I like romance and boys loving boys in my books.
You can also find me on my main blog.
I snagged this book off Netgalley as soon as I saw that it was available, having anticipated this follow-up to the two previous ones with bated breath ever since reading the previous books in this sub-series of the Market Garden Tales.
And then I inhaled it, ignoring all things at home, immersing myself into Cal's and Red Tie's story.
This, Ladies and Gents, THIS is how you write a kinky, sexy, HAWT story wrapped in an emotional roller coaster. THIS is how you deliver a book so smoking hot that the e-reader nearly burned up in my hands, yet so powerfully passionate that I'm also close to happy tears at the fabulous ending.
Red Tie and Cal - holy cow, this was superbly satisfying. And to revisit a little with Nick and Spencer was a gift.
Lori and Aleks' writing is seamless, highly entertaining and, while definitely explicit and kinky, never without the emotional glue to hold it all together. While the sex scenes are front and center in this short novel, they are not ever gratuitous, but carefully crafted to further the plot and the romance.
In this book, we get a full view of Mr. Red Tie, whom you'll remember from If It Flies and If It Fornicates, as well as his long time driver, Cal(lum). Their relationship dynamic changes dramatically in this book, and Cal's struggle to make sense of it, as well as his doubts and his pain are, while perhaps difficult, also indicative of the emotional connection he has with his boss. Told entirely from Cal's third person perspective, the reader is given deep insight into what makes him tick, and, with clever dialogue and action, a clear view of Red Tie and what he needs. There are sentences in this book that made me awe, walls that are broken down to reveal naked desire and need, and scenes that heated up my Nook.
Both men have a hard time saying exactly what they need from each other, and both make assumptions that turn out to be wrong. The character dynamics and development are superb, and I had no trouble at all understanding why they each acted the way they did. And it was wonderful to see how deeply Cal cares about James, how strongly he feels for this man, and how willing he is to find in himself exactly what James needs. The emotional depth of this book is what makes it so much more than just kinky sex, and this is why it's getting five shiny stars.
I had high expectations for this book, based on the glimpses we were given in previous installments, and the author pair, as usual, delivered exactly what I was expecting. As always, each word, each sentence, each paragraph is carefully crafted, without any superfluous stuffing, and each scene delivers a punch. Nothing here is left to chance, and that is what makes these authors and their combined craft so very special.
Highly recommended! While this book can be read as a standalone, it is my opinion that the books in this series should be read in order to get the full impact.
** Review copy courtesy of Riptide Publishing via Netgalley, with much gratitude for approving my request. **