A Night with Her Ex by Laura Jardine


A Night with Her Ex by Laura Jardine
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (36 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Menage, Multiple Partners, Anal Sex, Spanking, Voyerism
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

One month ago, Amy McNeil was dumped, and she never saw it coming. How could she have? Greg had said “I love you” for the first time only two days before. So when she runs into him at a coffee shop, she demands an explanation.

Greg Kim couldn’t imagine it working out with Amy. He sees her as the sweet girl he’d take home to meet his mother, rather than one who’d agree to the open relationship he craves. To shock her, he challenges her to come to a party at his friends’ townhome—a party unlike anything Amy’s ever been to before. Greg will sleep with other people in front of her…and punish her when she does the same.

But Amy surprises him. She wants to finally act out her secret fantasies. Will this one night lead to the untold pleasures she imagines? Can she show Greg that it’s possible for them to both have everything they desire?

“Not what I expected” is an understatement.

This book was great as an erotic read but there was not much of an actual plot in this. There are some real positives to this short story, though.  The characters are very well written even though I wanted more fleshing out of their story. The length of the story didn’t leave much if any room for growth of the characters.

That being said, one of the primary things I loved was how the story didn’t fit into a normal mold. Amy gets dumped. When she next sees him she asks the obvious question. WHY? The answer opened something and gave their relationship a chance. It also reminded me why openness between couples is so important.

This short story may not appeal to readers who aren’t into multiple partner groupings. But those who like to reach for books with hot chemistry and even hotter sex, this will be gem. As I mentioned, this book as an erotic read was truly wonderful, eye opening and worth the quick read.

Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton


Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery, Horror
Length: Full Length (708 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Multiple Partners, Menage
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Ever have a book that gripped you so hard that it sucked you right into the author’s world and your own faded away? That’s what Crimson Death did to me. I only did the bare minimum of household chores. I read late into the night until it flipped to morning, grabbed a few hours of sleep only to wake up a few hours later to devour a few more chapters before having to slog off to work to simply come home to read and read some more until almost midnight the next night. Yeah, so, it took me two days to read, but what an amazing two days it was.

I’ve been following this series for years. I’ve watched Anita view everything as black and white; a character was either good or bad, no quarter. Monsters were bad, humans could be bad too but they were human. As the series unfolds, the heroine realizes that she can no longer ignore the ‘gray’ areas; life is a LOT more complicated, and messy and as she grows, Anita realizes that gray areas not only exist, they’re huge. It opens her up to accepting and doing things she never, ever, in a million years would think or do. Following her has been an amazing journey and that journey continues in Crimson Death. Sure, there are original fans that prefer her early years when it was all about the mystery, the horror, the suspense, drama and how it affected her. I mean, first person point of view really gets into a character’s head and the author has the daunting job of staying there. Ms. Hamilton has done Anita for so long, it seems second nature – I’m always right there with Marshall Blake, even when the blood flows.

This huge novel is no different when it comes to exploring her growth, both in her personal life and in her power. Yes, there is large section that explores Anita’s power’s connection to sex within her small group of loves and lovers, but before anyone scoffs at all the sex, be aware that there are a few astounding and earth shattering revelations that ripple through the rest of the novel stemming from all that erotic sex, which includes just a smidgen of voyeurism and exhibitionism from one of mine and Anita’s favorite people. Another warning to die-hard fans – be prepared to sniffle or cry or just get serious goosebumps on what happens. The one huge tragedy that affected me the most ends up being a turning point in Anita’s life that will have ginormous ramifications for future books. I didn’t want it to happen. All I could say was ‘no! no! no!, but of course Ms. Hamilton excels at writing the hard scenes – scenes for which a reader ultimately comes to the sad but resigned conclusion that it served a valid, crucial and necessary purpose. I don’t have to like it but I recognize Ms. Hamilton is staying true to Anita’s journey.

A lot of my favorite recurring secondary/primary characters populate this novel. There is one new character that sheds some light on Edward/Ted. It was actually humorous at times, which I didn’t expect at all. I think Anita was just as bemused as I was. Thing is, she has the ability to pester him in future books to satisfy her curiosity. I’m looking forward to what she finds out.

Of course the main villain and cohorts are truly evil, nasty, horrific, sociopathic and creepy. However, not all the cohorts are there willingly and how the author dealt with them kept my heart pounding with dread. This is such a powerfully, well written book, I could not remain unaffected.

This isn’t truly a standalone read because some of the things that occur are at their most commanding and powerful if a reader is personally vested in caring for certain characters from previous stories. If a person were to just start with this book, there are mentions of past experiences that provide Anita with the power she currently has, and they might be shocked by how erotic and numerous the sex initially is, but the main mystery of trying to figure out who or what is making all these vampires and why, can carry this novel by itself. It also might capture new fans and they might be inspired to read the series from the beginning or at least a few of the books that were alluded to in this one.

I am a fan of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, and I highly recommend this novel to fans that’ve followed her all this time. Crimson Death wowed me to the point that writing this review was a compulsion. I just HAD to tell you how marvelous and incredible Crimson Death was, and recommend it to readers with high praise and accolades.

Dirty Boy by Kat Kelly

boy
Dirty Boy by Kat Kelly
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (400 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Anal Play, Menage
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Max Sherwood suffers a great tragedy that changes his entire perspective. He’s the owner of Dirty Boys Studio, an adult film company, and a trust-fund baby who acquires a stepsister in Story Thornton with his father’s latest marriage to her mother. With a lost scholarship and dreams of becoming a schoolteacher, Story decides to do a porn movie with Max. However, Max demands they take their relationship behind the scenes to repay a debt. Their relationship is intense and Story doesn’t want it to end. To stay, she wants Max to give up his career as an adult entertainer. Will Story break through Max’s defenses? Can Max overcome his past to forge a future with the one woman who understands him?

I really enjoyed this dark, gritty and raw bad boy romance from the always fabulous Kat Kelly.

First of all this is a very dark and emotional romance. It was well written by a master storyteller to drag me in and tear at my heart. Once I moved past the topic, or common thread, I quickly realized that Kat Kelly had infused this story / series with an intense raw emotion and grittiness that was captivating. The characters, especially the main couple, Story and Max, are unforgettable.

I absolutely loved Story even when I felt like she should’ve stuck up for herself more than she did. She had it so hard and everyone was so mean to her. Basically, Max, the man she loved, along with her mom and just about everyone else hung her out to dry. Good intentions aside, they put her through hell. I couldn’t have forgiven any of that stuff but the author did an excellent job in painting a vivid picture of a sweet innocent who could be capable of forgiveness. But as this story went along it got harder for me to connect with all the mixed signals that Max was giving. He wanted to punish Story, partly because of all the lies, and he showed no compunction about exploiting her. Yet in the next scene he was ready to protect her. It was difficult to understand but so very reminiscent of another Kat Kelly hero that I happen to adore.

At the heart of this romance was an impossible situation and two lovers who had to find their way past the pain of everything that lay between them. The sex was off the charts hot and they desperately loved each other but would love be enough to overcome the lies, betrayal, resentment and principles. I suggest reading this book to find out, and believe me, you will not be disappointed.

I enjoyed reading this super hot romance and hope that Kat Kelly will continue the series.

Raw Silk by Lisabet Sarai

KSILK
Raw Silk by Lisabet Sarai
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre:Contemporary
Length: Full Length (217 Pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/M/M/F, M/F/F, Multiple Partners, exhibitionism, Voyeurism, Anal Sex, Spanking, Fisting, Toys, Menage
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

In a foreign land, a woman discovers exotic new realms of the senses…

When software engineer Kate O’Neill leaves her lover David to take a job in Thailand, she becomes sexually involved with two very different men—a handsome and debauched member of the Thai aristocracy, and the charismatic proprietor of a sex bar.

Each touches her in a different way, each teaches her different things about her body and her heart.

Then David comes to Bangkok, and Kate realizes that, finally, she must choose one of the three men who all desire her.

On a whim, software engineer, Kate takes a new job in Thailand. When she left her lover and traveled to Thailand for her new job she expected a lot of things. Somehow, she got more than she expected, both good and bad.

She meets two people in Thailand who show her what passion and sex can be. She experiences things she never experienced or ever thought could happen. She learned that there is more to sex, passion and love than what society portrays.

I think it would be fair to give readers who prefer light erotic romance and mild BDSM, that this wasn’t light or mild. The men involved were serious about their play and punishment. Also, in regards to the ménages or partnerships, there is touching and kissing and more, between both the men and woman.

Raw Silk portrays a woman searching for love and finding it in Thailand. She learns a lot about herself, new cultures and countries different from her home. There are multiple plots and I appreciated that, as it kept me on my toes and engaged in the story to the end. The main plot revolves around the three men and Kate but the minor plot is what happens to the company she has been working for in Thailand.

For her this becomes more than fun when she has to choose between the men who taught her so much. All three were into her and were able to work together during the passionate sex they had, but they wanted her to choose one of them. Even with her struggle to choose, this is a HEA. The author ties it all together in the end with a very satisfying conclusion worthy of a romance. This one is for readers who like a little, or a lot, more spice and sexual adventure with their romance.

Figs by Tabitha Rayne

FIGS
Figs by Tabitha Rayne
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: M/F/F, F/F, Ménage, Fetish (Food play)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Two girls, some fruit and an office perv—what could possibly go wrong?

When Mae finally confronts the office perv, Rory, by taking part in one of his suggestive pranks with a fig, she starts a journey that changes the way she thinks and feels about her current partner, Janey. Janey lost her sight just before they met and Mae realizes she has been keeping Janey like a prisoner in her own home—safe, protected and unseen. After the scene with Rory, Mae decides to take Janey out and show her off to the world—something she should have done a long time ago…

Little does she know what a hellraiser her girlfriend can be.

Mae and Janey have been girlfriends a while and are very happy with their relationship. But when Mae takes on a dare from the office perv, Rory, she has no idea how his suggestion will change the status quo of their relationship.

I found this short story to be quite interesting and different. Rory isn’t really made out to be hero material at all. Described not only as the office perv, but as lecherous and almost stalker-ish, I have to be honest and admit his character didn’t initially make a very good first impression. I did, however, like how it was clear almost immediately that there was far more to Rory’s character as that first “perv” impression made out. Mae and Janey also have their faults, both are quite jealous – Mae of Janey’s past experience with other women and Janey of Mae’s current social life and freedom at work throughout the day. This made the interactions between the characters – to my mind at least – both realistic and a lot more interesting than would first appear on the surface. These faults and issues were written in such a manner that they actually compelled my interest in reading further and discover how the story would unfold.

One thing I particularly enjoyed though – and which should appeal to most romance readers – there was never a question to my mind on Mae and Janey’s love for each other. No matter what else was going on between them – with or without Rory – the two women really loved each other and had a solid core at the base of their relationship. This helped ease me over any of my small niggles and little worries. I found their love and devotion to each other was beautiful to read.

Readers should be aware that there’s a fair bit of food-play sexually speaking. While figs are the initial instigation, Mae and Janey don’t stop there with their experimentation. The F/F main relationship between them is what the majority of the story is based upon. While the addition of Rory is consensual and teased/hinted at between the two ladies to ramp up their own sexual arousal the addition of a third and man for the ménage is the culmination of those fantasies, not the basis of the story itself. Readers who aren’t interested in F/F storylines might want to consider this when thinking about this story.

There’s plenty of lush sex scenes that should satisfy any erotic reader. All except the final climax scene were F/F, though the long-awaited ménage really lived up to the foundation that was laid for it in my opinion. A great scene and it left me satisfied by the high note the characters felt.

A steamy, raunchy short story about two committed women exploring their fantasies and some deliciously naughty sexual food-play. Add in the office perv for one night of a decadent ménage and all three of them are about to have a night of the wickedest fantasies. A sensual, sexy story that I enjoyed and found refreshingly different to so many other ménage stories out there.

Surrendering To The Beast by Tina Donahue

BEAST
Surrendering To The Beast by Tina Donahue
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (131 pgs)
Other: M/F, Ménage, M/F/F, BDSM, F/F, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Mistletoe

When she’s good, she’s very good. But when he’s bad, she’s better.

As a good fairy, Heather is empathetic and chaste to a fault. No bad language, no dirty thoughts, flirting and no sex. But when a satyr named Daemon steps up to her reception desk at From Crud to Stud, she finds herself on the fast track to exquisite corruption.

Daemon is the total bad-boy package with a kiss straight from the dark side. Though he’s here for a supernatural makeover, Heather can’t imagine why any red-blooded woman would want him to change.

A disciple of the god of wine, Daemon has had his share of good times. But sex hasnever been this good. Heather brings out a new side of him, a side that makes him want to protect as well as pillage.

But Daemon needs a little creative backup to help set his fairy’s naughtiness free. And that means bringing in Mistress Jin. Under the genie’s tutelage and Daemon’s shameless lust, Heather is about to learn what it means to let loose.

Good fairies are not supposed to want bad things, or are they? Heather cannot stop herself when it comes to Daemon. From the minute he walks into the door looking for that magical cure at From Crud To Stud she is lost. What can Heather do? Does she truly want to try and see if she can let herself go or will she forever be the good fairy that every one expects her to be? Could Daemon be worth it all or will she lose it all? Can love truly be the answer to all of Heather’s questions?

Heather is stronger than she thinks and only needed someone who will stand by her side and hold her up. Daemon is ready and willing to take on the job. He quickly finds that he longs for more with Heather. The two make a great couple and watching their relationship blossom makes for a good read. Add in a genie named MJ and the adventures begin. Can a satyr, a genie and a fairy find a way to a happy ever after? It was nice to watch the three begin a tentative relationship which quickly turns into something more. Heather has such a big heart and is willing to try just about everything. Daemon shows what a good man he is and is more than ready to give Heather what she needs even if it breaks his heart. We also get to see that MJ is more than what she portrays to the world. The attraction and the emotions are strong between the three.

I enjoyed my visit to this world. This is the second book in this world and to better enjoy it I would recommend reading the first book. Their story is one hot and fast paced story which pulled me in right form the start and has me eagerly waiting for the next in this series.

Safe Words by Drury Jamison

SAFE
Safe Words by Drury Jamison
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (382 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Masturbation, Anal Play, Forced Seduction, Fetish, Toys, Spanking, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

After years of alcohol and promiscuous sex, Detective Eleanor Silver is not the cop or the person she wanted to be. New doors and new worlds open up when the murders of sexually dominant women, involved in the world of BDSM, lead her to Dr. Anderson Wells. A psychologist and sexual submissive, Anderson offers to be her guide. They soon find themselves exploring on more intimate levels. He sees in her, the strong and forceful woman he craves. She sees in him, a man strong enough to surrender control.

As he escorts her into the world of kink parties, leather corsets and safe words she flourishes, becoming the kind of woman she never dreamed. Even as they become closer, both as lovers and as Dominant and submissive, new murders and his own lie make Anderson a suspect and then the target of a cop looking to clear his own name.

Events and passions collide with bite marks, pretty underwear and murder in a world where cops may be killers and lovers may hold whips. Eleanor Silver has to let go of her pain to claim for herself the life she wants and risk everything to save the man she loves.

Floggers and paddles…oh my.

Some books really go down deep and keep you reading down to the last morsel and leave you hungering for more. Like…right now. Give it to me. That’s what Safe Words by Drury Jamison was for me. A murder mystery and an education on the BDSM lifestyle, this book was a journey into some of the lesser known angles of power exchanges and relationships and the pages just melted by.

Detective Eleanor Silver is a dominant woman struggling with a drinking problem in a world run by men. During a murder investigation of a Domme, she is introduced to Dr. Anderson Wells, a sexual submissive known as the Professor. He illuminates the mysterious world of BDSM and in showing Eleanor who she is, also takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride.

Men as sexual submissives are misunderstood. Eleanor had expected a shy and blushing man, not the capable person sitting in front of her at the local bar. Her tightly woven cage begins to unwind and Detective Silver finds herself in deeper than she ever imagined herself to be. There is everything kind of kink you can imagine all around her at the events and gatherings she attends.

The murders of dominant women continue and Silver has a lot on her plate. But one thing she has figured out. She no longer has the burning desire to drown out her life in drink. Instead, she thinks about Anderson constantly. This new hard and soft side of her is both illuminating and surprising but what she learns next will either save her or set her free. All at the soft whisper of a safe word.

I loved this book from beginning to end. The ugly parts and the pretty. The glamour and the underbelly. Drury Jamison shows us the world of submissive men and the vast rainbow of characters at any given BDSM event. Most novels I’ve read showcase the Dom, but not this one. This one glorifies strong women and the men behind them. It also shows the power struggle in some circumstances and just how real secrets can get in the cold light of day.

There was nothing I didn’t like about the book. The characters were rich, the scenes described beautifully and the interaction between the MC’s absolutely beautiful. Seeing Silver flourish and become the Domme as Anderson showed her what home meant was amazing and I had tears in my eyes on more than one occasion. It also had cutting edge mystery that kept you guessing who the murderer was until the moment it was revealed. Wow….wow.

I want more of Detective Silver and her man Anderson and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to read this novel. Fans of Kallypso Masters, Sierra Cartwright and others that delve into the healing aspect of BDSM will adore this book.

Bring me more…

The McGilley Trilogy by BJ Wane

COWBOY
The McGilley Trilogy by BJ Wane
Publisher: Pink Flamingo
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (205 Pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/F, M/F/M, Menage, Multiple Partners, Spanking, Toys, Anal Play/Sex, Voyeurism, Exhibitionism
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Rumors had circulated for years in the Lexington area about horse breeders Brett, Colin and Donovan McGilley, especially about the activities that went on above their popular night club, Casey’s. Kayla Holden was at Casey’s to celebrate her twenty-sixth birthday and in the mood to do something wild and crazy and what could be wilder and crazier than enticing sexy, older Brett McGilley into inviting her upstairs for an up close and personal look at the sexual activities she had heard so much about. Even though Brett was attracted to Kayla, his taste for spanking and exhibitionism was not for someone so young and inexperienced. But Brett had no idea just how determined Kayla was to not only explore his sexual kinks, but to do so only with him.

Colin McGilley had fallen for his best friend’s wife, Olivia Hammond, the moment he met her and when Doug asked him to help gift her with a ménage on her birthday, he couldn’t resist. The next three years, Colin carried the guilt of Doug’s sudden death that next day while Olivia struggled with grief. But Olivia’s need to find another Master to give her what she so badly craved sent her to Colin, this time asking more from him than friendship.

Donovan McGilley has struggled with his quick temper ever since his rescue from the Iraqi’s seven years ago, his worry over preferring rough sex keeping him from seeking a relationship outside of the few women who liked sex hard and usually with two men at their private club. But when veterinarian, Anna Kingston saves one of his beloved mares and he see signs of abuse on her body, he simply couldn’t turn her down when she approaches him to explore the sexual fantasies that had led to ending her marriage.

Meet the McGilley Brothers who like their sex kinky and on their terms, but try to do the right thing by turning down the women brave enough to take them on. Women who refuse to take no for an answer.

The story is a very cleverly written in the way that it tells the love story of the three brothers all in a single book. It took some time for the main plot to really develop but then it takes center stage in the third brother, Donovan’s, story. This trilogy had a little bit of a suspense feel to it but not enough to be categorized as one.

All three brothers are different in style and what they like, though their love for horses is one thing that is common between them. Each brothers has their own conflict to resolve within the book.

Brett is attracted to a woman half his age. But with a failed marriage under his belt he does not want subject an ‘innocent’ to his brand of kink or sex. However, Kayla is not willing to take no for an answer.

Colin is a Dom who is in love with his departed best friend’s wife who happens to be be a submissive. After years mourning for her husband and Dom she wants to get back into the scene. She wants a Dom. But not just any Dom, she wants Colin. But Colin has guilt that could break apart their relationship and Olivia as well. Colin’s relationship with Olivia was at first complicated to understand. His guilt over something that happened was understandable but it conflicted with his desire for Olivia. It was obvious early on to this reader how he truly felt about Olivia, even though she couldn’t see it. Not at first. It was wonderful to see their relationship evolve from acquaintances to lovers

When Donovan meets red-headed vet Anna, he knows that Anna has suffered abuse. He also feels something for her that he thought he never could. Together they learn to live and love. It was enlightening to see Donovan help Anna get over the abuse. Their relationship was fiery from the first scene. Donovan likes a lot harder sex than what a lot of females are willing to give. But in Anna he finds compatible in every possible way imaginable.

All three of these couples are so different but their chemistry was hot and spicy readers who enjoy a little more hardcore erotic romance should definitely give The McGilley Trilogy a read.

Always the Quiet Ones by Amy Valenti

QUIET
Always the Quiet Ones by Amy Valenti
Publisher: Totally Bound
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (49 Pages)
Other Content: BDSM, M/F/F, Menage, Voyeurism, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

She’s sweet, but far from innocent…

Dana is sick of watching childhood friends Lee and Nicola pretend they don’t want each other. The self-proclaimed Queen of Casual Sex decides to do something about it, and along the way discovers that Lee has a dominant streak in the bedroom. That weekend, she and Lee tempt Nicola into a night of sexual submission to them both – but only until sunrise.

A completely different take on love triangles.

A short story about friends who have a thing for each other but don’t want to take that step toward each for fear of losing each other if their relationship doesn’t work. Lee and Nicola have been friends since college. When Dana met them she realized that these ‘best friends’ have a thing for each other. As they say, the rest is history.

Lee and Dana both tend to have a dominant side. They both want to top. They both want Nicola who is a sexy little bisexual sub. Lee and Nicola have a passion that was unavoidable and sizzling. But for me, what was surprising, was the chemistry that Dana and Lee had. Their personalities clash, yet, that is what makes their relationship work. They understand each other.

This isn’t a traditional love story but there is one. Though the ending was satisfying I felt the romance was kind of missing. I know this is an erotic short story but, it felt like the romance part of the story was incomplete or glossed over. Alternatively, the erotic points were spot on.

The plot is not overly complicated and exactly what I was looking for in a short story. It was the perfect quickie to unwind from a stressful day.

Rise of the Iron Eagle by Roy A. Teel, Jr.

IRON
Rise of the Iron Eagle by Roy A. Teel, Jr.
Publisher: Narroway Publishing, LLC.
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery, Horror
Length: Full Length (278 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/F, Voyeurism, Menage
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Is The Iron Eagle a psychotic serial killer?

Or a new breed of Justice?

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Detective Jim O’Brian and FBI Profiler Special Agent Steve Hoffman are hunting for a brutal serial killer; however, this case defies the profiling rules both men have been trained to detect. “The Iron Eagle” appears to only hunt and capture serial killers. Time is of the essence as with each passing day “The Eagle” gets more brazen. The deeper O’Brian and Hoffman dig into profiling the killer, the more they realize that this is more than a race against time – it’s a race laden with the realization that the killer may be one of their own.

If a reader is looking for a book that requires reading with the lights on and who enjoys a story about a criminal mastermind, then pull up a chair and get comfortable because Rise of the Iron Eagle is a wild ride and is sure to leave a haunting legacy in your dreams.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I decided to read this novel. I wasn’t bored, I wasn’t left unaffected and I sure as heck am glad I’m reading about the stuff that went on instead of seeing it for real. I think Mr. Teel, Jr.’s writing about criminals is like what Stephen King does for horror – leaves a lasting impression and horrifies while weaving a tale that one can’t step away from.

I ended up classifying this book as an erotic based on the three way relationship between one of the characters and two women. Also, the fact that a few of the deviants in the story got off on voyeurism while they did what they did was another reason I labeled it thus. However, this is first and foremost a mystery, and a murder mystery at that. And, this is a novel about one man on a crusade against the vilest of the vile, the most heinous and inhumane of human beings, and reading about them kept me on the edge of my seat.

The one thing that the author wanted to make crystal clear, and was abundantly successful, is making a reader believe that the method of death meted out by the Iron Eagle was warranted. Sure, Steve, the FBI guy, wanted the investigations of the crimes done by the book but, there’s a gray area that he sort of teeters on. Then there’s Jim, who actually is more open about accepting that what the Iron Eagle is doing isn’t such a bad thing, even when he duplicates the horrors done to victims onto the perpetrators themselves. It was extremely difficult to read because the author was highly graphic in his details. There is rape and torture and other extremely violent behaviors but it’s recounted in a manner to get the reader on the Eagle’s side. And, for me, it worked. Yes, I cringed a lot, and took a lot of breaks, too because some descriptions were horrendous and uncomfortable to read but that’s the point. Those creeps were under the radar, killing with seeming impunity, and until the Iron Eagle put the clues together and acted, no one was going to stop them.

What I liked were the surprises. I thought that I was going to be left with the mystery of trying to figure out who the Iron Eagle was but that was actually shared with the reader part way through. And I asked myself, why? Turns out there’s a cold case that is the whole impetus for the book. That’s the real mystery and eventually, although I wasn’t too keen on the cold and precise manner in which retribution was delivered, I ended up being very sympathetic to the Iron Eagle. I didn’t expect that.

Dialogue was dark, dangerous, powerful, gritty and incredibly effective. The characterization of both Steven and Jim were not written as touchy feely, getting to know you and your emotions type of detail, but were written as hard bitten, professional and driven. They are men who are extremely fallible with vices, profanity laden speech and yet take pride in the jobs they do. They really are the good guys, with a dark edge. But no one is as dark as the Iron Eagle. I eventually find out why and it broke my heart.

The ending was profound. As much as the author went into great gory detail with the initial few serial killers, when the final moment of reckoning came it was just a tiny teensy bit more anti-climactic than I expected. And you want to know why? Because I wanted the bad guy to suffer more, to pay harder for what was done to all the victims, and in my estimation, he wasn’t. In that I guess even I have a little bit of vigilantism in me. Imagine that.

Rise of the Iron Eagle is dark, gritty, compelling and powerful. It’s not a comfortable read but it’s potent, gripping, exciting and any other word you can think of to describe a book that makes a person read through their fingers because they alternately want to hide but can’t help but continue to read all at the same time. Believe it or not, there might even be a romance relationship coming out of this horror. Talk about unconventional. It’s not the focus but it sure made me happy that even with all this death and atrocity, love could still be found. Yet, even as one case comes to a satisfying closure, the author dangled a surprising carrot. I might need to fortify myself with cotton candy and fluff, but I definitely would read the next book in the series. Mr. Teel, Jr. has a commanding story-telling voice and Rise of the Iron Eagle is proof. Check it out and see, if you dare.