As a forensic pathologist, Sam spends his days in the morgue processing death. He keeps to himself for the most part, but when he’s out for drinks one night he doesn’t expect to see his former classmate, Adam. Sam and Adam had a mutual friend in high school, and while they weren’t exactly enemies, they certainly weren’t friends as Adam made Sam’s life just a little less bearable. Although there is definite attraction and a definite spark, Sam is not going there with a guy he thinks is straight.
Adam’s life is all about his work. Being a paramedic is everything to him, but his career leaves him way too far in the closet. He can’t risk being out at work, but seeing Sam’s familiar face is way too tempting. A gruesome murder leads both men to the same crime scene and in the aftermath, they find comfort in each other. When hookups lead to feelings, life becomes too complicated for Adam and he has no idea how to achieve balance when his personal and professional lives collide. When a violent act tries to claim his man, Adam can stay in the shadows or walk the path that will lead to Sam.
You will find here a lot of relationship that is well balanced with a murder investigation. You will also find two men with long held, unrequited feelings finally getting their chance. The last book I read by Ashwood had a younger, sweeter feel and this book steps it up in both plot and relationship with many heated moments.
Sam has to live his work life following procedure as he processes bodies in the lab, but his personal life leaves room for much less structure. He is at first conflicted about his past with Adam and is more looking forward to the benefits side of their relationship and is not so sure about them being friends.
“Wait.” Adam broke the kiss and took a half step back.
“Wait?” Sam asked incredulously.
“It’s been a shit day for both of us.”
“We’ve been drinking.”
“And you hate me.”
“You’re three for three. So what’s the problem?” Sam asked.
Adam has always known he is gay but keeps it deeply hidden, even from his family. He loves his job but is concerned about his safety if he were to come out, especially since his work partner consistently makes homophobic remarks. He thinks he can just have a fling with Sam, and not get overly involved as usual, although it’s not that easy this time around as Sam is everything he has ever wanted. Sam is overly patient with Adam for the most part and when these guys leave the day job behind they definitely enjoy each other…often.
“I’m going to spread you open and lick you until you’re breathless and incoherent, and then I’m going to fuck you through the mattress. If you still know your name when I’m done with you, then I’ll start over.”
Mixed into the relationship is a murder investigation that is the secondary storyline and the details of Sam’s job were well placed and interesting, but didn’t overwhelm the story. The end offers a high intensity climactic scene that cuts through all of Adam’s defenses, but the investigation is not fully wrapped up and there will be at least three more books coming in this series. Check this book out for frenemies-to-lovers, lots of sexual tension and chemistry, a murder, an investigation, a claiming style climactic ending, and best of all there is more to come.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.