Dark & Dazzling by Elizabeth Varlet ~ Book Review by Caroline

31129932Title: Dark & Dazzling
Series: Sassy Boyz Book 2

Author: Elizabeth Varlet

Publisher: Carina Press

Cover Artist: Unknown

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 11/07/2016

Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)

Genre: Gay Romance

Blurb:

Z doesn’t need a hero…

Azariah “Z” Hayes is a diamond. Equal parts strength and sparkle, he’s more than capable of standing on his own stilettos. So if waiting tables and stripping at The Vibe are what it takes to keep a roof over his head, well, there are worse ways to earn a living.

Connelly is a white knight with a badge…

For NYPD detective Connelly Reid, to serve and protect is just another day at the office—even if that means protecting himself from his own true desires. He’s been curious about Z, his waiter, for months, but it’s not until he sees him in his makeup and heels that the curiosity becomes a fierce attraction. Z, despite all his over-the-top dazzle, might just be the man Connelly has been waiting for his entire life.

But when Connelly investigates underground porn and drug activity with ties to The Vibe, one thing becomes very clear—acting on what he knows is going to hurt Z, financially and emotionally. And though Connelly would love nothing more than to fix all of Z’s problems, no amount of mind-blowing sex can make Z comfortable becoming dependent on his lover. Yet if there’s one thing Connelly knows from his years on the force, it’s this: when things go bad, you need a trusted partner to have your back.

My View:

This is the much anticipated second book in the Sassy Boyz series by Elizabeth Varlet and it didn’t disappoint.

The Sassy Boyz are a group of friends who dance together and who live through each other’s dramas – in book 1 it was all about sultry Ansel Becke but in Dark and Dazzling the spotlight is firmly on Azariah Hayes, or Z as he is more commonly known, and it is a very different story.

Z is an island. An angry man that can’t and won’t accept help and he comes across as cold and aloof a lot of the time – a lot of this can be put down to his childhood days. Through no fault of his own he is in dire straits at the start of the book and his pride keeps him from turning to his friends for help even though deep down he knows they would come to his aid at the drop of a hat. He becomes stuck in a viscous cycle that is enough to knock even the strongest person down and it causes him to make some pretty poor decisions.

Detective Connelly Reid is one of the good guys and lives up to his nickname of Boy Scout. He is always the first to offer help or to try and fix things, his sister’s reliance on him being a good example, but one thing he discovers quickly about Z is that he neither wants fixing nor is he willing to accept help. To keep Z in his life he is going to have to be sneaky and careful especially when his latest case starts to entwine with his personal life.

There is far more angst in this second book but it flows through the story perfectly. It’s also a much bleaker/murkier story but I wouldn’t call it dark per se although it certainly has its moments. My hope now is that the author can keep up with this great series whilst giving us authentic stories for each of the boys. I am sat twiddling my thumbs for book 3.

Links

Dark & Dazzling on Goodreads
Carina Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

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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