Monday, 22 June 2015

Book Review: Quinn's Gambit | Angel Martinez, Bellora Quinn

Quinn's Gambit (AURA Book One)
Angel Martinez, Bellora Quinn

Book One in the AURA series

An unregistered human con wizard and a duty-bound, straight-laced elf cop. As New York explodes with dangerous creatures, their passion goes nuclear.

After a terrible magical accident at Berkeley created unpredictable holes between realities, all manner of non-human creatures started popping into our world. These displacements, called Random Anomalous Reality Events or RARE, have taken magic out of fiction and relocated it firmly in reality, resulting in a great deal of chaos and confusion. Displaced elf Valerian works with AURA, the Agency of Unnatural Resettlement and Assimilation, to intercept these beings as they appear in the human world, helping the peaceful ones and subduing the violent, malevolent ones. It’s good, satisfying work, and Val would be happy if he wasn’t so lonely.

Quinten is a young mage just trying to get by, but New York isn’t the easiest city to make a living in. If his methods are sometimes morally dubious, his heart is still in the right place. Of course, for Quinn, the right place means firmly locked away, protected at all costs. Living by his wits and sometimes magically induced luck, he works as a ‘freelance magic user’, or unregistered mage and small-time con, according to the authorities. The last thing Quinn wants is to draw the cops’ attention, but when an Event happens right on top of him, he’s forced to turn to AURA for help. Valerian isn’t at all what he’d expected in an AURA cop, and he certainly wasn’t expecting to join forces with the sexy elf, a snarky drow and a bitter incubus, when certain individuals in power try to stop the RARE by any means necessary.

Things are not all what they seem at AURA headquarters, and a greater evil lurks at the top than anyone could have imagined.

My Review 

I have never read erotic fiction before, and have always been curious as to what I had heard about the genre. The closest I got to any sort of sexual scenes in books were either from Jackie Collins novels, or romantic fiction that went 'there'.

However, due to my sexual orientation the idea of heterosexual erotic fiction has never appealed to me the same way heterosexual relationships don't appeal to me. Also I guess you could say the somewhat altered perception of erotic fiction that '50 Shades of Grey' had offered to the world, lessened my enthusiasm for the genre.

So when I was contacted by the lovely Holly Gunner over at 'Totally Bound Publishing', I wasn't really in all honesty too enthusiastic. Not that I ever had anything against erotic fiction, it just didn't appeal to me in the same way that crime novels don't appeal to me. But I was curious, and I was longing to read books where the relationships were focused on same sex pairings, specifically M/M.

So I decided to give these books a go. The book I picked to read first was 'Quinn's Gambit' and as you can see from the blurb at the top of this post had a heavy urban fantasy element which appealed to my love of magical creatures and fantastical worlds. Our two main characters are Quinn and Val, and I instantly adored them both. However, I must admit that it was Val who got my heart pumping and I guess you could say I fell for him in a literary lover kind of way. He's a dark, brooding, and a very sexy elf cop who falls hard for Quinn.

Their relationship was a difficult one to start off with, both being from different worlds, and Val's lack of familiarity with many of the human customs and phrases meant there was many a crossed wire. Even the relationships between some of the secondary characters are written in such a wonderfully believable way, often displaying characteristics that made me think of my own relationship with my husband.

I was pleased to find that this book was not just a string of ridiculous sex scenes just for the sake of them. There is a wonderful story here, and it had me gripped from page one. The sex scenes however, are very well written and most certainly had me feeling a little hot under the collar. These scenes aren't just about gratuitous sex, there is a sensuality to these scenes and a strong connection between our two sexy protagonists. The idea that trust was such a huge thing for Quinn, added more realism to the book, as I feel that you really need to trust someone to allow yourself to be intimate with them on a higher level.

Everything in this book was balanced and well written, from the sex scenes to the action scenes and everything in between. Also, this is the first book that I have managed to read in a day. It was that good folks. For me it was an excellent introduction into the world of M/M erotic fiction and for those that are looking to take the plunge, then this book is a great start. I am looking forward to getting round to reading the sequel.

This is a very sexy and romantic read and I enjoyed it immensely.

I gave this book a heart stopping 10/10.

To buy this amazing book check out the links below:

About The Authors

Angel Martinez
The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-four years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.Published since 2006, Angel's cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You'll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don't expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

Bellora Quinn
Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels.The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavour.