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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Flesh & Blood by Ethan Stone

Flesh & Blood by Ethan Stone
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (250 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 3 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Detective Cristian Flesh is about to find out that he can only run from his past for so long.

When a local man is attacked and the suspect is a hustler, Cristian knows there’s more to the case than meets the eye. His investigation will lead him into a maze of lies, deceit, and underage prostitution. But that’s only the beginning as people start disappearing and turning up dead. Cristian begins to realize that solving the case and stopping the murders won’t be enough. If he wants to make his new life with lawyer Colby Maddox work, he'll need to face the demons of his past and put them to rest once and for all.

Cristian Flesh has found love but his past may not let him be happy. It’s been a good but rocky year for detective Cristian Flesh. He and lawyer Colby have fallen in love but Cristian’s past keeps popping up. When Flesh’s new investigation leads him into the murky world of teen hustling, memories of his own past plague him. He must let down his walls to make his relationship with Colby work but confronting his past may be harder than he thought.

Flesh & Blood is an action packed sequel. Coming off the heels of In the Flesh, this novel can be read alone although you definitely get more out of the character arcs if you read the series in order. This story picks up with Cris Flesh happy and in love, quite a change from the surly, closed off man of the first book. Yet Cris has yet to share his abused past with Colby and when the case he’s investigating involves boys in danger of the same past, Cris is conflicted. The plot is very straightforward with few surprises. The evil bad guys are pretty obvious and the investigation is a mixture of good police work and some typical easy resolutions.

The story moves so quickly it never dwells on any particular drama or issue. Therefore you’re unlikely to get really involved in the character or their pain. The writing tends to be blunt and to the point without a lot of flowery language and descriptions. It fits the main character very well and works with the incredibly fast pace of the story. Some readers may not find this to their liking but those fans of the first book should already appreciate this style and have no problems.

Due to the speed and number of problems brought up and resolved this sequel isn’t as satisfying as the first book. It doesn’t have that same feel of getting involved with what happens since the problems come and go so fast you can’t really appreciate them. However the third book promises to highlight one of the best secondary characters in this series, so it’s definitely worth reading Flesh & Blood to understand the progression of the characters and where they fit.

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