Title : Monster
Series : Minders, Book #1
Author : Joely Skye
Publisher : Samhain (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 66 pages (e-book)
Published : May 15, 2012
Rating : ★★★1/2
True love…or a trap?
Minders, Book 1
Josh Mackay has studied his quarry for two months, and now it’s time to earn his pay. Bringing in an escaped Minder—a psi who can bend anyone’s mind to his will—takes a specialist.
Luring the surprisingly naïve Kiran Brunner to a safe house is almost too easy. As the tranqs take hold, though, the beautiful monster’s last plea, don’t let them hurt me, tears at Josh’s conscience. To his horror, they do just that.
Kir let his loneliness and instant attraction to Josh lure him into a trap he should have sensed. Even as his consciousness fades, he sinks psychic hooks into Josh as a pure reflex, a survival instinct honed by years of abuse at the hands of the agency.
Even though Josh’s job is done, he finds he can’t simply walk away. Not only because of what Kir is, but why the agency wants the boy back. Trouble is, he doesn’t know if he’s doing the right thing…or if his will is being twisted by the mind of a murderer.
Product Warnings : This emotional, angst-ridden story is part one of a three-part story and ends in a cliffhanger. The author recommends they be read in order for maximum enjoyment of mind-bending m/m sex.
To start with, I loved the first half of this book. We get to see Josh setting up his trap for Kir, and all the planning gone into it. Then comes the escape from the agency, after Josh is horrified to learn the truth of what they were doing to Kir. I liked how this was set up, so that from then on we never really know if Josh is being manipulated by Kir’s ability, or if he’s acting of his own free will.
The writing was well done in my opinion, as I never felt like I was being jarred out of the story, and only once did I have to reread a sentence to pick up its meaning. I liked the characters too, and especially the way Josh slowly starts to lose his grip on sanity as the confusion and doubt escalate through the book. Very nicely done.
I would have liked to see more of a build up to the sex though as it felt almost out of place with Kir’s character. We spend a fair bit of time learning that Kir doesn’t like to be touched, and so it felt quite abrupt when the sex scene happened. I think this is one of those cases where a sex scene should have been left out in order to build more trust between the characters and have them forge more of an emotional connection.
The ending itself happened very quickly. Being from Josh’s point of view, we actually miss a lot of what happens, and I was left confused by Josh’s reaction. From what little we saw, I had difficulty believing that Josh’s doubts could have manifested so dramatically. Perhaps if the ending had been longer, it would have allowed more time to flesh out what was going on in his mind prior to the final scene with Kir.
And damn, cliffhanger alert! While the main story of Kir’s capture and escape is wrapped up, we’re left with a very open ending. We seem to skip the vast majority of the consequences Josh has to face for his actions, which, in my opinion, leaves the ending a bit underwhelming. That said, it does have me intrigued to know what comes next.
Rated 3.5 stars by Alex