Author: Hank Edwards
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Startled Monkey Media
Rating: 4.0 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/07/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Gay Romance, Mystery/Thriller
Mark Beecher is still recovering from his abduction on Barbados. He and his boyfriend, FBI Special Agent Aaron Pearce, have a lot to process due to those traumatic events, and in the months since, both have experienced accomplishments and setbacks.
When a case in Detroit calls Pearce back to the city where the two met, he grudgingly leaves Mark on his own. The case involves the murders of four gay men, all strangled, and all with a note in one hand. These notes contain clues that point to a case from Pearce’s past, and proves what he already fears: Robert Morgan, terrorist mole within the FBI and Pearce’s former lover, has invited Pearce back to Detroit to finish things between them.
With Pearce gone, Mark focuses on his recovery, a process that accelerates once he sees a news report from Detroit and realizes the toll this new case is taking on Pearce. Mark decides it’s time to stop letting fear control his life. He will join Pearce in Detroit, and together they will stop Morgan once and for all.
The Up to Trouble books are some of my absolute favorites. The mix of mystery and romance are great.
I loved the first two but didn’t care for book three as much. Choked Up brought it back for me with a highly enjoyable read. Aaron and Mark are such an awesome couple.
Bringing back Robert Morgan as the bad guy was inspired and I was thrilled to see a resolution to that story. It was also great to have Mark suffering PTSD following his ordeal in Barbados in book three. It would have rang false if Mark had just returned to normal after being kidnapped.
There were places where the plot stalled. This book wasn’t one that I couldn’t put down. I got bored often and it felt like the plot wasn’t moving forward. However, there aren’t scenes I can point to as being not needed. The mystery unraveled at a natural and realistic pace.
I didn’t like having Aaron and Mark apart for a good section of the book, but again I see where it was needed for them to have some time apart. It helped them both to realize how much they needed each other. Having Mark push past his panic attacks so he can be with the man he loves was so very romantic and an awesome way to show their connection.
In mystery series with couples consisting of a cop and a civilian it can often be problematic getting both men involved. The author did a great job of solving that problem here. I also want to commend the author for surprising me with the identity of the secondary bad guy. I was sure I had it figured out ahead of time but I was wrong, and that doesn’t happen very often.
Despite some slow points this was still a great read. Readers could start with this book but I recommend going back to the beginning if you haven’t read the series.
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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