Reeling from the recent death of his wife, police officer Evan Cerelli looks at his four children and can only see how he fails them. His loving wife was the caretaker and nurturer, and now the single father feels himself being crushed by the pain of loss and the heavy responsibility of raising his kids.
At the urging of his partner, Evan celebrates a coworker’s retirement and meets disgraced former cop turned security consultant Matt Haight. A friendship born out of loneliness and the solace of the bottle turns out to be exactly what they both need.
The past year has been a slow death for Matt Haight. Ostracized from his beloved police force, facing middle age and perpetual loneliness, Matt sees only a black hole where his future should be. When he discovers another lost soul in Evan, some of the pieces he thought he lost start to fall back in place. Their friendship turns into something deeper, but love is the last thing either man expected, and both of them struggle to reconcile their new and overwhelming feelings for one another.
The blurb sets this up nicely. Evan and Matt are two lonely cop/ex cops who become friends. Then, very slowly, they become more. Neither has ever been with or thought about being with another man, so their feelings hit them from out of the blue.
They have their own doubts and insecurities and then they face the challenge of telling others about their partnership and that threatens what little peace they’ve managed to find.
Suddenly Evan is shot and Matt is in charge of the family. He’s doing great, but Evan’s inlaws want to take over. When Evan finally heals, he runs, scared, away from Matt and their relationship, back to familiar territory.
Both are miserable. It takes Miranda getting into trouble to show them what they were missing.
By the end, they’ve decided to officially “try” this relationship on for size… but there’s still a lot to overcome.
Tere Michaels is an amazing writer and her character development is so thorough and so well done. All the players, the MCs and the secondary characters are all very three-dimensional and real people. The romance is spectacular and moving and the real life issues are authentic and believable.
This was one of the first m/m books/series I’d read and it set a very high standard. Double GFY. Family drama. Slow, slow burn. Intense emotions. Two cops. Very hot, very sweet sex. Real emotions and real problems.
Fortunately the next book was already out when I had read this or I’d have been so impatient to see what happens next. The real nitty gritty of being a couple starts in book 2.
Book: 6 of 5 hearts – one of my all time favorite series
I was so psyched when this came out on audio! I love the series so much! However… I know from reading other reviews that JP Handler is a very polarizing narrator. Some people just adore his work, others hate it. For me, he’s too much. His voice sounds like he’s on the verge of tears the entire time. There are times I really appreciate the emotion he puts into his work, especially the dialog, but for the rest it is hard to listen to.
Audio: 2.5 of 5 hearts. Because the book is so good I can tolerate the narration, otherwise I’d have returned this and never gotten the rest in the series.