Title: Rough Trade (The Woodbury Boys Book 3)
Author: Sidney Bell
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: December 3, 2018
Genre(s): Dark romance, mystery/suspense, cop, fugitive
Page Count: 496 pages
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Premed student Tobias Benton is making amends for his past. He keeps his head down, mouth shut and colors within the lines. But when his close friend Ghost goes missing, Tobias will do whatever it takes to get answers—including using blackmail to enlist some help. The last thing he’s looking for is romance.
Private investigator Sullivan Tate isn’t above a little breaking and entering to solve a case, but when Tobias catches him in the act, it’s almost game over. Their uneasy alliance only gets more complicated when Sullivan learns that Tobias shares his interest in kink. Mixing sex and work could kill Sullivan’s career, but Tobias’s acceptance of Sullivan’s darkest urges is nearly impossible to resist.
Side by side, Tobias and Sullivan spend their days searching for the truth and their nights fulfilling their respective fantasies. But the answers they seek are far more dangerous than they realize, and soon they find themselves fighting for more than just each other.
“You can’t love some- one with your whole heart without being terrified by what it means.”
Tobias Benton is a GOOD boy. Responsible college student, obedient kid, loyal friend, people pleaser. Do you know what happens to good boys when they realise they can no longer keep ignoring themselves to keep everyone else happy?
But first things first. Hard Line doesn’t work well as a standalone. The main protagonists are different, but there is a general story arc about Mama and the russian mafia that runs through all books.
Ghost is missing and for the first time ever Tobias wants to take action. It’s not just him worrying about his best friend anymore. As a baby, Tobias was abandoned by the person who was supposed to love him the most. So now he has to know! Did Ghost leave against his will or did he just abandon Tobias too? In Loose Cannon I thought that Tobias was in love with Ghost. The truth is far more complicated, and it has nothing to do with love.
“He doesn’t need me, not the way I need him. He doesn’t need anybody, but he lets me stay.”
So Tobias hires a private investigator to help him find Ghost. Enter Sullivan Tate, in all his tattooed, mohawked glory. This is definitely an opposites attract story.
Hard Line is actually…NOT about hard lines. Tobias will use less than moral means to get Sullivan to help him, and Sullivan is the kind of investigator who doesn’t strictly follow the rules.
Now the kink. This is a very kinky book. While stuck together, Tobias and Sullivan realise they have A LOT in common. Tobias is a baby submissive and Sullivan is the perfect dom for him. What I loved the most is that this is BDSM at its most basic level, without all the stiff, strict rules that makes it so damn boring for me in other books. This is just a guy who craves to submit and a guy who craves to dominate.
I’m equal parts terrified and giddy for Ghost’s story. What an asshole! I love him.
Overall, this is a great addition that includes all the things I love about this author: a gritty narrative (brilliant switch to the villain’s POV btw), deadpan humour, good banter, great connection between the MCs, and the most fitting HEA.