Deadly Pleasures

Deadly Pleasures

4.7 11
by Mary Firmin

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Megan and her three best friends are tired of their cheating husbands and are ready for a new adventure. They hire a sexy stripper, Michael Harrington, to be their time-share Boytoy, unaware he is the prime suspect in a series of grisly, bondage murders. When Detective Matt Donovan comes to call, Megan falls in love. Before long she is caught up in the murder


Megan and her three best friends are tired of their cheating husbands and are ready for a new adventure. They hire a sexy stripper, Michael Harrington, to be their time-share Boytoy, unaware he is the prime suspect in a series of grisly, bondage murders. When Detective Matt Donovan comes to call, Megan falls in love. Before long she is caught up in the murder investigation and lands in a heap of trouble. Matt's investigation takes him through L.A.'s private sex clubs, bondage parlors and the homes of the rich and famous. But who is the Bondage Murderer? Can it be a wealthy member of the Bayside Yacht Club? Or maybe one of the women? The rousing climax takes place on the luxury yacht, Estasea, as it sails the Channel back to the Marina.

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Deadly Pleasures

By Mary Firmin

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Mary Firmin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-4237-1

Chapter One

Bayside Yacht Club, Marina del Rey. August 16th

Megan Riley struggled to sit up on the white canvas mat, lying on the top deck of the mega yacht, where she was sunbathing. She stared at her friend in astonishment. "Have you lost your mind?"

"Just a thought." Rachel Feinman turned onto her stomach to cook the other side of her perfectly tanned body. Her back was naked but for a silver thong that disappeared between her round, golden buttocks.

Rachel has really lost it this time, thought Megan. Her cheating husband's antics have finally driven her around the bend. "Are you suggesting that the three of us ...?" She gestured grandly to include Alexandra Grant, whose husband owned the ninety-five–foot yacht where they presently languished. "... Alex, you, and I hire a good-looking guy to get it on with?" Megan could see the muscles in Alex's smooth belly quivering from contained laughter.

Propping herself on one elbow, Rachel swished back her lush black hair to reveal ample, sun-browned breasts. "Yes, that's exactly what I mean."

"Where did y'all get such a crazy idea?" Alex blurted in her quaint Southern drawl. "I mean, that sounds like somethin' the men would do."

Rachel shrugged. "You're absolutely right. I heard David telling Gino Rosario about four guys at the studio who share a girlfriend. They pay for her apartment and give her a monthly salary just to be on call whenever they want a little action."

Megan couldn't believe what she was hearing. Did men actually do these things? Or was it a product of David Feinman's overactive screenwriter's imagination? Distracted by the sharp ring of a cell phone, she fished in her crocheted bag.

But Rachel already had hers in hand. "Hello?" Pause. "Oh, hi, Helen." Distastefully she mouthed the words, "Helen Jennings."

Helen was the club gossip. Rachel could count on large doses of calumny and character assassination if she stayed on the phone with her. Helen Jennings was also known as the "Top Bitch of Bayside." Though others tried, she retained the title hands down.

"You're kidding!" Rachel said, arching her permanently lined eyebrows. "No, I believe you, Helen. Go on."

Obviously, even the jaded Rachel was captured by this conversation. Megan figured it had to be really choice stuff or she wouldn't give Helen the time of day.

Minutes later, she clicked off the phone and took a deep breath. "George Fisher died in bed with a hooker."

Both Megan and Alex shot up from their mats.

"He did what?" Stunned, Megan couldn't finish the sentence. She was speechless. Was this some kind of joke?

Tiny Alex covered her flat chest with ten delicate fingers and blurted, "You can't be serious."

"It's true. George died of a heart attack. But that's not all ..." Rachel paused, slowly reeling them in. "The poor girl was trapped beneath him. She screamed for fifteen minutes before the next-door neighbor came to the rescue. The woman had to call the fire department to come and 'un-hooker' old George." She raised her palms. "Helen's words, exactly. 'Un-hooker him.' I can't stand it." That's when Rachel fell back on the mattress, her body convulsing with laughter.

For a long moment, Megan exchanged a dismayed look with Alex and then shifted her gaze back to Rachel, who was rolling around the mat.

"I think the whole thing is appalling," Alex drawled, adjusting her red bikini bottom over protruding hip bones.

But Megan felt a sudden rush of sadness and, unexpectedly, fear. For George? Hardly. While she felt bad about his death, she'd barely known the man, and what she knew of him she didn't like. He was, how old? Forty-one, maybe forty-two, about ten or so years older than herself.

She could not think of a single thing to say.

But of course Rachel could. "Well, I think it's hilarious. Ol' grabby George died in the saddle." Still chuckling obscenely, she added, "I'll bet he'd be the first one to say it's a hell of a way to go."

"You ought to be ashamed of yourself," said a shocked voice coming from the direction of the stairwell.

Megan turned to greet the new arrival. "What took you so long?" She'd driven her friend Kathleen Rosario to the yacht club but left her in the ladies' locker room visiting with Senator Rattner's wife. Megan had walked down to the Ecstasea's dock by herself. But that was almost an hour ago.

Ignoring Megan's question, the lanky redhead marched across the teak deck, tossed her backpack beside the last vacant mat, and towered over Rachel. "What about George's poor wife?" she demanded, her lips compressed, like a disapproving nun's. "How do you think she feels?"

"Jesus, Kathleen, will you lighten up?" Rachel rolled her eyes. "She'll probably mourn all the way to the bank. And when she finds out how much money old lover boy had stashed away, she'll head straight for Neiman Marcus!"

Alex chuckled. "Neiman Marcus? That's funny."

Despite herself, Megan smiled.

She glanced over at George's fishing boat, moored directly opposite the transom of the Ecstasea. The sign on the back of the hull read Happy Hooker. How appropriate. How sad. And how terrible for George to die the way he did, exposing all his nasty secrets. Shuddering, she remembered the circumstances of her own father's death, the shame she'd felt—and the heartrending grief.

Forget it, Megan. That was a long time ago.

Flopping back on the mat, Megan tried to get comfortable. Silently she renewed her daily vow to lose ten pounds—by the weekend. Maybe then she could wear something other than this lousy black bathing suit—like maybe a sexy bikini.

Dream on, girl.

But the new arrival, Kathleen, seemed unwilling to let go. "One day it could be your turn, you know. Your comfortable little lives won't always be so perfect."

Her childlike voice didn't wield enough power to be threatening. In fact, scarcely anyone took Kathleen seriously, including her soon-to-be ex-husband, Gino Rosario. But Megan did, and she was especially glad she had, that night a few months ago, when Kathleen threatened suicide. The doctors claimed that Megan's fast reactions had saved her friend's life.

Silently, Kathleen unbuttoned her lace cover-up, revealing a pale, shapely body in an emerald tank. The rich color of the suit complemented her glorious auburn curls, but the usual glow on her lovely face was sadly diminished. Suffering, for months now, through a heart-wrenching divorce from her TV-anchorman husband, Kathleen was so vulnerable she was apt to cry for no reason at all. Still sniffling, she folded her long, slender body onto the down-filled pad.

From a prone position, Alex voiced her agreement with Kathleen. "She's right. The whole family's gonna suffer because of George's disgustin' behavior and the circus surrounding his death."

Megan sighed. No one was laughing anymore.

"According to Helen, the police are going to release the body tomorrow," Rachel said. "But they still want to question all of George's friends." She tried to attach some softness to her next words. "Apparently the house where he passed on was close to the beach where the other prostitute's dead body was found. Five or six months ago, remember?"

Megan was jolted. "You mean the Bondage Murder?"

"That's the one."

"Not far from your house, Megan, if I remember rightly," said Alex.

Megan nodded. "Three blocks away." She recalled the precise moment Kathleen's husband had announced the discovery of the girl's body on the late news. Just thinking about it renewed her terror. "But why are the authorities so interested in George's death if it was supposed to be of natural causes? Do the police think George had something to do with the Bondage Murder?"

"That's preposterous," Rachel dismissed. "Old George was basically a wimp."

"I guess they'll be speakin' to my Charlie," Alex murmured. "He and George were fishin' buddies."

Suddenly, Kathleen sat up. "Wait a minute! I saw George Fisher with some woman in the Venice Liquor Store about a week ago. I saw him. I know I did. He was talking to her, their heads real close, at the back of the store. She had white, spiky hair, big breasts. And she was young, younger than either one of his daughters."

"Built like the proverbial brick shithouse, I'll bet," Rachel snickered.

Megan gave her another scathing look. "Rachel."

"Well," she said, "that's the type he liked."

"Yes, I could see where he might have a heart attack if she was the one." Kathleen gave a sage nod. "She looked kind of scary to me."

"Everybody looks scary to you," snapped Rachel.

The conversation ceased against the deep roar of a 747 taking off from LAX. Megan raised her eyes to watch it disappear into a cloud bank. She mulled over her own screwed-up life and the recent breakup with her fiancé, Brian Mason. She felt a familiar twinge of self-pity.

First, her three-year marriage to Stephen had ended in divorce. Now, her engagement to Brian was over. Maybe she was incapable of having a successful relationship. Maybe two or three years were all she could manage.

It was a painful time to remember.

New in Los Angeles—with no family, no friends—Megan had been heartbreakingly lonely, so she'd latched onto Stephen like a drowning woman. She knew now she'd married him for all the wrong reasons. When he moved on, she was alone again. But she'd worked very hard to get her real estate license, and then she had spent the next five years making a name for herself in the business. Along with success, her drinking had accelerated, and she'd been easy pickings for the likes of Brian Mason. Now that relationship was over too.

And here she was, thirty years old and still looking for Mr. Right.

But this time Megan wouldn't have to drink. This time she had the love and support of her three best pals, not to mention all her new friends at the AA meetings.

She glanced at Alex, who was opening a bottle of Dom Pérignon with an experienced hand. Having recently passed the golden age of forty, though she'd never admit it, the petite blonde was totally obsessed with her weight and survived solely on lettuce and champagne. Alex Grant held the mistaken belief that her waif look pushed back the years, when, in fact, she was so painfully thin she looked anorexic. Megan pondered what she would do if anything happened to her husband, Charlie. After all, he was quite a bit older than Alex.

The Grants' custom-built Christensen was the largest, most expensive cruiser in Marina del Rey. Moored in front of Bayside Yacht Club, the Ecstasea had its own heated spa on the forward deck and four staterooms. The sophisticated art-deco salon, complete with player-piano bar and spiral staircase, had recently been featured in Motor Yacht magazine.

Charlie's family also held controlling stock in Grant Aviation, as well as dozens of real estate investments, not the least of which were 220 condominiums in the Marina he was trying to sell off as time-shares. Add that to the penthouse where they resided, and Megan was sure the Grants had more money than they could count.

Megan concluded that if anything happened to Charlie, Alex would simply buy a new husband—maybe two or three. Or at least that's the way it used to be before the crash of the economy these last couple of years. Megan wasn't sure how much damage, if any, had been done to the Grant family fortune.

Alex filled the fluted wine glasses with a flair that suggested the abundant Bayside lifestyle was her due, while Megan was not even sure how much longer she could pay the monthly fees. She'd joined the yacht club in order to meet and procure wealthy real estate clients, but lately her sales were almost nonexistent.

Unfortunately, Megan had no one to depend upon but herself and was now painfully aware she'd soon have to dip into her small emergency fund.

"Champagne, Megan?"

Megan stared at the bottle for the longest time. She could almost feel the icy bubbles tickle the back of her throat. She shook her head. "No, thanks, Alex."

"Oh, I'm so sorry, honey. I keep forgettin'." Alex blushed. "How long has it been now?"

"Ninety-seven days clean and sober." And it isn't always easy.

"Why, I think that's commendable, darlin'." Alex emptied a bottle of Perrier into one of the fluted glasses and handed it to Megan.

Sipping it, she turned her attention to Rachel, who had quickly drained her glass and held it out for a refill.

Stunning Rachel Feinman, with her perfect yuppie family, seemed to have it all. She was rich, thin, and gorgeous, married to a handsome screenwriter husband, and the mother of two adorable little girls.

But Megan knew differently. Trouble was brewing in that paradise too!

She could tell from the way Rachel was acting that David was up to his old tricks—being emotionally unavailable, staying out all night, and God knows what else. Megan flashed on the last miserable months of her own marriage and shuddered.

"While we're on the subject," Rachel's matter-of-fact voice brought her back to the present, "I booked the club dining room for Thursday, December 2."

Megan looked at her quizzically.

"You know, for the Mothers in Recovery luncheon?" Rachel prompted.

"Of course." The luncheon was for Megan's new cause.

Mothers in Recovery assisted female addicts and alcoholics who were pregnant. The program also maintained a facility to handle their special-needs children, but it was extremely costly, so Megan had volunteered to chair a fund-raiser. It was her way of giving back for her sobriety.

"By the way, I spoke to Charlie," Alex said. "We'll be sending a large donation."

"Thanks, Alex."

"When can I help with the babies?" Kathleen pleaded.

"Anytime you like. I spoke to—" but Megan was interrupted by the sound of a deep masculine voice calling from the dock below.

"Hello? Is there anyone aboard? Ahoy there!"

"Now, who can that be?" Donning the strip of red material that was her top, Alex rose from the mattress and leaned over the side. "May I help you?"

Megan couldn't hear the reply.

"Mr. Grant is out of town," Alex said. Pause. "All right, come on up. Through the salon and up the spiral staircase; we're on the top deck."

"Who is that?" Rachel asked.

"He says he's a police detective. He wanted to see Charlie, but now he's going to speak to us."

"What do you think he wants?" Megan asked.

"He probably wants to know more about George Fisher." Alex patted her sleek, blonde hair. "George is—I mean was—our neighbor on the dock."

Megan lapsed into silence. Again she asked herself the question: Why were the police investigating an accidental death?

Chapter Two

Suddenly, he was there on the deck, the most fabulous-looking man Megan had ever seen, probably in his late thirties. He wore Ray-Bans, a brown leather aviator jacket, and beige chinos, and he didn't look the least bit like a policeman.

That's when Rachel scrambled for a towel to cover her bare chest. Despite her best efforts, one ruby nipple escaped concealment.

So much for Rachel's modesty, thought Megan.

"Good afternoon," he said. "I'm Detective Matt Donovan, Los Angeles Police Department." He displayed his badge to Alex and then handed her a business card, which she tucked inside her red bikini top without even looking at it. "Mr. Grant is out of town?"

"Yes, he's visiting our factory in San Diego." Alex checked her watch. "But he's due back any time." She then introduced her three companions.

Megan watched the detective scribble their names in a crumpled black book. In fact, she couldn't take her eyes off him. To put it mildly, Matt Donovan was your classic tall, dark, and handsome. But when he removed his sunglasses, he epitomized Megan's vision of an IRA rebel, with his shock of curly, dark hair peppered with gray, and pride dancing in those moody, blue eyes. "Black Irish" is what her father would have called him.

"Would you mind answering a few questions about Mr. Fisher?" He smiled at Megan and moved closer.

"Of course not," she murmured, shocked to feel herself blushing.

"You all know about Mr. Fisher's death?" he asked.

Alex answered, "Yes, Rachel told us all about it. It's terrible, terrible."

"Then you're aware of the circumstances?"

"Isn't it just awful? Dying in bed with a ... well, you know. Poor, dear Junie," Rachel purred, feigning sympathy for George's wife.


Excerpted from Deadly Pleasures by Mary Firmin Copyright © 2011 by Mary Firmin. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Deadly Pleasures 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
coziecorner More than 1 year ago
"Deadly Pleasures" is an captivating novel filled with romance, suspense, mystery, murder, and lots of lust. A well developed plot that keeps you turning the page, Mary pens her characters strong, believable and at times frustratingly humorous. Although the name of the book shouts "sex", what is written is done tastefully and not strong. Recommended to all murder mystery fans. *5 Stars* This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review.
Dellani_Oakes More than 1 year ago
Deadly Pleasures – Mary Firmin Megan Riley and her best friends, Rachel Feinman, Alexandra Grand and Kathleen Rosario, are frustrated with the men in their lives – or lack thereof. On a whim, they decide to hire a 'boy toy' to keep them amused. The search is on! The first men they consider are totally unsuitable. It isn't until they are at a party for another yacht club member, that they meet Michael Harrington. Michael is tall, muscular, friendly and devastatingly handsome. Fate has chosen for them. He is the obvious man to fill their pressing needs. He graciously agrees, though he finds the arrangement somewhat ludicrous. Little to the women know when they make this arrangement, Michael Harrington is the number one suspect in an open murder investigation. Several women have been found brutally murdered, their bodies savaged after death. The method of killing leads police to suspect a tie to the tawdry S&M community. Detective Matthew Donovan is the lead investigator on the S&M murders. He and his partner, Angelle Bentley, follow the clues that direct them not only to the seedy sexual underground, but to the posh, expensive yacht club – the club where all four women of Michael Harrington's harem, are members. This well paced romantic suspense reveals aspects of the human psyche that teem and fester below the surface of normalcy. Though it deals with the S&M sub-culture, the novel doesn't delve too deeply into it. The scenes are not too graphic, making it acceptable to most readers. The characters in Deadly Pleasures are diverse and well rounded. Each has his or her own motivations and the list of suspects grows longer as the story continues. Not until the last minute do readers finally realize who the guilty party is. I highly recommend Deadly Pleasures to anyone who enjoys a mystery with an edge. © 2012 Dellani Oakes
MickiP More than 1 year ago
Deadly Pleasures By Mary Firmin Megan Riley is sunbathing with her friends on a ninety-foot yacht docked at The Bayside Yacht Club. The majestic boat belongs to Alexander's husband, Charlie Grant. Rachel Feinman makes a remark that causes Megan to sit up in amazement. Alex just laughs, never dreaming she's seriously suggesting that they rent a timeshare boytoy. Helen Jennings, club gossip, climbs aboard to tell them that one of their own, George Fisher, has died of a heart attack while with a hooker--under, to be more precise. This sends Rachel into hysterical laughing at the imagery of the `unhooking'. Katherine Rosario, arriving late, boards the `Ecstasea' and scolds them for laughing. The four friends all have problems; Megan's a recovering alcoholic, Katherine suffers over her divorce from her philandering husband, Gino. Rachel catches her screen writer husband cheating on her on their own boat, and Alex's older husband is not what she wants in a man. A boytoy starts to sound like a plan. Detective Matt Donavan, LAPD, drops by the yacht club to investigate the murder of Sherrie Weston, the hooker who was with George when he died. Megan's drawn to his handsome dark Irish looks--blue eyes and curly dark hair. He doesn't garner much info from the rich who tend to protect their own. Dr. Tom Wilson, Medical Examiner, calls him to another crime scene and informs him that the slain hooker, Sherrie Weston, has the same MO as The Bondage Murder of Allison Graham. Matt's partner, Angelle Bentley, an exotic Haitian beauty, joins the discussion, surprising the men with her professionalism in the face of such raw carnage. Matt and Angelle check out a gruesome bondage magazine with a name written on it--Michael Harrington. While interviewing Sherrie's neighbor, old Mrs. Zuckerman, they learn that a young man had visited Sherrie the day before her murder. She has a package the UPS driver left with her for Sherrie; full of porn DVD's she swears she never opened. Matt has no real leads in the case until he gets wind of a similar murder in San Francisco which looks to him like a `serial sexual sadist'. The sad facts that all three women were hookers keep their cases from drawing much attention. After a hilarious afternoon at the Power Workout, sizing up muscular hunks as a potential boytoy, the four friends decide Michael Harrington is perfect for their needs. They are unaware that he is the main suspect in the Bondage Murders. Michael agrees to their plan and now it's a matter of who goes first. Megan decides it's too much money and tears up her check, but mostly because her mind drifts to Matt Donavan. Rachel goes first without telling the others and Kathleen, shy and timid goes next on a dare from the rest--resulting in amazing, certainly unexpected results. Author, Mary Fimin brings her heavily-plotted action-packed story to a climatic close. This story is layered with plots within plots, keeping the reader mystified right up to the ending. This is a must-read for those who enjoy unusual suspense with even more unusual characters, who bring comic relief to bizarre situations. Firmin's sense of the ironic and ridiculous make her book a winner. Reviewer: Micki Peluso, writer, journalist and author of . . . And The Whippoorwill Sang
SandyRuth More than 1 year ago
When yacht-club friends Megan, Alex, Kathleen, and Rachel decide to share a boytoy (sort of a human timeshare arrangement), they have no idea that the man they’ve selected is the prime suspect in the gory Bondage Murders. Through a series of circumstances, Megan soon finds herself drawn into the murder investigation, which takes her from L.A.’s society soirees to its BDSM and sex clubs. As her involvement grows, so does the mutual attraction between Megan and hunky L.A. police detective Matt Donovan, and Megan begins to believe that he may be Mr. Right. But when she discovers the killer’s identity, will she live to find out if Matt’s the one? The action in this book is nonstop, taking the reader from the lifestyles of the extremely wealthy to the seamier side of Southern California. The author’s descriptions put you right into the middle of the action. A warning however: this book is not for the squeamish. The murders are grisly. However, they are believable and appropriate for the story. By the way, I appreciate the fact that this book was nicely formatted and without grammatical errors. That left my mind free to enjoy the story without distracting mistakes.
The_Paperback_Pursuer More than 1 year ago
Description: What do you do when you are a high class, rich, entitled, yacht-owning woman who finds out that her husband has a mistress on the side? For spurned wives Alex, Rachel, Kathleen, and Megan the answer is clear - get a "timeshare boytoy"; aka hire and share sexy stripper Michael Harrington! Recovering addict and victim of a bad break-up, (and a crappy real estate market), Megan has her doubts about this new venture - but friends know best, right? Unfortunately, their plans go awry when prostitutes start turning up dead at Bayside Yacht Club, and everyone's a suspect - even their husbands. What is the killer's real agenda? Will Megan's growing feelings for widower Detective Matt Donovan protect her from the killer's twisted game? Or will her proximity to the case leave her and her friends sliced stern to bow? Review: When I first spotted the cover of Deadly Pleasures, I couldn't help but wonder what I was getting myself into. I am not usually a fan of the semi-erotic paperback romances that my grandmother enjoys, but from chapter one I sensed a difference. Mary Firmin is a very talented writer. Her attention to detail, the fast-paced sinuosity of the story-line, and her well-written characters immediately caught my eye; but for me, the smart balance of humor tied the whole book together. I ended up starting the book at 11, fully intending to take my time, and went to bed at 3:45 craving a sequel. The story goes from light and lively on one page to dark, twisty and surprise-full on the next. I did manage to figure out who the murderer was before the reveal, but the possibilities were endless. Admittedly, Mary Firmin's ability to introduce well-developed and realistic characters mid-story had me second-guess myself a couple of times. Back to the cover, I am not a fan, but I get the idea. The adage,"Don't judge a book by its cover", comes to mind - the murder mystery far outweighs the eroticism insinuated by the cover image. I recommend this book to adults (17+) of both genders who enjoy a mystery that will leave them satisfied. Now all I have to do is wait for the sequel... Rating: On the Run (4/5) *** I received this book from the author (Lightning Book Promotions) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Hazel_G More than 1 year ago
Deadly Pleasures is a murder-suspense thriller written by Mary Firmin. I received this book from the author to read for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book! So much so, that I read it all in one sitting. I love spending my Saturdays enjoying a great book in the silence of my library and this book definitely kept me seated throughout the day. I enjoyed the full cast of characters. Megan was a wonderful heroine and I respected her bravery. The camaraderie between Megan and her female leads was fun and refreshing to read. I loved the interaction and devotion they display towards one another. There were a lot of laugh out loud moments, especially as they were trying to find the "right boy-toy". The gym scene alone was hilarious and one I'll not soon forget. The dialogue between the friends was superbly written and realistic. The mystery behind the murders was well done and left you guessing throughout most of the book. The writing was cleaver and flowed well. I was impressed with the knowledge and research it must have taken to get the facts for this story. Crime scene procedures can be daunting to read with the author getting to bogged down in the inner workings but Firmin does this surprisingly well. (J.D. Robb would be proud!) This book was written with the novice in mind. The topic of BDSM is prominent in the murder mystery but it's done in such a way as to not offend any reader. Its mild in description and anyone would feel comfortable with the topic. And the ending... well, fantastic is the one word I can use to describe this remarkable book. This was just a wonderful read and one I'll definitely be adding to my favorites list! I'd like to send out a huge Thank You to Mary Firmin for the opportunity to read and review this terrific book! It was brilliant!
charlie75 More than 1 year ago
This cover totally got my interest & the synopsis didn't sound too bad either! & you guys know me, I'm extra picky about what I read! This book wasn't at all like I thought it was going to be. I was expecting it to be one of those Romance books that knocks your socks off - with just a hint of suspense it in! - She totally flipped the script on me! This is mainly a murder/mystery with some romance thrown in. Which, is also totally okay with me, seeing as to how I love me some suspense. I love me some Megan. She is everything you want in a leading lady! She's driven, stronger than she realizes, has morals from here to next year and has some awesome taste in men! Well, minus the ex-fiance that just won't leave her alone! She is, in all aspects of the word, a fighter. - Throw in some friends who feel it's a "brilliant idea" to "time-share" a man - and you get the amazingly funny stuff that is, Deadly Pleasures. Men do it all the time right? Share women? So this makes it okay for women to do it too, right? This is the logic Megan's friends used. Already iffy on the idea, Megan meets Detective Matt Donovan, the lead detective in charge of the murder investigation. Talk about REALLY not wanting to be a part of it now! Donovan is a "swoon" factor of his own. Yes, I said swoon. I mean really, read the description of him and then tell me you don't agree! :) His determination to find the killer drives him in just about everything he does. Upon meeting Megan; he finds himself questioning himself. Is he good enough for her, this high society woman? Add into that the fact that his trust in Megan is slipping each and every time something happens in this case. I did find myself wanting to shake some people in this book though. There were alot of "OMG - YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!" and "NO YOU DIDN'T" moments. This made for some laughs though! I loved the pace of this book. It wasn't too slow and it wasn't so fast that you find yourself confused for most of the book. The ending was a surprise to me. Here I thought I had the whole thing figured out and then NOPE. Better luck next time! lol This is an awesome book for the murder/mystery readers!
ThePodPeople More than 1 year ago
This is what I like to call one of those &quot;more money than common sense&quot; scenarios. Megan Riley, our main character and heroine, is a recovering addict. She's struggling in a depressed real estate market, and her engagement to fellow drunk and drug addict Brian has ended. Her friends, the rich housewives of Bayside, like to spend time on their husbands' yachts, complaining that their husbands are philandering jerks, which they are. They decide one day, much to Megan's disbelief, that they deserve something on the side as well, eventually hiring stripper Michael Harrington to service a variety of their personal needs. A bunch of wealthy women sharing a boytoy?! Who doesn't see problems on the horizon with that one? While these women are wrapped up in their own little lifestyles of the rich and famous worlds, women are being tied up, hacked up, and murdered, and all leads point detective Matt Donovan back to the Bayside Yacht club. Things get really heated when a Senator's daughter winds up dead in her own little love dungeon. Murder mystery readers will find a lot of familiar tropes here, and so it will be quite easy to sympathize with the characters. Again, reminiscent of the movie <i>8MM,</i> we have a snuff film -- although in this plot line it was inadvertently made -- we have blackmail, escort services, porn peddlers, and we have the troubled heroine who falls in love with the handsome detective and manages to get herself into all kinds of tight spots. We also have a very brief look into the BDSM subculture as our detective takes a walk on the wild side through L.A.'s bondage parlors and hidden sex clubs, trying to catch a killer. In Ms. Firmin's novel, the sexual subculture is the demented backdrop and the underlying pathos behind a series of violent murders, explored through the eyes of homicide detective Matt Donovan. In this story, the BDSM is treated as a symptom of psychosis, and the brief jaunts into this world are dark and seedy, again, reminiscent of the movie <i>8MM,</i> though not as graphic, so potential readers do not have to worry about the &quot;ick&quot; factor. All this is written very voyeuristically. A momentary peep through the peephole, so sensitive readers do not have to worry about graphic content. Even the one small sex scene is left off the page. I would liken it to an extended version of the TV show Criminal Minds, and anyone who enjoys murder mystery crime shows like that will find this book a light enjoyable read with just enough thrills to keep a reader engaged without being overwhelming.
Cadfael More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel of Mary Firman's. The idea of four women hiring a toyboy. Their actual trysts with him were humorous and all but one of the encounters unexpected but refreshing. Some delightful twists in the novel and the ending was satisfying. I liked the main protagonists - though Megan does some foolish things - and the hero, Matt is a delight. He and his fellow detectives forays into the world of sleaze are downright funny. I picked the murderer fairly early in the piece but this in no way negated my pleasure in reading and I have a whole new perspective on bondage!! LOL I am looking forward to Firman's next novel, Deadly Secrets. I am confident that this author has well and truly found her voice.
Reviews-ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kristie I. for Readers Favorite Mary Firmin's debut novel "Deadly Pleasures" will draw you in by the cover and keep you hooked when you begin reading the story! Megan is on the search for "Mr. Right" as she is dealing with a broken engagement and her three best friends are looking for some fun as they have had enough of infidelity in their own marriages. This leads to these four women hiring a "boytoy" to share; however, the man they hire, Michael, is a suspect of a string of murders that have taken place including the murder of Megan's neighbor. As these women spend time with Michael, they find themselves involved in the investigation as well and also the main detective on the case who immediately captures Megan's interest. What began as a month of fun for these four women quickly turns into a deadly and dangerous adventure. I really enjoyed Firmin's writing style as the story flowed so nicely and yet was filled with vivid descriptions. I felt as if I became a part of the story while reading and was "one of the girls" as I would empathize with them and also laugh along with them throughout their adventures. Matt, the detective, quickly won me over as well and I enjoyed the interactions between him and Megan and the relationship that develops between them. There is a nice balance between romance and mystery making this a great read. I always enjoy a good mystery and I am looking forward to more of Firmin's books as this is one of the best mysteries I have read!
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
This is Mary Firmin's debut novel, and I must say I can't wait to read the next one! It had all the elements of a great murder mystery, it kept me guessing till the very end who the real killer was and I loved it! Megan Riley's life is a bit of turmoil as she is trying to stay sober, her ex-fiance won't leave her alone, and now woman are being murdered and it hits close to home. Now she gets to add to everything the fact that her friends want to timeshare a man for fun, they figure that men do it all the time so why not them. Megan wasn't real sure that she wanted to but after meeting the handsome detective she really doesn't want to go through with it. Megan is a really strong character, very gutsy and I really liked her. I love strong female characters, especially when there is danger involved. I hate it when they run away screaming, but Megan she was a fighter. Detective Matt Donovan is just one of those male characters that you take an instant liking too. He is handsome, kind and very determined to find out who is behind the murders. When he meets Megan he can't seem to get her out of his head but he doesn't think he has a chance with a high society lady. Not only does he have to try and solve the bondage murder case but he has to figure out if he can trust Megan or not since a lot of things keep happening to make him wonder about her. Mary Firmin, does a great job of writing a face-paced murder mystery that makes me think it could be a Desperate House wives episode, even though I have never watched that show. :) I really thought I knew whodonit right up until the end then it was sort of like OH MY! I think I figured it out the same time the detective did! It was great! I love it when I am kept guessing till the end. Don't let the cover put you off if you are thinking it is some sort of steamy sexy romance novel because it isn't. I actually thought it would be steamy but instead it was light on romance and heavy on mystery and I think it was wrote well enough that even both genders could enjoy it.