Blue Ruin 4: Need You Tonight by Katrina Strauss

Blue’s summer is heating up in more ways than one. When he befriends Dusty Sterling, he sees the opportunity to give his master Derek their first true threesome. But first, Blue must meet a requirement issued by Derek.

Derek is content with Blue as his exclusive lover, but when offered the chance to bring the beautiful Dusty into their bedroom, Derek’s definitely tempted. He agrees to Blue’s idea under one condition – it’s Blue who must seduce Dusty.

Blind since birth, Dusty is proud, independent, and knows what – and who – he wants. In need of temporary shelter, he accepts an offer to stay with Derek and Blue. The fact that he finds them both attractive doesn’t hurt, but Dusty must let his hosts in on a secret – his unique and sometimes frightening way of “seeing.”

When Dusty’s nightmares reflect a pair of real-life murders, Blue uses his connections with the police to bring Dusty in on the case. The friends grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, but their bond will truly be tested by the evil that lurks in plain sight.

In her most recent book in the Blue Ruin series, Blue Ruin 4: Need You Tonight, Katrina Strauss resumes the storyline she first introduced in Blue Ruin 2: Close to Me. Cameron Carter, Blue’s high school nemesis and now friend with benefits is back to testify along with Blue against their attempted murderer Zachary Smith. But Blue is uneasy about his testimony because he’s not convinced that Zachary is responsible for all the murders as the Maple Street Killer.

Hounded by the media and with Derek and their friend Jodi posing as decoys Blue and Cameron escape to a posh hotel room to hide out while the media frenzy surrounding the case dies down. They haven’t been alone together in a while and things quickly heat up between the two. Cameron still wants a relationship with Blue but Blue’s love and commitment to Derek forces a decision that will finally resolve tensions with Cameron and Derek.

Things eventually do settle down and Derek and Blue get back to their version of normal. Blue and Jodi are now students in cosmetology school and spending much time together and with their friend April. With everything that Derek and Blue have been through their relationship is solid and they have come to know and understand each other’s needs. However, Blue remains preoccupied with having a real threesome.

Through Jodi, Blue meets and gets to know Dusty Sterling, a hot bishie with silvery blond hair and matching gray eyes. Blue’s attraction to Dusty gives him all sorts of ideas he is sure will equally appeal to Derek. Although Dusty is blind he has premonitory abilities and his dreams and nightmares turn into warnings of danger for both Dusty and Blue.

I found Blue Ruin 4: Need You Tonight to be the most dramatic book in the series thus far with plenty of action, hot sex, and yaoi angst. Several things stand out. First, I feel that Katrina Strauss handled the resolution of the Derek-Blue-Cameron triangle very well not only in terms of Blue and Cameron’s relationship, but also in respect of leaving the door open for the future growth of Cameron himself.

What was even more interesting is that no sooner had the triangle between Derek, Blue and Cameron been resolved, the author introduces Dusty into the fold. I have mentioned in my reviews of previous books in this series the author’s strengths in writing fully developed primary and secondary characters and in this respect she follows through in the same manner with the writing of Dusty. As much as I enjoyed the dynamics between Blue, Derek and Dusty when they were in threesome mode, or Blue and Dusty’s burgeoning relationship and friendship, it was the character of Dusty himself that captured my attention and imagination within the context of these relationships to the point that I would forget at times that the series is supposed to be focused on Blue and Derek.

What also captured my imagination was the revealing of Derek. I have previously referred to the character of Derek as being much darker in comparison with Blue and very controlled and regimented, both with respect to his emotions and his surroundings. In Blue Ruin 3: Chains of Love we learn of the origins of Derek’s foray into BDSM, but it is in Book 4 that we come to understand the reasons behind his more somber disposition and his need for regimentation and control as he takes us back to his childhood. In many respects I felt that Derek’s childhood reminiscences and his current family situation were the most touching and poignant aspects of the book, even more so than Dusty’s tragic beginnings. This book gave me a better understanding of the motivations of this character, his love and commitment to Blue and his integrity in imposing the same parameters on himself as he imposes on Blue within the context of their relationship.

Add all of the above to a climatic ending to the Maple Street Murders and you get a page-turner that I’m certain will delight fans of the series. As with Blue Ruin 3, the author has left the door wide open not only for possible new adventures for Blue and Derek in future books, but also for potential new beginnings for Dusty and Cameron and the eventual revisiting of Sasha, Drago and Luka from Blue Ruin 3 through stories of their own. Katrina Strauss has expanded the Blue Ruin universe to such a degree with the introduction of several well-rounded secondary characters that fans of the series will no doubt be excited at the prospects of future spin-off books.

For those who have yet to read the Blue Ruin series I highly recommend starting with Blue Ruin 1: Some Kind of Stranger. The Blue Ruin world has grown to such a degree that the books should be read in sequence by order of publication/release date in order to fully appreciate the continuing story lines, the primary and secondary characters and their intersecting lives and relationships.

Blue Ruin 4: Need You Tonight by Katrina Strauss is available at Loose Id.

NOTE: This review was originally published online by Rainbow Reviews.

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