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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Author Interview ~ Handled by Romilly King

 

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Handled: A dark gay romance

Author: Romilly King

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: October 29, 2020

Genre: Dark M/M Romance

Themes: justice, retribution, and unsuitable love

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length:  175 pages

Trigger warning:  violence, mentions of suicide, and torture.

It's also a happy for now not a happy ever after

as there are two further books in the series.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  

 


Blurb

Serial killers think if it all goes south and they finally get caught that their swan song is a day in court, making the families relive the agony while they get off on that delicious pain, all over again.

Not happening. Not anymore. We’re not making celebrities out of monsters. We’re not giving them a stage to strut on.

Now they get an audience of two.

One to Handle the problem, one to Witness it.

I’m a Witness. I trained for six years to do my duty, to manage my contracted killer, and to watch justice be done.

I knew it would be hard, the first time, to watch the eye for an eye moment.

I expected to feel a lot of things – fear, disgust, guilt.

I didn’t expect to feel turned on.

And I didn’t expect my contracted killer to look quite so pretty with blood on his hands.


HANDLED is a dark gay romance with themes of justice, retribution, and unsuitable love. It is not for the faint of heart and contains graphic scenes intended for an adult audience.



Excerpt


Chapter One

Gray

I wake no less irritated than when I went to sleep. Frustration and arousal are rolling at a low level simmer in my brain and my body. I should have sought a release but I couldn’t make my mind up if I needed to hurt, or be hurt.

Normally I know exactly what I want.

Watching the kill turned me on, it always does, there was pain involved, and although I was fifteen feet away I could feel it, smell it, almost taste it as the wire of the garotte carved through the dirty skin of the neck.

It was the laziness of the killer that confused my arousal though. He was sloppy, his victim was random, there was no finesse anywhere, no evolution in technique, no learning or adapting.

The pain on the victims face had caused a jerk in my limbic system, my cock going half hard, my blood sluggishly stirring, but the lacklustre carry through from the killer snuffed my rising hormones.

I know I will be a lot harder when I kill him.

The pleasure will last a lot longer.

The best I can say about last night’s kill was that it was quick. Which was a blessing for the victim.

It was the second time I had seen this killer perform, and the previous operation had been no more inspiring than this one.

I roll out of bed, I have time for a shower before watching the congressional committee do their annual rehashing of old issues before failing to find a way out of their ethical conundrum.


It is essential viewing, it gives me insight into which way the wind is blowing on Capitol Hill with regard to my employment and more than that, my existence.

Chances are the wind will still be gusting in my direction. The public remains fascinated and frequently aroused by people like me, but reluctant to face the unpalatable truth that the human genome throws us up for a reason, and that reason is survival.

Apart from that it's always amusing to watch the Director deliver this year's version of his you can’t handle the truth monologue.

Under the warm water of the shower I feel again the urge to give into the sexual side of my issues but it’s not worth it. It won’t assuage the itch, and I still can’t decide, hurt me or hurt someone else.

Sometimes, when the disconnect is bad, I look down at my body and I am surprised, because it isn’t what I expect to see. I see smooth lean muscle and length when what I expect to see is skinny and short and dirty, with old blood on the backs of my legs, grime ground into too pale skin, and my ribs like a toast rack.

The curling arousal makes it worse. I need to kill or this vision of me becomes the more prevalent one, and that isn’t helpful, it takes the confidence away.

I don’t have bad memories per se, I just had my evolution forced, and so the real me, the me now, it sometimes regresses, and if I look in the mirror I see both of us, one standing inside the other. The grown Handler and the tortured child.

Once I get my new Witness and handle this killer it will be so much clearer, and then I can take my release with clarity and passion.

Rubbing my hair dry I walk naked into the bedroom and flick on the tv. The committee is coming to order, the Director adjusting his microphone smoothly on the desk in front of him - I honestly don’t know how he has the patience for this, but then we have different mentalities. His various assistants


are congregated behind him looking like a row of funeral directors, which is essentially what they are - all dark shiny graduates of the Witness program.

It would be nice if one of them was assigned to me, preferably one that I won’t want to kill within the first half hour, and then we can get the show back on the road and I can finally let the curling, aching need in me find its path to completion.

My review

"Who gets into a car with a killer and merrily drives off to the place they kill people in?"
This book was everything I didn't know I needed and more. It's dark, unique, sexy and sweet at times. Loved reading this book. I couldn't put it down - only had to at night when my eyes were hurting, but then first thing was in the morning to read this again.

"(...) my body trembling on the verge of arousal, my blood pumping at the sight of Gray in the spotlight. My very own predator, all mine now."
The whole concept with this serial killer/Handler with their own Witnesses was so amazing. I don't think I ever read about a serial killer while it's a romance. This story was so well written, the character's were real, their emotions and their actions were well depicted and the plot blew my mind.

"I never had a pet, maybe Nathan can be my first - most people start with a goldfish."
Loved the dark side of this story, Gray with his pain fetish, it was so, so good! And when he got in all killer mood, oh god, it was everything! All the tension with the blood, it was so exciting. And what he did with Nathan after a kill - holyhellllll, so HOT! 

"I want to bend him half and grind myself deep inside him, deeper than anyone ever went before, while his hand on my thigs claw and grasp because he wants more, more, more."
Gray and Nathan's relationship was really well written and I loved that it was written in 2 POV (and in first person). Being in Gray's mind was EVERYTHING. And to see the way he slowly fallen in love with Nathan, just *swoon*. 

"Gray is the book you don't skip to the last page of to see if your guesses are right. Gray is the book you read slowly and savour."
Nathan was a great character too, and I loved those scenes with his brother, those were really sweet and caring. And when he told Gray their story, that was good too - just as when Gray told his story. 

I love dark romances, but this book is the best ever. It's the perfect balance between dark and sweet, romance while there are blood everywhere. A sweet serial killer who enjoys the pain - don't metter if it's his own pain or other's. 

"He has fucked me and hurt me and sacrificed me and saved me. I'm not done with him yet. And I'm not letting him be done with me."

I loved this book from start to end. It's addicting and so amazing. I just want to start it all over again and be with Gray and Nathan all day long. Their story is everything. 

The sex scenes were so HOT, and I loved the sweet side of Gray too. Gray is the perfect combination of cute and bad. 

And that ending... ahhh. I finished the book with the biggest smile on my face. I hope we got to see more of them.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.

About the Author

Romilly is queer. Romilly wakes up every morning and decides which (witch) to be. Some days Romilly is an Imp, some days a Fairy, some days a Stoic, and some days a Gladiator. Romilly has a classical education, a filthy mouth and loves OTK spankings and strong Sirs who give love and punishment in equal measure. 

Romilly is also very shy but makes every effort to engage with people from all walks of life and likes making friends and meeting fans on social media.

 

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Twitter


Interview:


Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Romilly, I prefer Rom, even though it’s a pen name. Rom is more me than any other name and it’s the me I became, so I’m happy as Rom. I’m a full time writer (hurrah!) and I live in a remote valley in Wales with assorted animals. I’ve been lucky enough to live all over the world but Wales is where I was born and where I return to periodically.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

I’m a master scuba diver, that seems to mess most with people’s heads when I meet them. Clearly I do not look particularly aquatically inclined, although I can assure you, I am. 

Do you have a favorite quote (either from your own books or one’s you’ve read)?

I think I’ve built my whole character from book quotes so I don’t have just one favorite, I have reams of them, but if pushed, it has to be a quote from the poet Mary Oliver, from her poem A Summer Day. The whole poem is beautiful and profound, but these two lines are etched on my soul.


“Tell me, what is it you plan to do. 

With your one wild and precious life?”


That resonates so much and rather than telling me anything it questions me and reminds me of the important things, that I still have a life to keep living.

How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?

I’ve always written, but writing has been my major source of income since 2009.

Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes, I live and breathe it.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I am not wildly ambitious, I’ve been lucky enough to achieve things with my writing that are considered landmarks and the pleasure in those has been fleeting. The most sustainable feelings of happiness come from looking at the shelf of books I wrote and knowing people are reading them.

What’s your favorite part of writing?

When the panic is over, when the deadline has been met (without deadlines I die!), and the book or project is essentially done and I go back over it quietly, correcting little things, and being surprised by what I wrote (because I write in a kind of trance), and liking it. I guess I’m an afterglow sort of person ☺

What does your writing process look like?

Like nothing much is happening normally! I write a lot in my head. I also write in a non-linear way, bouncing around the storyline and enjoying writing individual scenes until the last week when it all gets stitched together and at that point it’s like watching a film in my head and just describing it.

When/where is your favorite time/place to write?

I have an office at home and a decent chair – thank God for that; I was seriously damaging my nerves and muscles writing without a good chair. Get a good chair people; it’s more important than a good laptop! – and I write best very early in the morning or very late at night. I keep weird hours. I always have my window open, even in winter and during storms and so I can hear the sounds of nature outside and that’s soothing.

Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance/fiction?

I think it chose me. As a pansexual sapiosexual human I have clear ideas of how I feel about gender and sexuality and being an outlier to the mainstream, and this is where my writing feels most natural and free. At this point I can’t actually imagine writing het fiction. I can get inside the head of a serial killer easier than I can get inside the head of a het person (which is a very scary thing to think!).

Give the readers a brief summary of your latest book or WIP. What genre does it fall in?

My latest book is called Handled, it’s a dark gay romance (really, pretty dark) and it is set in an alternative universe where crimes carrying the death penalty are investigated and dealt with outside of the mainstream judiciary by a team of two – a Handler, who is usually a diagnosed and government trained psychopath, who will carry out the execution, and a Witness, who oversees the case because justice has to be seen to be done.

In the novel Gray, a notoriously difficult Handler is assigned a new Witness, Nathan, following the retirement from fieldwork of his previous Witness. Neither are happy about this. Gray because he loathes change and most people, Nathan because he isn’t sure he is up to field work. Nathan only became a Witness so he could be close to his younger brother who is part of the Handler training program.

The story follows Gray and Nathan’s attempts to establish a working relationship – and more – as they work their first couple of cases together.

Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?

Gray is an out and out psychopath. He has a hideous past and was diagnosed at a very young age. He has the dubious honor of being the only Handler never to have killed in the wild, as it were; he was brought up in the training system. He keeps his deviant nature under control with willpower, a settled routine and the release that Handling gives him. He is a complex character and I adore writing him, getting inside his head, with its twists and its strange passions is fascinating, and he turned out to be a lot sweeter than I thought he was going to be!

Nathan is much younger, he’s brave but he doesn’t realize it and he is totally committed to doing all he can to make sure his little brother has at least a chance of a normal life despite his issues. He always knew he was going to have to serve his time in the field in order to rise up the ranks but he still struggles with both the morality of it and the practicality of it. Watching someone die isn’t easy, no matter how bad they are. Nathan is decent and upstanding and everything that happens throughout the book shocks him, not least his response to it.

Will we be seeing these characters again? Is this book part of a series?

Yes, we will. This book started as part of a theoretical series of interconnected stories, then it became a standalone and now it’s turned into a series of three. Each ends on a happy for now note with as many loose ends as possible tied up but they will form part of a continuous narrative. The second book is called Cleansed and is coming out at the end of November and the third is called Polished and should be out before Christmas. I blame Gray for this – he just got too interesting, I couldn’t let him go at one story.

What genre/s do you enjoy reading in your free time?

I read pretty much everything. I do love gay fiction because there are some fantastic writers in the field at the moment, but I grew up on sci-fi and fantasy. I read a lot of non-fiction as research and just because I love it. I tend to devour gay fiction and gay romance as ebooks and then buy the non-fiction because I have the awful habit of making notes in the margins. 

What was the last book you read? What did you like about it?

I’m working my way through all of Cara Dee’s Cammasia Cove books at the moment having read them in the wrong order. I loved her last novel Breathless – her kink works are really well researched and accurate and her characterization is spot on, and twins, hot dom twins, just sign me up!

I love Chase Connor’s Michael Jacobs Series, I read that as an omnibus edition recently and it was fun and quirky and I love that whole gradually revealed supernatural universe. 

For hot and clever works you can’t go wrong with Travis Beaudoin. I just read his latest novella, Break me Down, which is a deliciously detailed and authentic examination of a relationship going downhill fast. He writes the most beautiful character studies, you feel like a voyeur on the scene when you read his books.

How do you relax?

See above – I read! And then I read some more. And then I have to be hypnotized to sleep because of all the worlds colliding in my head, noisily.

THANK YOU


 

   

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

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