Monday, January 2, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Six Degrees of Lust by Taylor V. Donovan

Release Day Review ~ Six Degrees of Lust by Taylor V. Donovan

Title: Six Degrees of Lust

Series: By Degrees

Author: Taylor V. Donovan
Release Date: January 2, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 350

New York City FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy lives for his immediate family and his job. After a marriage gone wrong, he has stuck to a firm rule when it comes to relationships: he doesn't have them. Sexually active and emotionally unavailable keeps him satisfied, especially now that he is in hot pursuit of a serial killer targeting gay men.
Former firefighter Machlan O'Bannon now manages a successful sports bar in Houston, and after years of waiting, he’s ready to stand up and be the man he always wanted to be: out, proud and drama-free. His politically-aligned family wants to keep him locked in the closet, but Mac just wants to meet the man of his dreams.
One man is as high strung as the other is laid back. A chance meeting brings them together, and one night of passion ignites a fire neither can fight. Their lives are not only miles apart, but as different as day and night. They don't want to get involved, but they might not be able to keep apart.
First Edition published by MLR Press, December 2011.

4 Stars

After his divorce, Sam has vowed that a relationship is not in the cards for him. While he loves sex, he likes to keep things completely casual with absolutely no strings. Working for the FBI keeps him busy and right now he and his team are attempting to catch s serial rapist and killer they've dubbed Lev. Lev targets gay men and each murder seems to be escalating.

Meeting a visiting Mac who manages a bar in Texas, Sam's rules become tested. While he fights having anything more than a 1-night-stand turned friends with benefits, there's nothing he and Mac can do to stop it. Somehow feelings start playing a bigger role in the arrangement than they want.

I really enjoyed the portions of the book that centered around the killer and the murders. I love a good murder mystery and it's always intriguing to see how an author will go about it in their story. Luckily, I knew that this was not something that would end with resolution. There is another book after this one so I didn't expect to find out everything that I wanted to know.

As for the characters, truth be told, as a person, I didn't mind Sam. However, when it comes to matters of the heart, relationships and such, he annoyed me to no end. I'm not a huge fan of characters that are that dead set against relationships but keep sleeping with the person they're intent on not building anything serious with. The back and forth got irritating. I will admit, though, that I softened more towards him by the end.

I really liked Mac (although I wish he was tougher with Sam) and I felt a kind of connection to him that I didn't feel with Sam. I definitely feel like I can not wait to see more of where their relationship takes them as well as the case. I'm prepared for it to not be an easy time, though.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Six Degrees of Lust is Book 1 of a serial. This book is written through multiple viewpoints. This is not a complete story, there is not even a HFN ending. Please take note of this if you are like me and not into cliffhanger type stories. This book is about a serial killer, the FBI team investigating, and another group of people who are tied to both the FBI and serial killer, though none of these people realized it in this book.

I found this story intriguing and the writing kept me reading, even when I realized that this book wasn't going to have any type of conclusion that I wished for. There are many characters in this book and unlike other series that will focus on a couple at a time, this book was the whole shebang. The hookups, new friendships, evolving friendships, potential relationships, and the weird connections that make the world seem smaller than it is. And underlying all of this is the serial killer who is hovering on the edges of these groups of people that we're getting to know, which kept me on the edge of my seat reading and worrying about who the next victim could be.

The "relationship" between Mac and Sam is the most prevalent in this story, though it's not a relationship per se. Mac and Sam saw each other in a busy airport (really, it's not as cliched as it seems), Sam gives his number to Mac and on his last night in NY, he decides to give the number a call. They meet and their one-night-stand doesn't go as planned and they both continue on with their lives, thinking of the other often but neither are interested or in the position to pursue more. After reaching out to each other, they decide to take another chance at a hook-up. With Mac living in Texas and having some personal issues; and Sam living in New York, with a titanic amount of personal issues, neither man wanted more.

Though a lot was included about other characters in the book, I really enjoyed Logan and would have loved more information. Logan is Sam's best friend, works on the FBI team with Sam, and volunteers at a LGBT Center. He was intriguing with his professionalism but hidden tattoos and piercings. And, I want to know more about his history, and see if his friendship with Remy who has a connection to Sam but a friendship with Mac. The ties and connections in this story are like living in a small town but spread out across the United States. At one point I thought how unlikely all these connections would be in real life, but then I thought, these connections might exist in real life but we're too busy to follow them.

I enjoyed this story so much that I immediately went to look for Book 2, but then I read reviews and saw that there wasn't a conclusion in that book either, and Book 3 had not been released yet. I'll definitely be looking for future releases so I can find out what happens with all these characters. If you're someone like me, you may want to wait to read the serial until finished, but for the rest of you, readers, you should definitely check out this book and serial!

Rating: 4 stars 

3 Stars!!!

Decent enough writing, but I thought it overly-'busy', until I got to the end and discovered several cliffhangers. Not happy!

The blurb for this book doesn't make it clear at all that this tale ends on several cliffhangers, one of which is the romance. It's not a bad read, but it is very 'busy' with several storylines going on at the same time, with different characters making an appearance, some overlapping and with an underlying police case and several suspects.

It's a romance that can't really be called a romance, due to the way it pans out and because of how defensive Sam is, but he grew on me and I wanted more for him and Mac. At times, Sam was cruel to him and I could almost see Mac's heart breaking, despite him putting on a brave face. Towards the end, seeing that there weren't many pages to go, I was anticipating a major miracle, only to find that the tale continues in not only 1 but 2 more books.

I wish that I'd realised this before starting, as it made the tale unsatisfying and spoilt it a little for me. I'd love to know where these guys go and I'd love to see if a secondary romance is blossoming and where it might go, but I need to wait til both books are out. I'm not entirely sure that there wasn't too much going on in this tale, as tbh, I did start getting confused with all the characters and the things that were dropped but not explained, but that hasn't put me off the series.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

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