Review by Katinka C.

TITLE: Altered States
SERIES: Altered States
AUTHOR: L. E. Harner
BLURB: New Orleans Police Detective Sam Garrett can’t believe his bad luck when he’s assigned to investigate a string of gay-bashings turned deadly in the French Quarter. Especially when he realizes Travis Boudreaux, his new, hot, and most-likely-straight partner, plans to use him as bait. The worst part? They’ve got no back-up because the rest of the city is preoccupied by another series of killings — the victims drained of blood.


Go grab a bag of M&M’s and a glass of tomato juice and enjoy the ride that’s Altered States!

Huh, you say? Tomato juice, you say?

Yeah, well, I’ll explain later. First, let’s talk about that cover for a bit. If you’re anything like me, you always firmly tell yourself not to judge a book by its cover and then end up sneakily avoiding it because of it anyway. And boy, does this cover give me MC Hammer flashbacks! It’s definitely not a good idea to write off Altered States because of this though. For this short prequel – it’s only 35 pages long – to the second book in the series, Deep Blues Goodbye, is fast paced, action packed, sexy pulpy fun! And if that isn’t enough; it’s also free and comes with a main character who is a tough, café au lait colored gay cop with pierced mm..

But I get carried away a little. So what’s Altered States, that was originally written as part of the Love is Always Write event for the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads, all about?

New Orleans Police Detective Sam Garrett’s assigned a case to investigate gay-bashings in the French Quarter. A group of sick bastards is hunting black gay men down to sexually abuse and murder them. Sam realizes that trying to lure this group in is probably going to be a pain in the ass. Then his arrogant, by-the-book and probably as straight as they come new partner, Travis Boudreaux, comes up with an interesting little plan of his own…

Boudreaux looked at me, then lowered his eyes. I thought he was staring at my feet. Embarrassed because I was naked, maybe? Then very slowly, very deliberately, his gaze raked up my body, lingered for a moment on my now slightly interested dick, then up my chest to my face. His mouth twitched into an unmistakable smirk. That was the look that made me want to slug him. “Get dressed, Garrett. You’re perfect for what I have in mind.” It wasn’t until the door swung shut behind him that I realized what he was thinking. The straight prick figured to use me as bait.

That’s right! And before Sam can get used to that unnerving idea, his partner is pressing into him in one of the local gay clubs, pretending to have the hots for him. But either Travis is a great actor, fucking with Sam’s head, or there’s something he’s not telling. And what if the predators take the bait, zero in on them, but their back up fails to show up?

When Altered States was originally published and it was not yet clear that this would actually be a teaser for a paranormal romance (PNR) series, the major twist towards the end threw some people off. No wonder. If you’re expecting a crime story with tough cops trying to solve hate crimes, it can be a somewhat confusing experience to suddenly bump into mythical creatures. Something else that you might want to take into account, is that there’s not much character-depth or build up to the climax (of both the case and Sam’s love life). Altered States is altogether too short for that.

Anyway, definitely make sure to give this prequel to Deep Blues Goodbye a shot. The well-written bumping and grinding will almost make you forget that these guys are supposed to be working on a rather grim case. And also because Altered States will give you a great, free (!) impression of a juicy and sexy new PNR series!

And finally, although the big twist may now no longer be considered a spoiler, I still won’t give anything away other than that I hope you enjoyed your tomato juice…

Katinka rates it: 535px-3-5_stars-svg

BUY LINK: Book Store

Read Katinka’s review on Book #2 of this series here: DEEP BLUES GOODBYE by L. E. Harner & T. A. Webb

Katinka is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love

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