Rating: 4 stars
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Ethan is a cop who was shot on the job. He was in terrible shape, but his life was saved by Shawn, another cop, who refused to let Ethan die. Shawn lost a partner on the job, and he just couldn’t let it happen to another fellow officer. Shawn goes to the hospital with Ethan and won’t leave his side, and he’s there for Ethan throughout his recovery. Shawn even wants to help him through the emotional damage and PTSD that comes along with the shooting. As time passes, their friendship turns into something more.
To outsiders, the men couldn’t be more different. Ethan was raised in a loving home with supportive family members who didn’t care he was gay. Shawn’s family was the polar opposite. They expected him to do something that would ensure him (and the family) a place in the wealthy circles they travel in. He defied them and became a police officer, and when he came out, they decided he was going through a phase and would settle down with a nice girl and be the perfect member of society. Still, with these differences, the men give each other what they need, and soon they realize what they need is to be together no matter what.
I liked One Bullet. The characters were good guys who were somewhat damaged, but they had hope. The care and attention Shawn paid to Ethan was very sweet. He was patient and supportive. He even came to Ethan’s appointments with his counselor. Ethan was vulnerable and, at times, the PTSD was crushing him, but he always knew Shawn would be there for him. I liked how their love story was somewhat of a slow burn. There was a whole lot of questioning “Could he really feel that way for me?” “His family is rich. Can he really love a guy like me?” The answer is always a resounding YES! Of course, they didn’t see that right away.
Ethan has a good support system. His family loves him, and his best friend Sebastian is always just a Skype call away. Shawn? Not so much. His sister, Sophia, loves him, but his parents are distant because they’re ashamed of him. When the holidays approach, the men decide to go to a fancy party held by Shawn’s parents and spend Christmas with Ethan’s. It’s all rather formulaic. The fancy party is a bust, with Shawn’s parents acting like stuck up jerks. Christmas at Ethan’s is wonderful.
While I appreciated the story for what it was, I did have a few issues. The whole book felt very jumpy. It was like I felt comfortable slipping into a scene/situation, and suddenly, time has passed and something totally different is going on. One example is the fancy party at Shawn’s parents’ place. They arrive, make their way to the folks, they look down their noses at Ethan and tell Shawn they’ll “discuss this later”. Shawn, Ethan, and Sophia hit the open bar and then the dance floor, where they notice they’re getting dirty looks from the parents, but next thing I knew, they’re in the car on the way to Ethan’s parents’ place. I expected (and was looking forward to) a big confrontation with Shawn putting his rotten parents in their place. I felt a little unsatisfied.
I will say I enjoyed their time with Ethan’s family. Everyone deserves to have that much support and love. They automatically embraced and welcomed Shawn into the family. I could practically Ethan’s mother’s face, feel her arms, and even smell her perfume.
I also liked the interaction between Shawn and his fellow detective, Davies. They had a lot of humorous banter. It was obvious they were good friends. Along with that, Davies was accepting of Ethan. He became a dear friend to him as well. The three men had a nice relationship with each other.
I feel I should mention that all of the sex in One Bullet takes place off page. They kiss, make their way to the bedroom, and then it’s the next morning…or later in the afternoon…or whenever. Hehe. I think it was appropriate for this book. You know the old adage about the brain being the most important sex organ. Sometimes, imagination can be better than graphic words.
My big complaint is one that may be a ticky little thing that may only matter to me, but I wanted to put it out there. We know Ethan was raised on a ranch with cows, horses, and all sorts of other things, so he speaks with kind of a country dialect. Here’s just one of many quotes through the story.
“Given yer tastes, I’m guessin’ I’m gonna have to dress up.”
I understand what the author was trying to accomplish, but I found it to be a little distracting. That’s really it, though.
One Bullet is a nice little love story with some action and drama included. I think it was worth reading, and I would be more than happy to read any of Casey Wolfe’s future books (this is a debut novel).
This sounds like a story I’d enjoy. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.