The Quest: STRENGTH IN NUMBERS–Review and Giveaway!

BannerTemplate(7)Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review for a thrilling contemporary M/M romantic suspense novel recently released by Brad Vance. STRENGTH IN NUMBERS is the sequel to WOULD I LIE TO YOU, and you all know how much I liked Jesse and Marc. Two brilliant computer programmers who want to take down the high and mighty billionaire conservative puppetmasters? Yes, sir I would like another!

Be sure to check out my review and get in on the giveaway, too!

StrengthCoverAbout the book:
They’re back! In their first adventure, Marc Julian, software billionaire, and Jesse Winchester, hacker extraordinaire, survived the evil plans of the Krom Brothers and Jesse’s first lover, Chip. But Jesse has old debts to pay to Russian gangster Leonid Ivanov. Now Leonid is calling in those debts, demanding that Jesse find a great treasure for him, and a new game is set in motion…

The mysterious “Satoshi,” creator of the cybercurrency Bitcoin, has been hiding $400 million worth of the currency for years. But now, he has chosen to start a quest for the keys to the Hoard, and he who controls the keys controls the fortune. And this will be a quest that will test the strength, the will, and the character of those who pursue it.

But Marc and Jesse aren’t the only ones on the hunt, as old enemies resurface to try and beat them to the treasure… And even if they reach it first, they must ask themselves – do they really want to give a Russian gangster $400 million to pursue his deadly enterprises? And what would be the consequences if they don’t?

The pursuit will take them through the museums of Tokyo, the streets of Buenos Aires, and the coast of Mexico, in a desperate and dangerous race to keep the fortune in digital gold from the hands of all their enemies…

How about a little taste?

Marc smiled as he made clinking sounds in the galley of his private jet. He already had the black slacks on, so it was the work of a moment to take off his polo shirt and slip into the white epauletted button-down short-sleeve shirt of a steward. The wings were already attached to the lapels, and he’d even had a name tag made.

“Here you go, sir,” he said as he handed Jesse his drink on a tray. Jesse was already involved in something on his phone, and he absentmindedly reached for it.

Then he paused, sensing that something had changed. He looked up to see Marc dressed as an airline steward, his eyes dancing with heat.

Marc didn’t smile as he said, “Is there anything else I can get you, sir?”

Jesse swallowed. “Maybe a warm blanket.”

Marc took the drink from his hand. He pressed a button on the side of Jesse’s chair.

“The seat fully reclines into a bed, sir. Let me make you comfortable.”

As the seat back flattened and the base lifted Jesse’s feet up, Marc pushed another button, and the chair’s arms lowered out of the way, which gave him room to straddle Jesse’s hips.

He put his hands on Jesse’s chest, and Jesse reached up to finger his collar. “How did you earn those wings, steward?”

Marc idly stroked Jesse’s hand where it lingered on the wings. “Oh, those, sir? For achieving membership in the Mile High Club. Are you a member?” Marc began to grind his ass against Jesse’s crotch, feeling the transformation below his slacks.

“You know, I am not. I’ve never been invited to join.”

Marc leaned in to whisper in his ear. “Let me be the first to welcome you, then.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series, and should be read in order.

Marc and Jesse are back in action, together, on the trail of a half-billion in Bitcoin. I am NOT a tech-heavy person. I have little interest in the intrigues of hackers etc, but I really enjoyed this National Treasure-type escapade. Bitcoin is a digital currency that was invented and invested by “Satoshi” whomever that may be. Thing is, Satoshi’s Bitcoin is anonymous but fully traceable. It’s also a criminal’s paradise as it’s unregulated and can pay for any good or service from vendors who will accept the digital transfer into their digital wallets. It’s an ACTUAL thing IRL, for folks to Google, should they like to. In the book Satoshi maintains a cache of Bitcoin that amounts to a street-value of a half billion dollars. It’s destined to end up in the wrong hands unless Marc and Jesse can intercept it.

Problem is, Jesse’s honor-bound to retrieve this treasure for a criminal mastermind, Leonid, who assisted him to gain his “early release” three years in on a 35 year sentence. Leonid has recently orchestrated his own release, and he is calling in his marker on Jesse to get him the Bitcoin so he can pay his way back to Russia. Problem is, two bad dudes from the previous book, Chip and Walt, are also on the trail to Satoshi’s Hoard.

So, there’s a bit of Japanese-inspired cryptography filled with haiku clues and Matrix-style leads. Jetting all over the world, Marc and Jesse uncover the clues in this tech-heavy scavenger hunt. Also, to my great delight, we get to see Jesse and Marc enjoying the passionate side of their partnership. We do have some extended flashback chapters that bring Marc’s youthful foray into cryptography and his darker side. That was unexpected, and showed Marc’s Avenging Angel mentality in Kodachrome. Expect to be surprised, and to have a bit of sorrow for Marc’s loss of a good friend, and a kid who was boxed in to a bad experience.

I was honestly getting riled by Chip and Walt’s ability to pretty much turn up whenever there was a clue to be decoded, and then the end happened, and I was really so satisfied! Justice was served cold, and I wasn’t even a little sad. I’m a little confused regarding Jesse’s status. He had been a fugitive to the US government (aka Snowden) but then he is able to travel at will and not get captured. I think it’s because he keeps turning in bigger fishes than himself, but I’m just a little fuzzy on it all.

As for Leonid and the Bitcoin, it’s unclear what happens to Leonid, but the Bitcoin is destined to make a difference in a scheme masterminded by Marc and sure to bring wrath upon himself and Jesse. This story ends with an HEA and the promise for further mayhem. To which I say: sign me up. I like these guys and their kinky games and bright minds.

Interested? You can find STRENGTH IN NUMBERS on Goodreads and Amazon.


Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a paperback copy of WOULD I LIE TO YOU by Brad Vance.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the author:
Brad Vance writes gay romance, erotica and paranormal stories and novels, including the breakout hits “A Little Too Broken” and “Given the Circumstances.”

Keep up with Brad on his blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Google+ and twitter.