After a horrific beating from his husband Octorian, Jace Vanderhuff plans his getaway during a business party where his husband hopes to land an account. Escaping to New York City, Jace’s plan is to hide in plain sight, get a job, and sort his life out. What he wasn’t expecting was to draw the attention of a police detective shortly after arriving in town.
Detective Cobretti “Cobra” Stallone and his partner Barney “Weasle” Goldman spend their days trying to bring down a sex-trafficking ring. Stopping at a local bar after work, Cobra finds himself drawn to the shy, blond-haired new bartender who refuses to tell him his name. Breaking down Jace’s barriers, Cobra learns Jace’s secret and is determined to keep him safe.
As Cobra and his team close in on the ringleaders of the sex-trafficking ring, Octorian and his hired goons are closing in on Jace. Can Cobra managed to serve and protect both the teens of NYC and Jace, or will Jace be hunted down?
This book has an interesting storyline. There are actually two different storylines that merge together towards the end. The first is that of Jace escaping from his husband; the second is that of Cobra and his team trying to take down a sex-trafficking ring.
Jace was an underwear model who was swept off his feet by a very doting and attentive Octorian. Abused and thrown out of his house by his parents when he came out as gay, Jace could hardly believe his luck when Octorian proposed. Shortly after the vows were spoken, Jace realized the man he married was a monster in disguise. After nearly three years of being abused and having every move he made monitored, Jace plans his escape with the help of his hair stylist. Arriving in NYC, Jace lands a job bartending.
Cobra is closing in on finding the leaders of a sex-trafficking ring that is plaguing the city. Having lost a sister to a similar fate, Cobra is determined to shut them down once and for all. The last thing he expected was to walk into the local bar and find himself instantly attracted to the new bartender. As things begin to heat up between the two of them, Jace reveals his secret.
Though the storyline was interesting, there were many problems with the book itself. The most prominent problem being that it needs some serious editing to make it readable. The POV changes without any break or warning so that readers easily become lost.
The second problem was the timeline. At one point we learn that Jace has been on his own since he was 17. He married Octorian when he was 19. Now 23, we learn he spent 3 years bartending for his uncle’s bar…except those had to have been the years he was living with Octorian, who we are told monitored his every movement and only allowed him out once a week to go to the stylist. Then we have Jace running away from his husband, then he’s telling Octorian they are divorced…huh?
The other problem with the timeline also highlights the author’s complete lack of understanding of police procedure. I know, it’s hard to believe with all the news coverage these days about rogue police officers, but there really are laws that they must follow in order to get convictions or risk having evidence thrown out in court. Which brings me to our court system. While I appreciate the author wanting to wrap everything up at the end, absolutely nothing moves that quickly through the court system.
There are a whole slew of secondary characters, some of which it took until the end to figure out where they fit in this whole thing. My guess is that the author brought in so many characters to set up for a sequel to this book; unfortunately, for readers, we spend most of the book wondering why we are learning so much about these characters now.
Overall, I have mixed feeling about this book. At times, I literally thought I was going to throw this book in my DNF pile, the writing/editing was that bad, but I forced myself through it. I won’t lie, there is the potential for this book with some work, but it needs a lot of work. The storyline is interesting and fast paced, but the details and timeline come across like one is reading a plot for a bad soap opera. As written, this book was a miss for me.