Monday, September 3, 2012

Ink Master, Playing Doctor, and Cuff Master by Frances Stockton

I saw the blurb for Cuff Master and thought cool a cop, a psychic, and a little kink great I get that.  I started reading and was so lost by characters and events from previous books that I put it down and went to the authors website to see if it was part of a series.  Not much help there.  I returned to the online bookstore and it isn’t listed as part of a series there either.  I took a chance and purchased Ink Master and Playing Doctor and started over.

Ink Master
With Ink Master I still felt like I came in in the middle of something  but not as badly as Cuff Master.  So I continued.  Ink Master tells the story of Phalen, a former Army Ranger turned PI and tattoo-shop owner and eldest of the Maddox brothers and Cassie, owner of the diner and bookstore combo next to his tat shop.  Cassie’s twin Allie died 5 years earlier as the result of a murder/suicide.  The cops have just returned the things they took as evidence and from what Cassie has read in Allie’s journals she isn’t buying the cops conclusion.  Phalen offers to look into it for her as it gives him the excuse he needs to get close to the woman he has been lusting after for the past 6 months.  He knew when he first met her that she was “the one”.  Now he just has to convince her of that fact.
The mystery part of this story was terrific.  The sex was hot but the romance ran hot and cold.  Sometimes I had trouble believing it.  But over all I liked Phalen & Cassie.

Playing Doctor (m/m)
Alexander Grant sports agent and entrepreneur was in Ink Master and probably in earlier books as well.  I missed a lot of this backstory by not reading earlier books I think.  Alex is the son of a Kentucky State Senator and as a teen fell in love with Ryan Hathaway the stable hands son.  The relationship was never consummated.  Alex’s dad paid for Ryan to leave the state and go to college.  Now 19 years later Alex wants a chance with Ryan who is now an orthopedic surgeon.  Alex has moved to Massachusetts, a gay friendly state to convince Ryan he is ready to come out of the closet.  Now all he has to do is overcome the pain of the past and confront the future.
I love these guys.  I still feel like I missed out on a bunch of back history but this was a smoking romance.  Ryan was almost too good to be believable.

Cuff Master
Back to Cuff Master.  Detective Ethan Maddox and psychic Morgan Everhart are on the cusp of a relationship, if she can forgive him for doubting her abilities when they first met.  At Phalen and Cassies wedding Morgan gets visited by the ghost of a victim from one of Ethan’s cold cases.  If Ethan doesn’t take Morgan serious after she told him where to find Cassie when she was kidnapped in Ink Master then he doesn’t stand a chance with the woman he is convinced is “the one” for him.   
I enjoyed the story.  The mystery was great and the characters were engaging.  The sex was inventive and over-all a pretty good read.

I can’t wait to see Taran Maddox take on Ethan’s partner Sam.  I’d love to see Avery Grants story too.

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