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Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Come Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon

Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Pages: 200

(Release Date: June 14, 2011)

From the Cover:


Sometimes the adventure chooses you.

Lover of fine poetry and lousy choose-your-own-adventure novels, Professor Sebastian Swift was once the bad-boy darling of the literati. The only lines he does these days are Browning, Frost and Cummings. Even his relationship with the hot, handsome Wolfe Neck Police Chief Max Prescott is healthy.

When one of his most talented students comes to him bruised and begging for help, Swift hands over the keys to his Orson Island cabin—only to find out that the boy’s father is dead and the police are suspicious. In an instant, the stable life Swift has built for himself hangs on finding the boy and convincing him to give himself up before Max figures out Swift’s involvement in the case.

Max enjoys splitting an infinitive or two with his favorite nutty professor, but he’s not much for sonnets or Shakespeare. He likes being lied to even less. Yet his instincts—and his heart—tell him his lover is being played. Max can forgive lies and deception, but a dangerous enemy may not stop until Swift is heading up his own dead poet’s society.

Product Warnings:

The Surgeon General has determined that Josh Lanyon’s smart, sexy, sophisticated stories may prove hazardous to your heart. 

Swift, actually Sebastian S. Swift, renown poet of renown poetic parents, has just about seen it all, done it all, chemically that is. But, he's restarted his life as an academic, he's been clean for six long years, and for the first time, maybe in his life, love has found him. When one of his students shows up at his office beaten and battered, something he can relate to, he turns over the keys to his Orson Island cabin without a second thought.

When later that evening, Max, Chief Police for Wolfe Neck and Swift's lover, explains there's been a murder, and the missing son is their lead suspect. It's then that Swift realizes he may have just screwed up his life. With that knowledge and his neglectful behavior (not telling Max immediately that he's given his cabin to a maybe killer), the cravings of his old life hit him full force. Can he survive this new need crawling in his belly? Can he survive when Max wants to kill him? Can he survive when someone actually tries?

Come Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon (reference to Shakespeare's The Tempest) is another excellent read. Swift has been kicked around by life, and admittedly, mostly by his own hand, unable to handle and live up to expectations. When his first book of poetry is hailed as a literary success at age 19, he spills into a downward spiral, worsened by the death of his father. Wolfe Neck is his second chance, and he's afraid he won't get another. But, when controversy visits him, he finds that he's not as well liked as he thought, and most of it is discriminatory due to his sexual preference, how unfair is that? Max, the strong Police Chief who shares Swift's bed and life sometimes, finds himself torn. He's never admitted that Swift means more to him than anyone has before, and when he finds his trust abused by the one person he cares about, it almost undoes their relationship. But, Max can't deny what Swift's action cause him to realize or the fact that someone may be trying to kill the most important person in his life. To solve this mystery and keep Swift in the land of the living, chances will have to be taken, and actions speak louder than words.

Come Unto These Yellow Sands is fast fun read, surrounding a mysterious murder and in the mix is a conniving ex-wife, a conniving current wife, best friends that might not be so good after all, and a hot love story between the hardened Police Chief and the innocent Professor. There are many reasons for Swift to keep walking the straight and narrow, most importantly Max. But, it's hard to deny the cravings that creep back into his life, and when he finally looks for help, all his support mechanisms have disappeared, except for Max. Add to that his agent wants a new book, pressures he doesn't need at this time in his life, or does he? Josh Lanyon as delivered once again, and it's an excellent read. Well written strong characters come to life in this story, and the ending is pretty great too. Something else I loved is at the beginning of each chapter, a little mystery is given, a choice to be made. Soon, I found myself drawn into the story, unable to put it down. If you're looking for a romantic suspense surrounding a murder/mystery, this is the book for you, highly recommended. If you haven't read Josh Lanyon, give this one a try, I don't believe you'll be sorry! 5 out of 5 fairy kisses for this reader.


 








Excerpt: (from Josh Lanyon website)



It was like those old Choose Your Own Adventure novels.
 
You are primary unit commander of the Lazarian Galaxy Rapid Response Team --

Well, no. Not that adventure. This adventure started: You are a respectable college professor and the director of the prestigious Lighthouse MFA program of Casco Bay College in Southern Maine. You have had one hell of a day and you just want to go home and enjoy a glass of wine and a nice meal with your lover -- sort-of lover -- Police Chief Max Prescott. But as you approach your office in Chamberlain Hall, you spot a kid slumped in a chair outside the door. Even from this distance you can see that the kid is having a worse day than you. If you want to do the responsible, grown up thing, keep walking. If you want to make life easy on yourself, turn around and leave before he notices you.

Once upon a time, it would have been no choice at all. But Swift was older now -- against the odds -- and he took a certain pride in the fact that he no longer ducked out on his responsibilities. Besides, he recognized that tall, dark and despondent figure. Tad Corelli was one of the most gifted students in the Lighthouse program. He reminded Swift a little of himself at that age -- minus the self-importance and mile-wide self-destructive streak.

Swift found his keys as he reached the door. He glanced at Tad. “Sorry. I was held up. Have you been waiting long?”

Tad lifted his head and Swift dropped his keys. “What the hell happened to you?”

Tad was wearing a dark coat and a black knit cap. The cap framed a bruised and battered face. One eye was swollen shut, his bottom lip was split and puffy, there was a crust of blood beneath one nostril. He bent painfully and retrieved Swift’s keys.

Swift took them automatically, still staring.

“I’m okay,” Tad mumbled. He looked at the door, clearly waiting for Swift to open it, and Swift shoved the keys in the lock and pushed the door open.

His office was a comfortable clutter of books and plants and old posters. The desk was an antique. It had belonged to Carl Sandburg. The leather chair behind the desk had belonged to Swift’s own father, the poet and dramatist Norris Swift.  The chair in front of the desk was a comfortable second hand club chair. Swift put a hand on Tad’s shoulder and guided him to its beige plush depths.
Tad leaned forward, head in hands, and Swift closed the office door.

“Do you need -- what do you need?” He was at a loss. Physical violence was not his area of expertise, though he’d had the shit kicked out of him on occasion. But then he’d generally had it coming.
“Nothing.” Tad looked up, met Swift’s eyes, and managed a gruesome smile. “You should see the other guy, Dr. Swift.”

“What happened?”

Tad put cautious fingers to his split lip. “Doesn’t matter. Look, I-I have to go away for a while. Please don’t drop me from the Lighthouse program.”

“Where are you going?”

Tad shook his head.

Swift sat down on the edge of his desk, trying to read Tad’s face. “It can’t have been much of a fight. Your knuckles aren’t banged up.”

“Please…”

“What?”

Tad said pleadingly, “I just have to get away for a little while. I’m not dropping out. I just need time to get myself together. Just a week or so.”

“Okay.”

At Tad’s look of surprise, Swift said, “I’m not going to drop you, Tad. You’re one of the most gifted writers in the program. But why don’t you tell me what’s going on? I might be able to help.”

“No one can help.” Tad closed his eyes, struggled with his emotions.

“Is there anything you need? Do you have money? A place to stay?”

Tad’s head moved in negation.

Swift gave it some thought. Pay it forward. He was alive today because people who didn’t have to had taken a chance, had reached out to help him when he needed it most -- not just once, but several times in his misspent youth. He leaned over his desk, pulled out the top drawer and fished around for the spare key to his cabin.

He pulled out his wallet, rifled through it. He never carried a lot of cash. Not anymore. It was too dangerous. He’d got out of the habit -- one of a number of habits he’d got out of. “I can give you twenty bucks and you can stay at my place on Orson Island while you figure out what you’re doing.”
Tad opened his eyes, his expression one of disbelief. “I don’t…know what to say.”

“You don’t have to say anything. I’ve been where you are. Just take the time you need, get your head straight, and come back ready to get to work.”

 Tad stared at him, unmoving, disbelieving.

“Okay?” Swift asked gently.

Tad nodded. He reached for the keys and the cash, shoving them automatically into his coat pocket. He put both hands on the edge of Swift’s desk and pushed to his feet.

“You sure you don’t need a doctor?” Or maybe an ambulance.

Tad shook his head.

“Let me know how you’re doing, okay?”

Tad nodded. He shuffled toward the door. Hand on the knob, he stopped. “Thanks, Dr. Swift,” he said without turning around.

The next moment he was gone, the door closing softly behind him.




I purchased this ebook for my own reading pleasure. All opinions expressed are my own.

2 comments:

carolsnotebook said...

I've never read anything by Josh Lanyon, but this one sounds like a great mix of romance and mystery. Even the title grabbed my attention.

Dottie (Tink's Place) said...

Hi Carol!

I hope you get to read it, it was great! I also read The Dickens with Love by Josh Lanyon recently. If you haven't read anything by him before, this one is a short read and Christmasy. I loved it too. If you get a chance, check out some of his book trailers, I couldn't get this one to post, but it was excellent. His shorties are usually between .99 to 1.99, longer stories are anywhere from 3.50 to 5.99 in ebook format (which is my preferred reading method because I love my iPad, lol!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Dottie :)

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