Jack: Grime & Punishment by Z.A. Maxfield ~ Book Review by Queue

zm_grimeandpunishment_1Title: Jack: Grime & Punishment

Author: Z.A. Maxfield

Publisher: Loose Id

Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 11/25/2013

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance


The Brothers Grime is Jack Masterson’s way of helping people in crisis after disability ends his career as a firefighter. Jack’s people get to a scene long after the physical trauma ends. They don’t solve crime or rescue the victims. They help people move on. The new job is all Jack wants or needs, until he gets the call about old flame Nick Foasberg’s suicide.

Ryan Halloran’s cousin Nick has been on a downhill slide for a long time. Despite that, Ryan does everything he knows to help. Ryan only understands part of what happened between Nick and Jack in high school, but after Nick’s suicide, Ryan agrees both he and Jack need closure. They work together to clean the scene and despite the situation, heat flares between them.

Jack is keeping a painful secret and fighting his attraction to Nick’s lookalike cousin, Ryan. Ryan calls himself a magnet for lost causes and worries Jack might be the next in a long line of losers. Despite his misgivings, despite the past and the mistakes they’ve both made, Jack gives Ryan something to look forward to, and Ryan gives Jack a reason to stop looking back, in Grime And Punishment.

My View:

Grime & Punishment was a thoroughly enjoyable story with an unforgettable couple I loved so very much. The concept of The Brothers Grime, a crime scene clean-up business, is totally original and unlike anything I’ve seen in m/m romance.

Jack Masterson is shocked when he learns Nick, his high school lover, has committed suicide. This brings him in proximity to Ryan O’Halloran, Nick’s lookalike cousin. Jack and Ryan are both damaged men dealing with crap in their past, including a secret Jack doesn’t want to share.

Their relationship is anything but easy from the get go because of a variety of reasons. However, their first kiss was incredible and sexy beyond belief.

Jack tasted orange juice between them, familiar and sweet. Beneath Jack’s hands, Ryan’s body felt like all good things, like excitement and novelty and strong man and coming home.

ZAM really hits the right chords throughout the entire story. There are scenes with strong emotions as well as some funny moments. Jack and Ryan actually communicate with each other and, except for the secret Jack has good reason to keep, they don’t hide things about each other. They are both upfront about the demons in their past and, for the most part, choose to talk instead of avoid each other.

Several things about their relationship struck me as especially realistic, including Jack and his closeted fuck buddy. This type of thing happens often in real life where men are in a no-strings-attached relationship and find someone with whom they want those strings. The feelings of every person involved has to be considered and it’s not always the easiest thing.

A memorable romance and highly recommended.


Jack: Grime & Punishment on Goodreads
Loose Id
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
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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