Release Review and Giveaway: Dark & Dazzling: Elizabeth Varlet
Azariah “Z” Hayes is a diamond. Equal parts strength and sparkle, he’s more than capable of standing on his own stilettos. So if waiting tables and stripping at The Vibe are what it takes to keep a roof over his head, well, there are worse ways to earn a living.
Connelly is a white knight with a badge…
For NYPD Detective Connelly Reid, to serve and protect is just another day at the office--even if that means protecting himself from his own true desires. He’s been curious about Z, his waiter, for months but it’s not until he sees him in his makeup & heels that the curiosity becomes a fierce attraction. Z, despite all his over-the-top dazzle, might just be the man Connelly has been waiting for his entire life.
But when Connelly investigates underground porn and drug activity with ties to The Vibe, one thing becomes very clear –acting on what he knows will hurt Z, financially and emotionally. And though Connelly would love nothing more than to fix all of Z’s problems, no amount of mind-blowing sex can make Z comfortable becoming dependent on his lover. Yet if there’s one thing Connelly knows from his years on the force, it's this: when things go bad, you need a trusted partner to have your back.
Azariah's life is suddenly spiraling downward to a point he is overwhelmed, but is still resistant to asking for help. Z leads a double life as a waiter by day and Sassy Boyz dancer at night. He's lived a hard life, but was keeping it together until a string of events left him reeling. He's fiery, strong, independent, prideful, and hates to feel dependent on others. His now his self confidence and self worth is starting to take a hit.
It is one of the worst times to find himself on the receiving end of attraction and interest from a sexy cop that frequents the diner where he works during the day. Connelly Reid likes both sides of Azariah--the sarcastic, no nonsense waiter and flashy, fabulous diva who likes heels and make up. He sees beyond his snark and toughness to the more vulnerable and interesting man underneath. Connelly is a creature of habit, stable, honest, and helpful. But he also has a dominant alpha side and is ready to shake things up.
Azariah's problems take him to a dark place. Connelly's presence is like a beacon of light calling to him, but at the same time it is tied into some of his negative feelings and not feeling good enough. He is also untrusting and fearful of getting too close to someone and being hurt. Connelly really wants to help Azariah believe in himself and see how special he is. But Connelly has some secrets that could negatively impact them, and Azariah is struggling with his own demons and secrets.
Their attraction, chemistry, and connection are intense and volatile. They both have trust issues They react strongly. They hurt each other and themselves. They make mistakes. They fight for control. Connelly is a fixer and likes to help and be protective. Azariah is full of pride and wants to make it on his own. He is not used to having such support and care.
Azraiah is a realist who does not believe in dreams and happily-ever-afters especially for himself. Connelly will have to convince Azariah to be brave enough to hope, trust, and believe. That means permanently breaking down his walls and defenses. And they will both need to come to terms with what they really want and consider the other's needs.
Can Connelly convince Azariah that he is worth it and help him see how he really shines?
This is raw, gritty, intense, passionate, and emotional. These two have quite a few challenges individually and together. There are some definite dark situations in this book that may be issues for some readers.
We get more with the Sassy Boyz Ansel (and his boyfriend, Fitch), Tam,and Lirim, We also get to meet a couple of new sassy guys, Jae and Hop. I have enjoyed this series so far and was pulled back into this world that is not really shiny and pretty, despite the flashy characters. These characters have depth and are likable and redeemable despite their tough exteriors, sharp edges, issues, and sometimes glittery packaging. This one also has a police aspect that was weaved throughout the story and plot line giving it a different feel. This one totally lives up to its name Dark and Dazzling. I am looking forward to more in this series and with these characters...maybe Tam or Lirim next? It will be interesting to see how some events that transpired in this installment bleed over into the next book.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Fierce & Fabulous (Sassy Boyz #1)
Add to Goodreads
Buy Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo
Kim's 4.5 star review & interview with Ansel | Jay's 4 star review
The first book in a scorching new male/male series by Elizabeth Varlet. Behind the Sassy Boyz's seductive smiles and sinful dance moves are desires that will leave readers breathless.
Fitch Donovan never thought a lap dance could change his life, but from the moment the gorgeous dancer’s lips touch his, his world comes screeching to a halt. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t shake the desire that rocks him to his core. He’s longed for this passion all his life—he just never dreamed he’d find it with another man.
Sharing a soul-shaking kiss with a straight boy is the kind of drama Ansel Becke just doesn't need. Spotlights aren't made for two and Ansel prefers to keep things on a one-night-only basis. So when Fitch shows up asking for an encore, Ansel knows he should send his gorgeous ass packing.
Though Ansel tries to pretend that what's between him and Fitch is far from fabulous, there's something about the big, burly contractor that makes Ansel's world sparkle in a way no amount of glitter ever could. And Fitch will do whatever it takes to convince Ansel that when the thing you need most in the world falls right into your lap, you’d be a fool to let it go.
Elizabeth Varlet is a thirty-something, newly-married, world-traveler who devours books like they were candy. A nerd at heart, she spends way too many hours binging on episodes of her favorite television shows and dreaming of the day she can adopt a dog—whom she’s already named.
She started writing stories in high school and hasn’t stopped. Now, her characters like to get frisky under the covers. Or the stars, or in a car, or up against the wall—they’re not picky.
Elizabeth believes in love of all shapes and sizes and wants nothing more than to share the beauty in the form of stories.
For exclusives, join her Facebook Readers Group Facebook Group
And if you want exclusive goodies sign up for her newsletter.