Also by this author: All of You, There You Stand, Two of Hearts, Three Sacred Words, Touch the Sky, The Deepest Blue, The Hardest Fall, Twelve Truths and a Lie
Series: Roadmap to Your Heart #1
Also in this series: The Deepest Blue, The Hardest Fall
Published by Self-Published on August 17, 2015
Genres: M/M Romance
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From the author of There You Stand, a new male/male romance about an errant motorcycle recruit and the captivating bartender who sends his wheels spinning down an all too tempting road.
Vaughn O'Keefe has been part owner of the Hog's Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he's never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named "Smoke" walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.
"Smoke" Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He's on the right path and isn't about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.
When the Hog's Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can't have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.
As Smoke's past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it's time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he'll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe.
Erin: The Darkest Flame is the newest contemporary M/M release but the awesome Christina Lee. She’s a fave here at PSC and this book has been our ‘Can’t Wait To Read’ list ever since Smoke and Vaughn were introduced in There You Stand. This book is a standalone though, so don’t worry about not following along if you haven’t met the delicious and Jude and Cory yet (though I recommend you fix that quick!)
Smoke and Vaughn have alternating POV’s throughout the book (something I’m a fan of) and because of this, the reader is aware of the strong attraction these two have for each other. Another thing that goes on my ‘yes, please’ list is sexual tension, the more the better, and The Darkest Flame delivers that and then some. In fact, it’s one of the strongest elements of the book. Smoke knows his motorcycle club brethren will not appreciate his interest in the hot and flirty bartender and Vaughn knows that no matter how many pointed looks Smoke gives and dirty fantasies Smoke is the star of, the two of them are doomed from the get go … until they’re not. Once circumstances force Smoke into helping Vaughn bartend at the Hogs Den, things go from smoldering the enflamed quickly.
An arm wound around me from behind before I was able to make it to the door.
Smoke’s lips found my ear. “I want you so goddamn bad.”
“So have me,” I said, barely able to keep from trembling as his hot breath caressed my throat.
He growled and forced my shoulder against the wall as his hand snaked around front to palm my erection. I’d been aching for him for hours. Days. Maybe even years.
I like these two guys together. A lot. Vaughn is definitely the more open and easy going of the two but Smoke definitely has that brooding bad boy with a secret soft inside down to a tee. Christina Lee always does a good job of building things—plots, relationships, drama—and The Darkest Flame is no different. There’s a lot of back story for both MC’s and I found that really helped to understand both quite well.
What didn’t work quite so well for me was the motorcycle club angle. I’m not sure exactly what the whole point of it is, or where it’s going. I mean, I GET IT but I don’t feel like it’s been developed quite as much as it could be. I liked Smoke and Vaughn as characters, and I like them together, but I’m not seeing it in conjunction with the MC. That whole arc is a bit thin for me. The ending was definitely wrapped up too tidily and the whole drama with Jake felt forced to me and way too overdramatic.
All in all though, I enjoyed this book. I’m definitely keeping Christina Lee on my must read list and I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series. I have to admit, I don’t really have a clue who the book will be about, but I know I can’t wait to see! Check this one out y’all: the guys are sexy, the sex is hot, and you won’t be sorry you did!