Author ~ Cate Ashwood
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 11 December 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance, Mystery/Suspense
For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.
The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn't gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn't enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other's arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.
I think I’ve said before, that I’m a sucker for a good hospital story, and this is no different. I was on the edge of my seat from the first chapter and even left a bathroom break until I was busting. On this occasion the main characters are two men who work in the medical profession; Sam, a forensic pathologist and Adam, a paramedic. The two men, however, have a history from high school, and it wasn’t a romantic one.
Years after seeing each other at school, they meet up again, and the sexual tension between Adam and Sam is positively delicious. But, Adam is so far in the closet he’d be in Narnia if he backed in any further. This causes the men some problems. The blurb makes it no spoiler to say that Adam and Sam get together; and when they do the sex is lava hot.
The relationship between Sam and Adam is a good portion of this story, but, for me what makes A Forced Silence even more special is the hospital/paramedic activity. It truly drew me into the world the author created and is sufficiently gory in detail to make the necessary scenes realistic. This story contains a good balance between home life, banter, energetic sex and the ups and downs of the men’s working life – including their professional interactions with the police. There’s also a dose of a reality check when the, not so good side, of people knowing one is gay, rears its ugly head. As for the climax (I mean ending guys, not the eruption of the hot poker) - well, damn – that’s all I have to say about that. Oh and uniforms, there are men in uniforms.
My only gripe is that the author does like to use the word smirked which is my least favorite word since I find that it is, beyond overused by many people, and usually incorrectly utilized in the majority of cases. Its definition is determined by the words around it. Smirk or smirked used on its own is a smile evoking insolence, scorn or offensive smugness. However, this can change when used with other words e.g. He smirked in self-satisfied triumph. So, for any authors reading this, be careful with your use of this dreaded word, there are better alternatives.
I found A Forced Silence to be an excellent story, with good characters, and a well-informed glimpse into the world of the emergency medical services. It was enlightening. This story pulled at my heart strings and fed the adrenaline junkie inside me too. So, if you love anything involving the medical profession, run out and buy this – you’ll love it. If hospital drama isn’t your cup of tea, this one is still worth dunking a biscuit into.