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|Print List Price:||$14.99|
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Semblance Kindle Edition
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Wow, is this actually the author’s first published work? I totally enjoyed this book, and I’m willing to get on my knees and beg for a sequel. I’m always impressed when a new author can write such a smooth flowing story, a story that grips you tight even while it has you dreading what might happen next. If a blurb mentions the word cartel, I want blood and death and drugs and violence and torture and I want a lot of it. I need my bad guys to be bad, and I need my good guys to be…well, I like it if they’re a bit bad too. Semblance delivered just what I wanted, and left me desperate for more.
We begin the story with Drake, owner of nightclub Semblance, already involved in the world of the Boredega cartel. The infamous cartel uses the club’s backrooms to sell their drugs and if you venture further down the corridors, there are secret, soundproofed rooms where they “interrogate” those that have transgressed against them. Since Drake was a child, his sole focus in life has been the destruction of the cartel and the bloodthirsty man behind it. He figures they’ll probably kill him in the end, but he intends on taking them down with him. Besides, it’s not like he has anything else to live for. Until sexy-as-hell bartender, Scotty, worms his way into Drake’s bed, and his heart. Cue the awww…
The relationship between Drake and Scotty was the only element of the tale that kept this from being a five star read. And I think this is probably a personal opinion, but heck, no one would ever accuse me of being shy with my opinions. Like I mentioned, cartel = dark, and while the overall plot was blessedly shadowy, the love story here was a touch too shiny bright. Drake and Scotty have known each other for a while before the story starts, so I guess you can’t call it insta-love but once they hook up they fall pretty fast. I think our main men just came off as a little too trusting and impetuous considering the position they were both in.
The author so successfully presented Drake as a character deserving of our support, despite his less that upstanding actions, that I got teary several times when it seemed like his quest for revenge wouldn’t succeed. And the ending, that final scene between Drake and Scotty, I’m pretty sure I’m going to need my heart checked by a doctor because it may have stopped beating there for a few minutes. Actually, the ending was fabulously, thrillingly, heartbreaking…and I guess that’s all I can really say about that.
While the ending isn’t a cliffhanger exactly, I’m going to be so disappointed if the story ends here. Even with different main characters if necessary, but PLEASE Ms. Saros, I need to know what happens next!
Original review posted at Love Bytes Reviews
Written in third person, the story unfolds entirely from Drakes POV, until the epilogue. I suppose some parts of the plot could be called predictable but it plays out differently than I might have expected. There’s not a huge cast of characters so it’s a surprise to find who’s been flying under the radar. The pace is fast-moving, once the opening chapters set the scene and put the characters in place. The steam is moderate but I’d like to have seen just a little more of the previous interactions between Scott and Drake. A few plot threads were left dangling, with incomplete answers to who was ultimately behind the criminal enterprise.
I was not thrilled with the ending contained in the epilogue, which was unexpected in its execution. There isn’t an HEA and to me, just barely qualifies as an HFN. I think a sequel is called for, to give a chance to see Scott and Drake as an actual couple, but there’s no hints yet. I would nonetheless recommend this one strongly for the engaging plot and compelling suspense.
*An ARC was provided by the author, publisher or promotional service and I have chosen to publish a fair and honest review for Jessie G Books Reviews blog*
Drake has one and unique goal in his life, take down the cartel and kill the head, Boredega himself. He doesn’t have a hobby, friends, or family; he only wants revenge. But when Scotty, his bartender, shows him a glimpse of what a life with a significant other can be, Drake wants to believe that he could have a life, but first, he needs to end the cartel, even if it means losing the only man he ever loved, and his life.
The book was good.
Drake is a tortured man. He’s lonely and only lives with the goal to avenge his family. He’s completely focused on this task, and forgets to live. I felt sad for him because he’s like a ghost among the living, and he broke my heart.
Scotty is sweet, strong and smart. He wants Drake and refuses to be pushed away. I like Scotty, even if I’ve suspected there was more about him that what we saw, until the end, I liked him a lot.
The book and the plot were good, but a little bit too long. Sometimes, I had the feeling it turned in circle, and that I’d read the same thing again and again. But there’s a good twist at the end, and it hooked me. The end isn’t a happy ending, and even if it frustrated me, it was clearly coherent with the story and the plot, and I can only admit that the author wrote a good end for them in their situation.