Hostile GroundRating: 5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance
Length: Novel

Mahir’s never worked undercover before, and while’s he’s nervous, he thinks he can handle it. He’s supposed to infiltrate a suspected drug ring that uses a strip club as a front. It’s not going to be easy. The last three officers that went undercover at the club have all been killed. Mahir knows that there’s risk, but he thinks he feels pretty well-prepared. Nothing could prepare him for Ridley though.

Ridley is the head of security at the club, and it’s Ridley that Mahir must convince to let him in. The club only hires gay men for security so that they don’t touch the dancers. Mahir’s got to prove to Ridley that he’s actually gay, and the resulting confrontation has sparks flying. Mahir convinces Ridley to give him the job and the attraction certainly doesn’t die down the more time they spend together.

Mahir’s concerned that he’s in as deep as he is with Ridley—one of the criminals he’s supposed to be taking down—but he just can’t figure out how to sever the connection that’s beginning to form. But when a set of chance circumstances reveals some interesting facts about Ridley, Mahir thinks that they might not be on as opposing sides as he thinks. Mahir thinks there might be a chance for something real between them after this case—but that’s only if they can both make it out alive first.

So, pretty much this review boils down to the fact that everything about this book makes me happy. It was well-written, tense, and engaging, and I could not love these characters more if I tried. This book delivered everything it promised and then some, and you should probably be off purchasing it right now instead of wasting time reading this review…

This book started with a great concept and built from there. The story of an undercover agent isolated and alone and unsure about who to trust and positive that the answer is no one automatically creates tension. Then you throw in casual sex and questionable things done to maintain a cover ID and a strong attraction to someone he’s convinced is a sociopath and it’s a volatile mix that burns bright. I loved, loved, loved the journey this story took these characters on.

Mahir is so very fantastic. There are an almost absurd number of layers to his character and the deeper we went, the more we peeled back of him, the more in love with him I was. It was wonderful how intelligent he was, how quick on his feet he could be. I was fascinated by his struggles with his family and with his colleagues over issues of race and sexuality. I loved how vulnerable he made himself to both Ridley and his nephew. He was funny and rough around the edges and insecure in some ways and each individual facet is great but none of them taken alone could ever speak to how amazing a character he is when you add all of those pieces up.

Then there’s Ridley. Good god people, hold onto your undies when you’re reading this because Ridley is going to make them drop like whoa. When he’s in character, he’s merciless and controlling and intimidating. When he’s with Mahir and slipping back into himself, he’s needy and desperate for a port in the storm, and sweet. It’s a breathtaking mix and I don’t blame Mahir one bit for being completely overwhelmed by it. Poor Ridley never even gave him a chance to resist. Not that Mahir was trying too hard.

The two of them together lit these pages on fire. Sexually, yes—the power struggle and the fluid dynamics was a thing of beauty—but it was more than that. The way they worked together instinctively, the depth of their feelings, the risks they took for one another. All of it was so damned hot. Some of the exchanges between them took my breath away.

Let’s talk about this plot, too, shall we? Holy cow was it well conceived. There were twists and turns aplenty, but all of them well-supported and believable. I was riveted through this entire narrative and could not wait to find out what happened next. Once I got to the climax of the book, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I barely breathed—I did nothing but read until I reached the end. Oh, and what an ending. Appropriately dramatic for the tone of the book and still wonderfully satisfying. Especially the epilogue.

So, honestly, what are you still doing here? Go, buy this book now! And then come back and tell me all about it so we can gush over it together.

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