Dana reviews Santori (The Santori Trilogy Book 1) by Maris Black. (Published December 15, 2017, 253 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: Well, I was given a copy for review, but I also bought this book because I love supporting talented authors. I said at the end of my review for KAGE Unmasked that there was “more room for the author to expand on these characters,” and she did. So, of course I had to read it.
THE KAGE SAGA CONTINUES…
Michael Kage Santori has just inherited a thriving hotel and millions of dollars. He’s poised to become an MMA champion. Things couldn’t be better between him and his college boy lover, Jamie Atwood— especially in the bedroom, where Jamie is more than eager to let Kage take out his aggressions on him.
Kage seems to have it all, but success and happiness have come at a steep price. After all of the childhood trauma he endured at the hands of his controlling uncle, Peter Santori, it’s a miracle Kage has any shred of sanity left. And now, because of him, Jamie is a murderer.
More than anything, Kage wants to be good. He wants the be the kind of man who is worthy of Jamie’s love, but fate has other ideas. His uncle’s legacy has a stranglehold on him, and it keeps dragging him further and further down a rabbit hole from which there seems no escape. Worst of all… Kage knows he’s going to pull Jamie down right along with him, and he would rather die than let that happen.
Previous books in this series:
There are a million thoughts running through my head as I write this review. It was such a good book with some real surprises. I can’t figure out why I didn’t read it sooner. But with the release of the second book at hand, it’s almost perfect timing anyway.
First I have to say that Maris Black writes a smooth book. The words flowed easily into my mind and I was getting further in faster than I thought. I love it when I can get sucked into a book and lose time.
This book starts before the epilogue of Kage Unmasked. We get to see what happened to Kage and Jamie after Peter’s death and before Kage came out publicly. There was a little bit of overlap that confused me for just a split second until I reconciled the events of the last book. Even though I am very excited about this trilogy, I have a little bit of apprehension reading it too. For just a little bit, it seemed like things were settling down for Kage and Jamie but in reading this book, I can see it’s not the case.
Kage is still very much Kage. He is very protective of Jamie, and while I admire him not wanting to drag Jamie into the regular stresses of his job and what appears to be some shady side businesses, as a reader of many a romance novel, I can see this is going to only lead to trouble. Jamie feels relegated to the back seat in this story. Kage gives him what feels to me a fluff job. Something to keep him busy but nothing to do with the business. He can only look on as Kage struggles to fit in the life he wanted with the life he inherited. Because Kage is too stubborn to share his life with Jamie. I admit it annoys me a little only because I want Kage to see them as equal partners. I really love this couple and can’t wait to see what happens in the next books. It might be a hard road to HEA but I do trust Maris Black to get us there.
There is a lot in this book about Kage’s Uncle Peter’s youth. It was a surprise. At first I didn’t think I would care to know about him because he was just such a cruel man, but I was surprised at the end of the book that I want to know more. I wondered if I would see shades of Kage in Peter’s past, instead I am reminded of Jamie. They share an innocence about the world around them, even though Peter’s father was quite awful compared to Jamie’s close family. They also share being attracted to someone powerful who wants to take care of them. I don’t know if that means anything in the long run, but I can’t wait to read on.
Even though this is a first book in a trilogy, it is definitely important to read the Kage Trilogy beforehand. I can’t recommend either enough. Thank goodness book 2 comes out soon.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 Stars
Maris Black lives in the Southern United States. In college, she majored in English and discovered the joys of creative writing and literary interpretation. After honing her skills discovering hidden meanings authors probably never intended, she collected her English degree and got a job at a newspaper. But she soon figured out that small town reporting wasn’t going to pay the bills, so she went to work in the medical field. Logical progression, right? But no matter what she did, the self-proclaimed compulsive plotter couldn’t stop writing fiction.
“The M/M genre feels sort of like coming home,” she says. “I can’t quite explain it. I’ve always had openly gay and bisexual friends and relatives, the rights and acceptance of whom are very important to me, so it feels great to celebrate that. But there’s also something so pure and honest about the love between two men that appeals to me and inspires me to write.”
To read the review for KAGE click here.
To read the review for KAGE Unleashed click here.
To read the review for KAGE Unmasked click here.