The Gardeners (Tosha’s review)

Title: The Gardeners (Those Who Dare #1)
Author: Brenda Cothern
Publisher: Wench Publishing
Release Date: September 13th 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 320
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Growing up as part of the Mancini mob clan in Chicago was all Tony Bricker and Max Hixson ever knew since the time they were seven. They were trained by their uncle, the Don, of the Mancini family and he dubbed them his Gardeners.

They were more than just best friends, they were chosen brothers and not only loved their jobs as Mancini enforcers, but were damn good at it.
Until, Max changed everything three years ago. Their friendship shattered and Max fled to Michigan to do his uncle’s work. Now he’s been called back to Chicago and once more paired with his former best friend, chosen brother, and the one man he’d always loved.

Now, both men must address what happened between them three years ago in order to do the job only they can do: recover their cousin Val from the O’Reilly clan.

This book contains M/M sexual situations, extreme mobster violence, and references to sexual abuse. If this is a trigger for you, please do not read.

This book was such a good book. Though it is from the view points of two mob Enforcers and does have graphic violence scenes, it a great read.

Brick and Hix both grew up within the mob. Brick was born into it but Hix is just as much family as the rest of them are. His father was an enforcer as well until he decided to try and turn the tables on the boss. That is when Hix took matters in his own hands and turned his own father in to the boss.

Now they are older, there are other problems Hix and Brick have to face. Namely the fact that Hix has feelings for his best friend that go far past friends status. The main problem with this is Brick is not gay. Or is he?

Hix left his home and best friend for three years because of these feelings but he has been called back home for a job and that means he is going to have to face the man that he ran from… Brick.

Brick is surprised when he walks into his uncle’s office and sees his ex best friend after three years of no contact. But when the boss has a job that needs to be done, you do not question the boss.

Now it looks like not only is Hix back and working with Brick again but the boss wants them to fix whatever it is that was broken. Not that either man thinks this can happen. Especially when one has feelings for the other and those feelings are not riciprocated.

Can Brick and Hix learn to work together with all the tension between them? Can they figure out a new way of things with one another?

This was such a great read. I truly enjoy books like this, it is action packed and not a dull moment to speak of. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series. Brenda did a great job on this book.

Those Who Dare series

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Galley copy of The Gardeners provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


Hello, I am an avid reader of male/male books. I do not have a favorite genre when it comes to male/male books because I love all of them from romance, dark reads, paranormal, shifter, threesome, whatever I see that catches my eye at the time. I read books about rock stars, CEOs, military, cops, and just the original plain old good boy types of books. Basically when it comes to a book, I read whatever I am in the mood for at the time. So my tastes varies from day to day and sometimes even hour to hour.