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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Devil’s Heel by Keta Diablo

The Devil’s Heel by Keta Diablo
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (66 pgs)
Other: M/M, Bondage, Anal sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Phlox

Five years ago Drew Hibbard dismissed Rogan Brockport from his life. Now, they meet again at the Governor’s Ball and Rogan will know the reason for the abrupt, unexplained cut. After Rogan saves Drew’s life during a pirate raid, he kidnaps him and the perfect opportunity to extract answers from Drew is finally at hand.

A dark, brooding hero to set the stage, the beautiful object of his desire beyond his reach, and the hint of some serious swashbuckling to come all promise the perfect recipe for a grand historical adventure. In large part, this is a beautifully written piece, lush with description and lovely visuals. Rogan fills the role of tortured hero while oozing sex appeal and Drew does get points for courage.

The desperate tension between the protagonists lends extra spice to their scenes together, keeping the sex at a volcanic level of heat. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Diablo’s work in the past, and did enjoy this story as well, but there were some unfortunate issues. The occasional odd word choices and awkward phrasings took me out of the story, and the reveal regarding their long-festering misunderstanding, when it finally arrives, is a bit of a disappointment. Without giving too much away, I had been hoping for something less predictable. Maybe one can’t expect Rogan to gush apologies, but his willingness to lay the blame entirely at Drew’s feet didn’t sit well with me. In the climactic scene as well, the reader hopes Drew will be allowed to redeem himself. There was a sense of Errol Flynn homage in that last bit, so certain things can be forgiven, but it did feel a little too easy.

All in all, however, this was a fun, sexy read, one I’d recommend for summer beach reading where the waves will invoke the setting and perhaps the sweat trickling down your back won’t be entirely from the sun.

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