Excitement isn’t usually part of Alaskan State Trooper Dixon Rowe’s life. Not in a middle of a nowhere place like Zus, Alaska. So when Dixon is called out on a robbery in progress, his adrenaline is pumping. What he doesn’t expect to find is the most beautiful guy he’s ever seen, complete with prison tats and stolen canned goods. Worse is the attraction he feels toward the man. On the heels of leaving a bad relationship, the last thing Dixon needs to do is get involved with a perp—even if the shop owner didn’t press charges. But he can’t help be feel sorry for the younger man who is down on his luck, so Dixon offers to help him find a job. And that’s only where the help begins.
Jaye Larson is only trying to survive. In prison, life was easy. Being Cash’s bitch was a way of life—do what he said, when he said, in exchange for safety. It’s what Jaye is used to, what he craves. Especially at night, in the dark, when the phantom voices creep in. So when Jaye meets Dixon, he knows the trooper is a man he can feel safe with. He only has to make a deal—sex in exchange for safety, protection, comfort. With Dixon by his side, surely the bad things will stay at bay.
Their arrangement was never meant to be more than sexual, but Dixon has a way about him that Jaye can’t run from, even for a man who’s never known love. But between Dixon’s crazy ex stalking them, their pasts haunting them, and secrets standing between them, Dixon and Jay have their work cut out for them if they plan on staying together.
Holy. Hell. This book is a torrent of emotion and drama. Goodness. Dixon and Jaye are put through the ringer in this story. It’s dark and gritty and ugly. There are parts—I’m not gonna lie—where I cringed. And it takes a lot to make me cringe. But I kept coming back for more because I just had to know. That’s what this book is. It’s crack. Frustrating, emotional, holy-mother-of-god crack.
I’m not even sure where to start, so I’ll go with the first thing that comes to mind. Dixon and Jaye. These guys are not what they appear in the beginning. From outward appearances Dixon’s the stronger of the two—state trooper, alpha male, big brother. And he is all of those things, but he has this vulnerability that his ex exploits that brings him to his knees and it kills me. I’m telling you. I had to blink at the complete one-eighty, but the psyche—the complete mindfuck this guy was playing with him—was spot on in the way this author wrote it. I worried at first about inconsistency, but no… it’s perfect. It’s trauma and domestic abuse at its core. It’s battered spouse syndrome to a T. But in the end, Dixon finds his strength though Jaye. It’s quite beautiful, really. And Jaye… well, Jaye is obviously the physically weaker of the two, but he’s a mental powerhouse. He’s sharp and conniving and crafty. Not to say his ways are always legal, but he gets the job done. His heart is strong and very much in the right place. God, Jaye is amazing. He’s stronger than he thinks, and turns out to be more alpha than he’s portrayed in the beginning. I love his need to protect what is his and his absolute love for Dixon, even before he realizes he loves him.
The story—just wow. It’s so good. The author throws a lot of controversy and darkness and issues into the pot with this story. Again, I worried at the ability to keep it all straight, but there was no point in worrying really, because it was so expertly crafted, that I had no trouble keeping things together. Just so you know, there are memories of rape, domestic abuse, and graphic violence on page, so if you have issues, you may want to take that into consideration.
Yeah, I loved this one. It’s tough and bleak and ugly at times, but it’s also beautiful and hopeful and right. God, it’s good. This author is new to me and I can honestly say this will not be the last book I read of hers. I highly recommend Arctic Absolution by Lynn Kelling.