For Jamie Atwood, Kage is everything. For me, Kage is everything. Everything I love in a story, everything I love to read about between two people. Kage, by Maris Black, completely, wholeheartedly, knocked me off my rocker.
I finished this book in tears and heartache. I was hurt and devastated at the events that took place. I was numb and delirious and that was not even close to the feelings that I knew Jamie was experiencing.
Jamie Atwood…your average college boy that makes good grades and has the cheerleader girlfriend. He comes from a good family with close connections and is a boy who loves his momma. He’s perfect, right?
He’s not perfect and he has been lying to himself for a long time. Meeting Michael Kage at an MMA fight is the beginning of Jamie realizing, although not admitting, that his life, up to that point, has been a lie. Kage is an enigma that Jamie cannot get enough of. He doesn’t know why the pull feels so strong, but he knows that he could easily become addicted to Michael Kage.
When Jamie finds out that he has been offered an internship for the summer being a publicist to Kage he is pumped. He can’t believe he is going to get to see Kage again and work with him. I don’t think Jamie realized how much he lit up when he talked about Kage or thought about him. His whole demeanor changes and he has an excitement that revels super powers.
Breaking up with his long term girlfriend should have been harder for him but the adjustment and the acknowledgement comes easily.
Getting to Vegas, seeing Kage is what’s driving Jamie right now. Even though he still hasn’t admitted to himself, at this point, “the monster” as he refers to his intuition, his inner self, whatever you want to call your gut knowing when you don’t, is waking up and is excited at the prospect of being with Kage.
From here, Maris Black excels with what she is so good at doing. Wrapping you up in the story, pulling you in so tightly that everything else no longer exists. The only thing you know, the only thing you want to know, is Jamie and Kage. What makes them smile, what makes their breath catch, and how long will I get to enjoy this ride I’m on.
I was like Jamie. I was enamored with Kage. I was addicted and consumed by his appeal. I’m pretty sure Kage is hiding something. What that is I don’t know, yet. I feel his pain and it’s something that he holds very close to his heart. At times, I get the impression that he is ashamed of whatever it is, maybe feels like he is to blame. Only time will tell but, right now, Jamie is healing him.
He makes his smile, he makes him laugh, and he brings out this inner beauty that is Kage that very few get to see. He has opened himself up with Jamie and allows himself to be vulnerable. Your heart hurts for him, at these moments, because you just know that something or someone has hurt him really bad.
Jamie and Kage are perfect for each other. Jamie is a bull-shitter, a charming one, and Kage matches him giving it back.
Jamie realizes there is no point in trying to hide his feelings any longer. He wants Kage and he wants him bad. Kage wants Jamie, also, he has just been waiting for Jamie to realize the same. Their chemistry is off the freaking charts. Their connection is strong and viable. Jamie brings vitality to Kage and together they are amazing.
“I just want to know how you feel about me is all. I’m not sure how to find out besides asking.”
“I know I’m reckless, at least when it comes to life. But when it comes to something that really matters, I can’t afford to be reckless. I have to be careful, you know?”
“Yes.” I hadn’t wanted to say the word, but it came out anyway. And there it was, on the air between us.
“Yeah?” He grinned, but there was something vulnerable in his eyes.
I can only think of one other author who even comes close to affecting me with a story like Maris has with this one. It’s easy to say that a story touched you and made you feel things but to truly mean it is something else. I don’t remember, ever, being so upset and mad at the end of a story as I was with Kage. To say there is a cliff-hanger doesn’t even do justice here. If I had balls I would definitely say I have just been hung by them and left to die a miserable death. Gawd!! I was devastated, obliterated, and gutted by this story. But…isn’t that what makes a story so incredible?
To be touched and affected so passionately and emotionally that you can’t make sense of it. Maris Black hurt me. She took my heart and squeezed and left me with tears and snot pouring down my face. I can’t even imagine what Jamie is feeling. If there had been any way to get to him and scoop him up in my arms, I would have. And Kage? What is he feeling? I am so worried about him because Jamie hurt him with his denial. Although, I don’t feel he was doing it intentionally, but unfortunately Kage sees it differently. Kage is hurting, just as bad, and someone is probably going to feel his wrath. God help whoever gets in his face.
I didn’t want to talk about what happened in this story for obvious reasons. It would be so easy to spoil the story for others and trust me, you need to read this for yourself or you will never understand what Maris has done with this story. She has taken this to another level. She has taken her craft and upped the ante for anyone in her wake.
The author’s originality and creativity is mind-boggling and I am in awe of her expertise. Her descriptive narrative will suck you in and the execution she so expertly delivers is spot on. Jamie and Kage are funny and their banter will have you laughing and smiling from ear to ear. Jamie has the ability to see inside Kage and know what he needs. He smells his fear and his pain and sees something damaged in his eyes. And even though it may scare him to witness so much inner turmoil I think at the same time it also gives him strength. He wants to be there for Kage in whatever capacity he needs.
Sex for Jamie has never been anything “soaring.” He enjoyed sex with his girlfriend and engaged quite frequently with her. But, until, he experienced it with Kage did he truly understand what he had been missing.
“I want you, Kage,” I admitted, trading shame for candor. Hell, if I was actually going to take another man’s pipe in my mouth, I ought to be man enough to at least say the words. “I want to suck you off. I want you to fuck my mouth. I want… everything. You want me to beg? I will. I’ll do…..”
“You don’t have to beg, baby.” He wrapped a large hand around the back of my head, holding me in place. “I just need you to realize that you want this as much as I do.” Then he began to move, incrementally at first.
One of my kinks, if you will, is a dominant partner who takes the bull by the horns and gets what he wants. He’s not mean, or hateful, or abusive. That is something else entirely. No, he is a lover, he cherishes and nurtures his partner. A partner who is more submissive and will fall to his knees with just one look, one command. Willing and always ready to be at his partner’s beck and call.
NOT spineless or weak but someone who also cherishes his partner. He may be submissive in the bedroom but he is never afraid to voice his needs or wants and demand equal attention within the relationship. That is how I see Jamie and Kage and it is so beautiful and heartfelt. They, both, deliver and the author portrays that so effortlessly and seamlessly in her writing. It all equates to one hell of a HOT sex life that will have you fanning yourself and looking around to see if anyone just witnessed your reaction.
I’m going to wrap this up and strongly, STRONGLY, recommend this to anyone who loves this genre. Maris has delivered, so incredibly, a beautiful and heartfelt story that will stay with you for some time. It will leave you gutted with so much turmoil but I wouldn’t have passed up this opportunity, as a reader, for anything. As a reader, as a human being, I have been touched and moved with the power of words from a highly skilled author who literally holds my heart in her hands until the next book is released. Maris, thank you for another amazing story that has become my favorite and for the gift that you share with us. Great job, hell…Amazing job!