My 6th gay romance.
This is book 1 A Marked Man in a huge series of 24 called Assassin-Shifters which I believe (but don’t quote me on this) spins off into another series called The 12 Olympians and a third series called The Santorno Stories. I get the impression that they all exist in the same universe.
You may think that a male on male romance would get a little mundane, but no, never, not once did it slow down and get tiresome, seriously, having the two protagonists in scenes totally alone still had me turning the pages like a man possessed.
This is the story of Mateo and Riley and it’s certainly different from the previous 5 gay romance books I’ve read thus far. This is so ‘macho’ that I felt like hitting the gym within a few pages and I’m already a gym goer. There is no room here for camp skinny boys and yes, everyone is totally drop dead gorgeous but what the hell, this is pure fantasy and I don’t care.
It’s a total testosterone fuelled, lads adventure, full of hit men, violence, covert and stealth operations, everything a lad wants to do or wants to be is here. I wondered if I would be into this particular genre. I didn’t have to wait too long to find out that I was.
Passion is extremely high in this book and I mean passion. The way the writer describes the tiniest things and what each character says in the heat of passion, or in a hallway passing a work colleague, it’s really authentic. The interaction between characters is exceptionally strong with great one liners and realistic banter.
I can see from both protagonists perspectives and yes they really are crazy about each other and I loved how they found it difficult to control their desire and not just physical desire. You can visualise what Mateo and Riley are seeing and feel what they are feeling, it was really intense in places.
I loved the line “Fuck! If I’m not addicted to you.”
This is the first male on male book in which I didn’t mind the sex scenes, (I hear you all cheering out there in the real world) maybe because the desire they have is real or perhaps it’s the way the author writes the scenes. Either way, I was genuinely okay with it, and although I don’t get turned on by reading about two guys having sex, I could see it from Mateo’s and Riley’s perspective so I enjoyed the sex vicariously. Does that make me a voyeur?
The way Mateo and Riley move together, it was so easy to visualise and so natural even if they were snuggling in bed.
Loved the Star-Trek reference used by Riley in a kissing scene, so please look out for it.
The only thing that bothered me was that it wasn’t obvious that the characters had moved location or done something, and I was left thinking,wait a minute I thought they were standing in the bedroom, why are they now outside? On many occasions I had to go back and re-read to find two words saying ‘they left.’ Maybe it was because I was overexcited when reading that I consistently missed these subtle directions.
The big question… did I get emotional? Yes I did, so you know I enjoyed this book a lot. I don’t want to spoil the story, so just be aware of the part when Riley hears Mateo’s voice, calls out to him and Mateo responds.. I filled up!
I even downloaded images of what I think Mateo and Riley look like (am I getting sad lol? Please let me know).
Did I like this more than Cost of Repairs by A.M. Arthur which is currently my favourite? Very difficult to say but they are both in my number 1 slot. They are different books; Cost of Repairs is more ‘normal’ life whereas, A Marked Manis James Bond meets the A-Team meets True Blood. I also know that somewhere down the line, a supernatural element comes into the Assassin-Shifters series, so I don’t want to compare the two. At the time of writing this review, I’m already on book 2 of the Assassin-Shifters series and the song that Mateo and Riley listen too together in book 1 is playing on my computer as I type, so I think you have an answer to the question did I love this book.