Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey ~ Audiobook Review by Caroline

Title: Hidden Gem
Series: Hidden Gem Book 1

Author: Lissa Kasey

Narrator: Adam McLaughlin

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Shobana Appavu

Story Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Release Date: 12/16/2016

Length: 09 hours 36 minutes

Genre: Apocalyptic/dystopian, Fantasy, Gay Romance, Mystery/Thriller, Paranormal

Summary:

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.

Warning: Contains mild BDSM elements.

Story Review:

The Hidden Gem was one of those stories that as a reader I really didn’t like to begin with. I think a combination of a new to me narrator and a storyline that was slow and hard to ‘get into’ had me nearly giving up on a story that I actually I ended up really enjoying.

So first off we get a new world. A dystopian world set after world war 3 where the North and South are set apart and are very different places to live – it actually reminded me a little of the Hunger Games with the separate districts. We are in district M in the North. Alongside the different world is a different type of person. Be it through testing, abhorrent labs or something in the atmosphere a lot of people have mutated DNA and how this has affected them varies greatly – I would hazard a guess that as this series expands we will see even more variations.

Aki is a psi with psychic abilities and a character that is very easy to like. He is a contracted companion, a whore, but he is very clear and strict on what he will and won’t do. He’s a mysterious character who likes shiny shoes and has a soft spot for a certain Irish Detective even if he scares him. He also comes with a great group of friends who hopefully we will see more of later in the series.

Shane is the Irish Detective that spends his day tracking down missing people. His DNA is also changed and his beast determines his schedule and is not something he is very open about. His relationship with Aki initially is difficult and I didn’t take to Shane until probably half way through the book – he is definitely not as easy to like as the lovely Aki.

There is a lot of information in The Hidden Gem but that is likely due to it being the first book in a series and you will need to concentrate to take it all in. Aki and Shane seem to hop from one challenge to the next but they do get their hard earned HEA and leave the story wide open for the next instalment.

Narration Review:

Adam McLaughlin was a new to me narrator and it took a bit of time for me to get comfortable with his voice. He was not always easy to listen to but on reflection I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job so by the end of the book he was winner for me.

Links

Hidden Gem on Goodreads
Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Audible

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook 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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