Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Received From: NetGalley
It’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.
Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.
As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox—and borderline unethical—methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?
SEXUALITY: homosexual, bisexual
TROPES: age gap, enemies to lovers, coworkers to lovers, workplace romance, friends to lovers, hurt/comfort, broody hero, seasoned veteran x fresh faced rookie
TAGS: contemporary, adult, romance, suspense, thriller, HIV/AIDS, law enforcement
WARNINGS: drug usage/medication, violence, explicit violence, police brutality, physical illness, mental illness, ableism, gendered slurs, suicidal ideation, mention of suicide, false accusations of molestation, forced admission of illness, murder, corrupt government, corrupt law enforcement
This is a good book–not great, but it’s an enjoyable read. The authors undoubtedly deliver on the promised suspense thriller aspect of the story, delivering several twists and turns that keep you guessing as to what will happen next while the main characters, newly partnered detectives Andreas Ruffner and Darren Corliss, rush against the clock to bring down a massive criminal ring being run by people in city hall.
I enjoyed the characters overall, and there was definitely some individual and relationship development that I hope will explored in the next installment of the series. My favorite aspect, though, was related to their age gap. Andreas is in his 40s while Darren is in his late 20s. Approximately 5 years before the story begins, Andreas learns that he is HIV positive. Considering his age, it’s obvious that Andreas grew up during a time when HIV/AIDS was a death sentence for queer people who contracted the disease. The novel did an excellent job of not only explaining the process he went through with coming to terms and realizing that times are changed and HIV is manageable, but also with how Andreas and Darren handled it as a couple. They have multiple conversations about it, and Darren is quick to reassure Andreas that it doesn’t change anything between them. They discuss Andreas’ very legitimate fears, and ultimate decide on a course of action that works for them and their relationship.
Now, the reason the rating is low is because I felt like some of the exploration into corruption and police brutality was too shallow at times. It was too black and white, too “well this guy is good so it’s okay and this guy is bad so it’s not okay.” Within the first few chapters, Andreas plants evidence on a suspect so they have reason to bring him into the precinct and talk to him, and this is never really truly addressed. The only people who know are Andreas and Darren, and Darren, while expressing discomfort, essentially lets it go because it was “for the greater good.” When their Captain asks him about the suspicious arrest, Darren covers for Andreas and basically accepts the flimsy excuse of “sometimes you have to do some questionable things to get results.” The whole purpose of their investigation is to expose corruption within the government and police force, but there is a huge disconnect between what’s acceptable from the Good Guys and what’s acceptable from the Bad Guys. Again, I am hopeful that this will be explore more deeply within the next novel.
L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .
Connect with L.A.:
- Website: www.gallagherwitt.com
- Author Blog: gallagherwitt.blogspot.com
- Personal Blog: navywifeadventures.blogspot.
- Twitter: @GallagherWitt
- Facebook: facebook.com//L-A-Witt-MM-Fiction
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/GallagherWitt
Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She’s still climbing that ladder, but can’t stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.
Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get ‘im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there’s a lot of love to go around.
Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on Literotica.com, under the name Carizabeth.
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