Justin Briggs can shout out directions all day on his job as a traffic cop, but put him in front of a hot guy, specifically firefighter Rock Sparks, and he clams up.
Rock finds Justin confusing. While saving a busload of children hanging off the edge of a highway overpass, the cute rookie is cool and confident. But when Rock tries to chat him up, he stutters and chokes. Frustrated, Rock teases Justin, and boy, is his temper hot.
Though Rock and Justin share a steamy kiss, Justin keeps his distance, still tongue-tied. Then, when Justin is injured on the job, Rock takes him to the hospital, and some of the barriers start to crumble. But getting his enigmatic boyfriend to open up brings up more questions about Justin's past.
©2013 Andrew Grey (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
This is part of a series but can absolutely be read as a standalone.
Justin is a young police officer who has a hard time picking up guys because he gets a dry mouth and freezes up. When he ends up helping EMT Rock to rescue a bus load of kids, he finally finds someone who helps him to crack through his “shyness” and lets him be himself.
But… their road isn’t easy. It takes several “exposures” to Rock before Justin can talk and they keep running into dangerous situations! On top of that Justin’s mom is absolutely evil and tries to keep them apart.
Eventually, Justin (who’s a virgin!) and Rock find their HEA and Justin finds a way to tell his mother off, too!
I am a fan of Andrew Grey and most of the time the way he writes, the characters he creates and the “feels” he elicits hit the mark for me. In this case, there were a few elements missing to really grab me and pull me into the story.
I think the short length forced the story to move at a pace that was more “telling” and less “showing”. Justin’s shyness problem is really over developed and we’re told that it’s a big problem but we’re not really shown that very well.
We are also told that Rock is interested in Justin and he definitely butts into his life very quickly, but we aren’t shown why he’s interested. When Rock confronts Justin it seemed too intuitive for the amount of time the MCs had spent together. It also felt too soon when Rock confronts Justin’s mother, for the same reasons.
I thought the number of “dangerous situations” these guys were in diminished the time they could have been building their relationship, and sometimes I wondered at their motivation. For example, when in the diner, only Justin goes investigating while the clearly-more-dominant Rock sits quietly and waits.
When the MCs do begin to explore their relationship it went from zero to sixty (I can’t talk to you to ILY) again with minimal build up. I also thought the mother’s “intervention” was a bit OTT and unbelievable given the rest of story.
So, by the end, while I was really happy for the HEA and pleased that Justin’s mom got told off, I didn’t feel the “feels” I usually do when I finish a good Andrew Grey book.
Paul Morey does his always-reliable job of giving Rock a nice deep “alpha” voice and Justin a nice, but not-too-twinkish voice. He definitely enhanced the story with his ability to relate emotion and I always enjoy his work. However, listening to this made the parts of the story that made me cringe feel even more highlighted and it is for this reason that – I think – I was more critical of the story in audio format than I had been when I originally read it.
Overall, it’s a nice, short story with a very HEA and a solid narration.
I have to say this was one of my favorite stories by Andrew Grey so far. I loved the police officer/paramedic dynamic along with just everything about these two men. They were sexy and both were trying to do their jobs while this wild attraction was between them.
I HATED what we find out late in the story that has to do with Justin. I felt so bad for the guy because I know that stuff like that really does happen and it's so infuriating.
There is a lot of action packed into this short story, but then there can be a lot of action packed into the lives their profession puts them in so I didn't have a hard time with it.
A great, sexy little read.
I really enjoyed the narrator that did this book as he made it fun to listen to!
I received a free copy of this book to read for Inked Rainbow Reads in exchange for an honest review.
I would love to meet them again in another book just to see how their lives unfolded and, judging by the way it ended, I would guess that there will be a continuation.
I love the way he writes his series. The often incorporate characters from past novels, reminding us of the whole collection. Which makes me want to reread the series all over. I use Audible and love Paul Morey 's narrations. If you haven't already read or listened to his series, I would recommend that you do. Andrew is a gifted writer and someone who if I knew would love to call friend. He's made me laugh and cry and paint pictures with his words I feel I know the characters personally, especially Geoff and Eli. Excellent novella 👍♥♥♥♥♥ hearts, my phone only had black ones, but the sentiment is the same.
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