Title ~ KAGE
Author ~ Maris Black
Published ~ 25th May 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
My name is Jamie Atwood, and I’m an addict. I never thought I’d say such a thing. Never had a problem being overly-attached to anything in my life. I came from a perfectly middle-class family, made good grades, and had a hot cheerleader girlfriend... but the truth is, nothing ever really moved me. So how did a guy like me become an addict?
I met Michael Kage.
Kage is an MMA fighter. A famous one. I like to think I helped him get that way.
He’s charming as hell, with looks to rival any movie star and talent to back it up. So why did he need to hire me as an intern Publicist? Simple. He has a darkness in him– like a black hole so deep it could swallow him, and me, and everyone we know– and that’s not good for business.
The first time I met him, I felt the pull. I think the addiction began at that very moment. And even if I’d known then what I know now, I would have fallen for him. How could I not?
For me, Kage is everything.
We love finding new authors who get us excited, and Maris Black has just become a new fave of mine. Today she’s popped in to Sinfully and very generously offered the choice of an ebook from her backlist (not including Kage) as a giveaway, so don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.
I only discovered Maris Black recently but what I've read up to now me really likey a lot! If you've read her books you'll know that her stories are generally based around a 'straight' guy falling hard for his gay counterpart, and the following attraction/lust/love arising from it. For some m/m readers it's a trope that doesn't always ring true, but personally I love it and I reckon Ms Black pulls it off fabulously. Each one has been a truly enticing, sexy romance that's made her a new fave of mine.
Gorgeous flawed guys, sizzling sexual tension, combustible chemistry, sheet burning bedroom antics and a fast paced, entertaining writing style... it all works brilliantly for me!
Following those lines, Kage starts out fairly routine with its non gay protagonist—budding sports reporter/publicist —Jamie Atwood, coasting along in a longish term relationship with his cute cheerleader girlfriend, where the sex is good but not great and they get along fine in the scheme of things, but when push comes to shove in the 'true love' stakes there's just something missing for both of them and not long into the book they decide to split; leaving Jamie in a bit of a funk but now open to new possibilities.
And that's where both the story and Jamie's life take a complete turn, when he meets the darkly perplexing, mixed martial arts fighter: Michael Kage Santori, at a MMA tournament that he's reporting on for an important college project. Kage isn't fighting that night, he's only there checking out the competition but from the instance they meet Jamie is irresistibly drawn to the gorgeous, magnetic contender and it appears he's made just as much of an impression, when a few weeks later he gets a call from Kage’s mysterious Uncle and guardian in Vegas, offering him an internship with Kage as his publicist.
An offer he can't (and doesn’t really want to) refuse!
At the beginning neither of these two guys are 'prince charming' perfect, and I like that Maris writes them that way as it makes the more emotional background reveals about them, as the story deepens, all the more intriguing and ultimately satisfying; so in a way we get to know them at the same pace as they get to know, and begin to understand, each other.
I actually thought at first that Jamie was a tad shallow, as he wasn’t averse to shamelessly playing certain people to get what he wants. He knows he's cute and good looking, and he flirts with both sexes to meet his needs of the time, but never in a malicious or mean way, so in the end I couldn't help falling for his cheeky charm.
Kage initially comes over as the quintessential arrogant, cocky fighter with a swagger that transposes into a delicious, sexy fucker, bad boy charisma and like Jamie he sucked me in straight away! But you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and as I got to know more about both these guys and what was going on in their lives behind the scenes, I found myself becoming more and more absorbed in their unconventional, sometime frustrating, yet always engrossing growing relationship. The tension was hot, hot, hot but another thing I loved was that nothing came over as typically "insta" between them. It simmered and boiled for a fair chunk of the book until they couldn't resist the pull that was always present around them and then when they did give in the love scenes were pretty damn yum!
I adored these two together. Fell for them as individuals as well as a couple, and loved how Maris pitched the straight to gay aspect of the book; which started out fairly lightweight but, as relative info important to the development of their romance was slowly fed into the story, started to reveal a darker, grittier, more raw side of Kage, and a family crisis for Jamie that brought an emotional depth to the mix; culminating in an emotionally charged "to be continued…" impasse (in other words a bloody brilliant cliffhanger… Lol) between its two MC's that had me doing a wee bit of pouty, foot stomping… but… despite having me chomping at the bit, had me totally hooked by the “OMG! WTF will be coming next” drama, and for me it was exactly the right cut off point to make me really want to find out!
I knew as a trilogy there would be more to come, but what I didn't realise was how much I was going to end up desperately wanting to get my hands on book two. I couldn't put Kage down and read the whole thing in one sitting. If the next two books in the three book series follow suit I can't wait to get them onto my Kindle!
Is it August yet? Because I need it to be August...like NOW!!! Hahaha
Connect With The Author
Maris is generously gifting one lucky reader an ebook from her backlist (not including Kage). For a chance to win enter the Rafflecopter below.