Author: Sloane Kennedy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 7, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary M/M
Page Count: 336
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
“I trusted once. I won’t make that mistake again…”
An ugly childhood and devastating betrayal have left 25-year-old Cain Jensen scarred inside and out. Protecting himself means keeping everyone at arm’s length and protecting others means never getting emotionally involved. In the three years since he’s joined an underground vigilante group, every life he saves helps ease the guilt of the ones that were lost to him so long ago. So when he’s sent to a remote cabin in the Cascade Mountains just north of Seattle to follow up on the disappearance of his boss’s co-worker, his only thought is to see that justice is served, no matter what the circumstances.
But nothing he’s ever experienced has prepared the cold-hearted and very straight Cain for who he finds on that mountain…or the intense need to suddenly offer more than just protection.
“I’ve finally managed to break free, but I’ve never felt more trapped in my entire life…”
Ethan Rhodes has been running for six months, but it’s never fast enough, it’s never far enough. At 30 years old, the talented ER Doctor should be spending his days saving other people’s lives, not worrying about his own. But he knows that the four years of physical and emotional abuse he’s suffered at the hands of his volatile ex are nothing compared to what will happen when Ethan runs out of places to hide, especially after taking something from the man he once was sure would be the love of his life.
A violent episode that has Ethan narrowly escaping death leads to a quiet cabin in the mountains where his battered body will have time to heal before he and the young girl relying on him need to run again. But everything changes with the arrival of a mysterious stranger who threatens to give Ethan something he’d finally accepted was gone forever…hope.
“I didn’t see this coming. I don’t think he did either…”
To get to the truth, Cain must first get through Ethan’s defenses, but watching the other man’s walls start to come down forces Cain to face his own past. And as the tremulous connection between the two men grows and gives way to something more, both will need to decide if they’re willing to risk giving each other the one thing that has cost them so much in the past…trust.
Will two men who’ve vowed never to let someone close again let down their guard long enough to find each other, or will they let their pasts determine their future?
Trigger Warning: This book includes references to physical, emotional and sexual abuse so please proceed with caution
Note: This book contains M/M sexual content and is intended for mature audiences.
***This is Book 7 in the series, but can be read as a stand-alone story – no cliffhangers.***
A wonderful hurt/comfort story that would have gotten 5 stars if not for one major pet peeve of mine.
- Sex a few weeks after a severe rape…
This book follows the standard Sloane Kennedy formula, and I can’t ever seem to get enough of it.
Cain is a 25 year old employee of Ronan’s underground vigilante organisation. He is pretty scarred by events in his childhood, so he keeps to himself and doesn’t like people touching him.
When Ronan asks him to find someone who has disappeared Cain ends up in a snowed-in remote cabin. That is where he finds a 15 year old girl and a man in his thirties who’s badly hurt and looks like someone really beat him up.
Ethan and Lucy don’t trust strangers since they are obviously running from someone, but Cain just knows he has to help them. Especially since Ethan is so hurt he can’t even walk to the bathroom himself. And Cain knows he has to find a way for them to trust him..
I really liked the hurt/comfort parts in this story. Ethan was adorable yet fierce and so in need of Cain’s protection, it was wonderful. I wanted to hug him and never let him go.
I liked how this never felt like insta-love since these guys spend a lot of time together before anything happens between them. And I also liked that Etah was not miraculously healed all of a sudden.
I loved this story deeply and I wish I could give it 5 stars, but there was one thing that had me rolling my eyes, and that were the sex scenes.
- Ethan was raped by his ex the entire time they were together (4 years), and the last time was right before Cain found him. So I would definitely think there was some emotional trauma going on. And while that is addressed at first, when the romance is in full force all of a sudden it is A okay for Ethan to bottom and no matter the position or the roughness, Ethan was fine with it since it was with Cain. I didn’t buy that.
This was still a very nice addition to this wonderful series. I’ve read them all out of order, so these can be read as stand-alones.