Author ~ RJ Jones
Publisher ~ Vivid Blue Press
Published ~ 31st July 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Grayson Black has never forgiven himself for not saving his identical twin brother, Jet, from a savage beating at their father’s hands ten years ago. Jet’s near-death never would have happened if Gray hadn’t been so focused on his boyfriend at the time. He has sworn to take care of his brother ever since. Gray can’t afford a distraction from his self-imposed mission, the type of distraction presented by the gorgeous blond showing up at their gigs.
Kris Larson is a firefighter with the San Francisco Fire Department. Since splitting from his girlfriend, his favorite way to spend nights off is watching the Black Brothers play in the bars of the Bay Area, especially the guitarist. But it’s not until the brothers are left homeless after a fire at their apartment building that Kris has the opportunity to know the real person behind the brooding façade.
Gray fights his attraction to Kris, but with a meddlesome twin who just wants him to be happy, it’s a losing battle. Before Gray and Kris can have a lasting relationship, though, Gray must learn to forgive himself, let go of the past, and lay more than one demon to rest.
Friendly, generous, firefighter Kris is bisexual and recently out of a relationship with a woman. Gray is first man he’s been attracted to in years, but he hasn’t had the nerve to approach him. When a fire in Gray’s apartment building leaves him and his brother with nowhere to go, Kris offers the use of his spare room. Unfortunately for Kris, when he finally gets to know Gray, it appears Gray doesn’t like him very much.
Broody singer Gray has noticed the gorgeous man he calls “Blondie” every time he’s come to see Gray and his twin brother Jet play in local bars as The Black Brothers. Jet has also noticed and has pointed out that “Blondie” comes to watch Gray. Gray’s main focus however is protecting Jet and regardless of Jet pushing him, he feels any relationship would just be a distraction.
Gray and Jet haven’t spent a night apart since they found themselves on their own at eighteen. Over the years they have become pretty co-dependent and with few friends, the two spend almost all their time together and have an unbreakable bond. As much as Gray knows he is overprotective and as much as he can acknowledge that it is hurting both him and his brother, his guilt over past events won’t let him move on.
Kris and Jet become fast friends, while Gray acts like an ass, but as much as Kris likes Jet’s friendship, Gray is the man he’s attracted to. Gray can’t deny his strong attraction to Kris, but Gray’s solid plan to sleep with Kris to get it out of his system doesn’t work out the way he hoped and as he tries to distance himself from Gray, Jet is determined change things.
There is not a lot of outside action in this book, but it was an enjoyable, quick read. There are several relationships that are developing and changing throughout the story and I was invested in each one. Outside of an emotionless quickie early on, the relationship between Kris and Gray is a super slow burn. The two men barely have a civil conversation through the first half of the story and sometimes I was really frustrated by Gray’s waffling. Gray understandably has enormous trust issues and realizes that his behavior towards both Kris and Jet may not be rational, but he hasn’t been able to change it.
Kris is a loveable character, and is willing to give Gray more chances than he probably should, but he’s not a door mat. While he is hung up on Gray, he accepts that Gray isn’t interested and does what he can to move on while maintaining his ties with Jet. The scenes where he is out with his friend and co-worker Mason were quite entertaining as Mason does his best to antagonize Gray, who is clearly not done with Kris.
While Gray has been busy making himself Jet’s protector, facing the damage their father inflicted on Jet, he hasn’t dealt with the damage he suffered as well. Both brothers have their vulnerabilities and their strengths, but surprisingly Jet is the more outgoing and the one to finally force Gray to deal with their past. Although it all wraps up rather quickly at the end, I didn’t see a need for it to be drawn out any more than it was, but I do wish we had a bit more time with the three men in the aftermath. Jet is a character I would love to see get his HEA in the future.
While Kris was introduced and had a large secondary role in the first book, Out of the Black, and all of the firefighters that work with Kris who were previously introduced are back in supporting roles, this story is a standalone and not nearly as angsty as the first one.