Alison Reviews: Hidden Gem by Lissa Kasey


Title: Hidden Gem
Author: Lissa Kasey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 246 pages
Characters: Misaki “Aki” Itou and Detective Shane McNaughton
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal, Crime
Kisses: 4

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.

Review:

While Hidden Gem isn’t quite set in a post-apocalyptic era, it is set after a World War III in which biological weapons were used. Fifty years later, the effect of these DNA-changing weapons has spread throughout the entire world, creating two different sub-types of humans—A-Ms and psi. Psi, unfortunately, are given away by the fact their pupils are not black, instead being a lighter hue of their iris. And, as is usual for those who are different, the human populace in general don’t trust or want anything to do with them, even to the point of teenagers being kicked out of home.

Aki is psi. Two years ago he escaped from one the concentration camps in the South only to end up wandering the streets of the North, destitute and unable to find work thanks to his eyes and human bigotry. He was one of the lucky ones. On the brink of starvation, he was offered a place to live and work—as a prostitute. He took it.

One of Ari’s regulars, Detective McNaughton uses his services to release the stress of being the Head of Missing Persons, and has come to care a great deal for Ari—Being different himself, he doesn’t have the same bias against psis. Both have pride in what they do, even if they aren’t completely happy, and they treasure any time they have together.

I really liked the way the story developed, and the side characters were as well developed as the main pair. Not only was there a few surprises, but I loved the way Aki is not ashamed of what he does. After all, not everyone could do it and he does it well. Detective McNaughton doesn’t really like what Aki does, but he doesn’t understand what Aki gets out of it. It is interesting watching the two, and the way their communication and understanding of each other changes. The way the politics of the North and South were drastically different on the surface but not as much so underneath, was interesting—and, I think, a direct reflection of current times—as were the different factions and the way each co-operated with each other when it was to their benefit.

I would recommend this to lovers of crime, hurt/comfort, science fiction, and speculative fiction. And although I haven’t read any others by this author, I’m definitely considering the next in this series.

Reviewed By: Alison

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Reclamation- Dominion Two by Lissa Kasey

Title: Reclamation – Dominion Two
Author: Lissa Kasey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 166
Characters: Seiran, Gabe, Jamie and Kelly
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

After killing with magic to save his own life, Seiran Rou is persona non grata with the Dominion, the ruling body of magic. Though he has the support of his vampire lover, Gabe, his half-brother, Jamie, and his friend Kelly, Sei suffers when Dominion supporters continue to harass him. To make matters worse, long-buried memories of his violent past are starting to surface, including e-mails and phone calls from Matthew Pierson, a man who abused him—a man who’s supposed to be dead.

With his fears driving a wedge between him and Gabe, Sei tries to get help, only to find himself in a trap. Sei does know Gabe will come for him. What he doesn’t know is how either of them will survive the fight.

Review:

This author has jumped onto my auto buy list all due to this series. In the follow up to Inheritance, Lissa Kasey continues Seiran’s story that stands just as strong if not stronger than the first title. With Reclamation Seiran is not only the Pilar but he’s a broken man who faces the hardest of obstacles daily. Not even his brother Jamie can save him the harsh words, the looks, the downright meanness from the other oddities of this world. I mean, this poor boy was abused all his life, his mother? Oh please, what a piece of…well you get the picture. She isn’t so much seen in this book but it’s due to her that he’s the mess he is. The chemistry between Seiran and Gabe, his vampire lover is just outstanding. Lissa has created these characters and given them vastly different personalities and fleshed them out so well that I have fallen totally and completely in love with them. Gabe has the patience of Job and he loves, no he adores, no he is totally in love with Seiran and the amazing sacrifices he goes through for his lover just melted my heart.

Seiran is now in counseling by request of the Dominion due to his misadventure from the last story…he also was instructed to teach a class in college as punishment, so the guy has his hands full. Now, if you’ll remember he suffers badly from OCD, and he ends up hurting his hands so badly midway through the book that sadly he is in bandages and such well until the end. Seiran is on the road to recovery, but once again, he is haunted by his past. People die all around him, and not the right ones. Then he begins to see his ex, the ass who abused him since the age of eleven and things get worse.

You will need tissue. I’m serious. Just…when you’re reading this one, please don’t throw your reader…it’ll pay off.

And in case you’re wondering what order to read this series in here it is: Now, I only reviewed the two novels. I did read the shorts in between them and I suggest you do the same:

Friction
Decadence
Resolute
Inheritance
Reclamation
Consequences

Reviewed By: Michele

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Inheritance by Lissa Kasey


Title: Inheritance (Dominion One)
Author: Lissa Kasey
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 169
Characters: Serian, Gabe, and Jamie
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Kisses: 5






Blurb:

As the only male studying magic in a female-dominant society, Seiran Rou’s life is already on a precarious perch. Then he finds a dead co-worker on his doorstep, and Sei realizes someone is trying to set him up for the fall. It could be anyone—including his own mother, a powerful witch and leader of the Dominion, the ruling body of elemental magic.

Sei’s only saving graces are his on-again, off-again vampire boyfriend, Gabe, and the mysterious Jamie, who wants to help him for reasons Sei doesn’t understand. They may be all that stand between Sei and the Dominion’s demands to control his magic. One man’s devotion could be the key to save Sei’s life and pull him back from the brink of losing his humanity to the magic he possesses.

Review:

I have to say that I’ve read many shifter books this past year and all of them have their own upsides and such making them different but the same, now in saying that I must say that this particular story reaches above most simply because of the characters. A writer’s characters can make or break a story and in this particular one, the writer created three characters so true to life that I almost wish I could meet them and share a cup of coffee with them and take Seiran into my arms and protect him, even from himself. That’s how good of a job Lissa did here.

The story told in two main books, really needed another one prior to this one to fully explain what in the world was going on in Sei’s world. We learn here he’s a male witch and the only witch attending a college meant for witches and the like, but the catch here is that this particular school is very much a woman’s college. Sei is one of very few male witches enrolled in the school therefore he’s the target of some pretty awful pranks by the female witches on campus. They take bullying to a new level let me tell you.

The character Sei is absolutely adorable. I have fallen totally in love with him, no matter how messed up on the inside he says he is, and he is, of that I have no doubt. It has a lot to do with how his mother treated him all his life because he was born a he and not a she, and I’m thinking this is a female controlled underworld of some sort. This poor boy was abused by his mother who is the head of the Dominion or something like that and no one goes against her, not even the law officials. She has done some wicked things to him, he cowers before her and tries so hard to win her love and affection but no matter what he does, he manages to disappoint her at each turn.

In college he’s picked on so badly that he eventually moves off campus into his own place and when the job he took manages to break him, in a sense that he is harassed so badly doesn’t work out he goes to his Vampire lover, Gabe, who owns a club for a job. Gabe hires him and things work out very well for him there but he still is unable to escape his mothers wrath, even with Gabe there to protect him. Sei seems to think he’s not worthy of love in any form, but sex is a whole different thing for him, and he uses that with Gabe, not realizing how much Gabe loves him truly.

So much happens within the pages of this story that you can’t stop turning the pages looking for more, yet not wanting to know more. I was so torn for the characters in this book. The plot set up is done wonderfully, the characters so well fleshed out that I loved or hated them, the description perfect. I don’t have a complaint about this story and book two is as good as this. There are also a few free reads with this story to help us understand Sei and Gabe’s relationship and I recommend reading them in order to fully grasp this story and these characters for they allow them to shine as they should. You will not be disappointed.

Reviewed By: Michele

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