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.

Advertisements

Ghost ( Executioners 1) by J.M.Dabney

Title: Ghost                                     Word Count:157 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Biker Gay Romance

Blurb:Gideon Jane earned the name Ghost for his reclusive nature when he joined a group of guys in Powers, Georgia in a band called Executioners. It had been his way of settling into small town life after living in New York for the past twenty years. He loved the band and his small organic farm. What he didn’t love was being single, but it appeared it was his new reality. He didn’t want his ex back, although he did want something. What that was eluded him until the evening he walked into Nightingale’s Books.

Small town girl Harper Sage knew pain, and she’d lived with it—she had the scars both mental and physical to prove it. It would’ve been easier to hop in her car to find safety and anonymity, but Harper stayed to prove she was stronger than hurled fists and bruising prejudice. She found herself within the safety of a close-knit group of rough bikers and bar bouncers. That didn’t mean it was all perfect.

What’s a girl to do when she craves normalcy and acceptance: she just smiles. Choices are made, some with dire consequences and others that bring her closer to her dream. Will she make the right decision or finally discover escape is her best option?

Author Note: This book contains scenes of violence and descriptions of self-harm.

My Review: We have been introduced to Harper through the Twirled and Brawlers Crew. They have all tried to take her into the fold, because she is one of the sweetest, most kindest people they know. There is just one problem, Harper doesn’t see her own self worth. Harper is transgender and from a very early age there has always been a miscommunication between her sense of self and who she wants to be. Harper has a very low self-esteem and she has only ever found release from her depression through self harm. After her last suicide attempt her best friend Kyle inviegled her promise not to ever self harm again.

Harper has found another way to feel pain, his name is Bill. Bill is a homophobic bully who likes to take out his anger on Harper and uses her in despicable ways. He is not above using and abusing her body and pysche. Harper wants to get out , but there is a tiny little part of her that wants to die. She bears many scars on her body and soul from Bill. When Harper meets Gideon otherwise known as ‘Ghost’ by the Executioners and Brawlers Crew, she feels a tingle and yearns to be normal.

Ghost thinks Harper is one of the most beautiful women he’s ever met. He tries to get Joker, Harper’s self professed protector to open up about her. Ghost is warned and definitely chastised about hurting Harper. Ghost gets to know Harper slowly. For Harper, this is a new and scary experience as her relationships with men usually equate to pain. It is Twitch, the well loved twink of the Brawlers Crew that encourages her to take a chance on Ghost.

Inadvertently, that chance comes when Bill hurts Harper so badly she ends up in the hospital with bruises and knife wounds. Ghost goes into protective mode and takes her to his farm. Harper spends weeks with Ghost healing and slowly getting acclimated to what a healthy relationship could look like. Ghost pampers her as much as she allows and he sees a new spunky side of Harper unfolding when he coddles her too much. Watching the banter between these two is fun. Their sexual heat slowly simmers but is well worth the wait. Under that gentlemanly exterior lives a passionate Ghost. He gently unleashes his passion on Harper who combusts at the slightest touch.

For the first time, a man’s touch allows Harper to feel beautiful and embrace her true self and identity. It is through Gideon’s passion that Harper truly embraces her transgender body in all its glory. Gideon knows the time for subtlety has passed the morning after their glorious night together. He expresses his true feelings to Harper and she is still in awe that a man like Gideon would want a relationship with her. Before she can allow her newfound feelings to settle in , Bill attacks again. He uses a rifle this time and Joker gets hurt. Luckily, its just a flesh wound and Joker will be on the mend soon. Once again , Bill is in the wind.

Harper’s life starts crumbling and she feels guilty for bringing Gideon into her mess of a life. The Brawlers Crew let her know how much she means to them by opening their home to her for a respite. Gideon continues to shower her with love and it overwhelms her a little, but it is just what she needs to feel secure. His unwavering support in the face of danger gives her the strength to carry on. Harper does all the ‘couply’ things with Gideon.

After the Executioners finish their band practice one night, Bill strikes again. It is Gideon who gets hurt this time. Joker tousles with Bill for his gun and Bill will definitely not be coming back this time. The bane of Harper’s existence is finally dead. However, this act of violence has put Joker in a catatonic state and forces him to flee his ‘brothers’. They are all worried about Joker, but they know that in time he will recover.

Harper and Gideon are able to proceed with their relationship without a cloud hanging over their head. Harper relishes her newfound self confidence and enjoys the love that continues to blossom fruitfully with her sexy ‘bear’. At long last, Harper gets her happily ever after when Ghost proposes. I really enjoyed the first in the Executioners series, I can’t wait to read about Joker. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.