Summary review: A tough cop proves he’s not so tough after all when he meets the man who knows what he needs.
An ordinary Thursday night at Bryan’s Bar in downtown Atlanta, Georgia—home to a staff made up entirely of ex-cons of one stripe or another—turns into something quite different when riled-up police detective Patrick Graves walks in. Bartender Jay Hinshaw recognizes Patrick’s leashed ferocity and offers him exactly what he thinks Patrick wants: an outlet for his pent-up frustration. But Patrick’s a complicated guy, and getting what he wants only scratches the surface of what he needs.
Bryan’s Bar was a haven for ex cons looking to turn their lives around, and Jay was thankful to Bryan who gave him a chance for a “do over” after going to prison for 2 years at eighteen for stealing a car. He realized much later how lucky he was when he was picked up that night by the cops, because prison kept him from dying on the streets. That particular Thursday night he was in charge of the bar in Bryan’s absence, and when the tall stranger walked in as if he owned the place Jay’s radar went up because he was sex on a stick, but there was also a dangerous aura that surrounded the man and he couldn’t figure out if the guy was sexy because he was dangerous or the reverse.
Patrick was looking for trouble and he was all set to make trouble if he couldn’t find it, given the way he was unraveling that night. Instead he found Jay. Jay could feel the tension that surrounded the man and he figured that he was either a cop or in the military, with his bearing and alert stance. He looked as if he had been around the block a few times, his eyes were cold and hard and there wasn’t a glimmer of a smile on his face. He was unleashed, as if the slightest wind would set him off, yet he was totally in control of his emotions. Jay wasn’t sure if he was there to arrest someone or buy a drink, but he did know one thing – the man had his number.
When the stranger sat down at the bar Jay felt an adrenalin rush as he started checking him out, but he was determined not to show how much the stranger affected him. It was obvious that Patrick wanted him and was trying to find out if Jay felt the same, so he ordered a drink to get the answer to that all important question – was Jay aroused, and if so, would he be willing to play? The man was looking to scratch an itch and Jay lost the initial skirmish, but the game had only just begun.
Detective Patrick Graves was on an assignment from a neighbouring police department to help the local police with an important case, but Jay was not into one night stands so it didn’t seem as if they would hook up. However, Patrick was determined to stick around and play out his hand, so he stayed in the bar until it closed. Despite his instincts telling him to be cautious, Jay’s chose to heed the message his body was sending — by this time the sexual tension had him in its thrall and the men barely made it into the office to relieve some of their pent up energy, an appetiser on the way to spending the rest of the night together.
What I loved about this book were the intensity and the character development, especially Patrick who started out as the toughest hombre in town and became a man who let the reader know how much he cared for Jay. The fact that Jay knew exactly which buttons to push helped him to open up. The feelings between the protagonists were powerful, the emotions were palpable and the sex was off the chart. Even though this could be considered somewhat of a May/December romance since Jay was 25 and Patrick was pushing forty, their physical presence was well matched, and for such a short book the intimacy during their lovemaking was incredibly moving and revealing which led to them sharing confidences about their lives, something that doesn’t happen if the characters are only interested in sex. The tough cop with many years in the military had a tender side that he seldom showed anyone, but the ex con had his number and dialled it.
The prose was tight and sparse and the story is told in alternating third person POVs which revealed each man’s thoughts about how their encounter would play out. Patrick’s tough attitude underwent a major shift during the story. He was used to being the “go to” person in the police department for certain types of crimes because of his investigative techniques that were very different from those of his colleagues, and while he was helpful to the other officers and they achieved success through his efforts, he didn’t have many friends among his brothers in blue. Being with Jay softened some of his sharper edges. Jay, on the other hand, was very mature due to his life experiences so far and a natural leader – traits that helped him to figure out what Patrick needed. The few supporting characters were well rounded especially Bryan, the owner of the bar, who had been a parole officer for 20 years and now used the bar as a second home for ex cons who were willing to change their lives.
There was quite a lot packed into Get What You Need and once you pick it up you would be hard pressed to put it down. I liked this book a lot and I definitely recommend it.