Saturday, May 13, 2017

Release Blitz Review: Maelstrom by Kass Barrow

Maelstrom
by Kass Barrow
Release Date: May 13, 2017
Genre: M/M Romance
Goodreads

When Kylor Knightley, a multi-millionaire nightclub owner, is out talent-spotting at an open mic event in London’s Limehouse district, the last thing the stiff-lipped Brit expects is to fall head-over-heels for a devastatingly handsome singer ten years his junior.

Born in New York, twenty-two-year-old Eden McFadden now calls London home and has ambitions of making it big in the capital’s music scene. In the meantime, the feisty free spirit is secretly rocking it as a stripper at a gay club in Soho. But when fate brings him and Kylor together in Limehouse, it starts a chain of events that tears both of their worlds apart.

It’s going to take some serious attitude adjustment for the smart-mouthed stripper and the arrogant British gent to find common ground, but the attraction is too strong to ignore. Sometimes you have to trust in fate and see where it takes you.




Oh my. I got so many things to say about this debut by Kass Barrow. Some great things, some not. But overall, I find it a very engaging read that had me reading the entire book in one sitting for 3 hours. Just for the ability to capture my attention to that extend, I giving it a 4 stars.

Kylor Knightley is a successful businessman in his 30s and found a nameless singer that capture his attention during an open mic night. Just from one song alone, Kylor knew he had to get this guy to work for his his nightclub that he co-owned with his pal. During the first chapter, I did feel like I'm shaky ground with the way the story started, but the flow got better there after.

Eden McFadden is a 22 yrs old aspiring musician, hoping to get discovered, while working as a stripper to pay the bills. When he saw Kylor for the first time, he didn't know that he finally met the man who will turn his life around. Eden might plan to have a hot night with Kylor, but the man ended up offering Eden a new job as a real singer for his club.

The reason that I ended up liking this book very much is the dialogues between the characters in here. Eden and Kylor had such great on page chemistry and their banter is witty and funny and you can't help but laugh at Eden's antics. Even Kylor's hippie mum make you want to roll on the floor. I find every interactions between the main and supporting characters in this book fun to read. 

Eden had a huge unrequited crush on Kylor, but the man insist not to fraternize with him. Well, what can Eden do except trying to push his luck. Like any youngster his age, I can see Eden is naive and reckless, sometime he made some dumb decision, but I find it totally fitting of his age and adorable to an extend. But I really wonder about his state of mind especially towards the end. He seems like he could give up everything just because he fall in love with Kylor, but then all of a sudden, he want to make something of himself despite knowing Kylor will not agree. Where does the sudden change in attitude coming from? I feel that some of these minor details need to be explain for me clearly.

Kylor is a man who wanted to do some good deed, helping someone down on their luck. He is judgmental, seeing that he deemed Eden profession akin to prostitution. I know the way he expressed himself might sounds holier than thou, but his flawed only make him feel genuine to me. He seems like someone real who can be your friend and he had the biggest heart, only wanted the best for Eden despite the brat doesn't really appreciate his help. 

The part that I find lacking is the heat. I don't know you, but usually when I read a m/m, I expect it to be dirty. The heat in this book is practically non existence, except for some heated kisses. I actually was not bothered by it until I came to almost the end and wonder 'Where the hell is the sex scenes?' So yes, if there is a blow job or two and an anal, it will be highly appreciated.

Okay, final quibble, I assume this is a standalone. So for a standalone book, I find the HFN slightly unsatisfying. I mean I understand the author is trying to show that Kylor finally coming to terms with Eden's passion in dancing, but I don't see being a stripper is going be a long term thing. Eden had some growing up to do, but I would appreciate an epilogue that showed their future together after Eden did all his growing up. 

Overall, I actually really like this book so much that I fell in love with the characters and wish the book turns out even better for my full enjoyment. RomCom has always been my thing and I find the comedy value here highly entertaining.


Eden was so pumped about meeting the guy with the sparkling turquoise eyes that he couldn’t wait to tell someone. He wasn’t usually one to gossip, but he’d pulled up a chair alongside Blade, who was busy removing his guyliner. Eden was talking to Blade’s reflection in the mirror, relating the moment he’d looked down and seen the gorgeous guy staring back up at him.

Just then someone shouted, “Which of you is green?” and there was the stranger; standing in the doorway next to a security guard.

Eden sat gawking at his visitor and all the strength drained out of his body as if someone had pulled his plug. Blade nudged him. “Don’t just sit there. That’s your guy, isn’t it? God, he really is gorge!”

Eden slowly got to his feet, praying his knees wouldn’t give way, and shoved a shaky hand in the air. “That package is for me.”

The weak attempt at humour was his way of handling the embarrassment he felt because he knew that if the token had been black or pink the security guard wouldn’t have needed to ask whose it was. Everyone knew Stemmy’s tokens were black and Oberon’s were pink. But this was only the second time Eden had handed out a token. The last time he’d invited a guy backstage, his guest had been under the mistaken impression the token entitled him to instant sexual gratification, but Eden hadn’t been that into the guy.

The guard nodded at Eden’s visitor and left.

Still in just his pink briefs, Eden scurried back to his own station and rummaged around in his duffel bag for a clean top. The first thing to come to hand was his old Keep Calm and Carry On Funking T-shirt. He quickly pulled it on and rolled it down his sweat-dampened chest and abs. Then he stood by his dressing table, ready to greet his guest, with one hand resting on the table for support. Eden knew he shouldn’t be getting this worked up over someone he’d only just clapped eyes on. He had no idea what the guy was like. I haven’t even spoken to him yet. Maybe he’s just a good-looking asshole in a suit.

As the guy approached, Eden’s eyes widened in awe. It felt like he was watching the scene through a slow motion filter. He was entranced by the rhythmic sway of the guy’s narrow hips and everything else in the room faded to a blur. The guy’s suit jacket was unbuttoned and his left hand rested inside the trouser pocket, while his right arm hung loose by his side. It was like a breath of self-assured elegance had wafted into the room.

And then there was his hair. It was glorious. A flame-coloured shock of tumbling waves, its hue changed as the light danced over it, like an abstract of wildfire and scorched earth. It jarred with the image of the sophisticated city gent in the cool blue suit. It was hypnotising, the way the picture was so wrong and yet so right.

Eden could tell straight away this guy was no bit player on life’s stage. He had a starring role. You could tell from his arrogant swagger that the only rules he ever played by were his own. He was like a dream come true to Eden. A guy with “Fuck Me” written all over him and a seriously hot “Fuck You” attitude to compliment the looks.

Eden swallowed hard. Where have you been all my life?


Kass Barrow lives 100 miles north of London in a small town in the farming county of Lincolnshire. Despite always having lived in the same area she has seen a fair bit of the world, from the eerie innards of the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid, to the majestic vistas that come with snowboarding in the Rockies.

However, none of these life experiences prepared her for the emotional roller-coaster ride of penning a novel. Now she has become so accustomed to having four handsome gents in her life – her husband, her dog and her two main characters – that she can’t imagine life any other way.

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