A MelanieM Review: Infected: The Lost Weekend (Infected #7.5) by Andrea Speed

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Infected-the Lost Weekend coverAn Infected Short Story

Roan is hired by Scott to look for a hockey player friend of his. After a long night of celebratory drinking, Scott can’t quite remember what happened to his friend, and he isn’t answering his cell. Roan discovers Scott’s friend was much more troubled than he ever realized, and that some mysteries should remain unsolved.

Scott, one of Roan’s professional hockey player friends, is missing his teammate after a drunken night on the town.  When the friend doesn’t show up for practice, a search is launched with Roan doing the investigating.  What follows is a revelation into a player they thought they knew but turns out  no one had any idea of what was bubbling under the surface.

Andrea Speed takes our favorite Infected characters off on a weekend investigation for one of Roan’s friends.  It’s not a complicated case and it is solved almost as quickly as it begins but what matters here is the characters, their relationships and the journey the investigation takes them all on.

Infected: The Lost Weekend by Andrea Speed is a short side story to a long, densely layered, and evolving series.  There is really no way to impart the pertinent series details in such a short story and Speed doesn’t try as it would not begin to do justice to this astonishing character and series.  You must approach this story with the full knowledge of the ongoing plot and relationships.  If you lack that background, this probably won’t make as much a impact on the reader.  But a side story takes it for granted that you realize that the backstory will be missing and goes on from that standpoint.  And from that point of view, Infected: The Lost Weekend delivers the sort of character interaction and dialog the readers have come to expect from this author and series.

I am a huge fan of Andrea Speed and Infected.  I enjoy her stories as much for the peculiar and obscure cultural references as I do Infected’s evolving plot and characters.  Here I get both.  Involved in this storyline are Scott, a bisexual professional hockey player and friend of Roan’s.  Holden Fox,  ex high priced prostitute, Scott’s lover who plays an increasing part of Roan’s operations as a part-time investigator.  Really, I just love Holden.  His is a voice almost as strong as Roan’s and that’s a remarkable achievement.  For Roan is one of the strangest, strongest, and angst driven characters I have had the pleasure of meeting in the pages of a novel.  The Lost Weekend combines the three of them on a short journey of discovery.

The investigation into the events of a drunken weekend and a missing hockey player are given a fairly realistic treatment.  It is a short examination of a person’s ability to hide their true personality and issues behind a facade and the ease with which others assume that who they see is the real persona.  It makes you think about how many assumptions you might make in a day about people you think you know but really don’t know anything about.  Scott knows just enough about the missing player to know that he’s in trouble but nothing more.  It’s up to Roan to solve the puzzle to the man’s personality and find the solution to the case.

The resolution  won’t surprise anyone but again its the journey here not the end of the trail that matters.  Did I wish for more?  Certainly, but I always feel like that when it comes to Roan and his group of highly individual and quirky friends.  For those of us who crave a new Roan story, this provides temporary relief until the next installment appears.  Or perhaps you can head over to Andrea Speed’s website for a new free “online only “story as well.   Devil’s Night, part one is up now and if you are like me, you can never have enough Roan or the Infected universe.

If you are an Infected fan (and doesn’t that sound wrong) and a lover of all things Roan, then pick up Infected: The Lost Weekend and get your Roan fix in while we are waiting for the next story to drop.  If you are new to this character and series, start at the beginning of Roan’s tale and work your way forward.  It’s really the only way to see the character development, understand all the relationships that emerge and marvel at a story line that gets more convoluted with each new installment.  Love the series, love, love the characters.  Infected is one of Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words must reads of any year.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  The Infected covers are dramatic, and darkly beautiful.  They also do a terrific job of branding this series.  I can spot an Infected novel just by looking at the cover instead of title and author.  Great job.

Sales Links:    Dreamspinner Press    All Romance eBooks (ARe)    Amazon   Infected: The Lost Weekend

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
30 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
Series:  Infected

Here are the Infected series novels in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and overall plot:

Prey (Infected, #1)
Bloodlines (Infected, #2)
Life After Death (Infected, #3)
Freefall (Infected, #4)
Shift (Infected, #5)
Lesser Evils (Infected, #6)
Undertow (Infected, #7)
Infected: The Lost Weekend

Epitaph (Infected, #8) not yet released
Trick or Treat

Infected, Special Edition (Books 1-4)

On Tour with K.A. Merikan and her Guns ‘n’ Boys (contest)

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Welcome, K.A. Merikan, to Scattered Thoughts And Rogue Words!  Kat Merikan is here to talk about her latest release Gun’s ‘n’ Boys, a dark novel of crime, lust, and suspense!

Contest:  K.A.Merikan is giving away an ebook copy of Guns ‘n’ Boys. To enter to win, leave a comment below along with your email address where you can be reached if chosen.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Contest runs until midnight 9/21.

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 magnifying+glass+crime+scene+police

 K. A. Merikan on Guns ‘n’ Boys…

If you’ve ever dreamt about an assassin who doesn’t just do the killing behind the scenes – Domenico Acerbi is right for you.gunsnboys_book1Part1_450

If you’re tired of the brutal antagonists always turning out to be undercover investigators – Domenico Acerbi is right for you.
If you’re tired of harsh men who completely lose their cool and melt into fluffy teddy bears the moment they find The One – Domenico Acerbi is right for you 😉

Yes, I know this sound like a vintage ad. Seriously though, while in real life I stay as far away from violent or assholish people as possible, they do excite me in books and other media. Anti-heroes may be baddies, but they are not straight-up villains. Sure, they frequently engage in criminal activities, they beat people up, produce illegal drugs, even kill, but at the same time they have redeeming qualities that make us root for them. One of them is that antiheroes do things that most people secretly wished for at some point in their life, for example punching an obnoxious person, or killing a person who escapes punishment that they deserve. But every good anti hero needs to draw a line somewhere.

That’s why the main character of Dexter only kills a certain kind of people, and the viewers can’t help but cross their fingers for him. Most movie assassins declare that they won’t touch women and children, but they have no qualms about torturing an innocent man. Audiences are inclined to be forgiving of violent behavior but only if they understand the character’s motivation, and I confess I am very guilty of that 😉 After all, who doesn’t like a bad boy in their fantasies once in a while?

Order at Amazon!

 

— Love is sour like a Sicilian lemon. —

The Family is always right.
The Family doesn’t forget.
The Family pays for blood in blood.

gunsnboys_book1Part1_450Domenico Acerbi grew up in the shade of Sicilian lemon trees ready to give his life for the Family. Ready to follow orders and exceed expectations. A proud man of honor.
When Seth, the younger son of the Don is kidnapped, it’s Domenico who is sent to get him back. The man he finds though, is not the boy he knew all those years ago. Lazy, annoying, spoiled, and as hot as a Sicilian summer.

Seth Villani wants nothing to do with the mafia. Unfortunately, he doesn’t get a say when the Family pulls him right back into its fold after his mother’s death. Thrown into a den of serpents otherwise known as the Villani Family, Seth has to find a way to navigate in the maze of lies. But when Domenico Acerbi, the most vicious snake of them all, sinks his fangs into Seth, the venom changes into an aphrodisiac that courses through Seth’s veins.

Domenico knows his life is about to change when he gets the order to train Seth up to the role of future Don. Seth isn’t made for it. He isn’t even made. But a man Domenico knows he would never have to fear might just be someone he’s always needed.

If Seth is doomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, he might as well enjoy himself–with the most intoxicating man he’s ever met. Maybe he can even fool himself into believing that Domenico isn’t a handsome sociopath who kills for a living.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Themes: Enemies to lovers, mafia, homophobia, assassin, organized crime

Genre: Dark, twisted erotic romance / crime thriller

Erotic content: Explicit gay sex, coercion

Length: ~110,000 words

WARNING: Adult content. If you are easily offended, this book is not for you.
‘Guns n’ Boys’ is a gritty story of extreme violence, offensive language, abuse, and morally ambiguous protagonists. Behind the morbid facade, there is a splash of inappropriate dark humor, and a love story that will crawl under your skin.

About the author:

K.A. Merikan is a joint project of Kat and Agnes Merikan, who jokingly claim to share one mind. They finish each other’s sentences and simultaneously come up with the same ideas. Kat and Agnes enjoy writing various kinds of stories, from light-hearted romance to thrillers. They love creating characters that are not easy to classify as good or evil, and firmly believe that even some villains deserve their happy endings. It is easiest to find them in galleries, restaurants and historical sites, always with a computer or notebook, because for Kat and Agnes, every day is a writing day. Future plans include lots of travel, and a villa on the coast of Italy or a flat in Paris where they could retire after yet another crazy venture, only to write more hot homoerotic stories.

As K.A. Merikan, Kat and Agnes have published a number of books, which cross genres while always staying homoerotic.

You  can contact/follow K. A. Merikan at:

On Tour with Sue Brown and The Last Wolf (book tour and contest)

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The Last Wolf Banner

Get a closer look at Sue Brown’s latest story and new series from Love Lane Books!   Check out that gorgeous cover, read the excerpt, and don’t forget to enter the contest at the end of the post!  Happy Reading! 

 

The Last Wolf 400x600Title – The Last Wolf (Sapphire Ranch Wolves – #1) by Sue Brown
Publisher:  Love Lane Books
Cover Artist:  Meredith Russell

Sales Link:  Love Lane Books

Blurb for The Last Wolf:

The only good predator is a dead one, as far as Joe Lowther is concerned.

That is until the day he shoots a wolf, only to watch the animal turn into a naked Callum Pope. Cal is being hunted by a group of humans who eradicate shifter packs for sport.

Joe makes a decision to help Cal and discovers a deeper connection with the young shifter. One which he’d like to explore. If they live that long.

The Last Wolf (Sapphire Ranch Wolves #1) Excerpt

Joe had seen the wolf for the first time the previous night, a fleeting glimpse of glowing eyes as it tracked a coyote across the paddocks of Sapphire Ranch. He’d been convinced his eyes were deceiving him because he knew there were no wolves in Texas.

“You sure it was a wolf? Are you sure it wasn’t a coyote? What did he look like?” Like all ranchers, his daddy hated predators, but he was peculiarly tenderhearted about wolves. Joe didn’t have the same warm fuzzy feelings. For him, the only good predator was a dead one.

“Four paws, big ears, long fangs. What do you think it looked like?” At his father’s scowl, Joe quit the snark. “I hope I’m mistaken, because if not, the next time I meet it will be at the end of my shotgun.” His father looked upset and Joe cursed himself for mentioning it. “I’ll deal with it.”

“I hope you’re wrong,” his daddy said, shifting restlessly against his pillows. He winced, the lines deepening in his face.

Author Bio:

Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she be found haunting coffee shops to feed her coffee addiction. She spends hours people watching instead of typing. She feeds the plot bunnies, not the word count.

Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

Connect with Sue

 

Competition:

The contest is for $15 ARe/Amazon gift card, plus two other prizes of a free ebook from Love Lane.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Please use the Rafflecopter link provided to enter and for additional contest details.