Does everyone have a certain "type" they end up with, whether they want to or not? If Ray Carlucci's ex is anything to go by, Ray likes his men gorgeous, rebellious, and chock-full of issues. But now that Ray is single again, he has a shot at a fresh start - a very fresh start, since his tattoo shop was gutted by repo men and he can fit all his belongings in the trunk of a taxi.
Ray's shiny new chauffeur's license lands him a job as a driver for an elderly couple on Red Wing Island. It's a cold fall, and since the Michigan island is the summer home to snowbirds who fly south for the winter, it's practically deserted - save for Ray's new household and a sculptor named Anton Kopec, who works day and night twisting brambles and twine into the distorted shapes of macabre creatures. Compelling, bizarre, and somewhat disturbing...not just the sculptures, but the artist, too. Ray has a feeling Anton is just his "type".
When a dead body is unearthed by some workers and a freak ice storm traps them all on the island, Ray can't say for certain that his new flame isn't capable of murder - despite their scorching chemistry.
©2009 Jordan Castillo Price (P)2015 Jordan Castillo Price
Lily reads, writes, and reviews m/m romance.
Ray Carlucci is a talented tattoo artist, but unlucky in business and love so it appears. He lost his shop, Body Art, due to a self-obsessed boyfriend and is in debt because of him and having to flee the mainland to escape his creditors.
He gains a position as a driver for the Whites, who live on the semi-deserted Red Wing Island. It is a small summer place, where only a few inhabitants stay all year round. The Whites are one of those permanent families. Because Mr. White has dementia, his elderly wife needs a more than a driver. She needs additional muscle to cope with her husband's mishaps and wanderings, and Ray is good-natured enough to help out. He learns that the previous two drivers left without a word. Dead animals show up on Ray's front door step and the creepiness sets in.
On the plus side, Ray meets—and is immediately attracted to—local artist and 'recluse', Anton Kopec. They hook up within days, but it's more than just hot and steamy sex. There's a definite connection between these two guys. Ray's life seems to be on the up at last when a body is unearthed and suspicion falls on Anton.
JCP expertly builds up the atmosphere as the story progresses, with strange happenings and tense scenes in the woods, casting suspicion on many of her well-portrayed characters.
As JCP says, "I've gone with the talented Gomez Pugh yet again as my audiobook narrator. His performance on this story was swoon worthy." I couldn't agree more. Gomez's narration is superb and complements JCP's fabulous story-telling.
"Sexy and dangerous."
How broken the two men were, and how only together could they be one whole.
Ray. The man lost everything, including the shirt of his back, but he still got up everyday and lived his life.
The first time they went at it. I didn't expect it to turn out the way it did, pleasantly surprised though.
Ray Carlucci has lost everything, except his will to live, barely. Broke, unemployed and homeless, he takes a job as a driver for a reclusive elderly couple on a lonely, frozen island in Michigan. Things are a little off from the start. Mister White suffers from Alzheimer’s and occasionally, his episodes turn violent. Missus White is entirely to chipper for her circumstances, and the cook is a very odd bird. Speaking of birds, Ray isn’t on the job an entire day before there is a dead bird left on his doorstep.
Then there is the enigmatic beauty Anton Kopec. The man is bi-polar, eccentric and passionate all at the same time. His mood swings almost give Ray whiplash, and his sexual prowess is absolutely amazing. Needless to say, the two become lovers very quickly. But when bodies start piling up and Anton is taken in for questioning, Ray has to ask himself if getting involved with the Artist is a wise decision. His track record for boyfriends is one shot shy of America’s most wanted as it is.
I had never read any of JCP’s work before until I got a request to review the audio for Scary Mary. Let me tell you, I became an instant fan! So when this title showed up in my recommendations I grabbed a copy before I even read the blurb. I am so intrigued by the raw sexuality the characters Price writes wear like a badge of honor. Usually damaged in some way or another, at first glance they are the dregs that no one could possibly want, much less love. But then they turn out to be these completely misunderstood human beings that just want to love, and be loved in return.
Ray lost everything, including the shirt off his back, when his ex snorted all their money up his nose. Slightly psychotic and definitely disturbing Artist, Anton, is secluded on the island by his sister who only wants to cash in on his fame, not actually have to deal with the person that holds all the creativity. The two come together and it’s like a bolt of lightning. It’s frenetic, crazed and passionate, and they don’t seem to be able to love each other any other way.
In just three short hours, Price delivered a shivering murder mystery that was suspenseful and engaging all while weaving this insane love story between two lonely souls. I absolutely loved it! Highly recommend it! If you like the author, you’ll surely enjoy this audio. But if you are a fan of suspense thrillers, passionate love stories with zero romance, and sexy inked up alpha males, then you can’t pass this one up.
Like a good Agatha Christie story, murder on a semi-deserted island is spooky and thrilling. The chemistry between Ray and Anton steamed things up quite nicely. And Gomez Pugh is fast becoming one of my favorite narrators!
"Gomez Pugh does narration right!"
Gomez Pugh's narration flows as smooth as aged whiskey and keeps this sexy mystery full of entertaining and interesting characters effortlessly moving along.
Though I personally wouldn't have classified this as a "thriller" it definitely has a good mystery, some very sexy smex, and I found the whodunit very satisfying (I totally did not see that coming!).
More than anything else though the narration was just terrific. This is a "quick" three and a half hours that races by without ever dragging.
"New Sub-Genre for Me"
I enjoyed this novella. I wasn't sure how I would feel about the romance angle going in, since this was my first MM romance. I liked it.
The couple didn't seem to be quite right for each other- but then, I think I'm just feeling protective of the main character. So great job to this author with the characters- I'm done with the story and still invested in the main character! After giving it more consideration, I think Ray and Anton do make a good, balanced out couple despite character flaws- because they're willing to work at it. Well, Ray is willing to work at it, and for now, that's enough to close a book on.
As for the 'thriller' aspect of this book, it kind of has more of a cozy mystery feel to it. I liked it, but I wouldn't label it as a thriller; especially so blatantly as to use it as a sub-title. I think that would mislead some readers into expecting less romance and something more scary.
The narrator did a great job of making each character sound unique and I'd be glad to listen to another book narrated by them.
Overall, it's a sweet cozy read. (With some VERY cozy scenes of our lovers.) If I didn't have a lot of books on my to be read shelf, I'd be looking for more by this author.
I was provided with a free copy of this audio book by the author, publisher or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.
interesting, sexy, creepy
I like that there were several directions it could have gone and the way it ended was not what I expected. The best kind of mystery is one you don't figure out in advance.
great job. good voice and clearly able to distinguish between characters.
Ray of Moonlight
I would like to warn readers that 'the old man' is not the love interest. After that early scene, I almost stopped listening, thinking it was going in an icky direction. I'm glad I stuck with it. ;-)
"A Few Hours Well-Spent"
~~I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com~~
Even though JCP has been on my radar (and bookshelf) for awhile, this is my first time reading anything of hers. It's a small sampling, but I really enjoyed it!
Told from Ray's perspective, Body Art is almost more of a character piece than a thriller. The story is peopled with interesting characters who bring a certain mood to the story. I really enjoyed how realistic they were because it helped this feel more immersive as a thriller. It had me looking at each person, wondering who was hiding what about themselves. The only one we truly know is Ray, and he's a great character, very self aware about his flaws but a good person just trying to get on with his life.
The thriller part was well done. It was a slow build with a fairly fast wrap-up. The setting of the isolated home and the weather, combined with some strange goings-on, really gave it a nice atmosphere, and I was definitely on a slow burn about what was happening the whole time. It wasn't as fully satisfying as watching Ray trying to rebuild his life in this strange place he's landed (which was handled so well), but it was still highly enjoyable.
This is also my first time with Gomez Pugh's narration, and I was really impressed. He had a great range of voices and infused each character with distinct personality. I would absolutely be drawn to more stories he narrates. I know he's done other JCP books, so since I'm interested in more of both of them, I'm one happy reader.
"Intense and sexy"
Certainly. Jordan did an amazing job with keeping the story moving and never giving away what was coming next. A very hard story to put down or forget. Sexy, spooky who done it.
I loved the Psych Cop series and this one flowed a lot the same way. Sexy mysterious men.
In the bunker when they figured out the mystery. I never saw that coming. I was way off on my guess as to who the killer was.
Ray of course. All the tatoos and the broken heart. You didn't know whether to be afraid of him or hug him like a teddy bear.
Have to say this was an awesome listen. Gomez Pugh did a fantastic job reading the book for us. Made the characters completely real and alive. He is the perfect choice for Jordan's books. I hope to hear many more of her books and him in the future. Although I was provide a copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review, It did not alter my opinion one bit. I loved the title, the author and the narrator.
"A great beginning of a story."
I surely enjoyed how the author writes and introduces his characters. Also his charters are weird, which is what I find most people are, especially once you get to know them. The murder aspect of the story was a little less developed. The murderer and his motivations seemed to be a little less real. But the two lovers, two main characters I liked and enjoyed. I felt the sex scene were also realistic and well done. I felt the author was a little unsure of this story. I felt he had the two main characters down pat, but wasn't sure completely in the setting. I say this mainly because the story should of been longer and more time taken in its development but it wasn't. There is a lot here, a lot more than was taken advantage of. Now surely it is a good story and I am very happy with my time spent with it. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
"BODY ART IS PERFECTION!"
I loved every second of this book and Gomez is my new fave narrator! wonderful job! I love all of Jordans books I have read, and this is more of the same perfection!!
"Price and Pugh are a fantastic combination."
Jordan Castillo Price is one of those writers that just knows how to tell a good story. And this is another that translates well into audio.
Nice voice, good mystery and Anton. Oh, Anton ...
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