Book Reviews

Candy Land (Hidden Gem 3) by Lissa Kasey

Genre Gay / Asexual/Aromantic / Urban Fantasy / Human Hybrids / Shifters / Vampires / Erotic Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 09-August-2019

Book Blurb

Candy has gone from being the top companion at the Hidden Gem, to managing it. While he is busy restructuring the red-light district into an adult playground, his fellow companion and lover, Ivy finds time to spend with Institute of Scientific Study Investigator, Jackson Taylor. Candy can’t hide the fact that he’s jealous of Jack for taking Ivy’s time, and Ivy for catching Jack’s interest.

Ivy loves Candy and Jack, but he’s not sure how to make it work between the three of them when Candy’s libido runs at hyper speed and Jack’s is non-existent. All he knows is that he wants to try. Each time he tries to bring the three of them closer, life gets in the way. Most recently a series of violently murdered companions which Jack is investigating, while putting Candy and Ivy on high alert. 

Something more than brutal murders is happening in City M. A sleeping threat to humanity is changing the world. Candy, Ivy, and Jack will have to band together with their friends to either evolve or be swept under a tidal wave of awakening power.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, April 2016.

Book Review

To say I have been salivating waiting for this final novel in Lissa Kasey's unbelievable 'Hidden Gem' series would be an understatement. I loved the first two books for their originality, sheer descriptive beauty, and characters I fell in love with. Now, finally, in 'Candy Land' I get the story of Candy, Ivy, and Jack - three more different individuals would be hard to find - and I couldn't wait to see what genius of a story the author had in store for them. I will strongly recommend that you read the first two books in this series as, otherwise, much of this finale will confuse you.

Candy likes to be in control. He's also supremely frustrated that Ivy and Jack spend a day a week together. Candy doesn't get jealous, so what is going on? When he finds out, according to Ivy, that Jack has no interest in sex, Candy is flummoxed, to say the least. Who doesn't like sex? Since Ivy loves both Candy and Jack, he ups his game to get the two of them to spend more time getting to know each other.

Jack is a bit of a conundrum in this threesome. He's asexual, and has difficulty understanding the concepts of love and even friendship. He had a very difficult childhood in the slums of the South before his parents sold him. He was experimented on and now he's an A-M. There's still a lost little boy hiding inside Jack, one that Candy and Ivy want nothing more than to comfort. Ivy is the peacemaker, so to speak, who wants the three of them together. He is constantly trying to take care of both of them to the best of his ability.

Now I'm going to veer from my "normal" review type mainly because so much of this book contains enormous spoilers, and the last thing I want to do is ruin anyone else's enjoyment of this incredible novel. Instead, I'm going to focus on all the things that made my heart break, made me sigh, made me laugh, and made me cry. Essentially, everything that made me fall in love with this world all over again.

Oh this author stopped my heart, and made me grieve, and then she gave me hope and wonder - all in the space of a mere handful of pages. I loved the slow evolution (no pun intended) of Jack's feelings for Ivy and Candy, how he realized he was capable of caring for others, and they for him, and how even though sex confused him and he didn't really understand it, he began to realize that sometimes he could give them what they needed and that made him feel good, too. Watching the love grow between these three men was beautiful.

My awe at this author’s world building continued throughout this entire novel. Never in a million years could I have created the science, the mutations, the monsters, the political machinations, and all of the action, adventure, excitement, and love that Lissa Kasey brought to 'Candy Land'. I adored watching Ivy come into his own, learning to grow, and seeing Candy do the same. It brought everything full circle that I've been waiting for. Plus, the author constantly kept me on my toes and it was impossible for me to guess the thread of the plot, especially since every page I turned revealed something new and unexpected.

Truly one of the most unique books, and series, I have ever read. 'Candy Land' answered a lot of questions, but also left me room to wonder - a gift for any reader. A marvelous, fascinating, one-of-a-kind, genius of a story that I'm still reeling from. The 'Hidden Gem' series is well loved by me and will be reread many times over the years





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 329 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 09-August-2019
Price $5.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
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