Rating: 5 stars
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I will admit that I felt the first novel in Z.A. Maxfield’s The Brothers Grime series was going to be hard to beat. The physical and emotional brokenness of her character Jack and his love for Ryan made for an immensely rich story that introduced us to the crew of people that would make up her subsequent installments in this fledgling series. I can now state that it was with real glee that I read about Eddie Vasquez being the second to star in the Grime novels.
As one of the partners that run a crime scene cleaning service, Eddie Cha-Cha Vasquez is used to dealing with reality that life is no fairy tale and happy endings often don’t exist. Hailing from a large and loyal family, Eddie understands what it is to be loved and has so much love to give. However, he hides a deep secret about himself, and when he falls for his niece’s teacher, Andrew Daley, he must make a decision to once more open his heart to the possibility of rejection based on his disability. But Andrew has a secret of his own and a real fear that he may yet harbor an illness, an addiction within him that would never allow him to freely give himself fully to another man. And so, these two men dance around each other, slowly shedding their masks, lowering their walls and learning that love can accept so much more than we give it credit for, so much more than we allow ourselves to believe.
The main story of The Brothers Grime: Eddie revolves just around the person f0r whom it is entitled—loving, kind, self-deprecating, Eddie Vasquez. If you are looking for some big action sequences or an overly involved plot line then you are coming to the wrong book. If, however, you are yearning to read a story rich in emotional impact and a deep longing for love, then you have not only chosen the right novel, you have stumbled upon some beautifully written characters and their evolving romance. The strength of Z.A. Maxfield’s work lays in the way in which she writes her men—how she gives them depth and real emotions and allows them to stumble their way into each other’s arms. Eddie and Andrew are so vulnerable in many ways. Between the secrets they hide and their overwhelming desire to both dominate and submit to each other, their story takes on life and remains engaging even in its quietest moments.
The clever way in which Maxfield has her characters take on opposite roles in the bedroom from those we would expect is really a stroke of genius. Then when she flips their roles on the dance floor and in their life situations you see the true nature of both Eddie and Andrew. Eddie, always in control, self-assured and flawless in his appearance, becomes this needy, submissive man under the strong hands of his lover. Andrew, who stand a full head shorter, smaller in build and yet outspoken and aggressive, shows that side when he takes Eddie to places he has never been sexually. In reversing the standard roles, the author gives such breadth to her characters and makes them ever so much more interesting.
I thoroughly enjoyed this second installment in the Brothers Grime series by Z.A. Maxfield. I highly recommend it to you!