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When mercenary Jack Hunter stumbles upon Christian Manning servicing a client in a back alley, it stirs feelings he’s kept deeply buried. Hunter becomes Christian’s knight in shining armor when he rescues him from an attack and takes him to his secluded cabin to heal.
Being stuck in the cabin over the winter gives both men a chance to get their lives in order. Christian is struggling to break his heroin addiction, and Hunter needs to get away from the organization he helped start years before—a group of people who don’t appreciate being told no. It’s a toss-up which goal is more difficult.
Their new starts spark a relationship between them, but nothing good comes cheap. Despite the complications, Hunter wants more, but Christian is resistant to making that commitment. When Hunter’s private security company threatens them, only nurturing the fragile trust they formed at the beginning of their love affair will save them. But for two men with very dark pasts, relying on each other might be easier said than done.
This story took me to plot directions that I didn’t see coming, added with characters with emotional baggage, and messy relationship progress. In other words, this was MY kind of book and I loved every minute of it.
It wasn’t perfect, I did have complaints, but in the general sense, this was the kind of story that I just ate up completely. See, I’m always in favor for stories with complicated relationships. It doesn’t have to be in the form of being abused or suffering major trauma … simply people that are complex, that are flawed, that have problems connecting with others. Stories like those make me FEEL. And my, what a treat I got from Hunter and Christian here. Yes, there was another plot that dealt with the danger coming from Hunter’s company, that one provided the action and suspense and helped bring our men together, but it was that push-pull relationship between Hunter and Christian that kept me glued to my Kindle.
The story consists of three parts. Part 1 is when Hunter and Christian meet for the first time and Hunter takes Christian to his cabin in order to help break Christian’s heroin addiction. Part 2 is when Hunter and Christian meet again after three years. Part 3 is the aftermath of the climax at the end of Part 2.
I thought the biggest twist would be the end of Part 1 where Christian did something that some readers would find unforgivable – and probably at that point would DNF the story, or promise bodily harm to Christian, then rate the book 1-2 stars. However, for me, that was the turning point that made me wonder how Christian would redeem himself. I didn’t see it as betrayal … I saw it as a stupid action, resulting from Christian’s inability to know how to deal with someone caring for him.
It was a mess but my GOD it was good. In fact, I thought that point was where this story raced to the 4 stars category. Before that, this story was just another case of a mercenary fallingl in love with a rent-boy … I cringed when Hunter seemed to fall in love with Christian that easily.
After that, it was a case of watching how these two men found their way back, overcoming Hunter’s anger and hurt and Christian trying to redeem himself. It was wonderful how Ms. Sherwood dealt with these men’s inability to say what they were thinking and feeling but without making it felt like the ‘big misunderstanding’ theme.
I have one complaint: I thought Hunter fell in love with Christian way too quickly. I guess I just didn’t see ‘how’ he could. Was it because Hunter saw Christian as someone to save? Was it because Christian was the first boy he had emotional contact with? I guess it was easier to understand Christian’s progress to fall in love with Hunter due to his process of growing up and redeeming himself.
I also wished that Ms. Sherwood wrote that big final confrontation between Christian and the people from the company coming to kill them. It was my personal need of having a big action sequence. So when it wasn’t there, it made me slightly disappointed.
Overall, this was a great read for me.