A MelanieM Review: Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

He was the Beast without the escape clause.

Francis “Liv” Livingston was a beast. No matter if he wore a perfectly tailored suit or if he was in his tactical gear, people avoided looking at him. He was always first to volunteer for the jobs only a person with a death wish wanted. Tomorrows weren’t guaranteed. His boss had come to him and told him he needed him for a job. Linus knew the jobs he liked, but when he opened the file, it all went to hell.

Beauty was only skin deep.

Fielding Haskell made his way in the world on his looks. He’d earned his first film role before he could read a script. He didn’t want the fame. He wanted to go to college. He wanted a man who didn’t look at him and see how pretty he was. Unfortunately, a so-called fan only cared how attractive he was, and it earned him a personal bodyguard and a vacation. He looked forward to the break until he met the man in charge of his safety and wondered if the danger he left was worth dealing with a sudden attraction to a man who was colder than ice.

When I think of books with wounded, broken men, J.M. Dabney’s series and characters immediately jumps to mind.  Indeed her moto “even the broken are beautiful” is applicable to all her stories, themes, and yes, people.  It’s especially true in her new series, Trenton Security, and it’s first book and character, Livingston.

Essentially,  Dabney’s interconnected series was finished with the Executioners but then something spoke to her (see her guest blog here) and the new series was born.  A little darker, more suspenseful, and action packed, if all that is possible considering the series that came before.  Boy, was I on board!  Some had already made small bit appearances and I needed to know more.

Livingston is the first up and what a tortured soul he is in  just about every way.  Body and spirit.  A child raised in a cult by a crazed mother whose  twisted beliefs now are forever emblazoned in Livingston’s ruined skin and damaged memories by fire, he seeks isolation and perhaps, as his colleagues think,  even death.

As one of Dabney’s more tortured souls, Livingston certainly ranks up there in the top five.  A mass of scars inside and out, you can’t help but feel, not pity, but sorrow for this man who’s had such a hard life with no love or softness.  Her ability to make us care for him, to bring us into his life and share a little of his pain is what makes these stories so notable.

All that  changes when   Liv is asked to guard young actor Fielding Haskell from a dangerous stalker.  Fielding himself is in need of saving but in an entirely different manner.  A cash cow for his parents and manager, love has never been a part of his life either,  Instead, he’s been more of a puppet living an insulated, strictly controlled environment guaranteed to maintain his image and their control of it and him.  In effect, someone who has been controlled all his life that’s it’s a part of him is about to meet someone who can never give up control of his life again to anyone.  A match made in heaven or in this case in hell.

There is only a short time to develop the relationship between the men but you do get a feel for them getting into something real here. But the ending is HFN instead of HEA which makes sense given the timeline and the characters involved.

There is the mystery of who  is the stalker and the action packed element of keeping Fielding safe (will they/won’t they…no spoilers here).  I could have used more of this but only because it was so good.  Definitely heart racing, white knuckle scenes await you here!

Also because of the age difference, there’s some Daddy kink here.  If you read J.M Dabney, then this isn’t unexpected and it certainly fits in with the relationship dynamics and past history of the men.  In short, it works here.  Whether you find it sexy or not is up to you.

Is this a standalone novel?  Not really.  None of them are.  You need to become familiar with their town Powers, Georgia, its history, its people, and it’s relationships.  That means all the series and couples because they all appear in each others stories.  The kids grow up, call the others Uncles.  It’s a maze of interlocking relationships and it can be confusing if you are just picking up one book without any foundation to rest it on.  I do recommend them all even though I clearly have my favorites.  The list is at the bottom of the review.

So yay to a new series, Trenton Security and yay to a new couple to break your hearts and on their way to finding their HEA in Powers, Georgia.  I can’t wait to see what the next three books bring.

Cover art: Reese Dante.  This is an absolutely gorgeous cover.  It speaks to the character and to the fact that he’s hiding part of himself.  Incredible.

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 190 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
Original Title Livingston
ASIN B079ZQR567
Edition Language English
setting Georgia(United States) 
  • Trenton Security – fourth series

Livingston (Trenton Security #1)

J.M. Dabney On Creating a New Character and Series: Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney (Release Day Blog)

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Livingston_ReviewTour

LIVINGSTON

TRENTON SECURITY BOOK 1

J.M. DABNEY

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 03.06.18

Livingston-200x300 

Cover Design:   RESSE DANTE

AMAZON

B&N

KOBO

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J.M Dabney here today talking about  her latest novel and new series,Livingston (Trenton Security #1).  Welcome, J.M., and thanks for answering a few questions for us.

How did the Security Agency form? What has you as an author, most excited, about this next series?

First let me thank Melanie and Scattered Thoughts for hosting me on their blog today.

How the security agency formed was odd. It came mostly into play during the Executioners series. The Executioners were to be the last of the spin-offs. I believed the Crews had run their course on the voices I could come up with. Then Ghost and Harper’s book happened. Those soft whispers of voices at the back of an author’s brain are dangerous stuff.

Of course, Livingston solidly formed first. I’ve written scarred characters, mostly from suicide attempts or self-harm, severe abuse. I hadn’t laid out the full groundwork for who Livingston was and then his horrific past and what or more importantly who caused the scars became clear.

And like always, Little, Gage, and Pure along with Linus and Hunter, the Trenton Security Agency was born.

I wanted something different for the Trenton Security Series. As with every series they need to have their own feel and tone. I’m most excited about the new series for the action and suspense themes which come into play. As always there’s a lot of group interaction—families formed by choice not blood. The darker themes that will run through the series are challenging and possibly hard for readers, but I believe if I don’t cause some emotional response I haven’t done my job as a writer.

My only hope is my readers will embrace the Trenton Security Team the way they did the rest of my crews. I sincerely work hard to make sure that I give my readers something different and I hope I do that.

Thank you once again for having me today.

BLURB

He was the Beast without the escape clause.

Francis “Liv” Livingston was a beast. No matter if he wore a perfectly tailored suit or if he was in his tactical gear, people avoided looking at him. He was always first to volunteer for the jobs only a person with a death wish wanted. Tomorrows weren’t guaranteed. His boss had come to him and told him he needed him for a job. Linus knew the jobs he liked, but when he opened the file, it all went to hell.

Beauty was only skin deep.

Fielding Haskell made his way in the world on his looks. He’d earned his first film role before he could read a script. He didn’t want the fame. He wanted to go to college. He wanted a man who didn’t look at him and see how pretty he was. Unfortunately, a so-called fan only cared how attractive he was, and it earned him a personal bodyguard and a vacation. He looked forward to the break until he met the man in charge of his safety and wondered if the danger he left was worth dealing with a sudden attraction to a man who was colder than ice.

Livingston_BlurbTeaser

Livingston_Teaser_Breathe 

EXCERPT

He disconnected the call and slipped his phone back into his pocket. “That for me?”

“Yes, sir, I didn’t mean—” Fielding swallowed hard. “I wasn’t listening.”

The boy closed the distance between them quickly and thrust the mug at him. He caught it before it made a trip to the ground.

“Black. I noticed you didn’t, um, put anything in your coffee. Is it strong enough?”

He hesitated with the mug at his lips. He swore the boy was holding his breath waiting for his approval. Taking a sip, it was perfect, but he took his time to see how long Fielding would keep himself from breathing. Nothing much amused him anymore, but that was doing it for him.

During the time the boy was in his home he’d picked up on little things about him. Fielding’s need for approval. The boy’s natural submissiveness. Fielding was also downright domestic.

“Not bad.”

“I’ll do better. Are you going somewhere?”

“No, not for a few more days. We’ll head to the office for a check-in, and see what Linus’ boy, Hunter, found out about your stalker.” Interesting, the stalker comment hadn’t earned a flinch, but the moment he said boy, the kid’s perfectly arched brows rose. “Make a list of anything you need. We’ll hit the store before we come back.”

“Can I get candy and chips?”

The question took him by surprise. Fielding didn’t look like anything fattening ever passed his pretty lips.

“Do you want candy and chips?”

“So much.”

He hid his smile behind his mug at the boy’s longing sigh. He’d noticed the boy didn’t eat very much, not enough in his opinion, but Fielding wasn’t big. Tiny compared to him, probably not for normal sized men.

“We’ll see then.”

“Yes, sir.”

One more submissive little yes, sir with averted eyes and the boy was going to find himself on his knees worshiping his cock. He was too old for the boy, but his dick didn’t seem to have a problem with it. What made it harder to resist Fielding was a natural submissive born to be someone’s boy. He was inclined to dominate and to have the perfect boy in front of him was more temptation than he’d ever experienced.

He needed to get Fielding as far away from him as possible and soon.

 JM Dabney Logo

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

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Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney Release Day Blog Tour (excerpt)

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Livingston Teaser

LIVINGSTON

TRENTON SECURITY BOOK 1

J.M. DABNEY

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 03.06.18

Livingston-200x300 

Cover Design:   RESSE DANTE

AMAZON

B&N

KOBO 

BLURB

He was the Beast without the escape clause.

Francis “Liv” Livingston was a beast. No matter if he wore a perfectly tailored suit or if he was in his tactical gear, people avoided looking at him. He was always first to volunteer for the jobs only a person with a death wish wanted. Tomorrows weren’t guaranteed. His boss had come to him and told him he needed him for a job. Linus knew the jobs he liked, but when he opened the file, it all went to hell.

Beauty was only skin deep.

Fielding Haskell made his way in the world on his looks. He’d earned his first film role before he could read a script. He didn’t want the fame. He wanted to go to college. He wanted a man who didn’t look at him and see how pretty he was. Unfortunately, a so-called fan only cared how attractive he was, and it earned him a personal bodyguard and a vacation. He looked forward to the break until he met the man in charge of his safety and wondered if the danger he left was worth dealing with a sudden attraction to a man who was colder than ice.

Livingston_BlurbTeaser

Livingston_CruelToBeKind_Teaser

 

EXCERPT

He must have dozed off because the next thing he knew the bounce of the SUV knocked his head against the window. He straightened and rubbed at his eyes, but he didn’t see anything other than trees in the headlights. There wasn’t anything else.

“Where are we?”

Nervousness twisted his stomach as Livingston simply grunted. He wrung his hands on his lap and started to fidget on the seat. Suddenly the trees broke into a clearing, and a small cabin stood in the center. As Livingston pulled up, security lights illuminated the yard. Spotlights shined from trees around the perimeter. The vehicle came to a stop.

The man said nothing to him as Livingston opened the door and got out. He followed the man’s lead and exited. By the time his feet touched the ground, Livingston already had his bag and was headed toward the house.

He practically jogged to catch up. Lights came on inside.

“Go inside. I have to grab the groceries.”

Before he could get a look at the huge man, he was gone again. He left his bag where Livingston had dropped it beside the door. The interior was one big room. A king-sized bed sat angled in the far corner with simple nightstands on either side. A living room area was on the opposite side. The place was masculine, not many personal touches. There wasn’t any clutter to be seen. He wondered if the man was just obsessively neat.

He jumped when the door slammed behind him. Livingston passed him and headed toward the small kitchen area. Black cotton stretched across broad shoulders and back. He backed up until the door stopped him, he’d seen big men before. Studios had security guys, but he’d never seen a man this…massive. One of Livingston’s thighs was probably as big around as him. This wasn’t a good idea. He wanted to go home.

That’s when the worst mistake of his life happened, Livingston turned toward him, and he gasped. The exposed skin on Livingston’s right side was mottled with discolored scar tissue, and the damage was less severe on his face. Faded somewhat but still noticeable, the worst of them covered his neck and the skin exposed by the short sleeve of the man’s t-shirt. The man’s eyes filled with rage and Livingston’s strong jaw, even covered with a thick beard, he could see it clench in an agitated rhythm. He was caught between horror and pity, the man was…

“Better get used to it now, boy, you’re looking at it for the next four months.”

JM Dabney Logo

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

Twitter

Author Website

Publisher Website

Publisher Facebook Page

Publisher Twitter

Facebook Reader Group

Goodreads Author Page

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