- Read my review of the first book in the Carnal Tower series, Shades of Lust.
One of the similarities between this book and the first in the series that I noticed, which may or may not be a trend for the rest of the books, is that the heat level is very much on the “slow burn” setting. This aspect can be construed as either because or despite one of the main characters being a sex worker, and I’m okay with either interpretation. That being said, it doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty of steam under the surface during the growing connection between Jet and Taylor. The meet-cute that initially brings them together hinges on integral parts of their lives (Jet’s blindness and Taylor’s profession). However, neither of these things plays into the tentative friendship that develops between them or how both men realize that the potential for more exists.
The shifting dynamic between the character development that Jet and Taylor undergo and how this relates to the relationship arc of this story makes for a compelling read. This book is certainly not angst-ridden, but the underlying note of tension that both men carry creates an element of low-level conflict that is spread throughout the book rather than focused on a single dark moment at the very end. Overall, I found this a satisfying romance that carries all the hallmarks of unconventional character-driven storytelling that I adore about Lindsey’s writing.
Jet and Taylor do not exist in a vacuum, of course, because this series is crafted around a core group of men. I enjoyed the way Stone supports the other men in Shades of Lust, but it truly hits home in this book that as much as he loves them, he must still balance the fact that he is their boss. Jet shares different levels of friendship with the other men, on a much more equal standing. Even with the understanding that they are probably significantly more comfortable in their skins than most other men due to their profession, I adored the many examples of close male friendships between the Sins that are not hampered by more common elements of culturally imposed toxic masculinity.
I’m already looking forward to the next installment of this series, teased at the end of this book. As sad as I am that I’ll have to wait until next year for it, I’m already excited to read the other books by Lindsey that will be released in the meantime.
Disclaimer: I received an electronic review copy of this book from the author.
Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.