Desires Entwined 2: Desires’ Guardian by Tempeste O’ Riley

Title :  Desires’ Guardian             Word Count : 64,556

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Most people see Chase Manning as the party-boy twink he seems on the surface. Only James, Chase’s BFF, knows the depth of his loyalty and the extent of the wounds Chase carries inside. When Chase meets Rhys Sayer, things don’t go well, but he can’t shake his attraction to the huge, sexy man.

Rhys is a man of contradictions and fear—a strange combination for a PI and bodyguard. He’s in a bad place emotionally when he sets eyes on Chase for the first time. When Chase puts the moves on him, Rhys insults him, thwarting any possibility of a relationship. Rhys doesn’t see himself as a complicated man, but he dreads the very kind of connection he desires.

Just as they’re trying to overcome their uncertainties, Chase is put in harm’s way. Luckily Rhys and their friends have all the right talents to help Rhys save the man of his dreams.

My Review :  Rhys has recently dumped his boyfriend  after finding his twinky ass in his bed with another man. He feels really betrayed and has sworn off twinks. When he first meets Chase through their mutual friends James and Seth, he immediately pre-judges him. Chase is a sweet loyal friend who takes care of his friends like no other. He is used to being stereotyped because of his looks and that bothers him. The moment he first laid eyes on Rhys, he felt an instant chemistry, but he was rebuffed by Rhys’ attitude. Rhys thinks that Chase is just an empty-headed party boy twink who is just looking for a roll in the hay. He is very rude to Chase which hurts Chase’s fragile spirit. Chase tries as best as he can to stay out of Rhys’ way.

When James convinces Chase to offer his tech god services to Rhys’ PI firm, Rhys is a little bit skeptical. Working in close quarters with Chase seems to be an endeavor in futility.  He can’t seem to resist his attraction as more layers of Chase’s personality are revealed. He realizes that Chase is a sweet, loyal caring young man who is very dedicated to taking care of his friends. Chase has a lot of soul deep scars from his teenage years after finding his cousin who committed suicide. Rhys wants to just protect Chase from all possible harm, but Chase constantly fights for his independence.  He is not very good at seeing his own worth and has only ever let in his best friend  James in his heart. 

Things are definitely not smooth sailing between Rhys and Chase when they become lovers. Chase takes the lead in their sexual relationship,  it’s one of his rules. For the first time in his life, the big strong Rhys bottoms for another man and he loves it. He likes giving Chase control. Chase is afraid of the vulnerability that he thinks bottoming will bring out in him. Rhys shows him that it is time to open up to a partner who can appreciate his worth.

Their is an ominous shadow hanging over their budding relationship,  when someone starts killing off Chase’s exes. Rhys is very afraid for his lover and they start spending more time together . The positive in all this is that the more they are with each other, the more they realize they belong to each other. Life is turned upside down when the monster reveals himself by kidnapping Chase.  Rhys is out of his mind with worry, until they find his beloved.

Chase learns to embrace the beautiful things that are happening in his life and leave the past where it belongs. I wouldn’t say they are a match made in heaven, but they are definitely two men who believe in love and will make their relationship work. I didn’t always feel the chemistry between them throughout the whole book. I felt a little disconnected to this  one for some reason.  I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try. 

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Desires Entwined 1: Designs of Desire by Tempeste O’ Riley

Title : Designs of Desire                 Word Count : 60,778

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.

As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.

James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?

My Review : James Bryant has been used and abused by most of the men in his life. This has left emotional and physical scars that have been indelibly imprinted. Couple his low self esteem with a genetic disorder that doesnt allow his joints to be repaired easily, James is left a little bit broken. He has to use crutches to get around but his disability doesn’t hold him back, it’s his fear of the ghosts of his past that cripples him. Pretty much everyone in his life has dissapointed him in some way or another, except for his best friend Chase. Chase is always looking out for him and he is the one who points out the sexy new client for whom James will be doing design work.  

There is just something about Seth, he has a very commanding presence that is very captivating. James can’t help but to abide his instinctual need to submit. There’s only one problem,  his mind is often in flight or fight mode due to his previous abusive relationship. As much as James would like to go into full submissive mode, he is hesitant and somewhat resistant because of his circumstances. He often takes the kindness that Seth portrays as an insult,  rather than what was intended which is a master taking care of his sub. 

When James meets  an ex lover of Seth’s,  it becomes clearer to him that Seth’s commanding nature is not only a personality trait. James learns that Seth might be more into the BDSM lifestyle than he can handle. Through his private conversations with the ex, James gleaned certain personal information about collars, markings and some allusion to beatings. James misunderstands the premise of the former relationship  and he flees out of fear. He fears that he has fallen  into the same trap yet again and that his former abusive past will be a part of his present and future once again. James distances himself from Seth for awhile by refusing contact and using Chase as a buffer for their interactions. After, he gets an explanation from Seth that puts his mind at ease and allows him to see that what happened in Seth’s past was entirely consensual. He slowly starts trusting Seth again and allows him to be a part of his life. 

When there is a crisis with Seth’s family and there are surprising revelations,  James deals with it with aplomb and takes on the role as more of a loving partner. This leads to James making his own revelations,  a declaration of love. Their roles become slightly reversed where James is now the rock, the strength of the union that holds it all together while Seth grieves.James opens not only his heart but his home to Seth as well. Their relationship progress nicely and Seth comes home to the savoury smells of James’ culinary skills each day. 

Drunken ramblings from Chase leads to misunderstandings ,  a phone smashed to smithereens and an effusive apology from Seth actually fortified their relationship. Their future is further solidified by Seth’s proclamation of love and a tentative marriage proposal goes a long way in making  James the happiest man alive. He is starting to see for himself how much Seth cares for him.

Their blissful life has a dark cloud hanging over it. There is an unknown threat to James  that causes Seth to be proactive in hiring a bodyguard.  James is really nervous when he has to tell the new strangers in his life, the Sayer brothers  about his horrid past. He explains to them how he has been abused and raped by people who he trusted when he was younger. This gives them a better handle as to how best to protect him. James has to face the ghosts of his past, in order for him to claim his future with his new family.  Everything is starting to look up for him and it’s all due to the man he loves. Seth finally proposes properly and there is no doubt left in James’ mind. He has learnt that the best family you could ever have are the ones that you choose to open your heart to and they in turn will cherish you just as you are. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.