Author: Lissa Kasey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 274 Pages
At a Glance: Candy Land, has it all: romance, suspense and heart stopping action!
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Cameron “Candy” Michelson Jr. doesn’t have time for distractions. He’s too busy restructuring the red-light district into an adult playland for City M and running the Hidden Gem. But when his companion, Avery “Ivy” Laurent, grows closer to Jack, an investigator for the Institute of Scientific Study, Candy can’t hide his jealousy. Nor his own interest in Jack.
Ivy is crazy about Jack, but he’s also in love with Candy. Ideally, Ivy longs for all three of them to be together, but between Jack’s nonexistent libido and Candy’s supercharged needs, Ivy isn’t sure how to make it work.
When Jack gets called in to help the City M police department investigate a series of violently murdered companions, both Candy and Ivy brace for trouble. But nothing prepares them for Candy becoming the prime suspect.
In a future landscape of corrupt government officials, brutal BDSM crimes, and a host of dark creatures, Candy, Ivy, and Jack must work together to find the killer, save themselves—and learn how to trust each other.
Review: I will admit, unabashedly, that I love the Hidden Gem series by Lissa Kasey. The third installment, Candy Land, is by far the best yet. Why? Simply put, this novel gave us more depth on the main characters that have made such an impact in every other story. This installment was a natural evolution of different plot points that had been left open-ended. It was the most satisfying of stories because you saw yet more relationships develop and long lasting ones grow and change. It was epic in that it covered incredible ground—showing exactly what the Psi’s /Am’s were capable of and how much they morphed beyond just winged creatures. Woven through all this action was the murder investigation of whores who had been brutally attacked in a series of macabre BDSM scenes.
Here is where the real genius of author Lissa Kasey stood out—she took so many loose threads from previous novels, plus added new plot points, and managed to give each one it’s much needed page time. All the while, she did it with such finesse that the reader was able to keep up with every ball she thrust aloft.
In Candy Land we see a new Candy Michelson, Jr.—he is more businesslike, taking over for the former boss at the brothel, Hidden Gem. Candy is expanding the business, making it more elite, less tawdry, and creating an oasis in City M by tearing down former whore houses to create everything from better brothels to scenic parks. However, his friends feel Candy has lost some of his joy, along with his crazy colored hair and flamboyant dress. In particular, Ivy longs for the old Candy—the one who was less involved in business and more involved in loving Ivy. While they might not agree on everything, Ivy and Candy are in accord about Jack, an investigator, who can best be described as very quiet and asexual. Given that Candy needs sex like most people need to breathe, Ivy struggles to see how he can bring the two people he cares most about together.
Before you worry that this is a typical ménage novel, think again. The beauty of this unfolding relationship is how two very sexual men deal with their partner, who is more of a cuddler than an active sexual participant. Lissa Kasey brilliantly exposes how these three can fit together and all come out satisfied when their sexual needs are so vastly different. What Jack needs is intimacy on a different level—one where simple things like holding each other as they sleep, or mere touch, suffice. Yet, he is also exceptionally tuned into what his partners need and provides them with enough sexual interaction so that all three of them are satisfied. It is a beautiful coupling each and every time these three have page time.
Beyond the fascinating people in this novel, the story is packed with action, fraught with tension and, at times, gut-wrenching. More than once, there is the real possibility that a main figure may not make it to the end of this installment. More than once, my heart was in my throat with the fear that someone I had come to love in this series could possibly not survive the onslaught of hostile forces meant to tear City M apart. What an incredible storyteller Lissa Kasey is to run several plot points simultaneously and never let any of them unravel.
The Hidden Gem series is a fantasy lover’s dream! The created world, larger than life characters, and intricate storylines make this one of the best series out there today. This third installment, Candy Land, has it all: romance, suspense and heart stopping action! I highly recommend it to you.
You can buy Candy Land here: