Amazon • Narrator: Jeff Gelder
(Website, Blog, Goodreads)
Least Likely Partnership: Book Two When his vicious cousin Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, San Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado gets a brutal reminder of why he left his family behind. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, before the FBI digs too deep into his business. Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, but his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down. When Elliot catches a missing person's case as his first assignment, the last person he expects to find poking around the victim’s dorm room is Ray, a one-time hookup he’s more inclined to punch in the face than kiss hello. After discovering Sophia's disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray. As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the urge to tackle each other.
I enjoyed this one even more than book 1 because it was much more developed and the characters had great chemistry. I also enjoyed the narration of the book by Jeff Gelder. He was able to keep the dialogue engaging as the story developed.
This book featured Detective Raymond Delgado, the partner of book 1’s hero Detective Christopher Hayes. In the prior book, I had thought that maybe the author would have Chris and Ray settle down as a couple even though Ray was so promiscuous. But in this sequel, we finally get Ray’s side of the story as well as his journey to an HFN.
Ray found out from his cousin the notorious crime Lord Alejandro, that Alejandro’s little sister was missing. Alejandro suggested that another crime family was responsible for Sophia’s disappearance. Sophia had been raised by Ray and his sister because they hoped to minimize the criminal influence of the Delgado cartel. Considering their closeness, Ray immediately set out to find out what happened to Sophia. Ray’s investigation brought him in contact with FBI agent Elliott Belkamp, with whom he had shared a brief fling several months ago that didn’t end on a good note. Needless to say, Elliott was not keen on working with Ray to find out what happened to Sophia.
I liked the constant change in POV because it gave the characters equal voice in their ongoing narrative. Each one got to tell their story while it was clear that Ray was the author’s main focus. There was a good mix of action, plot and sex to make this book very interesting.
What I enjoyed most about this sequel was how Elliott challenged Ray’s rigid stance on love and relationships especially in the Hispanic culture. Ray desperate wanted to keep his family’s approval and didn’t believe that he would have it once they found out that he was bisexual. Ray’s figured that as long as he never bottomed, he cannot be considered gay. When he voiced this opinions to Elliott during their fling, Elliott felt that Ray look down on to those who do bottom. While initially Elliott didn’t want to bother with Ray, there was a pull there for both of them. Elliott already lived openly as a gay man encouraged Ray to leave freely. In their journey together, we find that both Ray and Elliott had some unrealistic expectations of love and fear kept them for truly being free.
During the course of their investigation as their attraction depended, both men began opening up to each other about their fears and desires for the future. That vulnerability allowed both men to grow and embrace what they were feeling for each other.
I am glad that I listened to this one because I got to see Ray in a different light and really enjoyed him as a character. The last scene of the book was one of the best endings I have listened to it a while. This series is definitely a keeper for me.
*Special thanks to Dreamspinner Press for the audiobook for review.