Another Road Trip with MJ and Sonny? Count me in! These two gents know how to have a good time whenever and wherever and they wear crazy well.
I occasionally like to mix up my reading taste which is why I can find this particular series appealing in the sense that the destiny isn’t half as important as the journey.
This is not a series I pick up because I want a nice clean, tight plot that heads arrow-straight to the finish. This is a meandering plot that takes its time and even stalls out on occasion just so these two passionate fellows can do what they do best- eating lousy food, snarling and fighting with each other, and most of all pushing all else aside for some hard loving- before getting back on track to rejoin the plot thread. These two heroes are raw with a hint of danger to them. Their moments of true dialogue and gentleness are few enough. And why did I bother going into all that explanation? Its because I know that enjoyment and disappointment when it comes to reading is many times linked with expectation. I wanted others to know what to expect.
In this particular installment of the story, there is a revelation through a prologue of some of MJ’s early history. It explains a great deal about why MJ is the way he is. Then the story jumps ahead to the present where MJ and Sonny are living the good life on their boat in semi-retirement. MJ takes a job to steal some formulas and blow up a lab on the opposite coast. So off the guys go loaded for bear and hauling across the country for a road trip.
The story switches focus to introduce an additional pair of heroes. Padraic or Rick is a genius with fire absent-minded professor type scientist who works and lives in his lab facility. He is so out of touch with reality that he has no idea what his work and designs are used for. He’s lonely, but understands that no one can deal with his issues. That is until now.
Into Rick’s life comes, Neil. Neil tells Rick he is there to observe him in the lab and Rick assumes he is also there to determine his sanity level too. At first he is nervous about his new mind-reading shadow, but then in true Rick fashion he goes with it taking Neil at face value.
Neil is astounded that Rick, or Paddy as he prefers to call the man with the pure beautiful thoughts that soothe him, accepts his gift of mindreading so readily. Paddy is so good and honest that he doesn’t even resent or fear Neil’s gift. Neil was meant to come and observe, but he loses the proper distance nearly from the very beginning and learns to love and appreciate Paddy. Neil is keeping secrets, but he plans to keep Paddy as well.
Both storylines converge when MJ’s well thought plan gets blown to the skies. He discovers that his target scientist with all the info is an old buddy. He can’t commit the act that he was paid to do which includes taking down Rick so he and Sonny end up packing up Rick and Neil to take with them hoping they’ll be presumed dead in the explosion.
Rick is a thorny reminder of MJ’s past and Neil’s ability to dig through his thoughts doesn’t help. It takes all Sonny’s mojo to get the four of them back across country in one piece all the while trying to figure out some niggling issues which include the enigmatic Neil about the last job. Someone’s pulling strings in the shadows and that spells trouble for all of them.
The plot is simple enough and there’s some character growth along with some fine tuning to the relationship of MJ and Sonny. I love the intrigue plot thread that keeps things interesting. I enjoyed the intro of the two new leads to the story with MJ and Sonny.
I touched on it earlier, but I wanted to give fair warning that this book is loaded with fiesty hot ‘whoo yeah’ passion and both guys litter their thoughts and words with bad language. It does at the very least serve to distinguish the personalities of these two very different couples. I laughed so hard at Paddy and Neil’s reactions to being in close quarters with MJ and Sonny.
In a pinch, this one could be read without reading the first book, Racing the Moon, but I wouldn’t recommend it because of all the references back and the history that MJ and Sonny share.
This is a book for those who enjoy their heroes to be tough, dirty talking, steamy passionate guys who excel when they encounter trouble and they encounter trouble quite often.