Title: Third Son
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 230 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
At a Glance: Third Son is a shocking tale of intrigue and suspense, and one that mystery lovers will most definitely enjoy.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: American Niall Monroe returns to Hong Kong—a city he calls home—after being away for eight years. He hopes to finally find happiness with Peter Wei, his closeted lover of fourteen years, but is disappointed to find Peter has been put in an untenable position. He must marry and produce the long-awaited grandchild or get cut off by his millionaire father.
James, Peter’s younger brother, has been Niall’s best friend since they were schoolmates. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother and move on. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother until he finds out Niall is thinking of dating Gerard Sun, a talented artist.
Gerard Sun, a talented artist, bursts back into Niall’s life after a one-night stand in Las Vegas. Circumstances force the men to deal with their attraction, especially when Niall’s firm considers Gerard to help promote tourism in the People’s Republic of China.
Coming home seemed like a great idea until it wasn’t. Niall finds himself a stranger in a familiar landscape, slammed on multiple fronts by broken promises, jealousy, intrigue, unimaginable deceit, and undercurrents of evil. As his dreams quickly turn into nightmares, Niall reaches out to new allies for support.
Review: Third Son by Mickie B. Ashling was one of those stories that just kept surprising me. With what turned out to be a fairly intricate plot and a steady stream of jolting left turns, this novel delivered on the action, and them some. While the romance aspect, in particular the chemistry between Niall and Gerard, felt a bit forced at times I can honestly say that the mystery element alone held me enthralled. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the paring of Gerard and Niall; I just thought theirs was a romance that never seemed to have enough time to become as solid as the novel projected it to be by story’s end. Despite that being a bit disjointed, the plotline itself was fascinating and exciting, and puts this novel right up there with many of my favorites.
The story begins with the revelation that Niall has been a naughty bit on the side, and a dirty little secret of the son of one of the most wealthy and influential families in Hong Kong. Peter essentially treats Niall like dirt, and Niall, while hating it, also is addicted to it, and the man himself. He is blindly in love with the guy who took his virginity many years before, and now accepts any crumbs of affection and stolen moments of contact he can get.
After being in the states for several years, Niall returns to Hong Kong, and while he is reluctant to walk back into the secretive relationship that Peter offers, he is loathe to end it as well. Trapped in this no-end relationship, Niall catches sight of a former one-night-stand who has decided to pursue him, and this prompts a reckless Peter to confront Niall. But Peter is bound by family honor and must marry, effectively ending his relationship with Niall. Or so Niall thinks.
As pressure builds around Peter to marry, and Niall finally decides he must break free of their entanglement, all hell begins to break loose. Suddenly Peter is dead, Gerard is there to help Niall pick up the pieces, and someone is stalking one or both of them and wants them dead.
At first, I was rather unhappy that Niall seemed to be a doormat for Peter, who took abusing his lover to a whole new level—not necessarily physically but definitely emotionally. But as the plot unfolded, I got exactly why the author chose to make Niall so needy, and essentially, that idea cleared the way for the rather immediate connection he had with Gerard, who also was the alpha male character in their fledgling relationship. I must also admit here that Niall surprised me—he took quite the beating, and then some, in this novel, and kept on going when a weaker man would have definitely thrown in the towel.
If you are looking for a great romance here, you will be disappointed. Yes, there is definitely a romantic element, but it is almost a sidebar to the action and mystery that evolves at lightning speed. That is what makes this novel so exciting; it keeps you guessing from beginning to end. Once I was sure I had it figured out, the author would floor me with yet another attack that you thought the bad guy would never get away with, and somehow does.
Third Son is a shocking tale of intrigue and suspense, and one that mystery lovers will most definitely enjoy. I would recommend it for the action story it is, one that delivers on its promise.
You can buy Third Son here:
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