Monday, June 19, 2017

Pre-Release Review: Anthem of the Sea (Anthem Trilogy Book 1) by Thom Collins

anthemofthesea_800[10312]Title ~ Anthem of the Sea (Anthem Trilogy Book 1)

Author ~ Thom Collins

Publisher ~ Pride Publishing

Published ~ 20th June 2017

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Thriller/Suspense





An ocean of possibility. For love, revenge and murder.

Daniel Blake, a handsome young singer, boards the Atlantic Anthem in Portugal for the final voyage of her maiden season. The state-of-the-art ship is the jewel in the Royal Atlantic cruise fleet. For Daniel, a one-time boy band member and TV talent show winner, it’s an honor to perform on board such a vessel. Daniel loves the freedom and adventure of the sea. He began his solo career as a cruise ship entertainer and returning to the ocean as a headline act brings him full circle. He isn’t looking for love.

Neither is comedian Elijah Mann. Working at sea has given Elijah’s career the boost it desperately needed. Often considered too good-looking and sexy to be funny, he’s found work hard to come by since his TV show was canceled. With a potential new career opening up, he must remain focused. But when Elijah meets Daniel the attraction is mutual and instant. As the ship sets sail for England they have three days to get to know each other. Elijah can’t let that opportunity pass.

The voyage home is far from smooth. Also on board is a figure from Daniel’s past. A man who’s been holding a grudge for years, waiting for his moment. As a storm builds in the North Atlantic, Daniel and Elijah discover that the trip of a lifetime could be their last.

Reader Advisory: This book contains mentions of chemsex and a scene of dubious consent.


Debra’s Review

This was a very good start to the series about comedian Elijah Mann and singer Daniel Blake, who meet when both are scheduled to entertain on the ship Atlantic Anthem for the last three days of its final European voyage of the season. Both men have had some measure of success, Elijah having appeared on television a while back, and Daniel finding fame after winning a British singing competition. Daniel is at a high-point in his career and working on the ship for personal reasons. He has plenty of fans onboard, including Elijah, but at least two people are less than thrilled that he is there, including resident entertainer Terry St. King, an older, past his prime singer/entertainer, and Oliver Gill, a man who blames Daniel for ruining his career and life.

Elijah and Daniel are each fans of the other and the two are instantly smitten. The spark of lust ignites quickly and the two become inseparable. They are each hot for the other and are also perfectly suited outside of the bedroom. Both are just all around nice guys. Oliver is another story. Already at a low point in life he blames everyone and everything for his failed career, except himself. Daniel’s appearance seems to fuel Oliver’s downward spiral and delusions. Put plainly, he is a vile human being and his disregard for everyone and anyone in his path is truly frightening.

As Elijah and Daniel try to make the most of every moment they have onboard, they begin to fall hard and quickly. It’s not really instalove, but they each feel that possibility and that there should be more than just a three day shipboard romance. I completely fell for them. They are sweet together and had great chemistry. The only thing I didn’t like – and this is a pet peeve for me in any romance – is that their first kiss was off page. Not only that, they both waxed on about it afterwards, about how perfect it was. I really didn’t want to be told that, I wanted to see it.

Aside from the romance, is the story of showbiz jealousy and misplaced grudges. Terry St. King has strong feelings about Daniel and makes them known. Oliver, however, is coming unhinged and has a different view of the past than Daniel. The two men’s careers have played out in similar venues, with very different results and Oliver is ready to get back at Daniel. Once he sets that plan in motion, anyone who crosses his path is at risk.

There are a lot of POVs in this story. I counted six. The main ones are from Daniel, Elijah and Oliver, and some of the others were as brief as a few paragraphs, merely reinforcing perceptions of a certain character. I didn’t find all of them necessary to the story, but it didn’t take away from the narrative or pacing.

The climax, set as the ship sails through a storm, worked great. With a delusional, killer who is seemingly becoming madder by the moment, a ship rocking and listing and a search for a missing crew member, the tension was high. I sped through that portion of the story just to see how it would all play out.

I really enjoyed Anthem of the Sea and thought the romance and suspense storylines were well balanced. Thom Collins is a new-to-me author and I’ll definitely be grabbing the next book in this expected trilogy when it comes out. This installment ends with a strong HFN and works as a standalone with no cliffhanger, but it does drop a hint or two as to what’s in store for Daniel and Elijah as their on-ship romance moves onto land.

Purchase Links

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Meet Thom Collins

Thom Collins (1)Thom Collins is the author of the novel Closer by Morning, with Pride Publishing. His love of page turning thrillers began at an early age when his mother caught him reading the latest Jackie Collins book and promptly confiscated it, sparking a life-long love of raunchy novels.

The novellas Gods of Vengeance and Silent Voices were published by Pride in early 2017, followed by the novel Anthem of the Sea, the first book in the Anthem Trilogy. He has recently finished writing the second book in a series and is working on the third.

Thom has lived in the North East of England his whole life. He grew up in Northumberland and now lives in County Durham with his husband and two cats. He loves all kinds of genre fiction, especially bonk-busters, thrillers, romance and horror. He is also a cookery book addict with far too many titles cluttering his shelves. When not writing he can be found in the kitchen trying out new recipes. He’s a keen traveler but with a fear of flying that gets worse with age. Since taking his first cruise in 2013 he realized that sailing is the way to go.




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