Dear T.A. Moore,
I remembered trying your book about the shifters and putting it aside simply because I was not in the mood for the post apocalypse setting, but I also remembered really enjoying your writing and when I saw this book I happily one clicked because it sounded like my cup tea and mostly the book did not disappoint.
The blurb mostly describes the set up very well. We meet Jacob when he is pretty much in the middle of trying to steal some computer related information from a bioengineering firm where Jacob is cleaning offices while being part of the cleaning crew. His cleaning gig was a part of his master plan to get into the bioengineering firm in the first place of course.
As an aside, I cannot exactly tell you what specific information Jacob was stealing except that it was called code that was supposed to help other program run better and do a whole lot of good things. Honestly to me it read as a mumbo jumbo but I am not a computer person – it could be that the author did a lot of research and the computer people will find it believable. In any event the story itself did not really depend on whether the information that Jacob was stealing made any kind of sense or not in my opinion. Except one thing which I think you should know – supposedly Jacob’s client wanted to prove that Simon’s boss stole this code from him in the first place and this information would confirm it or not.
Jacob’s plan goes a little wrong, actually a lot wrong and he has to run away from the place even if he managed to steal what he needed. Simon who is the chief of security at the firm tries to apprehend him but fails. Needless to say it leaves Simon very pissed off, knowing that he got involved with the spy at their firm. And as much as Jacob is trying to tell the reader that Simon does not matter to him very fast we learn that it is not true either.
The action continues to unfold very fast from now on and the reader rarely gets a chance to catch a breath. Jacob is meeting with his client to give to him the stolen information (whatever that information was), but out of nowhere he is attacked, beaten and his client ended up dead.
Now not only Simon and his boss want a piece of Jacob, but he is also framed for murder. Jacob though manages to give Simon a call somehow and Simon saves him from nasty people.
Now Simon and Jacob are stuck together (by choice no matter how much they want to deny it) and trying to figure out what is really going on and how Jacob’s job was connected to the murder if it was connected at all.
You would ask me readers, what about romance? I will certainly say that the book has romantic elements, but in my opinion it is first and foremost a thriller/mystery and the author did a really good job with those, especially with the thriller part of it. I may have figured out who was behind the unfolding events a little earlier than our heroes, but it was first and foremost because of the limited cast of the story, not of anything obvious our main villain did till the really big clue fell in my lap. And this was the clue which meant to clue Simon in, so it was *really* obvious, but even when I knew who I had no idea about “why”.
Romantic storyline was definitely there, but first and foremost we do not see the men falling in love when the story begins they are already involved and have pretty strong feelings for each other (once again no matter how much they want to deny it and one of them even learns to say “I love you” by the end of the book. They are also pretty busy trying to figure out what is going on, even if they manage to have some sex amongst all the action. And because we do not see the relationship evolving much; I thought that even at the very end it was clear that it could use a lot of work (their relationship that is).
Both guys also have pretty big character flaws. This is the case when I thought that author made flawed characters work very well for me, but if you do not want to read about liar and manipulator who fell in love with alcoholic, this book is probably not for you.
"He was a liar. He was a criminal. Simon glanced to where Fozzy was lying on the backseat. He was possibly a dognapper. And he was leaving. None of it mattered. Simon still wanted to drag him into his lap and kiss him until he stopped being an idiot. Although that would probably take more time than they had. “Let me get this straight.” He averted his eyes and scowled out the window at the perfectly manicured gardens and expensively uninteresting houses. Christmas decorations that side of town were apparently minimal—just twinkling lights in the garden and tasteful wreaths on the doors. The gaudiest was a neighborhood anarchist who had a wreath of red, green, and gold baubles on the door. “Your plan is to walk up, try the door, and hope no one stops us?”
Don’t worry, they are together and in love when the book ends, but at most it felt like HFN ending and even for HFN it felt a little shaky. NOT because I doubted their love, but because I would have liked the other guy to be able to communicate something stronger than “We know I am not good for you”. He stayed, so fingers crossed they would work on the communication skills.
"It wasn’t funny. Except it was. Simon snorted out a laugh that hurt and managed to convince one arm to cooperate enough to reach for Jacob. He grabbed hold of his hand, squeezed the fingers roughly, and dragged him down into a hug. Relief filled his chest like warm air and bubbles and pushed the pain out to the corners."