Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review & Excerpt: The Darkest Flame by Christina Lee

Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.

“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.

When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.

As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe​

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 Exclusive excerpt

I grabbed my hold of keys and tried not to slam my way out the door. I didn’t know why the hell I was so rattled by Vaughn tonight. I mean, I had been every night, but something about the idea of him being with somebody else right in front of my eyes, made me crazy with need. Need that it felt like only he could fulfill.

As soon as I got to my bike I realized I’d left my cut in the break room. I stood outside attempting to rein in my uneven pulse. I didn’t know what the fuck had come over me.
Breathing more steadily, I stepped back through the door only to find the bar empty. I’d just grab my leather vest and leave him in peace.

“I forgot my…” I stopped in my tracks because Vaughn stood motionless in the middle of the floor, veins bulging in his neck, as if he’d implode at the slightest touch.
He was always moving and talking with a restless energy in this bar so his stillness was a bit startling.

“Hey.” I gingerly placed my hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry if I—”

There was instant recoil, as if he were attempting to contain the vortex of tension between us by vacuuming it in through his skin.

He twisted toward me, his eyes latching onto mine, right before I was slammed against the door.

    The wind was practically knocked out of me as Vaughn sank his weight against my smaller frame. We were groin to groin, heartbeat to heartbeat.

“Fuck, Vaughn, you’re—” Heaving breaths surged through my nostrils. “I was going to suggest a truce.”

 “Yeah?” he mumbled, his gaze fastening on my mouth. “What sort of truce?”

What I thought about The Darkest Flame

I absolutely adored the passion between Vaughn and Smoke in The Darkest Flame  Christina Lee creates two intriguing characters here, and does a great job of showing their vulnerability along with their hotness factor.  The story is told in alternating points of view, so you really get to know these guys.

There's a MC plot that keeps Smoke and Vaughn from coming out about their relationship, causing them to hide their relationship (or at least try to hide it) There's a bucket load of romantic tension between these two, but  the "we can't let the club know" theme wore a little thin after a while.

I also loved the backstory on both of these men and thought it brought a richness to these characters.  Vaughn is just a sweetheart, especially when it came to taking care of his dad and his cats. Smoke's background plays a big part in the story, but basically, he's a good guy too.  I especially liked the intimate moments between these two that didn't involve sex, but just showed how these two really cared for each other. 

There's an exciting ending where Vaughn gets to show Smoke just how much he cares with a very serious sacrifice.
Overall, I liked this. It's a great love story to the end.

ARC provided for review.

About the Author

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything.

She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

She also owns her own jewelry business, called Tags-n-Stones(dot com), where she hand-stamps meaningful words or letters onto silver for her customers

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