A MelanieM Review: Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) (Pulp Friction 2015 #9) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dead Button coverHaunted. Seduced. Betrayed.

When ghost enthusiast Dr. Sabine Brusilov plucks a weathered skull from the mud and debris at the bottom of the Mississippi River, he gets more than he bargained for. The skull comes with a moody, petulant, sexy ghost who is not shy about his attraction to Sabine. Along with proof that ghosts really do exist, Sabine finds a treasure beyond compare.

Love.

Love is everything to long dead Barton Montoire. He’s lived for it, faced dishonor for it…killed for it. Now that he’s found it again, he’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep Sabine at his side for eternity. Even if that means more blood on his hands.

With the darkness that circles Sabine growing stronger, and his lover’s actions becoming more erratic and unpredictable, Bart is challenged to protect his love from some unknown danger.

Ghosts and humans exist on two separate planes, and there’s only one way for them to be together.

But betrayal lurks in the shadows…

Of all of the 4 interconnected series of the Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States collection, this series and main couple are the most problematic for me.  And that my somewhat dubious affection is for characters that comes from Lee Brazil?  Even more of a surprise and the cause of much questioning on my part.  That is never more true than for Lee Brazil’s story in Round Three, Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) (Pulp Friction 2015 #9).

After I finish reading each story, the first question that pops up is why don’t I like these characters more.  Or more accurately one character more? That would be Dr. Sabine Brusilov.  From the beginning he has come across as cold, unfeeling and harsh in his approach to his lover, the delectable ghost Barton Montoire.   Theirs is a long  relationship that has always seemed very one sided and prone to the potential for abuse.  Yes, definitely not a fan of Sabine’s.

It has come up along the way that other characters in the series see their relationship the way I do and the explanations have been that Sabine is shocked over the manner in which his and Barton’s relationship is viewed.  But have these scenes and clarifications made any adjustments in my feelings towards Sabine?  Not really.  For me, the one closest  to my heart with this couple is Barton.  His treatment at the hands  of Sabine both push Barton further into my affection while continuing to alienate Sabine more throughly from it.

But the more I think about it, I wonder if that isn’t part of Brazil’s plan all along.  That you must pull one of the characters down so far that he seems unredeemable.  Until he isn’t.  That his salvation becomes part of the “Holy Grail” of the story, something that must be achieved at all cost.  Because Sabine is certainly on his way to hell given his actions here.

Parts  of this story hurt so bad that I can still feel it.   Brazil’s writing leaves no emotion unturned or unchurned as I should say.  The pain is spread far and even across the characters.  The darkness is here and feels unstoppable as well as unknown.  Its brunt is borne by Barton, at least on the surface.  That Sabine is wrapped up in something out of his control is obvious but his actions?  How far back did the influence start?  This becomes more of a psychological mystery as well as a supernatural suspense story.  I love that.  Because as much as I dislike what Sabine is doing, Brazil makes me question the impetus for his actions and what the man must be feeling underneath it all.  Will I come to love Sabine as I do Barton?  The answer lies in stories 4 and 5 and I can’t wait to find out.

All the stories and series in the Pulp Friction 2015 collection are convoluted and full of shocking revelations.  Somehow, though, I get the feeling that Lee Brazil’s Jack of Spade might just supply the biggest surprise of them all.  Stay tuned!

Cover art by Laura Harner is dark and perfect for this story.  The covers for the series were originally too light but as the plot got nasty and murderous the covers have changed with the tone.  Love it and them.

Sales Links:   All Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 46 pages
Published June 15th 2015 by Lime Time Press
ASINB00ZS51B8M
edition languageEnglish
series 2015 Pulp Friction – Altered States Collection

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About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows

A MelanieM Review: Christmas in His Heart by Havan Fellows and, Lee Brazil

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

beacon hill at night  Xander Leahman wasn’t happy with the corporate life so when his best friend called and asked his help to find a manager for her craft store, he jumped at the chance for a change in scenery and time with his bestie.  But Xander wasn’t prepared for the attraction he felt when he saw the grumpy but gorgeous owner of the restaurant next door to Craft Time.  On impulse, Xander found himself agreeing to take the job and relocate on the chance that his heart knew what it was doing.

For Dermot Alasdair the twinkling lights and jolly holiday decorations bring nothing but pain.  While others are celebrating and enjoying the company of friends, family, and lovers, Dermot remains alone, isolated by secret and memories he has never divulged to a single soul.  By now, Dermot has almost convinced himself that all he needs is his restaurant and solitude to be content, if not happy. Then the arrival of Xander Leahman at the neighboring craft store throws his carefully laid out life into chaos.

Xander’s a happy, exuberant person who loves Christmas and can’t understand why the man he is so attracted to lacks the Christmas spirit.  Now more than ever Xander is determined that he will find a way to open Dermot’s heart to Christmas and to a forever love….with Xander, of course!

The holidays are almost upon us and what better way to bring Christmas cheer into home and heart than with holiday stories of celebration and romance.  Havan Fellows and Lee Brazil collaborated in this lively holiday tale of a man whose past robbed him of more than just the Christmas spirit and the fellow who’s determined to bring it back, along with a major dose of romance and love.

The authors certainly relay the historic charm and community of Parkersburg, the town where the story  takes place.  We are plopped into the “grinch like” mind set of one Dermot Alasdair making his way through the cobble streets of town to his restaurant.  Immediately its clear that the holidays and the Christmas decorations are his personal Kryptonite.  And when he is not mentally complaining about the inconvenience of bell ringers and such, he is focused on the financial health of his restaurant, always a precarious thing in the food business.  The last thing Dermot expects is the intrusion into his life of Xander Leahman, a change will he only reluctantly welcome.

Fellows and Brazil make it plain that Dermot is a character that has more pain in his heart than anyone in his situation should, and that, clearly, there are dark reasons behind his bah humbug behavior.  He is buttoned up, clinched in, and as tight as they come to pull in all the old chestnuts, all of which brings out our sympathy and compassion for this sad man.

Xander is more Santa’s helper than corporate desk jockey.  His typical ebullient frame of mind is perfect for Craft Time and his presence is just what his best friend needs.  Xander’s arrival touches off a set of small emotional explosions in all around him, but mostly in Dermot and surprisingly in Xander himself.

I thought the story moved along smartly, in fact, it’s narrative pace was almost too fast.  Xander fell a little too hard too quickly as did Dermot.  And the hot relationship, or hot and cold relationship that springs up could have done with some simmering time instead of heating up to a boil from the start.  But that aside, their relationship is hot, sexy, and sometimes quite funny, which is needed to offset the pain and poignancy to come.

I throughly enjoyed Christmas In His Heart by Lee Brazil and Havan Fellows.  It’s a wonderful way to crank up that holiday cheer!  So deck the halls, light up the Kindles, and put some music on.  Love is in the air and Christmas is winding its way into our hearts!  Put Christmas In His Heart on your holiday reading list today!

 Cover Artist:  Laura Harner.  Love the cover, filled me with holiday cheer!

Sales Links:    All Romance (ARe)       amazon        buy it here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 119 pages
Published December 4th 2014 by Lime Time Press
ASINB00QEB3GGY
edition languageEnglish

Review: Cold Snap (In From the Cold #1) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cold SnapWhen Dagfinnr Lorensson, professor of literature, comes across a freezing Dr. Cannon Malloy in the staff parking lot, it’s not the first time the two men have met, but only one of them remembers.  Cannon Malloy has just arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona, fleeing the traumatizing events and deadly stalker of the last summer in Atlanta.  Cannon is to take over the neurosurgery clinic at the university.  Somehow Cannon thought putting a large distance between himself and his friends in Atlanta  (Chances Are series) would help him get past the events that have left his hands shaking and himself fearful almost all of the time.

Now Cannon stands shivering next to his 66 Shelby, painfully aware that clearly neither his beloved car or himself was prepared for the winter weather that occurs in Flagstaff and the mountainous regions that surround it.  Dagfinnr rescues Cannon and takes him to a local  hotel where Finn is staying until the roads are safe to travel home.  The night at the inn ends in explosive sex.

But Cannon is a man living in fear and even the smallest emotional advances send him running out into the night, seeking the refuge of his new rental cabin on Mountain Shadows.  It’s not until Cannon runs into trouble again on the snow packed mountain road that he realizes his rescuer from work is also his new neighbor.  With winter storms and proximity working to throw them together, will Finn find a way past Cannon’s shields and his fear?  And will Cannon find the strength to stop running and let someone inside all the barriers he has raised against love?

Cold Snap is another terrific start to what looks to be a gripping and emotion packed series.  Unexpectedly Lee Brazil has brought Cannon Malloy, a problematic character if ever there was one, over from the original Pulp Friction 2013 group series.  Now a main character, Cannon Malloy is someone the reader is certain to feel ambivalent about.  He was the closeted man who hurt Chance so deeply in the Chances Are series. His return into Chance’s life sparks all sorts of upheavals in the core relationships of the Pulp Friction 2013 group of friends.  He disappears towards the end of that storyline after some horrific events.  It now appears that he ran off to Arizona in hopes of starting a new life as an out gay man for the first time in his life.  This process starts to transform a self involved personality into someone the reader can start to relate to and empathize with by slowly revealing the frailties behind the self centered appearance.

And to help in this process hopefully is Dagfinnr Loresson, professor of English literature, neighboring renter at the cabins at Mountain Shadows (the location for the Pulp Friction 2014 series), and apparently a man searching for love and a little kink with Cannon Malloy.   As this is just the first story in the series, Brazil is laying the groundwork necessary for the complicated relationship that is sure to follow.  Here it would help to have read the previous Pulp Friction series or at least the Chances Are series, although not completely necessary as the author starts to work bits and pieces from Cannon’s past into the current storyline.

Towards the end of the last series, Cannon was starting to explore the world of bdsm sexuality and it did not go well for a number of reasons. But all those unanswered questions and unresolved feelings are still there under all the barriers Cannon has erected to protect himself from physical and emotional harm.  And Finn recognizes that in Cannon he might have meet the man to match his own desires and kink.  The drama and, I expect, the fun, will be in watching the author brings these two disparate personalities together into a rewarding relationship.

There are also mysteries that start to emerge and I expect elements from Cannon’s past to figure into the plot as well.  I have always found it hard to believe that Brazil can pack so much story into only 56 pages.  The characters are so vivid and real that they threaten to burst out of the page and the location feels as alive as the tall trees that surround the cabins and main lodge.  My only complaint is, that like an addictive snack, you finish one and then immediately want to reach out for the next.  That’s the way I feel about Cold Snap and all the rest of the Pulp Friction 2014 series.

The anticipation has settled in.  My curiosity is engaged and the suspense is building.  I am already in love with the series and all the characters, wounded, quirky, dominate, and complex, that are showing up one by one at Mountain Shadows.  There are so many elements to be found here, love, romance, kinky sex, wounded men, and mystery, that there is something for everyone.  I definitely consider this highly recommended!

Cover art by Laura Harner is terrific and perfect for the man and story inside.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 56 pages
Published January 30th 2014 by Lime Time Press
ASIN B00I5SWYZS
edition language English
series In From the Cold, Pulp Friction 2014

One of the Pulp Friction 2014 Series

 From the Pulp Friction Group: The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends. The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth. Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.

Round One:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1) by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Where the Wind Blows: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by Tom Webb

Review: Chance in Hell (Chances Are #5) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Chance In Hell coverAaron “Chance” Dumont, owner of Chances Are bar and restaurant, doesn’t know what to do.  Chance has just retrieved his missing boyfriend, Rory, who disappeared after a huge argument.  Granted the argument was about Chance and his old flame, Cannon, who returned determined to reclaim Chance as his.  Plus Rory, still trying to recover from his rape, is uncertain of their relationship and his status in Chance’s life.  But now that Rory is home and Chance is sure that Rory is the one he loves, things are still unsettled.

Why do things never stay the same?  Even his sanctuary, his bar Chances Are, is going upscale because of his new bartender and his chef.

While Rory agreed to come home, it was also on the condition that there was to be no sex between them.  That this was their chance to really get to know one another before a deeper commitment could be made (and sexual relations resumed).  Now Chance is determined not to screw up a second time, to show Rory that he is loved and treasured above all.

But fate has a messed up sense of humor. Cannon appears, shaken and badly needing Chance’s help.  Someone is stalking him and making threats.  Is there a connection to other unresolved deaths in the area? Soon Cannon is sleeping on their couch, and a killer is circling around the bar and his friends.  Chance is determined to save his new relationship but feels obligated to help his first love.  If there is a chance in hell that someone can keep them all safe, then Chance is the man for the job.

Chance in Hell, the fifth book in the Chances Are series, finds Chance finally committed to his love, Rory, but unsure of everything else in his life.  Everything is changing and Chance is the last person in the world who likes change even when it is for the better.  Lee Brazil does an outstanding job of making the reader understand just how flustered and uneasy Chance is over the changes in his life.  He is happy Rory is home but is tentative about moving forward in any part of their relationship, afraid to make a wrong move.  His bar, Chances Are, has always been a haven for Chance, no matter  the circumstances in his life but that is changing too as his bar has become popular with everyone, not just his old friends and the gay scene.

Even Chance’s band of brothers, his non blood relation family, is at its most variable, with new members and expansions of relationships.  With each description and scene, Brazil makes Chance’s new life seem incredibly authentic and real for the reader.  We feel his unease and the tension that all the changes are bringing about. We understand that Chance knows just how fragile his second “chance” at love with Rory is.  The author also takes the character of Rory and makes him into a  warm, intelligent and yes, endearing young man, a far cry from the troubled, passive “twink” he was portrayed as in the previous stories. Rory is that person that we love unconditionally.  The growth of his character brings out the best in Chance. Finally, even those readers who were not committed to this relationship, can understand the attraction and root for their love to succeed.  We even feel for Cannon, a less than relatable personality whose broken relationship with Chance almost destroyed him and almost demolished Chance’s new one with Rory.  Now Cannon becomes someone worthy  of our sympathy and concern, instead of someone we disliked and was disconnected to, a very nice turnaround by Brazil.

By the end of the story, things seem, at least on the surface, to be settling down.  I love Chance Dumont and his singular voice, all gravely, sarcastic, and knowing.  Rory is a wonderful complement to him and he knows it.  But a mystery is lurking around the edges, and the clues are to be found in the other series.  A Chance in Hell is well named indeed.

This is how it all starts:

The flamboyantly sexy Sin mixed drinks with smiles and laughter and his usual flirtatious banter behind the bar. Gerry cast him a dark glance every now and then, but seemed too busy with the harried waiters, managing the kitchen, and rubbing up against Darrin to actually approach the bartender.

It was Friday night and the crowd of boys in blue and the quiet gentlemen of the neighborhood had been replaced by a bevy of gay men who ranged from suave to eager, all drawn by the lure of our sexy new bartender, all spending big and most having to be sent home at the end of each night in cabs. Tomorrow was weekend brunch, and tonight’s crowd would seem even more incongruous when compared to the tourists and families who came for the brunch buffet.

Chances Are was changing, and I wasn’t sure I liked it. Gerry couldn’t be blamed for all of it either. It began with me hiring Blake, who should have been working in a grand establishment, to cook. A trained chef who’d once prepared food for the elite of New York society, he was out of place in my bar. He’d amped up the food, which had seemed safe enough. Then Gerry hired Sin, who despite his vibrant attitude behind the bar, I had yet to see actually follow through on the promise in his name, and crowds came, drawn by his personality. The bar was no longer a refuge, and I really needed one right now.

Why the hell doesn’t anything ever stay the same?

If you are new to the series, then return to the beginning and start there. Here are the stories in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, their relationships and the events that occur:

Chances Are (Chances Are #1)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #2)
Fifty, Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are, #3)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are, #4)
Chance in Hell (Chances Are #5)

Cover art by Laura Harner is perfect for the story and to brand the series.

Book Details:

ebook, 14,500 words, 51 pages
Buy Links All Romance EBooks, Amazon
Published August 30th 2013 by Lime Time Press
edition language English
series Chances Are

Book Contest and Author Guest Blog with Havan Fellows, Pulp Friction Author

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Two women talking clip art pencil drawing

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words: Author Spotlight and Chat with Havan Fellows

Good morning all and welcome to Pulp Friction Week.  This week I am happy to have all the authors of the Pulp Friction series in to talk about their characters, and their series…and well whatever they want to discuss with us.  Happily for my readers, each author is offering a copy of one of their books in their series as a giveaway.  Just leave a comment at the end of each day’s post and you will be entered.

Yes, its that easy.  Now on with our chat!

Today Scattered Thoughts is happy to have Havan Fellows back with us.

ST: Havan, take a comfy seat, shoo off the dogs and lets have a chat.

Havan Fellows: Well hello…thanks for having me back, Melanie. *kneels down and pets the puppies* And thank you too *sneaks a few treats over*.

Wow…I don’t get asked back this quickly—my babbling normally needs space in between bouts…*winks* But oh boy, it feels like so much cool stuff has happened since my last visit that I can’t wait to cop a squat and answer a few questions that have crossed by me.

So let’s start with the thing I’ve been contacted about the most: Is Wick gone for good?

ST:  Nooooooo….say it isn’t true!

HF: Um…do you think anyone could get rid of that boy that easily? Trust me I’ve tried—he’s like a boomerang coming back for more more more. He heard what had to be said to him, he weighed his options, made a cute little bar graph and pie chart…then threw it all away and did what he wanted to anyway. *big smiles* Yep, that’s our boy. lol

But he is also human and did some understanding things but in the wrong way. Facing Simon down hurt him, that altercation forever changed his way of thinking. To need time and space is understandable…to not confide in his brothers about why he needed time and space BEFORE taking it…well have you met Wick?

ST: So this has been on my mind as I love that boy. Will we see Kyle again?

Here’s the thing…there is one more official book in the Pulp Friction 2013 year…and I’m a pantser not a plotter. (I’ve tried to be a plotter but the characters *glares at Wick & Ned* tend to do their own thing anyway so I growl and they laugh and I sigh and they celebrate…it’s an old waltz that we—they—like doing…) So can I say for sure you will or won’t see him again—no. Chances are you probably won’t in the PF ’13 year…but if I’m lucky (and my Pulp Friction family—Lee Brazil, Laura Harner and Tom Weeb—agree) PF has many more years ahead of us and the possibilities are endless! *big smiles*

ST: Sigh.  I guess I will have to wait with all the others to find out about Kyle. So here are two biggies that I think people want to know.. Why is Wick such a jerk? –and– Who is Ned really?

HF: First, he prefers the term ass. He has also approved: asshat, asshole and whole-ass…but he doesn’t appreciate the word jerk. Evidently there is a subtle difference of meaning. Well—I only write him I don’t try to understand him…do you want to pay for the shrink I’d need if I went down that rabbit hole? lmao

To answer that question I believe reading book five is in order. It is called Wicked Truths for a very very good reason. Does it answer completely why Wick is who Wick is—or even the history of the enigma that is Ned? No. If it did that would be a much longer book. But it covers the bases and gives an insight that I think will shock you if you haven’t read it yet. Just remember; it does behoove you to read the books in order…easier to keep up with the special characters that jump from series to series in the Pulp Friction world. *big smiles*

ST:  Yep, Wicked Truth answers a lot of questions, but *shakes finger* it also asks  a lot more.  How I love this series.  Oops it look like Havan is waving goodbye.

HF: Sooooooooooo…thank you all for hanging in there and enjoying my own little form of answering people’s questions about the Wicked’s Way series. The fact that I had reader questions to answer makes me all smiley and blushy and yeah—happy!

Now…if you could leave a comment—whether it is how much you’ve enjoyed this series *hip bumps* hint hint…lol…or how you’d like to give it a go…I’ll be giving one lucky commenter a free Wick book. It can be any of the Wick books from 1-5…that way if you have read some you can pick one you don’t have. Now—if you’ve read all the Wick books and win…when I contact you just let me know…I might—just might—be able to arrange something having to do with the next book in the PF ’13 series that isn’t even released yet! *winks*

ST: Thanks, Havan, for a wonderful Q & A.   I can’t wait to see what is in store next!  Remember everyone, leave a comment and be automatically entered into the book contest!

Now Available at All Romance and Amazon in eBook format.  See my review later this afternoon.

Publisher Blurb:

Wicked Truths coverA man from Wick’s past knows Ned’s secrets and is after their future…wicked truths are coming…

Wick Templeton is not dating Ned. At least that’s his story—period. But when someone decides that Ned’s time on earth is over, Wick doesn’t bother with the semantics of it…his boyfriend is in danger and that’s unacceptable.

What happens when the person targeting Ned just may be the only person Wick can’t defend against?

Secrets are revealed, people are hurt, and a very shaky relationship is tested. When the dust clears nothing in Wick’s life will be the same.

Caution: This is the fifth in the series, and while you can read this by itself…you know what? Forget it…no you can’t read this one by itself and miss out on all the stuff that makes Wick so darn awesome, go back and start with the first one.

Review: Second Chances Are (Chances Are #02) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Second Chances AreChance Dumont has decided to move forward wit his life.  Chance decides the best way to put the past behind him is a relationship with the young man, Rory, who idolizes him. At least it seemed like a good idea at the time.  But lately the relationship feels constricting, and Chance can see it deteriorating in the near future.  But how to tell Rory that its over?  Unfortunately, Rory saw it coming and made one of the worst decisions of his young life.  Now both men must deal with the tragic outcome.  Chance realizes that second chances are hard to come by and makes a hard decision.  Then his past walks through the doors of his bar after five years.  And Chance is face to face with the hardest decision he has ever made.  Who will get the second chance at love, his past or his present?

Second Chances Are picks up shortly after the end of the first book in the series, Chances Are.  Chance Dumont, that quintessential damaged ex cop is back and trying to move on with his life,  one that was destroyed both career wise and emotionally five years earlier.  Chance has decided to put his past behind him and give romance a try once more.  His choice of partner?  That would be Rory, a young gay cop who is clearly in love with the older man.  Lee Brazil brings us again into the weary, sarcastic personality that is Chance Dumont, a man who gained his  nickname from a grandmother he both loved and hated.  One who always said, “Chances are you will come to no good, just like your pa”, and the appellation stuck.

We reenter Chance’s life just as he has made a decision to try and move forward with his life.  New boyfriend, new attempt at a relationship (although on his terms).  But when the story opens, Chance is realizing that Rory will never be the one he wants and that’s a painful reality.  Chance is a difficult man.  He is complex, with his own set of rules and laws he goes by, not necessarily society’s ones.  He is a Dom and wants someone who not only has the same kink he has but something more.  Something he once had and lost.  Chance is not a bad man and he realizes the damage this is going to do to the young man who idolizes him.  It won’t be pretty, in fact, Chance is sure it is going to get ugly quick.   I love that Brazil’s characterization of Chance is realistically layered and contradictory in his thought processes.  He is human, not always likable but trying to be as honorable as possible.  Brazil’s Chance is a man who knows life is hard but is still surprised by the depths people will sink to.  I really like this man and can see why the author created Rory, his opposite in almost every way.  We need that to illuminate the truth of Chance and it works.

A traumatic event happens to Rory that changes the dynamic between the men.  Just when Chance had made one decision about their relationship, an attack on Rory changes everything. Soon Chance is dropping that hard won decision altogether in favor of a different path, one that is 180 degrees from the realistic one Chance thought was best for them both.  This is a hard choice for Chance and Brazil lets the reader into Chance’s inner thoughts and moral arguments as he works through his own culpability with respect to Rory and the attack.  This intimate look into Chance’s mindset is necessary for the reader to continue to be emotionally attached to a man who can be perceived as cold and removed.   Chance is a great character who continues to grow as more about his past is revealed and our attachment to the man grows with him.

In this case, his past walks through the door towards the end of the story.  The reader knew it was coming but the emotional implications and impact on Chance is still as disastrous as we expected.  It’s wonderful when an author can do that with an anticipated segment of their story, and Lee Brazil does a great job with it.

We get to see Wick Templeton or at least hear him mentioned as a possible course of action, so you know  things are dire when Wick is the weapon of choice.  I think it is wise that Wick is accounted for in these linked series by something as fleeting as a phone call.  I am  not sure that either series can hold both men together at the same time.  That’s a lot of testosterone and trouble for one series, let alone two.

The other aspect I need to bring up is that this is not truly a romance, at least not yet.  There are elements of BDSM, a D/s relationship, certainly affection as well as bitterness over a past love.  But romance? That would be no.  And it’s really not needed here.  This is a portrait of a man who is trying to move forward in his life, leaving his career and obviously love behind.  We don’t have the facts yet but they are coming.  Some of them just walked in the door. What Lee Brazil does give us is tension, the realities and hardships that life dumps at your feet, and taking responsibility for your actions.  This is a grown up story and I love it.

So start at the beginning and work your way through the series.  Then head on over to Wicked’s Way, Havan Fellows’s series and grab that one up too.  I have two more stories in this series to review so stay with us all the way to the end.  You won’t be sorry.

Cover art by Laura Harner is appropriate for the book and the series.  Works well to brand the series too.

Books in the series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events within:

Chances Are (Chances Are #01)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #02)
Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #03)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #04)

Book Details:

ebook, short story
Published March 1st 2013 by Lime Time Press
ISBN LBRZL00000 (ISBN13: 2940016176192)
edition language English