Title: Joker (Executioners #2)
Author: J.M. Dabney
Publisher: Hostile Whispers Press
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Page Count: 150
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Joker, what a misnomer, but Jackson Webb’s friends were idiots. He’d joined Executioners almost three years earlier after the lead singer King caught him playing his guitar behind his garage. It broke up the monotony of his life, but once he got bored he’d move on to another distraction. He wasn’t nice. He sure as hell wasn’t friendly. He was what he was, his friends handled his attitude and standoffish nature just fine. At thirty-eight he was pretty sure he was too stuck in his way to change shit now.
Demetri “Dem” Urban was settling into a new life in the middle of nowhere. Okay, he was hiding from everywhere in a kitchen as far removed from his five-star kitchen back in New York. Gideon invited him to stay with him and his wife for awhile just until he could get everything back on track. He didn’t see it happening, but he had to admit the scenery wasn’t bad even if the man had the personality of a rabid, man-eating bear. Dem did like a challenge and that fit Joker Webb perfectly.
Joker is a grumpy, angry, violent guy. He takes on the role of champion for every person who is being harassed in public. He confronts the offender and usually starts a fight that ultimately lands him in jail. The reasons for his violent behavior are unfolded as the story progresses so I won’t spoil it here.
Dem is a calm, loving soul who takes on the job of softening Joker’s resolve and showing him he is worth the time and attention and love he is missing from his life. Dem has a degenerative bone disease that requires the use of crutches and has always being perceived as a “cripple”. He thinks Joker will treat him like an able-bodied person, something he craves.
We’ve got a little insta-love here on Dem’s part, but it was appropriate in the story given that fact Joker was so prickly. Dem needed to have an emotional investment in Joker to shadow his every move in his quest to show Joker he is worthy of love.
This is a hurt/healing/comfort story on steroids. Both men have serious issues and need soothing from each other and it worked great for me. The reason for the lower rating is because I didn’t feel the story was fleshed out enough at only 150 pages and I felt there could have been some sexual variation and more of it.
J.M. Dabney is a new author for me and I do plan to check out some of her other books. I can recommend Joker for the hurt/comfort junkies, like me. If that isn’t your thing, there won’t be a lot here for you.