Doll Baby - Kayleigh Sky
Length: 330 pages
Struggling to make enough money to buy a friend's bar and grill to fulfill a promise, Todd Rifkin vows to let nothing stand in his way. Nothing, that is, until a friend's call for help. Bailing his friend out of trouble might cost Todd his dream. Now he is scrambling to make up the loss and reluctantly takes on the job of errand boy for his boss' spoiled ex-lover.
Bliss Busby has no memory of the attack that scarred his face. Scared and reclusive, he has no interest in Todd's intrusion into his life. No interest, that is, until somebody starts scattering cinnamon hearts at his door. Now Todd is the only one standing between Bliss and a mysterious stalker.
Years ago, Todd lost the love of his life in a violent twist of fate. After a night with a knife-wielding maniac, Bliss lost everything. Thrown together by circumstance, Todd and Bliss must unite to battle a hidden force from the past. As Bliss struggles to remember the attack that wrecked his life, and Todd struggles to save him from an attacker that is closer than either of them realizes, their reluctant friendship becomes a passionate love that just might have the power to heal their wounded hearts.
If they live.
Stories that have a plot that wind up taking you through emotional turmoil, pain, drama, tension and suspense with characters who are scarred by their pasts…those are the ones I pop into my reading every so often because making a regular habit of them can be a bit trying on my own emotions. You can only handle book hangovers just so much before you need to get back to the lighthearted stuff. Doll Baby? Not lighthearted and fluffy.
Todd has pain in his past, though it isn’t fully shared in the story until far in to the book. He’s strong and determined to carry out his plan for the future, trying to fulfill a promise to someone he lost. Not one for getting attached-to anyone-he tries to keep himself focused on his goal. Then came Bliss. Bliss is far past broken. His memories of his past trauma he’s blocked from his mind, and he trusts only a couple of people, and even then he still has barriers up to prevent anyone from getting close. Then Todd wormed his way in…purely unintentional on Todd’s part.
With a danger out there lurking whose point of view we also get to see—a sorely twisted, depraved, clearly insane point of view—the tension and worry is a constant presence the further into the book you get. The way the story is written, you are continually in the heads of Todd and Bliss with a touch of the crazy one too. Being more inside everyone’s heads instead of more in their interactions and words is harder for me to read and makes for a more stressful read for me as well, but the story is still solid and in the end I’m left here with the aforementioned book hangover.
Doll Baby is hard, intense and filled with the ongoing tension from the guy who is stalking Bliss as well as the tension between Todd and Bliss as their relationship progresses. Not everyone is who they seem, and even though this story was at times difficult for me to get through (just due to the way it is written, being eternally and deeply entrenched in Bliss, Todd and the crazy one’s heads), I still HAD to know how everything would end up.
4 stars for Doll Baby from me, and I’d recommend this to M/M romantic suspense readers 18+ for adult language and topics, and M/M sexual content including a group scene. This story is not necessarily what I’d consider a “dark” romantic suspense, but it skirts that edge and keeps you on it.
Kayleigh Sky is a m/m erotic romance writer.
Kayleigh's stories are tales of struggle and pain, loss and despair. Love is won in the battle to rise out of the depths of darkness. Victory is in the sweet bliss of happily ever after.
Once upon a time Kayleigh hid out in a cold dark garage reading a book her parents forbid her to read. She was nine years old. The book? Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin, a story of love between two men-well, actually the story was a little more complicated than that, but hey, she was nine.
In the dark of the garage, a light, a passion, a sheer joy for love in all its manifestations awoke.
And love between two men-Hot!
Kayleigh's men are often broken, always brave, and always memorable.
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