Todd Rifkin has sworn off love forever—until he loses his heart to a badly scarred rent boy and stumbles into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a brutal stalker out for revenge.
Struggling to make enough money to buy a friend’s bar and grill to fulfill a promise, Todd Rifkin vows to let nothing stand in his way. Nothing, that is, until a friend’s call for help. Bailing his friend out of trouble might cost Todd his dream. Now he is scrambling to make up the loss and reluctantly takes on the job of errand boy for his boss’ spoiled ex-lover.
Bliss Busby has no memory of the attack that scarred his face. Scared and reclusive, he has no interest in Todd’s intrusion into his life. No interest, that is, until somebody starts scattering cinnamon hearts at his door. Now Todd is the only one standing between Bliss and a mysterious stalker.
Years ago, Todd lost the love of his life in a violent twist of fate. After a night with a knife-wielding maniac, Bliss lost everything. Thrown together by circumstance, Todd and Bliss must unite to battle a hidden force from the past. As Bliss struggles to remember the attack that wrecked his life, and Todd struggles to save him from an attacker that is closer than either of them realizes, their reluctant friendship becomes a passionate love that just might have the power to heal their wounded hearts.
If they live.
- 1 To Be Read list
Publisher: Kiss Drunk Books
Pairings: M-M, 4+ or Other
Heat Level: 5
Romantic Content: 4
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Hurt / Comfort
Languages Available: English
Todd scooped his coins back into the glass and crossed the floor to the curved alcove that led out to the back corridor. It was quiet again. The door to the alley was closed, the stairs dark. On one side of the corridor was a set of bathrooms, on the other a storeroom. The door to the storeroom was open, and he headed there, partly because nobody was supposed to be in there, and partly because that’s where the voice was coming from, and it had sounded stressed. But when he got to the door, he stopped and stood still.
For about a minute he had a view of the most perfect ass he’d ever seen. Too bad it was covered in a pair of jeans. But at least the guy was poured into those jeans. His ass was round and high on top of a pair of powerfully built thighs. Not a big guy, though. The top of his hoodie-covered head only came to the bottom of Cruz’s neck. But he wasn’t looking up. He was looking down. Shifting his weight and making that ass roll from side to side.READ MORE
Todd took a deep, slow breath.
The guy smelled good, too. He was hot as fuck. Spicy and musky. And that voice. Thin now and sweet as a chime.COLLAPSE
Liz Keysmash on Keysmash wrote:
This author is new to me and it took a little while to get used to the writing style. It is punchy and forthright just like her main character Todd or Rif as he’s also known. Perseverance paid off because Todd’s story is one worth reading. Intertwined with Bliss’s gradual re-introduction to the world following a brutal and nearly fatal knife attack which left him scarred inside and out, we are taken on a roller coaster of a ride driven by love, loss, violence and sex. All the characters are drawn into the plot and each one contributes to Todd’s voyage of discovery. Von was his first love and Bliss reminds him too much of the boy who died, but rather than walk away, Todd agrees to look after Bliss on the request of his their boss Sid. Sid was Bliss’s boyfriend, benefactor, mentor and pimp prior to the attack and now their love affair is over and Bliss works as Sid’s accountant. He rarely steps into the light but the darkness holds many opportunities for Bliss to explore his passion for photography through the night. Bliss feels like he’s being followed and Todd suspects his attacker who was never caught, is after him once again.
Did you get all that? That was just a glimmer of how the story unfolds. It left me persistently breathless and quite often gobsmacked. The plot line was genius and even though I thought I knew what was going to happen, the way Kayleigh rolls it all out is nothing short of magnificent. Todd and Bliss and Cruz and Irma and Sid and Joop and Howie and all the rest of the crew captured my imagination and sucked me into their lives then just spat me out at the end. I’m an emotional wreck!
This was a really excellent read that challenged me in so many ways. I highly recommend jumping on the Doll Baby carousel until you end up giddy and excited by the experience. I look forward to reading more of Kayleigh Sky’s books.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as I started this damn book. I was hooked IMMEDIATELY, could NOT put it down, and when it ended I felt totally bereft. I definitely love romance for romance’s sake, but sometimes you need a good thriller with the romance as a bonus to really get you going.
Not that the romance is just a bonus here. The growing relationship between Todd and Bliss doesn’t take a backseat to the suspense. The tension between them is almost as intense as the danger aspect in the story.
This is a slow burn – such a lovely slow burn – and it gets explosive on so many levels. Bliss is going to steal your heart. Trust me...