Imprisoned and tortured, undercover cop Tate Williams will find redemption in the arms of his boyhood friend, now lover, former SAS soldier Clay Mortimer.
TORN. TORTURED. LOVED.
Though they went their separate ways, Tate Williams and Clay Mortimer have been crazy about each other since their school days. Clay went into the SAS. Tate became a cop. Neither mentioned their attraction to the other. Both sought out danger. Both found it.
Imprisoned and shot in an undercover assignment gone wrong, Tate somehow survived…and found his way back into Clay’s arms. His old friend is now the owner of an elite investigation agency and everything any man could want: patient, handsome, commanding. And Clay knows what it takes to survive. But Tate can’t bring himself to share all his secrets, nightmares that force him to rebel against everything. He finds solace from his past as a graffiti artist, a childhood passion, but his demons drive away all who might care for him. Only when he faces that past—and learns that everyone has tasted despair—can the two men truly be brothers-in-arms…and more
Tate needed no further urging. He lifted himself up, trying to ignore the pain in his battered body, and stared down at the man who half sat, half lay beneath him. Clay’s face was twisted in lust and want, and his cock jutted proudly from the thatch of dark curls at his groin. Tate bit his lip and then lowered himself down onto the hot, slick and eager dick waiting for him. Clay’s deep gasp of satisfaction made his hole throb, as did the burn of Clay in his arse. Tate spread his legs to take Clay deeper then began to slowly move above him, his hips undulating and his inner muscles tightening around Clay’s cock.
The feeling of power he got from watching his lover slowly lose it was like nothing else. That Tate could take such control of this man he loved, that he could watch his self-control unravel like a skein of wool—that was something for a man to be proud of.
As Tate rose and fell, his hands resting behind him on Clay’s strong thighs, Clay’s cock sliding in and out of him, he revelled in the primal urge to be impaled and fucked to destruction. He was flying so high, the bruised ribs and plastered-up shoulder were of no consequence.
Huh. Sexual endorphins make for great painkillers.
Susan Mac Nicol is one of my favorite m/m romance authors, as stressed as she makes me when I am reading her books. I have laughed many times reading one of her books. I have cried about three times as many times (at least three times reading Feat of Clay), and loved her characters for both their sincerity, and their (in some case extreme) flaws. What she never fails to do is integrate heart into each character, no matter the pain, anguish, stress or silly fears, there is always so much heart in each character.
I (mistakenly) thought that I would quick read the first scene/chapter of FOC as I got to the post office to pick up the mail. How wrong I was! I sat in the parking lot crying while reading the torture that the main character Tate was going through. Sue could easily have put this scene “off-screen”, that would have been the easy thing to do. However, Sue rarely takes the easy route with her characters. Tate and Clay are no exception.
Tate, after the torture he endures, returns home and he and Clay finally decide to take their relationship from childhood friends to lovers. While Tate struggles to recover mentally and physically, Clay has to learn to fight his over-protective urges over Tate. They must each learn a new normal, and how to let the world back in.
Seeing how Tate begins to grow into a stronger, healthier person after the trauma is fantastic. But seeing him do it while helping someone who desperately needs to connect as well, that shows another level of healthy that he probably could have only gotten from someone who understands what it means to be tortured just because.
One thing that struck me in this book was as Tate revealed his secrets, there was not instant “this is all okay” from Clay. He didn’t sweep it under the rug and just pretend that he was not affected with the truths he was forced to face. Although he still expressed his love for Tate, he knew there was no magic wand that would fix this, that would make him feel like this was going to just disappear. It broke my heart to read (one of the multiple cries in this book for me) to read what Tate had been carrying on his shoulders, and know there was no quick fix.
Through it all, the love between these two was so clear, so strong, it was never in doubt. It kept going strong, even when they needed their time apart. It made it seem like these two were truly living breathing people, fighting for their love and their lives together.
I’ve already expressed to Sue who I would like to see come out for a book soon, from this story, and yeah for me, she said it was on the burner. Yeah!
Highly recommend, although, giving you a little warning…don’t start reading it in public like I did. Embarrasing.
4.5 pieces of eye candy for me.