Rating: 3.5 stars
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All hell seems to break loose in the small Texas town of Lone Trail. Dirty cops, drug cartel, drugs, prostitution, and murder are wreaking havoc in the formerly quiet town. When both of their bosses are suspended pending investigation, US Marshal Jubilee Mason is appointed team leader and Detective Kieran Fox is appointed acting sheriff of Lone Trail.
Kieran discovering that his father, Nigel Fox, is the boss of the local drug runners is shocking, but he is determined to take down the cartel regardless. Finding out the extent of corruption of the citizens of Lone Trail is even more surprising. A secret government agency trying to coerce Kieran into helping catch his father, only adds to their problems. Unable to trust anyone else, Jubilee and Kieran form a small task force that begin uncovering secrets that will hopefully help them take the cartel down.
As if fighting a drug cartel isn’t hard enough, Kieran and Jubilee continue to fight their attraction to one another. Kieran, certain that he’ll get hurt in the end, is afraid of falling in love with the US Marshal. And Jubilee, afraid to admit that he’s gay, longs to have a relationship with Kieran if only in private. But the pressure of their case and growing feelings take a toll on what they could have as their investigation delves deeper into the deception and lies of the drug cartel. When Kieran discovers a major secret that Jubilee has been keeping, he realizes that the trust between them may have only been one-sided.
Longing is the second book in the Orgasmic Texas Dawn series by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly. It delves deeper in to the mystery and drug trade in the little town of Lone Trail. It’s a story of twists and turns, mystery, and a few surprises.
Kieran and Jubilee are back and still fighting their feelings for one another. I am still drawn to Kieran, who is headstrong and confident, but has been hurt in the past and only wants to protect himself from heartbreak. On top of dealing with his feelings for Jubilee, he has to deal with the fact that his father is one of the bad guys. His internal struggle makes him grow and strengthens him as a character. I really liked Jubilee in the first book, but the more I read of him, the more I’m disappointed. He’s digressed from a confident – bordering on cocky – man to a whiny, needy, clingy man. He is so afraid of what other people will think about him being gay that he doesn’t even think about how it affects Kieran. I’m hoping that he’ll somehow return to that confident man in the next book.
Again, just like the previous book, Orgasmic Texas Dawn, this story is a continuing romance with ups and downs, and relationship problems to be worked through, but it is mostly a mystery and crime drama. The continuing investigation into the drug cartel, trying to hunt out the leak within each agency, and dealing with outside secret ops affecting the investigation makes for an exciting and adventurous read. The romance portion of the storyline leaves a little to be desired. The struggle of fighting their feelings for one another is getting a little old and frustrating. I enjoyed the mystery of the storyline much better than the actual romance.
The introduction of new characters brings new mysteries to be solved. Darlene is Jubilee’s ex-fiancé and also a US Marshal, but she’s working for an outside agency, and both Kieran and Jubilee find it difficult to trust her. She’s well written because I’m thinking that the authors don’t want readers to trust her either. I think she is still hiding more than she’s telling and look forward to seeing how it affects the story in the end. Nigel Fox, Kieran’s father, shows up as a major player in the drug trade in Lone Trail with his hand in several activities, but he has secrets that leave Kieran with questions. Secrets and lies have been tangled up in Kieran and Nigel’s relationship. I’m looking forward to seeing how that part of the story turns out.
One of my biggest problems with this story, other than the character digression, is the southern dialect used. I found it charming in the first book, but in this installment I found it to be over exaggerated and a little excessive. It even made some of the characters, including Jubilee, sound less intelligent, which isn’t the case.
Again, as with the last installment, there are mysteries left unsolved, and questions left unanswered to keep readers guessing and wanting more. And even though there are aspects of this story that frustrate me, I’m looking forward to seeing how this story comes together.
In the end, Longing was a little disappointing. The mystery plot saved this story somewhat with a couple surprises that I never saw coming. I’m not too impressed with the digression of Jubilee’s character, but I do have hopes of a turn around. I look forward to the next installment, if only to answer some questions that I had at the end of this book.