The 1920’s are filled with gin, jazz, and the promise of easy money. When the young and innocent Jack heads to Hollywood with his best friend and lover – he believes that everything will be magical for them. They just need to stick together, no matter what.
The celluloid kingdom demands a hefty price from all who want a piece of the dream. Sacrifices must be made if you want to be a part of the glitz and glamour. Flappers, screen idols and the men behind the star-making machine all conspire to interfere with Jack’s happiness. Along the way, many of Hollywood’s players discover that unfortunately, sometimes dreams do come true.
Hollywood continues to roar in the 1920’s as the men from Gin & Jazz search for love and meaning in the town of broken dreams. A studio chief wishes for a man to dominate, one that he doesn’t believe exists. A director can’t see the actor in front of him who was meant to be his. A fallen screen idol is lost in his own despair until a new playwright shows him the way to true happiness.
These are the men who struggle and work hard to make their mark upon the silver screen. The one thing they all have in common is the need to be loved, and the hope that someday love will find them.
Hollywood Bound #1
Jack and Nick seek fortune and adventure in the silent film era of Hollywood. But their newly-expressed love is threatened by the heady allure of fame, gin and easy money.
Sweet and innocent nineteen year-old Jack has loved the older and more street wise Nick from almost the first time he met him. Nick has taken care of him ever since Jack arrived in New York after he was beaten and thrown out of the boy’s orphanage for messing around with one of the guys there. They share a passion for silent films and have dreams of heading west to make their fortunes building sets for the studios. If only Nick felt the same passion for Jack, and wasn’t already engaged to a gal back in Philly.
Nick’s temper sometimes gets the best of him, but that’s only because he worries about Jack – Nick is all the poor kid has. But he’s also terrified about the way he’s been feeling towards Jack lately. They’re the kinds of feelings he should be having for his fiancé—Penelope—and never for a man. His only goal is to get them both to Hollywood, where he’s sure they’ll be rolling in the dough in no time, and where everything will all work out the way it should.
Hollywood isn’t exactly what they’d thought it would be. There are plenty of gin joints, jazz, money, parties and sex—but everything comes with a hefty price. Everyone they meet—from Trixie Fox, the ditzy up and coming starlet, to Bernie, the foreman who gets them their first studio job—seems to have a hidden agenda. Can the newfound love between Jack and Nick survive the tawdry mess that makes up the glitz and glamour of the celluloid kingdom, or will their own secrets tear them apart forever?
Reader Advisory: This book contains mild BDSM elements, drug use, and sex-for-hire scenes.
Very hard for me to write a review for Hollywood Bound without any spoiler reveals so I'll just say that I can't help but love Jack, I just want to bundle him up and transport him to the present day real world so I can smother him with hugs. And despite how certain circumstances play out, my heart goes out to Nick, I may not agree with all his decisions but I could definitely sympathize with his motives.
Razzle Dazzle #2
Jack is on the verge of silent film stardom, but Hollywood glory won’t heal his broken heart. But the seductive screen idol—Roman Pasquale—sweeps Jack away, and makes him his own. Will Roman’s obsessive love finally bring Jack true happiness?
Jack is devastated by the loss of Nick, his best friend and lover. His only other friend, new Hollywood star Trixie Fox, comes to his rescue. What he doesn’t know, is that she’s also helping Roman Pasquale in his carefully planned seduction of the shy and innocent Jack.
Suave film screen idol—Roman Pasquale—has been obsessed by Jack Stone from the moment he spotted him at a Global Studios party. He will stop at nothing until the golden-haired young man belongs to him. An expert at getting what he wants, Roman plans every wicked word, look and move to bring him closer to achieving his prize.
Jack is on the brink of stardom, and can’t believe that his movie star crush, Roman Pasquale, is taking an interest in him. But he resists the older, more sophisticated man’s attempts at seducing him. After all, he still loves Nick, and just isn’t ready to try again with anyone else. But when Roman turns on the charm, Jack is tempted. Can Roman replace Nick in Jack’s heart? Or is the magical world of the great Roman Pasquale all an illusion?
Reader Advisory: This book contains drug use, a reference to a prior rape not shown and a scene of M/M/M/M. This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.
Once again I want to wrap Jack up and protect him from the big baddies of the world but I also want to shake him so he can see them for himself. I miss Nick and I know Trixie is doing what she thinks is best, and Roman has the best intentions inside his heart but the problem is his brain and actions don't exactly mesh with his heart.
Tarnished Glitter #3
Jack and Roman’s love grows seemingly stronger as Jack’s star rises, and he is determined to build a life with the sexually overwhelming screen idol. But hiding from the truth doesn’t make it any less real.
Jack has given himself completely to screen god Roman Pasquale – body and heart. Jack forces himself to let go of the promise of what could have been with Nick, and focus on the enchanted moments with his film star lover instead, despite Roman’s jealous and controlling behaviour.
Roman’s paranoia and fear about losing the much younger Jack threatens to destroy the only real happiness Roman has ever had. Jack is a wonder and a gift to him, yet he can’t seem to just accept their charmed life together – he is determined to make Jack into the perfect partner. He believes that constant sexual attention, lavish gifts, and declarations of love will ensure that Jack never has a reason to leave him.
The pressures of being on the silver screen and being the lover of a demanding movie idol is difficult for the sensitive young man to handle, and Roman’s increasingly erratic behaviour only adds to his stress. Unwanted attention from other men and a startling revelation from movie star Trixie Fox add to Jack’s confusion. All he’s ever wanted was true love, so how can he give up on Roman and the star’s promises of forever?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of drug use.
Another great entry in Jack's ongoing struggle to find happiness in the world of 1920s Hollywood. Revelations and truths finally bring things to a head for Jack and watching him deal with them is amazingly well written and very believable.
Starring Role #4
Alone once again, Jack believes that he will never have lasting love. But a tragedy unexpectedly paves the way to more happiness than he would ever have thought possible.
No longer held prisoner by Roman Pasquale’s obsessive love, Jack struggles with being truly alone for the first time in his life. The only thing he is certain of is his desire to get away from Hollywood as soon as possible. But first, he has to make sure that his loyal driver Juan is provided for, and understands that the two of them can never be together. Then, once he finishes his latest film he will finally be free of the town of broken dreams.
Right as Jack feels that his future is looking brighter, a terrible tragedy occurs. But out of his despair a new hope is born. Jack is given a second chance—one he never would have thought possible. As Jack’s blissful new life unfolds with his lover by his side, an unexpected visitor from the past threatens his new-found peace.
It’s time for Jack to make his final choice.
Reader Advisory: This book contains BDSM, reference to drug use, and a scene of violence.
No spoilers but watching Jack's world finally come together is not easy nor is it all fun and games but it is very entertaining and that's all I'm going to say.
Studio Orders #5
The head of Global Pictures Studios, Vincent Franklin, promised Jack Stone that he would take care of Jack’s loyal driver, Juan. But for a dominant man like Vincent, Juan’s natural submissiveness causes him to long for much more from the shy young man.
Juan is devastated when his only friend, film star Jack Stone, leaves Hollywood for good. Lonely most of his life, the shy young man has dreamt of love, only to have his heart broken repeatedly. Before he left, Jack made certain that Juan would be taken care of by asking his ex-boss, studio chief Vincent Franklin, to hire him on.
Vincent Franklin is an incredibly controlled and meticulous man. Not given to emotional outbursts and unnecessary flights of fancy, his temperament is ideal for the stressful and demanding job as head of Global Pictures Studio. He leads a carefully concealed private life, his only social outlet being the S&M club to which he belongs. When Jack introduces him to his handsome chauffeur Juan, he is struck by how naturally submissive Juan is. He wonders…
Soon, Juan is falling for the elegant, older man that is his new boss. He’s also thrilled when Vincent asks him to be his personal valet. But there are things that Vincent demands of a lover that Juan knows nothing about. Things that could make him run away from the man that would do anything to protect and care for him.
Reader Advisory: This book contains strong elements of BDSM.
I wasn't sure if I really was going to be able to get into Studio Orders without Jack at the center of the story but he does make a couple of appearances and offers good advice to his friend Juan. By the time I was 3 or 4 chapters in, I was sucked into both Juan and Victor's side of this new entry of the Gin & Jazz saga. As with most stories, miscommunication or lack of communication, is at the root of most of the drama and you want to just shake the characters and tell them to open up and be honest but of course then you wouldn't have much of a story to read. Juan and Victor may not be Jack, Nick, or Roman but they still captured my heart.
Casting Call #6
Will Carmichael, an impossibly handsome silent film star, longs for the broodingly intense director André Chenard. Can they find their way to one another despite the hidden perils of the prohibition era?
Will Carmichael lives a carefree and fun-filled life as one of Global Studio’s most popular motion picture stars. Young and stunningly attractive, he could have any man he wants. However, the only one he has any interest in is the only one who won’t have anything to do with him.
André Chenard is Global Studio’s newest director. A proponent of the newly introduced Russian method of acting, he aspires to create true art through the films he directs. Not interested in wasting his time on frivolous pursuits, he spurns Will’s constant attempts to catch his attention. Although André can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous man, his initial meeting with Will leads him to believe that he is too shallow for serious consideration.
Resigned to the fact that André will never be his, Will is determined to enjoy himself to the fullest at his favourite speakeasy and pansy club. When his carousing becomes out of control and he’s injured, André steps in to help. As a result, they each discover that there is much more to the other than they had originally assumed.
Right when it seems they have found their way to one another, an outside threat drives a wedge between them. As a result, they may have more to worry about than lost love—the threat could be to their very lives.
Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene of male ménage à trois.
Another new couple with more obstacles to overcome, some are of their own making and others are from outside sources. Watching Will and André navigate the course before them captured my heart, sometimes breaking it and other times warming it but all the time had me never wanting it to end.
Play Acting #7
Former screen idol, Roman Pasquale, struggles to survive in Hollywood as the silent film era comes to a close. But a fresh new playwright is in town and he wants Roman to be more than just his star.
The past few years haven’t been kind to fading film star, Roman Pasquale. But then again, he was never very kind to anyone else either. He’s had time to reminisce on his mistakes and to accept responsibility for how he hurt others. Now that Global Studios has turned its back on him, he’s had to sell his grand estate and start over in a modest apartment.
His former co-star, actress Maude Simons, suggests that he meet with new playwright, Max Vogel. Not only will he get the chance to be the star again, Roman can really use the money. What he doesn’t expect is how strongly he’s attracted to the easygoing, confident young man—and the very wicked thoughts he has about him.
Playwright and director, Max Vogel, is delighted that the great Roman Pasquale has agreed to star in his play. What he was unprepared for however, was the intense physical spark that ignited the moment they met. He’s been warned of Roman’s reputation for being difficult to work with, but he’s willing to take the risk—even though his career depends on the success of this one play.
Max needs to coax a heartfelt performance out of Roman, and Roman needs to live up to his resolve to be a better man. But maybe the real issue is whether or not the director and actor can resist the passion they have for one another, a lust so strong that it catches them unaware. Is their lust really love? Or will the drive for success destroy any hope for a happily-ever-after?
I won't lie, I really didn't want Roman to find happiness after the way he was with Jack but time has passed and it wasn't kind to him. Before long, I was finding myself cheering for Roman and Max and seeing how the pair intermingled with Will and André was very interesting considering how their paths had crossed in the past.
Overall Series Review and Rating:
As a series, Gin and Jazz is first rate fiction. Some people might not care for the cliffhangers of books 1, 2, & 3 but I found the cliffies to be perfectly fitting for the 1920s Hollywood setting. Even though Hollywood Serials didn't really come into favor until the 1930s I found Jack's story to be the epitome of the serial(minus the action/adventure) cliffhanger and would have been disappointed had the author not gone that route. As for books 5, 6, & 7, each book is a standalone as it centers on a different couple but it really needs to be read in order in my opinion. Although I have featured Morticia Knight on my blog before, this is actually the first of her writings that I have read but it won't be the last. As for the historical aspect, I loved the attention to detail that the author has done, it really helps add to enjoyment of the series.
M/M Erotic Romance author Morticia Knight enjoys hot stories of men loving men forever after. They can be men in uniform, Doms and subs, rock stars or bikers - but they're all searching for the one (or two!) who was meant only for them.
When not indulging in her passion for books, she loves the outdoors, film and music. Once upon a time she was the singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She is currently working on more installments of Sin City Uniforms and The Hampton Road Club, as well as the follow-up to Bryan and Aubrey's story from Rockin' the Alternative.
Hollywood Bound #1
Razzle Dazzle #2
Tarnished Glitter #3
Starring Role #4
Studio Orders #5
Casting Call #6
Play Acting #7