Taste of Fear by Davidson King
Series: Joker’s Sin #4
MM Romance/Action/Suspense/Close Proximity
Release Date: 03.08.21
Ciro Navarro has never had it easy, but he learned to survive. Nightmares of a past he cannot erase plague him but thankfully, much of his horrible life is in the rearview mirror. He lives in the present, focusing on his found family, lifelong friends, and the job that fulfills him. Ciro’s circle is small but tight; if you’re in it, you are his world. And somehow he’s become a rescuer—at the slightest hint someone he cares about is in trouble, he comes running.
After years of hard work and patience, Xander has fulfilled his goal and made a name for himself as a world-renowned chef. He lives his dream every day: cooking up and serving recipes that bring people joy. Though he has restaurants in several locations, it’s Haven Hart Xander calls home, and he can’t imagine settling anywhere else. Life is good. In fact, everything in Xander’s life is perfect…until people from his past start turning up dead.
When word of a serial killer hell-bent on ending Xander comes to light, Ciro’s instincts kick in and he vows to keep Xander, the sweet and humble man he finds himself gravitating toward, alive. The seriousness of what is happening rattles Xander, and he allows Ciro into his home to protect him. Close proximity heats things up and shows Ciro and Xander how much they’ve come to mean to each other, but the precautions they’ve taken may not be enough to keep them safe.
When the unthinkable happens, they are put to the test. Can Xander and Ciro survive the crazed serial killer who stands in the way of their forever?
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgg9Bv
Guest Post by the Author
Writing Two Different Series In The Same Universe
When I began writing the Joker’s Sin series, I went into it knowing that while it took place in the Haven Hart Universe it had to stand on its own two feet.
That is easier said than done. Atlas, who is the MC in My Whole World Joker’s Sin book one, was introduced in A Dangerous Dance, Haven Hart book three. I knew after I introduced him that he had a story, but I also knew it was not in this series.
When I finished writing the long story arc that was Haven Hart I ventured into Joker’s Sin, since that was the name of the club Atlas owned. I knew it would be different because it had to be. First of all none of these guys were assassins or mobsters. Ciro is the closest any of them come to living in the gray area. That in itself was harder than I thought it would be. I can justify an assassin or mobster killing a person, but a bartender? Hmm.
I also knew I didn’t want it to be an overarching storyline and I wanted them to sort of be able to stand on their own. Therefore, the deep dark secrets that made you have to wait until the next book weren’t there. In the case of the Joker’s Sin series, it was more of the mystery of the characters. Wow, were people wanting Ciro’s story so badly. By the time his book came, the pressure was on.
He’s by far the darkest character in that series and while it was difficult to go into his backstory, it felt like the grittiness that IS Haven Hart.
Both series take place in Haven Hart but both are quite different. I do think that when you take the two series and put them together, you truly see the beast that is Haven Hart.
Xander is the complete opposite if Ciro. He’s shy and adorable and a world famous chef while Ciro is a bit closed off but incredibly caring and protective. And also a foodie!
I’m happy that Ciro opened up to Xander. And also how Xander feels he’s the safest when he’s with him.
Loved to see all the characters from the previous books. The epilogue was perfect and I’m sad that this is the end of a fantastic series.
This is written in dual POV and can be read as a standalone, though I suggest reading in order.
“I want forever with you.” “And forever is what you’ll have.”
*ARC provided by the author via Vibrant Promotions in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
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I found myself wondering what he’d order as we walked up to the counter. What did a chef get at other food establishments? What kind of coffee?
When the woman asked what we’d like, I gestured for him to go first. “Hmm, maybe just a black coffee, medium, please.”
Black coffee? “You’re a monster,” I said, and he looked over at me with wide eyes.
“Black coffee? That’s not right, not at all.”
He chuckled. “And what is right?”
“I will have a hazelnut coffee, with hazelnut swirl, and cinnamon, large, please.” I quirked a brow at him after I ordered.
“No. Not even a little of that is right. All sugar.”
He moved down to the pickup area and I followed. “You’re a chef, you’re supposed to order things like truffle coffee with gold flecks of vanilla sprinkles or something.”
He laughed so loudly, the few people who were in the place turned toward us. “That’s such a stereotype.” He took his coffee when the woman handed it to him.
“But…black? It’s tasteless sad water.”
He shook his head, brought the cup to his lips, and sipped. “Mmm.”
Oh, shit. My mind was off coffee and on to how I liked the way he hummed.
“So good,” he said with a smile.
“No. I like my coffee happy.” I took my cup, dropped a tip for the barista on the counter, and moved toward the far booth. I sat, my back facing the wall so I could see all the comings and goings. Xander sat across from me.
“I remember about a month ago, Max, who works at Joker’s Sin with you, came into the restaurant to pick up an order. He was going through the carryout bag, and I asked him what he was looking for. He said he had to make sure the hollandaise sauce was in there, or ‘he’ would be upset.”
Oh, fuck… “Well, Max is weird, so.” I drank my coffee, hoping the conversation would drop.
“Are you the ‘he,’ Ciro?” He was enjoying this.
“How’s your sad coffee, Xander?”
He took another sip and smiled softly. We sat in companionable silence for a few minutes. I wanted to bring up what was going on, to ask what was so bad in his life that he had the HHPD as bodyguards, but he was so at ease, and I didn’t want the scared man I’d seen earlier to return.
“Go ahead and ask.” Xander looked at me, worry marring his beautiful face.
I took a deep breath and asked, “Who wants to hurt you, and why?”
Davidson King, always had a hope that someday her daydreams would become real-life stories. As a child, you would often find her in her own world, thinking up the most insane situations. It may have taken her awhile, but she made her dream come true with her first published work, Snow Falling. She managed to wrangle herself a husband who matched her crazy and they hatched three wonderful children. If you were to ask her what gave her the courage to finally publish, she’d tell you it was her amazing family and friends. Support is vital in all things and when you’re afraid of your dreams, it will be your cheering section that will lift you up.