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TITLE: Payoff (Market Garden, #6)

AUTHOR: L.A. Witt, Aleksandr Voinov
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
YEAR: February 2014
GENRE: M/M Contemporary Erotic Romance
HEAT LEVEL: Adults Only, Erotic Content
RATING: 5 out of 5

Market Garden

REVIEW: This review is based on an ARC, provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I should begin by confessing that this is the first of the Market Garden stories that I’ve read. A copy of Payoff was provided to me in exchange for an honest review, but I have to admit, I was concerned about my ability to provide an effective review coming so late to the table, as it were. As it turned out, I had no problem getting into the story. These authors did an excellent job of diving into the action, yet also weaving in enough backstory that newbies like myself can enjoy the book as a stand alone story. No mean feat when working with fewer than fifty pages.

In fact, these authors work very well within this brief page count, balancing dialogue and narration efficiently and effectively. Tristan and Jared’s relationship began in a previous volume, but I was immediately drawn into the opening scene as if I’d known them all along. Their dilemma is believable, and the course of events over the evening covered by the story is plausible and well-paced. Keep in mind that this is a story about two male prostitutes and the client who has hired them for an evening. The sex is scorching hot and the language is raw. In fact, the sex scenes are written with a wonderful subtlety that, in my opinion, is the real gem these authors give us. While every sex scene is hot, sweaty, and enthusiastic, the interaction between Tristan and Jared is rich with emotion that, while never resorting to treacly sentimentality, conveys the true depth of feeling these men share.

Technically, I found no grammatical errors, and the prose was clean and easy to read. Nothing pulled me out of the story or left me puzzled over where that extra hand came from. This book is polished and professional. The conclusion was logical and satisfying, with a definite happy-for-now and an implied happily-ever-after.

In short, though this was the first book I’ve read in the Market Garden series, it won’t be the last.