Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game. He’s just always gone it alone. Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.
Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs–especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.
So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date (Print & Ebook):
Ebook: Monday December 3
Print (mmp): Tuesday December 25
Length (Print & Ebook):
Print (mmp): 496
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Male/Male Romance
Reader warnings: Childhood sexual abuse, angst
This book is approximately 122,000 words
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
Duncan didn’t look at him, but that didn’t matter because he didn’t need to. He could feel Ghost stretched out next to him, his long, slim body akimbo on the duvet, his narrow bare feet dangling off the edge of the bed. He wasn’t that close, not really—his knee was a foot and a half away from Duncan’s thigh, but that didn’t matter, either, because it might as well be an inch.
Ghost didn’t feel it, Duncan reminded himself. He didn’t have this electricity under his skin at the mere idea of touch. Because Ghost didn’t want him. Ghost didn’t want anybody.
He jerked his mind back on track. “I think the safest way for them is if we ship one of these next-day air. We can set it up in advance and save the number of our phone in the contacts. This way, if we get busted before we can ditch the phone we used, when Spratt traces the number we called, all he’ll get is the address
of the store where the phones were bought.” By Estee, which Duncan didn’t like, but with cash, which he did like. And even if her face had been caught on a security camera, the chances that a Verizon store would hold on to unremarkable footage for days or weeks at a time were minuscule.
“If we’re going to take the risk of going out in public to ship these, we might as well buy some clothes for you that fit,” Duncan pointed out. “And we should change motels too, in case someone picks up our trail.”
“And leave our castle?” Ghost asked wryly, waving a hand at the general splendor of their motel room. When he lowered his hand, though, he let it land against Duncan’s hip. The knuckles pressed against his jeans, and though there was no way the heat of his skin was actually making it through the denim, he felt scorched all the same.
Duncan glanced over his shoulder, his heart hammering all of a sudden. Ghost lay there like a cat, limbs stretched out, his expression hard to read. There was defiance in the tilt of his chin, unconcern in the relaxed curve of his mouth, caution in his eyes. And something else, some impossible emotion that Duncan couldn’t deconstruct that tied the whole thing together.
He’s fucking with you, part of Duncan’s brain whispered, and that made sense to an extent. But it also didn’t. Something about this rang differently. Duncan trusted his instincts, and his instincts said that this wasn’t a game. Ghost was watching him too carefully, was too invested in the outcome. No, it wasn’t a game.
It was a test.
For a moment, Duncan wondered what answer Ghost was expecting. Something aggressive, probably. Sex ual. He’d say yes, Duncan suspected. If he rolled over and put his hands on Ghost right now, he’d let him. He’d probably kiss him back and make those small noises of hunger that he’d made in Duncan’s kitchen the other day. He’d make it believable. But it would be fake, because Ghost didn’t actually want him, and at some point, he’d do that empty doll thing, and Duncan would feel sick all over again, and he didn’t want any of that.
He let his eyes drop to Ghost’s hand on his hip and said, “This isn’t necessary.”
“What if I want to?”
“Are you referring to sex or touching my hip? Because I’m not comfortable with the first, but this is fine if you’re actually in need of reassuring contact.”
Ghost’s forehead furrowed. “‘Actually in need of reassuring contact,’” he repeated. “You are something else, Rook, you know that?”
“The real question is how we can get a new motel room without getting recognized.”
Ghost laughed under his breath and pulled his hand back. “Leave that to me.”
Holy emotional ruin!
So, I needed a couple of days before I tried to sit down and write this one out, and let me tell you now, that is extremely rare for me. I knew that Ghost’s story was going to chew me up and spit me out, because what page time he has on the previous two books, he chewed me up and spit me out. He was so complicated and dangerous, and yet, he was just a kid. He was a survivor in every since of the meaning, but it had torn him apart to the point that he didn’t know who he was. No one did, because every aspect of his being was a lie. To protect himself or one of the few people he cared about… everything was a fabrication for self-preservation. (say that 10 times, fast)….Still… you couldn’t help but love him, and want to help him, and hug him… I related most with Tobias, because I just loved through it, even all the bad.
Speaking of Tobias, we see him and Sullivan help Ghost in the last book, when they sent him with a good friend of Sullivan’s…. retired officer Walt. And that’s where we pick up… with Walt taking him to someone he trusted because he couldn’t be enough to keep Ghost safe from not only the dirty cop we read about in the last book, but also the Russian- Mama.
If I go into detail, I’ll spoil the whole thing, and normally, I wouldn’t care to do that… but with Ghost… it’s best if you experience all the surprises for yourself. It was like an action movie that had my blood pressure fluctuating with each chapter. I cried for Ghost so much… man, did I… The life he’d lived, the life he was forced into and the life he chose… it was haunting and horrible… but when he tried.. when he really wanted to try, for Duncan, who you’ll meet and also fall in love with…the way he wanted to be more for him… the way he tried to better himself, the way he done whatever he could, no matter how badly it hurt him, to be good enough for someone else…. Jeeeeeez, I went THROUGH IT!
Of course, with Ghost, you have two very different situations he’s trying to survive, and Duncan, the definition of a “Buddy Cop”, who had morals and values and was honestly good to the core, helping him not only survive two very different, deadly situation that Ghost found himself in, but he also was helping him from himself.
This book hurt.
It was worth it, but, it hurt. Because of that though… it so much sweeter when Ghost finds himself and learns to love… and he does, make no mistake. He loves Duncan, and learns what it means to be loved BY Duncan….mostly because he had to work really hard for it.
The only thing I was a little bit disappointed by, was the ending. I hoped that Ghost would get the happiest of happy endings… for all that he’d been through, I wanted so much for him. He deserved all the love and the overtopness, even though, you’ll find that it’s neither him or Duncan, but still… I was hoping for, especially since the ending, we cut to four years later…. But I hoped for big declarations, a wedding, friends, family… all the stuff that he’d missed out on so much in his life…. And though the happy we get is still happy…so don’t worry.. I just hoped for so much more.
BUT, in saying that… I loved Church… so much, and I had such a soft spot for Tobias… but Ghost… Ghost is one that I’ll likely never forget and I love, love, love when that happens.
5, of the hardest, easily deserved stars I’ve ever given.
Sidney Bell lives in Colorado with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. More realistic grown-ups eventually convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, though, which is how we ended up here. When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.
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