M/M Romance Suspense
Carina Press | February 27, 2017
What I Loved
Man, I loved so much! I loved that even though this is a romantic book, their jobs and the case didn’t take a backseat. The author made sure to keep the plot as strong as the connection between the characters. It was especially important because Aiden is only 8 months a widower. I can believe that after 8 months he may feel an attraction and interest in someone else. I can’t believe that that interest would overshadow this need for answers about his husband’s death. If it had been glossed over I would have quickly called foul, and possibly quit the book.
I also loved the way that Aiden and Jamie’s relationship developed. Again, it’s only been 8 months, so I was glad that Jamie wasn’t someone completely new to Aiden. They knew of each other, and had worked around each for years. Jamie’s crush on Aiden had been long standing, but it helped that Aiden had also felt an attraction to Jamie. Obviously neither man acted on it, as Aiden was married, but having that already built into their history made it much easier to accept Aiden giving into his attraction. It felt realistic, which was a really good thing.
I also liked Aiden’s brother Danny. I hope we see more of him in the future. He was hilarious and I always enjoy a good brotherly bond.
Where I Struggled
I think the only thing that didn’t sit right with me was the reveal at the end. Having read the synopsis of the following books, I already knew about some painful secret. I’m not a fan that plot forwarder. It’s not necessary and won’t add anything worthwhile to the story. I’ve always felt like it’s a ‘cookie cutter’ twist, used when an author is just trying to create conflict. I much prefer when they’re bold enough to try something new. Aiden and Jamie already have conflict up the wazoo, just in Aiden’s recent past alone.
I also didn’t like how the secret was set up. I don’t think it was appropriate or professional, and it is NOT how you put two new partners together.
It’s the only part of continuing the series that I’m miffed about.
What I Loved
I loved the case! The idea of Jamie going undercover as himself back in NC, taking a coaching job like he’s leaving the FBI. It’s completely unrealistic, but still so much fun. Maybe I enjoyed it so much because it reminded me of one of my favorite Nancy Drew Files books, Two Points to Murder, when Nancy takes a case at her boyfriends school, Emerson College, to stop a stalker. I loved Ned Nickerson… anyway, I digress, it had that undercover sporty thing going on and I liked reading Walker questioning his decisions and wondering if he made the right choice when he left the game behind. (Especially with Aiden acting like such a twat.)
Again, I still loved the heat between Aiden and Jamie. Even though Aiden was trying to push Jamie away, not wanting to get hurt again, you could still feel all the need between them. Also, Aiden never lied and said he didn’t have feelings for Jamie, he was upfront in that it was how deeply he cared that was the reason he needed to keep his distance. Their jobs are dangerous and he couldn’t loose another lover. It was very understandable.
Not to repeat myself, but I wish we got more about Danny and Mel. I think I’d like reading that.
What I Struggled With
Still with that pesky secret. The angst of it was out of control in the second installment, and to be perfectly honest, I’m glad I’m not reading the third and final book until August. I need a break before the big reveal. In part, that’s because I’m dreading it, but it’s also because I just think it’s stupid.
Thank you to Carina Press for providing an ARC of Cask Strength, in exchange for an honest review.