Joker (Executioners 2) by J.M. Dabney

Title: Joker                    Word Count: 150 pgs

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb: Joker, what a misnomer, but Jackson Webb’s friends were idiots. He’d joined Executioners almost three years earlier after the lead singer King caught him playing his guitar behind his garage. It broke up the monotony of his life, but once he got bored, he’d move on to another distraction. He wasn’t nice. He sure as hell wasn’t friendly. He was what he was, his friends handled his attitude and standoffish nature just fine. At thirty-eight he was pretty sure he was too stuck in his ways to change shit now. 

Demetri “Dem” Urban was settling into a new life in the middle of nowhere. Okay, he was hiding from everyone in a kitchen as far removed from his five-star kitchen back in New York as he could get. Gideon invited him to stay with him and his wife for a while just until he could get everything back on track. He didn’t see it happening, but he had to admit the scenery wasn’t bad even if the man had the personality of a rabid, man-eating bear. Dem did like a challenge and that fit Joker Webb perfectly.

Author’s Note: This story contains scenes of a violent nature, mentions of rape and torture (All off page from characters pasts) and severe abuse. If you, as a reader, find this objectionable or triggering in any way, you can skip this story without losing the transition to the next book.

My Review: From the moment of conception Joker’s life has been embedded in violence. Joker is the product of a rape, where his father kidnapped his mother and continued to abuse her for years. That physical abuse turned into torture for Joker, especially when  his mother disappeared. His father perpetuated the cycle of violence that was passed on from his grandfather. Joker fears the blood that runs through his veins has tainted him and will cause him to be the same kind of man. He has always shyed away from touch, learning to live with the bare minimum of everything. Joker leads a very structured life where he sticks to routine as a means of controlling all the rage and anger he is filled with.  

Gideon’s best friend Demitri needs a change after he breaks up with his boyfriend of two years. From the moment he sees a picture of Joker, he feels a certain spark. Demitri leads a pretty upbeat life and he doesn’t allow anything to get him down. He was borned with a degenerative disease that has gotten progressively worse and causes him to use arm crutches.Demitri loves being in the kitchen and is currently working at the diner where Joker eats all his meals. Demitri forces his way into Joker’s life by disrupting his monotonous routine. When he purposely messes with Joker’s breakfast, he is pissed and storms out. Dem realizes that he needs to nudge Joker in the right direction rather than  push him over the edge.

Dem starts inserting himself gently into Joker’s life and even though Joker balks, he still ended up taking Dem on a date. Dem is definitely the aggressor in this relationship, pursuing Joker at every turn. Dem even goes to Joker’s isolated cabin, drops in unannounced and stays two days. This is unheard of, everyone usually just leaves Joker when he needs his space. When Dem leaves the cabin , he tells Joker he will be staying at his home. Even though Joker is a bit standoffish and skittish, he doesn’t push Dem away.

Joker gives Dem one night of unadulterated passion. Dem has needs and he begs Joker to give it to him hard. He is tired of everyone treating him as less than because of his disability. Joker becomes swept up in the passion and gives in to both of their desires for the first time. Joker is understandably conflicted and he flees for 3 weeks. Joker doesn’t have the proper framework when he thinks about sex. He associates any type of rough sex with rape.

Dem was worried sick and he thinks he might have pushed Joker too hard. Joker acknowledges to himself that he wants their relationship to work. Their friends give them both advice , but what resonates with Joker is Sheriff Pelter’s advice to be honest. Dem understands that they will never have a touchy feely traditional relationship, but what they have is real and very promising. After being together for more than 6 months , Dem spits out a wedding proposal that is quite untraditional. Joker gladly accepts, hoping that he will be the man that Dem needs. I give this my ratings of 3- It was ok, give it a try.

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