Author: Tempeste O’Riley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Designs of Desire
Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.
As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.
James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?
Desires Entwined: Book Two
Most people see Chase Manning as the party-boy twink he seems on the surface. Only James, Chase’s BFF, knows the depth of his loyalty and the extent of the wounds Chase carries inside. When Chase meets Rhys Sayer, things don’t go well, but he can’t shake his attraction to the huge, sexy man.
Rhys is a man of contradictions and fear—a strange combination for a PI and bodyguard. He’s in a bad place emotionally when he sets eyes on Chase for the first time. When Chase puts the moves on him, Rhys insults him, thwarting any possibility of a relationship. Rhys doesn’t see himself as a complicated man, but he dreads the very kind of connection he desires.
Just as they’re trying to overcome their uncertainties, Chase is put in harm’s way. Luckily Rhys and their friends have all the right talents to help Rhys save the man of his dreams.
Temptations of Desire
Desires Entwined: Book Three
Alexander James Noble is a gender fluid gay man who gave up on finding Mister Right a long time ago. He’s not asking for much, though. He just wants a guy who loves all of him and appreciates his feminine form too.
At the local LGBTQ center where Alex regularly volunteers, he meets Dal Sayer, an officer of the Milwaukee PD. Because he’s been rejected one too many times, Alex doesn’t trust the huge cop and the interest he shows in him, but once Dal sets his mind on something, he goes all out. Pushing aside his preconceived notions, Alex opens up just a little and soon caves.
From their first date—while dealing with his father’s failing health and his parents’ demands for him to settle down and have children—Dal never takes his eyes off his goal of making Alex his. But proving to Alex he isn’t like all the men who couldn’t see him for who he truly was and only wanted to hide him away is harder than he thought.
I first took notice of the Desires Entwined series when I saw book 1 Designs of Desire on audible.com. The cover captivated me. It is simple and soft, but tells so much about the story contained within. I, however, didn’t pick up the audiobook at that time. Somewhere along the way, I did buy the eBook version, however. With the release of the third book in the series, Temptations of Desire, I thought it was time to see what Ms. O’Riley had for us. I read all 3 major works and the two published vignettes, Bound by Desire is free from Dreamspinner Press and Simple Desire is a part of the Dreamspinner Press anthology Grand Adventures (insert link). I will only review the three main works, but the two vignettes are worth a read if you enjoy James and Seth’s story.
I found as I read this series that each book was a little better than the one before it. Though I will always hold and affinity for Seth and James from Designs of Desire, the writing was cleaner and tighter as the series progressed. There are a few things that bugged me in all three stories, however.
First was the use of pet names. Seriously, I got lost in who was whom because they were never called by their names. They were “pet” or “baby” or “honey” or… Okay, never is an exaggeration, but yes liberal use of pet names throughout the series did grate.
Second, was that all six main characters had the same fatal flaw of bottling shit up. Overall they were fairly mature in their handling of the situations thrown at them and didn’t make stupid choices just to create drama. I can’t tell you how much I, as a reader, appreciated that fact. But none of them wanted to TALK to their partner. They kept secrets and emotions bottled up that would have been better brought to light.
Finally, I found many scenes, and scene transitions, to be choppy. I would be in the middle of a emotional or important scene and all of a sudden it would be three weeks later, with not mention of what happened in those three weeks. I found this pattern repeated.
I also noticed one continuity error between books 2 and 3. The baddy in Desires’ Guardian is named Jonathan. In Temptations of Desire, he is referred to as Justin.
All that said; I did enjoy the stories that Ms. O’Riley presented us with in each book. Each set of main characters has to look past the surface to see what their potential partner is all about. No one is exactly what their stereotype would imply. For each couple, one person has some horrors in their past that they must overcome to find trust and love. For each couple, one is the protector and the rock.
As I said before, I appreciated that the author avoided the pitfalls of having her characters make stupid choices just to add angst. I felt each scenario was handled with grace, maturity, and love. These men made choices that normal people would make, even though they were in extraordinary circumstances. I look forward to watching O’Riley grow as a writer with each new story.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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