Series: Roadmap to Your Heart
Published by Self-Published on 17 August 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Social Issues
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Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee
First Line(s): “Bottoms up.” I poured tequila in the three shot glasses in front of me. “Extra limes if you need ’em.”
Chistina Lee is one of those authors where I find it hard to resist reading when she has a new book out and so when a copy of THE DARKEST FLAME landed in my inbox it wasn’t long before I was cracking it open and settling in to read. THE DARKEST FLAME could be considered a companion to THERE YOU STAND (my review) as you first meet Smoke and Vaughn in that story and Jude and Cory do make a small cameo here. But you don’t really need to know what happened in THERE YOU STAND in order to enjoy THE DARKEST FLAME. Though it does help with some background information to be familiar with THERE YOU STAND, Lee does do a decent job of recap the important need to know events so a new reader won’t be totally lost.
There was tension in DARKEST FLAME right from the start between Vaughn and Smoke and I loved watching their journey towards each other. Living in the world that they do of motorcycle clubs and manly men its hard to admit to liking guys when you aren’t sure how this rough and tumble crowd will react. So Vaughn and Smoke just stare and torment each other as they hook up with women and long for the other guy. In many M/M romances its usually one guy is out and out gay and the other is bi/questioning in DARKEST FLAME both men are bi-sexual and wish that they could more openly act on their feelings. The chemistry between Smoke and Vaughn literally sizzles off the page and it doesn’t help either of them that events keep pushing them together into closer and closer quarters.
I really enjoyed Vaughn and Smokes story but I did feel that it was a little choppy at times and some things just didn’t make sense to the story at hand. Though I did read an ARC so some of those things may have been corrected in the finished version so I won’t mention them here. The dialogue at times also didn’t seem like it was guys talking but I also don’t live in a man’s head so maybe it is more realistic than I know. I also felt that things were a little repetitive at times and that the ending was a bit rushed. While I do so love a happily ever after there was just something that felt a bit off and inconclusive about the one in DARKEST FLAME.
DARKEST FLAME is a fast paced story and I’m growing to like this world that Lee is creating with her motorcycle club. I’ve never been big on MC books but I am growing to like these characters that Lee has created and I am curious to know more about them. So you can be sure that I will be reading the next book in this new series of hers the moment I am able to get my hands on it. These are just fun stories with a hint of darker things to them and very different from her earlier books in the Between Breaths series.
Add Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)
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?”