Title: Devlin & Garrick (Seeking Redemption #2)
Author: Cameron Dane
Publisher: Liquid Silver
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Length: Novel (169 PDF pages)
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Summary Review: A good story that was well executed, with lots of smoking hot sex, and maybe a need for some improvement in the characterizations and over-the-top prose.
Devlin Morgan and Gradyn Connell have one thing on their minds when they meet in a bar one Friday night in San Francisco. One good, hard fuck.
After the hell he’s been through, Gradyn knows the young man sitting at the end of the bar–with his sweet nervousness and beautiful face–is just what he needs. And Gradyn has absolutely no problem getting up to say hello.
Devlin knows inviting muscle-bound, tattooed Gradyn to his motel room is the riskiest thing he’s ever done, but there’s something in the man’s warm green eyes that tells Devlin everything will be all right.
One explosive encounter in Devlin’s motel room is the plan. Only, it turns out one hot fuck isn’t enough for either man. Dinner afterward leads to another round in bed, and what follows is a weekend together that stirs more emotions than either Devlin or Gradyn ever expected to feel.
Fast forward five years. Devlin has never forgotten Gradyn but he has moved on with his life. That is, until he walks into his sister’s workplace and comes face to face with the man from his wild weekend in San Francisco.
Except, this man is calling himself Garrick Langley. This man is a shell of the man Devlin remembers and hardly looks like the same person. And the biggest kick in Devlin’s gut? This Garrick Langley pretends he doesn’t know Devlin at all.
No. Fucking. Way.
Devlin doesn’t care what this man looks like or that he has a new name. Garrick Langley is Gradyn Connell, and they both know it. Devlin is a lot more secure in his own skin now, and he wants answers. This Garrick had better look out because Devlin won’t stop until he uncovers every one of Gradyn’s secrets.
This book probably has one of the longest blurbs that I can recall. 🙂 Devlin and Garrick is the second book in Cameron Dane’s Seeking Redemption series, but each book can be read as a standalone even though there are recurring characters.
Twenty three year old Devlin was in San Francisco for one reason and one reason only. He wanted to lose his virginity. The man who picked him up in a bar, Gradyn, had been looking for a good time when he saw the nervous young man, and they decided that each had an itch that the other could scratch. What was supposed to be a one time thing and Devlin’s deflowering turned out to be the most amazing weekend in both their lives, with some of the hottest sex. When it was time to say goodbye neither wanted to leave but Gradyn had some very important reasons why he could not stay and Derrick was returning home. Before they separated Devlin gave Gradyn his phone number even though he never expected to hear from him again, but Gradyn surprised him by calling and emailing immediately, and for 6 months they were in constant contact, until Gradyn broke Devlin’s heart by telling him that he was going to be married.
Four and a half years later Devlin was all grown up and a firefighter in his hometown of Redemption, Maine. He’s trying to pick up the pices of his love life and mend his broken heart, but nothing was working. Recuperating from an on-the-job accident Devlin was at a loose end and decided to visit his sister Maddie at the garage where she worked because she mentioned a vintage car that she was thinking of restoring for him. He received the shock of his life when he saw the mechanic who was working on the car – he was none other than Gradyn, except his appearance was vastly changed and he had a new name, Garrick. The man denied that he knew Devlin who was determined to find out what his story was and the mystery behind Gradyn’s changed appearance, down to the very distinctive tattoo that covered almost his entire face when they were in San Francisco, as well as a very different body structure from the bulked up one that he sported when they met.
A great deal of this story consisted of flashbacks to the weekend that Devlin and Gradyn spent together, as Devlin replayed in his mind every time they had sex and how he fell in love with the man of his dreams who subsequently betrayed him. The sex was smoking hot and off the chart because if there’s one thing that this author does well it’s her sex scenes. However the terminology used at times took me out of the story because, as I mentioned in reviews for other books that I have read by Cameron Dane, she loves to use the word “chute” when she refers to the anal passage, which makes me think of porn, or a garbage chute, neither of which is conducive to romance. She also uses phrases like “his bud visibly winking” – I’m not sure that I want to think of someone’s hole winking back at me. 😉 There’s quite a bit of over the top prose like this:
….deep into Garrick’s flaming entrance. The man’s breath panted in sharp bursts against Garrick’s ear with every knifing of his cock into Garrick’s chute, and Garrick grunted and bumped his ass up for more each time Devlin took ownership of his tender, fluttering channel.
Garrick felt like his entire body hung over a cliff, with only the head of Devlin’s cock in his ass and his hand on Garrick’s dick holding him safe from falling into a bottomless abyss.
On the other hand, there are many positives. I liked the plot and the author did a good job of maintaining the tension throughout. In addition to the main storyline of a man on the run, there was a secondary plot involving a family of three who were also in danger. The two stories are interwoven with Garrick’s character being the common thread, and the action sequence was done well. The secondary characters of Maddie, Devlin’s sister and his police officer friend Wyn were three dimensional as well as Grace Fine, Garrick’s landlady and her two children, who were delightful. However, I had a major niggle about the characterizations of Devlin and Garrick when they revealed that neither of them had had sex with anyone during the 5 years they had been apart. These are young men (Devlin was 23 when he met Garrett who was 28 at the time) and 5 years with no sex really stretches credibility, especially when Gradyn indicated that for the 2 -1/2 years before they met he had not been with another man, which would make it 7-1/2 years. I guess celibacy is back.
I liked this story a lot better than other offerings by this author, and if you can overlook some of the flowery prose and are not confused by the many flashbacks, and can also overlook a theme that I just abhor, The Big Misunderstanding, I think you will too. Those readers who are averse to mucho sex in their M/M stories might want to give this one a pass.