For Jonah Pratt, the job is everything. As a secret service agent to the President’s husband, Jonah has reached a pinnacle in his career. Long hours and the pressures of protecting one of the most important people in the country mean Jonah doesn’t have much of a personal life, and he doesn’t think he’s missing much until he meets Benji Campbell.
A military veteran and current student, Benji hoped he could leave the war behind. But flashbacks and guilt keep him on edge and, in his opinion, have broken him. When he helps save the President’s husband from an attack on campus, Benji finds himself thrown into the path of Jonah Pratt. Once a suitable amount of posturing is out of the way, they find themselves attracted to the other. Great sex gives way to real love, but sometimes love isn’t enough. When Jonah is wounded in the line of duty, both men are forced to confront their fears about love, loss, and everything in between. If Jonah and Benji can learn to trust in the love they share, then the life they want may be just within reach.
The first couple chapters of Love in the Line of Fire set up an action-packed series of events that were paired with two truly engaging alpha males. And then everything fell apart in rather spectacular fashion. Let’s start with the positives. The basic plot to this book was intriguing and did a good job of pulling me in. It was nice to see that Jonah and Benji were evenly matched right from the start, each of them strong enough to support the other and both insecure enough to do their own measure of damage. They aren’t fully developed characters, but neither are they one dimensional. There was enough development to appreciate at least some of their actions towards the end of the book.
Almost from the start, I struggled with the writing style of Love in the Line of Fire. For lack of a better word, I found it rather juvenile. It seemed overly simplistic and somewhat cluttered. I’m no great writer myself, so I usually let this sort of thing go unless the grammar and style are just incredibly bad. But this book’s voice just rubbed me wrong right from the start. Additionally, many of Jonah and Benji’s actions during the first days of their relationship are frankly absurd. For example, the first time Jonah is invited into Benji’s apartment they drink too much and rather than go home, Jonah stays the night. Fine. I’m on board so far. But then Benji insists that Jonah share the bed (and not for fun sexy times mind you) and it turns out that both of them sleep naked and can’t possibly sleep any other way. Really? Two complete strangers are incapable of tossing on a pair of pants for the night? Aside from feeling utterly contrived, this whole scene was just silly. And unfortunately, Love in the Line of Fire is filled with moments like this. They either make no sense or just come off as awkward and stiff.
Love in the Line of Fire is one of those books that had potential, but fell short of the mark. There was a strong premise, but it fell prey to overly simplistic writing and unbelievable character moments. Unless you’re a super fan of Secret Service romances, I would have to recommend giving this one a pass.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.