Review: Unsettled by Zach Jenkins

unsettledRating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


James is a cop who’s been spending time at a gay club on “The Strip.” He’s always indentified as straight, but lately, he’s been having some doubts. He has been watching a man named Trey who caught James’ attention when he busted him one night. Trey’s not interested, though, and tries to push James off onto Evan, the club’s DJ. It just so happens that Evan is James’ neighbor and they’re aware of each other. One thing leads to another and James and Evan wind up in bed. Now James has to come to terms with feelings he’s never had before and what that means about his sexuality.

Evan has a bit of a temper and couldn’t hold down any job except DJ-ing at the club. He’s had a rough life with a family who doesn’t approve of his being gay. He also swears he only wants hookups, absolutely no relationships. However, one night with James makes him wonder if it’s time to reconsider that.

While James and Evan are examining their new feelings, someone is on The Strip killing gay men. Nobody knows who or why, but James is determined to get to the bottom of it before it’s Evan who’s in danger.

I enjoyed this book. James and Evan were great characters and their love story captured my attention and held it. I wasn’t too sure at first. Both men were pretty abrasive, and I didn’t think I was going to like either of them very much. I was proven wrong, and that was a relief.

James had always considered himself straight and had never been with another man. I’ve read this trope over and over (and it’s one of my favorites), but I thought it was interesting how he found himself thinking about Trey nonstop. I did find it a little odd he was willing to hop in bed with Evan so quickly. He went from straight, to curious, to really loving boyfriend in a matter of days. I’m not complaining. I liked that about this story. I might have liked to have had more insight into his thoughts, though. Was he simply curious? Was he experimenting? Eager to lose his gay virginity? Still, he’s a character who wants to do good for the community and for his new man.

I felt for Evan. He was broke and lonely (even though he didn’t want to admit it). After they found out he was gay, his parents sent him to therapy to convert him. Relationships aren’t for him, but even hookups are losing their luster. While I was a little confused by James’ motives, I was more sure of Evan’s. No man is an island, and nobody wants to be so alone. He was one of those characters I wanted to reach through the Kindle and hug. Zach Jenkins’ description of Evan was very detailed, and I could see him in my mind’s eye…sexy, but with a vulnerability in his eyes…a pout that could turn into a beautiful smile by hearing the right words. When he became happy, I became happy.

There are quite a few background characters here: the previously mentioned Trey, James’ partner, O’Brian, and Jimmy, another cop are just a few. They’re all important to the story. They have specific roles and fulfilled them well. I don’t want to give away any spoilers here because this is a murder mystery book as well as a romance. They all play an important part in it…and that’s all I’m going to say :-)

Speaking of the mystery, I thought it was nicely thought and fleshed out. It held my interest, and even though I figured most of it out before the big reveal, I wasn’t disappointed in the least. There was a well done bit of action/suspense toward the end, and it was hold your breath exciting. The ending tied up neatly, and I was satisfied and ready to read book two in the series, even though it’s not here yet. I was so pleased, I have decided to read other books by Zack Jenkins.

All in all, I recommend Unsettled to fans of instalove, murder mysteries, and flawed characters who complete each other. It was an enjoyable way to spend a lazy morning in bed, and I was very pleased.

kenna sig

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