Title: Rasputin’s Kiss and Evil’s Embrace
Author: L.M. Somerton
Publisher: Totally Bound
Pages/Word Count: 222 Pages/178 Pages
Rating: 3.5 Stars Overall
Blurb: Rasputin’s Kiss — 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.
Blurb: Evil’s Embrace — 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.
Review: The first two books in the Investigating Love series by L.M. Somerton (I say ‘first two’ because I have to believe she isn’t finished with these two MCs yet!) are intriguing and sexy, and have a number of good qualities with which to suck the reader in. We’ve got a smoldering Detective Inspector, who is also a Dominant, in Alex Courtney, and a feisty, yet submissive (yes, you read that right), pretty boy, who is also a very adept police detective, in Conor Trethuan. Somerton also gives us lots of fun Britishisms, creepy villians, and a good cast of supporting characters, as well as two smoking hot covers!
In Rasputin’s Kiss, Inspector Courtney – who is perhaps surprisingly, given his role in the department, refreshingly ‘out and proud’ – meets Conor when he is chosen to role play as Alex’s boyfriend, and essentially be the bait for a serial killer who is targeting young, pretty, gay men. As they are getting to know each other, and working on the case – which involves going to a BDSM club to hopefully flaunt Conor in front of the killer – Conor begins to learn things about his nature that are unexpected to him. He likes it when Alex goes all Dom on him but has a very hard time reconciling that submissive side with his very outspoken and independent side. The relationship that develops between them would definitely qualify as insta-love by most people’s definition, but it wasn’t a massive turn-off for me. Sometimes insta-love works, and these guys’ feelings for each other come across as very genuine.
Evil’s Embrace picks up not long after we leave Alex and Conor in Rasputin’s Kiss. The resolution of the case in the first book was traumatic, as the blurb suggests, and in the beginning of this next installment, Conor and Alex are taking a much needed holiday. They go to Conor’s seaside cottage in Cornwall, which he inherited from his grandparents. The holiday is cut short, however, when they are called back to the office to help investigate some suspicious activity by the owners and investors at a local leather club. A heavy part of the storyline in this book is Conor’s further exploration of his submissive side, and his trying to understand and accept that it’s okay to be that way and to want the things he wants with Alex. The two are very much in love, and while their sex scenes together are very passionate and steamy, I do have to say that there was TOO MUCH sex in this book. *GASP* I know. And, some people will disagree with me, I’m sure – but, for me, there were many sex scenes that were just superfluous and did not further the story.
The police-work, and the cases in both books were definitely interesting and exciting. Especially in Rasputin’s Kiss. And, Somerton is fantastic with her descriptive prose. The villain’s hideout in Rasputin’s Kiss is absolutely brought to life by her words. You can also picture perfectly the beauty of Cornwall and the cottage in Evil’s Embrace. But in both cases I found the first half dragged a bit for me, whereas, again, in both books, the second half really took off and became completely engaging and had me quickly turning the pages.
There was also one bit that I felt was left hanging in Evil’s Embrace. While on vacation, they visit with a couple from the village who have known Conor since he was a young boy, and also begin to delve into a possible mystery with a tunnel from the seaside cliffs below the cottage. Sadly, however, this mystery is not brought up again. Perhaps it will come up in book 3? I thought for sure it would be tied in with the case in Evil’s Embrace, but it wasn’t.
Overall, I am enjoying the series and hope we see more of Alex and Conor. And Sergeant Higgs!! I absolutely adore Higgs. ;)
You can buy Rasputin’s Kiss and Evil’s Embrace here:
3 thoughts on “Double-Header Review: “Rasputin’s Kiss” and “Evil’s Embrace” by L.M. Somerton”
Thanks for such a thoughtful review Lisa, it’s much appreciated :) Conor and Alex will be back at the end of the year in Tarot’s Touch while a free short story, Smuggler’s Grasp, will head back to Cornwall very soon. LM xx
Whoops – I should have put my comment here… lol Exciting news about the upcoming books!! <3
Exciting news about the upcoming books!! <3