Rating: 4 stars out of 5
When Detective Kurt O’Donnell’s partner is killed in the line of duty, he discovers that his rather quiet partner was keeping lots of secrets, including that he was married… to another man. Kurt struggles to come to terms with the realization that his partner didn’t trust him enough to tell him the truth, but he decides to do the right thing. When the his partner’s widower, Davy, has no one to turn to except a pregnant sister who has problems of her own, Kurt steps in to help the mourning man get back on his feet. Before long, Davy becomes a friend, one he’s beginning to find himself increasingly attracted to.
To be with Davy, Kurt must face the prospect of coming out, but his job and his relationship with his Catholic family are on the line. Can he risk destroying his life for the uncertain possibility of a relationship with a newly widowed man? As Kurt begins to reevaluate his sexuality, something happens that confuses him even further and sends him into a downward spiral.
I found this to be a well-written and very realistic feeling story. I always enjoy this author’s stories. Just wanted to make that clear up front! Because I really enjoyed everything about this story except that I hated one of the main characters. Davy.
Davy’s deceased lover, Ben was a totally closeted and controlling asshat from what little we get to know about him. Since he died at the start and Davy himself didn’t share too much about him, we only get small small bits and nothing of what made him what he was. Taking that into account, while I didn’t like Davy much even at the beginning, I was trying to understand him and make the effort to like him. That ended, abruptly and finally. And Davy did ZERO to win me back over to his camp before the close of the story. So back to that in a minute.
On the other hand, I adored Kurt. He was just so very sweet to Davy, helping him from the start when he was alone and needy and totally checked out. Even though Kurt himself is just recovering from his own injuries. He’s so patient and kind and generous. After they are friends for a while, Kurt starts to have stronger feelings but is confused as he’s never had them before. When he faces them is able to accept them when he sees Davy kiss another guy, he reacts and then tries to talk to Davy about feelings he doesn’t really fully understand BUT rather than talk it out, Davy’s reaction just flat out made me see red. I absolutely wanted to kick the man in the nuts, throw him under a bus, etc. Only one other book has given me have such a strong hate reaction towards a character. Davy’s actions were wrong on so many levels. But I can’t really list them without describing the scene, which would be a spoiler. That said, if you want to read my full rant in all its furious glory with spoilers, see my review on Goodreads.) But here I will just say that Davy never redeem himself to my mind. Not even freaking close.
Davy’s relationship with Ben turned him pretty much into a hermit due to Ben’s attempts to conceal that the was gay. Davy could have left Ben, he wasn’t a prisoner, yet he didn’t. He stayed with him and he obviously loved him. He was totally broken up with grief when Ben died. It seems as if it was a very unhealthy relationship, but I don’t feel it excuses Davy’s actions. I just don’t.
Davy assumed that Kurt was just another Ben. Assumed things about Kurt. Didn’t bother to let Kurt talk or to talk to Kurt. Didn’t even have the courtesy to treat him like a friend, let alone someone he had feelings for. I hate when characters make assumptions instead of talking, but then to ignore him and hurt him for so long when one simple communication might have meant so much.
Months later when something else happens, Davy finally deigns to come when he’s called and gives lame excuses for his prior behavior. It’s not okay for Davy to have taken his suppressed or repressed feelings about Ben out on Kurt, who had been nothing but a good friend. Yeah, I hate Davy.
Kurt so deserved someone better. No idea what he saw in Davy anyway as he came across to me as kind of a snarky smartass once Kurt helped him get over his depression
I considered briefly that maybe if Davy had been a POV character that I might have gotten a better insight into his motivations and had a different feeling towards him, but based on his lame explanations & assumptions, I tend to think not.
I still give it 4 stars, because I so totally loved Kurt and his family and his story, and I do enjoy this author’s writing style.
I found the cover by artist Reese Dante appealing and representative of the story.
Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here