Flight Dreams by Michael Craft, 2nd edition

41+SH8k87jL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Flight Dreams, 2nd edition

Series: A Mark Manning Mystery, #1

Author: Michael Craft

Genre: Mystery

Length: 230 pages

Publisher: Open Road Media (July 23rd, 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Blurb: Seven years ago, Chicago socialite Helena Carter disappeared. In three months, she will be declared legally dead and her fortune will go to Chicago’s Catholic Archdiocese. Investigative journalist Mark Manning believes the missing heiress is still alive. To prove his case, he enters a world where religion and politics make uneasy bedfellows — as he confronts the inescapable fact that he is gay.

ISBN: 9781480434202

Product Link: http://amzn.to/1RWKvQC

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: The first thing I am going to say is that based on the story itself I would have given it a five, however I cannot stand females in my stories so at first there was a mention of him and the friend which was ok. However half way through and it came up again, I am afraid that I just skimmed to the end of the story for the ending. I didn’t even want to give it a chance after that.

Mark had been writing all about the disappearance of Helena Carter. Now he was being forced to decide to either lose his job or change his attitude about it. So he has decided to start searching for the woman himself.

This story was not what I had expected at all. I did love the humor I sensed in it and enjoyed the numerous characters that Mark came across throughout his searching. I have to say that I did not have a clue what happened to the woman, so it was a surprise for me. It was an enjoyable story other than the female added in. It is unlike any other gay mystery that I have come across but then again it was quite refreshing in itself.

The problem was it fell short but not really very noticeable. I have come to find that I do love a good mystery every once in a while and Michael’s stories have a way of just creeping up on you. I loved the fact that while on the search he meets a man who has him falling in love.

The pace for this story was perfectly paced to me. It was well-defined, fully developed and the details were perfect. Although I have to say Mark was a pain in the ass in certain parts of the story. And what is the deal with calling the woman who was under sixty, old. He needed to be smacked upside the head for that one.

Overall I enjoyed the book and can’t wait to see what the next book will be like. I just hope there are no girly parts added on.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

The Prisoner of the Riviera by Janice Law

17912870Title: The Prisoner of the Riviera

Series: A Francis Bacon Mystery 02

Author: Janice Law

Genre: Post-war Europe, Mystery

Length: Novel (244pgs)

ISNB: 9781480436008

Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road Media (10th December 2013)

Heat Level: Nil

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: In postwar France, a gambler finds that surviving his vacation may be a long shot

Peace has come to England and the blackout is over, but the gloom has yet to lift from London. One night, leaving a gambling club where he has run up a considerable tab, the young painter Francis Bacon, accompanied by his lover, sees a man gunned down in the street. They do what they can to stanch the flow of blood, but the Frenchman dies in the hospital. Soon afterward, Bacon receives a strange offer from the club owner: He will erase Bacon’s debts if the painter delivers a package to the dead man’s widow, Madame Renard, on the Riviera. What gambler could resist a trip to Monte Carlo?

After handing over the parcel, Bacon learns that Madame Renard is dead—and the striking young woman who accepted the delivery is an imposter. The Riviera may be lovely, but in 1945, its sun-drenched beaches can be just as dark as the back alleys of London.

Purchase Link: http://www.openroadmedia.com/the-prisoner-of-the-riviera

Review: This story is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. Francis is looking forward to his vacation in France now that the war is over and peace is finally in Europe. Francis is enjoying a night gambling with his lover Arnold and losing big, when a man is gunned down right in front of them as they leave the London club it leads to Francis taking a package to the Frenchman’s widow on the Riviera. But things get complicated when Francis hands over the package and he is drawn into a mystery and murder and he has to help solve both to clear his own name.

Well I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started reading this book, I will admit that the cover put me off a bit but the blurb intrigued me so I began reading and I was drawn into Francis’ adventure and the murder mystery that he finds himself in the middle of. Francis is a painter who has a wealthy lover, but it isn’t really a committed relationship, as you will soon discover. We hardly see Arnold as the story is all from Francis’ point of view and is focused on the mystery but we do discover that Francis has a certain fondness for the other man, but that doesn’t mean that Francis doesn’t get to have fun when Arnold returns to England.  

We are drawn into a world that edges on the dark side of the war, those that took advantage of the war for their own profit want the proof and some want the secret the package hides. Francis is dragged into his adventure of hiding from the police, dodging thugs and murderers, finding a missing woman, recovering the package and being chased through the streets. The story draws us into post-war Europe with its descriptions and knowledge letting us live Francis adventure with him and meeting the colorful characters who keep throwing out tasks for Francis when all he wants to do is return home.

This isn’t the sort of story to read if you want an in-depth relationship, it’s the type of story to read if you want an enjoyable mystery whose main character is gay. While we know Francis has sex we never see it, and I actually found that it fit in with how the story was written… it’s 1945 and that lingering feeling of time is felt throughout the book making everything seem more exciting and dangerous and some things taboo. This is a wonderfully written story that really brings the past to the present.     

I recommend this to those who love post-war Europe, murder mysteries, car/motorcycle chases, a great storyline and great characters.