Author: Brandon Shire
Publisher: TPG Books
Cover Artist: Unknown
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 05/23/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
THIS IS A WORK OF SERIALIZED FICTION
Sid Rivers and Jack Brandt are back, but they’re still two sides of the same coin. One is a lawyer with his own firm intent on growing his power and prestige; the other is a criminal with a lengthy record and a need to set his world in order.
When they met the first time, sparks flew. But circumstances pushed them apart. Now, circumstances are forcing them together again. But will it help them to find each other and meet their goals, or will it destroy them and everyone they care about?
Season Two of The Love of Wicked Men is a continuation of their story. It is also an erotic journey into the underbelly of the legal profession, the corporate culture of profit-at-any-cost, and the secret world of industrial espionage.
IN THIS EPISODE:
Sid Rivers has reached the end of his rope. He’s waited sixteen long months for Jack to return, but he hasn’t heard a peep from the man. Not one. During that time, he’s reorganized the firm he took from his father and started looking for a way to make his name. But one morning the private line in his office rings and everything changes. He has a new case, new clients and a means to make himself utterly unforgettable in the legal world.
Jack Brandt spots a man tailing him around the country. Just as he’s about to capture him and force details from his mouth, Shane shows up with a dire warning. Sid Rivers is in immediate danger and needs Jack’s help to survive. The Feds are sniffing around, but so is Jack’s old nemesis. And Mark Wessman will do anything to get Jack, including using Rivers’ dead body as bait.
Your heart can’t be protected. It doesn’t listen to the mind games when conscious thought tries to rationalize the world. It is independent and stubborn and infuriating at times. But was it wrong?
This is as close to romance as you’ll get in this story. This start to season two of the The Love of Wicked Men series is a crime thriller, including murder, with deception, loyalty in many forms, dysfunctional families, highly functional friendships, which naturally breed humor, and more. It begins with some cracking dialogue, injecting tension and high stakes from the get go. This is something at which Shire excels and continues in this story with this just as intense cast of characters, their collective baggage, desires, schemes, and those pesky morals that sometimes let their hearts try and call the shots. Sometimes.
If you’ve yet to read something by Brandon Shire, change that today. Right now. Whether you start with Season 1 Episode 1 of this series, or you want something more erotic like the Erotic Shorts series, or big time emotions like in Afflicted I and II and Listening to Dust and many others, choose one and run with it. You’ll get those feelings we love to have while reading, nose and heart deep in a book, the characters and stories staying with you long after you’ve finished.
Fair warning, there could be slight spoilers for Season 1 in this review.
Now, back to this crazy lot. Ok, not really crazy, that would be too easy, to dismiss them all as nuts. They’re complicated people living complicated lives, with danger, deep caring and just as deep scars, doubts and desires, strength, and the will to survive in this world of theirs dominated by ruthlessness, revenge, and believe it or not, hope. This brings me to Sid. Oh, Sid. You’re such a fantastic mix of all of these things. And no matter how hard you try, that heart of yours is doing its darnedest to derail all of your plans. Right now, it seems to be losing out.
Jack is one tough cookie, and a smart one. He knows something is going on beyond the obvious, behind the thick curtain of lies, beneath the layers of hidden agendas. He’s very good at what he does, most of which takes place behind some of those same curtains. Despite that, his own emotions are threatening to muck up this latest life and death deal. Though, he does seem to have them more in check than Sid. For now.
Damn if that man didn’t know how to get under his skin.
This tells you a lot about the major underlying current in this series. Who said this? You’ll have to read to find out, and what the ramifications might be.(Pssst, even I don’t know what those are yet.)
Sid and Jack aren’t the only characters returning from Season 1. We have Sid’s hated father, his trusted admin Cheryl, we have Shane, and Raja (oh my!), Jason (yay) Drake and Sweeny (oh my…), dreaded Aunt Marion, Wessman, Lori (ever the mystery) and more. All are precisely woven into this story, each adding their necessary ingredients to this intense, dark, unforgiving pie. I gotta say, who’da thunk that Drak and Sweeny would become the “stable” ones in this cast of creatures? 😉
Shire knows how to build and then unfurl a mystery. I looooove when I honestly cannot see stuff coming. I’m as surprised as the characters when revelations are made and actions taken. The last chapter is a prime example. Wow. What a kicker of a first episode this is! The puzzle pieces only just beginning to slide into place. I’m ready, man, I’m ready for this season.
Sid Rivers was an open wound, and he was drawn to it. Not because he thought he could heal it, but because it was so familiar to him.
I’ll leave you with that.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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