Title: One Bullet
Author: Casey Wolfe
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Page Count: 152
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.0 stars out of 5
When Ethan Brant was shot, he found himself dealing with severe PTSD and unable to do his job as a police officer any longer. With the aid of Detective Shawn Greyson, the man who saved his life, Ethan not only finds himself again but discovers love as well.
Shawn’s life growing up was less than ideal, however, he overcame that to become who he is today. That doesn’t mean he isn’t missing something in his life. What Shawn hadn’t realized, upon first meeting, was that Ethan could give him all that and more.
One bullet changed both their lives.
Blurb sums up this story fairly succinctly and accurately. Shawn, on-site when Ethan was accidentally shot, takes a personal interest in Ethan’s recovery, spending time at the hospital, therapy sessions and post-trauma follow-up. Ethan, still struggling to put the flashbacks behind him, is trying to move on after leaving the police force due to PTSD.
When an encounter with the police while walking to work (why his behavior would be deemed suspicious enough to warrant stopping Ethan was a bit perplexing) triggers a flashback, Shawn was first to respond and calm Ethan down. From here, the two men begin to realize there’s more between them than they first thought.
This was a pleasant story that just kinda rolls along. There isn’t a Big Misunderstanding moment, any angst in the characters is common place when two people move from friends to dating, the one hospital scene was a tich overblown – but I think that was the point – and everything ends happily.
Overall, it was just sort of…vanilla. The two, three moments of borderline excitement were: Ethan not returning Shawn’s phone calls for two days, which I thought came across as juvenile and dumb; Shawn’s co-worker Davies’ calling Ethan to the Hospital but not adding the important bit of why Shawn was in the hospital – minor altercation that resulted in stitches – so Ethan is left thinking the worst. Which made for an unnecessary overly dramatic scene, in my humble opinion, and. And finally, when Davies, Shawn and Ethan are at the local “detective” bar and a slew of uniforms come in triggering a panic attack, suddenly Davies is all solicitous along with Shawn. Rather than just leaving, they all stay and huddle protectively around Ethan. A bit too damsel in distress for my tastes.
For me, the most interesting bits were the diversity in the guys families. Shawn comes from money, and his parents are more interested in social appearances than family relations. Ethan came from a small ranch in Montana, where family is everything. I found this difference in acceptance a bit more interesting than the romance itself, as it brought Ethan’s and Shawn’s siblings into the story.
To sum up, this was a sweet and mellow read that would be perfect for those times when you just need something at the end of the day that doesn’t have an emotional investment.