The Speakeasy Series by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn
With a Twist by K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughan (Speakeasy Book 1) - 4 stars
This is the first book in the new Speakeasy Series, but I was thrilled to find it was a follow on to Wake and Calm, with many of the same characters featuring. I had previously enjoyed these books and was not surprised to find myself easily engrossed in this new one, With a Twist.
Basically, Will Martin, an NYU professor is estranged from his arrest for many years due to his Senator father''s very Republican political views, including banishing Will for being gay. However, when Bill Martin falls ill with cancer, Will finds it his duty to return home to help his mother and sister look after him. During this time, he meets David More, an up and coming young Senator, who Will is surprised to learn is both gay and Republican. David has been mentored by Bill and they are good friends. Will has a hard time reconciling the fact that David's politics are so far removed from his own, but they do strike up a friendship.
David Mori is young, Japanese-American, gay, Republican senator. He has many challenges in is day to day life, but is essentially happy. Will Martin is not happy. he is struggling to get over a previous relationship and also with trying to forgive his father for his extreme views. Luckily, he has good friends who all meet once a month in Manhattan at a speakeasy bar called Under. It is invariably filled with the rich and beautiful people of New York City and is a sanctuary and safe haven for Will, while he tries to work out his troubles. This may include an ever increasing attraction to the exceedingly handsome David Mori!
The story focuses on Will and David's blossoming relationship. I would compare it to a ballad rather than a pop song, in that it is a long descriptive love story rather than a 'once upon a time and they all lived happy ever after' romance! I very much appreciated the detail and the writing style that drew me in from the start. The story line was original due to the diversity of the main characters, which I absolutely loved. This book was filled with emotion and humour, while also conveying some quite important political perspectives. It was also extremely hot! When David and Will do make out, sparks fly high!
I would highly recommend these authors' work as they seem to have a great vibe together. This book was the third of theirs that I have read, and I am already looking forward to the next one. They have great chemistry which comes through in their characters.
Extra Dirty by K. Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughan (Speakeasy Book 2) - 5 stars
If I thought With a Twist was a thoroughly good read, Extra Dirty took it up a notch. I think for me, this in large part due to Jesse Murtagh being one of the main characters. I adore him. He is a stand to character for me who we have met before in Wake, Calm and With a Twist. His outlook on life is free and easy combined with his focused work ethic and all around fantastically engaging personality. He sleeps with whoever takes his fancy, male and female. He had wonderful friends whom he loves. He is close to his family who pretty much worship him, and he is hugely successful both in his business career with his father and brother, and with his partner Kyle at the speakeasy, Under, which he owns.
Jesse goes through life charmed and charming. He is a handsome man who attracts and infatuates everyone whose lives he touches. He is generous and kind and funny, and he loves to party and fuck.
Cameron Lewis is a primary school music teacher by day and DJ by night at Club Ember. His and Jesse's worlds align when Jesses arrives to collect his friends' Riley and Carter's kids from the school where Cam teaches. Jesse then turns up at Club Ember and so their attraction takes off from there. Neither of them are looking for a relationship; they couldn't contemplate being with only one person for the rest of their lives, but as their connection to one another deepens, they begin to question their previous stance on life. They really like each other, but coming from such different backgrounds, Cam is the more dubious. Jesse wears his heart on his sleeve and is hurt by Cam's reluctance to invest in their relationship, whatever they decide that might look like.
I really enjoyed this book. It was on another level sexy, with all the ingredients I love about these tow authors when they write together. Jesse is a fantastic character who is both transparent and complex at the same time. The scenarios were exciting and interesting and the cast of support characters were also well developed with great storylines of their own. I really hope there will be more Speakeasy books in the future, as I love reading about the lives of all the different personalities.