Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Special Agent Cameron Asada has spent four years undercover in an attempt to bring down a large drug cartel the Sapphire Guild. The things he’s been forced to do in order to maintain his cover are weighing heavily on his soul, and Cam is beginning to have trouble facing the man he now sees in his mirror.
Cam finally has the opportunity to get what he’s been striving for the last four years, working for the boss himself. There Cam meets Miko, the boss’s beautiful slave whom he uses to reward his associates for jobs well done. Miko is a psion who does not speak, but he is very loud in Cam’s head when he’s hurt/used. Can Cam ignore the young psion’s pain and keep to his mission? And who is the mysterious, powerful and quirky Draven? Friend or foe?
A well-written free short that acts as a prologue or prequel to the series. This introduces many interesting characters who are key players in the Guardians of the Pattern series, which I highly recommend. When I first read this short, I hadn’t explored this author much or the rest of the series. Months later, after reading other books and finally picking up book #1 of this series, I found myself compelled to go back and read this on again. Now that I wasn’t expecting it to be a complete romance in itself, I came away with a much different feel for the story. Read alone, I rated this as a 4 star story and wrote this: “I was most intrigued by Draven and Miko and would like to learn more about them. This particular short story wasn’t actually a romance and was quite dark. But intriguing.” After reading book one and meeting Cameron and Miko again under different circumstances, I have a better understanding and insight that lends an extra depth to the story. I re-read it specifically seeking to refresh that background, of these two.
What I hadn’t expected was how much more I noticed than on the first read… and how very, very much I need to read more about the mysterious Draven.
This isn’t a romance and it isn’t a sweet story. Its dark and there is non-con. But it is a tightly woven, intense short story with excellent characterization, mystery, action, and world-building. Rare to see a short capture all that so well. For that reason, I re-rated this to 4.5 rounded up. I love the title, too.
The cover by Cinchbug shows a man looking into a cracked mirror. The haunted stare of the man seriously creeps me out, which is the point because the man is seeing himself slowly turning into a monster.
Sales Link: Amazon Buy It Here
ebook, 53 pages
seriesGuardians of the Pattern