Author: Lynn Lorenz
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5Hearts
Blurb: Charlie’s cut himself off from the pleasures of life. After all, he was a drug addict who killed his brother and doesn’t deserve them. He also believes he should have never gotten out of prison, but he did, and now every day he struggles to do penance for his crime, and working at a shelter for homeless men in Katrina-ravaged New Orleans is his way of doing it.
Devon is mysterious, dark, and dangerous. Especially to Charlie. Devon’s refusal to speak about what he does, his comings and goings at night, all lead Charlie to one conclusion—Devon’s a drug dealer. And for a recovering cocaine addict, a dealer is the last thing he needs in his life, because the need for the white powder is always there.
But so is the physical and emotional need Charlie feels for Devon. Charlie fights his attraction, but he knows he’s in a losing battle. He’s always been a sucker for a bad ass, and to him, Devon looks to be the baddest of them all.
Can Charlie keep his internal pledge to pay for his crime, or will Devon destroy everything Charlie’s worked so hard to build? Or will giving in to Devon be the freedom Charlie’s secretly prayed for?
Review: Oh whoa! What a book. Lynn Lorenz’s novella was so my cup of tea. Very realistically written Charlie’s Mission had all the elements I love in a romance. A protagonist beaten from wrong choices, horrible mistakes, guilt, despair and self-punishment meets a dark, mysterious man that is so much more of what he seems and the battle of heart vs. mind.
Charlie is a self-loathing ex-addict. He is the reason for destroying his family and the murderer of his own brother. Or so he thinks of himself. He believes that he’s a worthless being and doesn’t deserve happiness or joy. Ever since the day he accidently took his brother’s life, he has not allowed himself even the simplest pleasure of dating a man. He has devoted his life to the shelter. helping other ex-addicts and homeless men, trying to give something back for what he took. But, it hits him like a hurricane, when he sees Devon, who appears in the middle of the night, holding a man-child in his arms, asking Charlie to take care of him. Devon is tall, dark, wrapped in a mystery veil and most of all dangerous, or so he thinks…
I like realistic characters. I love their flaws and I adore their pain. That’s how we are, foolish and reckless and we pay the price. Charlie is exactly that, taken from the streets and put in a novel and you can’t stop yourself from loving this character. Oh and he’s hot! And Ms. Lorenz makes sure we get that part from the start. That is what makes Devon go crazy all about Charlie. It’s like Charlie flows in his body from head to toes in first sight. And even though Devon tries very hard not to get involved with a priest (as he at first thought) and an ex-addict (as he later was told) he just cannot stop… Having a serious case of “I want to save the world”, Devon wants to try to save Charlie from himself and show him what a wonderful and strong man he really is.
The plot is great and the way their relation evolves is even more so. With Charlie thinking that Devon is a drug-dealer yet lusting for the bad-ass type, his inner fight between craving for human touch and emotion; and not allowing himself to get that and on top of all this Devon’s insistence in meeting him, wanting him and making him see how good they are together. the book keeps you at a level of intensity of wanting to know what lies on the other page.
If it was one thing that spoiled it for me was the fact that Ms. Lorenz lets us know, from the very beginning of the story, of who Devon is and what he does for a living. Although I won’t give any spoilers here, it is pretty obvious from the very 10 or so pages what the storyline is. Had she kept it a secret until it was necessary to reveal it, it would have been a great, great novel, with high levels of suspense and the mystery would had captivated us even more. However this book is still very much worth reading and I am certain that if you’re a fan of romance you will love it as much as I did.