Rating: 3.25 stars
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Bull Krebbs owns a nightclub with his best friend where he heads security. And every time the dancers come, the crowds get a little wild. When he meets a particularly ticklish twink, Bull is immediately drawn to the man even if he doesn’t want to be, even if he refuses to acknowledge it. But the man is in constant need of a hero, and Bull is there to save him.
Zach Spencer was taken by the seemingly intimidating bouncer at the nightclub he visited for his birthday. So much so, Zach made Bull a superhero in the comic he’s drawing as his hobby. When his friends convince him to go back to the club to research his real life superhero, Zach grudgingly agrees. Seeing Bull again is nice and having him agree to a lunch date for research purposes is even better.
Bull is afraid of falling in love. He’s been there and been hurt before, but something about Zach calls to him and he can’t seem to walk away. When their working lunch date turns into another rescue by Bull and eventually turns into a for-real date, Bull finds himself falling for Zach. But soon dealing with family issues and his past life as a mercenary threaten to take away all that he’s tried to build with Zach.
First, can we talk about this cover? We all know I’m a bit of a cover slut. And Jesse Jackman? Well, truly that should be enough said. This cover is hot and the very first thing that attracted me to this book.
So, the story. I wanted to like this one, probably because of the cover, but it just didn’t do it for me. I found the basis of the story really good. And I was excited to delve into the mercenary lifestyle in this book—the secrets, the mystery, the adventure. I also love a good bear/twink romance. And then there were the complications that should have caused strife in the relationship building. But it all felt a little flat for me.
I’ll start with what could have been the adventure. When I think mercenary, I think covert ops, excitement, and heart-pounding adventure. I got none of that. There was a big build up with the bad guy that included the telling of Bull’s past relationship. It added history to the foundation of the story, but not much else. There was also the mercenary enemy who could have been a big obstacle; instead he wasn’t much of a feat at all.
I was disappointed with the relationship between Bull and Zach the most. It wasn’t consistent throughout. Bull, the eternal bachelor, swears time and time again that he doesn’t want a relationship of any kind, especially with Zach. But then he jumps head first into a relationship without looking back—no explanation of why, no hesitation, no fear. It was too easy.
What I found most enjoyable were the characters themselves. I adored sweet little Zach. He was a bit of a spitfire. Stronger than he appears at first. And I really liked Bull with all of his faults and misconceptions. And I really wanted to like them together, I just couldn’t get past Bull giving into a relationship so easily.
So, yeah. I wanted to like Inside Out. I really wanted to. But it was anticlimactic all around.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.