Series: Phoenix Rising 04
Author: Edward Kendrick
Length: Novella (171pgs)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (29th December 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3 ½Hearts
Blurb: Rome, a police detective, and Jeff, a closeted construction worker, become friends and then much more. Then Rome joins Vance Montgomery’s team of covert ops. Soon afterward tragedy strikes and the team must deal with the aftermath as Vance implodes.
Rome, a police detective, and Jeff Reynolds, a closeted construction worker, have maintained a loving relationship for four years while keeping their sexuality hidden. Then Rome is outed, quits the force, and finds a new job as part of Vance Montgomery’s covert ops team. He and Jeff move to New Orleans to begin their new life together.
When a job goes bad, Van goes off the deep end, hiding in the bottle, unwilling to see anyone. Eventually his associate, Rico, faces him down and makes him accept he cannot continue on the way he’s been going. With the help of his friends, Van straightens out his life, and goes after those who caused his grief.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title includes a bittersweet ending.
Review: Rome (Roman) and Jeff have maintained a secret relationship for four years before Rome’s new Captain begins giving him trouble, Rome is approached and offered a job with Vance’s covert ops team which would also allow him and Jeff to move and be out as a couple. When a job goes wrong for one of the team Vance sinks into the bottle but the knowledge that the perps are still out there forces Vance to clean up his act and with the help of his friends, he goes after those who caused his grief.
This is a story of two parts; the first part is about Rome and Jeff, while the second part is mainly about Vance and his struggles. Rome and Jeff meet when Rome moves cities to work at the Denver Police Department, Jeff is a neighbor and works for his father’s construction company and the two strike up a friendship, both men admitting that because of their respective circumstances they can’t be out and it isn’t long before both men fall in love and embark on a secret relationship, years later the opportunity to move cities and be out in their relationship comes up and it is an opportunity that Rome doesn’t want to turn down. Vance has sunk low, the pain he feels can only be numbed by alcohol and he is drowning in it just now, having a moment of clarity he begins to clean up his act, he has an enemy to hunt down and with the help of friends he makes his plans… but just how far will Vance go for justice and when does justice turn into revenge?
This book is more like two stories in one, in the first part we see the progression of Rome and Jeff’s relationship, from where they meet and become friends to their relationship progressing to more and then we have flashes of times through the next four years right up until they start their new life together. Then the story changes with Vance being the focal point and we follow him through a trying time as he also has to weigh what is best for him as he boarders on full-out revenge, with only his friends Rico and Roger to pull him back with coaxing words.
I must admit to liking this story even though I was confused as to the way it lay out, first we have all Rome and Jeff and then as soon as Phoenix comes into play we see Rome very briefly… I felt like Rome and Jeff’s story was cut off abruptly. Vance’s story is shocking and really makes you want to smack the crap out of the bosses of Phoenix… ‘The job needs to be completed’, that’s twice they have done that to him now. Vance’s story has soul-searching and plans for vicious revenge and it is only his friends that advise Vance that stop him from doing something that would later destroy him.
I will recommend this to those who love devastation and loss, determination and justice, new love and relationships and an ending that pulls at your heart.