Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Charlie Harris is looking for a lost love. He comes to Whistle Pass to reunite with his war buddy, Roger Black, who he had shared some intimate moments with before the war in Europe ended. It’s been ten years since their romance, and Charlie doesn’t know what to expect. All he knows is, his buddy has asked for help. What he finds is a mystery, a dangerous and confusing situation. Roger Black is no longer the lover in Charlie’s memories. He is now a married, hard-bitten political schemer who uses people, including Charlie.
Charlie luckily finds someone to help him pull the pieces together, Gabe Kasper, the dandy who manages the town’s only hotel. But helping Charlie places Gabe’s life in danger. Charlie is backed into a corner and must fight for his life, but will he honor the lover of his memories or protect this new hotel manager?
This story has a number of twists and turns, enough to keep any reader guessing. Its strength, I believe, is in the depth of the two main characters, Charlie and Gabe. They are both damaged goods, each in their own way. This is a romance, so it was no surprise that these two developed feelings for each other. The surprise came from the believable way their relationship developed.
This is a story that started off very strong with several intriguing threads. As the plot developed, however, I felt the characters made several unrealistic choices, which kept pulling me out of the story to scratch my head. Those choices sometimes felt forced to advance the plot, and other times simply peaked my interest because it was not what I was expecting.
The author’s descriptive prose often crosses the line into melodrama, and I found myself wishing the author would have toned down the language. The author is also fond of telling the story via the characters thoughts, as apposed to showing the story through action.
For readers who enjoy MM romance with a heavy dash of suspense thrown into the mix, I can recommend this story.