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WELCOME TO THE MACHINE.I devoured these three stories I practically mainlined them like they were heroin and I was on a bender I enjoyed them thoroughly and couldn t read and turn the pages fast enough.That being said, it s not the greatest of plots there are plot holes I could drive a semi truck through , the characters are sometimes caricature like, the mental health professional is terribly portrayed and in real life would probably be sued for malpractice , and there are so many instances WELCOME TO THE MACHINE.I devoured these three stories I practically mainlined them like they were heroin and I was on a bender I enjoyed them thoroughly and couldn t read and turn the pages fast enough.That being said, it s not the greatest of plots there are plot holes I could drive a semi truck through , the characters are sometimes caricature like, the mental health professional is terribly portrayed and in real life would probably be sued for malpractice , and there are so many instances where I was absolutely floored by just how unhealthy the relationship between Jamie and Michael is I can t even count them all possessiveness, jealousy, rage filled, dub connopecan t count em I mean, I absolutely, unequivocally disagree with their relationship as it s described in the books It s a toxic, horribly dysfunctional relationship that I can t see ever being truly healthy or functionalObviously, other people can see what you can t It makes sense When people are in a new relationship, they have blinders on, and in your case it s worse You re a lot like your mother You see what you want to see The two of you just float around in this world you ve made up for yourselves, and any time reality doesn t suit you, you just ignore it I think I m in love with him, DadThe stories remind me of an M M rougher sex version of Katy Evan s Real and Jamie McGuire s Beautiful Disaster The problem was that I was selfish I d wanted him Hell, even that was sugar coating it in my favor I d wanted to take his innocence, and fuck him, and hold his face down in the pillow, and take every ounce of pride he had I wanted him to worship me I wanted to use his body until I d had my fill, only now I wasn t sure if that point of satisfaction would ever come I d underestimated my own capacity for feelings, and in doing that I d altered his life forever.There was no way we could keep going on the course I d set us on That being said, Jamie is just as fucked up as Michael, though he doesn t have same kind of skeletons in his closet Ultimately, they deserve each other They feed off each other and they re whole together A whole lot of what, I can t really say, but whole nonetheless As always, pain was part of our relationship, and I cherished the physical pain, the way it reminded me It was the emotional pain I couldn t stand.I love you, Jamie, he growled against my ear I ll do anything for you Oh, God I love you, tooSo, cheers, Ms Black, for getting me to enjoy something I would normally be screaming my head off about Kudos for getting me to put aside my own personal preferences to simply enjoy these stories NOTE I m reviewing all three books together because they are not standalones The first two end in cliffhangers and the third ties it all up This review has been cross posted at Gay Book Reviews. 5 Emotional StarsThis trilogy has gutted me on so many levels, what an emotional rollercoaster My heart broke over and over for Jamie and Kage These two men love and need each other so much, their feelings seem to come off the pages at you while reading All the dramas of the previous books come to a boiling point in this one and what a head fuck it was Learning about Kage s pained childhood and what his uncle had done broke my heart My reviews for this trilogy have been vague because 5 Emotional StarsThis trilogy has gutted me on so many levels, what an emotional rollercoaster My heart broke over and over for Jamie and Kage These two men love and need each other so much, their feelings seem to come off the pages at you while reading All the dramas of the previous books come to a boiling point in this one and what a head fuck it was Learning about Kage s pained childhood and what his uncle had done broke my heart My reviews for this trilogy have been vague because I don t want to give anything away I have loved everything about this trilogy, if I had one complaint it would be that it ended to soon I WANT MORE Full of drama, suspense, heat and a little crime this is a fantastically written trilogy I am off to 1 Click all the Maris Black books I can find @Free Kindle ê Kage Unmasked Ø Can their love survive the most shocking revelation Sexy college senior Jamie Atwood has fallen hard for MMA dark horse Michael the Machine Kage With his hot muscled body, intoxicating green eyes, and proclivity for rough sex, Kage is a potent aphrodisiac to the innocent boy next door The danger, the intrigue, the feel of his strong hand around his throat, the knowledge that his fighter would kill or die for him From the moment Kage grabbed onto his hips and channeled all that masculine aggression into claiming his body, Jamie was ruined for anyone elsePassions run high as the lovers try to assimilate into each other s lives coming out to family and friends, blending into the high profile MMA world, dealing with Kage s sketchy uncle But behind Kage s mask of strength and indifference lies a crippling vulnerability, and a devastating secret As the mask comes off, past traumas surface, dark desires spin out of control, and the damaged fighter is driven to hurt the man he loves than life itself 3.5 StarsHe was mine, and I loved him But fuck if the man wasn t dangerousAfter gobbling up all three books in almost as many days, my addicting journey with Kage and Jamie has come to an end Unfortunately, the ending has left me a bit underwhelmed Let s start with the positives Jamie and Kage have finally worked through most of their issues as a couple They ve gotten to a place where they truly do trust each other and know that whatever comes their way, they can handle 3.5 StarsHe was mine, and I loved him But fuck if the man wasn t dangerousAfter gobbling up all three books in almost as many days, my addicting journey with Kage and Jamie has come to an end Unfortunately, the ending has left me a bit underwhelmed Let s start with the positives Jamie and Kage have finally worked through most of their issues as a couple They ve gotten to a place where they truly do trust each other and know that whatever comes their way, they can handle together Jamie stepped up to the plate and wasthan a lover for Kage He still had his moments of naivete and immaturity, but he had also grown and come into his own He felt comfortable enough in himself and in their relationship where he could flip the script and be the aggressortake the lead and fight for what he wantsHe wasn t domineering, and he wasn t an alpha, but he was a quiet conqueror He must have been, because he d certainly conquered meHe had a shy and quiet confidence about him, which you could see building and growing over the course of the three books He wasn t intimidated by Kage s life any, rather he accepted it and stood beside Kage ready to tackle whatever came their waythis thing with Kage This was a whole nother level I was playing in the big leagues now, and I was pretty sure I deserved Rookie of the YearI loved the development of Jamie s friends and family Their reaction to Kage and Jamie s relationship was just what the guys needed to give them the boost that things will be okay and that everything will work out Even douchey Braden won me over by the end And Jamie s dad ended up stealing the spotlight from his mom.which if you d told me that in the beginning, I would have given you you re crazy squinty eyes.Unfortunately, there were also some serious letdowns The big buildup revealing Kage s childhood felt underdeveloped Almost like the author wasn t fully committed to going there The manner in which the reveal happened was intriguing, but I wantedMore details More emotion It was as though you were given the story and the author was like isn t that sad And then she followed that up with a three week time jump where Kage miraculously dealt with his issues Ta da Cured Meanwhile, I m still left with about a dozen questions The final showdown with Kage s uncle was over the top, not very believable, and frankly felt slapped together Almost as though the author had ideas of what she wanted to happen and then just threw it all together Too many ideas and not enough OOMPH in the execution It lacked the intensity that was promised over the course of the series Also, I have a hard time believing that Jamie would have no residual effects of what went down And speaking of intensitywhere was the dark, passionate and all consuming sex that Kage and Jamie craved Again, what was given in the first couple of books ended up feeling watered down here The darker urges that bonded them so uniquely were lackluster and few and far between Finally, which this isof a personal issue, I don t feel like this is a true HEA ending Maybe HFN s areof the author s style this is my first time reading Maris Black But a few things are still open ended for me Maybe she ll writeof Jamie and Kage Maybe she likes the reader to use their imagination about where the characters go from here But my first thought after reading the last line was, that s it Overall, I ve enjoyed my time with Kage and Jamie and do hope we getof them in the future Even though it s now time for me to detox from this addicting series, I wouldn t mind another hit down the road 5 for the Audio version All of these guys have got someone to go home to after the fight They ve got their baby, I ve got mine Jamie Atwood That s who I love He s the one I go home to at night, and who patches me up after I get beaten down This book was an emotional roller coaster, I got hooked to the audio and never looked back Kage and Jamie got chemistry, there was no faking i felt their connection, enjoyed their journey and growth I don t regret picking up this series IMO this re 5 for the Audio version All of these guys have got someone to go home to after the fight They ve got their baby, I ve got mine Jamie Atwood That s who I love He s the one I go home to at night, and who patches me up after I get beaten down This book was an emotional roller coaster, I got hooked to the audio and never looked back Kage and Jamie got chemistry, there was no faking i felt their connection, enjoyed their journey and growth I don t regret picking up this series IMO this relationship was so f d up , and they deserve each other.All I can say is I loved it Was it OTT at times ummmm YES did I care Nope.I ve got to say Kage s POV at times had me like The sex was HOT and frequent in this one and i loved that, can t complain I felt like the ending was rushed and got a little soapy.Kage laughed again, smiled his dazzling smile, and sent a subtle wink to the camera to me And my heart melted when he said, Sorry, guys I m already taken Jamie you Lucky Bastard.Overall I had an amazing time listening to the audio book Jamie and Kage I ve got no one to blame but myself I should ve quit after book 1, but the cliffhangers demanded I keep going Damn book OCD forcing me to finish I m obviously the minority but I felt like I was reading a different series than everyone else The melodrama and the OTT storyline only intensified here All I could do is shake my head at times I don t think this author s writing is for me I don t want to turn this into a ranting review so I ll stop here I ve got no one to blame but myself I should ve quit after book 1, but the cliffhangers demanded I keep going Damn book OCD forcing me to finish I m obviously the minority but I felt like I was reading a different series than everyone else The melodrama and the OTT storyline only intensified here All I could do is shake my head at times I don t think this author s writing is for me I don t want to turn this into a ranting review so I ll stop here Was that it It was an okay ending, but I felt like we didn t really get any closure do we getI mean, I feel like we didn t get enough of Jamie Atwood 21 and MMA fighter, Michael The Machine Kage Santori 24 as a couple around others I needed , and I m kinda pissed that I didn t get it Also, there s still that mystery around Kage that we still don t knowWhat are you doing I growled, soundingamused than the angry I was going for Trying to Was that it It was an okay ending, but I felt like we didn t really get any closure do we getI mean, I feel like we didn t get enough of Jamie Atwood 21 and MMA fighter, Michael The Machine Kage Santori 24 as a couple around others I needed , and I m kinda pissed that I didn t get it Also, there s still that mystery around Kage that we still don t knowWhat are you doing I growled, soundingamused than the angry I was going for Trying to keep you here, he said earnestly, locking his eyes on mine You can stay in my bedroom, and we ll just lock the door and have mad sex twenty four sevenQuick basic facts Genre New Adult Contemporary Romance M M Series Series, Book Three.Love triangle view spoiler No hide spoiler Cheating view spoiler No hide spoiler HEA view spoiler Yes I m not sure hide spoiler Favorite character Michael The Machine Kage Santori.Would I readby this author or of series Unsure.Would I recommend this book series Unsure.Will I read this again in the future No.Rating 2.5 stars 4.5 stars for this one Half star penalty for the pantry sex. Final round of the Kage series for now.I must say I was really disappointed in this installment These characters are very extreme sometimes and I ve always been pretty tolerant and understanding with them, accepting them the way they are But enough is enough I was seriously having problems dealing with it all First of all, the author leaves things hanging in the air It s true that some of them are solved in the following pages, but not at the speed the conclusions should happen Things co Final round of the Kage series for now.I must say I was really disappointed in this installment These characters are very extreme sometimes and I ve always been pretty tolerant and understanding with them, accepting them the way they are But enough is enough I was seriously having problems dealing with it all First of all, the author leaves things hanging in the air It s true that some of them are solved in the following pages, but not at the speed the conclusions should happen Things come at their own pace, and it s weird when the characters don t waste a second thought about them If I had a view spoiler stalker pursuing me hide spoiler , I wouldn t sleep so profoundly at night, for instance But it seemed it was alright for them Jamie feels at ease when he s told that Santori is not dangerous, and just like that, he goes on with his life as if nothing wrong happens even when he s aware he s being view spoiler watched hide spoiler.Secondly, the ending is one of the most inconclusive and illogical I have ever seen I ve complained before that Maris Black is weak in her endings They are quite rushed for me, they overlook important facts that should be considered But here it takes a new level To sum it up, hell breaks loose on page 155 and since then on everything becomes so surrealistic and unbelievable I thought I was watching a David Lynch movie and not a love story.I rolled my eyes so often I thought the extrinsic muscles of my eyes would explode from the effort No way in hell this would happen in real life.Big super big spoiler here Read at your own risk view spoiler Chapter 10 Kage tries to strangle Jamie to death in his sleep Jamie breaks free and calls Dr Tanner That was ok.Chapter 11 Dr Tanner comes to save the day and hypnotizes Kage to tell her what happened and apparently he was dreaming he was killing his older brother when he was 7 or so years old Santori is the bad man, which doesn t come as a surprise to me I mean, I don t have to be a genius to know that Dr Tanner convinces Jamie to go back to Atlanta for several weeks, the weeks during which she would help Kage to overcome this traumatic experience and become strong enough to start a life with Jamie Jamie agrees and flees That was ok.Chapter 12 I thought we would see something of Jamie and Kage apart See something of the process of Kages being cured , because it seems like a long and hard road But no, we are suddenly 3 weeks after that episode and Kage is eager to receive Jamie from the airport in Vegas But he s not there himself, no, he sends his uncle s bodyguards WTF Kage You know your uncle is watching Jamie and you let his bodyguards to come gather him knowing they could be a menace It goes without saying what happens next Above all when Jamie is not in the airport and doesn t pick up his calls and suddenly Jamie is calling and telling him he wants to break up Kage lets jealousy to take the reins and accuses Jamie of being a slut and preferring to be with other men He s down and that s why he rings Dr Tanner to make her feel him better but she doesn t answer the phone That s when he begins having suspicions It was about time, right Chapter 13 We see that Jamie is kidnapped by Santori s bodyguards and forced to dump Kage No mystery there.Chapter 14 Kages seeks Santori and they have a bad discussion with Kage overpowering his uncle to make him free Jamie but Santori is too clever and too twisted to be bent easily so he somehow manages to fool Kage into believing he s going to show Kage something about his father and that s when he drugs Kage with a syringe WTH Kage You have already learnt this guy is an asshole and you still believe his words and his actions to be genuine You are evenni ve than I first thought.Chapter 15 Jamie is taken to Santori s apartment and he discovers Kage is asleep on the floor with his hands tied He obviously finds out they are both going to die He manages to get loose and go to the balcony, threatening to jump and thwart Santori s plan of achieving a silent double suicide out of them That s when Kage intercedes and one of the bodyguards, Aaron, helps them and shoots the other bodyguard, Aldo, in the head Because there is always a good guy amongst the bad ones rolling eyes Now pay attention because the big surprise hasn t come yet.Santori goes to pull Jamie out of the balcony but Jamie is now a master karate kid and manages to reverse the places Santori is hanging in the air with only his hand saving him from death And that s when Jamie punches Santori s hand Yes, just like that Santori falls and he presumably dies Yes, just like that Can you see the stupefied expression on my face Jamie is not a soldier nor an assassin nor a mafia kid, but he acts accordingly and murders someone like a pro It s so ridiculous and implausible and far fetched I m awed the author came up with this But the worst thing is the afterward thoughts What does Jamie think Does he feel remorse after having killed a human being in cold blood Does he feel guilt and repentance Does he feel sick of himself No Not at all He takes it fine, no hard feelings on the horizon.Whatever way, they manage to flee and Aaron takes them to a seedy motel God knows where and the only thing they can think about is making out and kissing each other as if there were no tomorrow WTF This is too much for me You have just killed two people Santori and the other bodyguard, and you are just celebrating it like that Are you really human Because even if they are bad people it s impossible not to feel anything after taking a life with your own hands or watching someone doing exactly that It s just preposterous.Chapter 16 6 months later Do Jamie or Kage seem tortured and remorseful due to the catastrophic events Do they have a hard time accepting it all You know, having killed Kage s uncle and the bodyguard, and the collateral damage done to innocent people, such as Dr Tanner s disappearance and all those disappearances that were Kage s lovers from the past No, it doesn t look that way Just the opposite, they are in their honeymoon having the time of their lives Like, really AYFKM I thought these guys had to be focussed of saving their lives then and that s why they didn t consider all the moral implications of this story at first But after some months you are let down because they are so shallow they can only say of yes, poor Dr Tanner, do we fuck now hide spoiler I mthan shocked this all occurred to the author and eventhat she was fine with it all because it sof a dream than a book But that wasn t everything Little details like Vanessa Hall are also forgotten She appears once and suddenly she is not mentioned again She should be there somehow, even is she s just Kage s charade Nothing is told about the process of view spoiler Santori s death or the legal circumstances or about how the mess is cleaned hide spoiler Aaron, the good bodyguard, is just smoke, he s not there again We see nothing of Jamie finishing school or dealing with family issues All in all, this book could have been the cheer on top in the series but it was in fact lower than a hole in the road And I feel frustration and disappointment in seeing that yes, that things can be twisted very fast but also feel stupid because I should have seen it coming.And something I didn t understand at all is why Kage wants to be a MMA fighter with all his being and why Santori has the same obsession It just doesn t make sense How can someone be coerced if the bully wants the same thing I mean, if you threaten someone it s because you threaten to shatter his goals somehow If the bully and the bullied have the same goal it s not a real menace, right Above all when that same bully supports you to achieve your dream Well, I just want to say that I don t understand the difficult relationship between Kage and Santori, after all the occasions we are repeatedly told that Santori forces Kage follow his wishes, but that they share the same wishes How can you say Kage is forced to do something he obviously wants to do And then, why does Kage wants it so badly when his motivations are not clearly defined It s a bad thing Kage wants to become a fighter or not I m clueless in that sense.So, why didn t I give this book the lowest of ratings Well, for instance, because I love Kage and Jamie together They fit that way I have a love hate relationship with this trilogy The books amaze me because I m hooked, but I also see all those OTT situations and the drama queen ish characters and wonder how it s possible I wantThe beginning of the book is written in the same style of the previous installments, which is fine with me Yes, there were improbable scenes and ridiculous situations butor less I could take it So I balanced all the facts and decided it wasn t a total waste, but it was definitely not the book I expected from this author, either.PS Everything was supposed to be Italian here Santori, the Grotto but then the hotel has a Spanish name the Alcazar Uhm, sounds weird to me Although Las Vegas in the state of Nevada are other Spanish names So I m not sure if the author got confused with the Italian and Spanish or not I ll leave it there 3.5 StarsThe title is really fitting for the story In this book, we find about Kage s past and all the secrets And that affects their love life Can their love survive the most shocking revelation Told in dual POV, 1st person It s well written and both characters were still likable It s the third installment in the Kage Trilogy and has to be read in order Overall, it was a good read and hope you enjoy it as well