Review: Rasputin's Kiss (Investigating Love #1) by LM Somerton

What if the last thing you felt was the kiss of a knife? Rasputin's kiss is lethal. He's a ghost-killing and disappearing into the night. With few leads and four bodies on his conscience, Detective Inspector Alex Courtney and his team are running on empty and it's only a matter of time before Rasputin strikes again. When Alex recruits a young detective to play the part of his boyfriend and provide a tempting target for a killer, he knows he is taking a huge risk. He doesn't expect Conor Trethuan to be a perfect potential submissive. When their mutual attraction becomes more, Alex has to face the conflict between his possessive instincts and the need to push his young lover into danger. Investigating their feelings has to come second to investigating the case. There's no time to decide if what they feel for each other is real. With Rasputin closing in, they may not live to find out.
Yeah - so which rating is it? As soon as I figure it out, I'll let you know. It kinda depends on my mood. Maybe whether I've had enough chocolate or sleep or..

I just don't know how to rate this damn book. 

Warning: This review may contain spoilers.

58.0%"Me & this book, we got issues...


I don't very often start with my issues in a book, but I am going to here. First though, please remember, these are my thoughts and opinions and are personal to me. They're my issues - you might share them - but it's not a case of bad writing. 

26.0%  "First impression of Alex; determined, good boss, gonna like him.
Second impression of Alex; what a f****** knob.
Hmmm. Wonder which will be true by the end of the book..."
Alex. I had issues with Alex. He's the DI on the (pressed dubbed) Rasputin case. My very first impression of him was that he was going to be a great character. A good boss, firm but fair, hardworking and humorous. This opinion changed pretty quickly and he began to annoy me. Firstly, he needs an undercover officer to pose as his boyfriend to lure the Rasputin killer out. Rasputin preys on submissives, so DI Alex needed someone to play the part of his sub boyfriend and be seen with him. And, what do you know, there happens to be a recently-transferred, decidedly gorgeous hunk of a copper working for a homophobe in the filing department who fits the role perfectly. And just to add the cherry to that nicely iced bun, it turns out he's actually gay. Actually attracted to DI Alex (who is also gay) and actually has submissive tendencies. Talk about a pot of freaking gold landing on your lap. Yeah, conveniently written coincidences annoy me a tad. But I got passed that. Kinda.

So Alex lets (young, gorgeous) Connor know that he is a tough but fair boss, if he says something he expects it done exactly as he said. Fair enough right? I mean, sure  a boss is in charge but...

...and maybe this is just me being belligerent...

...when Alex gave the order that Conor wasn't allowed to leave the building (and there was no reason for this, just it was his order) and then had him escorted back to his desk like a naughty little school boy by some uniformed officers...let's just say my e-reader nearly went across the room. 

If it was me I'd have told him to fuck right off. He's a grown man FFS, and the DI left orders that he couldn't even go and get a sandwich in his lunch hour. Maybe I have issues with discipline, but it really, really, REALLY annoyed me. (And to make matters worse he waltzed in with the exact sarnie Conor was going to get grinning at Conor being sent back to the desk, liking the fact that he was the talk of the front desk. Fucking prick. I'd have shoved the sandwich where the sun don't shine. But then I would already have eaten, if I was hungry two hours ago you can bet your life I'd have already eaten.) I'm quite mild mannered really. honest.

42.0%"What? Really? Hmmm...'hot' situations there to manipulate a story don't work. The story is in conflict with the characters. IMO, the sex is written in a way to titillate and doesn't fit. 

Okay. So the sub/dom thing. I like a bit of D/s in my books as much as the next person - when it fits the characters and doesn't just feel like it is there for titillation and a convenient storyline. I could see what the author was trying to do but in my opinion (and I reiterate that is only what this is) it didn't work. Maybe I hadn't yet got over the coincidence of the perfect candidate for the job being right there at the right time. Then for them to be instantly attracted to each other....I can feel my blood pressure rising just writing this. But I got over it again. Kinda. Until Alex turned into even more of a fucking bully. These two are colleagues. Alex is the boss. They are on an undercover operation together. This does not mean you stick a load of super-sexy clothes on a bed, attach an (undisclosed, un-removable) tracking device and tell your colleague that is what he is going to wear tonight while they are setting the trap.

Fuck off.

A discussion between them, an explanation....just anything except orders. I guess I'm not cut out for a military career, huh? HE'S A GROWN MAN. 

I t'was annoyed. 

And I haven't even ventured into the whole Conor was a virgin thing. He's a gorgeous gay twenty-three year old who happens to be a virgin (by what definition??) yet he's straight into all this D/s stuff no ifs no buts, no coconuts. I'm far from claiming to be an expert on this. FAR from it. But to me it felt like it was not true to the characters. It didn't feel real. It felt like bullying, not a D/s relationship. As I said, I only know what I've read in books, but as a  reader, to me, this felt wrong. Compared to other books I've read that felt, well researched and real, this...just didn't. I hate to sound like a broken record, but this is just my opinion.

91.0%"Just because it's M/M doesn't mean any women in the book have to be giggling eejits in awe of a beautiful man. Especially wpc's or nurses doing their job. FFS. Ooh, I'm really grumpy." 
I feel this shouldn't have to be said really - but the women we met in this book were all giggling idiots fawning over the gorgeous gay man and making him uncomfortable. GIVE. ME. A. BREAK. Now I'm not saying that us ladies don't admire a bit of eye candy. That we can't make the odd (or more) lewd comment towards a fit male thing...but not when we are in a professional capacity. Giggling WPC's. Nurses offering more than a patients fair share of bed baths. No. Just no.

Okay, so enough of grumpy me. What did I like? Surprisingly, I liked the writing style. It was easy to read, I loved the British setting and I even liked many of the characters (just not Alex). In fact, I'm looking forward to the next in the series. I feel if LM Somerton could just get the storyline down and write characters that fitted that I'd have really enjoyed this. I want to know what happened to the people we met in this book. I liked the mystery this author created and the crime storyline. 

On Goodreads, it seems as though this book is more loved than not, so I am far from telling people to avoid it. Heck, that's not my place anyway. All I can say is the bits that irked me left enough of an impression that even writing this review days later, I'm still irritable about it. I am however, perfectly willing to admit that Alex got on my last nerve and this may have skewed my reasoning for the rest of the book. Check out other reviews and see what others have thought, I am but just one lowly reader! I'll let you all know how I get on with the other two stories...

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

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