could avoid. One of which is that it’s terrible to mix the past with the present. The other is that it’s not only the past that paints the present with lead.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

There are a lot of things to like in this book, although there are a couple of things that are a bit lacking. I like McLeod’s style of writing, and the flow made it easy to keep turning pages. I found the details of her Secret Service job interesting, and liked hearing about the various different departments that we don’t usually hear about. However, I found Ryan to be a little immature. She’s still hung up on her ex, Allison, a fellow agent who dumped her, but she’s been seeing Lucia for the last six months, and doesn’t consider that a relationship. Obviously, after Allison, feelings aren’t her strong suit, but I find it annoying that anytime anything ‘feelings’ related came up, Ryan shoved it all to the back burner and ignored it. Definitely not a way to not hurt the person you’re involved with. With that type of introspection and lack of self-awareness, I don’t find it surprising at all that Ryan hasn’t moved on at all in the four years since Allison left. Nor that she has no clue what Lucia really feels for her. At the same time, she castigates and self-flagellates enough for her shortcomings that you’d really expect her to try to resolve some things. I will say that there were several unresolved issues at the end of the book that definitely tie into book two. It isn’t quite a cliffhanger, but definitely ways that you can see where the next book will go. I’ll withhold my own suppositions and suspicions, but would gladly pick up the next book in the series. I’d like to see how some of those threads are tied up. Pretty good for a debut, and I can only expect things to get better.

AmyP

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5 Star, 4 Star and 3 Star Reviews for Goslyn County by A.M. McKnight #FF #Crime @wordmc46

CoverTitle: Goslyn County
Author Name: A.M. McKnight
Publication Date & Length: November 28, 2015 – 305 pgs

Synopsis

A mostly black community with its roots in farming, Goslyn, Virginia lay just south of the State’s Capital. The once small, close-knit county had grown rapidly in the past two decades and boasted a population of just over fifty thousand. But the county’s crime stats had grown as well, and the latest offenses included several break-ins and rumors of a meth lab. Time had brought many changes, and many of the longtime folks of Goslyn no longer recognized their community and longed for days gone by.

Goslyn PD Detective Olivia “Ollie” Winston loves her family and friends and shows it through her sense of humor. Just like her neighbors, she too worries about the recent events, and it’s her job to find out who’s behind the crime spree.

While investigating three burglaries, Olivia meets IRS Special Agent Maureen Jeffries who is pursuing a tax fraud suspect. Their cases are connected, and both soon discover they have much in common, personally and professionally.

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Review

FiveStars

A really wonderful book, a delight to read.
The fantastic opening chapter explained how the two young friends friendship between them was so close, and how supportive each girls family was, and the different  gender preference of each girl. This set the tone for the whole book.
After setting the tone, Ms McKnight moved on to present day and once again reinforced the strength and love in the family, this time through the humerous encounter between Ollie and her grandmother and the tv!!! Encounters many of us have had similar experience of.
As the book progresses we are given relevant information  about all her family, friends and  significant others. All are which are carefully choreographed and woven into the story line in an interesting and fascinating way. Without almost realizing it odd discrepancies begin to reveal themselves, out of character behaviour is exhibited. The plot weaves its mystery and nothing is fully revealed until we reach the end of this marvelous book.
One nice touch was the revelation towards the end that secret first love can be revealed and reciprocated.
I think what drew me to this novel was not just the outstanding story line but the exceptional and beautifully portrayed family dynamics. A really different approach to an engaging and captivating novel.
Chris

FourStars

Goslyn County is a really enjoyable read and stands out from many other lesfic crime novels.  It is set in a black community and has a very positive and inspiring outlook that appealed to me.  The crime part of the book was well plotted and kept my attention but for me the best part was the budding romance between cop Olivia and IRS agent, Maureen.  I felt it was dealt with in a very grown up way and the characters themselves had a maturity and depth to them seldom seen in the genre.  Olivia and Maureen meet through working on a case and there are tensions around this as Olivia’s boss is intent on causing her problems.  He implies there is impropriety and it causes the women to take things slowly until they are sure about it.  I am glad the author decided on a slow burning romance as it made so much sense with these characters.  The importance of family and community came through and made the minor characters so important to the whole novel.

KittyKat

ThreeStar

This was a fun read. I enjoyed getting to know Olivia and Maureen. I
loved the dynamic between the women and enjoyed watching their love
story unfold. There were times that I wanted to scream at one or both
of them, though mostly Olivia, about their stubbornness but it was
still a fun journey.

I hope the finished book is better edited and formatted than the ARC
we received as there were many times I couldn’t tell what was the
author was trying to say.

The story was engaging and entertaining, as well as hot and spicy in
the right places. Good read.

Tori

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NEW RELEASE: Breathing Betrayal (Elemental Evidence #1) by Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham (Author Interview) #MM #Crime @BelloraQ @SadieBermingham

  breathing betrayal coverTitle: Breathing Betrayal (Elemental Evidence #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: June 7, 2016 – 96,902 Words

Synopsis

Jake Chivis is the descendant of Fire Elementals with a gift for psychometry, the ability to see memories from touching objects. After a bad breakup and trouble at work, Jake gave up his career as a detective in Detroit and moved to England to join a research program studying Elemental gifts at University College London. It seemed like the perfect way to escape his past and start over, and this time he’s vowed not to fall into the trap of dating a coworker. At least that’s the plan, until he meets Doctor Ilmarinen Gale.

Mari Gale is blond, sexy, relentlessly academic and comfortable in his own skin in a way Jake envies. After a handful of embarrassing encounters, Jake is ready to resign himself to staying under the radar, but when a colleague’s brother goes missing, he and Mari must work together to find him. As they dig into the inexplicable disappearance, Jake is impressed with Mari’s competence and unique skills, and even more impressed by his ability to wrap Jake around his finger. Together the unlikely pair discover murder, betrayal, secrets and just how high Mari can fan Jake’s flames.

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Excerpt

Rain pink-pink- pinked against the window pane and drip-drip- dripped into the pot that Jake had placed under the leak in the hallway. Murky gray morning light greeted him when he opened his eyes. Another drizzly day. He had thought that was just some persistent stereotype, a comic exaggeration—about how rainy it was in London—but so far, this month, it was turning out to be true.

Jake was steadily getting used to the weather. It really wasn’t all that different from his native Michigan. He had been told by his colleagues this was an unusually wet November and that when winter finally kicked off, it wouldn’t be as severe as he was accustomed to. That was something to be glad about, at least.

The weather was not the only thing he’d had to get used to after moving a little over three and a half thousand miles away from the only place he’d known. London was worlds away from Detroit. It was still alive for one thing, not a dying husk. It was cleaner too, even with more than ten times the population. London had its crime and its dangerous places just like any large city, but even the urban degeneration here had a certain vibrancy to it that was unlike the desperation and decay of Detroit.

Enough of that.

Thinking about home was a guaranteed way to put him in a bad mood. At least he didn’t hate his new abode.

The apartment was small and leaky but it was clean and bug free and he didn’t have a lot of stuff anyway. Four rooms—kitchen, bathroom, small living room and a closet-sized bedroom that was barely big enough to hold a double bed and the armoire. The kitchen was equally tiny. A small fridge, sink and an ancient two-burner stove. There was just enough counter space to plug in his coffeepot. He was not complaining. The small space made it easy to keep warm and clean and discouraged clutter. It was also paid for, which was another big plus.

He hadn’t liked that idea at first. He thought the university should just pay him outright and let him figure out how to deal with the rent and utilities, but he had to admit that having them take care of the bills took some of the worry off his mind. Unfortunately he still had plenty of other things to worry about.

No, he told himself firmly. He was not going to start off the day thinking about home and everything he’d deliberately left behind when he got on the plane. That was over.

Jake dragged himself out of bed and across the living room to the bathroom. After a quick slash, he washed his face, finger-combed his hair with wet hands then threw on some sweats and he was ready for his morning run. There would be time for a shower and food later. Back in Detroit, he would have started his day by driving to the track or the gym to work out before heading to the station house. Here he could walk or use public transportation to get just about anywhere he needed to go. At first the idea of not having a car, of not being able to just hop in and drive wherever he had to go, any time he wanted, had given him more of a panicky, trapped feeling than being an ocean away from everyone he knew and everything familiar. A car was the very first thing he’d asked about, after moving his meager belongings into the apartment. The research assistant who’d been assigned to ensuring he got settled in and had what he needed had told him to give it a week or two and, if he still wanted to purchase a car, the university would arrange it.

At the time, Jake had thought there was no possible way he could survive for so long without a vehicle at his disposal, but by the end of his first week he had explored the Tube, the cabs and the buses, got himself an Oyster card and found he could get around remarkably well without having to fight through traffic behind the wheel. He hadn’t brought up the need for a car again.

There was a small park only one street over from where he lived, and several right around the university, but they were little more than decorative green space—compact garden squares hemmed in by the tall, dark façades of houses and office buildings—nice for a picnic maybe, but not big enough for a run. Fortunately Regent’s Park was fairly close to where he lived and the paths and trails there were perfect. The park was never truly empty but this early in the morning, especially on such a wet, gray day, only the dedicated were out. They all had little earbuds or headphones on and their eyes were fixed forward, everyone in their own private bubbles. No one stopped to say good morning. No one drew him to one side to ask if he could touch their grandmother’s wedding ring and tell them if she’d hidden cash somewhere in the attic. It was great. It was almost perfect, except for one thing.

There was one other person from the university that liked to run the same route he did and while Jake didn’t see him every morning, it happened often enough that he’d started looking for the guy while he ran. That annoyed him. Running was his time to clear his head. It was meditative.

He could tune out and think of nothing. Or at least he could until he started paying more attention to the people he passed than he did the simple rhythm of putting one foot down in front of the other. Now during his morning runs, he was distracted by looking around to see if he’d catch sight of a particular slender figure whose long legs ate up the distance like the wind.

Jake told himself that he was only looking so that he could avoid him, and thereby avoid having to make polite conversation. It definitely wasn’t because of the way the ridiculously tight Lycra leggings he wore outlined every muscle in his lean thighs or the way his perfect ass looked so tasty in them. No, not at all.

Jake never had been very good at lying to himself. Even so, admiring that sexy little derrière from a distance was all he would do. He had learned his lesson about getting involved with coworkers. Anyway, it was unlikely he’d see him today, given the dismal weather. He could stop looking around and just concentrate on pushing himself.

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New Release: 4.5, 4, and 3 Star Reviews for The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick #Crime #MM @miakerick

TAOHW Front Cover-1

Title: The Art of Hero Worship
Author Name & Publisher: Mia Kerick (Cool Dudes Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: February 14, 2016 – 212 pgs

Synopsis

Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots, as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross drapes his massive body on top of Jason, sheltering the younger man from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.

As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. And added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade away into the darkness from which it emerged.

Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.

The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This book was stunningly beautiful and Mia Kerick just has a way with the written word. This book had mystery and suspense along with romance. Two men who considered them to be straight were suddenly in a situation where they found themselves to be falling in love with each other. In addition to dealing with a crazed shooter, PTSD and the loss of friends they had to deal with suddenly find themselves in love with each other and had to deal with their family’s as well. This story was heart wrenching and felt very realistic. That comes from a great author.

Lynn

FourStars

I really enjoyed this book. There were so many elements to it, the tragic shooting, the after effects for both Liam and Jase, both guys having feelings for another guy for the first time, and guilt over those they couldn’t save. This book had so much emotion and I thought the author did a good job to where the reader felt all of those emotions right along with the characters. I do wish there would have been more dialogue at times there was a lot of inner thinking on Jase’s part which is understandable but I wanted to hear Jase express his feelings instead of keeping them to himself.

Angie

ThreeStar

I really enjoyed this book. There were so many elements to it, the tragic shooting, the after effects for both Liam and Jase, both guys having feelings for another guy for the first time, and guilt over those they couldn’t save. This book had so much emotion and I thought the author did a good job to where the reader felt all of those emotions right along with the characters. I do wish there would have been more dialogue at times there was a lot of inner thinking on Jase’s part which is understandable but I wanted to hear Jase express his feelings instead of keeping them to himself.

Sarah

Excerpt

Pop-pop-pop….

No, I’m not even remotely safe. But thankfully I play dead far better than my dog did when I taught him that trick at the age of seven.

The shots are earsplitting and getting louder because the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I’m trembling violently, but I promised the guy lying on top of me that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after another, in my effort to stop trembling. To stay frozen—like I’ve been since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could curl up into a tight fetal ball.

Somebody near me sits up, scrambles to his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.

Pop-pop-pop…

“Bang, bang… you’re dead.” The voice comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The weird snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going with the short breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life. Even in my terrified state, I know that the guy on top of me is totally exposed and I can’t move because I’ll cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to save mine.

I smell blood. Never noticed the smell of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection… if it got spilled onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere… like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.

Pop-pop-pop…

Shooter’s right above us now. Don’t move… don’t move… don’t move….

“Dear God, help us!”  This request seems to catch the shooter’s attention and he turns around and steps away from us. I curse myself for feeling as relieved, and maybe even glad, as I do.

Pop-pop-pop….

We wait and it seems like forever. We wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.

And then, for a second, it’s quiet.

“Now….” The big guy’s voice is whispering but it seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is our chance to get outta here….”

His hand is attached to the back of my wrist, clutching me so hard that I know I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week… if I live so long.

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Filed under 3 Star, 4 Star, 4.5 Stars, Angie, Lynn, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah

New Release: The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick #Crime #MM @miakerick

TAOHW Front Cover-1

Title: The Art of Hero Worship
Author Name & Publisher: Mia Kerick (Cool Dudes Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: February 14, 2016 – 212 pgs

Synopsis

Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots, as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross drapes his massive body on top of Jason, sheltering the younger man from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.

As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. And added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade away into the darkness from which it emerged.

Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.

The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.

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Excerpt

Pop-pop-pop….

No, I’m not even remotely safe. But thankfully I play dead far better than my dog did when I taught him that trick at the age of seven.

The shots are earsplitting and getting louder because the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I’m trembling violently, but I promised the guy lying on top of me that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after another, in my effort to stop trembling. To stay frozen—like I’ve been since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could curl up into a tight fetal ball.

Somebody near me sits up, scrambles to his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.

Pop-pop-pop…

“Bang, bang… you’re dead.” The voice comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The weird snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going with the short breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life. Even in my terrified state, I know that the guy on top of me is totally exposed and I can’t move because I’ll cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to save mine.

I smell blood. Never noticed the smell of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection… if it got spilled onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere… like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.

Pop-pop-pop…

Shooter’s right above us now. Don’t move… don’t move… don’t move….

“Dear God, help us!”  This request seems to catch the shooter’s attention and he turns around and steps away from us. I curse myself for feeling as relieved, and maybe even glad, as I do.

Pop-pop-pop….

We wait and it seems like forever. We wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.

And then, for a second, it’s quiet.

“Now….” The big guy’s voice is whispering but it seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is our chance to get outta here….”

His hand is attached to the back of my wrist, clutching me so hard that I know I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week… if I live so long.

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