Livingston (Trenton Security 1) by J.M. Dabney

Title: Livingston Word Count:186 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:He was the Beast without the escape clause.

Francis “Liv” Livingston was a beast. No matter if he wore a perfectly tailored suit or if he was in his tactical gear, people avoided looking at him. He was always first to volunteer for the jobs only a person with a death wish wanted. Tomorrows weren’t guaranteed. His boss had come to him and told him he needed him for a job. Linus knew the jobs he liked, but when he opened the file, it all went to hell.

Beauty was only skin deep.

Fielding Haskell made his way in the world on his looks. He’d earned his first film role before he could read a script. He didn’t want the fame. He wanted to go to college. He wanted a man who didn’t look at him and see how pretty he was. Unfortunately, a so-called fan only cared how attractive he was, and it earned him a personal bodyguard and a vacation. He looked forward to the break until he met the man in charge of his safety and wondered if the danger he left was worth dealing with a sudden attraction to a man who was colder than ice.

My Review: Liv has lived in the shadows, ever since he was a boy and his crazy cultish mother lit his bed on fire. He has burn scars on 75 percent of his body.Liv’s always stood apart from the rest of the Trenton Crew and the other Crews, even though they are a brotherhood in every sense of the word. He knows compared to his crazy handsome counterparts, he is the ‘beast’ of the lot. With all the Crews pairing up lately and raising families, he holds out no hope that will be his future. Liv takes all the suicide missions that his boss Linus hands out and he loves his solitude. From the moment he lays eyes on Fielding Haskell he knows he’s in trouble.

Fielding Haskell is an up and coming movie star who is in need of protection from a stalker. His parents want to protect their interests in their meal ticket. They try to control all aspects of Fielding’s life especially his weight gain. Fielding is practically half starved in Liv’s opinion. He is petite and androgynous and something in his demeanor calls to the dominant in Liv. Liv tries to be professional, because he knows there is no sense in an attraction between them. After all he is the ‘beast’. How could the most beautiful man love him or could he?

Fielding is intrigued with the man named Liv. He sees his scars and feels empathy for the pain he must have endured. Fielding is a very tactile person and all he wants to do is to touch the scars to feel the smoothness against his cheek. He wants to feel the hair that grows on only the one side of Liv’s body. Fielding feels an attraction to the big sexy gruff man who he knows is off limits. Being enclosed in Liv’s rustic cabin allows Fielding to feel a sense of freedom he has never known. He instinctively defers to Liv’s dominance and trusts him to do what’s best for him. Liv gets a taste of what it would mean having a ‘boy’ of his own for the first time. Can he have an ‘ever after’ like all his other paired up brothers?

When Liv goes on a mission and leaves Fielding alone , he gets a true understanding of the responsibility of being in a relationship. All he can think about is returning safely home to his ‘boy’. Having a gun shoved in his face, certainly put things in perspective for him. Once he gets home, in spite of his insecurities, Liv knows he needs Fielding for however short-lived it will be. Liv surprises Fielding with an induction to the crews on their Sunday bike ride. Fielding feels so free and safe with Liv. Liv opens up about his scars while Fielding talks about how he is a prisoner in his own everyday life. Fielding shares his dreams of wanting to be a normal person without restrictions on his diet or actions. Their idyllic bliss is interrupted when they receive a new note from Fielding’s stalker. Liv is furious and it drives him crazy to think he might have put his boy in danger. They come up with the ruse of faking Fielding’s death to draw out his stalker.

Liv knows this is the time to make Fielding his in every sense of the word. His daddy is certainly not gentle and he relishes the feelings and all the passion. Fielding embraces every bit of pain,because he knows he is seeing the true Liv. Fielding offers up his virginity freely , because he knows he’ll never find another Liv. It makes him sad his daddy doesn’t want to keep him, but he doesn’t push for more. Fielding lives in the moment and the passion between the two is incendiary.

Fielding is worried about the man he thinks of as his ‘daddy’ when the team notices that Liv is not checking in. Their feelings overwhelm them as soon as Liv walks through the door, he is jumped by his boy who is ecstatic to see his daddy safe and sound. Liv takes Fielding to the woods to stay with his even crazier friends Horace and Freddie. Being in the woods gives Liv even more freedom. They end up giving a passionate performance of their lovemaking to the voyeuristic duo . Seeing Liv’s imperfections and Fielding’s beauty tantalizes them, making them have hope for themselves. After a week of roughing it, Liv decides it’s safe to go back to the cabin.

The stalker has become desperate and he uses Little , another member of Liv’s team to get to Fielding. He snatches him from right out of their office building using the guise of visiting Little. Fielding is surprised he knows his kidnapper, he was a child star he worked with years ago. It doesn’t take the team long to find Fielding. Liv is spitting mad and wouldn’t hesitate to eliminate the stalker if Sheriff Camden Pelter didn’t hold him back. Liv takes his boy home and pampers him, knowing that he has to let him go soon. What does a man like Liv have to offer someone like Fielding? The answer comes to him from the matriarchs Lily and Peaches who impress upon him his true worth as a son , brother, friend and lover.

Within moments of coming to pick up Fielding, his parents pour on the insults about his weight gain.Liv doesn’t even hesitate to order his boy back to his side. Finally, he sees the truth , there is nobody else who can take care of Fielding like he can. He acknowledges that he loves his boy unconditionally and only he can provide for all of his boy’s needs. Fielding is ecstatic and can’t wait to continue his life with his daddy. For sure, there will definitely be a wedding put on by the matriarch.I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear.

Little ( Trenton Security 2) by J.M. Dabney

Title: Little Word Count:188 pgs
Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb:Insanity was in the eye of the beholder.

Harmon Little was a surveillance expert. He lived in the shadows, and he liked it there. There wasn’t a place he couldn’t get in and out of without detection. As usual with his mischievous nature, his current assignment went south, and he ran. He thought he was free and clear until he knocked someone over in a grocery store aisle.

Sanity wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

Solomon “Solo” Poe was counting calories. Working out until he fell into bed hungry and exhausted. He was plain and pudgy, plus he couldn’t remember when he’d last gone on a date. He wanted more than the occasional, lights out, one-night stand. So, he was going to lose the weight and find himself a man. At least that was the plan, then a big man with a huge smile tried to kill him in a store aisle. There was one thing he was sure of, Harmon was his.

My Review: Harmon Little has been coined the ‘crazy one’ of the Trenton crew. His closest friend and the one who understands him the most is Lily, Lucky and Linus’ mom and one of the overseeing matriarch of all the Crews combined: Twirled, Brawlers, Executioners and now the Trenton security team. Like most of the big scary men in these crews, Little has had a rough childhood. He yearns for someone to love him like he’s never been loved before. He is impulsive and his lack of control gets him in trouble most of the times. When he meets Solomon Poe for the first time , he feels like a kid in a candy store. He wants the little man wearing the cute bowtie, so he takes him home right out of the grocery store. Imagine Poe’s surprise when one moment he’s reading nutritional labels in the diet aisle , only to be whisked away by this sexy albeit crazy stranger who’s just kidnapped him.

This is definitely a weird scenario for Poe, but for some reason when he looks at Little he doesn’t feel fear. Little has an air of vulnerability surrounding him. He’s seems remorseful and a bit lost, but most of all Poe sees Little’s insecurities shining through. Harmon Little apologizes and sends Poe home with his friend Livingston. Little knows he’s crazy and way too impulsive, but he can’t seem to get the chunky bowtie wearing cutie out of his mind. He is certainly surprised when Poe calls him wanting to hang out.

An unlikely friendship forms between these two. Although he feels the burn of attraction for Poe, Little tries to take it slow, sex has always left him feeling alone and discarded in the aftermath. Poe doesn’t think he stands a chance with this sexy man. One thing he realizes that Harmon needs is intimacy -hugs, cuddles and touches here and there. This is definitely not a hardship for Poe and he is pleased to see Harmon blossoming like a rare flower under his innocent caresses.

Poe discerns from Harmon’s shyness that if he wants a physical relationship, he will have to take charge. This will be a first for Poe , stepping into the role of dominant in a sexual relationship. Him being smaller, makes him nervous about Harmon’s reactions. Poe is rewarded for his efforts, when he has Harmon quivering within seconds. It soon becomes clear how much he craves Poe’s touch. Poe is empowered by the feelings that engulfs them. Harmon opens up to Poe. He talks about his secret shame of his time spent on the streets from he was thirteen. Poe shows him that he is not stained by his past. He accepts all of Harmon and that means the world to him.

When Little is given an undercover assignment , he doesn’t feel the same exuberance as he once did. He needs to figure out why some homeless people are going missing after they visit an upscale institution purported to be the cure. Harmon decides to spend some quality time with Poe. They go on a romantic dinner at Vincent’s where all the partners are taken on special occasions. Poe also uses this opportunity to introduce Harmon as his boyfriend to his parents. Harmon is nervous but he is pleasantly surprised at how down to earth they end up being.

Poe starts feeling Harmon’s uneasiness about his mission on the morning before he leaves. Poe loves on his man and reassures him that he will be there when he gets back. It only takes 2 days of radio silence to drive Poe to the Trenton security office. He is introduced to the rest of the crew and meets Peaches,the other matriarch of this well loved ‘pieced together family’. The mission has gone horribly wrong and the crew needs to figure out a way to extract Little from this institution.

Little is stuck in the horrors of his past memories after being injected with an experimental drug. He is being drowned in his insecurities and his feelings of being unwanted and unloved. It takes all members of the crew plus a few outsiders to get Little out, not totally unscathed though. He is mentally bruised, but Poe is right there to love him back to health. It takes a few weeks for Harmon to get back to his ‘normal’ of craziness.

Once again Poe gives him exactly what he needs. Poe throws Harmon into the reverse role of dominant and this is definitely what he needs to be in control of his life again. It also helps when Lily officially adopts Harmon to the Trenton family. He finally gets what he has always wanted, a family who loves him unconditionally and his ‘person’ who loves him flaws and all. As usual, in their unconventional way another partner is welcomed into wedded bliss. Harmon is complete with his Poe. I give this my ratings of 3- it was ok. I still love the crews though and look forward to reading the next installment.