Dysfunctional – Isabel Lucero
A dark, MM romance
Ezra Hamilton hasn’t felt the warm spurt of blood flow through his fingers or the indescribable feeling of pushing a knife deep into someone’s flesh in a long time. Too long.
He’s been watching a man stalk women, curious as to what he’s doing with them. Ezra’s never encountered someone with similar dark tendencies before, and what starts off as genuine curiosity turns into much more when Kaspian turns the tables on him.
As their chemistry builds, so does the mistrust. They both know they can’t trust a killer, but their inner demons call to each other anyway.
When Kaspian’s impulsivity threatens to ruin Ezra’s freedom, he knows he has to stop him. Kas appears to be fixated on Willow—a woman Ezra works with. In an effort to not have to worry about her disappearance bringing heat on him, he tracks Kaspian as Kaspian follows Willow into a cabin in the mountains.
There, in the middle of a blizzard, secrets will be revealed and revelations made, but the chances of everybody making it out alive are slim.
This is a dark romance that will have graphic scenes. Warnings are on the author’s website. 18+
Ever since Hannigram, I have been looking for more murder husbands stories so Dysfunctional is right up my alley.
The premise reminded me of Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z Brite, where one serial killer falls in love with another. One difference, however, is that both MCs are bisexual.
The story starts with Ezra Hamilton, a psychopathic killer trying to lead a normal life. He noticed a tattooed young man, Kaspian, stalking several women. Intrigued, he proceeded to stalk him in return. Observing that these women soon disappeared, he recognized a kindred spirit. One day, he followed Kas and his victim to a hotel, only to be confronted by Kaspian.
This starts a little game of I-know-what-you-are-and-I’m-going-to-make-you-say-it. Later, as their relationship evolved, it turned into pushing buttons and testing limits. I’m living for the USTs and the power dynamics here!
They danced around each, using innocent people as pawns while they exchanged long looks across the room. And this is both in the literal and figurative sense because some of the scenes happened in a club. The zing jumps off the page!
I have a one niggle though. For experienced bad guys, they’re pretty sloppy. It’s a wonder they’re not caught yet.
For instance, in the first few chapters, Ezra’s phone broke. He took it to a cellphone repair shop. Turns out Kas works there. I couldn’t believe, Ez just handed his phone over to Kas, knowing the guy is a fellow killer. Cellphone techs dig up a lot of shit from people’s phones. Ezra should have known better.
Another thing, these two were not mentioned wearing gloves or any protective gear when they touched the victims. Heck, they even jerked each other off next to the grave after just burying their victim. They are spreading their DNA samples all over the place. So yeah, sloppy.
But even with the lack of PPEs, the story completely grabbed me with its tightly paced writing that always held a thrum of tension. I loved how the plot explored the dynamics in so many interesting ways, twisting and turning with secrets and revelations that are part of a deadly mating ritual between Ezra and Kas. It became a question of who is after who. And why. It was the why that unleashed the monsters.
There are some graphic scenes here so please heed the TWs. In terms of darkness, I say this is darkish grey. The murder scenes are short and to the point. Nothing gratuitous. There is some blood play as well. The two MCs are obviously bad guys but are shown with a code in the later part where they kill only evil-doers.
Overall, Dysfunctional is a satisfying addition to my small but growing list of murder husbands books. It grabbed me from page 1, and I was riveted til the end. It was a weeknight, but I finished it in one sitting. It’s that good!
There’s something so fascinating about stories where one’s crazy matches another’s insanity. Gives hope that there’s someone for everyone. Even the psychos.
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
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Perfectly Deranged by Dalby for a book about two crazy psychos playing a game of notice me senpai and falling madly in love.
you love the hurt
you love the pain
you are perfectly deranged
laugh when others cry
I don’t know why
but you make me smile
and it’s been a while
like the monster that has been uncaged
you are so perfectly deranged