Author: Christina Lee
Published on: August 17, 2015
Genres: New Adult Romance, Romance
From the author of There You Stand, a new male/male romance about an errant motorcycle recruit and the captivating bartender who sends his wheels spinning down an all too tempting road.
Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.
“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.
When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.
As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe.
The Darkest Flame is Christina Lee’s second M/M novel. We were first briefly introduced to Vaughn and Smoke in There You Stand. I was excited to see how she was going to explore the quiet, yet, budding attraction between the two characters.
Vaughn is the owner of the Hog’s Den bar. The Disciples MC own portion of the bar and conduct many of their meetings there. Smoke aka Reed, is a new recruit for the club. Both he and Vaughn are bisexual. They have a easy friendship but there is also an underlining attraction. Neither have acted on their feelings but when Smoke steps in to bar-tend at the bar, the two grow closer.
What I liked about the story was that the two were very upfront about their attraction for one another. There was never a question about it. Yet they had to hide it from others. Neither is out to their friends or family. They don’t know how the MC would feel about them being together but they decide to explore it. Christina Lee has this exceptional way of writing sexual tension. Even something a simple as a kiss or look between the two was scorching hot. Their story seemed sexier and more erotic, than any of her previous novels.
Both men were very sexy, sweet, alpha males. Smoke has a bit of a dark past. After the tragic death of his father, he sort of spiraled out of control. He joined his former MC and got himself mixed up in drugs and a toxic relationship. When he begins to work on a new project for the Disciples MC it brings some unexpected trouble to Vaughn and himself. The MC aspect of the book plays a big part in this story. It’s not as dark and gritty as many MC books are, but it still had a bit of action and suspenseful moments. I wish the story had been fleshed out a bit more. I just wasn’t as emotionally connected to these characters as I hoped to be, but I truly liked them both. I am excited to see more from this series.
I grabbed my hold of keys and tried not to slam my way out the door. I didn’t know why the hell I was so rattled by Vaughn tonight. I mean, I had been every night, but something about the idea of him being with somebody else right in front of my eyes, made me crazy with need. Need that it felt like only he could fulfill.
As soon as I got to my bike I realized I’d left my cut in the break room. I stood outside attempting to rein in my uneven pulse. I didn’t know what the fuck had come over me.
Breathing more steadily, I stepped back through the door only to find the bar empty. I’d just grab my leather vest and leave him in peace.
“I forgot my…” I stopped in my tracks because Vaughn stood motionless in the middle of the floor, veins bulging in his neck, as if he’d implode at the slightest touch.
He was always moving and talking with a restless energy in this bar so his stillness was a bit startling.
“Hey.” I gingerly placed my hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry if I—”
There was instant recoil, as if he were attempting to contain the vortex of tension between us by vacuuming it in through his skin.
He twisted toward me, his eyes latching onto mine, right before I was slammed against the door.
The wind was practically knocked out of me as Vaughn sank his weight against my smaller frame. We were groin to groin, heartbeat to heartbeat.
“Fuck, Vaughn, you’re—” Heaving breaths surged through my nostrils. “I was going to suggest a truce.”
“Yeah?” he mumbled, his gaze fastening on my mouth. “What sort of truce?”