floodgatesRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

Four months after finding his boyfriend cheating on him, Tracy Brandt is sure that it is over between them.  But Breckin Alcott isn’t giving up easily and still desperately wants Tracy back.  But the affair with his friend is not the only thing Breck is hiding, and his past seems to be returning to haunt both him and Tracy.

When trouble starts brewing, Tracy is immediately aided by his overprotective but loving DEA agent brother Alex, along with Alex’s former police partner Cord Nolan.  Tracy knows his brother means well, but Alex is a bit smothering with his overprotectiveness. Strangely so is Cord, though Tracy isn’t really sure why.  Yes, when they met years ago Cord was interested in Tracy, but for nothing more than a quick hookup. And even though Cord is hot and has starred in many of Tracy’s fantasies, Tracy is not interested in someone with no interest in commitment.

Everyone keeps telling Tracy there is something between him and Cord, yet Tracy doesn’t see it. Cord seems to be frustrated and angry with Tracy all the time, not to mention that he is a total player. But Cord it determined to show Tracy that he has changed and is not the same man he was five years ago.  When trouble continues to come after Tracy, Cord is right there at his side, making Tracy feel safe and protected.  When Tracy can finally see the real Cord, he begins to realize just how right for each other they are.  But before they can move on, they must survive the ghosts from Breck’s past that threaten their future together.

Ok, so I know that was a super vague summary of this book, but this one is so wonderfully twisty and suspenseful, to tell you much more will ruin the fun.  So I will just leave it at the fact that Tracy ends up in danger and Cord comes to his rescue.  Calmes does a great job with this story, letting it all slowly unfold and unveiling things pieces at a time.  We meet lots of characters and learn about their lives, which really keeps the suspense going as it is not clear from the start what will be important to the mystery and what won’t.  I didn’t read the blurb before picking this up, and honestly it took me a bit to even figure out who Tracy’s love interest would be.  So Calmes creates a nice suspense plot here that moves along at just the right pace to keep things interesting but not give anything away too soon.

Interspersed with this thriller element is the relationship between Cord and Tracy.  They have a great history together.  I wouldn’t quite say this is a enemies to lovers story, but there is that delicious element of suddenly realizing the person you think you dislike is actually one that you totally love.  When the two men first met, Tracy was totally put off by Cord’s playboy ways. Though he has always been hot for the man, he has no interest in a one night stand. Since Cord worked with Tracy’s brother, the two men were always in each other’s orbits.  But while Tracy just sees Cord being prickly and difficult, Cord is really hiding his feelings for Tracy.  He has changed so much and really grown up and he is completely in love with Tracy. And everyone but Tracy sees it.  When Tracy finally realizes Cord’s true feelings, it is like the floodgates open up (hence the title) and all the feelings between these guys come poring out.  Though the two dance around each other for a while, the sexual tension between them is palpable and when they finally get together, they are super hot.

My only complaint here is that I found the latter part a little hard to believe. Without getting into too much spoilerish detail, I will just saw there is a part where they are trying to trap the bad guy and everyone is supposed to be under police protection.  For people involved in a police sting operation, their security seemed so lax as to be unbelievable. I think given how well the suspense plot developed throughout the book, this lapse in realism seemed disappointing to me.

That said, I totally loved this story and it was another hit for me from Mary Calmes.  The plot is clever and nicely twisty, the heroes are sexy, and the story is romantic.  Definitely a win and one I recommend.

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

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