Narrator: Joel Leslie
Length: 9 hours, 7 minutes
Felix and Lane are settling into their new life together in California. Lane has reconnected with his family and Felix pretty much wants them to adopt him, if only for Lane’s mother’s cooking. They have a new house that Felix loves, a new exercise routine that he hates, and are mostly recovered from their ordeal with Red. Copper is even training to be a guide dog for Lane. But while Felix is pretty content laying low, Lane is definitely itching to get back to work and into the action. Unfortunately, he has been sidelined while he learns to adapt to his new blindness and that is leaving him feeling out of sorts.
When Felix’s brother turns back up in his life, at first Felix wants nothing to do with him. Despite the fact that Darian helped raise Felix, he also followed their mother’s footsteps into a drug habit and the last time they were together seemed only interested in what money he could get from Felix. But Darian is the only person in Felix’s family who ever even attempted to care about him, and when Darian needs help, Felix has trouble saying no. Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear that Darian is caught up in something far more complex than it first appeared. While Lane wants to help (both to provide assistance and to get some much needed action), Felix is more wary. But ultimately, he can’t resist bailing his brother out of danger, even as Darian seems determined to drag trouble to Felix and Lane’s doorstep. As the plot unfolds, the guys realize that the danger may be way more than either of them can handle. Suddenly, they are facing life and death and they will need to fight with all they have to make it out alive.
A Light in the Darkness is the second book in Alice Winters’ In Darkness series and reunites us with Felix and Lane. Some time has passed since the last book and the guys are settled, but while Felix is happily scarfing down cookies and enjoying their new house, Lane is getting restless being sidelined at work. That is, until things go crazy with Felix’s brother. While you could probably read this plot-wise on its own, I think knowing these guys and their dynamic, as well as their past experiences, would make this story more enjoyable. But you could get away with jumping in here if needed.
So this book kind of divides into two parts. The first portion focuses on the guys getting settled into their new life. Lane has reconnected with his family and they are all living near one another. We can see Felix thriving with this new family dynamic. He loves Lane’s family and for the first time, he actually has a family that cares about him. It is really lovely to see, especially knowing his backstory. We get to see these guys living a fairly normal life, as they do things like buy a new house, have meals with Lane’s family, and figure out their next steps in California. While on paper this sounds kind of bland, in reality I found this portion really fun, mostly on the strength of Lane and Felix’s fabulous dynamic. You may remember I was frustrated early on in the first book by the fact that these guys didn’t feel established enough in their relationship early on to carry the weight of all the bickering and bantering, and it took a while before it took that turn from mean and biting to loving and fun. Here, however, we know that these men love each other deeply and are completely committed to each other. So that banter and snark and cleverness comes across as fun and entertaining and I loved it. I’ll admit, witty banter between characters is one of my catnips, so I just love watching these guys interact. There is that perfect balance of true caring for one other to carry the snark and I was all here for it.
The book then slowly transitions into a thriller as Felix’s brother gets involved. The story is so twisty and intricate and clever, with layer after layer unfolding, it is just fabulous suspense. I figured out the first piece pretty early on, but that was just one step in so many that I never saw coming. This book kept surprising me, even until the very last moment. It is exciting and suspenseful and even a little horrifying at times. I will say the story dips a bit too much into Saw territory at one point for my taste, but I was captivated every moment and feeling the tension right along with the characters. The story is just so clever and exciting, it kept me on the edge of my seat.
My only tiny quibbles are first that the guys take a quick trip to Chicago at one point that seems kind of shoehorned in, perhaps as a chance to reconnect with Garcia. I am not really sure what other point it serves, so it felt like a bit of a detour. I would also have liked a little closure with some side characters that get tangled up in their conflict, just for some resolution there. But these are small nitpicks in an otherwise excellent story.
Once again, I listened to the audio with Joel Leslie and he is just fabulous here. This story ranges from humor, to sexy, to mushy romance, to suspense and almost horror, and Leslie moves through these different styles seamlessly. I felt each moment right along with the characters, and that is due in large part to Leslie’s narration. The character voices are great and fit their personalities. What really shines most for me are Felix and Lane, again because their banter and the way they interact is so key to the story. Leslie gets the timing just perfect on their snark and their jokes, and makes us feel both the humor as well as the overriding love between these guys that makes their dialog funny rather than biting. While this story is excellent on its own, the audio here is really a treat and I can highly recommend listening.
So I just am loving this series and adore Felix and Lane. I really hope that Winters has more in store for these guys, and if so, I will be eagerly waiting to check it out.