His Turn by J.A. Huss
Published by Science Future Press on July 4, 2017
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I look her body up and down as I circle her.
Mine?I smile a devious, deviant, I'm gonna make you sorry you ever started playing this game with me smile.And then I take her hand.I lead her to the elevator.We go up to my apartment.I tie her wrists together with rope.Raise her arms above her head.And chain her to the ceiling.
It's my turn.
I have been anxiously awaiting Elias Bricman’s book, His Turn. The mystery and action in the story made it easy for me to get caught up in the moment. The impression I got from the initial chapters was this could end up being a game of solitaire because each player in the original game had drifted away from the core group, leaving a lonely Elias to ponder what the future would hold. Fortunately, or not so if you ask him, he has been invited to a new game and his inability to turn his back on a challenge lures him to consider the proposition.
The games they play are fraught with potential emotional turmoil. Hence the rules and Elias’s hesitation to start anew after the way the last games had ended. Whereas Taking Turns and Turning Back were filled with anticipation and excitement, this time Elias took a lot of encouragement to consider Jordan’s suggestion they bring in Nadia to begin a new game.
He has rules, and expectations, and he insists on being in control.
Elias surprised the heck out of me in the way I could have never predicted. He had an air of vulnerability but then he would act in ways that had me feeling sorry for everyone else. I am sure there is a couch with his name on it in a few counselor rooms. His ability to deal with his vulnerability while maintaining his strategic moves won me over.
I played this game like a goddamned gold medalist.
I am the queen of fucking mind games.
Nadia appeared to have her own agenda, but when I thought about it that wasn’t uncommon. The big difference was Nadia was always in character, rarely allowing herself to be lost in the moment which, considering Elias’ temperament, was a good call. She’s a ballerina with an ability to lose herself in the art of dance embracing the rigorous fitness demands required to perform.
He just knows. He knows because he cares enough to pay attention to me.
Jordan was a wild card, and I was never sure how to take him. He appeared to be constantly playing second in charge to Elias. Nadia thought highly of him and him of her, they interacted effortlessly. I struggled to see what Nadia saw in him though. My overall impression of him was of an understudy, portrayed as a try-hard but never quite having his moment in the limelight. He was no match for the valued friends Elias was missing and he had no hesitation in being dismissive towards Jordan and what he was suggesting.
There was a reference to a trigger View Spoiler »suicide « Hide Spoiler which gave an insight into how it can impact on others. While it didn’t command a significant focus on the story, it is briefly raised towards the end and provided further insight into the rationale behind one of the character’s stance.
Up until the last 20% I was edging towards a 5 Star rating, but I had a sense I had missed a significant detail or two requiring me to read the ending again. My gut feeling was I had decided how the story was going to end before I had read it. When it didn’t pan out as I anticipated, it left a question hanging over what had unfolded. The author’s afterword (EOBS) shed additional light on the mind games being played but it didn’t quell the doubts I had regarding the rationale behind each player’s reason for participation.
While His Turn was not what I expected it was one of the steamiest books I have read. The constant battle of egos between Elias and Nadia provided endless angst and drama. When Jordan joined the broody couple, I was sure my Kindle was going to warp from the heat between the three of them! The different dynamics between the players provided a myriad of possibilities that were creatively revealed throughout each book in the Taking Turns series, and His Turn was no exception.
4 Steamy Stars
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