Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Clouded Hell
Author: J.R. Gray
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 300 Pages
Publisher: J.R. Gray
Release Date: March 23, 2016
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: I survive on avoidance. Physical pain to avoid the mental. Disposable flesh to avoid relationships. Work to avoid attachment.
My club became my empire of avoidance. Inside the ring millions are won and lost. The fight is confined to breaths, actions and reactions, fists and pain. Rules don’t exist. Only my opponent exists.
I’d been avoiding my needs for far too long when Remi stumbles into the Inferno and I’m hungry. The promise of a submissive with no attachment is far too tempting. I can’t resist him.
He was only supposed to be a distraction, but I know I’ll never get over him. There isn’t a chance in this clouded hell.
Review: This one grabbed me right away. It is one of those stories that you start out thinking there is no possible way it can have any positive outcome. Thankfully, it does, but getting there is a bit rough.
Remi has spent his life under a mask, trying to be everything for others – his mob boss father who expects him to take over the business, his best friend, Kai, who relies on his domination, etc. Unfortunately, it is all coming to a head when Remi finally realizes he is at a point where he needs more for himself. He needs someone he can submit to. Short of finding that, he gets by with the help of pain, mostly in the form of fighting. He knows from a past horrible experience that coming out in any way to his father will not end well and would most likely mean death. So, he goes underground, so to speak, and finds Dante.
Dante is a dominant and pretty powerful guy who runs a lucrative underground fighting ring. He is still suffering the loss of his partner/husband who basically disappeared a few years prior (assumed suicide). He, too, gets by with the help of pain, also in the form of fighting. Remi partners up with Dante to bring new fighters to Dante’s area, but behind closed doors, Remi finds exactly what he needs/craves when he submits to Dante.
There is a lot going on here, but that is the gist of it. There are a lot of things standing in the way for these guys. Remi is basically tied to Kai, and his family dealings seem inevitable. Dante has his grief and also his best friend causing some issues.
I was a little afraid going into this that the fighting/need for pain would become too much for me but was pleasantly surprised to see that it never did. There is just enough to show the need and to understand it. Dante and Remi are truly explosive together. I loved that, while neither had any intentions of forming any kind of attachment (and even took precautions to prevent it), neither had control over it happening. I was pulling for them from early on, and that feeling only got stronger as they faced the various problems.
I was on the edge of my seat through most of this fast-paced read and definitely wasn’t ready to let these guys go. I really hope there will be a sequel to this story, because I’d sure like to see how these guys are making out, as well as their friends.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*