Ethan and Ryder start trying to figure out how to make a relationship work, given Ryder’s public persona as ‘Black Ryder’ and Ethan’s desire to stay out of the spotlight. But they can’t spend all their time alone in a romantic bubble. Ryder’s business is under threat from some unknown players, but he doesn’t know the hows or whys. Perhaps a rent boy the two meet in another club can provide some clues.
This sequel to Roughnecks and Butterflies picks up right at the same moment the previous book left off, with Ryder opening up to Ethan in the only way that really matters to him. We definitely get to know Ryder a lot more in this installment, so that by the end both he and Ethan are very real characters. We also get to know a few of the secondary characters a bit better.
One apparently significant new character introduced is one of the rent boys of the title, Hayden. He’s an interesting young man that could prove to be a very pivotal character in future books. We barely get to know him in this volume, but it’s easy to imagine Hayden playing a role in not only the mystery of what’s happening to the business, but perhaps even having some influence on the relationship between Ryder and Ethan.
Although set in the future on another planet, the Ore 5 series, so far, is not a very “hard” science fiction story line. The setting allows the author to build a world where slightly different rules apply and then play out what happens. You might well think of it as speculative fiction rather than sci-fi. There’s definitely a lot of realism to the core concept which makes the books highly believable.
This series is also proving to be a bit milder that The Cubi series, at least erotically speaking. There are definitely some sex scenes between Ethan and Ryder, as well as a few other scenes on the stage of the club, but the overall mood, so far, is much less sexually charged than the other current series.
“Ledgers and Rent Boys” is available from Amazon.