Naughty Stranger – Stacey Kennedy

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Author: Stacey Kennedy
Series: Dangerous Love #1
Release dayJune 11th 2019
Pages: 384

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After a sudden tragedy blew her world apart, Peyton Kerr fled her big city career and started over in Stoney Creek, Maine. So far, she’s loving small-town life–no one knows about her past, and her easy flirtation with Boone Knight gives her a reason to smile. But then someone is murdered in Peyton’s store, and her quiet, anonymous existence is instantly destroyed. To make matters worse, Boone–a police detective–is assigned to the case, and Peyton knows she can’t keep him at arm’s length any longer. She’s resisted the simmering heat between them–but now this gorgeous man is promising to keep her safe–and satisfied…

Boone Knight doesn’t want the complications of a relationship. But when he volunteers to protect his town’s newest–and sexiest–resident, he finally admits he’d like to explore their sizzling attraction. And after one incredible night, everything changes for Boone. Peyton is sweeter–and braver–than anyone he’s ever met, and with her in his arms, everything makes sense. He just needs to convince her to trust him enough to reveal her secrets, or risk losing her to a merciless killer who seems to grow bolder with each passing day.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This book has been hard to rate. On one hand, it has been a nice surprise that the mystery part is an important part of the story. On the other hand… when there is not someone bleeding, the book gets boring pretty fast. At the end, it feels like a nice first step for a saga, but it could have been handle better.

Through the pages of the book we meet Peyton, a young widow who is desperate to have a fresh start and regain some kind of happiness. In order to achive that, she drops her job as a nurse and goes to live to a small town to be the owner of a lingerie shop. There (in the town, not in the shop) she meets Boone, the hot detective. To add some spice to a pretty basic plot, a murder takes place in Peyton’s new shop…

In my opinion, the best part of the book is the mystery surrounding the murder and its link with Peyton. Those parts are the most enjoyable and the ones that add a good pace to the story. They are fast, well-timed and packed with different levels of action. It is a big surprised, actually. Reading the blurb, I thought the murder was going to be something in the background barely touched, but its presence is much more meatier than that. I really like that and I hope the next books follow the same pattern. Being said that, the mystery is also pretty simple and way easy to solve. Not only the who, also the why. The author drops too many clues to the reader and few suspects, so it is easy to add 2 plus 2. It is actually a bit weird that four detectives and Peyton were incapable of solving it sooner…

Too bad the nice mystery plot is paired with a truly unremarkable romance. Why on the name of all that is holy did they have to kiss in the prologue? Yes, the prologue!! Something like that pisses me off so badly. I felt robbed of everything good of the first steps of a blossoming romance. Where are the banter, the flirting, the playfulness and the eagerness to meet each other before going all in? They kiss, they ignore each other, then talk again and… sex. With one rule: nothing serious. But, somehow, by the end of the book, that rule is ignored and we, the readers, are punished with one of the most absurd and unrealistic proposals I have ever read. Zero sense. It is starting to sicken me the concept of a wedding as the only possible happily ever after. At the same time I was reading that, my mind was writing its own What if? where Peyton was revealed as the true murderer to make the last pages bearable.

If to a bad romance you add uncharismatic characters you obtain a bunch of really boring pages that made me wish for another murder to stoke my interest in the story. Fair is fair. The characters work just fine, but they are a bit simple. There is barely any sense of humour or talks about simple things. All conversations are heavy weights for the soul and it is tiring. Not even when the hunky cops are united the atmosphere gets lighter. They are too serious for their age. So, I didn’t enjoy the love/sex scenes with the main couple. I can’t believe in their relationship. I challenge them to tell me just one hobby of the other one. Their favourite food, or colour, or book or something other than the tragedies of their lives. They DO NOT know each other. I can’t buy their love, sorry.

When my interest in the romance is low, I tend to get annoyed by other tiny details that have no importance, but it is how my mind cope with the boring parts. For example, it upsets me greatly the fact that in Maine is not mandatory to use helmet. The stupidity of that is not the author’s fault, but I was very surprised by the fact that Peyton doesn’t make any remarks about it. She was a ER nurse. She must have seen dozens of wounded bikers who saved their lives thanks to the helmet. And her first husband died in a car accident. I find pretty unbelievable that she is so nonchalant about the fact that Boone doesn’t use helmet while riding his bike. If she really cared…

I could point out more situations where I read too much into them due to my lack of interest for the romance. Like the slowest ambulances in the world to make the hero be the first or a sex scene in an abandoned greenhouse that was use by drug dealers… Very, very romantic… But that’s all on me.

Does the bad win over the good parts? I would say it has ended in a tie. I will read the second book and hope with all my might that the romance between Remy and Asher is better.

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2019 – Book Gallery

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Skin and Bone – T.A. Moore

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Author: T.A. Moore
Series: Digging Up Bones #2

Pages: 240

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Cloister Witte and his K-9 partner, Bourneville, find the lost and bring them home.

But the job doesn’t always end there.

Janet Morrow, a young trans woman, lies in a coma after wandering away from her car during a storm. But just because Cloister found the young tourist doesn’t mean she’s home. What brought her to Plenty, California… and who didn’t want her to leave?

With the help of Special Agent Javi Merlo, who continues to deny his growing feelings for the rough-edged deputy, Cloister unearths a ten-year-old conspiracy of silence that taps into Plenty’s history of corruption.

Janet Morrow’s old secrets aren’t the only ones coming to light. Javi has tried to put his past behind him, but some people seem determined to pull his skeletons out of the closet. His dark history with a senior agent in Phoenix complicates not just the investigation but his relationship with Cloister.

And since when has he cared about that?

When I finished the first book, I was scared that the saga was cancelled. Two years between the first and the second book is not something normal in Romance. In that genre you can even find authors who publish a book every two weeks. Although I would bet the quality in those stories is not as high as in the books of the Digging up bones saga.

We obviously follow again the adventures of Cloister, Javi and the K-9 unit called Bourneville. This time, a trans woman is attacked in Plenty and Cloister saves her life just in time. It’s up to him and Javi to discover who is behind the attack. Meanwhile, they must also discover what the hell is that thing brewing between them.

As in the previous book, the mystery takes a huge chunk of the story, what makes the book feels special. I think it would be a perfect story to introduce someone to the genre, because is not heavy in the romance and the suspense part is developed with enough care to entertain a mystery lover. But it has a tiny problem. It is a bit hard to follow. At least for me. There are too many names and important events being mention and mixed at all times. So many leads that collide with each other… It makes me wish to have taken a notebook to draw a schema of the case, because more than once I was lost. It doesn’t make the book less enoyable, but days after finishing it I still have some questions about what really happened.

The love part is infuriatingly slow. Don’t get me wrong, that is what makes it greater than other love stories. Since the first moment, the author lets the reader know that Javi and Cloister are perfect for each other. But, at the same time, doesn’t allow the characters to acknowledge it. We have to witness an endless string of excuses and half-hearted fights among them. I found myself yelling at them more than once. Usually a classic: Kiss already, you idiots!!! It was really unnerving sometimes (sweet unnerving, though). When I ship so hard for a couple that means they are giving me what I enjoy most in the Romance genre: slow brewed love. These guys are following all the steps one by one in order to make sure they have something real and durable. I wouldn’t mind if they speed thing up just a little bit and stop being so stubborn, though. Maybe in the third book they will finally hold hands or something equally cute.

The cuteness of this book is hoarded by none other than Bourneville, the partner of Cloister and eerily amart dog. I know Cloister keeps reminding us that Bon is not a pet. That cuddling her is not really a good idea, but she keeps being cute and melting hearts everywhere. It comes to my mind the time she was pretending being asleep to avoid being kicked from the couch. Or her adorably crush on cats. How in the Hell can anyone stop petting her in those situations? Sometimes I think Cloister wants her all by himself. That’s not cool, man!!

Will we have to wait another two years for the third book? I hope not, but I’m already loyal, so I will wait no matter what. So far, I’m enjoying this couple and I wish this format were more common in the genre. I mean, the same couple for several books instead of a different couple in every book. Which is also great, but the scales are much more favourable to the later, so…

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2019 – Book Gallery

Saving the Seal Baby Daddy – Katie Knight

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Author: Katie Knight
Pages: 251

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When Maria Blanchard asked Navy Seal Trevor Daniels to father a child with her, no strings attached, Trevor had no idea just how explosive his chemistry would be with the fiery woman who had been a wallflower during their high school years. He vowed never to contact her again after the positive pregnancy test. A year later, when one of Trevor’s dark ops missions ends with the death of his captain and suspicions aimed at him, Maria’s the only investigator he knows who can help him crack the case.

Maria Blanchard had been raised to be a proper Southern Belle, an archetype so wrong for her she’d retreated into books during her high school years. When the police academy finally gave her the guts to be the strong woman she’d always desired, she realized she didn’t need anyone to achieve her dreams. Not to get her dream job, and certainly not to get her dream baby. Still, when her childhood crush agreed to father her baby, she hadn’t expected her heart to open along with her legs.

When Trevor shows up on Maria’s doorstep in need of her help, he calls in his favor. However, being wanted for a military crime means that Maria won’t just be helping Trevor, she’ll be harboring a fugitive, and the father of her child. Unable to say no, when her pride and her heart are screaming yes, Maria agrees to help Trevor one final time before they break ties.

But as their bond grows stronger and love ignites, it becomes a rush to save Trevor’s life before they lose out on a future they could only dream of.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book covers in the romance genre are usually meant as a bait. I do not mind that at all, it’s just part of the game. I’m much more against weird titles that do not make any justice to the book. Saving the SEAL Baby Daddy screams all the worst things for the genre that I can imagine; but, actually, the book is much better than the nightmare going on on my head before starting the story.

In this book we meet Trevor, a young SEAL soldier who is being wrongly accused of his captain’s death. Luckily for him, he knows a great private investigator, Maria, and asks for her help so they can clear up his name. So far, nothing special. The twist is, Maria’s daughter is also Trevor’s daughter. The daughter he swore to stay away from…

Let’s begin with the part that has suprised me: the investigation to prove Trevor’s innocence. With that title, I was expecting that part to be almost like an afterthought. Something to mention now and then between bouts of sex. Thankfully, it has much more weight than that, which makes the book a lot more enjoyable. Is there romance? Of course. Are there sex scenes? You bet! Is all well balanced with good timing? YES! And that, sadly, is a rara avis in the “fast processed” kind of book.

Even though I liked the story, it didn’t satiate my hunger for it. The ending is nice (the good guys win, in case you were wondering…); but, during the investigation, several clues are dropped that suggerst the issue was much bigger than expected. That it must go pretty high in the food chain. They caught the small fish, solved Trevor’s problem and they moved on… I have the feeling the real bad guys are still at large. And that saddens me a little.

My biggest issue with this book are the characters. I will start with Maria. I only have this one book to judge her, but I can’t picture her in good light. She is a fraud. We are told she is the ultimate private investigator, but the only thing she does is calling friends to do the real work… Thankfully she doesn’t take all the credit, but I wouldn’t be surprised otherwise. I didn’t like her as a PI, but as a mom she is even worse. A single parent is like a superhero. No way around that. Most of them are single parents not by choice, so when Maria took the step to become one she did something really brave. But then, her stupidity took the best of her. Rising a daughter by your own means is a nice life goal, but you have to always think about the kid first. Writing a contract to ban the father and his family for ever seeing your daughter (when you have a good relationship with them) is one of the most selfish things I have ever read. Why do you do that to youself and, more importantly, to your own kid? Under any circuntansces you should have a kid on your own just to make a point no one really cares about…

And the fact that Trevor goes along with that doesn’t help to make me like him. We are told he is the sweetest, most honorable, most loyal, the most of the most guy on our planet. But somehow he doesn’t think twice about signning a contract to renounce of his daughter. That doesn’t scream honorable, precisely. The author tries to save the day telling us that Trevor stalked his daughter through social media, but that only makes things worse. Do you care or not? Make up your mind!!

All that situation is a plot mess and, if that part were the main focus, the book would have been very forgettable and with a much lower mark. That’s why we have always been told that we should not judge a book by its cover or, in this case, by its title.

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2019 – Book Gallery

Butterfly Assassin – Annabelle Jacobs

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Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Pages: 280

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Shifter Aaron Harper gets drawn into illegal underground fighting to keep an eye on his best friend. The thrill of the fight keeps him coming back for more, but discovery could mean imprisonment and banishment from their pack. Without a beta to watch over them, common sense takes a back seat.

Michael Archer of the Shifter Crimes Task Force is investigating recent murders. Despite the brutal cause of death pointing to the work of a shifter’s claws, instinct tells him a well-known nightclub owner is involved, but they have no proof.

Aaron and Michael’s paths cross after another body with the same injuries is discovered. With Aaron finding himself on the wrong side of the SCTF and Michael looking for a killer, any attraction between them is both ill-advised and unlikely. But fate has other ideas.

Annabelle Jacobs was a new author for me. She wasn’t in my radar and this book was pretty low on my TBR list. But this year I am following an ABC Challenge for Romance Books in a community for readers and when I had to pick the B letter this one was the first that caught my eye. So, by pure accident, I have found an unexpecred awesome book. It’s a standalone book, but it takes place in the same universe as her Regent’s Park Pack saga. I haven’t read those and I can promise there is no need of reading them to understand Butterfly Assassin.

We follow the story of Aaron, a shifter who has been hooked to the adrenaline rush of illegal fights. For a shifter they are even more illegal, so he has to hide his true nature and bleed as any human. Michael is a Detective for the SCTF, a police force specialized in dealing with shifters. When several humans connected to the mastermind of the illegal fights appear dead at the hands of a shifter, the path of both characters collide in more than one way…

If you are expecting a lot of romance and hot sex every other chapter (when there is a shifter in this genre, they tend to have an insatiable hunger for sex), you are not going to like the book. My greatest surprise with this book is that the author drags masterfully the dance of unexpected attraction between hugely different characters. The “no-so-subtle-check-out”, the “looks-that-melt-steel”, the “uy-sorry-I-didn’t-mean-to-touch-you” and much more slow burners that keep the readers on their toes cheering for a happy ending. No rush, more fun. Their exchanges made me smile every time and I hated when they were appart.

Besides, this is no the classic romance with a shifter and the dreadful fated mate. I’m so glad that the author has dropped that annoying cliché of the genre. Instead, she presents us with the concept of bonding and greater emotions for the werewolves. The fact that Aaron feels the connection with Michael in a higher emotional level doesn’t make him a possessive grunt. He expresses honestly his need of claiming the detective as his, but he is very tactful to avoid any kind of hurtful comment or action. He is so attentive, easy-going and fun. MIchael is one of the lucky ones!!

That slow cooked meal was being served little by little as the main plot of the story develops: the killings of humans at the hand of a shifter. The mystery is more or less 85% of the book and it’s pretty well written in general. But there are several  missteps or lost opportunities a long the way. For example, in the beginning of the book, the author falls in the trap to repeat herself too much. The same thing was told over and over again to different characters. The consequence is that the plot takes to much time to take off, but I would never say that is boring beacuse of that (the book is not boring at all). And there is another weird moment at the end of the book, when Blake and Aaron exchange some punches, that is missing something. Until that moment, Blake had no idea that one of the illegal fighters of his boos was a secret shifter. I was expecting a comment or something, but he doesn’t even blink…

This book has been much more than what I was expecting. It’s almost perfect. The Regent’s Park Pack saga is going to get a bump on my TBR list to see if I have found a new favourite author or if it was just this book.

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2019 – Book Gallery

Bone to Pick – T.A. Moore

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Author: T.A. Moore
Series: Digging Up Bones #1

Pages: 240

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Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother—find the missing and bring them home.

He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.

This time the missing person is a ten-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks less and less likely that Drew will be found alive.

In my meager experience with Romantic Suspense I have always found books much more focused on the romance than on the mystery. In some cases, the last was almost incidental… This book is just the opposite, so if you are looking for more romance… look somewhere else.

In this book we meet Cloister, a police officer who is a member of the K9 Unit. His dog is called Bourneville and she never leaves his shadow. He is kind of a rebel. On the other hand we have Javier, an FBI agent who needs to control everything and everyone. For obvious reasons, both main characters tend to clash against each other very often. They are forced to work together when a little kid is kidnapped and they need to figure out who took him before it’s too late.

I wasn’t expecting such a huge focus on the mystery. It has been a very welcome change of pace for a Romantic Suspense book. If you are a fan of C.S.I. kind of shows you will enjoy the mystery in this book. More or less follows the same pattern. The author throws several pieces of evidence, adds a bunch of suspects and lets the reader accompany the main characters in their quest to save the kid. I need to confess that I wasn’t even closed to solve it before they did… It doesn’t help that the author cramps the story with many characters who don’t amount to anything. Or maybe it was just her technique to take our attention from the real suspicious ones.

Even though I liked the mystery quite a lot, there is sometinhg that is still bugging me. The kid disappeared from a vacational complex to let people with money be closer to the Nature. That complex is a known former weed farm run by the same guy who dealt with the drug… Maybe I’m not being fair, but I can’t believe families with pedigree would choose such a place to spend part of their holidays with their kids. Too snob? I just think parents tend to be extra-careful with that kind of things…

I have nothing special to say about the characters. Both of them are OK. Nothing remarkable about Cloister or Javi on their own. When they are together, the fun begins!! The attraction between them is obvious since the first moment, but they can’t stand each other. They respect each other just enough to make their jobs, but Javi doesn’t miss an opportunity to belittle the K9 Unit and Cloister is more than happy to put upside-down the perfectly manufactured rutine of the FBI Agent.

With that kind of relationship, it is no surprise that the sex scenes happen when the reader least expects them. They are not bad, per se. My main complaint is that Cloister sometimes feels out of character during the intimate encounters. There is actually no Romance in this book. It’s just a couple of very naked moments and then both of them go their separate ways. I missed a good talk to be honest with each other and with themselves, but this is the first book of a saga, so… They’ll get there…

At least I hope there is a second book coming. This one was published in 2017 and the author has yet to announce the sequel. Very enjoyable book that reminded me of the best part of the Cut & Run saga…

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2018 – Book Gallery

Be Still My Heart – Charlie Cochet

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Author: Charlie Cochet
Series: Four Kings Security #2

Pages: 306

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Former Special Forces medical sergeant Russell “Red” McKinley knows a thing or two about wounds, like the fact some can take a lifetime to heal, if they heal at all. The scars Red carries run deep, and living with PTSD often means battling the memories of his past. Injuries he received while working an executive protection case with fellow Kings and co-owners of Four Kings Security, have once again forced past heartaches to the surface, but Red is determined not to let it derail his blossoming romance with sweet and sexy fashion photographer Lazarus Galanos.

Laz can’t deny there’s something special developing between him and Red, but Laz has wounds of his own. He’s hesitant to jump into a new relationship after his recent explosive breakup. Experience has taught Laz to doubt his judgement when it comes to men. Guys who seem too good to be true, usually are, and no one appears more perfect than Red.

When an attempt is made on Laz’s life, Red is determined to keep him safe. Laz may not be a client, and Red is still off duty, but Laz is one of their own, and nothing means more to the Kings than family. While an investigation is underway, Red and Laz are growing closer, but can they find a way to help each other heal and take a chance on love, or will their fears and insecurities cost them more than their future together?

Several months ago, I read the first book of Four Kings Security and I really enjoyed it. Not only the book, the author’s style was also almost totally attuned with what I want to find in a book of this kind. So, reading the second book before the end of the year was a must. Charlie is little by little climbing my list of favourite authors.

This time the story focuses on Red and Laz. After the accident in Colton’s party, they haven’t talked to each other again. But Ace is such an awesome friend that he had to bring the two of them together again. Too bad that happens at the same time an attempt against Laz’s life is carried out. Thankfully, Red’s big back was there to cover him and take him to a safe place. During the investigation, Red proclaims himself Laz’s defender against all evil and the romance begins…

I finished the review of the previous book saying that I wasn’t very happy about the relationship snippets the author inserted. Red and Laz looked a bit… boring. I have to admit that every character is boring if you put him side by side with Ace. That character is beyond awesome, so the rest pale in comparision. I knew that, so I read this book with an open mind. Yes, the main couple doesn’t make me laugh as much as the previous one, but they have their own strengths. Red is such a big softie!! I can’t believe he was single until now. The way he invests himself in the relationships, even in the worst moments, makes me want to kidnap him. The other half is a bit… meh. Laz’s insecurity is too big to swallow sometimes. Overall it is a romance I have enjoyed, despite the lack of sparks in some situations.

The story of this second book is better. The execution also has less black holes, but there are still some parts that doesn’t work. The author is very good misleading the reader. I was already gathering the wood to assemble the pyre to burn Bryan, one of the most annoying character I have met in a book. He being the bad one would have been perfect, but I prefer being surprised as I have been with this book. His time will come sooner or later. It is the big revelation that doesn’t fit very well with the plot. I love the unexpected of it, but I’m also struggling to make sense of it. Maybe the final actions were out of desperation and plain stupidity? It could happen…

The supporting characters on this book shine brighter than in the previous one. OK. I’m not impartial there. Ace is one of them. Every time he is on the spotlight the book gets so funny that I can’t stop smiling. I wish there were some kind of spin-off starred by him, because I can’t get enough of him. But he is not the only great character in this book. We get to know a little bit more of Mason and, let me tell you, I have enjoyed every single detail about him. His cocky flexing at the end… That was cruel!! It seems that Lucky and Mason are going to be a thing… So far, it’s a very explosive one (yelling and almost punching each other), so I hope it gets better. I’m not in the mood for an unhealthy relationship…

The book is one step behind of perfection. The romance and the banter is usually spot on, but the mystery needs some polishing. I will obviously keep reading the saga. The next is a short story with a couple of characters that I’m not sure we have met. Maybe a cameo in the previous one, but I don’t remember them.  It looks like I could skip it, but I hate skipping so I will read it anyway.

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2018 – Book Gallery

Kairos – Mary Calmes

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Author: Mary Calmes
Pages: 131

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Sometimes the best day of your life is the one you never saw coming.

Joe Cohen has devoted the past two years of his life to one thing: the care and feeding of Kade Bosa. His partner in their PI business, roommate, and best friend, Kade is everything to Joe, even if their relationship falls short of what Joe desires most. But he won’t push. Kade has suffered a rough road, and Joe’s pretty sure he’s the only thing holding Kade together.

Estranged from his own family, Joe knows the value of desperately holding on to someone dear, but he never expected his present and past to collide just as Kade’s is doing the same. Now they’ve stumbled across evidence that could change their lives: the impact of Kade’s tragic past, their job partnership, and any future Joe might allow himself to wish for…

This is a short book about a couple of private investigators that are aslo roommates, but good friends above all. Joe is openly gay and Kade is bisexual, so this is not the classic story about coming out of the closest and accepting what you like or not. This is even the more classic story about two close friends that have deeper feelings, but they are too scared to speak up and face the truth. Buuuut this book totally made a fool of myself.

The first couple of chapters are totally a Romantics Suspense book. One that I was digging quite a lot. Kade’s discovering that his former mentor and hero was a mobster with several crimes in his ledger looked very promising. The fact that Vaughn (the mentor) had hired some muscle to get rid of the breathing proof of his crimes created some tension that kept the reader motivated. But it was all a smoke screen. That part ends so abruptly and in such a weak way that makes me wonder why the author put it there in the first place. It’s totally unnecessary. Some could tell me it was the way to introduce Declan in the plot… And I would answer: has Declan any shred of importance? Not at all. The book is exactly the same with or without him.

Instead of a mystery and action book, we get a book about a family that couldn’t accept that one of his member was gay and now that family is broken. I’m talking about Joe’s family. The same family that runs a very profitable winery that the PI abandoned when he came out of the closet and got the cold shoulder treatment. Usually, I would be Team Joe and defend him…. but the detective being a late awakening and only giving his family a week to assimilate the news… Man, give them a break!! They felt cheated!! Use your empathy, Joe!!

I thought his parents and brother would be a bunch of homophobic jackasses and that the author was going to present us with some soul wrenchng emotions until we get a hard won happy ending where everybody hugs everybody (and rainbows, unicorns and all that). But, nope. In just one chapter, one by one of Joe’s family members assures him rather quickly that they are cool with his sexual orientation. So, we do not have a mystery book and we also don’t have an interesting contemporary book about feelings.

Obviously, that’s not all. Being a Romance book we also have the love story for the main couple: Joe and Kade. According to Joe, Kade is unreachable. Above his wildest dreams. But, from the very beginning, Kade shows a lot of jelousy when Joe’s former boyfriend calls. So, the far-fetched love story that Joe describes doesn’t have the same feeling for the reader. When they finally kiss, there is not fireworks or anything similar. It even doesn’t feel special… as if they have been kissing the whole book.

Three attempts of story and three fails. Even though that is harsh, I must say I enjoyed the banter a lot. Joe’s and Kade’s exchanges are the best part of the book. Joe is such a good guy!! I’m not sure if Kade knows how lucky he is for being chosen by such a great human being. Do they love each other by the end of the book? We are sold that, but Kade looks more grateful than in love if you ask me.

Even though it’s a weak book, it’s easy to read and enjoyable. The aftertaste is sour, though. As if the book were totally hollow.