Erryn reviews ‘Shades of Lust (The Carnal Tower Book 1)’ by E.M. Lindsey. The ebook was published February 2, 2022 and was 280 pages. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Kirt Graves, released May 23, 2022 and is 7hrs and 53mins. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I’ve been enjoying the On The Market series.
“The path to paradise begins in hell.” (Dante Alighieri)
On a small path leading to nowhere sits a looming cathedral, once-abandoned, now hosting the most dangerous of pleasures.
And Stone Brice is the most dangerous of all: Lust. A former acrobat, Stone’s life was changed dramatically after an accident, and now he runs The Carnal Tower, a place where people can go to have their deepest and sometimes darkest fantasies realized.
Stone is a man who is rarely taken by surprise, so when he meets the artist, August Ashley, he doesn’t expect to trip and fall at his feet—literally. But there’s something about the quiet stranger in the park that Stone wants to take apart, and that feeling only gets worse the more Stone gets to know him.
Stone is well aware he can’t mix business and pleasure, but when August comes to him with a proposal for a trade—seven paintings for seven nights with Lust—he can’t say no. Not when it means he’ll be able to have August exactly the way he wants him—even if it’s just for a week.
Stone has every plan to strip August down to his very soul, but the longer the week goes on, the more Stone comes to realize that August might very well be his undoing.
Shades of Lust is the first book in a new series. It features a bi-awakening, high heat, low angst, and the human embodiment of a seven deadly sin whose sole purpose is to make sure his client never forgets their week at The Carnal Tower. Each book in the series can stand on their own, and all contain no cheating, and a happily ever after.
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I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I’ve read tons of books by this author and everything is unique. I’ve come to expect a hero with some kind of disability – which was delivered – and sometimes there’s a hero who’s shy. Not quite comfortable with himself. Check that box as well.
I adored August. Kind of bumbling. Going through life just wanting to paint. He runs a gallery and has a receptionist to deal with, you know, people. He also has an adorable dog who gets into some mischief. Another little thing I love in books.
Stone is an interesting character. A devastating injury left him with a disability, but he just goes about living his life. He used the money from the settlement to create The Carnal Tower. He’s hired a group of men to each be one of the deadly sins. Their customers can come for just one night – or many nights – but there’s always a limit. No more than seven. Now, this group was quite the set of characters and I enjoyed getting to know them – a nice set-up for future books.
When Stone, the sin of lust, hires August to paint the sins, August comes back with a proposal – give me seven nights for seven paintings. It’s unclear whether he really knows what he’s up for, but he knows he wants out of the chastity that’s dogged him his entire life. He wants to really live – and Stone’s giving him the chance.
I was fascinated to watch the relationship unfold, and was quite pleased with the ending. Like I said, more books to come and I can’t wait. Kirt Graves did a fantastic job narrating this book and I hope he does the next one as well. Can’t wait.
9/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
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E.M. Lindsey is currently living in the United States. In the very little free time they have, they read, Netflix binges, and writes– in that order. E.M. Lindsey’s works can be found exclusively published on amazon.