Author ~ Lissa Ford
Published ~ 27th March 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
After a tragic shooting left him wounded and in disgrace, all that remained of former deputy sheriff Jude Anderson’s life was a shattered femur, the standard disability package, and a host of issues. Jude seeks sanctuary in a remote upstate cabin and tries to get his life back on track.
Life has other plans when Jude finds a dead man draped across his front doorstep. The victim is the first hookup Jude’s had in, well, ever. Once Jude processes that shock he gets another when he learns that the homicide detective sent to investigate the murder is Rowan Muir, Jude’s ex. Their split was ugly, and Rowan isn’t the forgiving type.
Now Jude is drawn back into a world he left behind: murder investigations and fighting the undeniable attraction he has for Rowan. Rowan is still holding onto a substantial grudge. But both men need to figure out how to cope with being thrown together again, because it’s becoming increasingly clear that Jude is being targeted by a murderer – one who may have come from Jude’s past for revenge.
The book starts off with former deputy sheriff Jude Anderson opening his front door to find the dead body of the man he had hooked up with a few nights before. His morning only gets worse when the trooper in charge of the investigation turns out to be his ex, Rowan Muir. One year ago their relationship ended abruptly after Jude was shot in the line of duty, which also eventually resulted in his leaving the job. Rowan is all business when he arrives. He is well dressed, moving up in his career and in the closet, just like Jude remembers.
As the investigation moves along, the events that ended Jude’s career are dredged up in the search for a suspect and he is forced to face his past failed relationship with Rowan. The two men have vastly differing recollections as to why things ended and the accusations as to who was at fault get heated. Through flashbacks and arguments their story begins to come out. As the danger mounts and Jude spends more time with Rowan, his attraction to the man he hasn’t gotten over surges once again no matter how much he wants to prevent it.
The chemistry between Jude and Rowan is out of this world! They dance that fine line between love and hate but the underlying sexual tension is always simmering. When their arguing finally tips over into passion the payoff is worth it. The two are smoking hot together. While it is clear both men want to be back together and are willing to each own up to the part they played in their breakup, there are still issues that could prevent them having a future. The story is told from Jude’s POV, and while I would have liked to have had some of Rowan’s, their discussions gave me a good enough sense of his feelings.
The story’s real focus is the relationship but the mystery was done well and kept me guessing between a few suspects for quite a while. Although the final showdown was a bit over the top, it was tense and exciting. Overall the story was well written with a nice pace. Since this is the first in the series I would say the ending is HFN. There is no cliff hanger and the storyline is complete, with the men agreeing to take things one day at a time. This was my first book by Lissa Ford and I’ll be looking forward to the next installment.