Author: JA Rock and Lisa Henry
Cover Artist: L.C. CHASE
Rating: 4.00 of 5 Stars
Something wicked this way comes.
FBI Agent Ryan “Mac” McGuinness and con man Henry Page are on the run again. This time they’re headed back to where it all began: Altona, Indiana. Population: some goats. Henry’s not happy about lying low at the McGuinness family farm, but they’ve got nowhere else to go.
While Mac fights to clear his name and Henry struggles with whose side he’s really on, a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything. And those aren’t the only storms on the radar. Cut off from both sides of the law, Mac and Henry must rely on their tenuous partnership to survive.
If Henry can convince himself to let Mac see the man behind the disguises, they’ll stand a chance of beating the forces that conspire against them. The course of true love never did run smooth, but for the two of them, it might be their only hope.
Tempest is the final book in Lisa Henry and JA Rock’s rip roaring trilogy Playing the Fool.
Like book two Tempest follows immediately on from the end of the previous book, The Merchant of Death. Mac is about to be arrested for drug dealing and generally being a badass cop by the obnoxious Janice Bixler from the Office of Professional Responsibility and Henry has been told by Mac’s colleague and boss Val to grab Mac and run. The plan is to hide out and give Val time to find evidence to prove Mac is being set up. With Henry’s sister Viola along for the ride they head for Mac’s parents isolated farm. Pretty soon Mac and Henry realize that the late and very much not lamented Jimmy Resnick haunts both their pasts in ways they couldn’t imagine.
For me Tempest was a book of multiple parts, I loved it, just like the other two, but it told a different type of story. It was fast moving in places, particularly at the end when all the pieces fall into place, but it was also very slow in others. This is because the majority of the focus is on Henry and his Introspection. As Mac and Henry hide out at the farm, along with Vi who gets on famously with Mac’s niece Cory, Henry feeling more and more self-conscious sees the interaction of Mac’s family and it causes him start to examine his own thoughts and feelings. He looks inside himself and he doesn’t like what he sees there. He sleep walks through the middle of the story full of bitter self-loathing and hatred for what he was, and what he has become. He can’t understand what Mac sees in him and he’s almost paralyzed by the realization that he loves Mac, and wants to change for him, plus he lives in constant fear of letting down Viola, and he would die for Viola. But when Mac needs Henry to trust him the most Henry runs away, straight into the arms of danger. It’s only in the last quarter of the story that Henry shows us what he could be, what he wants to be. At that point the story takes off at an exhilarating pace, and the mastermind behind Mac’s situation is revealed.
I make it sound like Mac is just along for the ride but he’s not, he’s desperately trying in his own way to get Henry to open up to him, to trust him, he loves Henry but he’s not sure how to actually love him. Henry brightens his world but he doesn’t know how to deal with it, all this while trying to figure out who’s trying to destroy him. I don’t want to say much about the plot as it would spoil it for anyone who is waiting to start the series but Tempest has a finale that is worth the wait. The story is full of twists and turns and I never figured out who was behind the plot the destroy Mac.
The story is still humorous in places, still full of the same quips as before, but everything has a much darker, more desperate tone which is echoed by the storm that surrounds the climax. Viola is wonderful and shows her true capability, and I adored Cory, Mac’s nine year old niece. I really liked all of Mac’s family; they showed Henry what being loved looks like.
I’ve not read much of Shakespeare at all, it’s far too high brow for me so most of the snippets and tropes are beyond me but I do love the way the books have been set around his work, it gives them a unique appeal and makes Playing the Fool a trilogy unlike anything else in MM romance. I still recommend reading the books in one go, one after the other sequentially and the ending leaves the way open for more stories and I do hope that’s not a tease for teases sake and that we really do get to see Henry and Mac, as well as Viola, again.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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