From the author of There You Stand, a new male/male romance about an errant motorcycle recruit and the captivating bartender who sends his wheels spinning down an all too tempting road.
Vaughn O’Keefe has been part owner of the Hog’s Den for years. Privy to plenty of Disciples of the Road business, he’s never been more ruffled as when a new recruit named “Smoke” walks through the door. Something about the man gets his blood pumping, but he knows to keep his preferences under wraps around the club.
“Smoke” Callahan has done a couple of rehab stints and is finally clean, thanks to help from the Disciples. He’s on the right path and isn’t about to get sidetracked, no matter how much the guy who manages the bar gets beneath his skin. Besides, his last relationship with a man left him scared, alone, and with a nightmare of an addiction.
When the Hog’s Den becomes shorthanded, and Smoke is ordered to help out the one man he can’t have, his longing for the bartender reaches blistering proportions. Vaughn figures a night together should be enough to satisfy their mutual attraction. But neither banks on just how scorching hot it might be.
As Smoke’s past unravels and the one person he hopes never to lay eyes on again messes with all he holds sacred, it’s time to involve the Disciples. Problem is, he’ll have to risk his membership, his heart, and his own hide to keep everyone he cares about safe.
***Please note: The Darkest Flame is a standalone adult male/male romance meant for readers who are 18+ due to sexually mature content.
|File size:||343 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing. She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul. You can find more info on her website: www.christinalee.net. From there you can link to her Facebook reader group called The Swoon Room as well as her IG account and newsletter.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I fell for this couple from the start, they had such an amazing connection! I would highly reccomend this book!
3.5/5 stars I am a huge fan of Christina Lee's books, so I was excited to read this first one in her new series! I have had really great luck with motorcycle club books, so I was interested in seeing how Lee would spin a m/m romance out of it! I thought she did a great job of making this one gritty and real, and I enjoyed Smoke and Vaughn together. I liked that we had two very masculine, tough as nails guys as our main characters and that we got both their POVs. However, my one issue was that I really struggled to remember who was narrating because their voices sounded the same. Even though this was an ARC, and they are uncorrected proofs, I found myself doubly confused at times because the wrong name would be used. For example, it would be Vaughn's chapter and we would be getting his POV, but then it would refer to Vaughn as if Smoke were narrating. That may not be an issue in the finished copy, but it did make reading a bit more challenging for me personally. Christina does not hold back in bringing the steam, that's for sure. The tension between Smoke and Vaughn is pretty intense and it's even more so because they had to hide their true natures from the others in the MC, for fear of not being accepted. The MC is a huge part of both Smoke and Vaughn's lives. While Vaughn may not be in the actual club, he runs their bar and is considered one of their own. I loved that the gang didn't hesitate in offering their protection to Vaughn after his apartment had been broken into. Having come from a different MC, Smoke is glad to be a part of the Disciples. His last club introduced him to a heroin addiction and a lover who treated him poorly and he is grateful to the Disciples for the chance to be a part of their group. There is a bit of suspense involved in this one, as Vaughn and Smoke are dealing with a jealous ex who isn't afraid of messing with Vaughn and what's his. Even though I expected a bigger showdown towards the end, I have to admit, that big scene was already tense enough and I was nervous reading because my mind was going to dark places and I did NOT want to see Vaughn and Smoke go through what was planned for them. This book probably won't be for everyone. It has a grittier and more in your face tone than some of the other m/m romances I've read. While it didn't bother me personally, I did want to point that out. It's also pretty heavy on the sex scenes and does include one brief one that included a ménage a trois with a female. I did feel some of the scenes overshadowed the plot and I think I would have liked a bit more action on the MC end. Nevertheless, I love Lee's writing and storytelling, so I am excited to see who the next book in the series will follow!
This book was my first introduction to Vaughn and Smoke and I really loved these two. As far as the characters go, they were very well developed. I felt their emotions and could really feel the connection they had. Christina Lee takes you into the biker world, but does it in a more subtle way than other MC books I’ve read. I like that about this book. Some MC books tend to make bikers out as complete alphas with no respect, she didn’t in this story. It seemed more realistic and believable. Now, onto the connection. Vaughn and Smoke are drawn to each other. Both feeling the physical attraction, but it’s when they start connecting on an emotional level that I really started to love these two. These two are hot together. Smoke should have his nickname from the heat he caused with Vaughn. I’m really curious now about Cory and Jude, so I’m going to read There You Stand. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, I hope it’s about Sawyer because I’m really curious about his story now. Sweet, full of hotness, and great chemistry between the characters. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.
This is the first story in the Roadmap To Your Heart series but is a spin-off of the Between the Breaths series, specifically story #5 that was the m/m romance between Cory and Jude. Jude hangs out with the Disciples club which introduced us to Smoke and Vaughn as secondary characters. While I enjoyed that story, the introduction of the biker club was a bit of a surprise. This story is centered completely on the club and the characters therein and is much more focused, in a very good way. I really liked both characters in this story and I found them to be very well developed and empathetic men. Vaughn is a stand-up guy, running the bar and taking care of his ill father. He’s comfortable being bisexual, taking home men or women (though never ones that hang out at the bar) but doesn’t have the time to commit to a relationship with his late night work and his family obligations. When Smoke is assigned by his boss Mal, the other owner of the bar and head of the Disciples, to help out a few nights a week with Vaughn, it’s both a boon and a curse for him. He’s had an intense attraction to Smoke since first laying eyes on him, and the looks that Smoke gives him and flirting that occurs on the sly make him quite aware that Smoke has the same type of feelings, also under the table as being a gay biker isn’t the norm and is better kept under wraps. Smoke had a previous relationship in his old club that was based on drugs and sex and a heroin addiction that nearly killed him. He’s been clean now for a few years but still makes regular visits to narcotics anonymous and owes his life to Mal for getting him out of his old club and giving him a home with the Disciples. He’ll do anything Mal asks of him as a result, including working the bar with the man he’s crushed on since he first met him. But being in such close quarters makes it impossible to ignore their attraction to each other for long. The scenes between Vaughn and Smoke are super hot, and push this story into the erotic romance level. Their relationship is very equal sexually as they take turns being dominant, which was a realistic approach to their personalities as alpha male types. The story is told from both points of view which is great because we get a good picture of what each of the men is thinking and feeling as their relationship progresses. It’s Smoke who has the more difficult time of it, worried about how his standing in the club will change if his brothers find out he’s gay, yet at the same time not wanting to hide his true nature anymore. There is an intriguing look at the other members of the club in this story as well, in particular their leader Mal who has been working hard to make the club legit and get out of any illegal dealings. It’s a legacy for him, started by his grandfather, screwed up by his father and now his to make right again. His efforts at making the club straight have long-term repercussions with the other biker clubs in the area, so a substantial part of the story involves the politics between clubs, in particular, the one Smoke used to belong to. While the romance between Smoke and Vaughn is going on, the background of club business moves the story along with tension and action scenes. This story worked for me on all levels. 4.5 stars for this gritty, sexy, action packed romance. I can’t wait to see whose story will be next in the series!