TITLE: Troy Out Of The Dark
AUTHOR: J.J. Harper
GENRE: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2017
MY RATING: 5 STARS
Rafferty ‘Raff’ McMahon—beaten, broken and cast out of his home at eighteen—turns to his aged aunt who helps him become a new man with a new name. Ten years later, a successful photographer with an edge to his work everyone seems to want, a call that will set his life on a roller coaster ride comes through. Troy Ballantyne, CEO of De’ath of You Enterprises, wants to meet him. Mesmerized by the voice coming down the line, Raff immediately agrees to the meeting.
“Hi, can I speak to Rafferty McMahon?” A deep and seductive voice asks.
“You are.” My reply is short, who the fuck is this? I’m having a horrendous day and, however hot this guy sounds, I want off my phone.
He sets about researching, not the company but the man himself; captivated by Troy’s images, Raff is excited to meet the man behind the sexy drawl.
When Troy sets up a meeting with up-and-coming photographer Rafferty McMahon the last thing he expects is to be drawn to him. A connection he has already experienced once before, his heart beats a little faster. Is this for real?
“What do you want, Troy?” His voice, low and gravelly, sends shivers over my body.
“I don’t know. We have only just met but from the first moment I heard your voice I haven’t been able to stop thinking of you.”
The feeling of ownership overwhelms Troy and as much as he wants to stay locked away with only the memories of Franco, he can’t fight his feelings for this handsome man.
Is this the man Franco told Troy was waiting for him? Is he going to be the great love of his life? Will both Raff and Troy be allowed to be with their one true love, or is there someone out there ready to tear them apart?
This book is a gay M/M romance and include sex between two men, and is recommended for over 18’s. It is book two in a duology and follows on from Troy – Into the Light available now
Troy’s story hits on a hard subject that may act as a trigger for some.
ARC received from the author and willingly reviewed
I’m not a love at first sight believer, and usually I don’t like books where the characters fall in love instantly. ‘Cause this is what happens between Troy and Raff: they click at the first phone call! At their first meeting they were already lost and lusting after each other! And I feared I wouldn’t love this book that I was so excited to read.
I was totally wrong, I’ve loved this story, I’ve loved Troy and Raff love story.
By the end of the book, the beginning made sense to me. Troy and Raff are connected in the great circle of life, and I believe in this, I believe that everything happens for a reason, and they are destined to each other.
Troy, after the loss of his forever love, Franco, is a broken man, but somehow stronger than before.
Rafferty McMahon, Raff, is a successful photographer, handsome, sexy, long hair and with the habit of smoking, thing that Troy seems to find very sexy!
Oh, Troy! Raff is not the man you would have expected to fall in love with.
Raff is a broken man, with an awful past of violence and secrets. But he is strong and determined not to let his past rule his present and future.
I’ve loved how their relationship grows throughout the book, becoming stronger and deeper. The sex between them is always passionate, hot and steamy (OMG I won’t look at a shower in the same way now!), and their connection is not only physical, but it’s always the connection of two souls seeking for love and the need to heal.
Their love is not a fairytale, to find their HEA they have to fight demons and ghosts, they have to go through hell and back.
"d'you realize that, by the time we see the light of these stars, they have burnt out and no longer exist?""I did know that, but why do you mention it?" Troy questions."No reason really, it's just the feeling that we are gazing on something that is no longer around and still we gaze at its beauty, holding on to the fact that it was real once and it shone so brightly when it was. Time is so fleeting, yet so infinite."
But again… everything happens for a reason, bad things and good things, and the closure of their circle of live is the best one. Only the epilogue would deserve a whole book!
And I can’t forget Ryan and Nico… MY BOYS! They are the best friends ever.
J.J. Harper has the magic touch to create passionate stories, giving the right balance between love and drama.
This story has also a hint of mystery that has kept me on my toes, page after page.
The end is super sweet, but there are still more secrets to be revealed.
For J.J. Harper another 5 stars book, a must read!
Excerpts from the book
“Don’t give me that shit, Troy, I’m still pissed at you.” His voice is still low but it doesn’t have the sexy rasp it had last night.
“So, a ‘no’ to the coffee then?” I raise one eyebrow as he shakes his head in exasperation. His response makes me smirk at him and I hand him the mug. Pointing to the sugar on the side, I offer, “there’s creamer in the fridge if you want it and some flavored shit, too, that Nico sometimes has, caramel or hazelnut or shit!” I fake a shudder which, at last, has him smiling properly at me.
“Yeah, I’m a black coffee man, no crap. I don’t even have sugar.” He replies.
“Sweet enough already?” I quip.
“Yeah, something like that.” He laughs again, then cuts it short. Shit, this is where he tells me it was a mistake. “Troy…”
“Raff…” We speak at the same time but clam up together, too.
“You go first, Raff, please.” My heart beats like a jackhammer, dreading what he might say.
Letting out a huge puff of air, Raff looks at me and his eyes soften as he smiles: all good, so far. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, Troy; I like you, but I don’t know you. I want to get to know you. I think, if we rush this, we could end up wrecking something really good.” He sighs again, “I said last night I’ve just come out of a relationship and I’m worried you could think I’m using you as a rebound fuck. I want to spend time with you, shit loads of time, I want to kiss you again and again.” Raff’s little chuckle sends shivers over my body. “But I don’t want fuck this up. If there is anything here to make a mess of. You may have been going to tell me you’re not interested, I hope not. When you weren’t here this morning, I thought I’d got my answer.”
I’m grinning hard by the time he lifts his head up after dropping it in embarrassment. He sees it and tentatively returns the gesture.
“Come here, Raff.” I reach out to grab his hand and haul him closer. “I was going to say exactly the same thing. I have never been prepared to try something as much as I want to try, to see what we have going on here. I’ve just been dumped by a wonderful man because I wasn’t able to commit to him; I never felt the same way he did.” I see Raff frown, trying to work out how this affects him. “The reason I’m saying this is, because, as soon as I saw you, I knew I wanted more. Don’t panic, I’m not ready to rush either. I just wanted you to know that, for the first time in three years, I’m ready to have more. And that’s because it’s you, Raff McMahon.”
I take a small step closer and look straight into his grass green eyes, “as for the kissing, I’m well up for that. As for the rest, I’m sure we’ll get there. But it’s the journey I want, as well as the destination.” I brush my lips over his once, twice before pressing harder, pulling away before it turns into a make-out session. “So, are we good?”
“Fuck, Troy; yes, we are good.” Raff focusses on my hand, which has migrated to his hip, and chuckles. “You’re very handsy, aren’t you.” A statement, not a question, but he doesn’t step out of my grasp.
“Is it something that bothers you?” I unhook my thumb from his belt loop and lift my hand but Raff catches hold of it and shakes his head.
“No, it doesn’t bother me. Well, not in a bad way.” I watch as he squirms, trying to rearrange his shorts, and I burst out laughing.
Reentering the building after watching Raff speed out of the lot, I walk back to the room. My head is a mess; what the fuck just happened? Ben organizes the wrap-up of the afternoon, talking quietly to the veterans as they gather their stuff. All but one of them. The man who blew the whole afternoon to pieces. He merely stands there, dazed.
Racing over to him, I stop a couple of feet away. His head lifts and, apart from the pain and sadness in them, I see the same green as Raff’s. Tipping my head to one side, I see the same high cheek bones and strong jaw, only this time not hiding under the beard I love so much.
“What did you do to him?” The words are out of my mouth before I can control them. I watch him recoil as if I’ve struck him.
“I broke him.” He whispers to me before turning away and trudging to the door. Ben calls out to him but he waves and carries on walking.
Spinning on my heel, I glare at Ben who instinctively throws up his hands. “Whoa, Troy, back off!”
“Who the fuck is he? I want a name and address. I want his fucking history and I fucking want it now! I want to know what the fuck he has to do with my man.” I storm out again and head out, but where to go? Raff drove here today; he knew it would be a long day and he wasn’t happy leaving the dog.
Digging up my phone, I call him but it goes straight to voicemail; I knew it would but I hoped not. “Raff? Raff, sweetheart, talk to me. Please, honey, talk to me.” Dropping the call, I slide down the wall I leaned against and rest my head on my arms as they lie across my bended knees. This is bad, this is really bad.
A hand on my shoulder makes me lift my head and I discover Ryan standing at my side. “What happened, Troy? What can we do?”
“I have no fucking clue what to do, but that man hurt Raff so badly that he ran.” I push myself up from the floor and run my hands through my hair, trying to clear my head. “I need to get home, I haven’t got a car here.”
“Take mine, I drove my own today. I’ll go home with Nico.” Ryan hands over his keys and smiles sadly. “It will be okay, Troy. You two have something too good, it’s the real thing. I don’t think he’ll throw it away.”
As I turn to leave, Ben walks up to me. He looks grim but I think he has some answers. “Tell me, Ben. Tell me what that man has done.”
“His name is Corrigan Deschamps. His father is Ferdie Deschamps, the senator. Corrie left home at eighteen and joined the military. By the sounds of it, he has severed all ties with his family and hasn’t been home since. He’s a good man, Troy, I don’t know or understand what has just happened and Corrie hasn’t said anything. Maybe you should speak to him, he may explain himself to you. I’m sorry, Troy.” Ben tries a weak smile but I can see his heart isn’t in it.
“Really? Senator Deschamps? That man is a homophobic asshole, all bible quotes and shit. I’ll need this guy’s address and contact number, Ben. But I have to go home now. I need to speak to Raff, I can see if he can explain this.” I rush out, knowing I’ve wasted too much time here. Jumping into Ryan’s car, I’m on the road in no time. Traffic is heavy but Ryan’s Aston Martin is more than capable of clearing through the cars. It’s ten minutes later when I drive up to the house, but there is no truck. So, no Raff, shit!
I pull out my phone again and call his number but it goes to voicemail again. I feel sick and know I’m half a second away from breaking down. “Raff, talk to me. Please. I love you. Don’t be another man I lose; I can’t survive this again. Please, come home.” Sobs build up in my throat and tears fall freely down my cheeks. “Come home, sweetheart, we can deal with this together.”
If Raff is related to Corrigan, and they look so damn similar he must be, then there is no wonder he freaked out. Raff would have been subjected to his father’s hateful diatribes for years.
I wish he would answer his damn phone, he promised he wouldn’t leave. I need him, I know I won’t survive him turning away from me.