Capture & Surrender.Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
I’m becoming a real fan of the Market Garden series. I loved If it flies and If it fornicates and now we catch up with frank, owner of the Garden. The whole premise of a safe place for all parties involved to meet and set up arrangements seems so sensible to me. I don’t understand why prostitution isn’t legal and treated the same way as any other business, that way it would be safer on both physical and health grounds if compulsory check ups were mandatory, the tax would benefit Govt. coffers (!) and there would be proper employment for those who chose this work. As ever of course, I only want people who chose this work, not to be forced into it. Why shouldn’t it be the same as any other business, say housecleaning, catering, taxi driving? They’re all public service, with an exchange of skills for money. Finding someone for sexual needs, or finding safe customers must be difficult, add on to that the dangers of assault if one party is gay and the other not and takes offence… must be a nightmare. So the Market Garden is a brilliant idea even if only fictional.
Anyway, back to the story. Frank lost his partner to AIDS some time back, and keeps himself to a select few friends who know, and doesn’t make it public knowledge. Raoul – barkeep/assistant manager/finder of new guys has brought Stephan along for interview. He knows the tough ex serviceman will appeal to Frank, and he’s soon hired to take Nick’s place now he’s left ( ah Nick – loved that man…) and his customers miss him.
Franks strongly attracted to Stephan but holds himself back, not wanting to break his own rules. He invited him paint balling, though with a regular group that meet for paint ball with some usual prizes for prisoners and hits..sex fest for all and gladly looked forward to, but done safely. Franks stays out of the actual game and only refs because of his situation. Over time Stephan makes it clear to Frank he’s interested in being more than just an employee – Frank tells him he doesn’t date employees, but Stephan’s not one for just accepting a “no” when he ants “yes” !! He gradually wears Frank down and ……things go well for a bit, then it goes sour, with some things becoming public and some cold feet on Franks part. That’s a really sad moment with both of them unhappy and they need to take a good look at what’s to be lost or gained.
As ever its a tender love story, of course there’s sex, but its done in a very sensual way. Its not ugly or just graphic for titillating purpose/shock value as it often is in M/M romances, but fits properly into the story. The romance between Frank and Stephan is so tender, gruff older man and tough younger Ex soldier it doesn’t seem likely the spark would be there between them – but it is and it soon flames into a fiery passion.
Great book as ever from the duo of Aleks and L.A. Subtle humour, realistic situations and tender romance all wrapped up in a shortish novel. Quality as always from the specialist publishers Riptide.
Stars: yep – another five from me 🙂
How to discipline your vampire.Mina Vaughn .
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
This sounded like a fun read, erotic and paranormal with some humour so I signed up for it 🙂 Its good sometimes to have something light after all the angsty romances, though I love them too. Anyway, Cerise is a temporary schoolteacher (by choice) with a Dominant side – the sex type Dom. She’s been looking for a sub, but she has some very specific requirements that she feels are essential but that most subs are put off by. In desperation she tries a speed dating for D/s people and meets William. Of course she doesn’t know he’s a vampire, and that makes for some interesting moments. She does wonder though about how he creates such perfect scenes for them from her suggestions, no charity shop props from him but fabulous designer type ball gowns and Steinway grand pianos….It all sounds great fun but…some how didn’t quite gel for me. Cerise sounds incredibly selfish, as the story unfolds we learn more about her reasons for such specific detail but it doesn’t really make me warm to her as a person. The scenes between her and William were sexy, but for me the charisma wasn’t there to make it really erotic. I liked William, felt for him in his quest, did laugh at his questions on birth control – but in most books vamps can’t get people pregnant so why ask that, I wondered? Then came the explanation,what else happens, and why he’s so glad for her its only 4 times a year due to the three monthly control shots 🙂
The sections where Cerise was at school chatting to the kids were some of the best parts, there were episodes that made me laugh, Mina has school kid humour down to a T, and the oddity of some teachers….but I still struggled to really care for her and what she wanted. There were times when she seemed to relax and I almost got there, but then the uncaring, selfish view would come out and I was put off her. I think that’s why the romance side didn’t’ work for me, I need to like the characters and whereas I wanted William to have someone I didn’t feel Cerise really appreciated him. Still, that’s just one view, and I’m sure others will feel differently. Priced at £1.99 for 280 pages its good value if its your sort of book.
Stars: Three, overall I enjoyed the book, but not enough for a re read. Nothing wrong with the book, just not one that really resonated with me.