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Love and Murder

by W. S. Long

Love and Murder - W.S. Long
Part of the Love and Mystery series:
Editions:ePub - First Edition: $ 4.99 USD
ISBN: 9781611525519
Pages: 172
Paperback - First Edition: $ 12.00 USD
ISBN: 9781496138606
Pages: 172
Kindle - First Edition: $ 4.99 USD
ISBN: 9781496138606
Pages: 172

Jake Chandler is a struggling small-town Florida lawyer, and his life is falling apart. His ex-wife makes seeing his daughter difficult, his boyfriend Noah may be cheating on him, and his money woes are growing. Jake hopes that a new murder defense case will help with his money woes, but his ex-wife Elena is the prosecutor. It’s bad enough she has to fight with him over custody of their daughter. Now she wants nothing more than to beat him in the courtroom, too.

And then people around him start dying.

First, an ex-lover gets his brains blown out while he and Jake have coffee. The danger comes even closer. Then Jake meets handsome FBI agent Xavier, who is investigating the crimes surrounding him. Can Jake trust this new man in his life? Is Xavier who he says he is? Or does his involvement put Jake and those he loves in even more danger?

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Excerpt:


Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

Light posts adorned with holiday decorations lined the road to Ivan’s apartment. I told Ivan I would stop by his apartment to pick him up for dinner. But, traffic from the nearby shopping mall didn’t help.

Ivan didn’t answer his cell. I wanted to tell him how late I was running.

When I finally pulled in, Ivan stood outside with three police officers. One police vehicle blocked his car. I nodded to Ivan as I approached. His arms were crossed while an officer asked him questions.

“So could you tell what was taken?” the one officer asked.

Ivan looked towards me while he spoke. “No. I haven’t done a full inventory but the TV’s still there. I had some loose cash. That’s gone, and some clothes.”

“I saw you had a gun safe -- anything missing?” the second officer chimed in.

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“It looks like someone tried to get in it, but everything’s there,” Ivan said. “I was on duty so my Beretta was with me. Had the gun safe. Don’t have any other guns.”

Don’t have any other guns.

Ivan stared at me, watched me as he had said this.

I averted his gaze.

Another officer chimed in. “That’s good. Can you imagine the paperwork you would have to fill out if your weapon was stolen?” The first officer shook his head. “Well, you know with the holidays, there’s a rash of burglaries. We’ll follow up on it. They should be done dusting the fingerprints in a few.”

“All right. Thanks,” Ivan said, as he shook hands.

As the officers moved away. I came closer.

“Everything okay?” I asked.

“Well it’s been a crappy day,” Ivan blurted. Veins on his neck stood out as he spoke. “Before I came home, your ex-wife called Bush and told him you got Frank Peoples back on the street. Then I come home to this mess,” he shouted, waving his hand in the direction of his apartment. “The chief thinks it looks bad someone else’s DNA’s on that stupid mug, and he’s taking it out on us. Me.”

“Sorry.” Just doing my job, Ivan. Not your fault.” I stopped. I wasn’t sure but the more I talked the more irritated he seemed. “Sorry about what happened. Anything I can do?”

Ivan shook his head.

“I can stick around if you still wanna grab some food.’’

“No,” he answered without hesitation, his face red now. “It’s best that you leave.”

I stood there. His tone and demeanor showed obvious anger. I thought about what I had spoken to Noah about the night before, and felt grateful that I didn’t go through with it.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you,” I said. He continued to avoid eye contact. I shrugged, then walked to my car. I got in, when I heard him next to my window.

I rolled my window down and he said, “Hey, wait. Sorry I snapped at you.”

“Ivan. Don’t worry about it. You got a lot of stuff going on. ”

“I’ll give you a call later, Jake.” His voice calmer. “Rain check on dinner?”

“Sure,” I said. “Are you sure you don’t want me to wait?”

He shook his head.

Two other uniformed officers walked down the stairs, and Ivan turned his attention to them. One of them carried a paper bag marked “Evidence” with a red seal tape over the top.

I took the only exit out, and waited for the traffic light. When it turned green, I saw a familiar red Jeep parked in a corner in the complex under a tree. A shadow in the vehicle ducked.

Noah?

Seconds later my cell rang.

“Hello.”

“Jake, I’m in a bind,” Noah whispered.

“Where are you?”

“I’m in the Jeep.” He spoke fast. “Can you pull back around?”

“Why?”

“Listen, I can’t explain right now, but I got into Ivan’s apartment.”

“Are you crazy?”

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Eric on MM Good Book Reviews wrote:

This novel is amazing. I loved it so much. And I would highly recommend it. If you haven’t read WS Long, you should.
Jake Chandler is a good strong man who survives the worst of the worst and still manages to press on. And when he comes across a case that sweeps the rug from under him, it gets that much better. Xavier is another living breathing character that stands out strongly. Just as strongly as Jake Chandler. Overall, they are combustible and make for an incredible couple at the same time.

The story is profound, evocative, and addicting. I love a good murder thriller with a strong surprise and this has no exception to it. This book was sizzling and so amazing. I couldn’t stop reading it. The story was so good, I read it twice. And it was just as great the second time around.

If you love murder, surprise, and things to pick up when they get down, go out and get this book as soon as possible. It is so deliciously written, I couldn’t help reading it twice.

Debbie McGown on Verified Amazon wrote:

OK, first up, this is a definite 5 stars for the story. It's fast-paced, exciting, emotional, hard to predict where the ending is going to fall. I loved the characters and felt an emotional bond with some of them, to the extent that I was really feeling what they were at times.

There are issues with the editing and proof-reading, which I won't go in to here, other than to say that the story and characters were strong enough for me to see past these (but do mean I can't give this 5 stars). W.S. Long is a great story teller, and has created a thrilling, emotionally charged novel that couldn't have had a better title really!

I will definitely read more by this author

Jon Michaelson on Verified Amazon wrote:

Very enjoyable read; great storytelling and fast-paced thriller. Glad to see there is a follow-up, which I will be reading.

Warren on GGR-Review wrote:

***SPOILERS ALERT***

Love and Murder
written by GGR-Review 04-11-2014

Reviewed by: Warren Collen
Print Length: 172 pages
Posting: M/M Book Review, Adventure, Romance
Publisher: JMS Books LLC (February 25, 2014)
Book Provided by: Amazon Verified Purchase
Author: W.S. Long

Jake and Noah are lovers, but they are having problems. Noah has cheated before, and Jake feels he is again. To add to the tension, Jake is a struggling lawyer, and Noah does his investigative work. And then, on top of that, there are Jake’s ex-wife and daughter. He is devoted to his daughter, but his ex is not the most cooperative or easy to get along with, and as a matter of fact, can be a real bitch.
But Love and Murder is not a typical story about a man who has discovered his sexuality and the trouble he goes through. You realize this the minute that first one person, then another is killed, and then Noah is killed. What a shock! And this is just a bit of the suspense and excitement of this great read.

Jake is also having money woes, and takes on a client charged with murder, and of course the prosecuting attorney would be his ex-wife, just another problem in his life for Jake to deal with. The court scenes are plausible, and have a touch of humor when the judge, Jake, and Elena interact.

Also complicating his life is FBI agent Xavier, the man that is sent to “help” with the investigation, and keep an eye on Jake, by the prosecuting attorney. Also, there are the other characters helping in the investigation or working for the department such as Frank and Ivan. Last I will mention is Lou Ann, Jake’s long-suffering secretary.

This book is a murder mystery in every form. It has lots of clues that will lead you to wrong conclusions, and surprises that will make you wonder where your deductive reasoning has gone! The solution to the mystery will surprise you, the plot will keep you reading, and the characters will make you feel for them because of the great writing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a great fan of mysteries, and this book didn’t disappoint me at all. It moves along at a quick pace, never leaving me wishing it would speed up. It also kept me so intrigued that I just kept right on reading.

Brandilyn on Prism Book Alliance wrote:

Title: Love and Murder
Author: WS Long
Publisher: JMS Books
Rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 03/09/2014

My View:

Love and Murder by WS Long is a shining example of why a writing needs a solid editing team at their back. While L&M is not the best mystery I have ever read, it isn’t to worst either. However, I had such a hard time getting past surface mistakes that I could never enjoy the story the author was trying to tell.

If this title had been self-published, I would have at least understood the mistakes a little bit more. However, Long trusted his publisher to help him achieve a quality product. That trust was apparently misplaced.

Yes, there are aspects of the story that would have put me off regardless of the mistakes. There are also aspects that I could have enjoyed greatly under other circumstances.

I gave up highlighting the issues I found in the proofreading and editing of this book. There are missing and incorrect words all over the place. Every single page had at least one error. One error a chapter would have been pretty high. At least one a page shows a lack of professionalism and care on the part of the publisher. Granted the author could have enlisted his own proofreaders, but he shouldn’t have to.

“Hey, it’s me. Sorry I dropped Chelsea kind of late last night.”

“Did you know my ex-wife was going to the prosecutor in the case before you came to me a couple of months ago?

Agent Gooding asked me to buckle my seatbelt, but we didn’t speak until from Tampa appeared in our rearview mirror.

Add to those mistakes some unfortunate word choices along the way and I just had issues start to finish with the structure of this story. Some quotes that just had me shaking my head are listed below.

I moved his head off my man pussy

His man meat expanded my rectum and my ass lips.

Some people may use those terms. I don’t know. However, for me they are just crass and, more importantly, didn’t fit the character well.

Then there were areas where the word choice was just a bit outdated or too formal. Such as:

There was commercial plaza across the street with a bank of trees and bushes.

Xavier cursed on the way to the airport and started screaming at traffic when he took a side road where another vehicular collision tied up the road along with some accompanying road construction.

Jake is not a good man. Well maybe he is, but he has made some really bad choices in life. He cheated on his wife multiple times before finally leaving her for a man. He then proceeded to berate both that man and another he had an affair with for THEIR infidelities? Really? After that, I just could never like the man. I tried, but no. For what it is worth, the “other man” and he are still (mostly) together at the start of the story. Heck, they are still (mostly) together most of the way through the story.

Therein lies the second issue I had with this story. Xavier, the love interest as stated in the blurb? He doesn’t even show up until almost 75% into the story. Then there is instant lust and apparently insta-love since they ride off into the sunset and are living together as book two opens. I never got to know them as a couple. We are told they kind of knew each other in the past, but connection was never made.

Honestly, I didn’t connect well enough with either of these characters to care what happens in book two, if I am perfectly honest.


About the Author

Lawyer by day, writer by night. When I'm not lawyering during the day, I'm often reading or writing gay fiction involving men who desire a happily ever after. I'm happily married to a mild-mannered college professor, who likes to escape to the Orlando theme parks, or to a faraway place. You can often find me on social media, sometimes talking about books, but many times mouthing about TV, movies and other geeky stuff involving superheroes. Oh, and I use a pen name to protect the innocent.

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