Author: Allison Cassatta
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3.5 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Writing crime novels catapulted Memphis native Silas Cooper to fame and fortune, but when his words backfire and he becomes trapped in what could be one of his books, he needs a hero of his own.
Silas’s publicist insists he hire a personal assistant, and Silas chooses Scott Kramer. But before Scott starts, he already has a round of steamy phone sex to hold over Silas’s head, and his interest in his boss isn’t decreasing.
Benjamin Logan joined the Army to see the world, and while deployed he read every one of Silas’s books. With his military career over, Ben is back in Memphis working for the police department—and attempting a deeply closeted relationship with fellow cop Morgan Brown.
Over coffee, Silas and Ben become friends who support each other as relationships fall apart, and the attraction between them slowly emerges. When a dangerous stalker threatens Silas, it’s up to Ben to stop him.
If Ben fails, Silas might not live to tell this story… and Ben might not be able to live with himself.
Review: Silas Cooper meets Benjamin Logan in a coffee shop. Silas thinks the cop is sexy, and Ben is a big fan of Silas’ books. Silas and Ben each begin a relationship with someone else. Both men are content in spite of their relationships not being perfect. That’s life though, nothing is perfect. As time goes on Silas and Ben’s relationships become even less perfect, and each man looks forward to seeing the other at their local coffee shop. Things go really wrong in Silas’ life when he realizes his boyfriend is psychotic. Ben deals with Silas as a police officer. As Ben begins to feel more and more protective over Silas he sees his own relationship fall apart. When both men are single they are wary of immediately jumping into a new relationship. They don’t want to lose what they have as friends. Silas’ crazy ex doesn’t see it that way. Things don’t go well.
First things first: there is no cheating in this book. Silas and Ben each have a distinct relationship before they get together. I think the set up of the book, showing the men in parallel lives was interesting. I’m not sure if I liked how it worked. I really like the fact it showed the issues the guys have. I will always prefer showing to telling. The downside was it was a lot of story before it got to the suspense of the stalker and the relationship development between the two main characters. In some ways it felt like a mash up of three novellas.
I had some issues with Ben’s character development. As he starts his first relationship in the book he is deeply closeted and appears to be almost phobic about people finding out about his sexuality. It is hinted he experienced some kind of betrayal while in the military that almost cost him his career. That all vanished. Ben is still overly cautious when he begins his relationship with Silas, but the hints of phobia and the military experience are gone. I did see there were things planted along the way to help Ben to realize his world wouldn’t fall apart, but I don’t feel a phobia and a big secret trauma/betrayal just go away because there is another gay cop. For me this felt like an unresolved plot string and a device used to ensure Ben’s first relationship wouldn’t last. I know authors need to use devices, but I don’t want to spot them easily.
Despite my complaints I feel this is a good book. I would have preferred more time spent on the relationship between the two main characters, but that’s a purely subjective complaint. I do appreciate both Ben and Silas came into their relationship as known quantities without an info-dump to explain their personal issues. It created a poignancy I enjoyed.