We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Tiernan Callahan has been lashing out at everyone he meets, especially gay men, ever since his brother was killed in the line of duty and he found out that Mason was engaged to be married to a man. Truly hurt that his brother didn’t trust him enough with that secret, his subconscious seeks victims for his anger and he makes one too many homophobic slurs in public. Considering he’s a cop and is supposed to remain impartial, he lands in hot water with his boss and is assigned a gay man as his partner—Danny Finnegan happens to be the boss’s younger brother as well.
It seems that no matter where he goes in a city as big as New York, he continually bumps into a friend of Mason’s fiancé, Dario Ramos, and Dario hates the big-mouthed bigot for treating his friends poorly. Dario was sent home from active duty after he lost his leg in battle. Now working for the Wounded Warrior Project and sponsoring fellow PTSD-suffering vets in AA, Dario just wants peace in his life, and he doesn’t get it when Tiernan continually rubs him the wrong way.
During a face to face confrontation, it’s evident to both men that their nice, safe, straight worlds are somehow tipping when they find the confrontation exciting in more ways than one. Fortunately, Tiernan really isn’t a homophobe, and he and Danny enjoy long talks as they work the streets of New York, becoming friends and eventually confidants. Danny is one of the first to know that Tiernan is attracted to Dario and offers advice on how to pursue the tall, sexy Spaniard. In turn, Dario’s friends including Casper and Slater (“A Fighting Man”) push him to pursue Tiernan if that’s what he really wants.
Both men heal emotionally as they begin to explore their attraction to each other. I liked the fact that the author gave them time to get familiar with each other and each other’s bodies before jumping into sex. And I liked the fact that she gave them friends who were able to explain what they needed to know before engaging in sex. Two straight men shouldn’t necessarily know exactly what to do and that was recognized here. I also enjoyed the author’s writing style and the fast pace of this slow-burn romance. And GFY is usually my favorite type of story so two GFY guys in one story was a bonus for me.
The secondary characters were well-developed as well. Dario’s mother was sweet and spicy—perfect for him and having a mother like that explained a lot about Dario. Tiernan’s mother was a witch and thankfully wasn’t on-page very often, but Danny, Casper, Slater, Tiernan’s brother Michael, and his precinct Captain were all essential to the story and given three-dimensional personalities.
Taking all that into account, it’s easy to see why I enjoyed this story and would recommend it to any lover of M/M romance—but especially to those like me who love a GFY story that’s hot, sexy, and sweet all at the same time.