New Release and Book Review: The Darkest Flame, by Christina Lee

Introducing a steamy, sexy, suspenseful new release by Christina Lee …

Title: The Darkest Flame

Author: Christina Lee

Series: Roadmap to Your Heart, Book 1

Genre:  M/M, MCC Erotic Romance, Suspense


The Darkest FlameFrom 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.

***Please note, this is an adult male/male romance, intended for readers who are 18+ years, due to mature content.

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The Darkest Flame_Fotor_MyReview


The Darkest Flame was my first introduction to the very popular MCC genre. I’ve not consciously avoided it, but I’m the kind of incurable romantic that is usually drawn to less gritty, less violent themes. Given a choice, I tend to prefer stories about sexy athletes and well-groomed CEOs to the equally stereotypical tattooed bad-boys and their leather-clad ‘old ladies.’ However, in this case, I was drawn to the story precisely because it defies the customary premise.

This dramatically steamy, suspenseful novel is a stunning M/M contemporary adult erotic romance that includes all of the hard-hitting sex, suspense, and personal struggles that MCC fans expect and appreciate. But it goes further, powerfully conveying the heart-wrenching struggle of the attraction between Smoke and Vaughn, as well as their battles with personal demons. The characters are well-developed and the solid storyline is believably set within a culture that typically shuns – or ignores – the presence of homosexuality within its ranks.  You feel the longing that pulls them together and the fear that drives them apart. Every sense comes alive when they finally acknowledge and act upon their irresistible need for one another.

The addition of tenuous alliances between clubs, the dark nature of the drug and arms trade, and the suspense of not knowing who can and who cannot be trusted evokes a different type of fear and dread in the reader. Will Smoke be drawn back into the self-destructive life he’s left behind? Will one of them be exposed or sabotaged by a former lover or associate? Do they have the strength to live the life they long for? Or, even worse, will one or the other be injured or killed in the inevitable confrontation between Smoke’s old club and the one that has taken him in?

I highly recommend The Darkest Flame and really look forward to the remaining books in this new series.

Published by

Paula Radell

Always a passionate reader and a somewhat more casual writer, Paula Radell started her first book review and promotions blog, Curl Up and Read, in September of 2013. In early 2014, she left a career in nursing to become a freelance project management consultant. She also turned her part-time hobby into a full-time passion by becoming a freelance editor, publicist, and a hopeful author. She is a Goodreads Librarian, Group Moderator, and a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. She has also taken advanced internet and social media marketing certificate courses at the University of San Francisco. Born and raised near the beaches of southeastern Virginia, Paula now lives in Mendocino County, California with her husband Ray, a couple of stray tabby cats, Matthew & Diana, and a 2-year old rescue Greyhound, Willow. When she is not catering to the dog’s every whim, touring and tasting the latest California sparkling wine vintages with Ray, or sitting in Starbucks reading a great book, you can find Paula at her laptop – writing, editing, reviewing or avidly promoting the books and authors she loves. Two releases are planned in the coming year: Where Angels Lie, a dark romance; and an inspirational novella (name still under debate).

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