Rating: 4 stars
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Jason Holt has been on the run, from one big city to the next, for the past five years. Witnessing a mob boss kill an undercover cop when he was a teenager changed his life, especially since the mob boss was the father of Jason’s childhood love. After the man was killed in prison, his sons vowed to hunt Jason down and kill him. Now, five years later, Jason finds himself in the same city as Nic Demos, but after so many years he’s tired of running. Following his instincts and the advice of a friend, Jason seeks out private investigator Quinn Reynolds. Rumor is the PI has it in for Nic and may be able to help Jason.
When the love of Quinn Reynolds’ life was killed by a man with mob connections and an even darker side, Quinn wasn’t sure how he could go on. That was over a year ago and the one thing Quinn has focused on is taking down Nic Demos. His chance comes when a frightened, beautiful man walks into his office seeking his help. His request: “I need you to kill me.” Not literally, just in a way that Demos will think he is dead and Jason can finally move on with his life.
The attraction is instant between Quinn and Jason. Jason has never had a relationship and is confused by his feelings for Quinn, but Quinn is willing to wait it out until he and Jason can form something more substantial. A family that accepts Jason immediately, a strange likeness to a dead lover, and strange secrets that surround both keep Jason from fully trusting Quinn. When Jason falls into a world he never knew existed, never dreamed of, he’s not sure where exactly the danger lies. When it turns out that both Demos and this new world are connected, Quinn and Jason must learn to trust one another if they are going to survive the evil waiting for them.
This book was not what I was expecting. The cover, which was the first thing that attracted me, and the blurb gave very subtle hints that I didn’t catch on to until I was about halfway through the story. It’s not a bad surprise since I obviously have a thing for paranormal stories. I liked it, I just wish I would have been prepared for the supernatural side of the story. I would have liked to know that I was reading a paranormal story going in.
I really like the setup of this storyline – a man in trouble and tired of running turns to the one man who is gunning for the villain of both men’s stories. And I always love a good mob/WitSec twist. It always adds mystery and entertainment, which is exactly what it gives to this story. The pacing is fast and exciting. The paranormal twist is surprising as I mentioned earlier, but the comparison to Supernatural is imaginative. I enjoyed the integration of the feel of the television show into the story.
That leads me to Quinn and Jason. I really like Quinn. He’s patient, understanding, and kind. He’s been hurt by the loss of his love, but he doesn’t let it change who he is. He knows what he wants and he will wait until the time is right to take it. Jason grows a lot in the course of this story. He starts out as a young man who will do anything to please Quinn, even what he thinks Quinn wants. But he grows into a man who is able to stand on his own and accept who he is, which in turn makes him even more attractive to Quinn. I really enjoyed the individual journeys of each man.
The world is one of reality and fear. It’s a dark world as compared to a lot of paranormal worlds. No good werewolves, sweet angels, jolly santas, or sweet demons in this world. No, it’s a world of nightmares that most people have no idea about. It’s a world of hunters and their families. It’s a twist on a popular TV show. The world is not one that we see a lot of in this genre, which makes it refreshing and exciting for me.
So in the end, Past Tense is a surprisingly unexpected story. For those of you who have a thing for the Winchester boys (I know there are a lot of us out there), this story is definitely written for you. It’s a good world and a fun, exciting mystery. I enjoyed the twists and turns throughout the story. The author left the end open for the adventure to continue, and I hope it will. Recommended.
Cover: I absolutely love this cover. I’m not sure who at Wilde City Press created it, but it’s perfect. From the drool-worthy sexiness of Quinn to Vegas in the background to the fire – it is hot and exciting, just like the story.