Book Reviews

Compulsion by Clare London at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 11-November-2012

Book Blurb

The past always catches up with you. Max Newman should know—he’s been running from his ever since he dropped out of Uni and made a disastrous move to the seedier side of London. Now he’s returned to Brighton to lick his wounds. Though Max believes the club scene is better left behind him, one night he lets his friends drag him out dancing. And suddenly the simple life he’s tried to lead gets complicated.

At Compulsion, the Medina Group’s newest hotspot, Max meets Seve Nunez, a member of the Medina management and a man used to taking what he wants. The sexual chemistry between Max and Seve immediately leads to an intimate encounter in the backyard of the club—just the kind of dangerous behavior Max tried to leave behind. Despite that, he can't help but crave more, and Seve seems just as eager.

But Max soon suspects that Seve may not be the scrupulous businessman he claims. Max has seen the Medina Group at work before, and what he saw got a good friend killed. He's not sure what future he has with Seve, but he'll have to decide whether to trust in Seve’s innocence or keep running. The wrong choice could land them both in mortal danger.

Book Review

“If you don’t deal with the past, the past deals with you.” ~ Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson, Gone

Not that we should live in the past, but there is a distinctive difference between not dwelling on the past and running away from it. Max Newman's past is made up of a string of bad decisions which lead to disastrous consequences. He's decided that he wants to make a change, be a new person and put it all behind him, but it's difficult to change when there are demons in the past that need to be conquered, especially when it's in your power to do so. Until Max comes to terms with, not only what he's done, but what he can do to set things right, he will never be able to live with himself.

Even though Max had a shady past, I found myself emotionally invested in him from the start. I wanted him to escape his pain and go on to be happy. Yet at the same time, I acutely felt his fear and hesitation in being able to do so. He really is trying hard to change, to become more like the person he was before all his trouble started. He's plagued by nightmares, and bad memories and feelings of loss and regret. He can't go on like this. He realizes he can't change the past, but there are steps he can take to remedy some of the injustice; this will help set some of the wrongs right. Then he can go on, improving his life with a clear conscience. Finding the courage to do this, though, is a lot harder than he thought it would be. Complicating his life even more is Seve, handsome, alluring, sexy, and irresistible, to whom he has an instant connection. But Max isn't convinced it's a good thing for him to become attached to Seve. The feelings he evokes in Max are too close for comfort to the ones from which he's trying to escape. Even worse, Sev's family is connected to Max's sordid past. While fighting with himself to find the courage to go back and correct some of the mistakes he has made in the past, he also has to fight the compulsion to be with Seve because he fears that Seve is part of the problem he's trying so hard to escape. Max knows that he can't have it both ways.

Seve is quite mysterious, which enhances the idea that he might be involved with his family's corruption, but we can't be sure. His expensive home, car, and clothes, much less his 'take charge' attitude, did nothing to absolve him either. Seve is used to having his own way and definitely not used to people telling him no. When Max begins to push back, Seve isn't at all sure he appreciates it, but Max is determined that they're going to at least agree to disagree on some things. His quest to discover Seve's involvement with the illegal activities associated with his family is something he's determined to discover, regardless of the outcome or what it means to them as a couple. Seve is just as determined to prove his innocence.

This is an exciting, fast-paced, story of intrigue and deceit while also being a very sensual, rough and tumble romance. Max and Seve both have strong, non-compromising personalities, but their compulsion for each other is so overwhelming that, whatever the cost, they simply have to be together. Neither of them understand it but neither can deny its impact either. Their relationship is uphill all the way and is seemingly totally impossible to maintain, but, in their own way, they both fight for it with all they have. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this story—the writing, the hectic, complicated pace, the excellent character development, and especially the passion created by Max and Seve's compulsion for each other. I heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys an intriguing story in which you can be totally immersed and stay that way until the end. Thanks, Clare, for the wild, sexy ride.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 250 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 29-October-2012
Buy Link