Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Taria Reed
Rating: 2.0 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 06/03/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance
A near-fatal shot through his chest teaches Lieutenant Bryan Smyth of the NYPD two things: He wants to live to see more days and he wants to spend them with his estranged husband, Justice.
Poor decisions made under the strain of grief split the seams of their marriage. Now it’s up to Bryan to show Justice there’s still enough of their love left to salvage from the ruins, still something worth the battle ahead.
Bryan’s shooting has opened Justice’s eyes to new lessons too. The first, tomorrow isn’t promised, the second, life’s too short to live in misery. Justice has watched Bryan shuffle back and forth attempting to balance the man he is at home and the man he has to be at the precinct for too long. Now, he’s done. The only problem is, Justice’s heart is having a hard time adhering to the exit strategy in his head.
Desperate to repair their bond, Bryan does the only thing he can to keep his marriage intact, he calls his crazy sister-in-law, True to stir up some organized chaos. She’s a wildcard, yes. As unstable and deadly as nitroglycerin, but she gets the one thing Bryan needs more than anything, results.
The only question left: Is family and fidelity enough to get them through love’s changes, or is this really the end?
**This book is a spin off from the Queens of Kings series featuring Bryan Smyth and Justice Amare. Although related to the Queens of Kings world, you do not need to read that series to understand this one.**
This book hit too many of my pet peeves for me to be able to recommend it.
First peeve: An entire family with ironic and unusual names—The main character is Justice Amare and other family members are named Law, Free, True, Heart and Honor.
Second Peeve: A character uses jealousy to get his man back.
Third Peeve: Most of the exciting stuff in the couple’s life, including the stuff that has them splitting, happened before this story.
Those things aren’t the only things in this book that I didn’t like.
The story centers around Bryan Smyth and Justice Amare. They’ve been together for 21 years and married for five, but things have gone wrong and they are contemplating divorce. We’re told this in the beginning but then the story slides into a sex scene, which, to me, is contradictory. Things are so bad they’re close to a split but they’re still living together and having hot, passionate sex?
Eventually, through some dialogue but mostly exposition, we’re told the reasons why Bryan and Justice are having troubles. Very compelling stuff here—if the readers weren’t just being told about it. It would have been so much more emotional if we’d seen it happen instead of being told how it happened.
Another dramatic thing that happened apparently did so in another book by the author where Bryan and Justice were supporting characters. An aspect of that story involved Bryan being a cop and his co-workers not knowing he’s gay or married. Despite being together for twenty years and Bryan being on the force for a good portion of that time no one he worked with had a clue he was gay. That seems extremely unrealistic.
So we don’t see the truly dramatic moments, but we’re front and center for their split. Bryan is determined to win his husband back so what does he do? He goes to Justice’s sister for help. And her solution is to use Bryan’s personal trainer to make Justice jealous. Because jealousy is such a healthy emotion. But it works so I guess it’s okay.
I never connected to either of the main characters because the author never gave me a deep POV. Add in some spelling, grammar and formatting errors and I just can’t recommend this one.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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