March 3, 2011

Review: Night is Darkest by Jayne Rylon

Night is Darkest
Author: Jayne Rylon
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Series: Men in Blue, Book 1
ISBN: 1605048003
Purchase Information:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Samhain Publishing

For more information please visit Jayne Rylon's website.

Some secrets refuse to stay hidden.

Lacey Daughtry’s perfect weekend is interrupted by tragic news of her brother’s murder in the line of duty. Plagued by a rash of mysterious phone calls, she turns to her brother’s best friends and fellow officers for protection…and comfort.

Spending time in close contact with Mason and Tyler, the two men she’s dreamed of since her first girlhood crush, seems like the answer to a prayer. Especially when they begin to explore the desire she’s harbored for so long.

But the partners are holding out on Lacey. Determined to suppress the most extreme facets of their lust, they agree to settle for sharing the woman they crave while concealing their desire for each other. Until Lacey cracks their resolve, unleashing a torrent of emotions that threatens to distract them when they can least afford it.

Their blossoming relationship is complicated by secrets. And the only way to evade the killer threatening their lives is to bare their souls in the darkest hours of the night. Or everything will come crashing down, just before the dawn.

Night is Darkest is the first wonderfully enticing installment in Jayne Rylon's Men in Blue series. Full of romance and some really steamy and unforgettable sex, this novel also managed to incorporate a story line that I found compelling even though at times it took a back seat to the more erotic elements. Wonderfully written, highly engaging, this novel is a wonderful start to what promises to be a great series.

What initially captured me with this novel was the highly emotional and touching introduction to the characters. We come into Lacey's life just before news arrives of her brother Rob's murder while in the line of duty. Where one minute she is bubbly and carefree the next her whole world is once again shattered by the loss of her only remaining family. The sense of loss and tragedy is palpable and seems to loom over the first chapter creating a despairing atmosphere over Lacey's life. The void that quickly takes up residence within her heart is easily felt as the connection between Lacey and her brother's best friends Mason and Tyler quickly takes center stage as their long standing friendship has a lot of pent up sexual tension underlying it. This translates wonderfully into the need for closeness and comfort as their lives seem to implode with loss. Mason's dominate need to protect those he loves and Tyler's innate need to provide tenderness and support all add together into the long standing desire between the three, culminating into a passionate and gripping love story as they struggle to understand their growing bond. The chemistry between them is nicely explored revealing all the inner turmoil of the characters. Many inner conflicts are brought to life as the three figure out how they fit together, some with more success in accepting their alternative lifestyle then others within their litter group.

Underlying this path of emotional and sexual discovery is a nice mystery as to who murdered Rob and why. At first, deemed simply a random act of violence, we come to discover a more wide spread plot dating back several years. There is a nice complexity to the mystery as the clues slowly lead the trio to an agonizing secret hidden in Lacey's past. There are some wonderful moments within this plot and I really would have liked to this aspect of the novel more deeply explored. As it stands the relationship between the three characters takes the spot, which unfortunately has the side effect of making this a less rounded read. I really believe that exploring the underlying aspects and seeing the characters working the case a bit more would have added yet another wonderful dimension into their already wonderful development and had the added bonus of really making Rob's loss more profound - another source of contention for me as his loss quickly disappears in light of the blossoming relationship between his sister and friends.

The story itself is flowing, with wonderful pacing. Rylon does a marvelous job of bringing the scenes to life within the story as well as making the characters interesting and likable. The dynamic between them is wonderfully explored and the need to love and protect highly emphasized - something I really enjoyed, by the way. What wasn't so great was the dialogue at times. Often times is could come off as being a bit cheesy and distracting. I would have like to see the mystery/suspense angle pushed a bit more as I mentioned above as well. What was absolutely fabulous about the novel, however, was the amazing intimacy between the characters. The sex scenes within this novel are seared into my memory by the vividness of the emotions and thoughts of the characters alone. I think this is by far one of more scalding erotic novels that I've read and that alone will keep me coming back again and again to read this author!

Overall, this novel kept me hooked throughout, either with the hint of mystery or the full blown erotic feast that it presented.With likable characters, great writing and a wonderfully captured emotional quality that I thoroughly enjoyed, this may be my first time reading this author, but it will definitely not be my last.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Explicit sexual content focusing on a m/f/m relationship

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