A Free Dreamer Review :Art of Death (Lychgate #1) by Bob Appavu

Standard

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Starving artist Riley Burke refuses to be dependent on his rich older boyfriend—hence his second job as a nude model at the local art school.  When the famous artist Coliaro requests him for a private modeling session, he jumps at the chance to earn some real cash.

But then Westwood, a mysterious stranger, warns him to steer clear—it’s said Coliaro is undead. That his worshippers perform rituals to fill him with life energy. That every time he paints a male nude, the painting transforms to depict a gruesome murder. And that shortly after, a young man turns up dead.

Riley dismisses the rumors—until they start to play out before his eyes. When he becomes a target, Westwood comes to his aid. But Westwood is secretive and dangerous himself… which just makes him more attractive to Riley. Riley is in over his head, and even his tenuous alliance with Westwood might not save him.

Art of Death is the first book in a new series. The blurb made it sound like a rather unique story and I certainly haven’t read anything like it before, but it still failed to wow me.

First of all, you should know that Riley’s dealing with mental health issues, namely depression. He could also use a therapist, but can’t afford one and doesn’t want to tell his boyfriend about his “angst”. There’s also talk of homophobic parents and the suicide of a family member. And, well, the murders are gruesome, but they don’t actually happen on-page. So beware if any of this triggers you.

This isn’t much of a romance. Riley is in a failing relationship with his rich boyfriend. He has some serious trust issues and can’t bring himself to open up about his troubles. And then there’s this very attractive, if somewhat dangerous and scary, stranger that Riley just can’t stop thinking about. Personally, I enjoyed that. I just wish there’d been a bit more of an explanation why things in the bedroom didn’t work out for Riley and Nick. It seemed like a big issue on Riley’s part, but we never get a reason.

Riley’s lack of curiosity kind of baffled me. The first thing I’d want to know if I met an undead, immortal person, is how it all works. Are you born that way? Do you need to die under specific circumstances to come back to life? And so on. Because these undead aren’t zombies, they’re more like normal people, who just can’t die. And some of them have a serious lack of morals.

The plot itself had a few holes in it. Dead bodies turn up around Riley and yet there’s very little police involved. It’s just mentioned in passing that they showed up at the crime scene, but there’s zero follow-up.

Riley is a starving free-lance artist and yet we never see him do any actual work. There’s the occasional mention of a new job designing this or that, but nothing about Riley actually working on that job. I think it would have added a little more depth to the story, which seemed a bit flat overall.

This book has less than 300 pages, which isn’t a lot. Yet it took me a surprisingly long time to finish. I guess I just wasn’t that motivated. It wasn’t boring or bad or anything, it just didn’t wow me and it couldn’t hold my interest for any length of time.

All in all, “Art of Death” is an okay book. The idea behind it is fairly unique, but the execution was a little bit lacking to me. I’m not sure yet if I want to actually read the next book in the series. I guess I’ll make that decision when it comes out.

The cover by Bob Appavu is okay. I think a bit more connection to the plot would have been nice. As it is, it’s a little bit average.

Sale Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 271 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by DSP Publications
ASINB07RF668N5
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLychgate #1
Other Editions
None found

Looking for Something Dark and Different? Check the Blog Tour for Sweating Lies (Criminal Delights: Taken Lies #1) by Emma Jaye (excerpt)

Standard

NEW RELEASE

Book Title: Sweating Lies (Lies #1): Criminal Delights – Taken

Author:  Emma Jaye

Publisher: Purindoors Publications

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Thriller/Romance

Trope/s: Enemies to lovers, Protector, Tortured hero.

Themes: Crime,  Slavery,  Mental Health Issues,  Dominance, Abduction.

Heat Rating: 4 flames    

Length: 81 000 words

Release Date: April 28, 2019

Add on Goodreads

 

Blurb

“Gladiator or toy?” Kaspar asks, as if it’s the easiest choice in the world.

It might be an easy answer for someone branded, brainwashed, and who remembers no other life. But that’s not me, not yet anyway. I’m a cop—or at least I was until my cover got blown. 

Now, I’m one of the trafficked people I vowed to save.

Kaspar’s a toy —a pleasure slave— content to warm our sadistic owner’s bed; he laps up the abuse he’s conditioned to associate with affection.

He’s my only way out. To gain our freedom, I must play the hardest undercover role of my career and be everything his fractured mind needs: a more controlling bastard than the man who turns people into grateful slaves for a living.

Officer Jiao Sweatt thinks I’m a victim. 
He has a lot to learn. 
And it’ll hurt.

This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance. 
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted. 

 

Trailer Video

 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon DE

 

Excerpt 

He accepted, absorbed, and floated in the serenity of obedience. His physical pain became walled up in a corner of his mind. The only thing that mattered was his master’s will.

“Fuck, I didn’t see you down there. Why didn’t you say something?”

“It’s not my place to disturb my master.”

Jiao frowned. “Don’t call me that. I’m nobody’s master, and you’re nobody’s slave, Kaspar. Come on, up you get. You don’t have to kneel to me.”

Kaspar didn’t move. He didn’t know if he could get up, but they needed to establish something first.

“I do have a master, and right now, it’s you.” He handed Officer Sweatt the Chorbaji’s note. He hoped Officer Sweatt wouldn’t mind that it was a little damp and crumpled from being in his hand all this time.

Jiao glanced at it and scowled. “Well then, as your master, I order you not to kneel to me.”

Kaspar didn’t resist smiling. A pet’s duty was to adapt to his master’s needs. Officer Sweatt clearly liked teasing, playfulness, that he could do.

“That’s going to make blow jobs a little uncomfortable, but–”

“You don’t have to do that either; now get up and talk to me like a man.”

“Can’t men kneel?”

“Just get up, will you? You make me feel uncomfortable.”

That got him moving. Making your master uncomfortable, unless it was to entice him to pleasure, was not good pet behavior. He tried for his normal graceful, hands-free stand, but ended up on his ass; his sore, bruised, battered, and cut ass. Rolling to his side he sucked in a breath, trying to contain the bright flare of pain while expected a kick for his lack of grace.

“Shit, how long were you down there? Never mind.”

With surprising strength, his new master lifted him to his feet, one hand on his bicep, one across his chest, under the brands, and helped him limp across to the bed. He climbed up and lay on his side, head resting on one fist while he balanced himself with the other in front of him. He hoped he looked at least a little enticing. Flirty and playful, that’s what had put a smile on his new master’s face in the gym.

“You’ve been on a drip.” Jiao nodded toward the small cotton ball taped to his inner arm.

“Not a lot gets past you, does it, Ma–” he paused at Jiao’s frown. “Well, what would you like me to call you? Sir? Officer Sweatt? Chief? Boss? Please, don’t say Daddy, anything but–”

“Would you shut up?”

Kaspar’s mouth snapped shut. At least he’d got him to give an order.

A hand pushed through the inky black hair. “Look, Jiao is fine. I got called ‘Sweaty’ enough as a kid never want to hear ‘Sweatt’ again.”

Kaspar frowned. “I’d never call you that, and your first name hardly seems respectful. I–”

“This is important to you, isn’t it?”

Kaspar’s frown deepened. Understanding this new master was a challenge. “Of course it is. The higher the status of my mas–” he paused, grinning “–special friend, the higher I–.”

As he spoke, his new master grabbed a bathrobe from the back of the bathroom door and draped it over him.

Humiliation hammered. He dropped his forehead to the mattress. He was useless, unworthy, and unwanted. He disgusted this man he had been instructed to please. His failures swirled and thickened in his mind like fog.

You deserved what Azur did to you; he should have finished it. Put you down like a useless old dog.

 

 

About the Author

I have a reputation for writing dark, angst filled stories in a swathe of genres, from Sci-fi and paranormal, to contemporary romance and erotica with m/f, m/m and multiple partners. I blame my rebellious muse (who looks like Chris from the Paint Series) for the erotic aspects tickling the angst, and the humour cuddling up with the erotic. You’ll find all this and more in my books!  No matter the genre, I can promise different characters, dark themes, steamin’ sex, laughs and a HEA or HFN.

When I’m not writing or reading, in leafy Sussex, England, I herd Birman cats and sons. Both groups argue that the other is too large.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook:  @E.Jayebooks

Twitter: @EmmaJayebooks  

Instagram

Newsletter Sign-up

Facebook Reader group

 

 

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

An Ashlez Review: Sweating Lies – Criminal Delights: Taken (Lies #1) by Emma Jaye

Standard
Rating : 4 stars out of 5

“Gladiator or toy?” Kaspar asks, as if it’s the easiest choice in the world.

It might be an easy answer for someone branded, brainwashed, and who remembers no other life. But that’s not me, not yet anyway. I’m a cop—or at least I was until my cover got blown.

Now, I’m one of the trafficked people I vowed to save.

Kaspar’s a toy —a pleasure slave— content to warm our sadistic owner’s bed; he laps up the abuse he’s conditioned to associate with affection.

He’s my only way out. To gain our freedom, I must play the hardest undercover role of my career and be everything his fractured mind needs: a more controlling bastard than the man who turns people into grateful slaves for a living.

Officer Jiao Sweatt thinks I’m a victim.
He has a lot to learn.
And it’ll hurt.

This book is part of CRIMINAL DELIGHTS. Each novel can be read as a standalone and contains a dark M/M romance.
Warning: These books are for adult readers who enjoy stories where lines between right and wrong get blurry. High heat, twisted and tantalizing, these are not for the fainthearted.

Overall this book was great, it was very well written and the story progressed nicely.  I had a problem with the older terminology for the whole organization and I could have done without that, as Jiao mentioned early on.
Kaspar was great – he was a very well rounded character and it takes you into a psyche that I don’t think normally one would get to look into.
Jiao was just an average character – I felt he 100% had a hero complex.
I don’t think that this book progressed in a particularly fast fashion like the other criminal delights book I had read – but it did manage to weave a story that was quite spellbinding.  So apart from the lack of movement in the story (which honestly was moving fast .. I can’t describe that) the story was awesome and well worth a read.
Cover art by Natasha Snow: overall makes sense and matches the book.
Sales Links:  
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 286 pages
Expected publication: April 29th 2019 by Purindoors Publications
ASINB07PHZQFBB
SeriesLies #1