This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on February 11, 2016
This was a re-read occasion for me. I read this series and adored it from start to finish so when the opportunity came to get it on audio and narrated by a favorite narrator, I jumped at the chance. Slightly quirky, most definitely humorous, but also a good dose of mild suspense and engaging characters made the second experience just as delightful as the first.
The story opens with FBI Agent Ryan ‘Mac’ McGuinness arriving at a homicide scene with the suspect being the racketeer he has been investigating and hoping to collar for months. There is a witness and this makes Mac a happy man- well as happy as a man forced on a diet by his doctor can be. Only, the evening goes south when he discovers that his witness has slipped away and that attractive ‘detective’ he met outside was actually the con artist who was sponging off the murderer’s old lady aunt. Now he’s the laughingstock of the office and he’s had to let the smug racketeer go free for lack of evidence.
Henry Page has no idea what possessed him to make that 911 call and stick his neck on the line when he witnessed that mob killing. He’s good at tricking old ladies out of their money and other con jobs, but dabbling in the deep end of the criminal pool is not his thing. And if that stern FBI agent ever catches up with him, he’ll have real trouble.
And it is not long before Mac does catch up with Henry. Henry’s manipulating ways and lies drive Mac near to breaking, but he will keep star witness Henry safe and close out his case no matter how many times Henry slips his grasp. Soon Henry realizes that stuffs gotten real and Mac is his best opportunity at staying alive not that he doesn’t hesitate to push the way to serious man’s buttons. Or that, oddly, for the first time in his life, he wants to be thought well of and as good by Mac. Too bad someone from inside Mac’s office and someone with a lot of deadly resources want them both dead.
The story is light, witty, and quirky. I appreciated that the authors chose to make Mac an everyday, ordinary joe. Mac is over-serious, struggles with social situations, balding, and has a slight paunch. But he is also tenacious and not easily fooled by the illusions that Henry creates to keep people from seeing the real person behind all the smoke and mirrors. They are an odd pairing- crook and cop, but they really work.
Most of the story isn’t strong on the suspense element even though that is the catalyst that brought Mac and Henry together and keeps bringing them back together. There are some cool twists and reveals for all that.
The romance is still in the attraction stage by the end of this book. Henry is messed up and Mac struggles with the fact that Henry is a witness and a con man so they feel drawn to each other, but don’t have any big romance moments. I like where it is headed and I’m glad this part of the story is taking it’s time. The chemistry is good particularly when they banter.
[quote]“As a federal agent, I want you to know I’m disgusted by your lack of respect for the law.”
“But you’re impressed too,” Henry said without turning around. “You’re disguspressed.”
Mac and Henry from Two Men of Altona[/quote]
As I said this was a reunion for me with the story, but it felt like a first time in ways because of the audio. This was my third encounter with narrator, Nick J Russo. I thought he was fantastic for the other two books and this one was no exception. His split narrative from Mac and Henry’s POVs was stellar. I already liked these characters and had a notion of their voices, but getting Russo’s narration was different, but not jarring. I easily slid into his storytelling. He had good inflection and timing with the humorous tone of the book. Definitely hope he narrates the whole trilogy.
All in all, I found this an abso-fab listening experience that I can heartily recommend to those who appreciate quirky and light m/m romantic suspense.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
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