Rating: 2 stars
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Ever since their parents married, Rian protected Marco. There were bullies at school and abusive parents and Rian defended Marco each time. But their relationship shifted and Rian couldn’t adjust to having feelings for his stepbrother and, when Marco needed him most, Rian turned his back on him.
It’s now been three years since Marco and Rian have seen each other. Marco is getting by as a prostitute and Rian is part of a team of vigilantes. Marco needs Rian’s help as his best friend disappeared right before his eyes and gay teens in the city are disappearing as well. Rian’s group can help, but Rian needs to keep his distance from Marco, as he still feels his desires are wrong. The mission puts them up against demons that they don’t think they have a chance of beating. And, as Marco and Rian get pulled deeper into the demon’s grasp, their darkest desires become too strong to fight.
This book didn’t work for me from the start, middle, or end. The first problem is the lack of world building. We are told that Marco and Rian live in one of the worst cities with the strictest “sodomy laws,” but none of this is ever explained. Other than the name of the town, we don’t learn where they are or anything about these laws or what they men are up against on a daily basis.
Next is the relationship between Marco and Rian. Their parents married, so they are considered stepbrothers. It takes a while to even get any backstory on them and then they are shown as having been good friends and Rian protected Marco. I never got the feeling that they were brought up as brothers and it felt like they just happened to be two boys who shared a home. However, Rian is absolutely tormented that he has feelings for Marco because he is his “brother” and this did not come through in the story for me and I never felt the “taboo” premise the book promised. Also, Marco is a prostitute after he was thrown out of their house and Rian left him to fend for himself and there isn’t enough resolution on this for me, either.
And then there is the story of boys disappearing and a demon that they have to fight. The demon was too basic and too one dimensional and I really could not buy into any of this story from start to finish. This is the start of a series, but I do not recommend this book and will not be looking to any more of their adventures in the future.