Quinn is headed across the country for his brother Scott’s wedding. He is going to be traveling with Con, Scott’s best friend and a Delta Force soldier. Scott has planned a cross country road trip for the guys, and because Scott can’t go, he wants them to travel together. Con and Quinn don’t know one another, but they both are willing to do it for Scott.
As the guys travel and get to know one another, an attraction is there that they quickly act on. Quinn has a need for control and Con has a corresponding desire to give it up in the bedroom. Outside of it, however, Con is a little on the wild side and he helps to loosen Quinn up and give him some adventure.
Neither Con nor Quinn was looking for anything serious. Quinn hasn’t had a relationship since his long-time lover died and has his life in California as a prominent tattoo artist. And Con has another tour of duty, not to mention that his nomadic childhood makes it hard for him to settle anywhere. But as the days pass, both men begin to fall for one another. Now they must figure out if there is any way their lives can fit together, and if either of them will be brave enough to try to claim a future together.
I am a big fan of author S.E. Jakes and I love a good road trip story, and I found Hold the Line to be really entertaining. It is a very short novel but Jakes packs a lot in here and I really enjoyed following along with Quinn and Con’s journey. The guys fall into bed pretty quickly and are definitely steamy. I wouldn’t call this a traditional BDSM story, but there are some dominance and submission elements between Con and Quinn that add some nice intensity and the physical connection between them is strong right from the start. I will admit that a lot of the book is spent following these guys along their travels interspersed with lots of sex, but there is enough solid story tying it all together to make this one work.
It is clear that the guys connect emotionally as well as physically, but both men are wary about opening up. Over the course of the story, we slowly learn more about both men and their pasts, as well as the reasons why they are traveling together and what happened to Scott to prevent him from coming along. Both of these guys have interesting backstories and the characters are nicely developed for a shorter book. I did at times feel like I was losing the thread of the conflict between them in terms of why they were at odds and what their personal issues all were. But the story is mostly tight and clean and we get a really nice resolution to the story that brings things all together.
Overall I found this a sexy, fun story that is a nice easy read. There is some good chemistry between these guys and they are both nicely developed characters. This story is the first of a series that looks to be focused on Quinn’s tattoo parlor, and I am really looking forward to continuing on for more.
Notes: All proceeds from this novella will go to Hope For The Warrior. The story was previously published in the Danger Zone Anthology, again with all proceeds going to Hope For the Warrior.