Silas Cooper writes crime novels. Nothing else really matters to him. His publicist thinks he needs a personal assistant and chooses several candidates and tells Silas to interview them and choose one. Silas finds one that seems to fit what he thinks he needs and agrees to meet his potential employee at a coffee shop. Silas interviews Scott Kramer and decides to hire him. Before Scott even starts work, he and Silas have an evening of phone sex.
Benjamin Logan is a former soldier turned cop. He’s also a big fan of Silas’ books. On the day Silas is interviewing Scott, Silas and Ben meet in the coffee shop and chat for a few minutes (maybe flirting a little?). Ben is excited and Silas is flattered. The only person who doesn’t seem too thrilled is Scott, who seems to be losing control.
Ben is closeted. He’s afraid the men on the force won’t have his back if he were to come out. When he begins a tentative relationship with another officer, Morgan Brown, Ben wants to keep it on the down low. Morgan is willing to do that, even though he seems to be spending an awful lot of time with his ex.
As Scott seems become further unhinged, Silas starts to turn to Ben for help and Ben becomes protective toward him. What’s going to happen to their relationship as Silas is in more danger than ever?
I loved Dearly Stalked! It’s my first five-star book of 2017. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first. I knew it would be a story about an author with a stalker. I envisioned it going something like this: An author is being stalked, cop is assigned to protect him, they develop feelings for each other, and after lots of action, the author and the cop fall in love and live happily ever after. Wow, was I ever surprised! My mind was sort of blown as I read that both men were having separate relationships as they were getting to know each other. I kept thinking, “But where’s the love??”
What began as a story of four men turned into a story of two. It was slow build up. It wasn’t all bad between Silas and Scott, and Ben and Morgan did love each other…it was just different sorts of love. Usually, I do a freak out when my two MCs are with other people, but this time, I really didn’t mind. Their stories were fascinating, and their relationships with the others were the building blocks of their own. Yes, they’d have met in the coffee shop, and yes their flirty friendship may have turned into something more, but the chances were probably slim.
All of the characters were powerfully written. Every single action and emotion had a purpose. You could feel the tension, the passion, and the heat. There were so many scenes that brought out the feels…ALL the feels, and so many simple things that really got to me. One that particularly stands out is a frightened and exhausted Silas lying with his head on Ben’s lap, with Ben slowly running his fingers through Silas’s hair. There was nothing overtly sexual about that, but I got such a feeling of warmth and love out of that scene.
Speaking of sex…ohmygoodness!! Every scene, whether it was between Silas and Scott, Ben and Morgan, or Silas and Ben, was perfect. They were beautifully detailed and just radiated heat. There were just enough of these scenes as well. It suited the story. If there would have been less, it wouldn’t have felt very real. However, if there was even one more, it would have upset the delicate balance Cassatta managed to achieve.
I felt the stalking storyline was frightening and believable. You just never know what’s going on in someone else’s mind, especially someone you’re dating/sleeping with/working with. They may look normal in every way, but beneath the surface lurks a monster. Add that to being a public figure, and there is the potential for terror.
I also feel like I understood why Ben was so afraid to come out. There are several well documented cases of bad cops not having the back of their gay colleagues. It’s a sad, but true, fact of life sometimes.
I am so pleased with Dearly Stalked. I couldn’t put it down and read it clean through, even though I didn’t get to sleep until after 4:00 am. I consider it completely worth it. I highly recommend this one, and I will not hesitate to read anything else Allison Cassatta has written.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.