Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Ryder Jameson and Lucien Clarke have a long and complicated love-hate past. Ryder works to conserve art and Lucien apparently steals art. When I saw these characters make a brief appearance in book one, Broken Halos, I read it first, but perhaps I shouldn’t have. Unfortunately, that story set the stage for my dislike of Ryder Jameson, the museum conservationist who is wrongly accused of the theft of artifacts at the last few museums where he’s worked. The fact is that those thefts are chiefly attributed to the man who Ryder fell for—and who happens to feel that way about him too—but Ryder always gets blamed.
Ryder wasn’t an endearing character in the first half of this book. Angry and miserable about another theft from another museum where he works, he totally blames the man he first knew as Sebastian, and has now come to find out is Lucien Clarke. A bout of angry sex with Lucien did nothing to raise Ryder in my esteem, but the author took the men much further into their current and past relationships, the childhoods that made them who they are, the men who loved and left them, and finally, finally, I saw a Ryder I could like.
Lucien was ostensibly a suave, debonair, man-of-the-word art thief—at least, that was his role. But in reality, he was a sweet man forced into the world of art theft and trying his best to find a good outcome for everyone. He apparently really cares for Ryder and we see how his story plays out in the second half. But what put me off him early in the story was his love ’em and leave ’em attitude toward Ryder. And his reactions to situations felt incongruous with his outward persona. He was a bit too “damsel in distress” at some points in the story, and I found it difficult to embrace him as a good character.
The story is outlandish and most certainly barely believable, but it’s fast-paced and interesting and by the end I felt compelled to keep turning pages so that I could see who lives and who loves by the time we reach an epilogue. Readers who enjoy lots of sex scenes, including angry sex, and those who enjoy an underlying plot of danger with their handsome, sexy men will likely really enjoy this story.
As I said, it took me a while to warm up to the characters but when I did I really enjoyed the rest of the book. Granted I wouldn’t believe the story could actually happen, but it is definitely entertaining and kept me on my toes so I do recommend it to readers who like a sexy action adventure MM romance.
The cover by Jay Aheer is what attracted me to this book as it features two muscular, apparently naked, tattooed men curled around each other in a loving embrace. However, as I got into the story I realized that neither MC is remotely like the men on the cover so I was disappointed.
Sales Links: Amazon
ebook, 243 pages
Published March 11th 2019 by Chasing Rainbows Press LLC
Series Queen City Rogues #2