Book Review: A Hunted Man (The Men of Halfway House) by Jaime Reese

Blurb: Matthew Doner is starting over. After a five-year prison term that alters every aspect of his life, he receives a bequest from his aunt with the stipulation that he use the money to make things right. Breaking free of the long-standing role he’s played and inspired by the few who support him, he decides to create a safe place where people like him can find purpose and start a new life.

Julian Capeletti likes challenges. He is confident, brash, stubborn, and just what Matt needs. Desperate for work after a downturn of luck, he accepts the job to renovate Matt’s crumbling building.

Over the course of a year, romance simmers between them as they restore the house. But there’s a bigger renovation that must take place in their hearts. To become better men, they need to learn to trust each other even with secrets and painful memories they fear may rip them apart.

Denise’s Review:

Ms. Reese’s first book, A Better Man was published in April 2014, and I immediately soaked it up.  What a beautiful piece of work!  So intricate, so well done, I could go on and on, but you can read the original review below and get a feel for what Val and I loved about the first book.
Jaime’s second book, A Hunted Man, is as good, if not better that book one. 
First, I have to commend her covers.  Her cover artist is just amazing (snicker!), and puts so much thought and preciseness (is that a word?) into the beauty of these covers.  There is so much definition and detail in the covers, that you find yourself referring back to it as you are reading to see if yes, that item is there too.  The facial hair, the tattoo, and even the latte art up in the corner of the cover are all prominent in the book, and it just amazes me that all that can come together to make such an incredible cover!
Second, I need to commend Ms. Reese on the in depth research that obviously went into this book.  The laws that were pulled out of the woodworks with regards to the particular area of the country took some serious dedication to research.  This was not an off the cuff choice of work.  The intricacy of taking all those pieces and putting them together should not be lost on the reader. 
Third, I just have to say…the villain, just as in book one…did NOT see that coming!  I enjoy that in a book!
And fourth, saving the best for last….the writing of these two incredible characters was so well done, its hard to believe that Ms. Reese hasn’t been writing for years.  This was love at first sight, for sure, but still a slow burn, in that Cam and Hunter did not instantly fall into bed together.  They took their time, got to know each other (much of that was by circumstance, not by choice), and were able to bring their concerns to each other as their trust levels increased.
Although there were “secrets” between the two, they didn’t seem like forced secrets.  They were not the “I won’t tell that person because…” type of secrets.  These secrets were more the “I will tell him once I am more comfortable with him. He doesn’t need to know everything all at once”.  I loved that aspect.  So often, secrets are the weapon that an author uses to break a couple up.  That was not the case at all.  It was merely a by product of learning to trust one another.
The ending…although it was a bit painful to see put into play, it was completely appropriate for the couple, and the situation they were in.  I read somewhere that Ms. Reese initially did not put an epilogue into the book, then quite a bit after the book was done, decided that she really needed to add it in.  Thank goodness!  We really, really, needed to see where the characters ended up to feel that it was a HEA and not just a HFN.  We had way too much invested in Cam and Hunter to not receive that HEA.
It was great to catch up with Matt and Julian, as well.  Some of the funniest parts of the book were Julian protecting Matt, like a bulldog.  I loved seeing that side of Julian.  🙂
There is no question that this was a 5 pieces of eye candy for me, and I cannot wait for Ms. Reese to bring us book 3!!!
 
 
Val’s Review:
A Hunted Man is book #2 in Jaime Reese’s The Men Of Halfway House.
This book has me from page one, it was such an emotional book ranging from humor, love, angst and a mix of mystery. What I loved about this book is that it picks up basically where book one, A Better Man leaves off.  We get to revisit the beautiful Matt and Julian who both built this wonderful Halfway House to give ex Cons a chance to survive in the real world. We get to meet Cameron (Cam) Pierce and Hunter Donovan in this book. Cam who was just released after a torturous 10 year jail term, and first resident of the new Halfway House .
Cameron has learned in his jail stay to build up iron clad Walls to protect himself , that is until he meets Hunter a high profile attorney, then all nets are off.  I won’t go into too much detail because I think that everyone should experience the true depths of all the emotions that these two men endure to be together.
It can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend you read the first book of this amazing series, A Better Man, to experience the full experience of this beautiful story.
I give this a 5 pieces of eye candy rating.
 
 
 
Favorite Quotes:
“How about we make a deal?” Hunter said.
“A deal?”
Hunter stroked Cameron’s cheeks with his thumbs. “I’ll wait to tell you how I feel until you’re ready to hear it. But whenever you tell me you’re ready, you’re stuck with me. I don’t come with a return policy. So you need to be sure you want me for the long haul. Deal?”
“What if I’m never ready to hear it?”
“I’m a patient man.”
 
He needed to keep himself I check, control this intense level of want that threatened to take over.  Want for Hunter, closeness, affection, for everything and anything he cared to offer him.
It felt perfect.
 

Original Review of A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House):
https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8520826805117411442#editor/target=post;postID=4787222261471484492;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=10;src=postname

A Hunted Man (The Men of Halfway House) [Book 2]
Amazon

A Better Man (The Men of Halfway House) [Book 1]
Amazon

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