Add to Goodreads
M/M, Romance, Dark, Military, Crime, Thriller
Special Agent Leo Gale is up a creek. A year and a half of deep cover is about to go up in flames. He needs help--something, someone to salvage the operation and save the lives of untold numbers of trafficked teenagers. But he isn’t expecting the partner they send, or his own gut-punch of a response to the man. Julian worked hard for that FBI Honors Internship. It’s supposed to be a foot in the door. He’d never expected it to catapult him into the middle of a major undercover operation. Yet here he is, sleeping on a filthy mattress and using every trick in the book to avoid torture--and worse. He’s never felt so scared, or so alive, in his entire life, and he’s not sure if it’s the danger, or Leo, that’s making his heart race. There’s no time to think about it, though. The operation is heating up, and Leo and Julian are running out of time and options. They must find a way to take the traffickers down, before Julian becomes just a set of organs on the flesh market.
5 out of 5 (exceptional)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Leo is so deep undercover, he doesn't know how he is gonna get out of it. He needs a miracle, to get him, and the kids, out of the terrible place they find themselves. He just never expected that miracle to be called Julian. Julian is an analyst for the FBI, but gets recruited to an undercover job at the tender age of 20. He never thought he would end up bound, and beaten but the kids involved had been subject to far, far worse. Leo and Julian just need to get themselves, and as many of the kids as they can out, before Julian ends up too deep. Dark, so very dark, its taken me three days to get round to finding the words to write. BUT equally brilliant in its darkness. Kids are being taken, ordinary, everyday kids, not the usually runaways, troublesome teenagers. Your best friend, their sister or brother, and it takes a long time for the FBI to see the pattern there is. Leo is in to find out who is in charge and to take it all down. But the ring is far deeper, and deadlier than anyone first imagined. It takes Leo being "promoted" for him to discover just how far these people will go to cover their tracks. Leo knew he was in a bad place, and couldn't get out on his own. His reaction to Julian is so strong, you can almost taste it. Everything between these two is so well written, you can feel it, you really can. It carries some very heavy triggers, kidnapping, rape, child prostitution, black market organ harvesting. Some readers may struggle with this, I did, and I have no triggers. What I particularly loved about this book, is that there was some things left unsaid. We know that Julian is "bought and paid for", it tells us, but we DON'T get it. Right til the end, its never fully laid out for you, you just get bits, hints and snippets of how Julian felt. I LOVED that. I LOVED that, between Julian and Leo, their scenes together, are so brilliant, they really are! I loved that their happy ending isn't immediate, after getting out. It takes time for them both to deal with the aftermath. I wasn't sure how I felt about the book, its subject matter, but I knew when I finished it was a five star read. If it takes you three days to find the words, its never going to be anything else. Its the darkness behind it all. Just how close to it all you could really be. Makes you think. Makes you keep your 14 yr old on a tighter rein. The child kidnapping ring is left fully unsolved, and I assume this will run into book two in the series. Will Leo and Julian be part of that book?? I bloody hope so. I hope I get to read it too. Even if they aren't in it, I want to read it. Its a kind of...whats the word....can't find it, but you know what I mean? Its like, you KNOW its gonna be painful, whatever happens, you KNOW its gonna be dark and affect you deeply, but you also KNOW you absolutely must read it. five stars
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Kate Lowell has been a lot of things in her life. She’s worked as a surgical nurse in a veterinary hospital, as an EMT in both a rural and an urban based ambulance service, as a cashier, a pharmacy technician, a farm labourer and stable attendant and, most recently, she has moved into education, where she is now happily ensconced in a position at a community college, teaching all things geeky. Weird. I’m talking about myself in third person. I’ll have to find someone to blame. Other facts about me? I live in Canada. It’s a nice place to live. My house is in the middle of nowhere. My closest neighbour is a quarter mile away–which is still not too far away for their dogs to come down and beg for treats. I like to sit out in the back yard and watch the ponies (we have two), listen to the crows yelling at each other and write. Or read. Or waste time on the internet. Mostly anything that doesn’t call itself housework. You can contact me at katelowellbooks (at) gmail.com . If you think you’d like to try writing gay erotic romance, come visit at my critique group. New members are always welcome.