Rating: 2 Stars

Publisher: Surrendered Press

Genre: Gay Romance

Tags: Contemporary, Daddy Kink (Daddy/boy), Domestic Abuse, Hurt/Comfort, On-Page Violence, Romance

Length: 160 Pages

Reviewer: Cindi

Purchase At: Amazon

***This review is basically one big spoiler. Keep that in mind before reading it.***

Blurb –

Harris didn’t want to spend fourteen hours on the road during a storm, but when he hears about a dog in need of a home a few states away, he makes the trek. Not long after his journey home, he passes a bus stop with a person who doesn’t even look alive.

When Jesse snuck out of the trailer in the dead of night, he didn’t have a plan. He just needed to get away. And after an hour of walking, he realizes how stupid he was to leave on foot. Just because he wasn’t going to die at the hands of his ex tonight doesn’t mean he won’t freeze to death on his way out. Curled up in the corner of a bus stop, he closes his eyes and waits for peace to finally find him.

But when a strong man picks him up and puts him inside a warm pickup truck, he has to wonder if maybe an angel found him after all. And good ol’ vigilante justice is the only thing that makes Jesse feel safe. Well, that and the man he aches to call Daddy.

This Daddy/boy romance is sweet and sexy with some dark moments and a happy ever after.

Review –

I am having the worst time with books right now. I’m looking for a complete series that I can get lost in. This is the third ‘first in a series’ in a row that hasn’t blown me away.

I will not be reading the next book when it’s released.

Before I go any further, I need to stress that this review is one big spoiler. I know I said it above, but I’m saying it again. There are also a few things in the book that might be triggering to some readers (off-page domestic abuse, on-page violence).

Now to my review.

Harris has been wanting a dog for a long time. After a few meetings that weren’t good for him or the dogs, he finds an ad for one that’s hundreds of miles away. If he doesn’t pick her up within five days, she’ll be euthanised. He drives a lot of hours in the middle of a snowstorm, picks her up, then heads back toward home. As he’s driving back, he spots someone huddled in a corner at a bus stop. Knowing the person will likely freeze to death if he doesn’t get in from the cold, if he hasn’t already, Harris stops the truck and rescues the guy, who turns out to be Jesse.

Jesse has just run for his life, though at this point he doesn’t care if he lives or dies. He just knows he has to get away from his abusive boyfriend before he wakes up from his drunken stupor. Jesse knows he’ll likely freeze to death, but he’d rather die that way than at the hands of the ex. When Harris finds him, he’s in severe pain and freezing. Harris picks him up and carries him to his warm truck, where Harris’ new dog immediately takes a liking to him.

So far, so good.

A nice start.

When Jesse is safe in his truck, Harris demands to be told where the man is that beat Jesse up. Once he gets the information, Harris turns around and goes to the rundown home of the abusive bastard of a boyfriend. Harris kicks in the door and shoots and kills the guy, without even an ounce of remorse. He then pours whiskey on him and sets him on fire. The guy (I think his name was Bruce?) did have a 12-gauge shotgun in his hand, so in a warped legal system, it might could’ve been called self-defense.

Only it wasn’t because Harris had kicked the door in.

I’m not defending the abusing bastard of an ex. Far from it. He deserved to be punished for what he did to Jesse, but a shot in the head, really?

So, let’s say I accepted that and moved on from it. I didn’t, but let’s say I did for a minute. One would expect Harris – after he’d literally shot a man in cold blood and then set him on fire – to have some kind of guilt, remorse, at some point.

Not even a little bit.

It was like it happened, it’s over, so no big deal. Not just that, but there’s no worrying about getting caught, or checking to see if the guy’s body was found, or anything. There’s no worrying about a witness maybe seeing his truck, or a cop showing up at his door. It’s simply a nonevent, like killing a guy was something he did all the time.

And wouldn’t at least SOMEBODY know that the guy’s boyfriend was Jesse? Wouldn’t SOMEBODY be looking for him for the murder of his ex?

Again, it happened, it’s over, so no big deal.

It was just so cold. And had I been Jesse, I’d have jumped out of the truck the next time it stopped and never looked back. He willingly stayed with a man who was a murderer. From an abusive bastard to a total stranger who had no qualms about shooting a guy in the head.

Harris takes Jesse to a doctor friend of his, who treats his injuries. He then takes him to his home to recover.

Jesse wants to get a job, there’s a bit of jealousy on Harris’ part over a dog-walker in the park, they decide they’re Daddy and boy, they fall in love super fast, and they get their HEA.

That’s basically the whole story.

They took a while before having sex, which was good after everything Jesse had gone through before Harris came into his world. When it happened, I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t like the two of them together, and honestly, I’m not sure why. I don’t mind hurt/comfort books if they’re written well. Harris did a nice job of taking care of Jesse and not pushing a relationship (sexual or otherwise) too fast. Well, it happened super fast, but Harris didn’t push it. I guess I kept going back to what I wrote above. Had there been even a tiny bit of guilt, of freaking out even, over what happened with the ex, I might have liked Harris a little better. I get that Jesse would’ve felt free knowing he wouldn’t have to look over his shoulder for the ex for the rest of his life, but still. Wouldn’t they both be looking over their shoulders anyway while worrying about being caught for what Harris did to the boyfriend?

It’s a Daddy/boy book but it’s super light. The only things that made it even remotely that way was the occasional Daddy and boy thrown out, and Jesse letting Harris take care of him when he’s recovering.

I loved Luna, the dog.

I love the cover.

This is my third book by this author, my first in over a decade. The last two books got the exact same rating as this one, so I’d say it’s a good bet that I won’t be reading anymore.

Note also that I won’t debate guns on this review. I’ve said all I plan to say on it above.

I debated even reviewing this book considering my rather strong views on it. I’m an emotional reviewer, and this book definitely brought out a lot of emotions, so here I am. Others might not agree, and that’s fine. I just know this author is not for me.