Fraud Twice Felt, by J.T. Hall
Series: The Oddities, Book Two
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 29, 2017
Three weeks after solving his old boyfriend’s murder, bounty hunter Derwin Bryant is trying to let go of the past and embrace his new life with Elliot Leed, a former rentboy and fellow Oddity. Elliot, meanwhile, is trying to adjust to working at Bob’s Bail Bonds and having a real relationship despite his strange power of Object Reading. Hanging over the couple is the fear that Roy Yoshiro, notorious gang lord, will make good on his threats to claim Elliot. If that happens, not even Derwin’s superhuman strength will be enough to protect the man he loves.
Their concerns are overshadowed when Derwin’s friend asks for help finding her missing son. It’s not long before the case takes Derwin and Elliot back to the crime-ridden underbelly of the city and straight into Yoshiro’s clutches. Two gangs are vying for power, and Derwin and Elliot get caught in the middle of their very public fight.
Derwin and Elliot must find a way to thwart both gangs’ plans and escape alive. This time, one misstep could spell disaster for all the inhabitants of Nis.
References to Sex Work
While PNR is usually one of my favourite genres, Fraud Twice Felt really didn’t hold my attention the way I thought it would. Which is too bad because while all the elements for a great story are there, it just lacked a certain…something…that thing that keeps you turning the pages in excitement instead of feeling like it’s a chore.
This is the second book in the series, the first being Murder Once Seen, and it continues pretty much from where the first book left off. Derwin, is a bounty hunter with a particular gift, or oddity: he has superhuman strength and agility. However, his oddity can only be fueled by feeding on the pain of others.
Conveniently, his boyfriend Elliot has a yen for pain, but only in the bedroom. Their D/s dynamic is mutually beneficial in more than one way. Not only does Elliot feed Derwin’s oddity, his own oddity is turns out to be helpful at his new job at Bob’s Bail Bonds because Elliot is an Object Reader, someone who can ‘read’ people and objects by touch.
When they are hired to locate the missing son of a friend and co-worker, the men are caught in rival gang war. One crime lord is intent on making former rent boy, Elliot, his own, while the other will stop at nothing to safeguard the return an object of great value.
All of this sounds pretty exciting, yeah? I mean, the characters and the storyline are all there. Unfortunately, something went wrong in the execution. Despite having interesting facets (I love the idea that their oddities feed each other), the characters felt a little flat. Even the story of rival gangs seemed just too plodding to hold my interest for very long.
I am open to the idea that this just wasn’t the book for me, so I’m not dismissing this out of hand. However, if you do decide to read this, I strongly suggest you start with the first book in the series as the backstory is important to understanding the characters.
J.T. Hall is a Riptide author of the Oddities series (Murder Once Seen, Fraud Twice Felt, etc.) and has been a writer for over twenty years. Her LGBT titles include gay and lesbian romance, paranormal suspense, and femdom. Outside of writing fiction, J.T. works as a technical writer in healthcare and has volunteered with the Grand Canyon Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence for LGBT causes and fundraising. J.T. is also a member of the local leather scene.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.