Title: Double Deuce (An Amethyst Cove mystery)
Author: KC Kendricks
Cover artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: White Deer Enterprises
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Genre: Gay Mystery
Length: Novella/27k words
Rating: 4 starts out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: An interesting start of a new series about the life of another cop turned private investigator, but one with which I had some issues.
Free-spirited Ian Coulter works hard and plays harder. An ex-cop turned private investigator, Ian enjoys meeting new men and making new friends. A night out ends up with one man on the floor at his feet, and another asking for his help. Big trouble’s brewing in little Amethyst Cove, and Ian’s a step behind. He’s quick to see Rick Mohr is the man holding the flare at the end of a long, dark tunnel.
Undercover agent Rick Mohr walks a fine line, serving two masters. Insider trading, counterfeit printing plates, and a blown-up yacht have Rick stuck between two Federal agencies, one of which has been compromised. Rick has to discover the mole before it’s too late. When Ian Coulter walks into his life, Rick grabs the chance to salvage his assignment with both hands.
It doesn’t take Ian and Rick long to discover joining forces, and sharing resources, have definite perks, ones not found in any departmental manual…
First and foremost, please note that while this story features two guys having plenty of sex, it is by no means a romance, nor does it have an HEA. As the beginning of a new series, it may very well have some romance in the later books, but I did not notice any here. I think the narrative foreshadowed that pretty well, so I was not disappointed, but if you are looking for romance, this is not the book for you.
I grabbed this story for review because I have been on a mystery kick lately. But in saying that, while it was very well written, I am having trouble deciding how mysterious this story was. The issues our main characters have to solve were quite in the open, but they had to find some stuff, so I guess technically it is a mystery. Or not. See, I do not know still.
Related to this, I also think that the writer packed too much back story for the length of the book and it negatively effected the mystery element. It felt as if she did not have time to develop it in depth. As a result we have a plot which is both too complicated and too simplistic by the way of resolution, which is very hard to explain further without spoilers.
Additionally, I feel that the sex got in a way of the story in a sense. It was hot and well written, but I wished I could have learned more about our heroes, especially about Rick, and I could not help but wonder if the writer had cut some sex, maybe we could have had deeper characterizations instead? I know this writer can do great characters and even what she did with these two I liked, but I just wanted to love them.
On the positive, Ian is a very well spoken narrator, which I always appreciate :), especially when story is written from the first person point of view. He is intelligent, very likeable and overall fun. He is not, however, the type to commit in a romantic relationship.
Rick, as the blurb so helpfully tells us, has plenty of problems when he and Ian meet. Very soon they decide to join forces to help each other and do it rather successfully, I might add. But again, I would have liked to have known him more.