Francisco Gerald Cabot had everything stolen from him as a kid. Nowadays, he works as an undercover narc for the police where he is no better than the monsters who he takes down. Moving from city to city, he infiltrates gangs and gathers intel to bring them tumbling down from the top. Despite his long list of success as an undercover officer, Francisco’s desire for revenge has darkened his soul.
Christopher Caldwell is the son of the biggest drug king in the city and the man Cabot seeks to destroy. The disappointing son, Christopher wants nothing to do with his father’s lifestyle or anyone involved in that type of life. When he meets Francisco, he begs him to give it all up to be with him. Though Francisco is tempted, his life of violence, gangs, and slums is one where walking away isn’t an option.
This book was previously self-published under the title Snow. It has since been substantially revised and reedited.
Della Boynton is a new-to-me author. Her writing grabbed hold of me from the opening sentences and held strong throughout the book. Her use of descriptors helped to set a scene where many of us never would ordinarily venture – deep into the urban jungle where violence, drugs, and gang life run rampant in the underbelly of society.
The story is told in Francisco’s point of view. An undercover narc, his job is to infiltrate gangs, gain trust, and then destroy them from the top down. As the story unravels, Francisco assumes a new identity as a gang member known as “Chopper.”. His target is David Caldwell, the drug king. What Francisco wasn’t expecting was to find himself falling for the drug king’s son, Christopher.
Christopher is nothing more than a pawn for his father to use and exploit. Though he hates his father’s business, he reaps the rewards with a healthy bank account that allows him to buy his heart’s desire. When Christopher meets Francisco, he knows there is something different about him and begs him to walk away with him. When Francisco declines, Christopher finds that he can’t keep this man at arm’s length, no matter how much he wants to.
The other “main” character in this story is Snow – the young, innocent looking waif/prostitute that Francisco finds himself holding up as the ideal image of innocence. Francisco has had a long standing infatuation with Snow since he saw him many years ago as a young boy. In a world where everything is dark and dirty, Snow manages to remain “pure” from his hair that is so blonde it is almost white, to his alabaster skin. Now a young adult, Snow is no longer put upon a pedestal by his owner and instead is sent out to earn his keep. Francisco is determined to protect Snow from both the police and the drug king who owns him.
I have a few complaints about this story. While I really enjoyed the action part of this story, I found that the romance portion was on the weak side. I wasn’t feeling the chemistry between Francisco and Christopher. Even Francisco states at nearly 90% of the book that he really didn’t know Christopher, yet a few dozen pages later we are given a HEA and I still don’t know how it went from two guys who have sex with one another to becoming an inseparable couple.
Another complaint I have about this story is the sex scenes. While the author does a fabulous job of describing the action scenes, for me, the descriptions of the sex scenes left much to be desired. Phrases like “a hard slab of meat” and descriptions about being similar to a carousel horse with the pole stuck through it really weren’t doing anything for me. Personally, I think these scenes could have been left out of the story and it would have made for a better book.
For those of you who follow my reviews, you know I rarely remark on covers – but I just had to with this one. While it is a very nice cover, it irritates me to no end when the cover doesn’t depict the characters – it’s a pet peeve of mine. We are told that Christopher’s hair has gold highlights and that Francisco has dyed his hair blonde and that by the end of the story just the black roots are appearing – yet, both models in the cover have dark hair/facial hair.
Overall, this was a fairly decent story that kept me engage from the opening pages. If you like books where the romance is in the back seat, you might like this story.