Nine months ago, Rowan Ward thought he had it all. Now he’s fighting to pull his shredded life together, buried in work and battling the kind of grief that destroys a man’s soul. When fires spring up around Cincinnati threatening Rowe’s friends and clients, he’s thrilled to find his old Army buddy, Noah Keegan in town. They were a hell of a team when they served together, so in-sync, it was rumored they could read each other’s minds.
Noah thought devoting his life to the Army would be enough. Then he realized he had no family and only one friend he cared about. When his enlistment was up, he found himself standing on Rowe’s doorstep, looking only for friendship but secretly hoping for more. He needs to know if their one unbelievable night together years ago wasn’t a mistake.
Caught in a dangerous game of fire and bullets, neither expects the inferno of emotion that ignites between them. One Rowe isn’t prepared to accept. One that could break Noah.
I’ll start this review by saying that I rarely give 5 pieces of eye candy reviews anymore. Not because I haven’t read fantastic books in the last few years, but because a book not only has to be amazing, with fantastic characters, some action (besides in the bedroom) to move the story along, but it also HAS to be a re-read book. It has to be a book that I want to pick up again, sink into the characters, and their lives, and wish that I had the opportunity to read it for the first time all over again. TORCH, along with the entire Unbreakable Bonds series, is one of those books.
If you are reading this, and you haven’t read the rest of the series, I will try my hardest not to put any spoilers in here.
Rowe’s heart was not broken, but completely shattered in SHATTER. In fact for a big portion of the book, he wasn’t even present, off trying to heal in whatever way he could. As TORCH begins, he isn’t that much better. He’s home, but his heart is still in a million pieces, and the reader feels every one of those emotions along with him. What happened to Rowe, happened to the readers as well. Our hearts were broken just as much. Rowe needed some joy to come back into his life.
Meanwhile, Noah, who’s own heart was shattered years ago shows up to see if he can help Rowe heal. Not an easy task for either of them, with so much water under the bridge, so many missed opportunities, and so many misunderstandings.
I found myself wanting to beat Rowe over the head with a big stick, stubborn man that he is. It took him quite a while to not only realize what was in front of him, but to treat Noah with the respect that their budding relationship deserved. While Rowe was being healed by Noah, Rowe proceeded to break Noah’s heart over and over. For the two of them to be healed together, would take incredible patience on both their parts, as well as a few nudges from the right directions. 😉
What I loved the most was that Noah stuck with it, not as a glutton for punishment, but because he knew that Rowe, along with all his friends was in danger. Noah could assist, help keep them safe, and he wasn’t willing to lose the man or his friendship through it all.
I said recently that Jocelynn and Rinda write together seamlessly, and that is so true. I’ve found that often with co-writing, you can tell who has written which scene, you can see “tells” that would indicate one author versus the other. This series is so well done, it’s impossible to tell where one ends writing and the next begins. This reader can only hope that these two continue to write together (and selfishly I would ask in the m/m genre specifically 😉 ) for a long time to come.
Without question, 5 pieces of eye candy. The only thing that I am “disappointed” about is that I have to wait until Spring 2017 for Ian’s book (yeah for more re-reads until then though). And if that is all I have to complain about, there’s not much else to say! (Okay, well, I have to throw in a random FUCK! for the boys, because, well…they would expect it) Fantastic book, ladies!
Jocelynn Drake is the author of the New York Times bestselling Dark Days series and the Asylum Tales. When she’s not working on a new novel or arguing with her characters, she can be found shouting at the TV while playing video games, lost in the warm embrace of a good book, or just concocting ways to torment her fellow D&D gamers. (She’s an evil DM.) Jocelynn loves Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, tattoos, explosions, fast cars, and Anthony Bourdain (but only when he’s feeling really cranky). For more information about Jocelynn’s world, check out www.JocelynnDrake.com.
Rinda Elliott is an author who loves unusual stories and credits growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction, and romance kept them amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, she tried to separate her darker side with her humorous and romantic one. She published short fiction, but things really started happening when she gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, she loves making wine, collecting music, gaming, and spending time with her husband and two children. She is the author of the Beri O’Dell urban fantasy series, the YA Sister of Fate Trilogy, and the paranormal romance Brothers Bernaux Trilogy. She also writes erotic fiction as Dani Worth. She can be found at RindaElliott.com. She’s represented by Miriam Kriss at the Irene Goodman Agency.
Jocelynn and Rinda can be found at: www.DrakeandElliott.com
They are found on Facebook as Drake and Elliott and on Twitter as @drakeandelliott.
And don’t miss out on all the sneak peeks and speculation at the Facebook Group, Unbreakable Readers.