Drew Nolan’s debut novel was widely acclaimed and now a serious case of writer’s block has him wondering if he will ever write another. He attends a local writing conference and ends up winning a ride along with Officer Joao “Josh” de Olivia. After a rough start, they find they have more in common than expected and the attraction is certainly there.
Josh’s job is dangerous under normal circumstances, but he has become outcast in the department, which means he’s on his own in more ways than one. Josh fights to manage a relationship with Drew and to balance the increasing stress of his job. He has to decide if being a cop is what he really wants and if a future with Drew is worth the risk.
Ride Along was a good little beach read. Just enough angst to tug at the heart strings, but not so dark as to leave you wanting to break down in tears. The relationship between Josh and Drew is sweet and generally straightforward. It starts with a bit of enemies to lovers and these two men struggle with communication issues throughout the book, but they fit well together. Neither character is as developed as I would like, but we are given a fair amount of backstory for each and it is certainly enough to let readers connect with them.
The biggest pitfall for Ride Along was its attempt to deal with too many “big” issues at once. Police corruption, closeted sexuality and disownment are all huge themes, but they aren’t individually given the depth they deserve. Josh’s status in the department alone would be enough to provide a suitable level of tension, but add to it his parents rejection of him, that his lover and ex partner is dead, and that he’s closeted and you’re dealing with a lot of issues that never dip much below the surface. Fewer themes and more involved development would have really bolstered the book and its impact.
Ride Along enjoyed a well-paced, well-rounded plot and characters that worked well on the page. It overreaches at times and there isn’t a ton of depth, but this is still a fun, relaxed book that’s a great fit for summer reading.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.