Author: Jackie Keswick
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: You don’t greet your new boss dressed like an underage rent boy. But when Jack Horwood—ace hacker and ex-MI6 operative—opens the door to Gareth Flynn, he’s too busy to worry over details like that. And anyway, his potential new boss is his former commanding officer – the same guy Jack has had a crush on since he was seventeen. So he should understand, right?
When he applied for the job in Nancarrow Mining’s corporate security division, Jack had hoped for peaceful days repelling cyber attacks. Maybe a bit of corporate espionage on the side. His plans didn’t include rescuing abused children, hunting pimps, or dealing with his overly protective and hot-as-hell boss, Gareth Flynn.
Walking away is not an option. Jack never takes the easy way out. More than that, meeting Gareth raises old ghosts that Jack needs to put to rest. Rescuing kids. Taking risks. Saving the day. Jack can do all that—but deciding what to do about his attraction to Gareth isn’t the sort of cloak-and-dagger game Jack plays well. Yet Gareth, strong and smart and always on hand when needed, might be Jack’s salvation.
Review: Jack Horwood really wasn’t expecting to see the man he’s been secretly in love with for most of his adult life when he went to apply for a job at Nancarrow Mining. Jack decides he doesn’t want that job after all. Gareth Flynn isn’t going to take no for an answer. Gareth shows up unannounced at Jack’s house and is blown away by what he finds when Jack opens the door. Jack spends his free time acting as bait to catch child predators and pimps. Gareth refuses to let Jack go into a dangerous situation with no back up, and he certainly isn’t letting Jack go alone when he’s dressed like a vulnerable child. Things don’t go particularly well, but it could have been worse. At the end of the night Jack and Gareth learn some truths about each other that really change their dynamic. Jack agrees to work for Nancarrow Mining and lets them know they’ve got some serious problems.
Jack has a lot on his plate with a budding romantic relationship, Nancarrow Mining’s problems, and the underage prostitution/slavery ring he uncovered on his night of undercover work. Jack is a little overwhelmed and his relationship with Gareth isn’t all peaches and cream. If Gareth and Jack are going to be effective as a working team and as a couple they’ve got to learn to deal with each other at their current stage of life with all their cards on the table. Gareth and Jack prove to be very effective.
This book is chock full of over the top goodness. Jack and Gareth are both larger than life in ways that allow for some delicious escapism. This was men in uniform and espionage all wrapped up with internal drive to do the right thing and a wounded hero who found another hero who wants to help him feel better. There was relationship drama without a ridiculous amount of angst and still time for some good old fashioned heroics. BUT, as much as I love the over the top aspects of this story, it was over the top. I had a few eye rolling moments. The pimp was a little ludicrously bad as far as bad guys go. How did someone that horrible ever manage to be a successful real estate tycoon? Who would willingly invest money with someone who looked and smelled like him?
Jack was surprisingly vulnerable for a tough guy. Gareth’s care-taking mentality wasn’t necessarily classic tough guy, either. I liked that they were also brainy. Smart guys are sexy. Some of these traits weren’t fully explained. A lot of the characters’ aspects were not fully explored. We don’t know the details of Jack’s tattoo or of Gareth being shot. I was actually pleased by that. I’m hoping it means there will be a sequel. We do know Gareth works for Nancarrow Mining in a somewhat roundabout way, and now Jack is about to have the same experience at Nancarrow as Gareth. There is a lot more to explore with these guys. I’m really hoping we get to.