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Fantastic #BookReview The Audition and Torn Avenger @LeaBronsen



THE AUDITION & TORN AVENGER
2 separate books
by Lea Bronsen

The Audition

Genre: Dark Erotic Crime Ménage
Release Date: October 20, 2017

Ruthless drug lord Ricardo “El Loco” Ferrer launders his black money by investing in movie productions. As a teen, he learned to enjoy blow jobs in jail. Now a man of power, his favorite pastime is checking out new acting talent…and convincing them to “please” the team of producers.

Young wannabe actor Jaden Moore comes to a shady side of town to audition for a movie part. He longs to shine, wants to walk the red carpet with cameras flashing and a crowd cheering. He assures the film director and the investors he’ll do anything to reach the top, but is he willing to comply with their dirty fantasies?


BOOK REVIEW

This is a quick and gritty read. Definitely not for the fainthearted or for those seeking a fun and fluffy read.

Jaden is a budding actor who gets to audition for crime boss Rico and his gang of movie producers. Except this is not like any ordinary audition and soon turns into an erotic encounter as the young man is tested to see his potential.

Rico is surprised at the emotions that rise within him because of Jaden and he's tempted to take the encounter beyond one night. But the evening's activities goes from desire to disastrous when Rico's past catches up with him in Jaden's presence.

Can Rico save the day, clean up his act and get his man? You'll have to read it to find out.

This is a great erotic short. My only beef with this story is with the ending but that's just the romantic in me wanting a different outcome.


Reviewed by

Disclaimer: I volunteered to review this book.





Rico flashed Jaden his best playboy smile and opened his shirt button by button. It usually had the effect he wanted. He took great care of his body. The other job demanded he stay in tip-top shape, and the result came in handy during this part of the audition. Most young people found difficult to resist a tanned, well-built, and slightly sweaty chest.

Indeed, the more buttons he popped, the more Jaden stared, as if fascinated.

Rico grinned. Once the shirt hung loose, displaying his neat washboard of a stomach, he palmed his crotch. This part of the game, he savored. Closing his eyes, he rubbed the outline of his stiff length through his pants, up and down, slowly. “Do you have any idea what you’re doing to me?” He drew an exaggerated breath.

No answer.

Was the kid going to refuse playing, now that they’d gone so far? It would be a shame. Rico liked him. Jaden had proven worthy. A wide range of emotions boiled in him, and it didn’t take much coaxing to have him spill them out with raging honesty. That, Rico respected. “El Loco” may be a heartless son of a bitch, but he recognized uprigthness and integrity. He would never hurt someone fighting tooth and nail for noble values.

More, Jaden triggered something in Rico that he wasn’t unwilling to explore, given the right circumstances. He’d spent the past two decades a lonely man, and to be honest, it began to wear on him. What the terms for changing—improving—a part of his life were, he didn’t know yet. And it wasn’t without risk: he’d spent those years building a shell so no one could touch him. There were certain things guns couldn’t protect him from.

He reopened his eyes.

At the same time, Jaden flicked his gaze up, searching Rico’s. “I thought you said I got the movie part?”

“You got it.” Rico grinned. “This is a bonus.”

“Oh,” the kid said, in a choked tone that almost tore a laugh out of Rico. That, and his reddish complexion, told Rico he could continue playing.

In one swift move, he zipped down his pants to let the beast loose. “Look,” he said, voice tight, grabbing his swollen cock at the base and making the entire length swing from side to side. “You see this, Jaden? You’re the one doing it to me.” He moved forward, stroking his hard shaft, until mere inches separated them. Jaden’s warm breaths blew on his face. “Do you like what you see?”




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Torn Avenger

Genre: Dark Viking Romance
Release Date: September 20, 2017

As the second son of a Viking earl, Alv Gunnulfsen wasn't meant to inherit a throne or avenge a murder. But when his brother is slain during a raid and their father dies of grief, Alv is expected to take command and claim the killer's death. In a world of ruthless retaliation and strict social codes, he must also maneuver cleverly to protect a troublesome secret: his attraction for men.

Roeland van Dijk, a wealthy Dutch merchant settled in Norway, has done the unthinkable to protect his family — hacked off the head of a Viking rapist. The wrath of the blond savages will cost him his freedom, and possibly his own head… Unless he's willing to accept the love of another man.



BOOK REVIEW

What a fantastic story. I worried about how to write this review to give this book its due justice and in this end I'm going to do a kind of analysis and I hope you see where I'm going with this.

First let me start by saying this story is marked as a dark Viking romance. In my opinion, dark romances are gritty and shocking, with heroes/heroines that push the boundaries of expectations in romance novels. With that in mind I would consider Torn Avenger to be on the mild end of the dark romance spectrum.

Are there gritty scenes? Sure. But that is more down to the fact that it is a Viking story and therefore brutality, gore and Viking warriors kind of go hand in hand. It is to be expected.

Do the heroes push the boundaries? Are they dark enough? Alv certainly pushes the boundaries. His character is described as half-man and half-woman, and regarded with amusement by his fellow Norsemen. In 11th century Norway when his fellow men were fearless Vikings, macho and brutal, ready to strike first and talk later, Alv was the opposite, gentle and kind. He wanted to heal people instead of kill them. How much more subversive can one get?

As for Roeland, when a Viking raiding party invades his village to pillage and plunder, he does what needs to be done to protect his family and kills one of them. Unfortunately the man he kills is the first son of an earl and his death has to be avenged, which is the crux of the story. Roeland tries to keep his family safe in hiding but he is eventually captured by Alv who takes him captive.

I'll admit I expected some savagery in the form of revenge from Alv. But aside from taking Roeland as a captive, he continues to wrangle with his conscience about what had gone on and what to do. In the end Alv falls in love with Roeland. So the question becomes, how does he keep Roeland alive when everyone else in his clan seems to want him dead.

This story has layers. Suspense as we wonder if and how Roeland will get his freedom. Mystery as we try to unravel a poisoning. And of course romance as we watch Alv and Roeland develop feelings for each other.

Do I believe that Roeland, a man who had been in love with his late wife could be attracted to Alv? Yes. We know that people who have been through an intensely stressful experience can come out of it with different perspectives than they had previously.
Considering the upheaval and distress he'd been through, it is quite plausible that Roeland would fall in love with the man who saved his life and took such care of him, especially when said man was effeminate.

I'm also intrigued by Elke and Torsten's storyline and hope the author will write a companion novella of sort. I would love to read about Elke's ordeal from her perspective and having to marrying into a tribe of the person who assaulted her and having a child. How does a woman in that era cope with that kind of trauma?

Overall, this is a fantastic, sensual and emotional M/M historical romance. The characters are well drawn and the storyline had me hooked right from the first page to the last. I would've loved more on the page interactions between Alv and Roeland, but that's just me wanting more steam.

Seriously, if you enjoy M/M historicals, you have to read this and don't be put off by the 'dark' label. Alv and Roeland are too good to ever have the 'dark hero' label on them.


Reviewed by

Disclaimer: I volunteered to review this book.




After a moment, Alv looked up again and almost gasped from the erotic vision in front of him. While shaving Roeland, he’d only seen his wet, hairy chest and stomach, but the handsome man moved to a kneeling position in the basin and washed his lower body. His stunning maleness made Alv hot and bothered. They had discussed, argued, shared personal details, and apologized to each other, but now, the seriousness of their conversation faded. The sight of Roeland’s cock bathing in white foam between his legs had Alv’s own cock jolt and press painfully against his pants.

Oh, Roeland attracted him on several levels—mental, emotional, and physical—and Alv longed to discover and develop more of everything with him. Hedin was an exciting lover, but nothing like what Roeland had the potential to be.

Speaking of Hedin, it’d been a surprise to see him again this morning, right after Elke left. He’d arrived in a terrible mood and refused to excuse his disappearance act. It was outrageous of a slave to come and go like that, but Alv had too much on his mind to think of punishing him.

For one, he worried about Roeland’s future. He’d inherited part of Father’s wealth, but not his title. After returning to Eðni, he’d claimed to be the only one who could decide of what to do with his brother’s murderer, but it wasn’t true. He had no standing, no support from his fellow citizens. They could choose to kill Roeland if they wanted to—all it took was a word from Mother. It made her idea to have Alv marry Elke and adopt the community’s natural heir that much more important to push through.

“There’s something we need to talk about,” he said, hoping Roeland wouldn’t oppose to the plan.

“What?”

“Normally, I would ask you, but since you’re not in a position to make decisions, I’m just going to tell you.”

“About what?” Roeland frowned.

“I’m marrying your sister.”

Roeland stood so fast in the basin, water splashed to all sides. He stepped out and leaned into Alv’s face. “Don’t you dare to touch her!”

“But I’m not…”

“Hasn’t she suffered enough?” Roeland bellowed, his dark eyes slit with anger.

By Thor, he was insanely sexy, standing naked and wet, so near Alv could feel his damp bodily heat, water drippling from his hair and rolling alongside his tanned, chiseled cheeks. Alv couldn’t help hardening more, and needed to focus on the words that came out of Roeland’s luscious mouth to be able to answer. “She has already accepted.”






Award-winning author Lea Bronsen likes her reads hot, fast, and edgy, and strives to give her own stories the same intensity. After venturing into dirty inner-city crime drama with her debut novel Wild Hearted, she divides her writing time between psychological thriller, romantic suspense, and dark erotic romance.

She's signed with Evernight Publishing, Decadent Publishing, and Insatiable Press. She has also self-published some of her works and participated in the making of several anthologies.


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2 comments:

  1. Hi Kay, thank you so much for spotlighting my books and reviewing them. I'm particularly amazed by your kind words in regards to Torn Avenger. You truly warmed my heart!!

    Have a wonderful week.
    Hugs, Lea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're more than welcome, Lea. Alv and Roeland totally made my reading day.

      Love,
      Kay xx

      Delete

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