Title: The Escape: Soren's Saga
Author: Nicky James
Genre: M/M Romance Contemporary
Dancing, loud music, drinking and sex…
Who wouldn’t love a job that entailed all these things?
After giving up on school and being cast aside by an unsupportive family, Soren Matheson figured he’d landed every young man’s dream job.
But… there is a catch.
Not everything is as it seems and at the end of the day…
Maybe even dream jobs don’t exist.
Remy Moretti lives in a world of precision and order. When a chance run-in with a sassy, sarcastic blond one evening upsets his structured world, Remy needs to find out who he is.
What he discovers makes his hair stand on end.
The defeat and fear hidden behind the young man’s eyes gives him nightmares.
Someone needs to get to the bottom of this.
Until then, Remy will need to do whatever it takes to keep Soren safe.
While Abel and Kieran from No Regrets and New Beginnings are featured in this story, it can definitely be read as a standalone. I loved Soren when I met him in New Beginnings, and I'm so happy we got his story.
Soren is just trying to get by taking it one step at a time, but working at The Escape nightclub, and being forced to have sex with some of the backroom regulars so he won't lose his job and home is becoming too much for him, but Soren can't seem to find a solution that will let him break free of the nightclub owner, Donny's grasp. Coming home from work one night, he meets Remy in front of his apartment complex where the police are arresting one of the other tenants. They later meet again at the bar Soren works at during the week as a bartender. Remy wants to get to know Soren better, but Soren doesn't trust Remy or anyone for that matter. Remy is nothing if not persistent, but can he get Soren to trust him enough to help get him away from the life he so desperately wants to escape?
I loved both Soren and Remy. Soren is stubborn, but scared. He's been on his own for quite some time and hasn't had anyone to lean on in years, so it's hard for him to believe that Remy just truly likes him and wants to get to know him without any ulterior motives. Omg Remy, I absolutely loved him. While he's not perfect, he comes very close. He was so good to Soren and he didn't push. He seemed to know instinctively when to step back and give Soren some breathing room. I wanted to hug poor Remy, he suffered from extreme OCD, as well as Mysphobia, better known as germophobia. Poor guy, going into The Escape, a seedy nightclub, made his skin crawl and as Soren grows closer to Remy, he can't help but do things like moving objects in his home around, that drives Remy absolutely crazy.
I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of age gaps in books, it's one of the first things I try to decipher when I read a book's blurb, reading big age gaps almost always gives me a creepy feeling. Logically, I know this is just me, and not the characters, but it makes it harder to enjoy the story. I usually refuse to read books with more than an 8 or so years age gap, but I loved Soren so much, that I just couldn't pass this story up. I'm really glad I didn't, because although there is a 13 year age gap between Soren and Remy, they were meant for one another. I truly believe with the situation Soren was in he needed someone like Remy, someone who was mature and established to help get him out of his horrible situation. These two men just fit and I absolutely loved both of them to pieces.
The progression of the relationship between Soren and Remy was slow, but with Soren's situation, it was realistic. I loved getting to know these two men as they got to know one another. The story is well-written and paced well. It's much lighter than the other books in the series, but it's still filled with plenty of conflict and angst to help keep the story entertaining and interesting.
Okay, now let's talk about Abel. I love getting to visit with characters from previous stories, but I found myself not liking Abel all that much. He was a real twat to Soren. I understand him not liking what his brother did for a living, but I thought it was wrong of him to tease him and call him names and whatnot because of it. Abel may not respect what Soren does, but he didn't mind it when it kept a roof over his head, food in his belly and gave him the opportunity to lay in bed all day and drown his sorrows in alcohol over the death of his husband, Landon. I'm glad the author had him come around in the end.
I absolutely adored this story. It captivated me from the moment I started reading and held my attention to the very end. The Escape nightclub had a ton of wonderful secondary characters and was filled with a plethora of new stories to be told, I hope Ms. James gives some of them a voice. Highly recommended!
*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.*
The Escape: Soren's Saga is book 3 in the yet unnamed series by Nicky James and while some characters from the previous books show up in this installment, it can be read as a standalone. If you like angsty books I suggest reading them all, though, they are fantastic, very emotional stories that no doubt will touch your heart.
After being thrown out by his father for being gay, Soren went to live with his brother, Abel, and found a job as a dancer at a nightclub called The Escape. After Abel moved out in the previous book, Soren went to live with his coworker Ashton in an apartment paid by their creepy boss Donny. At first, it seemed like the ideal job, but after 5 years of working at The Escape, Soren has grown disillusioned and is tired of the extra duties he has to perform at the backroom of the club with the regulars. He doesn't see a way out, though, trapped in a web of lies, blackmail, and sex concocted by his boss. When he meets Remy he thinks he's a cop and vows to stay away from him, but Remy is nothing if not determined.
Remy's a germophobe with a rather extreme case of OCD that barely lets him interact with others. However, he is drawn to Soren from the moment they meet and is unable to stay away, especially when he learns what's really going on at the club.
I loved Remy so much! He's pretty much perfect if one can overlook the OCD issue. ;) I just adored how patient, supportive and sweet he was with Soren.
I liked Soren a lot, although his stubborn streak was a bit off-putting. I understand that Donny had done a number on his head and my heart broke at his hopelessness and despair at not being able to escape from a situation that kept getting worse with each passing day.
The chemistry between Soren and Remy was electric, even when Soren tried to keep Remy at arm's length. They complemented each other perfectly. Soren helping Remy counteract his anxiety and manias, and Remy providing the solace and aid that Soren sorely needed.
It was nice catching up with Abel and Kieran, even if I wanted to slap Abel silly at how he treated Soren sometimes, especially considering how much Soren supported Abel after his husband died. I was glad Nicky James managed to redeem him before the book ended, though.
I loved Soren's club friends, A.J. and Ash, and I truly wouldn't mind learning more of them in the future. *hint hint nudge nudge*
Overall, while the book isn't as angsty as the other two books in the series, it was still really enjoyable. I love Nicky James' writing style and how natural the progression of the relationship between Soren and Remy feels.
*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement. ***
Nicky has always had two profound dreams in life; to fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world and to write novels. Since only one of those dreams was a possibility, she decided to make the other come alive on paper.
Nicky writes MM romance books in a variety of styles including contemporary, medieval, fantasy, and historical.