Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Short Story
Nothing screams regret like waking up alone after a one-night stand with your partner, but there’s nothing detective Scott O’Hara can do about having slept with fellow detective Edgar Lopez. But Scott convinces himself he needn’t worry. He’s known Edgar long enough to know the man’s long standing modus operandi is to love ‘em and leave ‘em. Scott convinces himself acting like nothing happened is for the best—he’s certainly convinced it’s best for his heart, which has long been invested in getting to know Edgar.
Little does Scott expect Edgar to shake up his MO. Unlike the countless one-night stands Scott watched Edgar pursue, this time, Edgar actually seems to be pursuing Scott. He wants to see Scott after hours, cooks him dinner, and of course fucks him into the mattress every opportunity he gets. All this throws Scott for a loop—if it weren’t for Edgar’s insistence on continued sexual encounters, he’d almost think Edgar was making a play for him. But how can a shameless playboy like Edgar ever be content with the same man?
Things take a turn for the serious when a string of murders hit close to home and it’s up to Edgar to go undercover to help solve them. Scott’s heart is in his throat when Edgar tries to catch the culprit by becoming his next target—but will the drama be enough to convince Scott that Edgar is serious?
This was exactly the book I wanted to read—short, sweet, sexy, and pretty mindless. While the plot is a thinly veiled get-together, I liked that the characters have an established friendship. Even better, I liked that the book starts AFTER they hook up for the first time. This lets us jump immediately into the angsty bits you would expect with a trope like “slept with my best friend.”
Now, the whole book is told from Scott’s POV and from the blurb provided, I was totally on-board with Scott being super careful with his heart. That said, as I read the dynamic between Scott and Edgar, I found myself being super sympathetic to Edgar. This is probably the one are where I wished there was more to establish the characters before the start of the book. We never really *see* Edgar being all playboy. While it wasn’t hard to go along with Scott’s point of view, all I ever really saw was Edgar being sweet on Scott and maybe a bit over eager to get Scott into bed.
Reading Edgar’s reactions and hearing him talk felt like he was low-key actually trying to court Scott. Again, you have to take it on Scott’s word that this is unusual behavior for Edgar. Nevertheless, I liked seeing Edgar waiting around for Scott to get off work, or randomly showing up at Scott’s house (well, I thought it was sweet and they ARE coworkers and friends). Edgar does a good job of pointing out Scott’s shortcomings, actually. For one thing, its through Edgar that we see just how closely Scott plays his cards close to his chest. Specifically, Edgar never knew Scott was even into men until they ended up in bed together. For another, Edgar considers Scott his best friend, but when Edgar low-key confronts Scott about being in the closet, Scott’s forced to realize that his partner actually is his best friend.
I think this passage rather nicely sums up the angst these two tap dance around for the bulk of the book:
“And like I said, can’t we just…enjoy this, whatever it is, without having some big discussion about where we’re going and what we are and all that?”
We could, I guessed. But the thing was, I knew what I said to Edgar’s mom was true. He wasn’t ready to settle down. And I was going to end up hurt.
“Yeah. Yeah, okay.” Even as I said those words, I knew I’d end up regretting them.
Well, spoiler alert, there’s a HEA type ending so he doesn’t regret those words. But we go back and forth between what Scott sees as an immature, playboy Edgar, and Edgar trying to go slowly as he navigates a relationship that I, at least, feel like he’s going to be totally invested in.
Now, these are a couple of detectives…though I’m not entirely convinced the law aspect of the story was really researched. If you’re a fan of detail crime and punishment or law enforcement stories, I think you’d be disappointed at the lack of action. That said, there is a string of murders that shoots through the entire story and the resolution of these murders is what brings our two main characters together. It provides a bit of action at the end and there are consistent references to these murders throughout the book.
Overall, I enjoyed this quick, easy read. If you want something not exactly fluffy, but also not gritty—just a get together featuring characters that have a bit more depth than I certainly expected, this would be a great read.