Guest Reviewed by Trish
Title: Hidden Gem
Author: Lissa Kasey
Heroes: Misaki “Aki” Itou/Shane mcNaughton
Genre: MM Sci-Fi
Length: 246 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Misaki “Aki” Itou is a psi—a person with mutated DNA granting him psychic abilities. He’s also a contracted companion—a whore. It may not be the perfect profession, but having a roof over his head, food to eat, and not being subjected to torture is a dream come true. He is the top companion at the Hidden Gem, and it makes him enough money to buy the prettiest, most sparkly shoes he can find.
Shane McNaughton is an Irishman who survived the Third World War and works as a cop. Head of Missing Persons, he’s good at finding people, but after the plague of the Third mutated his DNA, he has a hard time letting anyone see the monster inside. He’s been paying for Aki’s services for two years, both the psi and the sexual kind, but he wants more from the companion.
Shane needs Aki’s ability to see into another person’s past to track down a serial killer murdering the children of rich and powerful men, but the more they work together, the clearer it becomes that they are linked through a darker past than either of them realizes.
Review: I enjoy Lissa Kasey’s stories and was so happy when a new story was released. I really enjoyed Hidden Gem. There is a lot going on with this story. However, it was very well put together and not overwhelming. It has amazing world building, yet it easy to keep track of. There are characters who are shifters, and some with Psi abilities. We have a serial killer and let’s not forget a whore with a shoe obsession.
The world setting in this story is split into the North and South areas. Aki, our main character, is an orphan with Psi abilities who was tortured in the South. He made his way North and became a very well know whore.
Shane is a cop who often visits Aki at the whorehouse and is well aware of his Psi abilities. Shane has used Aki for help on cases in the past, and you can tell early on there are some sparks between the two. The psi issues with Aki are pretty severe. He can’t be touched or touch someone directly without seeing and re-living their memories. If there was something in this story that bothered me, it was this. A whore who can’t be touched on his skin and can only touch while he is wearing gloves seemed like it would not make a very good selling point. It was hard to digest, but the rest of the story was amazing so I moved past that niggle.
Shane is a cop but also a shifter, and this author did an amazing job with the shifter characteristics. They are animals and behave as such. These shifters are wild, and have no human”ess” to them while in their animal forms. They must shift on a regular basis, and it is very painful to do so. This is an important part to the story, but I won’t go further into it.
There are flashback scenes throughout the story. We have also have a serial killer that’s on the loose and the story progresses nicely. This is not a romance, not your typical kind anyway. Aki is such a multilayered character, and it’s going to take a strong partner to love him and keep him safe. There is a lot of world building woven into the story as it progresses along.
The secondary characters are well written. Candy is Aki’s best friend and an amazing character that I hope has a story all his own. Bart is the owner of Aki’s whore contract, and Paris is Aki’s “mentor” in a way. Paris found Aki and brought him into the whore business, which saved Aki’s life. There is much respect between Paris and Aki. Paris was an intriguing character and maybe he’ll get his own story too? 😉
In the last half of the book, Aki learns there is way more to his abilities and his past than what he originally thought. I won’t go into details to avoid spoilers, but there are many twists and turns that keep you engaged in the story. We have some sweet moments as well, and as I said earlier, it’s not your typical romance, but there is love and understanding, so who could ask for more.
The story ends with an HEA and with most of the storyline resolved. However, the end was kind of abrupt. And because I don’t reveal spoilers in my reviews, all I can’t say is when do we get Book 2?
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*