Rating: 4.75 stars
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Detective Douglas Brody’s life was turned upside down when he was injured on the job. Suffering through knee surgery and the subsequent physical therapy was not his idea of fun. It most certainly isn’t going to help him catch the serial killer he’s been searching for since he was a uni on the streets. All Brody wants is to solve the case and put the Strangler behind bars so that no other innocent lives are lost. Unfortunately, the road to healing stands in his way. Along with a tall, moose of a physical therapist who Brody can’t stop thinking about.
When Zack meets the surly detective, he knows Brody is going to be a challenge, but Zack has never run from a challenge and he isn’t going to stop now. Determined to help Brody return to full strength and ready for work, Zack meets Brody’s surliness with strength and confidence, unafraid of the detective’s intimidation. His attraction to Brody is immediate, but Zack would never do anything to jeopardize his job, and he certainly wouldn’t do anything to scare Brody away. But as they spend more time together and Zack sees the man beneath the gruff exterior, he can’t help but want to be closer.
As Brody returns to light duty, he enlists Zack’s expertise to help him get in shape in order to pass his PT test and return to full duty. Brody is determined to return to work and finally catch the killer who has plagued his career. Despite the pain of dating a closeted man in the past, Zack finds himself falling for Brody. Brody has always known he was gay, but he wants to live up to his father’s ideas of what a man is, and he doesn’t necessarily work in the most gay-friendly of professions. Eventually Zack and Brody find their way together and both men are determined to keep things purely sexual, not letting their hearts overrule their minds.
Slow Burn is the second story I’ve read by Sam B. Morgan. And I find myself liking this author more and more with each story. The storytelling, the hot as hell cops, the smexy lovemaking, the struggle between between what you want and what you think you should want – this author has intensity and angst down pat. Slow Burn drew me in immediately with the murder mystery and I held on for the tug-of-war romance. It’s a thrill a minute and I loved every second of this book.
Here’s the thing with closeted characters: I’m either going to love them or I’m going to hate them. Very rarely is there an in between. It usually has to do with their justifications and the way they live their lives. That being said, I absolutely adore Brody – for his inner struggle, for his fear, for his morals, for the love he has for his father, for his mistakes, for his confidence, and for his bitchiness. Brody is pretty complex and frustrating and damn sexy. He’s redeemable. He can admit his faults and, even if it takes a life changing event, he has the ability to right his wrongs. He is a great man.
Now, Zack, on the other hand, I love for completely different reasons. Zack is confident in who he is and what he wants. He’s been hurt before and is scared of being hurt again, but when he realizes he’s falling for Brody, does he run? No. Because Zack, as smart and determined as he is, follows his heart. His struggle with Brody is one of my favorites – the back and forth, push and pull. He takes what he can get from Brody, always wanting more, but never asking. Until the moment he breaks. Seriously, I love Zack. He’s a calm influence, happy-go-lucky kind of guy until he’s pushed. He’s no one’s doormat. The man can take care of himself. He’s the perfect match to Brody’s surliness.
The overall story is great. It’s the perfect balance of procedural drama and romance. I was captivated by both spectrums of this story. The lead-in and history of the Strangler case as well as the recent murders and lack of evidence had me wanting more all throughout the story. And honestly, I didn’t figure it out until Brody did. And that’s the kind of mystery I like. Then the romance, well, Slow Burn is the perfect title. The buildup, the tension, and the intensity between Brody and Zack were definitely worth the outcome. They are explosive when they come together. So sexy.
Yes. I absolutely loved this story. I love the characters, the storytelling, the mystery, and the romance. I can’t wait for more from this author. I highly recommend Slow Burn by Sam B. Morgan.