The Long Con

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Title: The Long Con
Auhor: Lori Toland
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Publisher: Loose ID
Amazon Buy Link
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance/Suspense-lite
Length: Novel
Rating: 2 stars out of 5

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: A disappointment

Blurb:

British Agent Nathaniel Bradley is tasked with bringing home a stolen heirloom. After tracking the Faberge egg all the way to a group of criminals in New York, Bradley infiltrates a ring of con artists and gets sucked into the role of a high priced prostitute.

While hoping for a chance to take back what is rightfully his, Bradley’s sole mission becomes to seduce Tony Terranova, Jr, the heir to a notorious mafia dynasty. Though Tony is strikingly handsome, the usually dominant Bradley is hesitant to submit to the sexual whims of a dangerous Mafioso.

What Bradley doesn’t expect is for Tony to fall to his knees so eagerly for him, leaving him blindsided by how intensely their dark tastes complement each other. Now Bradley is caught up in a deadly game of lies and desire, where what he truly wants may not be what duty requires.

Review:

I chose The Long Con for review both to try a new-to-me author and because I was intrigued by the plot, but the result mostly disappointed me for numerous reasons.

First, this book has one of the most *Insta* of Insta!Love connections I have ever read about. I think there are different degrees of Insta!Love connections, and as much as I dislike the plot device in general, there are some variations I can tolerate and sometimes even enjoy depending on how it is written (the circumstances, the characters, etc). That was not the case here. In this story both characters feel an urge to have sex within minutes of seeing each other and even though the “seduction” was supposed to be planned, what happened after felt to me very forced and not convincing and believable.

Also, not only do I feel the blurb portrays *agent* Bradley to be way more competent than I thought him to actually be, he takes the “seduction” much further than he was supposed to because he just could not resist Tony and vice versa. The super Insta!Love set up alone was enough to significantly decrease my enjoyment of the book, but there is also the way author describes them having sex. Let me give you a few examples which are pretty indicative of the writing style and you will hopefully see why it did not work for me at all.

“I peered up into his hooded eyes, the fiery passion there burning me. His arm was curled around my body, but his gaze felt like a brand on my skin”.

“His hazy blue eyes made me lose my brains to the vicinity of my balls”.

“I guided my cock along his back and my precum made a sexy trail along his tanned skin”.

Those quotes are pretty indicative of how the sex scenes are described and it was not to my taste at all. I found them sometimes very awkward, sometimes funny in an eye rolling way, but not sexy at all and they seemed to be there just for the sake of being there. Opinions may differ on this, of course.

And the plot that I was intrigued about and which initially promised such fun action adventure? Unfortunately it turned out to be predictable and a very thin frame for the characters to have sex on most of the page space. The characterizations were quite shallow and I did not find much, if any, character development throughout the story. As a result I did not feel like I knew the characters well at all. Here is an example of the poor attempt at character development: several pages before the story ends we learn that Bradley feels that his grandfather controls him and this upsets him. If it bothers him so much, shouldn’t we have learned about it somewhere in the beginning and then see how this desire to not to be controlled by his grandfather influenced his character? Instead I felt that it was a throwaway piece of information which was included in the book for the reasons unknown.

I also thought that the introduction of BDSM in this story was funny — and not in a good way. For example, we have Psychic!Dom here, who knows that the other guy is a Bottom within minutes after conversing with him. Also, I felt like the author just stuck in a bunch of BDSM buzz words and did not do a convincing job creating a picture of two guys who want to dominate and submit, even though that’s what they were supposedly doing.

Lastly, I wondered several times if the book was supposed to be an over-the-top silly comedy, with the fact that agent Bradley works for the “Serious Organised Crime Agency”…or not. If it was supposed to be comedy, the humor definitely did not work for me, but the thing is I am honestly not sure if it *was* supposed to be a comedy, so awkward and forced some descriptions felt to me.

Not recommended.

11 thoughts on “The Long Con

  1. Leslie S

    LOL Sirius, as someone who was intrigued enough by the bad reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey to actually buy it and read it, I have to say that your review actually makes me want to read this book, too! Proof that all advertising is good advertising… :lol:

  2. Raine

    I found this one really rather clumsy, there was energy in the story but the BDSM made me giggle…………..and the whole relationship was ridiculously fast yet again. :sad:

    You are brave Leslie! So agree with you about the mommy porn…….

    1. Leslie S

      LMAO Raine, so this one is really that bad? It can’t be worse than the mommy porn! Nothing can be that bad! :lol:

      1. Raine

        I agree with Sirius- it’s a poor book.

        I actually got some kind of twisted fun from Fifty Shades……… :shock: …. but mainly cos I was playing spot the Bella and Edward moments.

        1. Leslie S

          I did the same thing! Though it was kind of OOC even for Bella and Edward. One thing that made me go ‘ewww’ (the tampon scene!) would have made much more sense in a vampire story :lol: and I had to laugh at ‘Mrs Robinson’s’ real name being Elena. Vampire Diaries reference or what!

          …OK maybe I’ll save my money and give this one a miss. I trust you both and even with my masochistic love for bad books, I need to draw the line somewhere :lol:

          1. Sirius

            Leslie, I have not read mommy porn, I was tempted too but wise Raine saved me from it :), so I cant compare. However, yes, for me this one was pretty bad, I think you can count my two star reviews since I started on the fingers of my hands and there will probably be fingers left.

            Having said it, on Amazon this book has one five star and two four star reviews, so who knows maybe you will enjoy it.

    2. Sirius

      I still cant get over the main character being Psychic! and in the middle of their bedroom scene start thinking to the effect that he was sure that other guy’s submission was soft kink and now he has to change his mind (paraphrasing) ?! I had to pause there and reread several times and then play the little interlude in my head about who would start wondering about how “soft or hard” other guy’s kink is while they are having sex. Seriously though, I have to say again, I have no personal experience with BDSM, but I think by now I know what feels contrived when I read and what does not.

      I was rereading Lynn Gala’s “Lines in the sand” yesterday, without any thinking about this book, I just picked it up because I wanted to. However now I am thinking how very believable she was in portraying the mindset of the guy who wants and loves to control and other guy who really loves to submit in the bedroom.
      Maybe BDSM practitioner would tell me that this was not realistic either, but this was so very believable to me, OMG. And they were not doing anything hardcore, they were not spotting the buzz words, heck they were not even calling their games BDSM. Just once one of the guys has a throaway thought that those games usually come with safe words and negotiations, and then it just flows. So much more believable if you ask me.

  3. mrb

    “His hazy blue eyes made me lose my brains to the vicinity of my balls”.

    lol that just made my day :-). Thanks, need a laugh today.

    1. Sirius

      I am glad it made your day mrb. There is plenty like this where it came from I promise :)

  4. Feliz

    These quotes are just so awful :wallbash: Couldn’t be more purple if it tried!
    Thanks for the warning, Sirius. You mentioning weird BDSM wrapped it up for me.

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