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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 2 star ratings
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    5* Storytelling

    ** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK FOR MY READING PLEASURE ** Unbroken Port Lewis Witches, Book 2.5 by Brooklyn Ray ★★★★ 237 Pages POV: 3rd person, one character Content Warning: drug use, blood play, mentions of a past abusive relationship, mentions of historical self-harm and date-rape, D/s elements This is a great addition to an already brilliant series. A perfect continuation of 5* storytelling. I don't know how Brooklyn Ray manages it, but I'm always sucked in whole-heartedly to Port Lewis Witches stories, no matter who the characters are or what they get up to. Here, we have characters who are entirely new to the series – Michael and Victor, as well as the minor characters of Michael's sister Janice, their roommate Corey, and Victor's familiar Elizabeth. Michael is new to Port Lewis, moving into a rented house that he soon discovers is haunted by Victor Lewellyn. Once a witch, a deal with a demon and an accident made him into something more. Something Michael finds irresistible. The chemistry between these two is off-the-charts, from page one. Playful, teasing, palpably hot; these two are instantly attracted, hands on, and hot and heavy between the sheets very early on. Neither is aware of where it will lead. And that's the best part. Seeing these two – Michael, who thinks little of himself and who wears a mask to hide his softer layers; and Victor, who has been alone for so long – gradually come to realise what they mean together, getting to know each other, and slowly drifting towards the inevitable, is beautiful. Despite Michael's guarded approach to life and his resistance to relationships, there are some seriously tender and beautiful moments between this pair. Amongst all the hot and heavy breathing and blood play. There is an element of D/s in Michael and Victor's relationship, as it progresses. Michael has a need for pain and blood, cutting and punishment, at times; he also drops into a subspace a few times, and Victor has to warn him about sub drop. There's even nicely explored aftercare, which I love seeing. Victor always made sure to take care of Michael, even if he wouldn't take care of himself. Whether that meant giving him the pain he wanted, cutting him, or being tender, he was finely tuned to Michael's needs and it only made their relationship, and their growing feelings for one another, all the more poignant. I loved that we got little cameo appearances by two of the circle from the main stories: Liam (unnamed in the story, acting as a Lyft driver) and Christy. We also get to see a little bit more of Thalia and Vassa, both of whom appeared in previous stories. It kept the link between the stories alive, made the plot weave nicely through that of the previous (and potentially future) stories, while also giving us a snippet of Port Lewis from a different POV. Michael didn't even know or believe that magic existed before arriving in Port Lewis, though he's heard the rumours. Seeing him begin to discover the reality of Port Lewis and all that it has to offer, is one of the really clever parts of the plot. The storytelling allows this story to be read almost entirely as a standalone. If you hadn't read a Port Lewis story before, then you could pick this up and fall in love with the world and the characters, without spoiling any of the previous two stories. But I guarantee that you'd want to go back and start at the beginning, once you had a taste. Port Lewis is that good. All in all, I felt like this was a little more gothic romance than the other stories, which I loved. It was just a hint of atmosphere and a sliver of darkness that gave the feeling, but it perfectly suited the characters and the story they had to tell. This one was much hotter than the other stories, with some casual drug use, but that too fits the characters, with Michael using both to vent his feelings or hide from them. He's a little bit reckless with himself, and one of the best pasts of the story is seeing him unravel for Victor, allowing himself to be free and trust in someone else. ~ Favourite Quotes “He looked like a painting, rich and haunted, a canvas that turned beauty into a monstrous thing.”
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    Review

    I received an ARC of this novel from NineStar Press, LLC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions on this novel are my own. This is my first true M/M romance novel, and I must say that I was at first surprised by this. I went into this book completely blind, going off on first impressions of the cover, which were that I thought this was going to be dark and sinister. In short, dark, yes, sinister, not even in the slightest. Major trigger warnings here for rape, sexual abuse, and lots of blood. To dive into the synopsis: The story follows 21-year-old Michael Gates after he has moved into the town of Port Lewis, which is said to be run by witches. The house that he moves into with his sister is haunted by a demon named Victor, who Michael develops a serious sexual relationship with (not a spoiler as it happens pretty much right at the beginning of the story). Through the relationship, Michael opens up about himself and his dark secrets as he learns more about Victor and the darkness that surrounds him. For what the story was, it was entertaining and a quick read. I enjoyed reading about Michael and Victor, and really liked how their relationship was built on trust and respect for each other, despite it being a very fast moving one. The only thing that I didn’t care for with it is that in the first chapter Michael already becomes almost infatuated with Victor, which felt too much like insta-love for me, personally. I do not wish to comment on the authenticity of the M/M romance and the sex scenes involved with them, as that is not within my perspective of life, and I am not a male within a male based relationship. It felt authentic (within reason, since one of them is a demon) to me, and it felt like there was a true connection between the characters, which I greatly enjoyed. I liked them both for their faults and their hang-ups, because it made them feel like real people (with the exception of Victor, of course). I believe the plot of the story focuses on the relationship itself, which I liked. The story still felt it had a great build to it, and tailored off in a way that was unexpected but interesting enough that kept me asking questions and wanting more from the story. I liked the direction that the end of the novel was going for, and leads to some other possible stories with Michael and Victor that I would be excited to read about.
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