Review: Rough Trade (The Woodbury Boys #3)

Author: Sidney Bell

Publisher: Carina Press

Rating: 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel in a Series

Received from Publisher


Blurb:  Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

Review: This is the book where we find out what it’s all about. What it all means. What happened to everyone. Consequently, there’s not a lot I can say. We start with Ghost on the run and then some stuff happened that was dramatic and then he’s safe for a while and then he’s not and so on and so forth. Ghost is caught between crooked cops and organized crime. He’s found himself wrapped up in problems older than he is. Most frustratingly, Ghost may actually care about Duncan, the guy who was supposed to help him bring down all the bad guys. This is a problem as Ghost doesn’t know how to care about anyone. Including himself. Staying alive and getting by is not care. This problem won’t go away with arrests and gun fights.

I was simultaneously desperate for Ghost’s book and very worried it would all be too easy. Ghost is, to be frank, a hot mess. He’s slipped through every crack and gap in the social safety net and had to learn how to make it on the street. This is not a guy who will suddenly be fine once he finds the right person to love. Love does not heal dissociative disorders. I was happily relieved. I was also relieved that Duncan was not a doormat. By the end of Tobias’ book Ghost felt somewhat mythic. Which was really appropriate as he was Tobias’ hero. Add to that Spratt was obsessed, and I had some apprehension everyone would simply love Ghost and accept what he gave. I was wonderfully wrong. Ghost had to work hard to get a conversation let alone a relationship.

By the end I cared a lot about Kellen and Mama. I wanted that to be alright. Being alright would not have fit their characters, but I wanted that nonetheless. I wanted so much for them, and they were the bad guys. Fully fleshed out bad guys for whom I had great compassion. That is so rare and so precious when I find it. Honestly, I think that’s more impressive than how much Ghost had to work to get Duncan. For whatever reason my compassion did not extend to Spratt. He was just gross.

I didn’t want this book to end. This series is going to be one of those I forever recommend to people and find myself wishing I hadn’t already read it so I could read it again for the first time. I wish I still had Ghost’s book to look forward to. To say the very least, I will be reading the next thing Sidney Bell writes.

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