When private investigator, Shane Stephens, is hired by the mayor of Cincinnati to track down the hacker who has been threatening him, Shane is sure this is the opportunity to launch the Merleau Detection Agency into the big time. He even convinces Rowe Ward of Ward Security to loan him one of his best IT specialists, Quinn Lake.
Shane, a man who prefers casual intimacy, is surprised by his attraction to the moody computer geek, but when Quinn suggests they have fun for the month he’s on loan, Shane happily agrees. Both men are expecting nothing more than a good time.
But the investigation takes an unexpected turn and they quickly discover they are facing more than a hacker out to ruin the mayor’s re-election chances. And as they spend more time together, they realize their relationship may be a lot more than just a good time.
With only weeks until the election, Shane and Quinn race to gather the proof they need while dodging bullets and possibly…falling in love.
After one quick knock on Rowe’s door, he stepped inside without waiting for him to call since he was already expected. But he stopped short when he saw the tall man standing next to Rowe’s desk, his hands on his slender hips as he grinned down at Rowe. Quinn couldn’t stop his eyes from quickly sweeping over his broad shoulders and chest that tapered into a narrow waist. His eyes snapped back up to find a pair of brown eyes that twinkled as they finished checking him out as well.
“Sorry,” Quinn mumbled, instantly taking a step backward. “I can come back.” Rowe rarely saw clients. He had customer representatives that handled talking to the clients. Of course, with Rowe’s lack of a filter, it was better if he didn’t talk to the new clients directly.
“No, come in, Quinn,” Rowe said sharply. He stood behind his desk, drawing Quinn’s gaze to his shorter but broader frame. His dark red hair stood up slightly as if he’d been running his fingers through it. Quinn never took that as a particularly good sign.
With a quick jerk of his head, Quinn stepped in and shut the door behind him. The other man was smiling at him, that assessing look still in his eyes, and Quinn didn’t want to think about the fact that he was dying to take another longer look at him, but not with the freaking boss in the room.
“Quinn Lake, this is Shane Stephens. He’s a private investigator with The Merleau Detection Agency,” Rowe introduced.
Shane extended his hand to Quinn and Quinn clenched his teeth, trying to hide his discomfort at taking Shane’s hand. His own palms were sweaty, making the momentary contact awkward. Why the fuck was he always so damn awkward around hot guys?
“Rowe tells me you’re the best,” Shane said, releasing his hand.
Quinn couldn’t help the skeptical look he shot at Rowe, who only shrugged as he sat down again. “Well, I said you and Gidget are the best.”
“Is this about a job?”
“Sit, Quinn.” Rowe absently waved toward the two chairs in front of his desk. He shuffled some papers around without seeming to actually look at them, placing them in piles at the edge of his desk.
Shooting one last uncertain look at Shane, Quinn moved to the farthest chair and sat, his tablet clenched in both hands. His mind raced as he tried to figure out why he’d been called into this meeting. Clients didn’t meet with Rowe, and Quinn didn’t meet with clients unless they’d already been assigned a bodyguard. And while they’d worked with some private investigators in the past, Rowe wasn’t usually involved. He had a company to run.
“Shane recently acquired a client who is the victim of a hacker,” Rowe started.
Quinn looked up at Shane, who was still standing beside Rowe’s desk, his mind finally turning away from too many questions to a problem he could understand. “Identity theft? Bank accounts drained?”
“No, not yet.” Shane shook his head, some of his dark curly hair falling forward against his temple. “At least, not that we’ve uncovered.”
“Then how do you know this client was hacked?”
“There are other signs…but I can’t go into it.”
Quinn frowned for a second. That certainly wasn’t going to make his job easier. “Well, do you just need improved protection? Alerts on accounts? We’ve got a comprehensive list of things we can do to help shore up the client’s account protection and privacy.”
“Shane isn’t looking for protection from the hacker for the client.” Rowe paused until Quinn looked back at him. “His client has hired him to track down the identity of the hacker.”
“Whoa…” Quinn said on an exhale, sitting back in his chair. That…that was not an easy task. Most hackers were pretty damn good at not being found. You had to be if you wanted to survive as one. If you sucked, you were usually snagged by the FBI pretty damn fast. Quinn would know. He’d started hacking at a young age—not stealing other people’s money but just breaking through security systems because he could. It took the feds a solid five years to catch him. But his boss knew all this. Rowe knew everything about the people working for him.
“We’re not equipped to handle this level of…” Shane frowned at Rowe’s computer as if he blamed it for his problems. “Well, we’re not staffed yet to handle computer things like this. I can do some of the forensic research in accounting matters, but I need a computer genius like you.”
“That’s why I agreed to loan you to Shane and his business partner, Ethan, for one month,” Rowe announced.
Quinn was out of his seat in a shot, hovering over the edge of the desk as he looked down at his boss. Pain shot through his chest, and he was suddenly having trouble catching his breath. Panic clouded all of his thoughts. He loved working for Ward Security. He’d been there for just less than two years, and he’d never found another place where he’d felt like he fit so damn perfectly. This was home. These people he worked with, they were his friends. He didn’t have to hide or pretend or feel uncomfortable.
And Rowe…Rowe had always been amazing. Sure, he could be cranky and a little crazy. He was always loud and tended to speak before thinking. But Quinn always knew exactly where he stood with Rowe. He always felt like Rowe had his back.
“Are you getting rid of me?”
“What?” Rowe snapped. “Where the fuck did you get that idea?”
“You’re hiring another IT person. I saw the listing. And this? Putting me ‘on loan’?”
Rowe groaned and scrubbed a hand over his face. With a heavy sigh, he pointed back at the chair Quinn had just vacated. “Sit.” Grudgingly, Quinn followed direction while Rowe looked over at Shane. “Can you give us a minute?”
Sigh….I love this series.
In this one, we have Quinn… very cute, shy and insecure IT nerd who works for Ward security, and Shane, who works for a fairly new start-up PI company who’s been hired by the mayor or Ohio.
Someone’s been sending him threatening emails, signed by his ex-wife who had recently passed away. The mayor seems like an alright family man, with two daughters, so, Shane takes on his case and promises discretion. Because Shane and his friend don’t have the money or recourses for an IT guru like Ward does, Rowe loans Quinn for the month until reelection to help Shane out.
Of course, they’re attracted to each other, but Shane is a serial bachelor and not a bit interested in relationships or monogamy and Quinn is inexperienced and not all impressed with the experiences he has had.
A month of long nights in the office together, working side by side with a man you’re attracted to each other, leads to hooking up, of course it does… what neither guy was expecting was to fall for each other. But, as things heat u between them, they get more complicated with the investigation and its hard to figure out who’s the guilty one in the scenario. Things just aren’t making sense, and after some miscommunication and differences of opinion, the guys take time to get their heads together.
Although I loved Quinn and his blushing and backbone when it came to Shane. I liked how Shane seemed to do a 180 with his feelings of commitment and relationships once he got to know Quinn better. It wasn’t hard to break him of all that and he didn’t fight it.
I feel like both of these guys got to prove themselves and I kept hoping that the misunderstanding would get cleared u for Quinn. I honestly thought it was going to be forgotten about, but… nay, it made me love them both more. Quinn for being able to ask about it and Shane for being awesome about it.
I loved these two. Im gonna have to go back and reread about Frost and Jude, cuz… just their small appearance, made me remember how hot their story was together. LOL, I’m such a sucker for the guys in this series. I might just go back and read them all. I’m very much hoping for more about Royce. That’ll be a good one, I just know it!
If you haven’t, you most definitely should!
5 well deserved pieces of eye candy from me!
First off, you really need to read book one. I guess *technically* you could get away without reading it but that would be silly. Trust me. Would I lie to you?
We had gotten to know Quinn and Shane a bit in previous books. Quinn is one of the computer geeks at Ward Security and Shane is part owner of a private investigator agency- way more gumshoe than smoking gun. When he is hired to track down a hacker, he has to enlist the help of Ward Security and Quinn.
Quinn and Shane have immediate chemistry and fight it for a bit. Partly because Shane only does one time things and Quinn was built for relationships. But after a steamy kiss, they come to a compromise- a short term “relationship” while they are working on the case.
Quinn and Shane are HOT together. And even though it is Shane who doesn’t want a relationship- he is the one who seems to be super sweet and almost romantic. Those little touches, brushing Quinn’s hair back, staring at him across the room when they are supposed to be working. Just swoony.
That being said, I think Quinn was the more developed character. Shane could have given me just a little more.
Like in all of the previous books there is excellent banter between not only the main characters, but the supporting characters as well. And we see most of them- I think only Lucas was left out. He might have been in there though. Apologies Lucas if you made an appearance and I missed your arrogant self.
The overall story was a bit convoluted, but it was ok. I really expected more than what I got. With focusing on the “hacker” and how it isn’t something you just pick up and do, I wanted a bit more explanation of how the hacker did it. I hope that made sense. I hate spoilers so I am trying desperately not to spoil.
And I didn’t love the title. I get it, but meh. After Psycho Romeo, and Shiver, Shatter, Torch, it was a bit weak.
4 pieces of eye candy
Who are Drake & Elliott?
Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.