Jesse Martin is a police officer in the small New Mexican town of El Jardin. El Jardin may have its faults…namely they can be a bit homophobic and nosy…but it is the one place where Jesse feels like he belonges. So if he needs to keep himself in the closet, so be it.
Tomas came to El Jardin to escape the memories of a vicious attack that left him a shattered, broken man. While his physical wounds are healing, the emotional ones have crippled him to the point where just going to the mailbox is nearly impossible. Arriving in town in the middle of the night, he’s managed to get the town gossiping about who he is and why he’s there.
Jesse has to admit that Tomas has intrigued him. After his first attempt at being neighborly is met with a note telling him to go away, Jesse watches Tomas from across the street struggle to go to his mailbox every day. Then Tomas’ poodle decides that it is time for the two to meet and arranges a meeting by escaping to Jesse’s house.
Jesse knew there was something wrong with Tomas, he just wasn’t expecting to see that the physical injuries were minor in comparison to the emotional ones that he has. Determined to protect Tomas, Jesse steps up to the plate and becomes someone Tomas can rely upon. As the two begin to spend more time together, they begin to heal each other’s wounds.
This is a fairly decent hurt/comfort story. Tomas is suffering agoraphobia after a traumatic event that left him physically and emotionally damaged. Moving in the middle of the night to a small New Mexican town, his goal was to hide out and fly under the radar until he healed. What he wasn’t expecting was his dog, Loopy, to take a liking to the hot cop across the street. When Loopy continuously escapes his fenced yard and heads over to Jesse’s house, Tomas is forced to interact with his new neighbor. Then Jesse witnesses Tomas having a complete meltdown and instead of walking away, he sits down beside him and holds him until the panic attack passes.
As the two begin to rely upon one another to pass their lonely nights, the rumor mill begins and Jesse finds that everything he’s worked for is in jeopardy because of his sexuality. Despite his battles that he must face when he is away from Tomas, the idea of leaving Tomas never seems to cross his mind.
Despite Tomas’ lack of control in his own life, he doesn’t have a problem taking control when it comes to the bedroom. As a reader, I was surprised at the level of aggressiveness he has in him when it comes to taking charge! Then we have Jesse, who is this take control type of person, who tends to be willing to relinquish that control when it comes to the bedroom. Let’s just say it makes for some really hot sexy times that definitely are more on the erotica side of things.
The secondary characters in this book include Tomas’ sister and her husband – a police officer who is suffering from PTSD, and various townspeople (who you aren’t going to like very much) who help shape the storyline.
My biggest complaint about this book was that it took so long for me to find out what happened to Tomas that I was actually bored with the story. Then I felt as if I was let down with the big reveal because I was expecting something more. Instead, it was delivered in a way that felt unattached and without a lot of emotions.
Overall, this book was a fairly decent read with a lot of angst and plenty of spice. If you like a good hurt/comfort storyline, you will want to check this one out!