15 January 2015

Investigating Love Series Spotlight!

What if the last thing you felt was the kiss of a knife?

Rasputin’s kiss is lethal. He’s a ghost—killing and disappearing into the night. With few leads and four bodies on his conscience, Detective Inspector Alex Courtney and his team are running on empty and it’s only a matter of time before Rasputin strikes again.

When Alex recruits a young detective to play the part of his boyfriend and provide a tempting target for a killer, he knows he is taking a huge risk. He doesn’t expect Conor Trethuan to be a perfect potential submissive. When their mutual attraction becomes more, Alex has to face the conflict between his possessive instincts and the need to push his young lover into danger.

Investigating their feelings has to come second to investigating the case. There’s no time to decide if what they feel for each other is real. With Rasputin closing in, they may not live to find out. 
In Rasputin’s Kiss we meet Detective Inspector Alex Courtney and Detective Conor Trethuan as they work together to catch a serial killer. Despite the gravity of the subject, I found Alex’s recruitment process that eventually led him to Conor quite amusing. The scene serves to set the mood of the book and strikes a great balance between humor and seriousness and the author does an excellent job of tempering the starkness of the investigation with humor.

While the relationship between Alex and Conor progressed quickly, somehow it worked in this case. The emotional connection was forged so early in their relationship that it bordered on insta-love yet the author managed to keep it from feeling rushed or forced, thus avoiding the insta-love feel. I believe that the D/s aspect of their assignment may have hastened their bond due to the level of trust involved, but again the speed of development felt right. In fact, when Alex asserted his dominance over Conor during sex, the chemistry between the two men increased and this made for some unbelievable sex scenes.

The romantic suspense angle was well written and the reader is not privy to information that allows them to figure out who the responsible party is. Actually the book seems to be written in such a way as to insure that the suspense is experienced while withholding info that would allow the reader to figure out "who done it?" However, for me this resulted in there not being quite as much suspense throughout the book as I would have expected for a police thriller, but the police standoff at the end more than made up for it. Rasputin’s Kiss was a terrific read and I’m looking forward to starting Evil’s Embrace next.
 Never underestimate the power of obsession.

After the trauma of the Rasputin case, Detective Inspector Alex Courtney and his boyfriend, Detective Constable Conor Trethuan, are in desperate need of a holiday.

The peace and tranquillity of Cornwall can’t eradicate Conor’s nightmares, though, and the unbearable prospect of losing Alex drives him to confess feelings that he isn’t sure are reciprocated. Alex responds in the best way he knows how—by issuing orders and claiming Conor’s body as well as his heart.

Prematurely recalled to work, they are thrown into a dangerous trafficking case focused on a leather bar with a hardcore reputation, Spikes. Conor is sent in undercover, not knowing that he is only a decoy. When Alex learns that the motivation behind his team’s involvement in the case might not be as straightforward as it seems, he realises that his actions might jeopardise not just their relationship, but Conor’s life, too. A shadowy figure from Conor’s past is about to step into the light.
Ms. Somerton has penned another great installment in the Investigating Love series. Alex and Conor are back – kinda, sorta. Evil’s Embrace begins four months after Rasputin’s Kiss and Alex and Conor are headed out of town on a two-week holiday before Conor’s return to work now that he has fully healed from his injuries. I should note that while you can read this book without having read book one first, you’ll have a better appreciation of Alex and Conor if you read Rasputin’s Kiss first.

During the first part of the book we get to see the guys spending relaxed one-on-one time together away from work, giving readers of book one a chance to see how their relationship has progressed and continues to do so. From their interactions it is clear that they have developed deep feelings for one another, cementing the relationship that began in Rasputin’s Kiss. Their chemistry is palpable and this ratchets up the sex scenes significantly. Taking it up another notch is that Conor is learning more about his submissive nature and the Dom in Alex is more than ready to teach his brat a lesson or two (or three…). But even as their feelings grow and their relationship strengthens, their work threatens to get in the way of their relationship.

As with book one, Evil’s Embrace is a romantic suspense novel (which means fewer specific details to avoid spoilers in my review). I felt that this one packed more of a punch in the suspense department because Ms. Somerton laid a couple of false trails as to which suspense element the guys were facing. I was disappointed that the “trail” they encountered while on holiday wasn’t revisited once they returned to the city, I can only hope that the author returns to it because the potential plotline was compelling. Despite that minor disappointment, Evil’s Embrace was a great read. The storyline flowed and I found myself swept up in the action, devouring the book in a matter of hours. Tarot’s Touch, book three in the series, is next up on my reading list and I am looking forward to finding out what is in store for Alex and Conor. 
Can truth be found in the cards?

DI Alex Courtney and his lover, DC Conor Trethuan are under enormous pressure as their team investigates an arson case and a murder.

It soon becomes apparent that the two cases are linked and the race is on to find a vicious killer. A tarot card is left with the first victim and the detectives are left to interpret the clues it provides. When Conor receives a note from the killer making reference to another card, the whole team is shaken. Their worst fears are realised when a second body is discovered, along with another tarot card.

Conor suspects he has been followed, then a hit and run leaves him injured. Alex wants nothing more than to wrap his lover up in cotton wool and protect him from the world. But is Conor the killer’s target or just a pawn in a much more sinister game? As the clues come together it seems that the motive for murder might be revenge.
In Tarot’s Touch, Alex and Conor have settled into their relationship and seem to be doing a pretty good job of keeping the lines drawn between their personal and professional lives. Although the detectives in their division are very supportive of their relationship (hilariously so), Alex has assigned Detective Higgs to serve as Conor’s direct supervisor in order to avoid accusations of favoritism. When evidence comes to light that the cases they are each working on may be connected, Alex has to overcome his protective instinct and work hard not to hinder Conor’s ability to work by mollycoddling him – a difficult task for a man in love and the Dom inside of him. As their cases unfold and more evidence comes to light, they learn that there is even more to the investigation than they expected and an already dangerous situation becomes deadly.

Ms. Somerton once again strikes a wonderful balance between the suspense of the police investigations and the romance between Alex and Connor. Although several months have passed since the previous book, their relationship continues to develop and strengthen. The love and trust they have for one another is obvious both inside the bedroom and out of it. Alex continues to train Connor as his submissive and the introduction of an assortment of toys and paraphernalia make their already hot sex life explosive. The scene at the club demonstrates just how far their relationship has come and the level of trust that Conor has in Alex. While a few of the sex scenes can be considered graphic, they flow within the storyline. I think this works largely due to the fact that the author is showing us both sides of the men’s lives – professional and personal.

One of the reasons I enjoy being a book blogger is that I get the opportunity to review books that I probably never would have encountered otherwise and the Investigating Love series is a prime example of this. As much as I enjoy reading romantic suspense novels, it’s one of the genres I don’t read as much of as I would like to because I have a hard time finding authors who strike the right balance between suspense, romance and sex for my tastes. Ms. Somerton does this and does it well. Over the three books she has developed Alex and Connor’s romantic relationship gradually and the D/s relationship has followed a natural progression – rather than Alex throwing Conor in the deep end of the submissive pool without any training (which I have seen in books). That the suspense angle involves multiple cases, as would occur in real life, makes the books that much more believable and not predictable. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series and can only hope that eventually the guys will make it through one without a trip to the hospital.
L M lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.
She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.
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1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for hosting the tour and for Angela's lovely reviews :) LM xx