Trevor Garrett used to be a detective in Miami. Something happened, and now he’s working as a deputy for a small town in Mississippi called Rolling Fork. He lives with his best friend and tries very hard to keep to himself. He has panic attacks and absolutely hates to be touched.
Logan Andrews has left the Army (he was in the Special Forces) to return home to his family farm in Rolling Fork to take care of his mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. When he was in high school, Logan was a football star, and now the town considers him a war hero. Logan has a few secrets, though, and they continue to haunt him.
Out with some of his old friends, Logan sets eyes on Trevor and can’t stop watching him. Something happens in the parking lot and leads to an extremely hot first meeting, but poor Trevor has a difficult time handling it. Logan decides he wants Trevor and tells him that he’ll persue him and drops Trevor off at his house.
As Trevor and Logan begin tentatively forming a bond, a serial killer has come to Rolling Fork, and he’s brutally murdering gay men. Trevor is assigned the case, and is confused to find all the clues seem to lead to Logan being the killer. Now, he has to try to find who the murderer is…even if it’s the man he’s grown so close to.
Collateral Damage is a well-written book with two broken main characters who will break your heart, make you angry, and then break your heart again. Both men have been through so much. You’ll wonder how they are even able to live their lives. Of course, they’re living with so much pain they’re like walking ghosts.
Trevor comes to Rolling Fork from Miami where he was a detective. Something happened to him there, and he felt the need to escape the city. He’s rooming with a friend from college, Noah, who only wants best for him. That means encouraging Trevor to get out and meet people, but Trevor wants none of it. Obviously, he’s suffering from PTSD, but doesn’t want to face it.
Logan returns from the Army with secrets of his own. They weigh on him, but his Mama needs him now, and he’s determined to get past them and take care of her. I won’t tell you what the secret is because it’s complicated and harsh. The book needs to be read in order for it to be fully grasped.
There are some decent background characters to support the story. Noah, Trevor’s friend is great. He’s supportive and loving. Logan’s Mama, Stella, remarkable. Even though she’s slowly losing herself, she loves her boy, and she’s also a good friend to the residents of Rolling Fork. Finally, we have the big, bad, man. Once again, no spoilers, but oh my goodness, he is pure evil. I actually felt sick while I was reading his thoughts and actions. Make no mistake here, he’s brutal and violent, but he’s also smart. He knows exactly what his end game is, and he’s going to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
Trevor and Logan are good for each other, and it becomes more obvious as the story moves along. They’re very hot between the sheets (and in alleys), and the scenes made my Kindle melt. Logan’s a dirty talker, and I freaking LOVE dirty talkers. They both have so many issues, but they learn to trust in each other. That was beautiful to watch.
There was plenty of action to go along with the mystery. Trevor has to play cat and mouse with the killer, and capturing him is not easy. The situation is dangerous for everyone. It’s violent and ugly, but J.T. Cheyanne plotted it out perfectly and pulled everything together to be believable and heart wrenching.
I have to confess I had mixed feelings about the last few chapters. I was torn, and I believe you will be too, but that’s not a bad thing. It fits the story, showing that happily ever after isn’t always that happy at first.
I recommend Collateral Damage. It’s got a little bit of everything, and I was very satisfied with it. HOWEVER (and this is a big however), there are a few things that some readers may consider triggers. There are scenes of violence, war, gay bashing, and rape. You may want to take all that into consideration before reading.