Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
The forbidden is the sweetest lure.
Trenton Security’s Public Relations go-to was Hayden Gage. He loved his job, and it kept him distracted from the demons haunting his nightmares. His past wasn’t up for discussion, and Hayden wouldn’t allow it to intrude on his future. Yet, that was easier said than done when his best friend came to him desperate for help, and it put him right on the path to his one weakness.
Young didn’t equal lost.
Derrick Thorpe lived in the shadow of his father’s mistakes. Although he was adopted by Linus Trenton, he wanted to prove that he wasn’t like his biological father. When he was asked to go undercover to help at Trenton Security, it put him in close quarters with Gage. Being Gage’s was only an act, but when lines blur, what happens when the operation ends?
I know going in what to expect from one of these interconnected stories. Damaged men who don’t think they deserve love, perhaps someone who already loves them, a case that needs to be investigated and many of our couples from the series and stories that orbit each other, serving as friends and extended families. Yet within this framework, J.M. Dabney brings new characters or rather familiar characters to the front for a closer examination and revelations. We get to see where their damage came from, their past histories revealed, and who, most often, has drawn their attention and maybe even love.
The author also folds into their stories important current international elements such as child trafficking and slavery that makes our headlines daily and puts a face to the horror in Cameron in the daughter that is missing, Through Alex we feel his pain, panic , and outright despair at ever finding her, if not alive, then whole.
While the investigation is frantically intensifying for Cameron (and the author horrifIcally details why the searchers have such a short frame of time to accomplish their goals), Gage and Derrick are working through a minefield of emotions themselves about each other.
There is enough material here for Gage to be twice as long. I wanted more to be frank. More of the high wire act that was the investigation and suspenseful search for Cameron. That has me in knots every step of the way. And then, almost as a second story, the romance and dynamics that was playing out between Gage and Derrick. That involves all the voilence and extreme angst of Gage’s background which he hadn’t quite worked through and still required, as he acknowledged, the needs of a therapist, to help him.
In that respect this is very much a HFN, which realistically all you could expect.
There is Daddy kink, bdsm, D/s. and for people with triggers… beating, domestic violence, self harm such as cutting, and mention of suicide.
J.M. Dabney’s books, especially in these series are dark, gritty, and not for the faint hearted. I prefer them that way. They are true to these wounded men and the situations around them.
I have listed all the connected series below. It helps to obtain a sense of community and who all the people and couples are that are mentioned here or appear in the scenes.
I recommend them all.
Cover art by Reese Dante. I love that cover by Reese Dante, That is my idea of Gage.
Sales Links: Amazon
Published January 29th 2019 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC
Edition Language English
Series Trenton Security #3
- Executioners – third series