Fade to Black by Scarlet Blackwell
Series: Clear Water Creek Chronicles 03
Author: Scarlet Blackwell
Genre: Contemporary, Crime
Length: Novel (185pgs)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (7th April 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½Hearts
Blurb: Finn Austen is settled with Brandon Schofield, Sheriff of Clear Water Creek, and trying to move on. That’s not so easy when ghosts of the past are around every corner…
Sheriff Brandon Schofield and Finn Austen are still struggling to overcome the ghosts of the past and Finn’s torture at the hands of his abusive partner, Dominic Bateman. Meanwhile an adult movie company has moved operations to an abandoned warehouse in Clear Water Creek and its stars are vanishing. Soon Brandon’s investigation leads him to Iowa and he finds the men involved have ties to Finn’s past.
As Brandon battles to bring down the crew behind the films and fight the demons–both real and those haunting the halls of Finn’s mind–he hopes to slam the door on the past forever and claim the joy he and his lover deserve.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains scenes of dubious consent, rape, and excessive violence.
Review: Finn and Brandon are still finding their way in their relationship as Finn struggles with his demons. Brandon discovers an adult film set with dubious goings on and a ghost from Finn’s past emerges to haunt him.
This story continues six months after Smashed to Pieces and we see the struggle of Finn as he tries to shake long ingrained habits and as a new threat from his past emerges. Finn is desperate to move forward in his sexual relationship, but his fears and ingrained habits are making it difficult. But, with Brandon’s love, he is getting there slowly. Brandon is walking on eggshells when it comes to sex with Finn. He is terrified of suggesting something that might trigger a flashback for Finn, but he wants to move forward sexually with Finn. When he discovers an adult film company that is suspected of making snuff films it leads a man from Finn’s past to Finn.
There’s a good reason for the content advisory on this book and it is mainly for the disturbing videos of Finn that emerge and for the making of the snuff film. The excessive violence is also for Finn’s flashbacks of his life with Dominic. None of the scenes are done for titillation and there is nothing erotic in any of them. It is to mainly show exactly how much Finn suffered at the hands of a man who said he loved Finn.
The storyline is quite good; as it shows the continued suffering of Finn and that he hasn’t been magically healed with the love of Brandon. It also shows how he is beginning to heal and his revelation that he is still looking back over his shoulder instead of looking forward to his love for Brandon and the life he can now lead. Brandon’s patience with Finn is inspiring, but he is also just a little bit overwhelming in his need for Finn. I must admit that there were one or two moments that his disregard of Finn’s feelings was a puzzle, i.e. when he brought a porn star who had been attacked home without even bothering to check with Finn first.
There are some slimy characters in this book and I hate to say one of them is the near victim of the snuff film, Zakes. At first, I felt sorry for him, but then he showed his true colors and he was an intensely dislikeable man and I can’t say that I had much sympathy for him in the end either. Brandon understandably wants to know more of what happened to Finn so that he can help more, but his determination to watch the videos falters as he sees what Finn suffered. His dodging of Finn’s question was well done, because he never let anyone see the videos so he never actually had to lie to Finn.
I have to recommend this to those who love conflict, danger, mentally scarred men, strong partners who would do anything for the man they love and an ending that is happy for them.
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Review: I really liked this book. This was my first of this series and I was able to follow a long and enjoy it, even though there are two books ahead, which I must say, I will be going to get now. I am a hopeless romantic and the love between Brandon and Finn is sweet, sincere and passionate. Finn has a lot of issues and Brandon is a caring, respectful lover and is doing his best to help Finn work through his past.
Brandon is a sheriff. He is alerted that there may be an illegal adult filmmaker in his town doing snuff films. He finds the warehouse and stops a film in progress. So he makes some enemies that know about his lover’s past and intend to take revenge on him.
So does Brandon find this filmmaker? Do the bad guys get their revenge? Does Finn survive? Does Brandon find out what he needs to further his relationship with Finn? I’m not telling you… go read the book. It’s worth it.
If you like hot sex, loving intense relationships and some mystery, maybe even some BDSM try this!