The Harlequin killer is still on the loose and the easy summer job Stevie and his friends were looking forward to has turned out to be a deadly one. After attacking his friend Garth, the murderer disappeared only to be replaced with a new player on the scene and he wants something that’s hidden in the carousel ride that Stevie operates. The mysterious man threatens to hurt Adam, Stevie’s Dom and best friend, if he tells anyone about the package he is being forced to locate. Now Stevie is in a race against time to find the package and keep the killer from following through with his threat to hurt him and Adam.
Those familiar with L.M. Somerton’s Fairground Attractions series will remember the college age gang of friends who are spending their summer working at a local amusement park. This installment, Merry-Go-Round, features two of those guys, Stevie and Adam. The two young men have been attracted to each other for a while, but haven’t ever moved their relationship forward from friends to lovers. When Adam says that he wants them to move forward and be more than friends, Stevie is thrilled that Adam wants to be his Dom. Then Stevie is approached the next day by a man with a gun and all hell breaks loose.
These novellas make a lot of assumptions—one being that relationships seem to go from zero to 360 in a heartbeat and it doesn’t faze the guys involved. The other is that a Dom is always pared with a submissive and there is no talk of safe words or other boundaries set by either man. I assume this is done by the author for expediency’s sake, given that each story is short and light on relational backstory, but it certainly stretches the imagination. After all, what are the chances of a group of guys all either being subs or Doms and liking the same things? Essentially, you have to check any sense of realism you may have concerning a BDSM partnership at the door, so to speak, and just enjoy the way these men interact with each other. That enjoyment is certainly helped along by the mystery element of these stories, which is really well done.
With each new book in the series, we glean a bit more information about who the Harlequin murderer is and his possible ties to a potential drug cartel in the area. Our poor heroes often happen upon the Harlequin’s dirty work and are drawn into the danger. This recurring plot point makes these novellas fun to read. The action is fast paced, the danger real and immediate, and the ongoing story line is one that offers up a few surprises each time. If you can get past the easy way in which these guys hook up and instantly profess their love for each other, then I think you will enjoy the Fairground Attractions series. It has a solid mystery element that can keep the reader invested and coming back for more.