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    REVIEW: Gentlemen Prefer Villains by C. Rochelle

    Villainous Things: Gentlemen Prefer Villains – C. Rochelle

    Simon

    I needed to get the hell out of Big City.

    The only reason I was living in this American wasteland was because my mother insisted I reconcile with my estranged father. That the idea came to her while drunk on the French bubbly should have been my sign to stay right where I belonged.

    Anywhere but here. Certainly somewhere more fabulous.

    When an international job opportunity arises, I jump on board. It’s just a bonus that I’ll be traveling with the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome.

    Make that muscular, morally gray, and hopefully, my next conquest.

    What’s a casual fling between coworkers, after all? I’m ready for my next big adventure—far from Big City—so if whatever we’re up to is vaguely illegal, I’ll simply turn the other cheek.

    It’s not like some superhero is going to swoop in and stop a couple of humans like us.

    Wolfgang

    I may have orchestrated my villainous parents’ deaths, but that doesn’t mean the crushing weight of my responsibilities is easy to bear.

    My sister was the only one of my siblings who knew how badly they treated me. The only one I told how much I despise my powers. Now she’s on the run—leaving me to carry this alone.

    But then I meet him. I may have hired Simon Alarie as my assistant, but it’s instantly apparent he’s much more than that. He’s not only intelligent and business savvy, but fiercely loyal, and the tastiest—most forbidden—little thing I’ve ever seen.

    Nothing can come of it. Because if I touch him, he dies.

    That doesn’t stop me from claiming him as mine. Whether or not this normie knows it, every inch of him—every breath he takes—belongs to me. And anyone who thinks otherwise will meet the Hand of Death.

    Gentlemen Prefer Villains is an MM romance between a villain and a “normie.” Our men find other men in tight supersuits incredibly attractive. Sometimes, they keep these supersuits on while engaging in explicit extracurricular activities with each other (and sometimes they even use bad words!). This is not your kid’s superhero book. This is Sin City and The Boys having a love child with extra spicy Spideypool and is meant for 18+ adults who can handle such things.

    The Villainous Things series contains standalone books (each with HEAs) that feature interconnected characters and an overarching plot. You should read them in order (starting with Not All Himbos Wear Capes)

    IF YOU LOVE (full list of CW/TW coming soon to the authors’ webpage)

    • Superheroes/villains (and the “normies” who love them)

    • Big skerry boss + his sassy li’l assistant (SIZE DIFFERENCE)

    • Mafia vibes

    • Touch Him & Perish vibes too

    • Casual psychopaths with mutual obsession

    • SO MUCH TENSION

    • Leather

    • Extra spicy extracurricular activities

    • Naughty dark humor + sweary dialogue

    • MM romance (in case you missed that part)

    • A James Bond meets Catch Me If You Can international romp

    Then shake your martini and power up!


    It boils down to this: I loved the book, I didn’t like Simon.

    Gentlemen Prefer Villains, Book 2 of Villainous Things, picks up after the events of Not All Himbos Wear Capes. Violencia is missing, and Wolfgang, now head of the Suarez family and currently using his civilian identity, is looking for a personal assistant to help look for his sister.

    Simon Alarie, spoiled son of a serial gold digger, is being interviewed. Wolfgang walks in to gauge his reaction since the notorious villain is used to being feared even out of uniform. To his surprise, not only Simon didn’t show any signs of fear, he outrageously flirted with him. He was hired on the spot.

    This is why I didn’t warm up to Simon. He was so annoying!!! Too pushy and rude!! And being spoiled, he started bossing Wolfie around, thinking the bigger man was a bodyguard. I didn’t like Wolfie being bossed around, not even if Wolfie claimed to like it.

    Wolfgang was the most enigmatic Suarez in Not All Himbos Wear Capes and one of the most powerful villains in Big City. He can absorb the power of any supe he touches or the lifeforce of a normie. One touch means instant death. No one has voluntarily touched Wolfie since he accidentally killed his nanny as a toddler.

    He was raised as a weapon by his abusive parents. As a child, his father, Apocalypto Man, ordered him to run while he hunted him in the middle of the Argentinian forest. If Wolfie is caught, he’d be killed. He was only eight years old then. This is only one of the many “trainings” he had to endure.

    As the Hand of Death, Wolfie killed whoever his parents wanted dead. As the eldest Suarez sibling, he did all he could so that his siblings were spared a similar fate. Wolfie is a born protector and carer.

    So I wasn’t thrilled about him being bossed around. After a lifetime of taking orders, I wanted him in charge.

    As the story progresses, it becomes more apparent that Simon is a psychopath. His dynamics with Wolfie are pretty similar to Julian Castellani and Leo Bernardi (His Fatal Love). Murder husbands is a favorite trope, and I wanted to like Simon, but I’m sorry, the man lacked Julian’s charm.

    The closest thing I came to liking Simon was when he went beast mode and bit everyone’s head off when Wolfie went missing. At least we know this bratty psycho will burn the world for his man. Wolfie deserves that level of devotion.

    The world-building in Villainous Things gives us enough details to imagine the scenarios, but it’s not as tightly constructed or as richly conceived as the more hardcore superhero stories. The series tends to focus more on sexy times, particularly the BDSM aspect. I’m not a fan of BDSM, so I’m neutral about the couples.

    Part of the plot is a fascinating glimpse of supe history, going back thousands of years. I hope it will be explored further because it would give the series a rich lore that could spawn more stories. It also helps with the world-building. 

    My favorite part is The Rabble, as Wolfie calls the Suarez group chat. Xander is The Mouthy One, and Butch is The Token Hero. The twins, Andre and Gabriel, are Thing One and Thing Two, while Baltazar is The Dumb One. The sibling interactions are hilarious, and I think it’s a missed opportunity not to have them together in more scenes, ala war room scenes in Necessary Evils.

    The most poignant part is Wolfie’s relationship with V. She’s closest to him, his sounding board, and the only one who knew about the abuse he suffered. Not knowing what state he will find V in or that he might be forced to kill her, since V’s berserker power makes her both deadly and also susceptible to other’s control.

    I am aware I am reading Gentlemen Prefer Villains wrong. The book is all about bratty, bossy, and BDSM, while I wanted supe lore, sibling banter, and superhuman fight scenes. Still, I got enough of the parts I wanted that I am looking forward to the next Suarez, which is Balti!

    Overall, gentlemanly villains are much preferred!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Villain
    Artist: Missio
    Album: Villain

    P.S.

    Villainous Things should be read in order. Watch The Mouthy One and The Token Hero shake things up in Big City and in the bedroom in Not All Himbos Wear Capes.


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    REVIEW: Not All Himbos Wear Capes by C. Rochelle

    Villainous Things: Not All Himbos Wear Capes – C. Rochelle

    PLEASE NOTE: Full list of Content & TWs can be found in the front of the book and at c-rochelle[dot]com.

    Xander

    Big City is supposedly the place where dreams come true. As someone just trying to live my life, I can tell you, it’s more like a recurring nightmare where dreams get c*ckblocked at every turn.

    Especially if you’re a supervillain like me.

    The irony is that I have zero powers, despite coming from purebred villain stock, but try telling that to Big City’s beloved hero, Captain Masculine.

    This himbo is ruining my research, and if his firepower doesn’t kill me, the sight of him in Lycra surely will. Luckily—or unluckily, in my opinion—my bestie just signed me up for the Bangers dating app and found my perfect match.

    If this isn’t the start of my villain arc, I don’t know what is.

    Butch

    It’s hard feeling like I have to wear a mask every day—that the only value I bring to the table is the sparkling image others have created for me.

    Such is the life of being Captain Masculine, Big City’s greatest superhero. This is the existence I was destined for, and I will gladly defend this city against every threat to its people.

    Except Doctor Antihero.

    I’ve seen countless villains come and go, but something about Antihero intrigues me more than the usual hero-villain encounters should.

    It’s because of him that I impulsively signed up for a dating app, hoping a meaningless fling with a local normie will help get my head back in the game. The truth is, what I really want is someone who sees me—the man behind the mask.

    But that’s a luxury no superhero can afford.

    Not All Himbos Wear Capes is an MM romance between a superhero and a villain. Our men find other men in tight supersuits incredibly attractive. Sometimes, they keep these supersuits on while engaging in explicit extracurricular activities with each other (and sometimes they even use bad words!).

    This is not your kid’s superhero book. This is Sin City and The Boys having a love child with extra spicy Spideypool and is meant for 18+ adults who can handle such things.

    The Villainous Things series contains standalone books (each with HEAs) that feature interconnected characters and an overarching plot.

    *FULL LIST OF Content & TWs can be found in the front of the book and at c-rochelle[dot]com*

    CONTENT & TROPES:
    • MM romance
    • Dual POV
    • Superheroes/villains
    • Grumpy/sunshine
    • Star-crossed lovers + fated mates
    • Lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers (yup)
    • Hurt/comfort + found family
    • D/s dynamic that’s more bedroom than lifestyle
    • MM romance (in case you missed that part)
    • Plus suspenseful plot + save-the-world epicness for pizazz

    POTENTIAL TRIGGERS:
    • Sweary dialogue
    • Naughty irreverent humor
    • Extremely morally gray characters with moments of psychotic ideation
    • Extra spicy extracurricular activities (see inside book and c-rochelle[dot]com for specifics)
    • Minor gore in villain lair and during hero/villain battle scenes
    • Controlling + neglectful parents with some physical (superpowered) abuse
    • Lack of autonomy + indentured servitude
    • Restraints (not the fun kind)
    • Detailed descriptions of humans’ negative effects on coastal wildlife (specifically with pollution and including a seagull autopsy with details of the contents of its stomach)


    Heroism and villainy as a matter of perspective, or in this case, a matter of signing the contract, is a frequently explored theme in superhero stories.

    Villainous Things, by C. Rochelle, is another take on the subject. The series opens with Not All Himbos Wear Capes, an enemies-to-lovers secret romance between Big City’s golden boy, the cheese-tastically named Captain Masculine, and Doctor Antihero, a member of the infamous villain clan, the Suarez family.

    The world here is divided between normies and supes. The supes are considered different species and shouldn’t procreate with normies because their abilities might harm ordinary humans. They are expected to form strategic alliances with other prominent supe families to create more supes.

    The supes are further divided between superheroes and supervillains. The heroes are backed by the government and signed contracts to protect the city from the bad guys.

    Cap Masculine and Doc Antihero first met as Butch and Xander via an online dating app. They immediately hit it off on their first date. Still clueless of each other’s alter egos, they continued dating until things became serious between them.

    Then Xander invited Butch to meet his family. Only for Butch to realize Xander is from the notorious Suarez clan, having recognized his sister as Ultraviolent, and his mother as Glacial Girl. Xander still remained the clueless loving boyfriend, while Butch tries to find the right time to tell him. 

    Also, his family has arranged for him to marry a girl from another famous superhero clan, treating Butch as nothing more than a breeding stud. His entire life has been mapped out since birth and Butch is used to following orders.

    The plot starts simple enough as a secret identity romance, where the supposed villain shows his caring side and the hero discovers his kinkier desires. There’s also a grumpy/sunshine aspect, Xander being the growly top and Butch as the sunshiny himbo.

    I’m not a fan of the romance because it’s mostly boring daddy/boy foreplay with cringy dirty talk. Outside the bedroom, they were okay, mostly just there as eyes to see the world through. In short, I don’t care for the MCs. I just like the things happening around them. 

    Because bigger things are happening than just a forbidden love affair. Cap Masculine’s blinders fell off, and he took a stand against the indentured servitude his famous superhero parents signed him in when he was born. As they and the rest of the superheroes have signed such contracts.

    At this point, the plot became a convoluted game of political machinations, supe rights, family upheaval, and unlikely allies where power is challenged, and murders are committed to maintain the status quo.

    I wished the Saurezes came on page much earlier because they were the more interesting characters. Xander has a complicated relationship with his family. He says they’re all psychopaths and stays away from their house. They appeared halfway in the story, and made things a hell of a lot more chaotic and exciting. 

    Apocalypto and Glacial Girl have five known children, Violencia, Wolfgang, Baltazar and twins, Gabriel and Andre. Xander is the secret baby because he didn’t show any superpowers. His high IQ gave him multiple PhDs and nifty inventions, which he used to save the ocean. These inventions were hijacked by his evil dad into dastardly gadgets.

    Wolfgang, a.k.a. Hand of Death, practically stole the show, when he made his move to secure the Suarez family. One of the most powerful villains and a sly psycho who will protect his family at all costs, but is also surprisingly vulnerable, he’s my favorite character and happily, his book is next.

    The rest of the books feature the male siblings and continue the overarching plot so the books must be read in order.

    At first blush, Not All Himbos Wear Capes is a fun, raunchy take on the superhero trope. Then it goes grey and gritty the more we know about Big City and its secrets.

    While not really saying anything new about heroism and villainy, it still gave us an intriguing world that is fun to explore through the eyes of its superheroes and villains. Overall, heroically kinky, villainously wears its heart on its sleeve.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Villain
    Artist: Ado
    Album: Ado’s Mitattemita Album


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    SERIES REVIEW: Necromancer Rising Books 1 & 2 by Richard Amos

    Necromancer Rising: Death Eternal – Richard Amos

    Death is supposed to be the end.
    Not in my world.

    The dead never move on, not since Death walked off the job and disappeared. As a necromancer, it’s my job to police the spirits while they remain stuck and, well, problematic a lot of the time.

    Death really needs to take his head out of his backside and get back to work, wherever he might be.

    After a horrible incident in the tunnels of the London Underground, my life takes a sharp turn. It’s all my fault and I’m sent off to a small town, a move to keep me out of sight and mind for the time being. Shamed, reputation dragged through the dirt.

    I’m not getting that promotion anytime soon.

    On my first day in the town, I get caught up in a strange murder case, and Death saves my life.
    Yes, the Death. The delectable, mysterious Death.

    Goodness, he is hotness personified. But what happened to make him walk away from his responsibilities? And why is he so deliciously tempting, my desire a raging inferno every time he looks at me with those incredible eyes?
    I shouldn’t be thinking of an immortal being like this, but with every passing hour I can’t stop myself from falling deeper into infatuation.

    I want him.

    Resistance is… impossible.

    Death Eternal is the first book in an M/M Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance series packed with mystery, danger, a knitting necromancer, a delectable immortal being, plenty of sizzle, and rather disgusting liquid mushrooms.


    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Cosmic
    Artist: Benjamin Carter
    Album: Self_Portrait: Vol. 1


    Necromancer Rising: Death Enraptured – Richard Amos

    Follow my heart and make a mess…
    That’s putting it mildly.

    My life has really taken a complicated turn here in Oakthorne. I keep hoping some fairy godmother will show up and offer me a nice bit of time reversal. Not too much, just enough to ease this pain.

    Yeah. Right.

    Anyway, as much as there’s hurt, there’s also Death. He is the complication, but a beautiful one I can’t resist when I really, really should. He consumes my every waking moment, submerges me in raging desire I never want to break free of.

    Damn.

    On top of that messiness, there’s a mystery to solve, a bad guy to defeat, and other new developments within myself to deal with.

    So much to do.
    So much danger to face.

    Where the hell is that fairy godmother?

    Death Enraptured is the second book in an M/M Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance series packed with mystery, danger, a knitting necromancer, a delectable immortal being, plenty of sizzle, and rather disgusting liquid mushrooms.


    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Enter The Mirror
    Artist: Everything Everything
    Album: Mountainhead


    In the graphic novel Sandman, Lucifer quit his job and handed the keys to Hell to Morpheus. Then, he went on to have fun. The world went on spinning.

    Necromancer Rising, an urban fantasy by Richard Amos, sets a world where Death quit. Which begs the question, WHY?

    Death hanging up his scythe means ghosts. Lots and lots of ghosts and people acquiring necromantic powers to handle them.

    Necromancers are easily identified by their silver hair. They have five threads of magic that can be used to bind or release ghosts to sanctuaries, a place made specially for them since without Death, they cannot move on to the afterlife.

    Marcel August is a London-based necromancer suddenly transferred to Oakthorne after a mission gone awry that left his bestfriend, Jenn, severely injured. On his way to the town, he encountered a ghost that led him to the famous caves, where there were some trouble. He got injured and was rescued by a mysterious man.

    Later, Marcel met his new boss, the High Warden, a friendly man named Nicholas West and his taciturn husband, Leon. Nick was a stark contrast to the stone cold High Warden of London, Emma. Marcel has the worst luck in bosses as it later turned out.

    Marcel is tasked to look for a missing ghost. Then the mysterious man who rescued him turned up his door bearing gifts.

    This is where things get dicey and hell of a lot swoonier.

    The overarching plot is to stop the lich from taking over the world. As an urban fantasy, this is a twisty-turn-y, action-packed necromancer procedural, a.k.a. murder mystery, with plenty of magic spells thrown about. I loved how the events of Death Eternal and Death Enraptured go from grim to complete clusterfuck to freakin’ catastrophic. No rest for our weary boy, Marcel.

    Marcel goes from dreaming of a promotion to pretty much exiled to a small town to being lulled into a false sense of security to being lich fodder, only to evolved into something more. Add to that his forbidden romance with Death that has apocalyptic consequences, this series has all the mellow drama and the epic awesomeness!

    So, Death. Hmm, I don’t know. The immortal is conflicting mix of drool-worthy and cringe. That he’s gorgeous is pretty much a given. But the fashion sense, ew!

    The lich is right in criticizing his lame style. Tight leather pants, satin shirt open at the chest with multiple piercings? That screams sleazy rather than sizzling. I’d rather he go the John Wick route in tailored suits or a 70s punk in plaid bondage pants with distressed sweater.

    But as a love interest, the immortal is a master of seduction and muffins. Death could be a cheesy mofo but mostly, he says the most romantic things.

    At first doing the hot/cold dance, then later a steadier presence in Marcel’s life, Death fights a secret battle against the forces that kept him and Marcel apart. Been doing so for centuries, he and Marcel are cursed to repeat the cycle of love and destruction.

    In Death Eternal, it took a while for the book to get to the meat of things, taking its time to establish the world and have Marcel interact with the secondary characters. Death lacked depth as a character since he was presented as a mysterious entity.

    In Death Enraptured, the lovers work to circumvent the curse. They make questionable decisions, suffer betrayals, and just plain suffer. High Warden Emma is the worst character here, absolutely heartless.

    The books in the series end in cliffhangers so they must be read in order.

    Necromancer Rising is an entertaining series I’ll be reading till the end. The romance is one for the ages, heartbreaking but so fun to root for. The characters are a mix of intriguing and abysmal. The fight scenes pulled no punches. Overall, a bit all over the place, but worth hanging up the death scythe.


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    REVIEW: His Guilty Pleasure by Leighton Greene

    West Coast Mobster: His Guilty Pleasure – Leighton Greene

    When Redwood Manor’s butler Darian is accused of murder during a high-stakes Mafia parley, he has to rely on the infuriatingly attractive Raffi DeLuca to prove his innocence—before one of the mobsters decides to take justice into their own hands.

    Darian Thornfield-Hayes has always been content to fade into the background while he conducts his work with precision and perfection. But when murder threatens the fragile peace between rival Mafia factions staying at the Manor, he finds himself in the spotlight in the worst possible way.

    Raffi DeLuca, acting head of security—and the flirtatious thorn in Darian’s side—jumps in to give him an alibi, claiming they spent the night together. But in doing so, Raffi finds himself compromising his honor and his vows to the Don.

    When Darian and Raffi are forced to share a room to keep up the charade, the attraction simmering between them flares to life. Raffi sees past Darian’s defenses to the real man underneath, awakening desires the untouched Darian never dared admit to before.

    But Darian hasn’t been telling the whole truth…

    Torn between his heart and his duty, Raffi must decide how far he’s willing to go to protect Darian.

    Will their guilty pleasure be the key to solving the murders, or will secrets tear them apart?

    ***

    His Guilty Pleasure is the fifth book in the West Coast Mobsters series. Follow the men of the Los Angeles underworld in this page-turning romantic suspense series as they find love, danger and mystery in the most unexpected places.

    Each book in West Coast Mobsters tells the love story of a different couple who find their happy ending, as well as a resolution to the mystery they’re investigating, but there are cliffhangers to the wider suspense plot for the series.


    From the super-loyal Alfred Pennyworth to the devilish Sebastian Michaelis, butlers are fascinating, pivotal figures who perform miracles while being as unobtrusive as possible. However, the personal lives of butlers are a subject that doesn’t get talked about often, so when I learned about this book, I had to grab it.

    His Guilty Pleasure is the 5th book of West Coast Mobsters and the very reason why I started this series. Darian Thornfield-Hayes, Redwood Manor’s new butler, and Raffi DeLuca, acting head of security while Max Predetti is away, are in charge of making sure the parley between opposing Bernardi factions goes smoothly.

    Somebody threw a wrench into the works by murdering the mediator of the parley, a retired mobster last seen arguing with Darian. As the number one suspect, the young butler has to prove his innocence not only to the Castellanis but to the rest of the people involved in the parley.

    Darian’s and Raffi’s views from ‘below stairs’ gives us well-rounded look at the power players of the West Coast after seeing it through the Castellani leadership’s POVs from the previous books. The ‘dynamic duo’ juggled regular work, investigation of the murder, and their passionate, if complicated, romance while putting out fires and trying to keep everyone alive in a house full of killers.

    As subordinate members of the Castellani Family, Darian and Raffi felt very much like secondary characters in their own book despite it told in their dual 1st person POVs. It is fitting in a way because they are working in the background, supporting the Castellani bosses, performing minor miracles to satisfy the difficult and deadly guests of the Manor.

    As a peek into the private life of Darian, it almost didn’t feel like he had one because, no surprise, the butler has little personal time. How he seemed to be present everywhere at the same time is a mystery, but the man is a consummate in the art of hospitality.

    The most personal he got was finally acting on his attraction to white knight Raffi after a nudge or two by the matchmaking Julian. It was a hot/cold romance I’m neutral about because I am more invested in the murder mystery and the disaster of a parley.

    It is obvious from the get go that this is Julian Castellani’s show. He was hellbent on hiring Darian, even going so far as using Raffi when Darian first turned him down, knowing Darian would have a reaction to the security specialist. From then on, his “favorite butler boy” was guaranteed his protection because, it turned out, our lovable Castellani psycho collects and protects his toys, a.k.a. people he’s fond of. And never lets them go.

    Julian is also a genius schemer, a shadow ninja, and a creative killer who lends a helping hand to key players when needed, lays clues here and there, and makes bold moves lesser men won’t dare make. All for the Family and revenge.

    My favorite part, however, is Alessandro. The man is now a stronger, wiser Don Castellani. So wise, in fact, that he mastered the art of plausible deniability and weaponized it. It was a damn clever move and so low-key, yet it made the Castellanis more powerful than before!

    The only thing missing is Teddy. Our boy only has a cameo so I need another Sandro/Teddy book, pleeeease!

    His Guilty Pleasure satisfied my curiosity about butlers and while the romance was lukewarm, the mafia politics was a powder keg about to explode. It’s one heck of a gripping twisty-turn-y story, stealthy in its attack, gleeful in its revenge, and pleasurable in its unfolding.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Pleasure
    Artist: Feist
    Album: Pleasure

    West Coast Mobsters has an ongoing suspense plot that runs through the all the installments so they should be read in order.

    Johnny Jacopo lost a hat and gained a boyfriend in His Lethal Desire.

    Alessandro Castellani looked for justice and found a teddy bear in His Brutal Heart .

    Julian Castellani went on the prowl and tamed a lion in His Fatal Love.

    Max Predretti uncovered a traitor and discovered a mafia prince in His Sinful Need.


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    REVIEW: His Sinful Need by Leighton Greene

    West Coast Mobsters: His Sinful Need by Leighton Greene

    Two men. Two Families. Too many secrets.When Castellani security specialist Max Pedretti is reluctantly loaned out to the Esposito Family, he’s thrust into close quarters with their youngest Capo, Bricker Soldano. The magnetic pull between them is undeniable, but Bricker is strictly off-limits, for multiple reasons.

    For one thing, he’s an Esposito.

    For another, he’s half Max’s age.

    But most of all, because Max shares a hidden criminal history with Bricker’s father—a secret that could shatter the tentative trust building between them.

    So Max vows to focus on the job instead, and finds his old skills as a bank robber are put to the test as he works with Bricker and his crew on a heist that could change the power dynamics in Los Angeles.

    But when a tragedy reveals a mole in their midst, Max and Bricker must investigate together to uncover the truth, blurring the lines of loyalty and desire.

    Can Max and Bricker uncover the traitor and find their way to love, or will past sins cost them everything?

    ***

    Each book in this series tells the love story of a different couple who find their happy ending, as well as a resolution to the mystery they’re investigating, but there are cliffhangers to the wider suspense plot for the series.


    Massimo Pedretti is a man who smells like aftershave and gunpowder. A good smell for a security specialist, according to the sharp-nosed Julian Castellani in Book 3, His Fatal Love. Next to his underboss, Jack Jacopo (His Lethal Desire), and his brother Julian, Max is the other person Don Alessandro Castellani (His Brutal Heart) depends on the most.

    His Sinful Need is Book 4 of West Coast Mobsters. Each  book features a West Coast Family, from the Castellanis, Bernardis, and now, the Espositos. This Family is unique in that they accept women in their ranks, and they rarely interact with other Families. 

    The head of the Espositos is the formidable Maestra Anna-Vittoria Esposito. She specifically requested Max to work with them, cashing in the favor Alessandro owed her. He is to join the team headed by Bricker Soldano, a young capo almost half his age.

    Half of Bricker’s team is experienced, and the other half green-as-grass rookies who can barely shoot. They are preparing for a bank heist, but most of their practice runs end in disasters, so Bricker was forced to admit there is a mole in their ranks. And whether he admit or not, he could use the help of a veteran in the field like Max. But can the Castellani be trusted?

    I’m not sure whether it is because I skipped the sex scenes since I am not a fan of age gap romance, but Max and Bricker’s book felt different than the rest of the books. Not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just there are less sex-related thoughts than the rest.

    Max’s internal dialogues are more about the missions and the angst over secrets from the past that might come back to bite him in the ass. There’s some worrying over his attraction, the age gap and Bricker’s connection to a ghost from the past.

    I loved Max! He oozes calm, confidence and dependability that jump off the page. This is also why his book feels less hectic and less violent than the rest. It’s like you know things will be okay because Max.

    With twenty-odd years in Castellani service, he is fiercely loyal and well-liked in the Family. It may have been a surprise that he was chosen, but still fitting because no one else would be a better envoy to the Esposito Family than Max.

    Bricker’s lusting after the older man, but it’s mixed with suspicions and worry over who to trust. As the youngest Esposito capo, he’s eager to prove himself and his team.

    I’m neutral about Bricker. There’s a lot of hot/cold treatment from him, but he’s a good leader who cares for his team like a family. I loved that he doesn’t do shortcuts when preparing his team for their missions, ensuring not just success but everyone’s safety as well.

    The plot weaves an age gap romance, trust issues, mafia politics, action, and several major and minor mysteries, some nothing more than a casual mention that you know will be pick up again in the future. The mole was easy to guess, and the romance wasn’t doing it for me, but I still loved this book.

    My favorite is the revelations regarding the Espositos, proving that the enigmatic Anna-Vittoria has a heart underneath the iron will. I loved how the WCM and Morelli Family world expanded, satisfying my curiosity that was piqued since mentions of how aloof, unique and mysterious the Espositos are from the previous books.

    Every Castellani cameo gave me life. Our boy Jack, always gregarious but deadly. Julian was particularly significant as the man is the dreaded bogeyman of the West Coast. I enjoyed seeing Sandro as the mighty Don Castellani from another person’s POV. I need another Sandro and Teddy book!!!

    HIs Sinful Need didn’t have the sizzling chemistry like the other WCM books, but it’s still a solid installment. The thrill is in the revelations of family dynamics, the twisty turn-y mafia politics, and the interactions of well-loved characters who rule the West Coast. All in all, steadily gripping, wholly likable, not that sinful, totally necessary.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Trust
    Artist: Half-Alive
    Album: Now, Not Yet

    P.S.

    West Coast Mobsters should be read in order. Last time, I realized the WCM books are retellings.

    His Lethal Desire is Cinderfella falling in love with a hitman. His Brutal Heart is Beauty and the Beast with a cyber twist. And His Fatal Love is Romeo and Julian, BDSM style.

    I can’t still figure out which retelling His Sinful Need is. Let me know if you know.


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    REVIEW: The King’s Dragon by W.M Fawkes & Sam Burns

    Fire and Valor: The King’s Dragon – W.M Fawkes & Sam Burns

    Lord Tristram Radcliffe has a secret—he is the only dragon at the king’s court in Llangard. It’s a secret he’s kept from the knights he’s fought beside, from the ladies who bat their lashes at him, and from his closest companion, Prince Reynold. If it were to get out, he’d be banished to the Mawrcraig Mountains along with the rest of his kind, but the kingdom of men is the only one he’s ever known, and his heart lives in the stone halls of those who’d count him an enemy.

    When the old king dies and Prince Reynold takes the throne, two visitors from the north throw Tristram into the middle of the ancient conflict between dragons and men. They put him on a collision course with the king’s shadow, Bet Kyston, a dangerous assassin who may want him dead or may want more of Tristram that he’d ever thought to give.

    With the eyes of dragons upon him and a threat from the north creeping toward the home he loves, Tristram must weigh his allegiances before his dual legacies tear him apart.


    As a lazy reader, high fantasy books are challenging for me, particularly the world-building. I am not keen on reading info-dumps about grimy taverns, the default euro-centric medieval settings, nor am I impressed with knights in their clunky tin can armors. The magic, though, is always fun!

    So it was no surprise that I struggled with The King’s Dragon, Book 1 of Fire and Valor by writer duo W.M. Fawkes and Sam Burns. But then, the book slowly but surely entangled me in its gripping plot, awesome characters, and daring rescue missions.

    The plot is a very intriguing blend of kingdom politics, lost magic, family drama, and, of course, dragons! A dead king just buried, a new king celebrating in a kingdom once filled with magic, but now, the only royal magician and sister to the king, Princess Gillian, can barely perform a spell.

    It’s a particularly precarious situation for the kingdom of Llandgard, whose enemies from the north might be making a move. These enemies are stopped only by the dragons in the mountains, the dragons who once enslaved humans, the dragons the king and his people reviled and banished through magic. Unknown to them, dragons are currently in their midst during the celebrations.

    The story is paced too slow for me. It is in multiple POVs, a whomping seven on my count. It took a while for me to get the lay of the land. I got whiplash, shifting from one POV to another, never knowing which character you’ll get next. This further slowed the narrative for me.

    So it’s lucky that the authors picked the perfect narrators for their series because they kept me engaged. Greg Boudreaux is always a pleasure to listen to, and new-to-me narrator Lessa Lamb played the enchanting females perfectly with her Disney princess voices.

    Another plus, is that the world-building didn’t drag or info-dumped too much. It is a medieval Euro-centric setting with none of the religious fanaticism, with equal opportunities for anyone, and lots of queer characters.

    Halfway, I became fully invested. Everything slowly came together. The pace finally picked up as the thrilling buildup set several things in motion all at once, leading to the explosive climatic scene. I loved how the ending resolved things satisfyingly while also dropping me off a cliff so suddenly I was left with my mouth hanging open.

    This series has an ensemble cast and they each stand out.

    Lord Tristram Radcliffe – knight and cousin to King Reynold. Rumored to be a bastard, secretly a half-dragon, hoards pointy objects, notices the king’s shadow, Bet, far too much for his liking. Righteous, loyal and conscientious especially about his duty to Llandgard. Basically Captain America, knight version.

    Bennet Kyston – an open secret known as the king’s shadow a.k.a. assassin a.k.a. doer of dirty deeds. Agile, deadly, and loyal to King Reynold who gave him a home. Secretly crushes hard on Tristram but knowing he’s too low-born for such noble knight, could only look and not touch.

    King Reynold – the new king celebrating the start of his reign with a party and tournament. Seemed okay at the start but later was acting a little too paranoid and cruel for anyone’s liking. A hint was thrown casually as to why this is that will be picked up in later installments.

    Sir Sidonie – a high-ranking knight in the king’s guard, she was from a peasant family but rose in ranks through skills and hard-work. A friend to Tristram and just as loyal to the king, she couldn’t help noticing the new Lady Rhiannon who’s lavishing her considerable charms on the king

    Lady Rhiannon – a lady on a mission and a dragon with a plan. She came to court with her foster son, Hafgan, to change the king’s mind about dragons. She might flirt with the king, but a certain female knight is more to her taste.

    Princess Gillian – sister to the new king and the only Cavendish left with magic. She has no interest in the throne and Reynold crowned gave her freedom. She is Tris’s friend and one of the few who knew his secret. The tumultuous court events led her outside the castle walls and I am excited to see where her adventures take her.

    Hafgan – a young dragon whose entire clan was wiped out. Rhiannon found his egg and claimed him as her own ever since. Didn’t play too much role in the story but I expect bigger things from him in the following books.

    Prince Roland – the nine year old heir to the king who barely bothers with his son. Frequently overlooked and underestimated, Roland plays his cards close to his sleeves and has some surprises of his own that might shock his father. He considers Tristram and Bet as the only people in court who acknowledges him as a person.

    I always say this, it’s a testament to the authors’ characterization that I could name their side characters. The main couple here is Tristram and Bet. These two played their intense enemies-to-lovers game so deliciously! Usually, they would be all I care about, but I remember the supporting cast quite well.

    Rhiannon and Sidonie’s romance blossomed parallel to the main romance. These two were a breath of fresh air in the dank atmosphere of royal madness and paranoia. They have the most bombastic escape scene! Hoping for more of these badass women in the next books.

    The King’s Dragon deftly wove multiple POVs, twist and turns, secrets and lies, magic and dragons, knights and assassins, and a royal family fighting for their legacy and future. It’s slow-burn magic from two skilled authors. Before I knew it, I went from meh to HELL YEAH!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Masquerade
    Artist: Elina
    Album: In Hindsight


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    SERIES REVIEW: Galactic Alliance Books 1&2 by K.C. Burn

    Galactic Alliance by K.C. Burn is an oldie but goldie sci-fi romance series about intergalactic love affairs with far-reaching consequences. Published in 2011, three interconnected books can be read as standalone but better experienced by reading them in order.

    It’s too bad that the series is short. The stories are pretty enjoyable. The way the world-building is conceived and with many intriguing side characters, the potential for more books are endless.

    I’ll be reviewing the first two books.

    Galactic Alliance: Spice n’ Solace – K.C. Burn

    Every year, Jathan One-Moon faces increasing pressure that he marry and have children. What Jathan really wants is a male mate that can enjoy both playful sex and his more dominant nature. To tame his stress, Jathan orders a male escort from Spice ‘n’ Solace, the premier male brothel in the Galactic Alliance–and is thrilled to be sent a man whose air of innocence and obvious desire for Jathan arouse him like never before.

    Jathan doesn’t know he has mistaken Kazha Deinos, the owner of Spice ‘n’ Solace, as his escort. Kaz doesn’t intend to pleasure Jathan personally, but his powerful masculinity is irresistible. Kaz has dreamed of a man who’d take charge and indulge his hidden cravings–a man just like Jathan.

    With their explosive passion and unexpected tenderness, Jathan and Kaz soon want to stay together–if Jathan’s position and Kaz’s secrets don’t tear them apart…


    Spice ‘n’ Solace opens the series in Elora Ki, a frontier planet hosting the most important event in the galaxy, the yearly negotiations between the Ankylos Empire and the Galactic Alliance. The Empire and the Alliance have previously been at war, and the most important human in all the galaxy, Jathan One-Moon, is tasked to negotiate on behalf of humans and prevent another war at all costs.

    With the fate of humanity on his shoulders, Jathan’s only stress reliever is the submissive rent boys from the top brothel of the planet, Spice ‘n’ Solace. However, brothel owner Kazha Deinos encountered problems with supply and so went to Jathan’s headquarters to talk to him about it. Neither had met before, but the moment they did, BAM! Pants flew off!

    This employs the mistaken identity trope to steamy results. But this is not just about dominance and popping butt cherries. It also deals with brothel business woes, homophobic friends, sneaky competitors, familial pressures to produce an heir and how Kaz’s presence in Jathan’s life is affecting the tense negotiations.

    The plot is straightforward. The lust was so intense and insta it zinged. The romantic development was equally lightning-fast but executed satisfyingly. These are the best parts and offset the many things glossed over. The negotiations itself barely had page time, the ending was rushed, and how people can still be homophobic at a time where you can fuck all manner of alien lifeforms is beyond me.

    Jathan’s a great character. Son of a famous war general, a man of his word and a considerate dom, he’s the perfect match for Kaz. But my favorite character in the entire series will always be Kaz! He appears down-trodden most of the time. The man is too hard on himself and doesn’t seem to recognize his value but he’s actually a very savvy businessman.

    Kaz created a certain mystique about him whether he intended to or not. I liked how everyone knows his name but couldn’t put a face to it. The only people who do recognized him are the high-ranking members of society who patronized his business. So, of course, he knows all their dirty secrets. It’s like this guy is sitting on a goldmine of information. Imagine what he can do with all that power!

    Sadly, this was not the focus here but I would loved to read a story about something like that. I did get a thrill when Kaz put a scheming politician in his place with his dirty secret when the man was pressuring Jathan. Overall, Spice ‘n’ Solace is engrossing, gritty, sizzling, and sometimes cute.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Solace
    Artist: Feint & Laura Brehm
    Album: Solace


    Galactic Alliance: Alien n’ Outlaw – K.C. Burn

    R’kos, son of the Ankylos Emperor, is expected to settle down. But he’s much more attracted to human males than to his own species. Eager to explore his forbidden longings, he steals a ship and heads to Elora Ki to see if he can find the right human guy.

    Darien robs the corrupt to give to those in need, but now he needs a ride off Elora Ki, stat. Pursued by drug lords, he accepts help from the amorous stranger who calls himself Ricky. As they fly together along Darien’s route, their friendship quickly turns into passion.

    But when Ricky is injured, Darien must contact the embassy to get his alien lover the medical care he needs. As Darien finds himself accused of kidnapping, and Ricky fears his family’s disappointment, can the two protect their growing relationship? Or are their differences just too great?


    Alien ‘n’ Outlaw stars R’kos, one of the many princes of the Ankylos Empire. This year, it’s his turn to be the negotiator. He’s hanging at an Elora Ki bar incognito, looking for a human hookup, when he saw Darien. Liking how the man smelled, R’kos followed the man out to the back. It became apparent Darien was on the run, and R’kos decided then and there to help him.

    R’kos’s species are a hive-minded people who mate in triads, usually a female and two males. They are lavender-skinned, some have horns, have keen sense of smell, but with light-sensitive eyes. As a prince, R’kos’s three parents already arranged who he will marry.

    R’kos is different in that he prefers to be alone, and he’s attracted to males only, specifically human males. How would the Ankylos Empire react to such a union? Not to mention, another catastrophic war might erupt should the prince’s affair with a human go sour.

    R’kos is more familiar with humans because of the negotiations. Darien was a complete fish out of water among R’kos’s people. I loved how these two are all about patience, trust and open communication. R’kos and Darien’s romance is gentle yet passionate. They navigate their similarities and differences and made it work.

    The plot is a road trip across the galaxy, visiting cult-dominated planets, doing some Robin Hood side hustle, fighting off space pirates and meeting R’kos’s sprawling family. The most fun part is witnessing Darien’s culture shock at how spectacularly oblivious the Ankylos are to the concept of privacy. From throuples blithely having sex in corridors to open space unisex lavatories where your business is everyone’s business, Darien was gob smacked and just a liiiittle bit scared.

    With a suspenseful space fight, much-appreciated cameos from Jathan and his crew, and a happy reunion, the ending was much better than the first book. While I didn’t enjoy the visit to the cult, the story as a whole was highly entertaining. Overall, Alien ‘n’ Outlaw is a thrilling space adventure, an eye-opening cultural experience, and an endearing alien romance.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Run With You
    Artist: Middle Kids
    Album: Today We’re The Greatest


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    REVIEW: The Reanimator’s Heart by Kara Jorgensen

    The Reanimator Mysteries: The Reanimator’s Heart – Kara Jorgensen

    A reluctant necromancer, a man killed before his time, and the crime that brings them together.

    Felipe Galvan’s life as an investigator for the Paranormal Society has been spent running into danger. Returning home from his latest case, Felipe struggles with the sudden quiet of his life until a mysterious death puts him in the path of the enigmatic Oliver Barlow.

    Oliver has two secrets. One, he has been in love with the charming Felipe Galvan for years. Two, he is a necromancer, but to keep the sensible life he’s built as a medical examiner, he must hide his powers. That is until Oliver finds Felipe murdered and accidentally brings him back from the dead.

    But Felipe refuses to die again until he and Oliver catch his killer. Together, Felipe and Oliver embark on an investigation to uncover a plot centuries in the making. As they close in on his killer, one thing is certain: if they don’t stop them, Felipe won’t be the last to die.


    This year, I developed a soft spot for underdog necromancers, with books such as Malum Discordiae and The Necromancer’s Light showing that the much-maligned death magic, like any ability, can be used for good, too. As Cassius from Malum Discordiae said, among magic users, necromancers are the most respectful of the dead.

    The Reanimator’s Heart introduces us to another cinnamon roll necromancer, Oliver Barlow, a neurodiverse medical examiner for the Paranormal Society. A lover of solitude and quiet, Oliver is also lonely, socially awkward, and acutely aware of people’s unflattering opinions of him. His only friend is Gwen Jones, a telekinetic who works in the library.

    Oliver has been secretly crushing on veteran investigator Felipe Galvan for ten years. They don’t have much interaction at first but are soon prompted to work together on the case of the mysterious death of a nun.

    Later, after many encouragements from Gwen, Oliver gathered courage to ask Felipe to dinner only to find him dead in his room the same way the nun died. In his shock, he accidentally reanimated Felipe. Now, they were tethered to each other and must remain close at all times.

    The book opens The Reanimator Mysteries. The series is set in an alt-New York where some people have magical abilities. Many of them work for the Paranormal Society, an organization that handles cases relating to anything supernatural. This is a world where anything from vampires, shifters, demons to magic users exist.

    There are some very light steampunk touches, such as steamers, which are their cars, and the presence of pneumatic tubes as means of communication. The Paranormal society is housed in a huge building with dormitories, archives, offices, and a fantastic magical library I would LOVE to explore!

    Homosexuality is still considered taboo, but members of the Paranormal Society pretty much do as they please. Women also hold positions of power within the its ranks. Other than these liberties, it’s stays true to a vague 18th?19th?-century setting.

    The story is written in dual POV in an omniscient third person style, where Oliver’s perspective is presented, and then immediately shifts to Felipe’s in the same paragraph or section. I liked this style a lot because I don’t have to wait for the next chapter to know the other character’s thoughts. The pacing might be a tad too slow for my liking, but there are no info-dumps, the need-to-knows flow seamlessly with the narrative.

    I am also glad we get experienced magic users from the get-go. Although I’m mildly disappointed there are no bombastic displays of magic here, the kind that makes your jaw drop. Magic is used sparingly and are mostly muted affairs deployed when murder is being committed or the dead is being raised.

    Oliver is especially careful not to show how strong his powers really are, knowing full well the stigma. He has a very nuanced code of morality when it comes to using his necromancy following rules he set up for himself. At the same time, Oliver doesn’t actually know much about his magic because of lack of books on the the topic and because he doesn’t use it enough to test its limits.

    Felipe is a healer, a skill useful only to him because he can only do it to his body. Much, much later, he was able to channel his healing abilities to help Oliver. It’s only the first book, so I’m expecting more spectacular magical developments in the later installments.

    And I’ve got to say, Oliver and Felipe are two of the most endearing people you could know! I just loved them individually and together! I’m happy Oliver finally found the person who understood him and let him be himself. And Felipe finally have someone worth staying home for and introducing to his unconventional family.

    Majority of the plot focused on Oliver and Felipe’s magical connection and their blossoming romance while they investigate the murder. The mystery was very intriguing, especially as the opening scene shows the murder happening. It was a phenomenal opening, and it set my expectations high. The book delivered most of its promises and made me excited for the next one.

    My favorite part was how Oliver, ostracized for being different and strange, grew in confidence and strength with the help of a loyal friend, the love of a good man, and most of all, the indomitable spirit of a lone wolf. As a solitary creature myself, I find our boy pretty inspiring and relatable.

    One thing, though, the conclusion wasn’t clear on what the bad guys’ goals were. Was it to raise an undead army? Open a portal to another world? Or control people through magic?

    While I’m glad there are no villain monologues, I was hoping Oliver and Felipe would have a dialogue about what exactly were the bad guys’ endgame. Also, I’m not sure whether this thread is connected to the sequels or if it was all wrapped up.

    The Reanimator’s Heart is a sweet story of love and friendship, an uplifting portrayal of understanding and acceptance, and a gripping tale of magic and death. Don’t mind my juvenile wish for magical flash and bang, overall, this book is suspenseful, fascinating and deeply heartfelt!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Alive
    Artist: Zeds Dead & MKLA
    Album:


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    REVIEW: Lust and Other Drugs by T.J. Nichols

    Mytho: Lust and Other Drugs – T.J. Nichols

    Police officer Jordan and dragon shifter Edra might have to work together, but they don’t trust each other—even if sparks do fly between them.

    If anyone finds out Jordan’s a mytho sympathizer, it could kill his career. No one can know that he frequents the satyr dens and uses the drug Bliss. A dead satyr might not get much attention, but two dead humans who appeared to overdose on Bliss? That shouldn’t even be possible.

    And it might not be an accident.

    Edra, the Mythological Services Liaison, has been covering up mytho crimes to protect the community’s reputation. With a mayoral election looming, the last thing his people need is a scandal.

    To get a murderer off the streets, Jordan and Edra will be spending a lot of time together, and it won’t be easy to keep up with their deceptions… or to keep resisting each other.

    Book 1 in the gay urban fantasy series that follows Jordan and Edra as they solve crime and figure out how to improve Mytho and human relations. For readers who like dragon shifters and forbidden romance.


    Lust and Other Drugs is the first book of Mytho Investigations and my first book by T.J. Nichols. It’s part dragon shifter romance, part police procedural, part commentary on humanity.

    The book opens by explaining how mythological creatures, a.k.a. mythos, came to be in our world. The mythos are from a world called Tariko which imploded into ours when physicists fucked up their hadron collider. At first, it was pure chaos, and then slowly, some European countries came to recognize creatures who can communicate as people and the mythos gradually integrated into society.

    It’s been ten years since the collapse. In the US, some states and cities are mytho-friendly, and many are not. Jordan Kells lives in San Francisco, where the current mayor is anti-mytho, and many crimes against the mythos are swept under the rug. Jordan is the rare police officer who acknowledged mythos are people and he is determined to work their cases seriously.

    A case involving satyrs and their infamous drug, Bliss, had him crossing paths with Edra Tendric, a.k.a. Knight Tendric, the mytho liaison. Edra piqued my interest immediately. At first blush, he’s nothing more than a glorified social worker, helping mythos integrate, find schools and jobs, and help them with their cases.

    The mythos greatly respect Edra. They call him by his title, Knight. And he really is a knight! He’s no longer allowed to carry a sword, which is a pity because he would cut a fine figure in complete regalia. Apparently knights can do lots of things, from protecting dragons, making sure people follow the rules to super secret black ops missions.

    The world-building here could be info-dumpy. Understandable as many things needed to be explained, from satyr culture to what happened to Atlantis to Edra’s backstory. It’s a fantastic world to get lost in, the kind where you can create an infinite number of stories.

    As much as I love the fantasy and lore, the circumstances surrounding the murder mystery was painful. The story showcased the worse side of humanity: the bigotry, xenophobia and violence towards those who are different. Some mythos could pass as humans, but some, like satyrs, were seen as nothing more than animals.

    The story is in dual POV. In Edra’s POV, we see insights on mytho nature versus human nature, particularly religion, culture, and sex. The scenarios in the book reminded me a lot of what’s happening in some countries. There is even a side plot about the imminent election, and it’s a close fight between the pro and anti mytho mayoral candidates.

    One key theme of the series is how no one cares about mytho cases, especially if the perp is human. And this is one fight Jordan refused to give up. Our boy set out to investigate the satyr deaths with everything he got. Sadly, said investigation and the conclusion of the case wasn’t well-executed. This is on the writing itself rather than on Jordan.

    The scene that touched me the most was when it hit Edra that Jordan was indeed genuinely determined to get justice for the murdered satyr. Our dragon knight almost burst into tears. They, the mythos, matter to a human!

    The romance was a slow-burn second chance, especially for Edra, who lost his mate in the collapse. It’s a good enough start, but my interest was more on Edra and Jordan doing their jobs and navigating the fragile trust they built with each other and the other human and mytho characters. Although, I am curious to see how they fare when their secret relationship becomes public, so I’ll be reading the rest of the series.

    Lust and Other Drugs is a well-conceived urban fantasy. It’s a very fascinating world, even if it’s a troubled one, with intriguing characters I’d love to read more about. All in all, a tale worth a dragon knight’s loyalty!

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Matter
    Artist: Yatch
    Album: I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler


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