Title: The Darkest Flame (Roadmap to Your Heart #1)
Author: Christina Lee
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 17, 2015
Page Count: 212
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.
“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.
When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.
As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe.
Before I get started, I have to admit that I have no idea what a Motorcycle Gang really is. From real-life understanding, it is usually a group of men up to no-good. Various illegal activities abound, heavy drinking, driving big motorcycles as a group and usually opposing a heavy-handed US government. But that is just my uneducated perception. The motorcycle gang in this book called Disciples and it’s leader “Prez” is actually trying to clean up the gang and help keep his “turf” safe from harm and illegal activities. So, for the sake of actually liking Disciple’s member Smoke, I bought into the Motorcycle-Gang-with-a-Heart spiel.
Vaughn O’Keefe is the owner and bartender of The Hog’s Den, Disciple’s public/social hang-out. When his investment partner and boyfriend skips town for greener pastures, Vaughn is left with a bar he can no longer afford. Enter Disciple’s president Malachi AKA Prez who offers to invest in the bar on the condition it can be used as a place to conduct official Disciples business. Vaughn agrees and business is now booming and he is considered an honorary member of the gang. Vaughn is bisexual but prefers the company of men and is in the closet with his family, friends and especially the members of Disciples.
Enter Disciples member and sex-on-legs Reed AKA Smoke, also bisexual with a preference for men. Devastated by the fire that killed his father and burned down his family bar, Smoke finds himself in a dysfunctional relationship and giving in to the numbing effect of hard-core drugs. Prez pulled him out of a rival gang and sends him to rehab for the nasty drug habit. Smoke comes out the other side clean and sober and joins Disciples.
The book is told from Vaughn and Smoke’s POVs, so we know that both men have the serious hots for each other. The sexual tension here is thick and delicious. Every time Vaughn and Smoke are in the same room, the temperature goes up. When the tension has finally reached unmanageable levels, they literally throw themselves at each other. Glory hallelujah is it hot! Rough, wall-slamming grinds, deep-throating blow jobs, lip stinging, deep, wet kisses and eventually power fucking each other into the mattress.
I loved Vaughn and Smoke. These boys were incredible together and while the sex is some of the hottest I’ve ever read, the emotions were here and the need they had to be in each other’s lives was incredibly romantic. While the story line is a touch silly, with both men in the closet because they are afraid of what other people will think, it did make for some awesome clandestine fucking.
If you are looking for a story about men with perfect sexual compatibility, this is your book. Loading with sexual tension and paint-peeling sex, I absolutely loved it.
The Darkest Flame Excerpt
I grabbed my hold of keys and tried not to slam my way out the door. I didn’t know why the hell I was so rattled by Vaughn tonight. I mean, I had been every night, but something about the idea of him being with somebody else right in front of my eyes, made me crazy with need. Need that it felt like only he could fulfill.
As soon as I got to my bike I realized I’d left my cut in the break room. I stood outside attempting to rein in my uneven pulse. I didn’t know what the fuck had come over me.
Breathing more steadily, I stepped back through the door only to find the bar empty. I’d just grab my leather vest and leave him in peace.
“I forgot my…” I stopped in my tracks because Vaughn stood motionless in the middle of the floor, veins bulging in his neck, as if he’d implode at the slightest touch.
He was always moving and talking with a restless energy in this bar so his stillness was a bit startling.
“Hey.” I gingerly placed my hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry if I—”
There was instant recoil, as if he were attempting to contain the vortex of tension between us by vacuuming it in through his skin.
He twisted toward me, his eyes latching onto mine, right before I was slammed against the door.
The wind was practically knocked out of me as Vaughn sank his weight against my smaller frame. We were groin to groin, heartbeat to heartbeat.
“Fuck, Vaughn, you’re—” Heaving breaths surged through my nostrils. “I was going to suggest a truce.”
“Yeah?” he mumbled, his gaze fastening on my mouth. “What sort of truce?”