Book Reviews

Candy Land (Hidden Gem 3) by Lissa Kasey at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Asexual/Aromantic / Urban Fantasy / Shifters / Vampires / Human Hybrids / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 05-November-2018

Book Blurb

Cameron “Candy” Michelson Jr. doesn’t have time for distractions. He’s too busy restructuring the red-light district into an adult playland for City M and running the Hidden Gem. But when his companion, Avery “Ivy” Laurent, grows closer to Jack, an investigator for the Institute of Scientific Study, Candy can’t hide his jealousy. Nor his own interest in Jack.

Ivy is crazy about Jack, but he’s also in love with Candy. Ideally, Ivy longs for all three of them to be together, but between Jack’s nonexistent libido and Candy’s supercharged needs, Ivy isn’t sure how to make it work.

When Jack gets called in to help the City M police department investigate a series of violently murdered companions, both Candy and Ivy brace for trouble. But nothing prepares them for Candy becoming the prime suspect.

In a future landscape of corrupt government officials, brutal BDSM crimes, and a host of dark creatures, Candy, Ivy, and Jack must work together to find the killer, save themselves—and learn how to trust each other.

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





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 274 pages/98846 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 25-April-2016
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle
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