Title: In the Flesh (Flesh #1)
Author: Ethan Stone and Tristan James (Narrator)
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: June 23rd 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Mystery
Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5
Reno Detective Cristian Flesh is an out and unashamed cop, but his slutty ways might be his downfall. Cristian lives by a strict set of personal rules, preferring hook-ups and anonymous encounters to committed relationships. His guidelines work for him… until one of his tricks is murdered and he becomes the prime suspect.
Leave it to handsome lawyer Colby Maddox to save Cristian’s life. He takes the case and the attraction between them is quick and undeniable. After several passion-filled encounters with Colby, Cristian unexpectedly wants to break all his rules. However, before they can contemplate a future together, they’ll have to clear Cristian’s name and find the real murderer.
Well, folks, I’m in the minority again with this one. I disliked the story and the only reason I kept going with it was because Tristan James does a good job with the narration.
Cristian Flesh is openly gay and at twenty-five is one of the youngest to ever make detective. Cristian prefers to live by a strict set of rules that he’s set up for himself so as to never get too attached or emotional over anyone, and he is very active sexually, having oral and anal sex with multiple partners as often as possible. He also finds it nearly impossible to be alone, sometimes lasting less than an hour alone before needing to seek someone out for sex.
When televangelist, Joseph Pryor, is stabbed nearly to death Cristian and his partner, Lex, are assigned to the case and it creates a snowball effect of connected events that eventually get Cristian framed for a related murder. Eventually his partner Lex hires lawyer Colby Maddox to save Cristian and the two work together to get Cristian free.
Once he’s out from behind the charges, he continues to investigate the other mysteries that mount up until he finally gets all the answers.
I honestly cannot remember reading a story where a character who is supposed to be so smart and capable is so egregiously stupid and short-sighted in his actions. Cristian misses obvious clues, ignores evidence, at one point refuses to hire a capable defense attorney instead initially going with a Public Defender because “he’s innocent”, screws around at every opportunity, including having sex with a suspect, regardless of any consequences.
But then Cristian meets Colby and everything changes. Colby is rich, handsome and hung. So, of course, Cristian begins breaking all his carefully crafted rules once they begin having sex. Unfortunately, Colby is also deeply closeted with no intention of coming out any time soon, even for Cristian. And there are still mysteries to solve.
It all just didn’t add up for me. I didn’t like Cristian’s decisions and actions, some being so over the top stupid it had me literally pulling my hair at times in frustration. I got really tired, really quickly of all the completely unnecessary sex in this story. There is just so much sex in this story…to the point it frankly got repetitive and boring for me to keep hearing.
I did like how it transitions from straight mystery to mystery with some romance as the story progresses and Colby is introduced, but found the writing style just didn’t work for me as a whole. I didn’t buy into Cristian’s reasons for his behavior, and explanations came too little too late for me. I also didn’t feel like I got to know Colby enough to buy Cristian changing all his ways for him so they could have their HEA.
Even though the audio contains my biggest pet peeve with M/M narration (when the narrator mistakenly says “prostrate” instead of “prostate”), I enjoyed Tristan James’s narration overall and thought he did well with the various character voices in the story. Like I said before, the only reason I kept going with the story was directly because Tristan James does such a good job with the narration.
BUT! Like I also said at the beginning I am definitely in the minority with disliking this one.
If you’re looking for a mystery with strong characters, lots of hot sex, and some romance then you should check it out for yourself.