Title: Hidden Gem
Series: Hidden Gem Book 1
Author: Lissa Kasey
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
LGBTQ+ Category: LGBTQA
Reviewer: Marie Loring, Paranormal Romance Guild
About The Book
The sparkling jewel of the Hidden Gem, City M’s most renowned brothel, Misaki “Aki” Ito is living the good life. He’s not subjected to torture for his psi abilities, he has a roof over his head, food to eat, and all the sparkly shoes he could dream about. He also has one particular regular he can’t get enough of, Shane McNaughton, even if Shane occasionally asks for Aki’s help on a case.
Shane is a cop specializing in missing persons. He’s good at finding people, not just because of his years as a seasoned detective, but because he survived the Third World War and resulting plague with a few supernatural abilities himself. Mutated by the virus that wiped out two thirds of the world’s population, Shane no longer considers himself human. Which is why he limits his visits to a very breakable psi companion when not working a case, no matter how much he might want Aki.
When a high ranking official’s daughter goes missing and feared dead, Shane has no choice but to ask Aki to use his abilities to help him track down the kidnapper. The case opens a door to a past Aki thought he had escaped. Will Shane’s love be enough to save them all when something dark is awakened inside of Aki?
Note: Re-edited, but content still the same. Short fiction added to the end.
This is a good book. A very good book. Unfortunately, you have to read for a few too many chapter before the characters become likeable. Kasey writes about her protagonists using harsh terminology and dark scenes, which kept me from immediately getting inside their heads.
Not being a huge fan of dystopias, I nearly gave up after reading the prologue and first twenty pages, but I’m glad I didn’t. Once the author began a deeper development of her people, (about three chapters in), the world of Aki and Shane came to life, and I began rooting for them. I’m not convinced that all the back-story and gloominess she packed at the beginning couldn’t have been more tactfully introduced throughout several subsequent chapters. It would have been easier for Kasey to grab the reader’s interest instead of confusing them with her world’s horror-filled intricacies, and plethora of character names.
But I urge you to hang in there. The balance of the book is really worth it, and I defy you to put it down once you start it.
The mysteries that are woven throughout the story―the missing persons’ conundrum as well as the secrets Aki, Shane and several other of the characters conceal―are well constructed, confounding in a really good way, and satisfying in their complexities. The love story becomes more and more believable as it unfolds, and the chemistry between Aki and Shane, by the middle of the book, is heart poundingly palpable.
Kasey spares you nothing and leads you on a wild, convoluted journey, but once she finally clues you in as to which characters are good and which are bad, you find yourself wrapped in the tendrils of gripping action, waiting to see if there will be heartbreak or a happily-ever-after in the end.
All in all, this was a magnificently written book, and nicely edited. If not for the trouble I had getting into the story, I would easily have rated it 5 stars. Pick this book up and enjoy it. Believe me, it will eventually hook you, and you will want to read the next book in the series.
Marie Loring loves to read! An avid paranormal and sci-fi fan, when she’s not busy at work, she devours several books a week. Her passion is helping other readers wade through the mire of mediocre tomes to find those amazing, hidden gems!