We are thrilled to be able to welcome Lynn Kelling to Sinfully today on the release day of her excellent new novel Arctic Absolution. I absolutely loved this book and only highlights why she is one of my favourite authors. Check out my review and have a nosy at the fabulous post on judging people by their appearance…
Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling
Title ~ Arctic Absolution
Author ~ Lynn Kelling
Publisher ~ Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Published ~ 16th December 2014
Genre ~ Contemporary, Erotic, BDSM, M/M Romance
In the frozen expanses of remote Alaska, Dixon Rowe is a good man and a good cop who keeps finding himself in bed with the enemy. After he picks up a young ex-con named Jaye Larson for stealing food, Dixon gets seduced by the possibility of helping someone truly in need. Though he tells himself he’s assisting young Jaye out of the goodness of his heart, not because of how sexy Jaye is under all of the tattoos and defiance, the temptations of sin entangle them as their hostile environment threatens. Both of their pasts are filled with malicious ghosts that haunt every step, and while Jaye’s demons are less tangible that Dixon’s, they are all powerful enough to put both of their lives in danger.
There are no unicorns and rainbows, or fluff of any kind in this book, it deals with some very hard hitting and painful subjects, abuse, rape and violence, all of which I felt Lynn Kelling dealt with brilliantly. Life is not predictable and it’s certainly not perfect… in the words of Alexander Pope “to err is human, to forgive, divine”. Lynn Kelling brings us characters that are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, they are real, flawed, and they make mistakes, bad choices and decisions and in Arctic Absolution it definitely had my moral compass conflicted, with my thoughts and emotions shifting all over the place, much like the dynamics of Dixon and Jaye’s relationship. I found myself anxious throughout, wondering if these men would even make it out the other side. But as the layers are peeled away and we see into their psych to how damaged and broken they both are, we have a better understanding of the why’s, which at the root of it all is abuse, being a victim, which in itself gives you poor judgement because of ingrained fear, real or perceived. That’s what I love about Lynn Kellings writing and characterisation in this book… she touches on things you might not like or understand, but isn’t that the same of life?
When we first meet Dixon and Jaye, my first impression was of a big strong alpha cop coming to the rescue of this desolate, starving, lost soul. But not all is as it seems and their stories broke me. Dixon is a bleeding heart, all he wants from life is to care for and protect those he loves, and be loved in return. Seeing Jaye brings out the nurturing instinct in him, well, it actually brings out more than that but being the good guy he is and also being a cop he tries his best to resist the sexual urges. Jay needs protecting, not from anything tangible but from his fears of being alone with the ghost of his past, those from before and during his imprisonment, and is all too familiar with having to use his body to get what he needs. What he is unfamiliar with though, is kindness given without the expectation of sex in return. Sex is Jaye’s commodity, it’s all he has and because of his past he has a very distorted view of sex and love.
Jaye manipulates the situation to get what he wants and needs and Dixon in turn goes along with it, because by doing so, in caring for and protecting Jaye he gets what he needs. That is until Dixon’s ex Marcus returns and we then learn of Dixon’s own nightmares.
The intensity of their passion, which initially was based purely on lust and need was palpable, and true to a Lynn Kelling novel… the sex is sizzling with plenty of naughty kink for all us smut lovers. As emotion and love become a factor and trust is earned we see something far more deep and meaningful a somewhat cathartic experience for both men.
Jaye may be the kid here, with his own demons and ghosts to bare and that’s why he needs Dixon, to protect him, to care for him, but really, with Jaye it’s his fear of being alone. He’s a fighter with immense inner strength that has enabled him to survive and endure and come out the other side. Yes, he’s damaged, but he’s not broken… Dixon on the other hand is a broken man… he needs Jaye’s inner strength and courage to fix him, he needs a purpose but most of all he needs to find the caring and fun loving person that has been lost to the fear induced numbness of just existing. He is a man lacking in the confidence of his own abilities, fearful and ashamed of his weakness.
Dixon and Jaye are both troubled, damaged souls that have lived through some extremely traumatic experiences, ordeals you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy… well, maybe Marcus. But they survived, because they found strength in each other, a spark that made them want to live again, hope for a future rather than an existence and a cleansing of sorts for all the guilt, shame and fear that had haunted them for so long.
Lynn Kelling is my kind of author and I love her writing, in this book she made me think and analyse my own feelings and emotions. Her characterisation in Dixon and Jaye is excellent and drew me in from the first page, and to be honest… I couldn’t put this book down! She writes raw, gritty kink which very often takes you to the dark side which can be hard to read, and certainly will not be to everyone’s taste but for me, the depraved soul that I am, a lover of books that make me feel and evoke emotion… this is perfect.
Buy it Here
A Word from Lynn Kelling
Judging by Appearances
We do it every day; sketching together perceived personality traits, presumed values, and assumptions of worth based only on someone's appearance. At first glance, we guess at who we think a stranger truly is. It's a mental game we may or may not keep to ourselves, and it usually takes proof to break down that projected persona. Evidence or new perceptions replace pieces of the old mental sketch. We can never know everything about another person, especially one we don't know well. So, we fill in the gaps on our own, without consciously being aware we're even doing it.
We might not like to imagine how others see us before they know us better, but it's just a social, psychological survival strategy. It's harmless... right?
A friend of mine, Becky, worked at a bar. She was in her early thirties but happened to have one of those faces that made her look no more than sixteen. Most of us would assume preternatural youth would be a blessing.
She was one of the angriest people I knew.
Whenever a man showed any sort of physical attraction to her, Becky automatically assumed they were displaying pedophilic tendencies. In her mind, if she looked sixteen and a man was turned on by her, he was a monster.
Imagine going through life that way, thinking the absolute worst of someone simply because they had a positive reaction to your appearance. Imagine, just for a second, how profoundly difficult dating would be.
Becky helped inspire Jaye, one of the main characters of my new novel, Arctic Absolution. Jaye is a twenty-one year old man who looks several years younger, even though he's been to hell and back. His exterior is vastly different than his true self. He's recently paroled after a two year prison sentence for attempted murder charges. As a full, initiated member of a prison gang, he bears the ink to prove it: an open teardrop under his left eye and a spider web on his elbow. But, Jaye's biggest burden might be the beauty of his features, especially given the nightmare of his past. The last thing you want to be when sent away to prison is a pretty, long-haired, young boy.
Becky felt trapped by her appearance. It forced her to develop defense mechanisms to compensate for its weaknesses. The same is true of Jaye. If he looks innocent, weak, lost, or too fair-featured to know hardship, he’s completely aware of it. He uses this natural disguise as a weapon, slipping under the radar and getting closer than he would have been able to otherwise, in order to stage a proper, vicious attack.
For Jaye in Arctic Absolution, the traits which could be seen as his greatest weaknesses become his most useful tools for survival when he meets an Alaska State Trooper named Dixon who just can't say no to someone he perceives as being obviously in need. It's only later, when Dixon gets too close, that he realizes how wrong he really was.
The happily ever after to Becky's story is that she has recently married. I hope she has found happiness, and someone she can trust sees her true self, and loves her unconditionally for it. I think that's all any of us could want.
Meet Lynn Kelling
Lynn Kelling began writing in order to tell stories that aren’t afraid of the dark, don’t hold anything back and always strive to be memorable, forging lasting attachments between character and reader. Her inspiration comes from taking a closer look at behaviors and ideas lurking at the fringes of life—basically anything that people may hesitate to speak of in mixed company, but everyone wonders about anyway. Her work is driven by the taboo in order to expose the humanity within it. Lynn is an artist, designer and lover of any form of creative self-expression that comes from a place of honesty and emotion, whether it’s body art or opera. She has had multiple novels published, has written over fifty works of erotic fiction of varying lengths, and always has several novels in progress.