26 April 2014

I Love It Rough by Michael Mandrake

 Sequel to I like Em Pretty

Livin’ in N’awlins ain’t all that easy…

Kajika Fortier loves his job, the attention he gets from onlookers, and Frankie Choteau. However, his new partner’s jealousy, mood swings, and over protectiveness drives Kajika to the brink but at the same time, excites him to no end.

To complicate things further, a murderer is on the loose looking for blood. All three of the killer’s victims are strippers which not only makes Frankie nervous about Kajika’s safety but leaves him questioning his love for being a homicide detective. Coupled with the stresses of cold cases as well as some fellow officers shunning him for coming out, Frankie is having second thoughts about staying in New Orleans. Despite the encouragement from Vance, Kenina, and Orrin as well as new chief Quinn Murray, Frankie is wondering if his life’s passion really is to catch the killers.

Will the new couple survive these new issues that impede their nearly perfect union? Or will the relationship fail, thus leaving Kajika alone and a target for New Orleans latest serial killer? Detective Choteau and Kajika’s commitment to one another is being tested in more ways than one and they only have one another to lean on.

As the second book in the N’awlins Exotica Series, I Love It Rough was not written with as much of the New Orleans dialect and dialogue that I found so difficult to read in the first book. The author used more narration and introduced new characters and highlighted a few officers from the previous book to demonstrate the cultural diversity of New Orleans and I found reading this installment much smoother and more enjoyable.

That said, I ultimately did not enjoy the book and, again, my lack of enjoyment has to do with personal preferences and not the author’s writing ability. In an effort to avoid spoilers, I will be rather vague about aspects of the book I had problems with. I Love It Rough was a really good read for me until about 40% in when a paranormal element is introduced. It was both unexpected and unnecessary to the current book and I felt it detracted from the story line; I understand that the author is laying the foundation for a spin-off series, but it was a problem for me.

My other major issue is that Frankie and Kenina seem to have undergone major personality transplants. Frankie has a couple of scenes where he becomes overly possessive and aggressive towards Kajika and there is a scene much later in the book (you’ll know it when you read it) that is completely out of character and something I never would have expected him to do. As for Kenina, we saw hints that she could be mean when life didn’t go as planned in book one, but in this book her character comes off as a total witch and a bigot. These issues distracted me and kept me from enjoying the book, even the hot sex scenes.

Michael Mandrake has produced another solidly written book in the N’awlins Exotica Series. While I didn’t personally enjoy I Love It Rough, I am confident that there are readers who will love it. I do wish that the serial killer storyline would have received more attention rather than veering off into the introduction of the paranormal aspect and delving into the character’s personality changes. And as much as I would like to know what happens, it is unlikely that I will read the next book in the series. However, the next time I am in a paranormal mood I may give the N’awlins Exotica Paranormal Series a try because I do appreciate the author’s style of writing and skill.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IHY4TX0/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00IHY4TX0&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20     https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/409529    https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-iloveitroughn039awlinsexoticabooktwo-1422114-148.html?referrer=52378e08e5757
Michael Mandrake pens complex characters already comfortable with their sexuality. Thorough these, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media. To find out more please visit http://tabooindeed.blogspot.com.


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