Tag Archives: Japan

TWO 5 Star Reviews for 24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4) by E.M. Lynley #MM #Suspense @Dreamspinners @emlynley

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Title: 24-Karat Conspiracy (Precious Gems #4)
Author Name & Publisher: E.M. Lynley (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 12, 2015 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Love is the only gold

Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet: a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.

This time, Trent’s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul. The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail. The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse. Surprisingly, fastidious and ever-fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects’ wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.

Their faux marriage leads Reed to appreciate Trent in ways he never expected, strengthening their bond—until Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past: his relationship with his estranged family.

See Reviews for Rarer Than Rubies (Book One), Italian Ice (Book Two), and Jaded (Book Three)

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Review

FiveStars

Our two favourite international super-sleuths get uncomfortably domestic in the fourth book in the Precious Gems series. Trent’s parents bring Oklahoma’s college football, Christmas sweaters and exuberant affection into Trent and Reed’s stylish LA lives. Later in the book, Reed is forced to confront his own parents for the first time in many years when the couple has to work closely with Reed’s buttoned-up homophobic father while undercover.

Lynley still gives readers an exotic destination as Trent and Reed’s trip to Istanbul is described beautifully. But most of this story takes place in the US, as the couple navigates the perils of a long-term relationship. Over three books, Trent and Reed have survived all sorts terrifying situations. But if Reed really doesn’t do families and Trent really isn’t cut out for life as an army wife, do they have enough in common to survive the mundane realities of life stateside?

This is the funniest book in the series and possibly the most well-observed. Lynley captures her men’s excitement, vulnerability and fear as Trent and Reed transition from lovers to partners. Both sets of parents allow readers unique insights into the men we’ve come to love. This book has slightly less action than we’ve come to expect from this series, but

Lynley’s character and relationship building is brilliant.

Sarah

FiveStars

I loved the fact that the author gave the series a theme. It was fitting. Each story reflected exactly as the title suggests. Another reason to be impressed with this author. I was really looking forward to this 4th installment. I devoured the 3 previous books and could not wait to see how Trent and Reed were doing. This story is just as suspense-filled and captivating with Trent and Reed. It also gave the author the chance to show us just how much the characters had grown. When we met them in the 1st book, Rarer than Rubies, they each had some growing to do. I fell in love with them in the 1st book, because of that insecurity, and chemistry. And lots of hot sex! That is what is so enjoyable about a series, that has a great author writing it, you get to read the character’s maturing, growing in to their own personality. I smiled a lot during this story. I loved the way Trent and Reed treated each other, with sarcasm, humor and sexy seductions. Their love for each other, is really felt through the pages. They were perfect work buddies too. Such strong loyalty to one another. I really enjoyed them both for their separate, interesting personalities. An enjoyable series that keeps your full attention… to the very (happy) end!!!!!
Thank you EM Lynley for creating such an adorable, interesting, and cool couple.
Kimberley

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4.5 and 4 Stars for Jaded (Precious Gems #3) by E.M. Lynley #MM #Suspense @Dreamspinners @emlynley

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Title: Jaded (Precious Gems #3)
Author Name & Publisher: E.M. Lynley (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: November 22, 2013 – 250 pgs

Synopsis

Gay-romance writer Trent Copeland finds his life in a rut while his boyfriend, Special Agent Reed Acton, is away on an undercover mission. After attending a special course at FBI headquarters in Quantico, Trent’s eager for another challenge. He jumps at the opportunity for a trip to Japan to oversee appraisals of two art collections to be sold at the gallery he co-owns. But the trip isn’t all cherry blossoms and Hello Kitty. When one of the collectors he meets—rumored to be the head of a Yakuza gang—turns up dead, Trent is accused of the murder and thrown in jail.

Reed drops everything to help find out who really committed the crime. He’s in unknown territory in Japan, forced to navigate Tokyo’s sex underworld to unravel the truth and save Trent. He poses as a “host” at a seedy late-night club. When Reed’s undercover activities place him at a ruthless Yakuza leader’s sex party, he must be willing to go to any lengths to secure Trent’s safety and freedom. But trusting the wrong people brings both Reed and Trent to the Yakuza leader’s attention. If they’re ever to have a happy ever after, they’ll first have to call on every skill just to stay alive.

See Reviews for Rarer Than Rubies (Book One) and Italian Ice (Book Two)

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This is my favourite book in the series. Japan is served up in exquisite, exotic detail. We learn much more about Trent’s life and get to see more of the people who are most important to him. Trent is confident with a whole set of previously unknown skills and contacts in the art world.

Reed enters this story after Trent is arrested. Undercover without Trent, Reed battles attraction to another man with honesty and a self-awareness not demonstrated until this book. Once again, Trent and Reed’s skills and personalities contrast and compliment brilliantly.

Jaded has another slightly chaotic plot. Once agin, I don’t think it’s possible for readers to solve the mystery alongside the characters as several important clues are provided only after the action has finished. Like Italian Ice, it is never very clear which characters can be trusted and which characters are plotting against Reed and Trent. I love the suspense this adds to the story and the complexity with which supporting characters are developed.

I feel that Lynley’s writing improves with each book. I love the way Trent and Reed’s characters continue to develop as their relationship matures.

Sarah

FourStars

Again, this author impressed me with every attention to detail. I am fully invested in this couple. The author pulled me in with her words and Trent and Reed are fully embedded in my heart. I NEEDED to know how they are doing and what suspense awaited in the pages. The author did not disappoint. It was a bumpy, sexy ride and I held on with both hands.. well, most of the time 🙂 Like I have mentioned in all my reviews, the details, they just blow me away!!! Can’t wait to read the next one, 24-Karat Conspiracy.

Kimberley

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4 Stars for Osaki by Remmy Duchene #MM #Urban Fantasy @Totally_Bound

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Title: Osaki
Author Name: Remmy Duchene
Publication Date: April 2015

Synopsis

Once a samurai, always a Shiver…

Kofi Olabasu needs a vacation. He’s spent so much time looking out for his brother and working that he’s completely neglected himself. To make matters worse, feelings for a man are driving him crazy. The moment Kofi feels Osaki, he knows something is about to change. Confused about his attraction to Osaki, he agrees to take a vacation and accepts Osaki’s offer of being Kofi’s tour guide in Japan. However, nothing is as it seems. Soon every dark corner is filled with danger and those who wish to do him harm.

Osaki has a lot on his plate and love is the last thing he has time for. Not only does he have to get used to his new powers as a Shiver and all the training it involves, but he also finds himself being drawn to a human—though Kofi makes it clear he’s into women—and Osaki must respect the man’s wishes. All Osaki really has to do is focus on training and being the best tour guide possible for Kofi. But nothing ever goes as planned and soon rogue Shivers are popping out of the woodwork, hell-bent on destroying Osaki for his inheritance. It soon becomes quite clear that they want him dead, and they’re not afraid to use Kofi as leverage—or as collateral damage.

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Review

FourStars

Duchene’s prose is lyrical and evocative, a treat for the senses and this is a wonderfully unusual series.  In Duchene’s world, gods, goddesses and other mythological beings wage war in the heavens while finding time to enjoy the 21st century human world.

In the second book, Osaki is a medieval Samurai soldier turned Shiver. He is helping Circo and Koi protect the world from their rogue Shiver brothers, all of whom resent Osaki’s new powers.   Kofi, Circo’s brother-in-law, is a human real estate agent Osaki has been charged with protecting.

I absolutely love the way the author has made ancient mythology fresh.  The author manages to make the classical characters both relevant and historically accurate.  I also love the mix of mythologies – of course a brave Samurai would be granted entry to Olympus!

The main characters are both fabulous.  But while there are fantastic descriptions of the Japanese warrior, there are very few descriptions of Kofi.  And I really loved him!  There are possibly too many characters here for a reader to keep track of, especially when trying to remember the family ties between all the god and demi gods.

This is not a stand alone novel.  For a story with such a complex premise, very little information is offered to readers at the start of the book.  I found myself lost.  I had to put the story down and read Circo, the first book in the series, before I began to understand the story.  Unfortunately, even after reading the first book, I still had unanswered questions that kept me searching through my Kindle, sure I’d missed some important facts.

The action and romance in this story are perfectly balanced.  Kofi’s confusion over his sexual identity is incredibly moving and the relationship with his brother is very sweet.  Kofi’s insecurities are met with Osaki’s gentlemanly reserve, making for an excruciatingly drawn-out courtship.  I loved every single scene between the two men.

While the action scenes were exciting and the whole story very suspenseful, there were times where I found it difficult to understand who their enemy was and why they were fighting.

Overall, this is both a tender love story and an exciting adventure.

Sarah

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AuthorBio

Remmy Duchene is a Canadian-hockey-watching-baseball-playing kind of guy. He loves walking in the rain and bugging his friends about his latest story ideas. Remmy believes that true love comes in all shapes, sizes, and sexualities. He is always saying “I’d rather see two gay people in love get married than two straight people that hate each other.”

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Filed under 4 Star, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah