Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Another Man’s Treasure
Author: Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 268 pages
Release Date: June 1, 2014
Available at: Create Space, Amazon Print, Amazon Kindle,Smashwords
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Ilia Porter is Chechen mob boss Mikhail Kadyrov’s greatest treasure. After leaving home at eighteen to escape his verbally abusive father, beautiful, selfish Ilia has lived with Mikhail, proud of his ability to bring such a powerful man to his knees to worship. But when Ilia’s father, a police captain, kills Mikhail in a raid, Ilia’s world falls apart.
Entering to pick up the pieces is Mikhail’s younger brother, Nick—impulsive, power-hungry, and dangerous. When Nick tells Ilia he’s taking everything that belonged to Mikhail—including Ilia—Ilia is too lost in grief to fight. Nick takes Ilia prisoner in the apartment Ilia once shared with Mikhail and grooms him for a very important mission: to kill Ilia’s father and avenge Mikhail’s death.
Ilia wants no part in the plot, but being Nick’s ally is preferable to being Nick’s victim, so he begins to warp himself into the monster Nick wants him to be. Hope arrives when Nick takes another captive: Patrick, a shy massage therapist who’s stronger than he seems. Patrick and Ilia must join forces to escape Nick—and to keep each other whole as Nick does everything in his power to break them.
Review: You’ve been warned. This is not a traditional romance novel. There is no HEA. This is a psychological thriller with the twist of mm.
That being said, as soon as I saw this amazing cover and who had teamed up to create this story, I jumped right on board the crazy train. The blurb was quite intriguing as well, though even that didn’t quite prepare me for what was to come.
Ilia worked his way into my heart very early on. He didn’t have the best childhood, and lashed out at his father in somewhat understandably normal ways – various piercings, tattoos, make-up, etc. Then Ilia catches the eye of mob boss, Mikhail, who saw Ilia as a treasure to be nurtured and taken care of. He becomes Ilia’s life. The latest adornment he suffers for and presents to Mikhail is his corset piercing (on the cover). I have heard of these before, but I cannot tell you how many times I cringed throughout this story every time the ribbons were mentioned.
After Mikhail is killed, Ilia is crushed and at a complete loss. Then, Mikhail’s brother, Nick, shows up claiming all of Mikhail’s property, including Ilia. Nick is an evil bastard and horrendous excuse for a human being. He basically breaks Ilia down to nothing so that Ilia turns to him as the better alternative. There are some really rough scenes with Nick, which only made me long even more for the snippets we saw as Ilia remembered and recounted his time with Mikhail. Mikhail may have been just as ruthless where the mob was concerned, but with Ilia, he was the complete opposite. They truly seemed to love and care for each other, even if in ways not understandable to the outside “normal” folks.
Peter is brought in by Nick, though we meet him earlier when Mikhail hires him to massage Ilia. I really thought Peter had something to do with the raid that led to Mikhail’s death, but he ends up just being a victim of circumstance. Luckily for him, he is more mentally stable to begin with, and Nick didn’t spent quite the amount of time breaking him down as he did Ilia.
There is light at the end of their tunnel, but it is a long road to get there. If you like these types of stories, definitely give this a try. The writing is really good, the story keeps moving for the most part, even though time seems to stand still. There were times, in the middle, where things seem to have stalled, but it doesn’t take long to see it is all a part of Nick’s dastardly plan. I was riveted though and wanted to see Ilia come through.
While he doesn’t get the typical HEA without his love, Mikhail, there does still seem to be hope for him although many questions remain. What kind of life will he have now? Will he flourish or falter on his own or will he and Peter help each other? Will they accept becoming more than friends or see things go beyond their shared experience? Can he finally put his guilt and feelings of betraying Mikhail by being with Patrick aside? And then, as you’re asking all of these things, the last few sentences possibly affect every one of those answers. I really wish there was an epilogue here showing us just a bit more, as I definitely need more of this story. Let’s hope the way it ends is a sign that Lisa and JA have more already cooking with this tale.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the authors in exchange for a fair and honest review.*