Rating: 4 stars
I decided to review these books together since I read them back to back and they follow one another nicely. This is my first review so some quick background. I track all the books I read and rank them 1-5 using half points. Here is the rough scale I use:
5 – Loved it, one of my very favorites
4 – Excellent book, I really enjoyed it and would read it again
3 – Good book, enjoyable read
2 – Ok, I probably wouldn’t read it again, likely wouldn’t buy it in hindsight
1 – Didn’t enjoy it, not worth reading
Ok, so with that out of the way, here goes!
Cover Me opens right in the action. Paramedic Nick Swain arrives at a horrific shooting and stabbing scene in the middle of the bad part of town. With only two paramedics and multiple victims, he is forced to make a difficult triage decision about whom to treat first. One of the women is “black tagged,” meaning she is too injured to treat when there are other victims that might be saved with immediate help and there are too few paramedics to go around.
As Nick tries to treat a women’s injuries, a junkie pulls a gun on him thinking Nick is hurting her. Nick manages to hold on and save her life in a tricky procedure, but he is shaken to the core by being held at gunpoint. On top of that, when the severely injured patient dies without treatment, spectators misunderstand the “black tag” she received as racially motivated. Nick soon finds himself in the middle of a scandal and the target of death threats from an unknown source.
Officer Andrew Carmichael is at the scene and after a ride home leads to a night of hot sex, Andrew tries to help Nick navigate through his post-traumatic stress from being held at gunpoint, along with handling the political fallout from the racism claim. As the threats build, Nick struggles with his anxieties and Andrew works to protect him. Danger, investigations, and suspense ensue, along with much angst, especially for Nick.
The relationship between Nick and Andrew is hot right from the start as sex is a way both men cope with the stress of their difficult jobs. Nick’s former lover left him after feeling like Nick never want to talk about his job, just wanted to wipe out the bad memories with sex. But Andrew understands Nick’s need to not relive the horrible things he sees every day.
The story is told from Nicks POV, but I had no problem following Andrew’s role in the story. I liked both men and enjoyed their relationship. My only real complaint is that I thought some elements of the suspense plot were a bit predictable. I was able to anticipate events before they happened. I wish that part had held up as well as the parts that focused on their relationship.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it. L.A. Witt has become one of my go to authors.
Trust Me takes place in the same world as Cover Me (I am not sure if Brian makes an appearance in the first book, but if he did, it was too minor for me to notice). Officer Brian Clifton is called to a murder scene at a club in Masontown, one of the worst areas of the city. As he examines a dead body, he is shocked to find the man looks remarkably like his boyfriend James. While he quickly realizes it is not the same man, the fact that he didn’t even know James had a brother, combined with James’ recent distance (not answering calls, canceling plans last minute, etc) makes Brian realize something more is going on with the man.
This book is sort of filled with spoilerific stuff so I don’t want to go into too much detail about what is really going on with James. As Brian investigates the murders, he struggles with whether to trust James and how much to put his career on the line as James begins to look more and more like the main suspect in the club murders. Especially because protecting James is putting his career on the line, along with that of Andrew who is helping him.
I really enjoyed the suspense and investigation in this story. It was a really different set up than your typical investigative thriller and I was definitely caught up in following the trail as Brian tries to solve the case. Lots of good surprises and twist and turns. For some reason I was a bit less invested in the men themselves. I really liked James but I had a harder time connecting with Brian for some reason. Maybe it was because James was so interesting it made Brian a bit duller by comparison. But as always with Witt’s books, the sex was hot and steamy and I was rooting for the guys to make it all work in the end.
If you haven’t read Cover Me, you can still pick this book up as a stand alone quite easily. But Nick and Andrew actually appear quite a bit (more than I typically find in sequels) so there is a lot of reference to their backstory as they recover from injuries, etc that happen in the first book. Nothing that is a “must know” to understand Trust Me, but it may make it more fun to know the guys since they appear quite a bit in this book.
Overall I thought this was a great story with a really strong suspense plot. Definitely a recommended read.
P.S. I just heard from Witt that there is a third book in the works starring Nick and Andrew with an appearance by Brian and James. Yeah! Can’t wait!