Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey ~ Book Review by Christine

According to the author, this is the first of a new series. I would most definitely read future installments, as the characters, especially Aki, are difficult to let go.

Hidden Gem Image Title: Hidden Gem

Author: Lissa Kasey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Shobana Appavu

Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars

Blurb:

Misaki “Aki” Itou is a psi—a person with mutated DNA granting him psychic abilities. He’s also a contracted companion—a whore. It may not be the perfect profession, but having a roof over his head, food to eat, and not being subjected to torture is a dream come true. He is the top companion at the Hidden Gem, and it makes him enough money to buy the prettiest, most sparkly shoes he can find.

Shane McNaughton is an Irishman who survived the Third World War and works as a cop. Head of Missing Persons, he’s good at finding people, but after the plague of the Third mutated his DNA, he has a hard time letting anyone see the monster inside. He’s been paying for Aki’s services for two years, both the psi and the sexual kind, but he wants more from the companion.

Shane needs Aki’s ability to see into another person’s past to track down a serial killer murdering the children of rich and powerful men, but the more they work together, the clearer it becomes that they are linked through a darker past than either of them realizes.

Christine’s View:

Missing Persons specialist Shane McNaughton is a tough cop on the outside, hiding an even more frightening monster underneath. When a serial killer begins targeting children of influential men, he turns to Misaki “Aki” Itou, a paid companion with psychic abilities, to help him find the latest victim. Soon, however, it becomes apparent that there is more to the case–and to Aki’s past—than anyone realized. As Shane closes in on the killer and the links to Aki’s mysterious history, he discovers his feelings for Aki go beyond just a professional relationship. However, will he be able to act upon them before it’s too late?

I enjoyed many aspects of this paranormal, post-WWIII sci fi story. I loved the idea of the psychic mutants, and the fact their abilities made them subject to ridicule and condemnation was a fascinating twist. I also liked the inclusion of the second set of mutations within the human population, though their purpose in the plot was not quite clear until well into story. Overall, the world building and the main characters were fascinating, and I thought that was the major strength of the story.

What I found a bit frustrating was the continual addition of peripheral characters and the twists and turns the plot made throughout the search for the serial killer. To me, the investigation of the case and the discoveries made about Aki’s past along the way felt somewhat convoluted and contrived in the various directions they took. Despite the confusing connections the case revealed, however, the story came to a fairly satisfying resolution with an HFN and the subtle promise of future intrigue.

The stronghold of this story is Aki. He is, in my opinion, one of the most captivating characters I have ever read. He has strength and vulnerability in equal measure, and I loved seeing him come to life on the page. The unraveling of his mysterious past was the most compelling part of the book, and his character was vibrant and richly drawn. Shane is also interesting, with a rough alpha mentality and an endearing soft spot for Aki. I only wish more time had been taken to solidify the foundation of their relationship, as there was little background provided to support their strong feelings for one another. Additionally, the secondary character of Candy was beautifully developed, and I enjoyed his scenes within the book as much as those of the main characters’.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is as an intriguing paranormal/sci fi thriller and a m/m romance that commands the reader’s attention and provides an exciting escape. I look forward to the sequel.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
All Romance eBooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo US

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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