Jack Horwood hates owing favors. But when a simple day out to treat Gareth to the best oysters in England leads to a discovery of drugs and counterfeit money—things that neither Jack nor Gareth have the jurisdiction to handle—he has to call in help. Help that doesn’t come cheap, and that forces him to do something he promised himself he’d never do again—walk away from Gareth and the family he’s starting to make for himself.
Three months undercover is a long time. After missing Gareth’s birthday, Jack is determined not to miss their first anniversary. But coming home and being home are two very different things. So when he is asked to assist with a corporate espionage investigation, Jack can’t say no, despite knowing it will impact his already straining relationship.
Except, of course, he’s walking into a trap….
House Hunt is a less elaborate version of the first book in the series. Instead of overlapping events, we get to see them happening one after the other; affecting, not only their outcomes but Jack’s and Gareth’s relationship and newly formed family.
In my opinion, this streamlined version of events took away from the complexity of Jack’s life and mind. Perhaps, now that he has Gareth in his life, things are not as chaotic as in the beginning, but I missed the intensity of following unrelated plots, all at ones. There’s no lack of action, just a simple structure that wasn’t present in Job Hunt.
There’s a separation between the drugs and counterfeit undercover work, the MC’s life together, and the corporate espionage investigation. This is not bad, it just slows the middle part of the story and makes the ending feel rush. Not enough time to enjoy the resolution. And my biggest pet-peeve were the fade-to-black scenes, not only the sex scenes but the majority of the transitions.
As before, the author did an excellent job getting the reader into the story, the MCs’ mood, and the British landscape. Food plays another important role from the opening scene to the very end. It not only shows how much Gareth care, but how aware Jack is of Gareth’s attentions and his need to take care of others.
The characters didn’t live in a bubble even when most of them worked at Nancarrow Mining. They had relationships and a role to play in order to advance the overall plot. But we do get the sense of home when Jack and Gareth were at Richmond, Gareth’s house. It was their space to be a couple, to learn how to be together when the stress of their real life tried to blindside them.
Jack’s and Gareth’s relationship moves forward in this installment, and we get to see a side of them we had hope for before. There’s more background about their time together in the Army, and what Gareth does for Aidan. Plus, more Nico and Daniel and a house hunt for their family to be together.
Overall, another good addition to The Power of Zero series. I’d definitely look forward to more about Jack, Garreth, and their band of misfits.
This is the third cover by Maria Fanning and the concept still very similar— showing a main event in the story. Personally, it feels more like a café than a house, but the whole idea works well.
ebook, 300 pages
Published: March 30, 2016, by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English