Locked Down (Maya’s Review)

Title: Locked Down (Texas Heroes #2)
Author: Jess Anastasi
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Genre(s): Suspense
Page Count: 237
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5


A charming, confident FBI analyst gets more than the fling he bargained for when his lover lands smack in the middle of his investigation.

Gabe Lopez travels to Everness, Texas, to investigate and profile a dangerous group of white supremacists living on the outskirts of the small town. As far as he’s concerned, the assignment can’t end soon enough. When he stops to help Matt York with a flat tire, he anticipates a sexy distraction—nothing more. But Matt has a knack for getting himself into trouble, and soon Gabe is torn between protecting Matt and doing his job.

Matt left a successful life and business back in San Francisco to fulfill a promise to his aunt: find his runaway cousin and bring him home. But Tommy is on a dangerous path, and someone is trying to scare Matt off—or worse.

When the situation escalates, Matt turns to Gabe, who doesn’t like mixing business and pleasure. But in Everness, the secrets are buried deep, and like it or not, Matt is at risk of being buried right alongside them.

Imagine going out to watch a movie expecting action flick and instead having to sit through cheesy romance movie. That would summarize my impression of the book. And it was cheesy to the point I was rolling my eyes at the plot.

The blurb was interesting, and the first meeting of heroes had potential. Gabe is on business trip, while Matt has some family obligations to take care of. Their destination turns out to be the same small town which allows them to explore initial attraction. From there, the story went in direction which didn’t held appeal for me.
Gabe being an analyst and not a FBI agent was a quirk which made him stand out. Matt’s character, on the other hand, came off pretty washed up.
I had some issues with rapid development of their relationship, and despite occasionally funny batter, the story didn’t hold my interest. It wasn’t overly convincing. The characters were strictly black and white, no middle ground and the plot lacked force. There is a little bit of life at the end, but it didn’t help my overall impression.

I could take or leave it and wasn’t compelled to keep reading. I think the problem was too much cliched character development, as it took away from the plot which, in hindsight, was pretty decent.

Texas Heroes Series

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Galley copy of Locked Down provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.