Book Reviews

Third Son by Mickie B. Ashling at NineStar Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Alex on 14-November-2017

Book Blurb

American Niall Monroe returns to Hong Kong—a city he calls home—after being away for eight years. He hopes to finally find happiness with Peter Wei, his closeted lover of fourteen years, but is disappointed to find Peter has been put in an untenable position. He must marry and produce the long-awaited grandchild or get cut off by his millionaire father.


Gerard Sun, a talented artist, bursts back into Niall’s life after a one-night stand in Las Vegas. Circumstances force the men to deal with their attraction, especially when Niall’s firm considers Gerard to help promote tourism in the People’s Republic of China.


James, Peter’s younger brother, has been Niall’s best friend since they were schoolmates. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother and move on. He encourages Niall to ditch his brother until he finds out Niall is thinking of dating Gerard Sun, a talented artist.


Coming home seemed like a great idea until it wasn’t. Niall finds himself a stranger in a familiar landscape, slammed on multiple fronts by broken promises, jealousy, intrigue, unimaginable deceit, and undercurrents of evil. As his dreams quickly turn into nightmares, Niall reaches out to new allies for support.



A Horizons Novel.


Book Review

Mickie B. Ashling has penned another winner with this engrossing tale of an American raised in China, who seeks to unite the two halves of himself while solidifying his relationship with his Chinese lover. This excellent and atmospheric story unfolds through the eyes of Niall, the estranged American, and is a masterly blend of romance, mystery, and intrigue. Loved it!

 Niall Monroe returns to Hong Kong after spending his collegiate years in America hoping he and his longtime lover, Peter Wei, will finally have a monogamous, open relationship. Peter is the first son of an affluent Chinese family and Niall’s best friend, James, is the second son of that family. Raised alongside the brothers, Niall’s frequent presence at the Wei mansion prompted their father to refer to Niall as his “third son.”  Niall has always felt like a stranger in America, but despite his excellent understanding of Chinese culture and language, his blue eyes still make him an outsider in the country his heart holds dear, China. Not certain where he belongs, Niall only knows that he wants to belong to Peter. A work trip to Hong Kong becomes an opportunity to solidify his future and determine with whom and where he belongs, but the journey "home" holds much more than he realizes.

There is a lot of story here, what with the inner dynamics of affluent Chinese families revealed, one-time hook-ups becoming contenders for Niall’s heart, jealousy becoming a catalyst for murder attempts and more, but the material is handled brilliantly by the author, who delivers a book that is sure to thrill. Beautifully understated passages on the exotic Hong Kong environment serve as a perfect backdrop for this compelling tale that unfolds like the leaves of an artichoke; a splendid mix of silk and subtlety that winningly reveal a succulent, vibrant, and oh-so-tasty heart.

I loved pretty much every character in this book; they are each so individual and dynamic! Even the supporting bodyguard characters are great and lent a bewitching underworld thrill to the story; so much so that I kind of want a spin-off about Shun, Peter’s bodyguard. With such an incredible variety of temperamental characters, I was hard pressed to guess the friends from the foes, which added to the excitement of the read. The hotness factor of this tale is high, sex and good looks abound, but it is the engaging interactions between the characters and the timing and flow of the writing that kept me turning page after page wondering how the story would play out… who is the bad guy? Who will win Niall’s heart?  This is a terrific multi-cultural story, especially for those looking for some substance with their romance!

Thank you, Mickie B. Ashling, for taking me on an unforgettable trip to China, where I got to "be" so many dazzling and exciting characters and solve a mystery to boot!

“Smart, Hot, Intriguing!”





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 230 pages/75000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-October-2017
Price $6.99 ebook
Buy Link