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I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter 

Death of a Pirate King: The Adrien English Mysteries - Josh Lanyon

Review completed January 29, 2013*****Loved it--my favorite book in this series!

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Death of a Pirate King is the fourth book in the Adrien English series. Adrien is recovering from pneumonia. It's been about two years since our bookstore owner, part-time writer, and amateur sleuth had last been involved in a murder investigation. Adrien loves to write books but it's not enough to make a living at it. That being said, Adrien did achieve a success though. He sold a book that he wrote to the movies. In the context of this pleasantoccasion, Adrien attends a Hollywood party at Paul Kane's which is not quite his scene until Porter Jones, a Hollywood producer, collapses. Shortly after it's evident that Jones has been murdered. 

Adrien starts to ask questions in behalf of actor Paul Kane. Circumstances--in the form of the murder investigation--bring Jake across Adrien's path again. Jake (view spoiler) For once Jake appreciates Adrien's efforts at solving a murder mystery because Adrien is good at talking to people. He is easy to talk to and people end up telling him all kinds of interesting things. They like and trust him. Although both Adrien and Jake try to act as normal as possible the atmosphere is pretty strained when they meet…

I felt petty and mean-spirited--especially since he was the leanest I'd ever known him. All hard muscle and bone. All sharp edges and bite--except he wasn't biting.


"Oh, yeah," Jake said drily. "How is Captain Crunch?"
"He's fine. He's back teaching at UCLA."
"So I heard. Because no college education is complete without a course in Applied Hokum."
"It can't be all Police Science and SS Interrogation Techniques."
"Speaking of which, remember to let me know before you talk to anyone--assuming you decide to continue."
"Roger wilco."
He sighed and rang off.


Uh, hey," I said. "It's Adrien. English."
There was a pause and he said, "I haven't forgotten your voice. Let alone your last name."

The relationship between Adrien and his lover Guy is anything but perfect either. Guy feels that Adrien is keeping him at a distance, and his unwillingness to commit, to take their relationship to the next level exacerbated the situation. Moreover, Guy is so not pleased to see Jake again. Guy knows that Adrien never got over Jake, and he despised everything that Jake represented.

As always Lanyon's writing is very eloquent and I truly adore his sharp wit. Also, he has a talent of lighting up a dangerous situation by throwing in a funny one-liner. Finally we see more of Jake and Adrien together. I was so angry with Jake in book 3, and I'm glad that he gradually redeemed himself in DoaPK. There is no doubt about it, it is an emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish, but a ride I took on gladly.

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My very favorite part of the story...

And for once I had nothing to say. Jake's mouth found mine, his lips molding hot and soft to my own. His tongue tentatively tested the seal of my lips; I parted them and he pushed inside. It was startlingly sweet and achingly familiar, like finding harbor. Like I had been waiting decades for this, traveling leagues, Odysseus sailing at long last into the blue crystal waters of Ithaca--and never considering the trouble ahead.
He tasted dark and bittersweet, like my memories--only more intense. My heart pounded hard, blood drumming away in my ears, like spring's freshet after the ice began to break. I kissed him with all the hardness and hunger in me--let him feel it all: my anger and grief and frustration. When we finally broke apart Jake didn't look shocked; he looked…predatory. Hot. Ravenous. Forty days in the wilderness and--well, not paradise at the end of it--maybe steak dinner with all the trimmings. His eyes glittered.


And the taste of him…the flavor of him…Horrifyingly, unbearably sweet--sweet in the way crack must feel hitting the bloodstream of an addict after years of staying clean.

This part alone deserved five stars.

Ah, it was so intense, utterly emotional as well as beautiful. It hurt. It hurt so much. Sheesh, I was afraid it would be too much for Adrien's weak heart. Let's face it, it was almost too much for my own heart after all. :)

While Jake wants them to pick up where they left off, Adrien is not willing and refuses because Jake is still deeply closeted (view spoiler) In fact, he doesn't want to be friends either.

"You know what the hell this was, Jake. This was (view spoiler)

Another interesting aspect of this story is Adrien's heart condition. When Adrien was sixteen he caught rheumatic fever and it left the valves of his heart damaged, the mitral valve in particular. In Death of a Pirate King Adrien's health deteriorates quickly. He needs surgery ASAP.

You will discover a great cast of vivid and well-drawn secondary characters in this story. At first I thought it was pretty clear who murdered Jones but Lanyon did a great job lining up plenty of suspects, and I really enjoyed this journey of unraveling the villain. Also, I found it intriguing to see the murderer’s background and his twisted motives. Viewed in this light I thought the mystery was very solid and made me turn the pages. Plus, there is another aspect of this story that helped to establishDeath of a Pirate King among my favorite Lanyon reads: the emotionally intense, painful, and very authentic struggles between Jake and Adrien. Throughout the whole story it is obvious that both of them still have feelings for each other. Feelings they have yet to explore.

He said steadily, "I've asked (view spoiler)
I gritted my jaw hard.
"I talked to my family. (view spoiler)
My jaw ached but I still couldn't prevent moisture from leaking out beneath my lashes and itching its way down my face.
He said, "Does that still mean anything to you?"
I opened my eyes. Saw his expression through the prism of unshed tears, and took a deep, unsteady breath.
"Yeah," I said. "It means something."

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Death of a Pirate King is the very best book in this series so far, and I believe it is worthy of a five-star-rating. You will experience a full range of feelings while reading this story. From pain, sadness, and frustration to relief and hope . It was a thoroughly enjoyable read--mainly because Adrien and Jake made a rather huge step in the right direction that will allow them to come together in The Dark Tide.

We all know that Adrien is a rather sarcastic and snarky character but in a tempered and likable way. However, in DoaPK he displays his anger and resentment very openly. There is no holding back anymore and we see the mean-spirited side of Adrien, mainly because Jake’s rejection hurt him badly but his heart condition gives him a huge fright as well. Simply put, Adrien is in very bad mood. On the bright side, Jake underwent a believable and very important change of behavior. His fits of anger are barely there and he seems to be more reserved; you will see a gentler and softer side of Jake and he is more prone to show his feelings. In fact, I really think that I have to cut him some slack. After all it’s no mean feat for someone so deeply closeted, and Jake really wanted to do the right thing eventually.

Once again Josh Lanyon delivered a great and all around compelling story.

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"I still dream about you."


Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/503943486