If you’ve read Sierra Simone’s New Camelot series, her new novel is probably going to feel familiar to you. It’s called Salt Kiss and is set in the same world as New Camelot. (There is reference to two characters from that series, but it is not at all necessary for you to have read it to follow this book.) If you’re at all familiar with Simone, you already know to check the trigger warnings. They’re needed for this novel as well.
With the exception of the first little bit, Salt Kiss is told from the point of view of Tristan, a very recently honorably discharged Army veteran. Tristan has a lot of emotional baggage, all of which was earned doing hard things in horrible circumstances while serving for three deployments. He is having a hard time reverting back to civilian life, especially when people keep treating him like a hero. He views himself as maybe not a villain, but definitely not a good guy. Drowning emotionally, he jumps on an employment opportunity offered to him by the super wealthy and mysterious Mark Trevana.
Mark is the owner of a kink club known as Lyonesse. He’s looking for a new bodyguard. It’s a good thing that his sister has just married Tristan’s dad. Who better to hire for your new bodyguard than your new war hero nephew?
You might be excused for wondering why a kink club owner needs a bodyguard. It’s because Lyonesse is in the Washington, D.C. area and it doesn’t deal in anything as mundane as money for its membership fees. It deals in information. Think about that for a minute. Think about the kind of information you could collect in such a place and what you could do with it. Especially if its owner is a former CIA Director.
Of course Tristan falls hard and fast for Mark. Mark told us what was going to happen during a conversation that happened during the wedding reception that opened the novel. The real question is why is Mark doing this? Honestly, I can’t tell you yet. Salt Kiss is a cliffhanger. And I didn’t even get to the part about Mark sending Tristan on a two week transatlantic cruise with Mark’s fiancee.
Wait. What? Mark is already engaged to a gorgeous young woman half his age? And, Tristan has no idea when Mark gives him this new assignment? Oh, the manipulations and machinations!
I’m okay with it though. I’m even okay with the cliffhanger, because I was expecting it with Simone. I have no idea where this is going in the long run, only that it is going to be one hell of a kinky ride.
Note: Someone asked me not too long ago about the spice level in a book. I never know what to say because my view of that has changed a lot over the last ten or so years. Just go ahead and classify this one as super spicy, even if BDSM isn’t your thing.
4 of 5 stars.