Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 27th 2016
Page Count: 254
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Two months after Mitch Jenkins had the rug pulled out from under him when his two-year relationship came to an abrupt end, he is still hurting. A colleague’s attempt to cheer him up brings Mitch to a secret “club.” Mitch isn’t remotely interested in the twinks parading like peacocks, until he spies the young man at the back of the room, nose firmly in a book and oblivious to his surroundings. Now Mitch is interested.
Nikko Kurokawa wants to pay his debt and get the hell out of the Black Lounge—where he is forced to not only have sex, but sometimes suffer abuse to please clients. Earning his freedom isn’t proving easy, especially when he starts attracting interest. Life becomes that little bit easier to bear when he meets Mitch, who is nothing like the other men who frequent the club. And when Mitch crawls under his skin and into his heart, Nikko figures he can put up with anything. Before long he’ll be out of there, and he and Mitch can figure out if they have a future together.
Neither of them counted on those who don’t want Nikko to leave….
I loved this book for everything that it wasn’t.
Not an angstfest, despite the fact that this trope provides plenty of potential for drama.
Not on-page abuse. I find that abuse and rape themes are way overused in romance, and, as a reader, it gets harder and harder for me to tolerate it on page. Not the case here.
Not a big, fat cliche , where the hot-shot, filthy-rich john, falls for his rent-boy and tries to save him. Mitch is on a teacher’s salary. He’s humble and kind-hearted. He’s scared, but determined to help Nikko. And Nikko….I loved him hard. He has no way out, but he’s not weak. I was floored by his strength and courage.
It did’t turn into a suspense/action story. I loved this! After all these books I ‘ve read lately, where the MCs tried to play Avengers, it was so refreshing and realistic that Mitch and Nikko followed the voice of reason and didn’t try to
- infiltrate an underground prostitution ring on their own!
I’m not used to action scenes by K.C but there is one here,
- the police raid
I also loved that the characters had a lot of page time to connect and get to know each other better, after Nikko was freed. It made the “I love you’s” much more believable, and the HEA more solid.
Extra points for Mitch’s AMAZING family. I loved the dynamics between its members, and their realistic interactions.