Title: A Solitary Man
Author: Shira Anthony, Aisling Mancy and Jim Pelletier (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date Book: November 6th, 2015
Release Date Audio: June 23rd, 2017
Genre: MM Mystery Romance
Page Count: 304
Audio Length: 10 hrs and 38 min.
Reviewed by: LenaRibka
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare’s Landing’s newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.
Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the eleven-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in the heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.
“This story is dedicated to honoring all of America’s law enforcement heroes – those who have died in the line of duty and those who continue to serve and protect.”
I have never read anything by the author(or authors) before, but the blurb sounded just too enticing that I decided to give it a try. I started it with open mind, much unbiased, I haven’t even checked the reviews from my friends and an average rating BEFORE, what I really do seldom.
To tell that I was positively surprised would be a huge understatement. This book exceeded all my expectations – a compelling story that combines a thrilling, complex plot and arouses an entire spectrum of feelings and emotions. The readers though should be warned ahead (if you missed the authors note at the beginning): the topic of the book is not for the faint of heart – drug trafficking, child abuse and child sex trafficking. If it is a taboo subject for you, then you should probably skip it. However, do not forget that this book is also about people who are involved in the fight against this evil, who risked their lives, and in spite of some tragic, heart-rending scenes and the earnestness of the subject this book offers a warm humor and feeling of happiness, it is optimistic, promising and full of hope.
The last undercover operation of FBI agent Xav Constantine in South America went wrong: two kids, whom he was supposed to rescue from the hands of the child sex trafficking mafia, died in a gunfire. This tragic event becomes a turning point in Xav’s life. He quits his job as FBI agent in California, moves to a small sea town in North Caroline to become a new deputy sheriff to lead the Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Chance Evan Fairchild, Assistant District Attorney, whose own mother died from overdose, devotes his life to the fight against illegal drugs and tries to do everything to get drugs off the streets of his home city. He himself struggles against his own demons of the past and hides behind the arrogant appearance not only a sensitive soul but also his sexuality. Chance is the closet case. In opposite to Xav, and he never DOES the same guy twice. He is a solitary man.
Imagine his reaction and his confusion when he is introduced to a new deputy sheriff, in whom he immediately recognizes his one-night-stand. Xav is embarrassed too, but he also understands that he has to behave as if they have never met before. They both do everything to keep themselves out of each other’s way, try to avoid each other and keep their job and private interests strictly separate while silently suffering in doing so.
The situation is complicated. Even more when it becomes obvious that there is a connection between the expansion of the drug trafficking in this area of North Carolina and child disappearances which have increased significantly in the last months.
And yet, fate took its pay, two of them HAVE to work together…
I enjoyed this book enormously. As a passionate mystery and gay fiction reader, I have to assume, I almost give up on a MM Mystery Romance. Too many books in this category that have nothing to do with the mystery genre; the mystery itself often falls by the wayside.
It is not the case here: an excellent plotted thrilling mystery beautifully interwoven with an inspired love story (HOW could someone assert it is not a romance?!), hot sex scenes inclusive. Two great main characters – real authentic, credible, endearing, and not forget – excellently developed secondary characters.
Notes to the audio book:
I had some difficulties with the audio book. Jim Pelletier did a great job, voicing different characters with different accents. Authentic and vibrant. Unfortunately, I, as a non-native-English-speaker, had problems with understanding when he spoke for some characters with a strong dialect, and I had to rewind, again and again, to understand what they(he) just said. It interrupted a fluent narrative for me. For THAT(I am reviewing here an audio-book) I have to take off 0.5 star. But be aware, it is ONLY my personal issue that has nothing to do with the audio book.
I can’t recommend it highly enough.