Title: The Danger in Bohemia
Author: H.E. Kollef
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 23rd 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Mystery/Suspense
Page Count: 260 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Will Mracek is forced to flee to Prague when he witnesses his boyfriend, powerful security magnate Jean Claude la Bête, commit murder. On the run, and with help from his cousin John, Will becomes an English teacher named Max Knight and does everything he can to blend in. Meeting Hadrian Walls, however, changes everything.
Max falls in love with the grumpy ex-RAF, now bartender, and Hadrian finds himself doing the same, despite not knowing the secrets of Max’s dangerous past.
But trouble has a way of coming home, and Max and Jean Claude will face each other one last time in a confrontation that sends both of them over the edge…
On the day when Will Mracek moves in with his boyfriend, Jean Claude, he decides to surprise him with a lunch date. Instead Will witnesses Jean Claude commit cold blooded murder. Will runs with nothing but the clothes on his back, and contacts his ex-Marine cousin, John, in Prague for help.
With the help of John’s contacts, Will makes his way to Prague, becomes “Max Knight” and starts his life over. Max meets ex-Pat, ex-RAF, bartender Hadrian Walls, and the two quickly fall in love. However, when Jean Claude finds Max, he pulls out all the stops to get back the man who ran from him.
I really liked the supporting cast of the story, especially Max’s cousin John and his boyfriend Karel. I liked the relationship between Hadrian, who has his own baggage, and Max, and didn’t mind it’s breakneck pace, but would have preferred seeing them together more. Jean Claude made a shudder inducing psychotic bad guy with the lengths he goes to in order to get Max back. I could also tell the author’s obvious love for Prague, which comes across well in the story as well.
However, parts of the story did not flow well for me, with more than one jump in time that left me wanting more. For example, when Will was first on the run from Jean Claude in New York, the reader is told later snippets of what Will went through to become Max and get to Prague, but doesn’t get to experience any of that journey, fear, or suspense.
The romance misses some support (another of those time jumps) so I had to suspend my disbelief at the depth of Hadrian and Max’s affection. They see each, then it’s weeks later, then a couple of months later. I would have really liked to have been shown more.
The action sequences also require some suspension of disbelief, but, as I’m a sucker for big action moments, that wasn’t a drawback.
On the whole, the story has good bones, an interesting premise with likable characters, and a suitable bad guy. I’ll look forward to checking out something else from the author.
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