Guest Reviewed by Gyn
Title: The Pharaoh’s Concubine
Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Heroes: Dylan Anderson/William Memo Escobar
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 374 Pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Available at: Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks and Kobo
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Beauty is only skin deep until love reveals what lies beneath.
As mob boss Yvgeny Mosko’s open secret, Dylan Anderson is happy enough with a passionate, if loveless, arrangement that affords him a life of luxury. But at thirty-six, he wonders how committed Mosko will be to an aging lover.
He finds out when a rival gang kidnaps him in a turf war everyone s sure to lose. Mosko unleashes deadly force, leaving no one alive except for a young man whose dark eyes tug at Dylan s heart and the conscience he thought he d excised long ago.
Though he tried to stop the kidnapping, William Memo Escobar knows Mosko will use what s left of him to send a powerful message to his rivals. When Mosko s pampered pretty boy risks everything to help him escape, he can t believe his luck.
William figures he s better suited to life off the grid, but as the days go by he begins to realize Dylan s beauty is more than skin deep. And as Dylan coaxes more and more beguiling smiles from William, he yearns for things like family ties he d thought were best forgotten.
Yet behind their newfound happiness lurks the certain knowledge that no matter how careful they are, Mosko will come for what s his.Warning: This book contains a mob boss, a kept man, and a reluctant kidnapper who will never have to hear the words, Size doesn t matter.
Guys in suits, black SUVs, guns popping and blood running! Z.A. Maxfield’s mobster novel, The Pharaoh’s Concubine, starts off so packed full of action it could give any Martin Scorsese film a run for its money! But if you’re looking for your typical gangster style story… fuh getta bout it! Once Dylan, the lover of a powerful Russian mob boss, and William, the brother of a rival Hispanic gang member, run away and go into hiding together after betraying their respective gangs, the story becomes very much about the two of them.
If you like black and white, I’ll kill ya! If you want hearts and rainbows, I’ll kill ya! And if you expect this book to be easy, I’ll kill ya! Okay, so that’s a little dramatic, but you get the point. My favorite thing about this story is that there is no line between good and evil. All of the characters are a beautiful shade of gray. Even Yves, the head mobster himself, is both incredibly scary and incredibly loving.
I loved that Dylan knew he was a kept man, knew his boyfriend was a violent criminal and yet didn’t apologize for any of it after he left that life. I love that William slips into street thug mode whenever anyone thinks they are better than him. And I love that Dylan and William are sometimes so defensive and guarded that they wound one another because the flip side is that they get each other so deeply that they also protect and care for each other with everything they have.
But just in case this wasn’t enough drama for you, Maxfield makes you an offer you can’t refuse by throwing in a little side plot of angst. I have to say I was not at all expecting the family and religion aspects of this story. Dylan left everything behind when saving William from having to say hello to Yves little friend. With no plan in mind, he finds himself back in the town he grew up in and back in the lives of his sister and former friends from the Church of Latter Day Saints, all of whom turned their backs on him when he came out.
I would say the only downfall in this entire story was the ending. It was all wrapped up in a nice little package with a bow on top and handed to the reader. Although I wasn’t exactly expecting a horse head left under the sheets, I didn’t quite think it would end so pretty. Still, the journey there was full of enough potholes and pitfalls that I enjoyed the story and didn’t mind it all smoothing out in the end!
I would say to the author, great job! You made it, Z.A.! Top of the World!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*