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    REVIEW: Sinner’s Ransom by M.D. Gregory

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    Criminal Delights: Taken: Sinner’s Ransom – M.D. Gregory

    Montgomery Booker has it all—good looks, an inheritance, and an endless list of hookups. He uses his social elite influence to bully, manipulate, and blackmail, and he’s not ashamed of it. Quite the contrary, he enjoys it. But when he’s kidnapped, forced into ropes and gagged, he discovers the consequences of his actions when no one cares enough to send help. 

    Stone and his crew have one job: kidnap a spoiled, pretty boy and hit up his rich daddy for cash. When dear old dad refuses to pay the ransom, Stone switches to plan B. The torture he delivers doesn’t have the effect he expects on Montgomery though, and Stone savors every cry that leaves his pretty mouth. 

    If someone finally comes for Montgomery, will he be able to walk away from the man who made him feel this kind of delicious pain? And will Stone let him? 

    Themes: Kidnapping, stockholm syndrome, breathplay, pain play. 
    Genre: Very dark gay romance, psychological fiction.
     

    This story is part of the CRIMINAL DELIGHTS series. Each book is a standalone story with the theme of dark, gay romance.

    I expected this to be action-packed. I expected some BDSM or maybe blood. What I didn’t expect was this to be funny.

    LOLing at Monty who could not shut his mouth even if his life literally depended on it. And he was asking for it, again literally, asking to be punched and choked and hurt and would happily suck anybody for a hot shower. Also him and Conall, Sloane’s boy, bonding and comparing notes on who’s more fucked up, the guy who wears a collar and acts like a pet or the guy who likes fucking his kidnapper. Guess who won.

    I’m not even going to bother with the insta-attraction and the lack of build up because we’re talking about a spoiled rich brat who acts on impulse though Stone I would have expected to be tougher and more menacing. The guy was just too nice and lenient even if he says he’s not. His threats felt like they lack teeth and the “training” was too easy. Monty was hardly treated as a prisoner. He was locked in a stifling room. He was occasionally tied up but he was still more or less the bratty demanding brat who needed to be taught to behave. Heck, he even got his hair shampooed by Stone.

    “Better?”

    “Yeah.” Montgomery frowned at Stone. “Why are you being nice?”

    “Aren’t I always nice?” Stone’s lips twisted into an amuse grin.

    “No.” Montgomery grinned and laid his arms along the edge of the bath. He leaned closer until their lips were inches apart. “But I like it when you’re not nice too”

    SInner’s Ransom was more of a kidnapping how-to than action suspense. A major part of the story is about Stone’s gang creating a ransom demand video for Monty’s father, a man who couldn’t care less about his son. The gang worked with Sloan Killough, a New York mob boss, and together they tried to make Monty a believable kidnap victim.

    “The first scene will be Montgomery, struggling, crying. Everything a kidnapped man does, everything that your boy is currently not doing. He’s very comfortable for somebody who’s been kidnapped.”

    He’s so comfortable he’s making suggestions! And making sure the gang gets the money!

    Sloane and Conall nearly stole the show and Ardan, the assassin who appears on another Criminal Delights installment, I’m super excited to read his book.

    I enjoyed this grey romance story. I liked the humor and met interesting characters. There are some elements that might not be that convincing but I still find the Stockholm Syndrome aspect believable even if it happened in a span of only a few days. And though Richard Booker would rather keep his money than save his son, Stone and his crew made sure the asshole got what he deserved. Monty got all the punishment he wanted and he finally learned how to say “please“.

    P.S.

    Other Criminal Delights books here

    Rating:
    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Bellevue Bridge Club
    Artist: Andrew Bird
    Album: My Finest Work Yet

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  • book,  Uncategorized

    Bad Behavior: Reckless Behavior – L.A. Witt & Cari Z

    After too many years of putting his job first, Detective Andreas Ruffner is getting his priorities straight. He’s ready to spend some quality time with his adult kids, not to mention come clean about some things he should’ve told them a long time ago. And introduce them to his partner and boyfriend, Darren Corliss.

    But in a heartbeat, a family dinner turns into Andreas’s worst nightmare. When the dust settles, one of his kids is hurt, and the other three have been abducted.

    Andreas is going to find his kids, and nothing, not even a broken ankle, is going to stop him. Thank God for his sharp, level-headed partner … who has a crisis of his own pulling him away when Andreas needs him the most. As both men try to support—and lean on—each other, they get no closer to finding the kids. And the longer the children are missing, the less likely it is they’ll ever be found.

    If I thought the last case was tough, this one was heartbreaking! L.A. Witt & Cari Z made the boys go through hell.

    It started with Andreas and Darren having dinner with Andreas’ kids, Erin, Ben, Casey and Emily with Andreas introducing Darren as his boyfriend and dropping the HIV bomb. Ben took it well but Casey needed more time to process it. After dinner, the girls went for a bathroom break and Ben and Casey went to their car. Next thing Andreas heard were gunshots and a car crash, then his ex-girlfriend Lisa was panicking because the girls were missing.

    From then on, the story went on a relentless pace that had me feeling exhausted for both Andreas and Darren. Andreas was still nursing the broken ankle he got from the previous case and he can barely walk. It didn’t stop him from taking the lead in the investigation because heaven help anyone who gets in his way.

    This abduction case took all they got. Andreas and Darren barely had any sleep. The boys were pushed to their limits but even as tragedy struck they kept pushing back. Andreas would have probably lost it but Darren was his rock. The case highlighted how much they have come to mean to each other and how solid their relationship is. I love the Han Solo shoutout!

    One good thing that came out of this was that their fellow cops rallied behind them albeit somewhat grudgingly since Andreas and Darren were still on their blacklist. Even Internal Affairs was moved.

    Family bonds is a key theme in the book and even though the case was a nightmare, there remains a strong feeling of love, care, devotion and dry humor to lighten things up. Andreas’s family remained close and Andreas is friends with both his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend who in turn were both supportive of his relationship with Darren. Andreas kids were amazing and tough, especially Erin who, despite Andreas’ reputation, has endeared herself to everyone at the police station when she started working there as an intern. She gave them a much needed break on the case. I hope she follows her dad’s footsteps because she makes a good cop. Darren’s mom and stepdad also gave much needed support to everyone even though they themselves have to deal with grief. The main antagonist himself was motivated by familial ties. 

    Both Risky Behavior and Suspicious Behavior were awesome reads but Reckless Behavior stood out as being the most personally case the Andreas and Darren had dealt with. The boys suffered dead ends, setbacks and personal tragedies but throughout all these they remained strong. The execution of the plot was practically flawless, the characterization and writing were on point. Michael Ferraiuolo expertly wrung out every emotion from every word.The hopes and frustration, exhaustion and pain, the terror and suspense and finally the relief and peace. It was beautiful!

    P.S.

    Review of Risky Behavior here.
    Review of Suspicious Behavior here.
    Review of L.A. Witt books here.

    Rating:

    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: Afraid of Everyone
    Artist: The National
    Album: High Violet

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35611965-reckless-behavior)

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