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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly: A love story... amidst the danger, adrenaline, failure and truth, 20 July 2014
This review is from: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
From the first sentence, this one chomped down on me like a gods damned rabid alligator (yeah, you'll see) and did not let go. Thrashing me and my heart about amongst the emotional depth charges, only to try and lull me into the "maybe this will work out" lazy-boy, even though I KNEW it could not be that easy, to breathe, to anything, no way. And it wasn't, not for Tommy and Prophet. Not for me.

For these two men, they are a living twisting wild ball of contradictions, ceaseless, and yet they and their myriad imperfections fit together, no matter how much one or other or both of them fail at taking advantage of it all. I think they always recognize it, they see it and want it but the actual "doing" of it is always the challenge. They are still each other's keys.

Page 69 - no joke - and my entire body warmed. So well done. Yes, it's hot as hell, but that connection, it's a driving, suffocating, exalted, maddening, loving connection. This is more than a "romance", these are two people are clawing for each other, for what they do and mean to each other. Makes me want to roar.

Imagery. Who talks about imagery anymore? Well, this story is full of it. Fingers threaded together as the two of them figure out what's next, because they know there is a next but how the hell do you get there and without hurting each other too badly, without losing each other in the process? This is their journey, given flight by that one image: fingers threaded together amidst the chaos, attraction, fear and sex. As frustrating as it can be sometimes to watch, many a time the journey must be taken in order to truly arrive, not just at the destination, but with the person who should be there with you. No short-cuts.

It's still so obvious to me that these two men will never be rid of each other, never separated, truly, ever.

The consistency of character is there in both Tommy and Prophet, and this time: Proph takes care of Tommy (well, everyone - tries to, anyway) and Tom sees the real person Proph is but can't yet allow himself to become. Switch the names in the sentence above and it still plays true. For each other, they quell that fire inside, the kind of fire that sometimes threatens to consume if faced with no opposition in the form of love and understanding and acceptance. They are each other's best kind of wet, juicy, thick, indestructible blanket.

***SPOILER***Prophet thinking, while some doorway palm reader is trying read his on his way to question someone in order to help Tommy out of a situation: "... didn't bother telling her that Tom was really the only one who could predict his future and it had nothing to do with his voodoo s***." ***END SPOILER*** Like I said, he and Tom both realize they are the "ones" for each other, but allowing yourself to act on that truth isn't always easy.

Most of us can tell when a story is trying too hard to maintain the reality, when it wavers between making us believe it and yet sometimes separating us from it. In this story, I was sucked in until nothing but ashes remained, leaving me to bump around on the lightest of breezes.

On that note, this story is... heavier. Less one-liners and more emotionally charged particles, serious subjects addressed. This makes sense since Tommy and Prophet know each other better, which means we get to know them better. I want to know these men. I don't always feel that `pull' of wanting to shake and help, wear sandwich boards, hire a skywriter in order to get two characters to cut through all of the junk and get to being truly together. I felt that here. But as I said earlier, they had to go through every word of this journey to end up where they do. I'll be taking this journey with them again.

A favorite scene, small but it shouts volumes from the proverbial mountaintops: ***SPOILER****when Proph is putting the leather bracelet back onto Tommy's wrist. ***END SPOILER*** The most beautiful punch to the heart, it makes you feel alive.

There are a couple of things that I can see maybe some readers noticing and I'll mention them here: there were a lot of side characters mentioned, probably as an attempt to paint the picture of this taking place mostly in Tom's hometown and how that affects him still. For some, this could maybe lessen the impact of the hell he survived that was his childhood there. The other is that it felt like there was one too many "dangerous situation where Tom and Proph were forced to be alone together" in order to work out all of the crap between them. Now, neither of these negatively affected my enjoyment of this read because, I mean, c'mon, I'm not sure there is such a thing as too much Tommy and Prophet, but I can see where maybe some will feel a bit of indulgence there. But who cares? I didn't. This is their story, so indulge away. FEED ME.

I've already plastered so many words onto the screen here, and I could do so many more, this story's length and depth warrant them all. However, I already feel as if I've rambled and yet not truly landed on why these two men slice right through me. What I know is, like a grappling hook, they embedded themselves, deeply, inside my heart and my gut and everywhere else.

I'll end with this: I hesitate to compare because they are different books in many a sense, but for those of you who read Catch a Ghost and were on the fence, the tone of this part of their story is simply different and I'm willing to bet your doubts will be set aside, if not vanquished. If you read CAG and loved it as much as I did, then this story will fill you to capacity with... well, I'm not sure there is any other way to say it than: simply stated, this turned out to be a love story. A wonderfully crafted love story filled with danger, anxiety, gentleness, messy sexy, gruffness and acceptance.

I love it. I will read it again. I recommend it. There. Go read. Fill yourself with the fawesomeness that is Tommy 'n Proph.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5*. A good read, but I was hoping for a HEA with icing on it., 1 Nov 2013
ROROBLU'S MUM "ROROBLU'S MUM" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This book picks up a few weeks after book 1 left off, with Tom regretting his and Prophet's split and emailing him daily, and getting no response/no sign that Prophet has read them. Until a hurricane hits New Orleans and Tom leaves a mission to make sure that his elderly aunt is OK, having no idea that Prophet had in fact read his email about his worries about the storm and his aunt, and is there too. What follows is an extensive, hot, sexy love scene which leaves you in no doubt as to the feelings between these guys, though they don't talk an awful lot.

The above opens a new chapter in their relationship, where each tries to explain why being with each other is detrimental to the other's safety, but Tom is persistent and Prophet seems to be mellowing. Yes, as the blurb states, Tom gets arrested and old secrets and danger start to come out, and whilst it all read very well, all got resolved a bit too conveniently and quickly. I was also hoping that at the end of the tale, that there'd be avowals of love and not being able to live without the other; whilst I didn't get the words, the events in the tale made me think that the guys' relationship had changed somewhat and that each had stopped fighting their, 'I'm no good for you' refrain.

As usual, the book had several extremely hot, sexy and erotic love scenes, which they are, as opposed to sex scenes. There was also interference from Cillian, the British spook, who I understand gets his tale in the 'world of EE' next; in fact it's up for pre-order as a Jan 2014 publication. We also get to see interactions with Blue, Mick and Mal (the latter is co-lead in Cillian's book), that are both funny, with oddly romantic edges and which made me want to read more about them.

The only thing that let the book down for me, is that there wasn't the capitulation of both leads that I'd been looking for. Yes, I do believe that they've realised that they are 'it' for each other, but I was hoping for a bit more openness and finalising for both. Another point that the author did not follow up on is the issue of Prophet's eyesight, which got mentioned in both books, with Tom's 'voodoo' making him ask Prophet to get it checked out; perhaps this is deliberate, as the deterioration in the condition might be what we see totally 'make' these guys' relationship and HEA.

Overall, another very good read that cements SE Jakes as an autobuy.

Ebook courtesy of NetGalley and Riptide Publishing in exchange for an honest review.
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4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed it, 17 May 2014
This review is from: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Well, I'll just start with the obvious here. Tom and Prophet are hot as hell. They were in book one and they still are in book two. I have no complaint on that front, none. I mean, there is just something about two sexy, dangerous men not only stokin' the fires, but falling hard for one another and showing their softer...cuter side.

Yes, cute is the best word I have for them. (Even if neither character would be pleased with the designation.) When they let their guards down, what results is just plain transformative magic. Suddenly they feel like fragile little boys just looking for a safe place to rest. It's surprisingly evocative.

I also have no real complaints on their repartee. It was ceaselessly amusing, maybe a little too much at times, but not by much. I loved their back and forth banter and smart aleck comments. I also enjoyed meeting Mike and Blue (and to a lesser extent more of Mal and Cillian). I hope they all show up and play bigger roles in future books.

Where the book fell down for me was in the plot. So much focus was put on Tom and Prophet's burgeoning relationship that the mystery felt inconsequential. The hurricane that served to get Prophet to New Orleans in the first place hardly even felt like a squall. It was all just background decorations to give Tom and Prophet a credible scenario to be having sex in. Meh.

I enjoyed the book. I'm up for more. But I'll be reading it for the steamy bits, 'cause that is where the magic is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It just gets better, 21 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I only write reviews when moved by really good content so here you go.

It started out with the Men of Honour series and this spin off series is excellent. Many authors tend to lose something in the content over time but SE Jakes just gets better and better.

Prophet was a minor character in the Men of Honour series and oh boy the Hell or High Water series does not disappoint. Gritty, well written sometimes with a twist, always with passion. These books are not for the faint hearted or those who don't like MM reads. I do recommend to anyone thinking of reading these that they make more sense in the following order:
Read Men of Honour first now 6 books in the series as at Dec 2013, also Free Falling which is a one off but connected to characters in these books, then the two books currently in this HH series. Early in 2014 another spin off called Dirty Deeds is due out. So far these books have just got better and better and Ms Jakes is a prolific writer who doesn't keep her fans waiting long.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow, 19 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely love this series, seriously hate that this book had to end and I am looking forward to the next instalment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting and enjoyable but best to read book one first, 12 Nov 2013
This review is from: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Long Time Gone. SE Jakes
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.
I love most books I've received from the Riptide publishing house, with them being a good mix of romance and story. I hate books that are all sex and no real plot, though I love some sensuality to add extra to the novel. Though this is my first S E Jakes novel it won't be the last. I hadn't read the first book in this series, and that made getting "into" this one difficult to begin as the characters are both complex and are all intertwined in their relationships. Working out who fitted where took some time. However I really like the premise of the E.E. Black Ops organisation - I'm sure there must be real life ones similar though I doubt they have quite as many gay staff...... :)

Anyway, to begin I was floundering, but once I got to grips I loved this book. Prophet is Mr Mystery and I'd love to know more about his past. Tom, he's back where he began as a child, in the world of cruelty, nightmares and enigmas darkly hidden, and the secrets of his past have come forward to haunt him. They make a great pair in the hot and heavy dept, of which there are several erotic moments, but seem slowly becoming to know each other in a different way too. I'd have liked to know more about them as people, rather than just black ops staff. I understood they were coming closer personally, and not just sexually and beginning to accept their need for each other - I get the impression the last book was one where they fought it, but here they seem to be accepting, but there's not very much emotion seeming to come forward and I'd have liked more of that.
The plot itself, seemed a bit odd to me, a little difficult to follow at first but once I'd worked out who was whom, and what was going on I liked it. I get that its Tom's past and understood the final tie ins, but the way it was laid out seemed a bit disjointed somehow. The dialogue based text didn't help me much, I love books written mostly through dialogue but their speech is so choppy, often leaving things unsaid, that though they knew the unspoken implications I didn't always catch on.... I think had I read book one and understood the characters more I would have understood what they weren't saying. Nevertheless I really liked this book, and the mix of characters, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Prophet (and what's happening with his eyesight?) and Tom, and some of the others in the cast.
Stars: four - a sexy, erotic adventure and if I'd read book one I'm sure I'd have made this a five star read.

ARC supplied via Netgalley
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 30 Oct 2013
This review is from: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I like all of S E Jakes's books. I sometimes have difficulty with her writing - there's sometimes 'stream of consciousness' stuff in there when the protagonists are thinking to themselves. But the stories rip along, the characters are nicely fleshed out and sympathetic and I don't feel like I'm re-reading the same story with different characters when each new book comes along like you do with some authors.

If you put to one side the statistically unlikely incidence of gay chaps in a single employment situation and get reading, this is a great addition to Jake's books. Prophet and Tom sort their differences out, there's lots of hot sex, edgy dialogue and actual plot that is not romance driven. Buy it. It's fab.
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