Rating: 4.25 stars
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Length: Novel

Ten years ago, Dominic Walsh faked his own death to escape his dangerous life. He now works at Ward Security and is happier than he has ever been, with friends and a work family that he really cares about. Dom is finally at a point where he feels like he can settle down, and the man who has his interest is Abe Stephens. But Abe seems to only be looking for friendship.

The men have gotten to know one another over the past year after Dom was on a job involving Abe’s son, Shane. Abe shares Dom’s attraction, but he is worried about the age difference between them, especially since Dom is friends with Shane and his boyfriend, Quinn. Not to mention that while Abe has always known he is bisexual, he has never really explored his attraction to men. Dom has always been a player, and Abe is looking for something real, and he worries he can’t find that with Dom.

But the attraction between the two men is too hard to ignore, and soon they are acting on their feelings. Both men realize that there could be something serious between them. But suddenly the past Dom thought was behind him is intruding on his new life. What’s worse, the danger he thought he escaped is returning, putting his life and the lives of those he cares about at risk. Now Dom needs to figure out a way to resolve his past conflicts if he ever wants to move forward, and hope that he and Abe can make it out alive in the process.

Sadistic Sherlock is the fourth book in Drake and Elliott’s Ward Security series. We have met Dom in other books in the series and he has been a mysterious guy, so I was really interested in getting his story here. I didn’t realize that we have actually already met Abe as well, as he is Shane’s father and appears in Dantes Unglued (and the events of that story are where the men met). To be honest, I don’t remember any of that, but I don’t think it affected my enjoyment here. Storywise you can pretty much jump into this book as a standalone, but it does help round out the book a lot to be familiar with Ward security and the various folks there, particularly Shane and Quinn.

This book has a nice balance between the relationship end and the suspense, though it does take a bit for either of these angles to really heat up. We can see that Abe and Dom are good friends and both of them are wanting more, but Abe is wary. When they do ultimately get together, the guys are sweet and sexy, particularly as Abe explores being with a man for the first time. I feel like some of their bond is established before the book starts, so it did feel a little fast with the feelings for me as we don’t really get to see that play out (especially since it’s clear these guys have been into each other for a while now). But overall, I think the romance works well and I found them an enjoyable couple and liked the way their strengths complemented each other.

On the suspense end, Dom has a great backstory and it unfolds nicely here. I found it exciting and I was caught up in the suspense as we learn more about what is going on, and as Dom tries to figure out what to do to break free of his past. I do think the climax was a bit fanciful in the way it plays out, and I did find myself frustrated by Dom’s determination to go it alone early on (though this is a common refrain in many suspense stories I read). I also found Abe somewhat unrealistically low key when he encounters multiple threats and is totally willing to let Dom just deal with it without explaining anything about what is happening. But overall, I found the suspense end to be entertaining and things come together nicely.

So I found Sadistic Sherlock another great installment in this series. I really enjoy the found family vibe here among the members of Ward Security and am liking getting to know them all better. I look forward to seeing what comes next for these men.