Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Release Day Review: Ash (Don’t… #4.5 A Prequel to Book 5) by Jack L. Pyke

Ash_CvrMEDTitle ~ Ash

Author ~ Jack L. Pyke

Publisher ~ Enspire Publishing

Imprint ~ ForbiddenFiction

Published ~ 20th March 2018

Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Suspense/Thriller

Rating

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Synopsis

“You up for that, hm, Ash? A lesson from an old soul to youth? From me… to you?”

Ash Thomas and his gameplay with other men is vicious, cruel. Better to fuck someone over than be the one who’s on the floor, fucked up, right? But his latest cruelties are about to catch the eye of the Wraith, someone who’s been brought up to play professionally in the shadows. For Ash, beauty and rage aren’t the kind of sins to win him any favours anymore. Life and lessons of the heart never did come easy, especially when they’re about to walk in off the darkened streets, bringing bloodied footprints in their wake.

Contains disturbing content. Check the ForbiddenFiction story page here for content labels.

 

Debra’s Review

This novella is book 4.5 in the Don’t… series and an introduction to some new characters and a storyline that will play out in the next two books. If you’re looking for more of Jack, Jan and Gray’s story, you’re not going to get it here. Essentially, this book is the beginning of Don't 5, Psychopaths & Sinners (scheduled for release in May). It introduces Ash and Raif, and the novella's plot, while reaching a crescendo in the final chapters, is left to be continued.

The way the story starts reminded me so much of the way we first met Jack in Don’t…. going about his daily business as a mechanic. Here we have Ash going about his business as a car parts factory worker, with his two best friends from childhood, Chase and Johnny. Their antics can be cruel, but these two men appear to be the only people that ground Ash. Things with Chase are complicated. While Chase seems to bring out the cruel side of Ash, they love each other and know how to get under each other's skin to get the reaction they’re looking for. Johnny is the quieter one that covers for them. Even with all their history, Ash hasn't fully opened himself to them. Ash is "beauty and rage" but he is also caring and hurting. There is a painful past there that is only hinted at that includes the father he now takes care of.

Enter Raif. Older, bigger, not a "beauty" by most people's standards and a complete mystery. He seems to have his sights set on Ash, but for what reason? His motives and methods are confusing, but he has a way about him that speaks to Ash. Even when Ash fears him, he finds he trusts him, which isn’t something Ash gives easily; Ash knows that the "fuck over always comes". Raif is observant, seeing what Ash tries to hide and calling him on it. It took me a while to figure out Raif's intentions, even with his POV in the mix and while I eventually did get a feel for him, his motives for some of his nocturnal activities are still not clear, likely tied into a past we know nothing about yet.

If you handed me a manuscript without telling me who the author was, I could tell immediately if it was a Jack L Pyke story. She has such a unique writing style and way of telling a story. I know how things work and I’m always looking for meaning in small interactions and waiting for that "aha" moment. What you're getting here is what you would expect from the Don't... series including complex characters and relationships, an air of mystery and a plot filled with heartbreak, pain and hope. The last chapters left me aching. I have very little in the way of limits as far as my reading goes, but there are certain scenes in books that I know after the first, I will never read again because they were just too hard to get through; this includes a good part of Antidote (Book 2) – and now the final scenes in Ash. Jack Pyke excels at writing dark and making certain what you read will be vivid and gut-wrenching and stay in your head long after you've turned the page.

This is a bit of an odd review to write since the story is only starting. Both Ash and Raif are complicated characters, whose layers we are just beginning to peel back. Their relationship is just starting and is far from typical. This introduction will leave you with plenty of questions at the end, which will have to wait for the next installment.

Could you read this without having read the prior books? Yes. Should you read it that way? Only if you're more than willing to go back and read the rest of the series because you’re definitely going to want to continue to find out how the storyline resolves and you won't be able to jump into the continuing storyline of Gray, Jack Jan and Martin without their background.  May and the next book can't get here soon enough for me.

Purchase Links

ForbiddenFiction an Imprint of Enspire Publishing

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AMAZON GLOBAL LINK  | SMASHWORDS

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dontDon’t…

"Don't... open me." Three simple words that tease Jack, taking him places from his dark past. For Jack, BDSM is a way to resist his worst impulses. Yet, the stranger calling himself The Unknown seeks to use that to seduce him. As Jack slips further down into the abyss, two men hold the power to save him. Will it be Gray, the Master who knows Jack's every secret? Or Jan, the first man to give Jack a reason to hope? With deadly ghosts coming out to play, Jack may lose everything, even his life.

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK | REVIEW

antidoteAntidote (Book 2)

“No head games, no tests. Just us, Jack.”
Videos of Jack having sex with a man who brutally mutilated teenagers for fun should have stayed dead and buried, just like the man who filmed them. So when footage of Jack’s past starts showing up on internet port sites, Jack’s whole world is again turned on its head.
At first, the videos merely unsettle Jack’s fire-and-ice world of Gray Raoul’s BDSM kink and Jan Richards’ gentle, vanilla touch. But when the videos of teenaged Jack get more extreme, even Gray becomes suspicious, leaving Jack isolated from the protection of the Masters’ Circle.
Jack soon finds himself at the mercy of a group of men set on altering Jack’s perceptions of BDSM as brutally as possible. Jack’s sex life is now on camera for a whole new audience, and the only thing he has left to lose is himself.

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK | REVIEW

breakdown dontBreakdown (Book 3)

The evidence is there in his hands: the DVD and notepad convincing Jack that Gray is responsible for his kidnapping and torture, tearing Jack and Jan brutally apart. But with Jack trapped in his own mind, lost to blackouts and self-harming, getting away from Gray must take a back seat to getting away from himself.
While locked away in a secret facility run by the Masters' Circle, a new beast is unearthed from the depths of Jack's tormented past. Martin only comes out to play when Jack needs to hide, a psychopath as capable of ruining Jack's life as he is of defending him. Martin is the repository for Jack's most horrifying memories, protecting him from the bloody tasks Jack can't handle. Martin's purpose is to drive everyone Jack fears - or loves - away, before they get the chance to hurt Jack again.
Now Jack hurts more than he ever has before, Martin is back, and Jack has to figure out what Martin knows that Jack forgot, before it's too late.

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK | REVIEW

backlashBacklash (Book 4)

In the aftermath of Jack Harrison’s release from the psychiatric unit, Gray Raoul’s first instinct is to take brutal revenge on the one responsible for financing Jack’s and Jan’s torturous psychological reconditioning. However, that person plays the game dangerously well, and knows exactly how to manipulate everyone in Gray’s life. To help negotiate this delicate situation, Gray contacts ex-Diadem Doms Trace and Gabriel Hunter. But the more Gray seems to regain control, the clearer it becomes that there’s something not quite right about Jan Richards. Jan quickly unravels, taking Jack and Gray with him, and bringing out one particularly deadly player. Gray is left with one last defense: break Jack down in order to partner up with his alter ego, Martin. But once freed, Martin has plans of his own, and he wants to make it personal with Gray. Complete trust between Master and sub, between Gray and Jack, will be tested to the absolute limit.

AMAZON GLOBAL LINK | REVIEW

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Meet Jack L. Pyke

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Jack blames her dark writing influences on living close to one of England’s finest forests. Having grown up hearing a history of kidnappings, murders, strange sightings, and sexual exploits her neck of the woods is renowned for, Jack takes that into her writing, having also learned that human coping strategies for intense situations can sometimes make the best of people have disastrously bad moments. Redeeming those flaws is Jack’s drive, and if that drive just happens to lead to sexual tension between two or more guys in a D/s relationship, Jack’s the first to let nature take its course.

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