Jack Whelan has known better days. Not many of them, but living rough while trying to juggle two jobs and grieve the loss of his best friend definitely don’t rank among his best moments. His new job pays more, but with a ten thousand dollar debt hanging over his head and a violent thug threatening to collect by any means necessary, Jack isn’t exactly doing well. And then he attracts the attention of his boss, Michael Cross.
Michael has built his business up from nothing, along with his business partner, Christian. But he really isn’t a people person. He leaves dealing with employees to Christian, but with his partner in Europe, Michael is forced to act when an issue with Jack is brought to his attention. The kid is clearly underfed, jumpy, and on the ragged edge. When Michael realizes what kind of trouble Jack’s in, he brings Jack home and offers a safety and security Jack has never known. It would be easy to fall in love. The attraction is certainly there, but Michael doesn’t want to seem like he’s taking advantage. As the business with Jack’s debt comes to a head, they’ll have to learn to trust one another before they can even think about the idea of love.
Trusting Jack is a perfectly fine romance, never leaning too much toward angst and never becoming too flippant. But it never really evolves beyond being “fine.” It’s rather ordinary and while it isn’t bad at all, nor is it very fulfilling.
Michael and Jack are a nice couple and we’re given enough about their backgrounds to make them feel like flesh and blood. They work well together, though they lack a bit of spark. Like the story itself, Michael and Jack are rather ordinary. They don’t seem to capture a real sense of passion between them so despite their intimacy, they feel more like roommates than lovers. They’re sweet rather than sexy and I know some readers really prefer that, but I wanted a bit more “zing” here.
The money Jack owes forms the nexus of the story around he and Michael. It doesn’t really go anywhere though. It resolves with relative ease and despite a few encounters, I was never made to believe that Jack was in real danger. The ending here was always fairly evident and while I absolutely appreciate the happily ever after here, I would have also enjoyed a bit more edge or at least something that felt slightly more unpredictable.
There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with Trusting Jack, but it lacks much punch. The plot is relatively predictable and the couple, while loving, don’t really scream passion. It’s a nice, sweet story and if that’s what you want in your romance, then you’re going to find plenty to appreciate with this one.