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There are no bad guys or good guys. There are only better guys and worse guys.

One of the worse guys is Val Toreth. In a world in which torture is a legitimate part of the investigative process, he works for the Investigation and Interrogation Division, where his colleagues can be more dangerous than the criminals he investigates.

One of the better guys is Keir Warrick. His small corporation, SimTech, is developing a "sim" system that places users in a fully immersive virtual reality. A minnow in a murky and dangerous pond, he is only beginning to discover how many compromises may be required for success.

Their home is the dark future dystopia of New London. A totalitarian bureaucracy controls the European Administration, sharing political power with the corporations. The government uses violence and the many divisions of the feared Department of Internal Security to maintain control and crush resistance. The corporations fight among themselves, using lethal force under the euphemism of "corporate sabotage," uniting only to resist attempts by the Administration to extend its influence over them.

Toreth and Warrick are more natural enemies than allies. But mutual attraction and the fight for survival can create unlikely bonds.

264 pages, Paperback

First published October 29, 2007

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About the author

Manna Francis

46 books599 followers
I'm the author of The Administration Series, a near-future SF dystopia published by Casperian Books. You can find the series in paperback, e-book, or (partly) on line at the Mannazone website.

I've been writing original slash since 2002 — or homoerotic fiction, m/m romance, yaoi, as you prefer. Original slash is my personal term of choice because I feel it best represents my writing in terms of style and what readers can expect to find there. Individual stories may or may nor be sexually explicit.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 428 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 8, 2022

it's the future! and there has been a murrderr! now it is a series of murrderrs! who is killing these people? is it the virtual reality chambers they were all found in? or is it corporate sabotage? we will never know because the investigator is too busy having hot gay sex with the man in charge of the virtual reality chamber company! focus! solve your crimes first, and there will be plenty of time for hot gay sex! you're not listening, are you? you're - you're having hot gay sex again, aren't you? sheesh. in the future, no one listens to good advice.

oh, i forgot - i don't usually cast characters in my head for the movie adaptation while i am reading, but this time i did - enjoy it more with julian sands as toreth and hugo weaving as warrick.let the sexy futuristic times begin! but do watch out for the murrderrer.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,242 followers
December 2, 2019
Think of this as 50 Shades of a Brave New World. It's a dystopian with the main character working as an investigator for the government and his case being a possible corporate espionage situation in a world where corporations are gods.

Yes, it's nothing like reality. Really.

I saw this book being reviewed a lot and was always interested because there was a supposed sociopath that I would love, plus dystopia=fun. But, I was frankly a little disappointed at how un-sociopathic the hero seemed to me. I was even wondering if it was a bad sign that I didn't see it. To me, he was just a slutty guy with an amusing inner monologue. Like Dexter. But, he was often pretty nice to people and never seemed to live up to his whole "torturer personality". So, I wondered: Is it me? Is Jilly a sociopath? Is that why I don't see it, or should I know Jilly is a sociopath because I refer to myself in the third person all too often?
Or is it that I don't know the answer to this question:

Although, to be fair, I did raise a teenage girl. The amount of crying a teenage girl does can desensitize anyone.

So, I was happy later when I finally started noticing some of his sociopathic traits. Plus, he finally tortured someone - although it was pretty mild. I mean, come on, the whole book talks about how he is this massive torturer and we only get one measly mild torture scene towards the end? That was a little bit of a let-down. It's like telling someone that you are going to bring them the best donuts they've ever had and then bringing them a donut hole a week later. Or worse, a pack of those waxy things disguised as donuts at the grocery store. *shudder* No donuts is almost better. Almost.

Yeah. You would definitely learn the meaning of the word torture if I get hold of you after giving me a mayonnaise donut.

The other thing that I didn't really expect when I picked up the book was the BDSM stuff. I don't know how that didn't hit my radar beforehand. I'm not a fan of the BDSM. It's costumes and exercise and tying knots and humiliation... well the exact reasons why I wasn't a fan of the scouts. A lot of work for the chance to be a door to door salesman for a corporate overlord.

Yes, I can't wait to spend my weekends pimping cookies in front of the grocery store. Sounds so much better than reading a book in bed while eating that corn dog.

Still, the book was pretty engaging after I got over all of that. Oh, and the fact that it took a long time to get going, and there were a lot of slow times.... and some of the tech explanations were really boring..... So.... yeah, I am slowly talking myself out of liking it. How did I come away with being all happy to read the next one with all of these problems? Huh. I guess a happy ending really does help make an experience more enjoyable.

I now understand men.
Thank you, internet.
Profile Image for Kat.
940 reviews
December 31, 2018
2015: Reread of my all-time favorite series with Jenna and Lo-Lo, hopefully followed by book 8 (that'll be published in spring) and book 9. Why, hello there, Marcus Toth! ;)

2012: There was NO WAY, I told myself, that I was going to buy the paperbacks after having read all the ebooks for free. But in the end, I simply couldn't resist the awesomeness that's Manna Francis.

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I think that says everything there is to say about The Administration, doesn't it? :)

Please join The Administration Zone if you're a fan (or groupie) of Toreth, Warrick and The Administration series by Manna Francis.
Profile Image for Monique.
1,000 reviews381 followers
November 9, 2012
This is a Science Fiction Dystopian Thriller with a totalitarian regime set in New London some time in the future. Romance...No. Mind Fuck!....that it is. But Excellent never-the-less...


I originally read this book back in September (yes..Only just getting round to review)... My initial thoughts after reading it, 4 stars - well, here I am a month later and....YES, I am still obsessed with these characters! They have a way of getting inside your head and worming their way under your skin. Trying to understand their dysfunctional relationship, well - for me, it is impossible! with more questions than answers - but perhaps that is the appeal? So I am revising it to a 4.5 star read, why not five? a niggle that now seem less important as it has waned into the background with time, a bit like pregnancy, when the final product is so rewarding, the pain is forgotten!

Val Toreth, Senior Para Investigator, of The Investigation and Interrogation Division, is attending a lecture. One in which he has absolutely no interest in at all. The attending lecturer, is Keir Warrick, the Co-Owner of Simtech - a small Company, but it is at the forefront of the new Computer Sim Technology.

On hearing Warricks voice, some impulse calls to him and he WANTS Warrick, this man with dark hair and eyes and the most beautiful mouth! and... what Toreth wants, his arrogance and confidence ensure that he gets! But Warrick is no pushover, he is aware that Toreth is an egotistical bastard and to have any contact with him would be dangerous - Yet, he is intrigued by him and unable to resist!

When a graduate is found dead at Warricks AERC Laboratories and Toreth is given the case. Warricks Sim Programme is implicated as the possible reason for the death, which Warrick vehemently denies is possible, despite the evidence pertaining otherwise. But in Toreth's MIND it is an opportunity to fuck with Warricks MIND....

And so the games begin, and it is a game! They are both like two chess masters, with each player planning their moves to gain the best advantage and control over the opponent, it is all about power! Toreth is an expert at mind games and as an interrogator of the most ruthless kind he needs to be able to recognise weakness, and use his dominance to intimidate, but Warrick - our cool, calm and collected academic is unreadable, he is methodical in his approach to life, overthinks situations so giving up control to a manipulative, killer with no compassion is unthinkable!

I loved these two complicated characters, especially Toreth with his psychotic and tortuous personality, his cocky, sometimes childish, but funny behaviour, he is definitely emotionally immature and selfish, has no regard and is totally oblivious to the feelings of others. He is also a complete man-whore and bastard! and...Warrick, the serious and articulate academic is totally unflustered by all that Toreth throws at him. The dynamics and complexities of both characters are so different yet compelling.... I LOVED IT!

So...my niggle that has taken a backseat in the priority stakes, but at the time I did find frustrating:-

Whilst Toreth was investigating the case he suspects it is "complicated".... well I too had that feeling! There was too much technical stuff, corporate wranglings, lots of "specials" in various fields - admin, administration, departments, files, files and more files...for a section in the middle, poor Toreth seemed to spend all his time reading files!

On a good point, the chemistry and sex between these two was sizzling, as in total - tummy flutters and catch your breath hot! However, this book is not about the sex, it is more to do with the relationship and the investigation, if you are looking for more totally off the charts hot sex, I suggest you read the shorts that are also available free online, of which I am still working my way through slowly - as I want to try and maintain this relationship I am having with Toreth and Warrick a little longer... they are such a treat.

I would also like to thank Lenore for the recommendation, without it I probably would not have read this book and that would have been a travesty..

For more reviews visit... Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
863 reviews231 followers
October 26, 2019
REREAD November 2019

It’s been almost exactly 7 years since I read this originally. I loved this series but never quite embraced book 1. Reading it years later, I’m sad that I didn’t understand what a masterpiece of world-building, character set-up, and true mystery this book is.

In short, I loved it. I did skim some of the detail again, because I already knew the ending. But I could appreciate so many of the Easter eggs the author planted from the very beginning (the mere mention of HELEN had me in shivers, freaking out).

And the tension and connection between Toreth and Warrick was as delicious as I remembered. I’m excited to reread the rest of the series to experience the development and build of their relationship.



*putting on my protective armor* ...ok, now I can write this review w/o fear of death by Goodreads Members' judgement...

Now, contrary to popular belief, I'm not a simpleton who only likes one kind of book and can't appreciate anything else. :) I like (sometimes) reading outside my norm and being entertained w/o the typical boy meets boy, falls in love, has steamy sex in every chapter, and live HEA.

I liked Mind Fuck. I DID! (Well, at least the 50% of it that I didn't skim.) Ha!

Toreth and Warrick are intriguing characters, for certain. I'm not captivated by either and I'm not sold that, w/o all the hype, I'd be interested enough in getting to know more about them. And though I've never been good at science, I think I should be noticing some chemistry between them by now (<-bad joke! ha!), but I actually really haven't. Attraction, yes...but little more.

The world-building, and the slow, methodical description of life under The Administration is interesting. But the story feels familiar. The murder mystery cold have played itself out in half the amount of time.

The last 10% of the book was a wild ride and I actually started to feel something towards Toreth (in his own fear) and Warrick (paranoia pays off). I will, OF COURSE, keep reading. BUT, I want more character development, more interaction between T & W, and more fucking...both mind and other kinds. :)
Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,869 followers
February 25, 2012
"I'm neither. Just interested in the topic, that's all."
"People are generally interested for a reason."
"Of course. It has a bearing on what I do for a living. I fuck minds," Toreth said pleasantly.
"I see."

Kiss the paper-warfare goodbye! Welcome to New London and the world of Val Toreth and Keir Warrick! Oh, yeah, you'll discover the world of hand screens, the Administration (government), SimTech, interactive sim programs, Psychoprogramming, the secretive Mindfuck (Toreth's departmental rivals but they are Administration colleagues), AERC (Artificial Environments Research Center), etc. etc. etc.

After their first meeting at a seminar Toreth didn't lack self-confidence:

"I'd be interested in continuing our conversation later."
"Target acquired," Toreth said, lips barely moving.
Sara laughed. "Room 212, west wing. Pick up the card at the desk as usual.
Toreth smiled, still watching Warrick's retreating back. "You're a star."

BTW, I really liked Sara. She is Toreth's admin.

Senior Para-investigator Val Toreth is working for the Investigation and Interrogation Division. Interrogation is a profession that has certain basic requirements. Primarily, the ability to hurt people, sometimes kill them, and not care. That's something I had a hard time to get into. It's also related to my spoiler.

Val Toreth meets Doctor Keir Warrick at a seminar about computer sim technology. Keir Warrick is one of the leading authorities on the breaking new techniques of fully immersive computer simulations; SimTech is a small corporation, but it's considered the best in the field. Shortly after their meeting, Toreth is assigned to investigate a death at Warrick's corporation.

Warrick does something to Toreth that doesn't happen often. He trapped and humiliated him. And he took away his control. Not good. Val…tsk-tsk… Well, good old Toreth felt unpleasantly out of his depth with the case - technology wasn't his speciality. What can I say? Technology is not my strength either! I feel with you, Val!

Oh, yes, we do like to play games, don't we?

Big assumption from someone who's known me for what, five weeks? I thought scientists were supposed to consider the evidence."
"And the evidence tells me you like to play games. Particular games, at that. Tell me something - how often do you have sex with the same person, on average?"
Warrick ignored the comparison. "You're only interested as long as your target is putting up resistance of some kind - my point exactly."
"You don't exactly play hard to get, Toreth pointed out.
"No." Warrick smiled slightly. "No, I don't, do I?


"Tell me, Para-investigator, do you take pleasure in inflicting pain during interrogations?"
"I-" Toreth blinked. "Not in the way you mean, no. I like to do my work well, whatever it is."
"Mm." Warrick flexed his right shoulder, rubbing the wrist on the same arm, the implication clear: last night you hurt me, and enjoyed it.
Toreth nodded. "Point taken."

Warrick despised Toreth yet he wanted him. Pretty badly. Warrick is the cool guy. At ease. Secure. In control. Toreth is the guy who's totally messed up or should I say fucked up?

The end was always mercifully fast, the unrelenting grip pinning him, forcing his head down. The horror of the water flooding into his lungs and his body's desperate, involuntary reactions.
Choking and vomiting. Unconsciousness follows quickly. Yes, it had. But not quickly enough to avoid leaving the memory, a seed for the nightmare.

Mind Fuck is a rather dark novel. Yes, sometimes I had to laugh but overall it's certainly NOT a fluffy and light read. There's a freakin' lot of technical stuff involved and I can't claim that I loved it. Certain aspects of Mind Fuck remind me of Gennita Low's Virtually His and Virtually Hers which I enjoyed tremendously. Mind Fuck is set in the future though. My main reason for reading this series are Toreth and Warrick. Honestly, I was a wee bit disappointed because I wanted them to spend a lot of time together. Unfortunately they didn't. My GR friend Lenore already told me that the fun will begin when I'll be reading the numerous short stories. Well, thanks Lenore for the heads-up! Mind Fuck is about world-building and introducing well developed characters. Admittedly, I didn't even particularly care about the murder plot. Overall, I liked the story and the characters and right now I'm certainly hooked to tackle the novellas!

I had a WTF moment:

It was unusual for a woman without a registered partner to be granted permission to conceive by the Department of Population. No doubt a psychologist would find it easier to pass the more stringent psych evaluation for solo applicants. Well, hello China!

I already mentioned that I had a hard time to get into this pain/killing aspect of the story. I didn't appreciate it that Toreth

For a freebie it was very good! Give it a try!^__^

If anyone is interested to read Mind Fuck and the novellas please let me know. I can email you the file.
Profile Image for Julio Genao.
Author 9 books2,013 followers
March 3, 2014
As dry as Rubio's mouth.

I have never read a police procedural more procedural than this one.

Picked up towards the end, but by then the exploits of a type A sociopath and a nerd masochist had worn thin. Never mind that the mystery was not at all surprising, and the denouement hinged on the actions of a character operating offstage for all but the first ten and the last ten pages.

Not enough conflict. Way too much discussion.

But! An enjoyably ill-tempered and appallingly malicious Toreth makes for some exciting possibilities.

I'll be reading on.
Profile Image for Penny.
752 reviews216 followers
December 15, 2018
So, I liked it, but I was expecting more.

It was an interesting plot but there was A LOT of investigation. Way too many details for my taste.
I am starting to sound like a broken record, but I missed more of the characters relationship.

I loved Toreth and Warrick, they are great characters, very interesting and smart. I just wished there have been more moments with the two of them and less investigating. I wanted more struggle and emotions between them.

It's funny that we are getting exactly what I missed here in the short-stories and novellas of this series. I have only read a few so far, but I am enjoying them very very much, better than Mind Fuck. They show us Warrick and Toreth, their relationship and their lives. There are feelings, internal turmoils and all the emotional problems that I love so much.

I will continue this series, there is just too much left to see of their relationship.

My reviews of The Administration series’ books:
Book 1: Mind Fuck - 3 Stars
Book 2: Quid Pro Quo
Book 2.1: Unlucky Break - 2 Stars
Book 2.2: Friday - 3 Stars
Book 2.3: Pancakes - 5 Stars
Book 2.4: Surprises - 4 Stars
Book 2.5: Family - 4 Stars
Book 2.6: Mirror Mirror - 4 Stars
Book 3: Games & Players - 5 Stars
Book 3.1: Game, Set - 4 Stars
Book 3.2: As Long As It Lasted - 3 Stars
Book 3.3:Fuck of the Day - 3 Stars
Book 3.4: Wine, Women and Cushions - 2 Stars
Book 3.5: Playing with Fire - 5 Stars
Book 3.6: All Work and no Play - 3 Stars
Book 3.7: Gee - 2 Stars
Book 3.8:Shopping & Fucking - 5 Stars
Book 3.9: Pool School - 3 Stars
Book 3.95: Without the Game - 4 Stars
Book 4: Control - 4 Stars
Book 4.2: Wait For It - 4 Stars
Book 4.3: Caged - 5 Stars
Book 4.4: Unaccustomed as I Am... - 3 Stars
Book 4.5: Helen - 4 Stars
Book 4.6: Shopping, No Fucking - 4 Stars
Book 4.7: Losing It - 4 Stars
Book 4.8: Coming from America
Book 5: Quis Custodiet - 3.5 Stars
Book 5.2: Gratuitous Kink - 4 Stars
Book 5.3: Then and Now - 4 Stars
Book 5.4: Friends in the Right Places - 2 Stars
Book 5.5: Smoke & Cameras - 4 Stars
Book 5.6: Sunday - 3 Stars
Book 6: First Against the Wall - 4 Stars
Book 7: For Certain Values
Book 7.1: Family Values
Book 7.2: Boy's Toys - 3 Stars
Book 7.3: Make it a Surprise
Book 7.4: Prodigal
Book 8: Blood & Circuses
Book 9: Corpora Delicti
Gratuitous Epilogue
Profile Image for Kaje Harper.
Author 76 books2,537 followers
September 30, 2021
In this well-built dystopian world, Val Toreth treats his work like any other job. Come in, torture someone into a confession, go home, eat dinner, maybe find someone for sex. Despite a mild affection for his assistant, Sara, Toreth is a sociopath who has found a niche in intelligence work, hunting down dissidents and other enemies of the state, and coercing them into betraying their fellows. Which makes him an unlikely MC for a romance. (Although we are told, far more than shown, him working on prisoners, leaving room for us to keep "torturer" as a description and not really feel that aspect of his personality in depth.)

Then a new case appears. When a second person dies while using a new virtual-reality technology his department is very interested in, Toreth is assigned to investigate. And the tech genius behind the simulation program - Kier Warrick - turns out to be just as interesting and enigmatic as the murder case, which has not a shred of evidence to go on, not even proof it is murder.

Warrick is a man who loves his creation, but he wants the sim to be used for pleasure and recreation, not to be taken by the government to create virtual reality traps and tortures for better oppressing dissidents. He's working hard to keep the company so valuable in the commercial sphere that the government can't afford it. He needs the sim to be vindicated as safe.

Warrick is also a very astute man, and a masochist. Meeting Toreth sparks his sexual interest, because who better to apply pain and fear as an adjunct to sex than a man whose job is the application of very carefully calculated pain and fear? Toreth is also gorgeous, interested, and at least temporarily on the same side. They both want to figure out who or what killed two people while using the sim, events which could end Warrick's hopes of getting his baby into production safely.

So they dance around each other, both inside the safe virtual reality of the sim where Warrick holds all the power, and outside it where Toreth can inflict real pain and real peril. They're fascinated with each other, and come to trust each other, more deeply than they perhaps realize. And when a third death occurs, the mystery and the danger move closer to home for both of them.

There are a few slower moments in the first half of this story, particularly in the levels of politics, which I didn't care enough about to really get a clear picture of. But it picks up in the second half, with both the relationship and the mystery gaining steam. There is one mildly TSTL moment but perhaps the guilty part was not as obvious a suspect person as it seemed to me, and the fall-out of that moment was limited. Other than that the mystery resolution was twisty and satisfying, the peril and connection between Toreth and Warrick kept me reading, and the HFN ending was solid.

I will continue to read this series, to see if these guys can find any kind of deeper common ground, and also to see what happens if Toreth actually develops a genuine human connection. In this book, he uses sex as currency, and as a tool, and what he is doing with Warrick goes deeper, but doesn't yet really touch his emotions. It's still an open question if anything really can liberate genuine emotion in Val Toreth. But I'll enjoy watching the author try.
Profile Image for Ingie.
1,357 reviews168 followers
February 3, 2014
Written November 13, 2014

4 Stars - to a hard-boiled crime thriller in a pretty scary future - cruel but also beautiful

What was this?? So darn complicated, at times lengthy and too little romance, steam, emotions, etc. - but I'm totally hooked.
I feel "mindfucked"...


A somewhat delated review November 13, 2013

Mind Fuck is a pretty daunting described prelude to a long series with lots of free short stories and novellas. This first full-length book was not easy to get through (...for me). But it was all worthwhile for what comes after (the short stories, etc.) is so amazing good with a lot of (sometimes very kinky) steam and a great strange "love story".

The Administration series is about Val Toreth, a para-investigator from Investigation & Interrogation Division and Keir Warrick, a corporate director on SimTech.

Everything is set in a dark future New London where society is controlled in a rather dictatorial, tough and controlling ways by a almighty totalitarian bureaucracy called The Administration. Authorities have great power and Toreth is one of its employees to ensure that regulations and rules are observed. The methods are cruel torture and executions without democratic trial that made me think of my childhood fears, the former Soviet Union with the horrible KGB and the old East Germany (DDR), a state that almost brainwashed people. ~ Most preferably, I would like to completely forget what one of the main character, Toreth (sometimes almost a callous sociopath...) do during his working hours.

Warrick's corporation SimTech, is developing a "sim" system that places users in a fully immersive virtual reality. With two unexplained deaths associated with the use of the sim technology, gets the investigator Toreth and his team the task of resolving the issue. Toreth and Warrick meet for the first time.

This first novel, Mind Fuck, is here after most about the (murder?) investigation - and it's a good story with a well thought out crime puzzle - but it also begins to heat up between these two men. There is a power struggle between two very strong men of high integrity but also trilling hot attraction, inexplicable feelings, almost friendship and strong needs.

The game between Toreth and Warrick is intense, quite callous and often rough. Maybe it isn't BDSM, but it's tough masculine sex. Some big beautiful declarations of love will probably be a while before we get to hear from these men.

Whatever you can say about Toreth; he is also a charming self-absorbed (horny) guy. I can hardly help but like (start to love...) him. Our second charmer Warrick however, was a little harder to grasp, but he is after all, the hero of this story. I would love to visit his amazing sim. While I also have a motherly need to urge him to be careful...

I must admit I was a little bored at times, I was upset about Toreth because he can be a really crappy guy and it was difficult to understand all about the new (sim) technology and all the details in the murder investigation. But above all and most importantly I wanted so badly to have some more scenes (there was a few but not enogh...) with the two main characters in the same room.

I have read hundreds of homicide / thriller novels in the last 15 years, so based on that experience, is this a very good and well-made slightly screwed crime story. This dystopian dark world is exciting to know and the investigation was very well described, etc.

....BUT... I would have liked to seen a little more of the romance part, but as so many experienced TA readers says - it comes later, and then it will be so good reading for a romantic MM lover like me.

I'm impressed - Mind Fuck is a very good start and these characters are two unusual strange romance heroes. Toreth and Warrick are for sure two very diverse men and not that easy to love, like and enjoy always. It will be so exciting and interesting to follow their so far quite callous but highly hot and steamy relationship.


Will they be a sweet M/M couple and tender lovebirds in the end? Maybe not, but this romantic lady hope, now as always, on a future big beautiful happiness and a grand HEA for these guys.


I LIKE - yes absolutely and I look forward to the next parts with more steam and romance


I now follow this series here: The Administration (my reviews etc) and I will write some reviews for one or another of the short stories in the series where after I read them.

This great series is in most parts free to read. Go and check: http://www.mannazone.org/zone/admin/i....
Profile Image for Laura.
1,401 reviews209 followers
September 2, 2022

I fell hard for Mind Fuck. Pretty much at word one. This world lured and pulled at me with beautiful writing, atmosphere, tension and power. POWER! Ideas and questions concerning control, pain, pleasure, politics, emotion, and reality are all tangled and twisted together on the page and in my head. What’s real? Who do we trust? Can we even trust what we see? Maybe the only thing to trust is emotion—the one thing we try the hardest to hide and ignore in a world that can twist our wants and desires into weapons or games. But games can often turn into something much more. More dangerous. More addictive. More passionate. Just….more!

”It was the discomfort, undeniably actual, that tore away the last of the cocooning sense of unreality, twisting his nerves to a higher pitch of arousal. He was really here, really alone with this dangerous, desirable man who knew how to hurt, how to kill, how to take whatever he wanted without hesitation or compassion. Now he was wriggling, wanting more, forgetting to fight.”

Meet Val Toreth and Keir Warrick. Opposites that fit and complement each other so deeply and perfectly. Their energy and personalities click into place in a way that I cannot even begin to define. I can’t find the words to explain what their push & pull relationship brings out in me. The questions I find myself asking. The way they make me wonder about the world around me. They constantly keep me guessing and surprised. Hell, they don’t even realize the hold they have on each other. Toreth and Warrick had my full attention from the very first time they met—BOOM! As soon as Warrick guessed Toreth’s profession, which made Toreth’s smile and delight shine—I was all in! Right there. Game on! By the way, delight on Toreth is gorgeous. :)

Sometimes I can see these men so clearly. In the room with me. I can see Toreth maneuver through an investigation. See Warrick’s control slip and shudder. Characters so alive and full of contradictions and masks and emotions. The trust and need they show for each other already here in book one is so risky and beautiful to see. I can’t get enough.

Toreth and Warrick and the whole Manna Francis Mind Fuck world will have you on the edge of your seat waiting and wanting and hoping.

Read this book.

**Re-read Jan. 2015**
Re-read 2022
Profile Image for * A Reader Obsessed *.
2,212 reviews455 followers
June 7, 2017
3.5 Stars

Set in a distant, dystopian future, a somewhat chance meeting throws two strangers together. Naturally feared investigator/interrogator Toreth is intrigued with Warrick's genius, as he touts the amazing ability of his sim technology. Sparks fly and thus a competitive game of sexual dominance begins, as each vie for control in and out of the bedroom.

Warrick's amazing invention of course, is highly sought after, and this makes him and his company a target. Soon, these two are pitted against each other, as Toreth is tasked with investigating several murders that surround his new sexual partner.

By no means is this a flowery romance, as their relationship mostly takes a backseat with nary a declaration of "love", or really, "like". Taut, dense, descriptive - this is a murder mystery that delves heavily into corporate espionage and conspiracies. Each man is desperate for answers - one to save face and his life's work, the other to spur his career and notoriety. As each revelation is discovered, it becomes clear the truth was never meant to be known. Toreth and Warrick have some tough decisions to make - can they count on the other when the natural inclination is to betray for self preservation??

This doesn't shirk on the world building involving the advancements in technology and medicine, nor is it simplistic in political intrigue and bureaucratic backstabbing. Though many lengths are taken to ensure law and order, what will be the ultimate end game or price paid to guarantee society's safety? Definitely intriguing on all fronts as harsh truths are laid bare. Toreth and Warrick discover they have no one but the other to rely on - a realization that will hopefully be the stepping stone to something quite beautiful for their hard fought future.
Profile Image for Shelley.
395 reviews493 followers
March 19, 2013
3.5 Stars. Not what I expected and more than I anticipated.

I’m not sure what I expected but either way I’ve come out the other side with more questions than answers, and not because I skimmed, I held off the skimming and paid attention I promise.

There are masses of technical futuristic administrative procedures or protocol, investigations and interrogation, Sim machine technology, analysis, bio-chemistry and fuck knows what else to wrap your head around – a mind fuck indeed.
If that wasn’t enough to confuddle the brain, the author throws in a, who-done-it murder mystery that might or might not involve a multitude of corporate entities you need to know about. – Exhausting!

There is no doubt in my mind that the author has some serious smarts, the lady is damn clever and I have to admire the ingenious world building and structure of this futuristic world – Brilliant genius stuff, even if it was just a trifle boring in places.

I sit on the fence with our two protagonists Torreth and Warrick or rather, I’m trying to. I need an immunisation shot to keep these guys from getting under my skin; I don’t want them there!

My god NO! I won't survive it.

Torreth has the ability to boil my blood with his self-centred borderline sociopathic personality, and I just KNOW he is going to rip my heart out and stomp all over it with his malicious must have promiscuous logic. He is dangerous and cunning and dear lord help me, I have no will power with a man like this - he is such a turn on, and I am weak and pathetic and totally done for.

Warrick didn’t get enough page time in this book, but I like him. ..a lot. I need so much more of him, he intrigues and fascinates me and I love his cunning intelligence that he uses against Torreth and well, everyone really. Mostly I feel admirable respect for Warrick right now, he is no push over and see’s Torreth for what he is (I hope).
^^^This could be a problem for me; I have a massive soft spot for the good guy, and I foresee Warrick having the potential to evoke the ugly snotty crying that Vadim (SF) and Hsin/Boyd (ICoS) caused me.

Has Torreth met his match with Warrick? God I hope so! I want more of the crazy kinky sex games these two play; it’s certainly enough to have me reading more.

So onward, with my heart wrapped in Kevlar…oh bollocks who am kidding, it’s more like cotton candy.
Profile Image for Christina.
754 reviews123 followers
March 20, 2017
4.5 Stars

First off, what a perfectly fitting title. The plot was fascinating and intriguing. A mystery that had everything rolled up into one amazing book: suspense, political intrigue, deception, head games, sex.

It's set in the dystopia future of New London where totalitarianism is in full force. Val Toreth is a para-investigator for the Investigation and Interrogation Division under "The Administration." He does his job without regret. He's manipulative, promiscuous, ruthless, has no conscience, and trusts no one. A borderline sociopath who can be scary as hell. He's someone that can torture a witness and within the next 10 minutes he's humming a happy little tune.

Keir Warrick is part owner of SimTech, a company whose developed a virtual reality "sim". A sim that everyone wants a piece of. Warrick is a man who is articulate, polite, and meticulous to the point of obsession. He also has a need to be in complete control, at least most of the time. This makes an utterly SEXY combination.

On the surface, this is who Toreth and Warrick are but what's underneath is a whole different story. So who has the control? I love the tug of war they play with each other. They had me completely guessing and in all honestly I still haven't made up my mind what to think of them.

A murder at SimTech brings these two men together. This is where the games begin. There is always a power struggle, whether it's between Toreth and Warrick or Corporate vs. Administration or the many other antagonist introduced in the book. Of course the games between Warrick and Toreth are hands down my favorite. They knew exactly how to play each other and it was amazing to watch. These two are such a perfect match in every way, intellectually and sexually. They go at it blow for blow. I'm so curious to see what happens with them.

My only complaint is that midway through I thought some of the suspect interviews dragged on a bit. This didn't deter me from the book but I wanted to see a bit more of Warrick.

Be warned, this is not a romance. Yes, Toreth and Warrick are hot but the book does not soley revolve around their relationship. This is first and foremost a story of intrigue and power struggle.

Had to add this because it sums up so much and I love the quote:

Re-read (January 2015) - My original review still stands. I loved reading this even more this time around. I was able to let go of all the names and who did what and concentrate on the nuances of the characters.

Re-read (March 2017) - My original review still stands.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,981 followers
April 20, 2013
"I fuck minds," Toreth said pleasantly.

Hrrrmmm...mixed feelings. I think I set my expectations too high and didn't quite get there. For reasons completely unknown, I thought I was going to be reading a harder-edged sci-fi. Don't ask me why. I almost figured that I was going to be getting the sci-fi version of Psy-Cop. Maybe it's because of the simulation part of the story, which I thought would be more of a focus.

Truth be told, I would have preferred more of a sci-fi bent. My favorite parts of this mind-fuckery were scenes which took place in the sim, along with some of the Warrick/Torreth interactions.

I'm not one to enjoy reading about corporate posturing and mysteries plopped down in the middle of another story. So much of the random chatter was skim-worthy. Business sabotage - eh. Investigations - yawn. I wanted more of the power struggle between the two male leads and more sim time.

Okay, so I wouldn't quite go that far. It wasn't all boring. There were exciting parts here and there. I did finish, after all.

This is the type of stuff that makes me want to read :
He could still be inside (the sim) and he would have no way of knowing.

So, okay, the sim did tie into the whole investigation going on, but I still felt like so much of the conversations were drawn out.

The steam was so-so. I think the point was more about observing the power play, instead of getting our rocks off, and that's fine. As mentioned before, I liked the scenes with the male leads.

Will I read book 2? Maybe at some point. We'll see. I can't tell if this was a case of there being more groundwork in book 1 or not. I'd have to know if things pick up from here on before deciding whether or not to continue. There were some good ideas here, so I am curious to know how it all plays out.
Just a game. A game for which there was so much scope in the sim, where it would leave no bruises.
Profile Image for Sofia.
1,179 reviews213 followers
March 28, 2015

I like:

<> the writing although it did bog down sometimes.

<> the idea, the mystery, the possibilities

<> the characters - I like the possibility of exploring these two.

Curious enough to wonder where they will go. Like that it was not flowers and strawberries from the word go. Hell at this point there is not even the whiff of a flower. Toreth will turn out to be an extremely rare exotic flower whose petals open in very, very slow motion.

Unsure about the rating as this is a start and not a start&finish. So I'm starting with 3 stars and then we'll see.

BR with IRA - let's see about the next one :)
Profile Image for LD  Durham.
334 reviews34 followers
February 7, 2008
This is, by far, the most enjoyable, addictive, and amazing story that I have ever come across in all my readings. And Manna Francis is one of the greatest storytellers.

Mind Fuck has an incredibly intelligent plot. It plays out like a sci-fi mystery blockbuster with sex added in. Manna’s voice is so clear, so focused in telling the tale, that I could see the story unfold before my eyes. The mystery in it is good. It is multi-layered and clever. Toreth puts things together slowly, with small breaks in the case and with tiny pieces of dumb luck.

The technology used in this book, the setting, and the people, are all portrayed realistically and believably. Not once was I ever left questioning anything. From IIP forms that were annoying and needed to be filed and yet never looked at by superiors, to a world with CEOs needing to know self-defense from threat of corporate kidnappings. Manna knew her world and she made me know it, too.

What makes this book so addictive are the characters. The main characters, Warrick and Toreth, are absolutely enthralling. They are characters that cement the story and make it perfect. And the sex scenes between them are not only hot, but important to the story as well. There is nothing gratuitous in or about the sex scenes. They are there to fully flesh out the characters and the way they relate to each other on one level, while their discussions and arguments show how they relate on another. The reader should know that the sex is very D/s, with tiny shadows of S&M. I’m not into S&M, but in this, the light touches of it only heighten the D/s and make it hot, make it real. Which is exactly what Warrick is looking for.

I recommend this book for any reader who enjoys a gripping story, a story that is intelligently written, and with characters that make you believe they are alive somewhere. This is not a book you can read in one sunny afternoon. Expect many days of trying to squeeze in as many sentences between phone calls, work, dishes, and appointments. And expect that Toreth and Warrick won’t disappear once the book ends.

Big cheers to Casperian Books for having the foresight to pick this book and its series up. They seemed to have treated both the author and her material with respect and their work is quality. I will definitely be paying more attention to them as a publisher and getting more of their books. Excellent work.

For more review of this book, see Top & Bottom Book Review
Profile Image for Irina Elena.
677 reviews170 followers
March 15, 2017
Well, this was a surprise.
Five stars not because it's perfect, but because it's bloody good and it's got me hooked; not all perfect novels manage to hook me, if that makes any sense, so I think this is enough merit to warrant top marks.

Dry, clever, twisted and a little bit violent; every part of this is a delight of its own, starting with the writing - neat, stark, simple but detailed - and ending with the crime and its investigation, which weren't that hard to guess but were developed wonderfully, ending in a very surprising, dynamic and exciting way.
tbh, I can't say I know the characters very well now that the book is over: I get Toreth's manipulative, sadistic ways, but his past is a mystery, while Warrick is a tightly closed little package of brains and the completely unknown. But this only gives me one more push in the right direction - towards the rest of the series.

Don't read this because it's about (hypothetical - or not?) corporate sabotage, because it's the beginning of a sick and tangled pseudo-romantic relationship or because it's free; read it because it's quality stuff, and worth every minute you'll spend reading it.
I feel like I just sold my soul to the devil - I know all I'm going to do for the next weeks is read about and obsess over Toreth and Warrick, instead of doing things like, I don't know, studying.
Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,858 followers
October 4, 2019
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Unsure Of My Feelings*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

This one took me a while to finish, days in fact (I stopped and picked it up between days so I don't remember which day I started the book, I'm guessing). Truthfully, I struggled a bit to liking it, to fully get into it and to connecting with the characters. I was confused most of the times and the mystery was quite obvious that I had it figured out almost right away. Also, I had no idea how to write a blurb that isn't a blurb because I have no idea how to explain anything. It wasn't bad per se, but it was far from great and I wanted more depth.

The book centers around Senior Para-investigator of the Investigation and Interrogation Division, Valantin ‘Val’ Toreth (32) who gets the case 0f a death that might have a connection to a previous death of someone “important”. And the scene of the “crime” happened at SimTech; a small corporation, but it was considered the best in the field on new techniques of fully immersive computer simulations. The head of the minor corporation (SimTech), Doctor Keir Warrick, truly believes in the SimTech. Even shows Toreth how it works. Through quite some sexual scenes. Can this case make or break Toreth's and Warrick's careers?

Overall, as I said, for the most part, I was confused. The were a lot of technology and information overload that made my head spin. I had to make the character list, not for enjoyment's sake, but to make it easier to remember who's who and what. Though the concept was quite interesting: dystopian theme with M/M isn't something I've read a lot off, but it's something I want more off. So of course I was interested. I knew going it that it would be a lot of information and technology, so at least I was a bit prepared. However, I expected to like the characters more. I'm not much a fan of BDSM. I like domination and submission where you know who's the top and who's the bottom, but I'm not all that into pain.

While it wasn't much pain per se, the BDSM (it wasn't heavy or anything) part made me a bit disconnected. It's not my scene. I have a feeling that this is why I didn't fully connect with the character themselves. Their roles in who's the dom and who's the sub just didn't fit for me. Might have been different if the had switched? Also, there's barely any emotions in the book at all. This is not something I liked. I need to feel what the characters feel, and that's a bit hard when they barely feel at all. It just felt like I was on the outside looking in. That being said, concept was interesting, but the characters were disconnected to me and the plot was obvious and predictable.

Other Characters:
The list is long and quite a mess, so I put it in a spoilers tag.

Quick basic facts:
Genre: - (Adult) Science Fiction/Dystopia Romance (M/M).
Series: - Series, Book One.
Love triangle? -
Cheating? -
HEA? -
Favorite character? - A mix between the two main character.
Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Unsure.
Would I recommend this book/series? -Unsure.
Will I read this again in the future? - Most likely not.
Rating - 3 (?) stars.
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,652 reviews215 followers
October 30, 2015
My feelings were all over the place while reading this. The dry, very detailed investigation didn't make me love this very much.

On the other had, this book made me root for a complete high functioning sociopath! It's insane just how badly I wanted Toreth to solve everything. It simply has to count. He never does anything nice during the investigation. He is selfish and more than once he does something an ordinary person wouldn’t do.
The other reason why I loved this are those very rare scenes where Toreth is with Keir Warrick. I guess it's possible that how hot these scenes are has a lot to do with how rare they are. Their let's call it relationship for the lack of a better word is fascinating. You can't tell who is in charge!

It seems that my feelings are still all over the place. I think the resolution was too easy, but I honestly don't care. I still can't find a coherent reason to explain why I liked this story. Well, apart from my questionable taste in fictional investigators.

It's just one of those books.
Profile Image for Emanuela ~plastic duck~.
805 reviews117 followers
May 25, 2011
This book fulfils every expectations I had and my wildest dreams as a reader.

The world building is amazing. I've been loving dystopian books since when I read Brave New World and 1984 as a student. In this book society is under the control of the Administration. Politics and bureaucracy are on one side, corporations are on the other side. Dissenting people are re-habilitated with a process that enters and changes their minds. Interrogation is a part of the investigation that breaks the will of the guilty or the witness through methods that go from pure psychological intimidation, to pharmaceutical intervention and in the worst cases pure torture.

Toreth is a para-investigator: an investigator and interrogator all wrapped up into a very intriguing package. I hope you don't think less of me for liking a character that is probably so wrong on many levels. Toreth is so wonderfully complicated, almost casual in his ruthlessness, I'd say a sociopathic manipulator in good faith and he has an unbearably sexy dominant side. The attraction that leads to his sex relationship with Warrick, the director of SimTech, is something that you don’t know if you want to encourage or make it stop throughout the book.

At the beginning I thought the two men were very different, but I'm not so sure now. During their interaction through the long investigation they were both in control: Toreth, because of his role as investigator and his natural predator instinct that made him recognize Warrick’s desire to relish sexual control; Warrick, because of the single minded way in which he tried to protect his company handing down information to Toreth at his own terms.

I think that doctor Tanit, the psychologist, probably told the truth about them both and showed how flawed they both are. Warrick is completely absorbed in the Sim, probably overlooking the dangers of his creation, which is a manifestation of his desire to control everything. Toreth has no moral sense, absolutely none. Saying that his behaviour is questionable is really an understatement and I don't mean in his relationship with Warrick, who submits willingly to Toreth mind games, but especially in the way he treats one of the guys in his team. When doctor Tanit tries to warn Warrick of Toreth's manipulation, I found myself still trying to dismiss her concerns, but from that point on what Toreth does is just a confirmation of her thoughts. Toreth is such a fascinating man that you don’t want to see his icy core: you want to think that it's passion, but it's only lust. Toreth and Warrick seduce each other in a sense and it's hard to tell if it's attraction sparked by a more intimate feeling, or simply a challenge.

There's nothing romantic in this book, apart from what we want to believe there is, because Toreth keeps going back to Warrick and it must mean something. Right?
Profile Image for Jenni.
255 reviews39 followers
August 15, 2013
So many positive reviews have been written about Mind Fuck; copy and paste them all here, because yeah, me too.

This book was amazing. The story, the world-building, the dialog, the main characters, the secondary characters, the detail: nothing is wasted here.

Every interaction between Toreth and Warrick was like an intricate ballet. Each partner knows their move, and they work with and around each other to become this one thing, this one perfect dance. It's what every scene with these two felt like. It was poetry, and I was always left desperate for more when they walked away from one another.

About Toreth: he's made to be this ruthless, fearless, intimidating Para-investigator, but to me he's a lonely man who uses others to make himself feel. I see that he cares, and he starts to see it in himself, too, especially when push comes to shove toward the end of the book:

"Back to Warrick again, to the feel of him, the taste of blood on his lips…"

Those are the thoughts of a man reflecting on all he has to lose.

And Warrick, this (ultimately) submissive man, who's so powerful, and who believes so deeply in his company and its technology.

Put Toreth and Warrick together, and task them with solving a mystery whose outcome could, no will, change their lives and we have...sparks, electricity, FIREWORKS.

"One more question, if you have the time."
"Of course."
Letting the door swing closed, Toreth strolled back across the office and leaned against Warrick's desk.
"Do you deep throat?"

Do you feel that? Do you?!
Ahh, I nearly passed out reading those words, it's true...

Seems like people either really love Mind Fuck, were a little bored by it, or they hated it.

Stick me in the "loved it" category, with bells on.

Profile Image for LenaRibka.
1,436 reviews418 followers
November 21, 2014

There are already so many positive reviews about this book, that I just want to join them (it is the easiest way to say I like this book ;)

What I liked:

Suspense-mystery. It is a well done science fiction thriller and it had my attention from the beginning up to the end.

The main characters. They are interesting because they are not just good or bad, they are complex and multi-layered and NOT even a bit tiny boring.

The writing was excellent with a lot of attention to details that in some books could be annoying but not here. It was exactly the right way to introduce us The Administration, what it is and how it works.

To tell the truth, I expected it to be much more darker and much more mund-fucker.
Of course it is far from the light erotica and a sweet story but it is not THAT extremely dark and there was not a lot of sex scenes, but the mixture of sexual tension and mystery was very close to ideal.

I don't need to tell that I'm in, do I?
Profile Image for Lenore.
596 reviews374 followers
February 19, 2012
Great world-building, style and plot line and two amazingly well-developed main characters.
I had some small issues with the POVs and Toreth's aquaphobia but I enjoyed this too much to complain.
Profile Image for Renée.
1,058 reviews330 followers
May 11, 2021

There have been a few books released since I read this series. Let's see if I still enjoy it.

Yes - I still liked this. On to Book 2!
Profile Image for Elizabetta.
1,224 reviews34 followers
February 2, 2015
Corporate sabotage. Murder. Virtual sex. Some real sex. Power-play mindfuckery.

Futuristic brain-orgasmo-tronic tomfoolery.

I was up and down and over and under with this book but in the end it's all about Val Toreth and Kier Warrick.

Guys who use sex as recreational unwinding after a long day at the office. Booty calls with no strings attached. A hardwired jockeying for dominance that makes the game for these two. They are worthy opponents thrumming on a constant thread of tension. These are not good guys, not in our world anyway. Toreth and Warrick are ruthless in their pursuits in and out of the virtual or RL bedroom. They are intertwined in their search for a ruthless killer, they are made for each other.

So, this isn’t a romance. It’s a chilled-out look at a chilling dystopia where mindfuckery is par for the course. Where perps can be tortured and drugged into submission. Where sex is stripped down to pure sensation in sim-chambers without all the muss and fuss, without the post-orgasmic messiness. Where a simulation device that can promise anything can mean big bucks and control of the masses.

I found the concept brilliant and the men fascinating. What I love is that Toreth and Warrick don't change each other or for each other. Theirs is a morally questionable sexual sparring-dance and rub a groove that takes second place only to the crimes at hand. Anything for release at work or at play, sim or RL. Manna Francis invents the perfect setting for these gems. Where the story takes a hit is that the murder investigation overwhelms the unfolding relationship. But I can fully appreciate the crafting of this frightening world they exist and thrive in.

Did I like this?… very much so. Will I ever read it again?… more than likely not. But a big yes to moving on to the short sequels, apparently that’s where the real fun begins.
Profile Image for Steelwhisper.
Author 5 books403 followers
December 15, 2014
Here my impression of Warrick and Toreth (spoilered for being a picture)...

This was a drag to read, and is difficult to rate. I'm undecided between 2* (it's okay) and 3* (I liked it). At the moment I rate this 2.5* and round it up for its voice, though I may change this yet depending on further stories in that 'verse.

The prose and technical writing skills were pretty much impeccable and quite impressive. Unfortunately that's about the only thing I really enjoyed. Else I was rather thoroughly bored, I'm afraid.

Even though both characters came across in sufficient detail, neither of them attracted me, nor was either of them interesting. Toreth was a sociopath without any inner conflict. Warrick, as a version of the ethically challenged corporate nerd with a penchant for rough sex, also bored me no end. Their to and fro was rather exasperating, and felt like something I've read and seen a few times too often.

I'd have forgiven that, in view of the pleasing prose, had the story drawn me in. However, no such luck. Like the characters it was something which felt as if I'd already seen or read it before. The ending was obvious after the first few chapters, there were no surprises or twists. Instead it took its pre-destined course, dragging a lot in the middle.

Given all these favourable reviews and high ratings I expected a far more inventive plot and worldbuilding. Maybe I'm too cynical, but it's just current CIA and NSA realities warmed up with a few minor twists, which already are halfway there if you read technical journals. Or watched dystopian movies (this being at the moment an "Equilibrium" rather than a "Gattaca" or "1984").

However, the technical skills and prose of this author persuade me into reading a few more stories.
January 16, 2013

This was a deep, complicated heavy read for me. Not at all what I was expecting when I started to read. Primarily it was a mystery, who-done-it, wrapped around a world-building, emotional thrill ride where the true focus is on rather dysfunctional (emotionally) characters. There has already been much said about the main characters who are quite complex and are being rolled out and developed, I believe, in the next books. I find Toreth to be fascinating. What an arrogant bastard with the conscience of a child...great combination, but he's more than that too. I'm looking forward to reading more of his character as well as Warrick. In fact, Warrick may fascinate me more because it just feels like there is still a lot to learn about him, he was very reserved throughout this story. Good sexual tension and a hope for more to come.

Manna's writing was well paced, if not a little slow in the beginning. Her development and release of Toreth's twisted sense of humor was very well done. Also, she gave an interestingly sparse but clear vision of this dystopian world of New London. I often felt very in the moment. Although the psycho elements were difficult at times for me to keep up with I was very comfortable in the settings and world in general. I appreciate that when a subject matter is complex an author doesn't muck it up more with surroundings that unnecessarily complicate the experience.

I'm moving right on to the next Manna story.


Take a look at my Male/Male Romance Book Blog:


Profile Image for Danny Tyran.
Author 21 books183 followers
August 13, 2019
I'm surprised to see so many five stars for this book. This is not a bad book, but the investigation is endless, sex scenes are nonexistent except for one at the beginning. Yes, the description of the research center about virtual reality is convincing, as well as all corporate and political maneuverings. That remembered me events of my own corporate history. Even the disappearance of the most beautiful plants to decorate offices set in anticipation of the arrival of someone important reminded me of something I experienced. The author is obviously accustomed to bickering in offices and all the problems it can cause.
But, that said, it is boring for two-thirds of the novel. I guessed the involvement of the psychiatrist almost from its appearance in the story. I would have read the first 60 pages and the last 60, I would have given 5 stars to the much shorter novel. The author should have condense the central part of the book. And, as I said to a Goodreads friend, I, who is looking for hardcore, hoped to find it in this book since one of the main characters (Toreth) is a professional torturer, but when he interrogated the psychiatrist, he administered a drug that makes her confess everything. Disappointing. Is the book 2 better? I am not sure that I will pay to read it now.
Profile Image for Anna (Bananas).
393 reviews
May 24, 2013
There was potential at first but this didn't deliver for me. The world wasn't that compelling or original, the torture wasn't visceral or exciting or hell, even on screen, the plot was dull and dragged, and I felt nothing for the characters. It wasn't awful. I know that's not a glowing recommendation, but it's the best I can say.
My biggest issue is the lack of heat between the characters. The sex scenes were fine, but there was no real connection between Warrick and Toreth. No affection or compatability or development of their relationship. How am I supposed to care about these two?
The most touching part for me was the relationship between Toreth and Sara. I saw a brief glimpse of life in Toreth.
I'll read more of this series, but only because I've been told the short stories are a lot of fun. I thought this would be more intense, more violent, more sexy. I was expecting an experience.
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