Author ~ John Wiltshire
Publisher ~ MLR Press
Published ~ 15th May 2014
Genre ~ M/M Romance, Contemporary Thriller
Loving a total stranger can be very hard work sometimes.
How do you love someone who exists entirely in the shadows? How do you love a man who describes himself as dead? How do you get that ghost to love you back? Ex-SAS soldier Ben Rider falls in love with his enigmatic married boss Sir Nikolas Mikkelsen, but Nikolas is living a lie. A lie so profound that when the shadows are lifted, Ben realises he's in love with a very dangerous stranger. Ben has to choose between Nikolas and safety, but sometimes danger comes in a very seductive package.
OK, errmm, WOW! This was something I seriously wasn’t expecting but in the positive sense. This book has just left me with an adrenaline filled rush and was gripping from start to finish.
Benjamin Rider is sent on an undercover mission by his boss Sir Nikolas Mikkelsen, after a number of MPs and high-ranking officials have been threatened by animal activists due to badger culling. He has to infiltrate the group and find out who is behind the threats. OK, to be honest, my first thought was that, infiltrating a bunch of animal activists for a black-ops specialist wouldn’t be much of a challenge. However, the tension is built up in such a way, that from the word go, the twists and turns in the plot just keep coming thick and fast. There are three main undercover stories in the book but the last one is all about Ben’s boss himself.
So lets get to Sir Nikolas Mikkelsen, talk about your typical man-of-mystery. Geez, this guy at the beginning is completely and utterly unfathomable. A total enigma. At the beginning it seemed that Ben’s attraction to the guy was purely sexual and nothing more. At least you definitely get that impression from Nikolas. So the relationship starts out basically with the two of them having, hot, raw and gritty sex. Of course the adjectives I just used are used a lot, but for me the sex part was at times primeval almost. Sex at its most basic and instinctive form. However, seriously HAWT!
My only slight criticism is that there was probably a little too much of it. WHAT??? I hear you all cry. Well, sometimes I need to know whether I’m reading a thriller or an erotic novel. These guys would drop their pants at the drop of a hat which sometimes for me personally disjointed the plot line a little.
For me their relationship develops backwards as far as the romance stakes are concerned - huh? Then let me explain - lol! It’s a relationship that is first based on nothing but gratuitous, no-strings-attached, stress-relieving sex. However, Ben does start to fall for the conundrum that is Nikolas Mikkelsen. The man is as cool as cucumber, shows no emotion whatsoever and is almost completely impossible to read. The power play between the both of them was brilliantly done. Nikolas being the superior, definitely likes to keep Ben in his place. Not only at work but also in the sack, so I was also sensing the old sub-dom vibes here too in oodles.
As Ben starts to learn more about Nikolas and his history, there are more revelations than you can shake a stick at. This man has had more identities than Mata Hari. But as Ben discovers, it also gives him more power in their relationship, until Nikolas has to open up to him, levelling the playing field in their dependencies on each other. It lets them admit the deeper emotions they actually feel for each other. Obviously these are two rough-tough agents, so you’re not going to get declarations of ever undying love. But like in life, it's sometimes what’s not said that speaks volumes. Also as Nikolas’s past is revealed it also opens up a whole other story where the pair of them have to run for their lives.
This book is packed full of man-on-man action in all categories. It is definitely not your average flowery, saccharine romance and ends on note which will only compel any reader to continue on to the next book. I know I will be.
More Heat Than the Sun Series
Book #1: Love is a Stranger
Book #2: Conscious Decisions of the Heart
Book #3: The Bridge of Silver Wings
Book #4: This Other Country
Book #5: The Bruise-Black Sky
Book #6: Deaths Ink-Black Shadow