Author: Ethan Stone
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Rating: 4.25 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 08/11/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Mystery
The last thing Gabe Vargas wants to do after nearly dying is to leave his young son. But that’s exactly what FBI Agent Drew Bradley is asking him to do. According to Drew, the only way to protect Gabe and find his wife’s killer is to fake Gabe’s death.
With an already established adversarial relationship, protecting a hothead like Gabe isn’t exactly a picnic for Drew either. But Drew lets his guard down and a desire for Gabe leaves him confused. Before the crime can be solved, Drew will have to risk more than his life. He’ll also have to risk his heart.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2011.
This is my second time to read Blood & Tears by Ethan stone. My first time was the first edition. For the second edition, not only has the story been heavily re-edited, Stone has changed the entire story from third to first person. If you read much from Mr. Stone, you know that he is more comfortable writing in the first person. This single change has brought up the level of this story immeasurably.
Now on to the story. I can’t tell you what other plot/story changes might have happened during the re-edit. I originally read the story just too long ago to remember that much detail. I do remember thinking that while quite enjoyable, it was the weakest of the three Flesh novels. Having recently re-read both In the Flesh and Flesh & Blood, my opinion as only altered slightly. The chasm between ItF/F&B and Blood & Tears has closed considerably with the POV change.
Gabe and Drew’s story is a somewhat classic Enemies to lovers story with the twist of a satisfying murder mystery throughout. You will need to have read Flesh & Blood at the very least to completely understand Blood & Tears. However, I recommend reading both In the Flesh and Flesh & Blood. These stories are all tightly connected, and you will not completely understand the twists and turns without the background of the first two books.
While B&T is first Flesh novel that doesn’t feature Flesh himself, he shows up enough to appreciate that unique character. Also for the first time in the novel, one of the main characters is just along for the ride when it comes to the mystery. Crime solving is left up to FBI Agent Drew (with the help of Cristian and Colby, of course). Gabe is the victim of sorts, but he is a stubborn victim. He also has to be a father to Victor, so he can’t go running off to solve crimes.
The mystery itself is put on the backburner for the first few chapters while the relationship between Drew and Gabe is established and strengthened. In the end, Stone gives us a gratifying cast of characters and red herrings along the way to keep us turning to page for the conclusion of the who-done-it.
Oh and there just might be a scene with the single greatest Scrabble game ever played… just saying…
I am ready for book four Mr. Stone.
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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