Since the death of his lover, Nick Jordan has been barely functioning. Subsisting on booze and pills just to sleep, the stupor doesn’t dull his reflexes when he finds an intruder in his home. And when Nick realizes the naked man is actually his long dead lover, Dane Cavan, Nick is sure he’s finally suffered a complete mental break down.
Dane has no idea who he is or what is going on, but he makes his way to his home and to Nick unerringly. Seeing Nick begins to unlock his memories, but the men don’t have time to figure things out. Someone is coming for Dane, and it’ll take all their wits just to escape. There’s no doubt the connection between them is still intense, but as Dane begins to remember more, all they have is more questions. But if they want to live free they have to figure it out.
I snapped this one up the moment I read the blurb. Sci fi is one of my first loves, and I couldn’t wait to see how the author explained Dane’s reappearance and where he’d been for the past ten years. But I got even more than I bargained for with this story, and I enjoyed it immensely.
Let me start with the writing. This is the first book I’ve read by Del Carlo, and I was immediately drawn in by the lyrical, almost poetic prose. The tone of the story shone brightly in the words, the intensity and fear, the worry and confusion, the pain and the longing. I was absorbed in the fraught tension, and completely empathized with both characters. That alone made this a fantastic read.
But the characterization took it to another level. Nick is barely hanging on, the sheer injustice of Dane’s death and the huge hole it left in Nick’s life still apparent after all these years. It could have been too over the top, but Del Carlo handles it with a deft hand, so that all I felt was the connection these guys had, the totality of their bond, and how exactly right they were for each other. And I loved how Nick very realistically was both overwhelmed with joy to have Dane back, and skeptical and angry at it as well. It was perfect balance.
Dane’s character was craftily drawn, as he slowly remembered his previous life and tried to fit the pieces of what he was experiencing into what he knew. The reveal of information and of Dane remembering was perfectly paced, and the author did an outstanding job of conveying Dane’s thoughts and feelings in a believable manner. Add to that the MCs had a fantastic chemistry, so their every interaction crackled and sparked.
On top of that, there was a well-drawn mystery, with a few twists that kept me on the edge of my seat. While not completely unpredictable, it was written in such a way that I couldn’t wait for the big reveal. I could have done with a touch more world building, as this was a futuristic world, but what was there was sufficient for the story. The ending sped up just a little too much, and I would have liked to see one area explored and drawn out more. But the ending was wholly satisfying.
But overall, this is a really well done story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have no qualms recommending it, especially if you’re a fan of slightly dystopian futuristic worlds with a well done mystery thrown in.