Rating: 5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Tristan Thomas has come back from war after four deployments. His last deployment ended horrifically and Tristan is at a loss as to how to move on and what to do next. His father, a General, doesn’t understand Tristan’s decision to leave the military, but his father has never been to war.

Tristan is offered a bodyguard position by Mark Trevena. Mark is the owner of the exclusive kink club, Lyonesse, where the membership fee is paid in highly confidential information. Tristan doesn’t know much about Mark and he knows even less about kink. He never wanted to be a 29-year-old virgin, but that is where his life has led him.

Tristan knows that he can become easily attached and obsessive over people and being with Mark makes him want things he never knew were possible. He’s drawn to Mark’s dominance and Mark’s natural seduction and, while Tristan never had thoughts of submission before, all he can think about is doing exactly what Mark tells him to. Tristan realizes he knows even less about Mark when he is asked to accompany Mark’s fiancé on a yacht journey home—the fiancé Tristan knew nothing about. Tristan has certain expectations when he meets Mark’s fiancé, but he never expected Isolde Laurence. Tristan finds himself falling for Isolde, but he doesn’t know how to process being in love with both Mark and Isolde and the jealousy starts churning inside of him. The chemistry between Tristan and Isolde burns hot and bright and Isolde is free to do as she wishes until she is married—the same freedom Mark has. Neither Isolde nor Tristan really know Mark—no one does—but the three of them together will bring out sides of themselves they never knew existed.

Salt Kiss is easily the best book I have read so far this year. If that could be enough of a review, I would end it here and let you get to reading it as well. But for a little more…Salt Kiss is the first full-length book in Sierra Simone’s Lyonesse series and it starts with the prequel novella, Salt in the Wound, and that ebook is available for free. Salt in the Wound details Isolde and Mark’s meeting and is from Isolde’s POV. Isolde grew up wanting to be a nun and her father appeased her for a time. Then she was coerced into agreeing to marry Mark and study finance in college, as her father wants her to take over his banking empire. It helps to start with that prequel story, as there is a lot of detail in understanding Isolde and we meet Mark and discover his duplicitous nature.

Isolde and some of the things she goes through, as well as some of her family members, reminded me of Greer from Simone’s New Camelot Trilogy. The Lyonesse series is set in the same universe as New Camelot and, while I appreciated that I understood the few references made, you could start with this series. I do not seek out retellings in books and I do not seek out religious themes in books and while Salt Kiss offers both, Simone reels me in time and time again with each book. I find the themes to be subtle in ways and informative in others and the writing here makes for a fantastic reading experience.

Salt Kiss is told through Tristan’s POV and we truly get to understand him, from his time in the military, to his relationship with his father, to the demons that haunt him, to his rapid plunge into all things Mark. Tristan is aware of what their relationship is and what it is not, but that doesn’t stop him from obsessing over Mark and wanting the man all to himself. Mark is a mystery. People think they might know him, but there is a whole lot going on with him and it is going to be amazing to unravel him as the series progresses. I only know the story of Isolde and Tristan in broad strokes and this book can be enjoyed for the story it is telling, so don’t let that be a deterrent if you aren’t familiar with the source material.

The heat level is high, the character development is amazing, and the mystery behind Mark is all kinds of alluring. The next book will be available in 2024, and while I usually like the anticipation that the wait of a good series brings, this wait will be a little cruel, which I am sure Mark enjoys. The audio is available for Salt Kiss now too, and I might have to listen to take the edge off until Tristan, Isolde, and Mark are reunited once again.