Title: Fractured Men (Hunt&Cam4Ever #6)
Author: Adira August
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Release Date: November 28, 2019
Genre(s): Mystery, Contemporary Romance, BDSM
Page Count: 262
Reviewed by: Valerie
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Sometimes what you never thought would happen, does. All at once. A furnace explodes taking your house with it. A cop at the door says your father’s dead. Or lightning strikes from the ice-blue eyes of a much-too-young-for-you man you pass in a doorway.
One year to the day later, the young man was my husband.
I slid onto a counter stool and Cam handed me a mug of coffee. A big slice of his grandmother Dee’s apple pie waited on a brick red ceramic dish. Our cell phones lay on Cam’s side of the breakfast bar.
He made quite the ceremony of turning my phone off and dropping it into the silverware drawer. “For the seven days of our honeymoon, you are not a homicide detective.”
Somebody should’ve told the killer.
THE BOYS ARE BACK in a “cozy mystery” done Hunt&Cam style that would give Agatha Christie the vapors! Love, sex and murder at an isolated canyon resort with our fave BDSM honeymoon couple. Cam really wants to get Hunt away from his job and onto a horse—God willin’ and the creek don’t rise.
Only then it started raining. … And something popped up.
The book prior to Fractured Men in the Hunter&Cam4Ever series is Secret Men, widely believed to be the final offering in the series. It did an admirable job of wrapping up the series with two murder mysteries, Cam’s proposal, the wedding, and a bit of hope for Cam’s Huntington’s Disease in the form of a clinical trial with promising results. So Fractured Men comes as a surprise and it feels like a gift from author Adira August, especially the first third which focuses on Hunt and Cam’s relationship. There’s a lot of sappiness…which I gobbled up. This is an aspect – togetherness and tenderness – I felt was lacking in some of the previous books, so I completely welcomed the spotlight on the couple.
The book is even more of a departure from the series in that it occurs on their honeymoon – away from home, and away from the rest of the crime busting cadre including Twee, Merisi, Avia, Natani and others. As much as I loved the increase in Hunt and Cam time, when the story got to the murder mystery, I did miss the team members and the well-oiled murder solving machine they comprise.
Fractured Men begins the day after Secret Men concluded, which was their wedding day. The book replays the wedding and I welcomed the opportunity to revisit their unconventional “vows”, which were so perfect for Hunt and Cam’s union. It left my heart melting. All the feels for me! During this book, Hunt and Cam acknowledge what they need from each other and how their relationship has changed now that they’re married.
“I’m your husband and your Dom and I decide what to give you for the rest of our lives. And you take it.”
“Yes, Cam.” Something like a wave of energy washed over me, leaving me free. “And my job is to care for you and protect you. And because you love me, you’re going to let me do that, the way I choose to do it, for the rest of our lives.”
The sex, while still very hot and very sexy, now has the added components of romance and quiet maturity. There are also more BDSM scenes than I remember in the past and they exemplify their Dom/sub, total power exchange dynamic commendably, complete with humiliation and sadism from Cam, the “Full Metal Dom”.
The murder mystery encompasses the last two-thirds of the book. The plot is enjoyable and the story moves along at a steady pace. The author calls the story a “cozy mystery done Hunt & Cam style that would give Agatha Christie the vapors”. Well that’s for sure. I don’t ever recall Miss Marple in handcuffs and gags. So while it resembles a cozy in that it occurs in a small setting with a group of suspects and the big reveal and arrest in everyone’s presence, it’s not a true cozy because of the sex and because the main character and crime solver is not an amateur sleuth. It is unfortunate that with one exception, there aren’t any memorable or particularly likable secondary characters. The whodunit is absorbing, although the murderer was not a surprise, in the least. The mystery is intertwined with a natural disaster which creates additional tension and suspense and serves as a nice touch. While I enjoyed the mystery, I kept thinking, “More sappy, sexy times please!”
Points of Interest:
- The narrator switches back and forth, within the same chapter, between third person and Hunt’s POV. It’s a bit odd.
The editing could have been tighter. There were at least a dozen grammatical and usage errors that the editor missed. They were annoying but not too distracting the way incorrect punctuation tests a reader’s patience.
Even though Fractured Men is the sixth book in the series, it can be read as a standalone because the beginning succinctly outlines the men’s history from their first meeting. Additionally, none of the usual characters are in this book so new readers won’t be in the dark. That said, readers will get more from the book if they have read the whole series.
I recommend Fractured Men with the note that it will have the most significant impact on previous fans of Hunt and Cam. If you’re a reader who can’t get enough of this pair, you’ll love the book.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Hunt that will pull at the heartstrings:
And then there was Cam. Who gave me belonging. I loved every manly thing about him because those things were him. I craved the feel of him like a drug, to be touched by him and joined to him. I loved his way of caring and his shy smile and his immense talent and his power and fastidiousness and insistence on excellence from himself. Accepting his way of taking care of me I gave him as the only gift I had to offer in gratitude for his existence.
Hunter Dane Investigation Series