Captain Jonathan Thomsin was the only Captain of Earth’s combined forces to successfully destroy Daranii ships, not by confronting them, but with guerilla warfare. Outraged by Thomsin’s dishonorable tactics, the Daranii demand the captain as part of Earth’s reparations to Daran. Captain Thomsin was given to Daran to protect Earth from Daranii vengeance.
He expected to be tormented by loss and grief.
He expected to be tortured and die on Daran.
He never expected to fall in love.
Trent is an out-and-proud gay man who has had a few one-night stands, where he's always been the top, but he's never met anyone he wanted more from--nor has he ever felt he needed to. He's got a best friend from grade school named Candace, who is a lesbian. They've always supported each other through whatever life throws at them. Trent likes his job, owns a small, rundown house in a town so tiny that no one locks their doors. And he keeps three chickens in his backyard--he calls them his ladies.
One night when Trent's walking home from his job in a blinding rainstorm, a flashy Corvette almost slams into him, managing to splash him from the deep standing water it must have been swerving to avoid. He watches in shock while it smashes into a parked car. He runs to the wreckage, and pulls out a strikingly attractive man who is everything Trent has ever wanted. And since his car needs to be towed then fixed, and there's no hotel/motel or Uber in town, he needs a place to spend the weekend. Trent offers his house, then starts to stress, wondering if he'll be able to keep his hands off his houseguest.
Ian is a man so deeply in the closet that even his best friends don't suspect he's got anything to hide. But he joins Trent in the tiny shower, and over the weekend, they make spectacular use of Trent's bed, his sofa, his shower, etc. After so many days of continuing passion, Trent finds himself falling for Ian, even though Trent lives in Canada, and Ian in the USA--Miami, to be exact. But Ian is also keeping a secret from Trent--which leads to a fight due to a misunderstanding, and Ian leaves on bad terms.
This is a very realistic and graphic story about two men who don't want or expect to, falling in love so deeply that they can't help hurting each other, because of the stress of Ian's job--and a few instances on both Trent's and Ian's part, of jumping to erroneous conclusions. We know they'll end up together, but in-between the falling in love and the HEA, there is angst and suffering, along with some humor--mostly from Trent's relationship with Candace--and with his totally accepting, but over-bearing mother. There are also many steamy moments that are described in such detail, I was sure the author was a man--until I read the bio at the end. You'll laugh at the funny parts, feel Trent (and Ian's, and Candace's) pain while they suffer. And you'll get turned on by the frequent sex scenes. But you'll also enjoy this book a lot--I did.
Mallory Kane feels her life's calling is to insert herself into very dangerous hot-spots around the world, then write about them. She wants to expose all of the evils being done, and has made a name for herself with best-selling books doing just that. Five years ago she was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan, and figured her time had run out. But a team of Navy Seals took on the very dangerous assignment to rescue her. And while she was waiting for the helicopter, in a cave with one of the Seals, she obeyed her instincts and had a hot, steamy interlude with that man. Then she never saw him again.
John "Rocket" Hardin is the Navy Seal who was in the cave with Mallory--a fact that his dreams have never let him forget. Five years later, he's now an ex-Seal, but he and his buddies formed a top secret organization that's the last resort when impossible things need to be done. When a US Senator calls him seeking his services, he's initially going to refuse. He and his buds haven't even had a chance to shower from their last assignment. But Senator Alicia Kane she tells him that her sister, Mallory Kane is in huge trouble and she's moved heaven and earth to get his contact information to engage his services. Rocket tries to ignore his hard cock, but the little brain in it is a large part of why he agrees to take on this near-impossible mission.
I would have liked to learn more about each of these characters. Sure, Mallory likes danger--so much so that it turned her on to be rescued, and led to mind-blowing sex with one of the Seals who saved her butt. But why? Is she an adrenaline junkie? If so, I'm not sure that settling down with any man, staying in any one place, is going to make her happy. She hints that she's proving herself, but she never gets around to revealing to whom, or why. Rocket has major hots for Mallory, but knows almost nothing about her--and she knows as little about him. He doesn't even tell her how he got his nickname. Good sex is an important part of a good relationship--but it can't be the only thing.
Speaking of sex, there are a few very hot scenes, despite--or maybe because of--all of the dangerous situations they get into. Their scorching hot desire for each other is steamy to read! My only complaint is that during their first encounter, she's been held captive for who knows how long, by the Taliban. No doubt she's not been allowed to brush her teeth or shower. In fact, she's probably been forced to use whatever primitive bathroom facilities are available--if there even are any. Yet Rocket is so turned on by her that he's gung-ho to perform oral sex on her, and raves about how delicious she smells and tastes. Um--yeah. At least when he rescues her the second time, she's been showering occasionally.
And the drug-lord bad guys on Santa Marita, the island she's been scoping out for her next book, talk a good game about how truly evil they are--but end up being paper tigers. The ending is a bit too convenient, as if now that the besotted couple is reunited, there's no need for any more trouble on the island. Everything is settled in the happy ending. But I can't help wondering how long it will take before Mallory sneaks away to another hot spot for her next book. Good thing her man is in the rescue business.
Layla is studying to become a nurse. She's still taking classes, and studying to pass exams, but her life has become more complicated recently. For her last birthday, an Incubus who calls himself, Ink, due to the constantly-changing tattoos all over his body, appeared in her apartment. He's Lust personified, and he told her he was bonded to her, to teach her how to attain her full powers as a witch. Then he started to satisfy her every desire. Did I mention he can read minds? She's been lusting after Cal forever, but fears that since she's lived a hard life, and has only unhappy memories of when she did have a family, that he's never going to even look at her. Imagine her surprise to learn that he's been lusting after her too. Oh, and he's got a few secrets of his own. She never believed witches were real until she discovered she is one. Why not believe in werewolves too?
The suspenseful plot is intricate and intense. Layla finds she has no time to devote to her nurse studies. She's dealing with the situations she keeps being tossed into and seeks to help the guy she's been in love with for so long. Especially after their first encounter. There's still Ink, who appears whenever he wants to even while she's out of her apartment. At least he remembers to put on clothing when he does, for which she's grateful. Cal isn't happy about him, but has no idea who and what he is, because of course she doesn't want to tell him that this Incubus keeps her plenty happy in her apartment. So there are steamy encounters, in-between the suspenseful and dangerous scenes involving the plot. Reading this book was quite a ride!
I'm not sure I'd call this a reverse-harem, since the two men are never with Layla at the same time. But she gets plenty of her itches scratched by both of them, separately. I do have a couple of minor issues. One, I didn't realize this was going to be ended with a cliff-hanger. A bad guy was introduced at the end, with sinister plans for the future. I was so into the HFN ending, then I was dismayed to realize that Layla's problems are only beginning. The other issue is that, well, Cal is rather well-hung. Girl, I measured a coke can, it's 8 1/4 inches in circumference! If it was me, I'm not sure the screaming would be in ecstasy! More likely, ouch! (fans self.)
Claw is a highly recommended read!
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