Author ~ A.J. Thomas
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 30th January 2015
Genre ~ M/M Romance, Contemporary
A night of drunken confusion at nineteen resulted in Patrick Connelly fathering a child. Determined to be there for his son, Patrick walked away from a sport he loved and forever hid his sexuality. After Patrick's brutal divorce and a vicious hate crime, his son, Jay, has become obsessed with graffiti. Hoping for a fresh start, Patrick moves Jay to his childhood home in Seattle. Within two weeks, Jay is arrested again. On his way to pick Jay up, Patrick stops an assault, then finds himself in handcuffs too. Thinking things can’t get any worse, he’s confronted by the sexiest man he’s ever seen—his son’s new probation officer, Ken Atkins.
The hardest part of Ken’s job is working with difficult parents, and the undeniably handsome Patrick Connelly is going to be a difficult parent. A chance encounter and steamy hookup with Patrick leave Ken blindsided. As they work together to try to keep Jay on the right path, the passion between them proves impossible to resist. When the assault Patrick prevented comes back to haunt them and Jay gets into trouble again, Ken must convince Patrick that ensuring his son’s happiness doesn’t have to mean sacrificing his own.
Two men meet, sense an instant and intense attraction and that should have been it, right? But no, in this awesome story by AJ Thomas, there are so many little nuances, so many things that stand in the way of these two and their love story, and yet it is all so real. I loved it.
Patrick Connelly is a crane operator on the dockyards. Finally comfortable in himself, living back in his home town with his teenage son Jay, and, well life should be good. But it isn’t, not least because of Jay. Oh I absolutely adored Jay, with his hurt and his pain and his unique way of coping with the horror that life had thrown at him. Ken Atkins comes into Patrick and Jay’s life in an unusual, and not exactly pleasant way, but neither men could deny their attraction to each other. The only problem is that any action on that attraction was not allowed to happen, and not because they were two men either.
There were so many wonderful little elements to this quite complex story. There was death, and a murder inquiry which Patrick became a part of. There was Ken, an awesome man with a heart of gold, who was struggling to do right by his clients and his job, while fighting his attraction for Patrick. Jay was a huge part of the story and rightly so, and when I learned his back story I literally cried. Yes, Jay had problems, but when you learn why, you come to understand he was just struggling to cope with life and unlike so many teenagers, he didn’t use drugs, sex or alcohol to do it. In contrast, Ken’s brother was a shit of the highest order and it was hard to feel anything positive about that man at all.
Corbin was a wonderful secondary character and I found myself hoping against hope that the dear man will find what he is looking for in a partner. David would be the obvious choice, but the way he was playing hard to get made me long for their story too.
Yes, I know, I am throwing out hints but not really telling you much at all. But I can’t. This is one of those stories that grabbed me from the first chapter, when Patrick tried so hard to do the right thing and got into trouble for it. It kept me bound up and worried and happy, and hot at times, right through to the very end, and when I finished it, I was so reluctant to leave Patrick and Ken’s lives. The author’s ability to catch you up and sweep you along on a story that had so much detail in it, yet where the romance was still the core of it, is amazing and I am off to read some more of this wonderful author’s work. I strongly recommend you read this book.
Favorite Quote: [Patrick talking about Ken to Corbin]
“The guy is not just hot…If you could turn sex into a sound, it’d be his voice.”