Reviewed by Nancy
4 out of 5 stars
If I decide to embark on a series, I like to test the waters by reading the first book. If that book ends in a massive cliffhanger, it makes me grumpy. I don’t mind gentle hooks to encourage a reader to buy the next book, but I hate being manipulated into it because the first book is not complete.
So I’m really glad I read this compilation of five stories (which really should have been written as one story) rather than subjected myself to the torture of cliffhangers and unresolved loose ends.
City Knight: Working It
I have a weakness for rent boys and cops. I also love May-December romances. I’m so happy this story has all three! Ben Danvers is hustling his way through college while Marcus Prater is a retired cop still patrolling the streets of Atlanta because of a promise he made. Though both men are broken and haunted by events from their past, they form a solid connection that moves from humorous banter, steamy sex, and tender feelings to something much deeper. This gripping little story packed a whole lot of powerful emotions, but the cliffhanger was just cruel.
This story starts where the first left off, with my heart in my mouth. While Marcus is embarking on his search, so desperate to impart the bad news he received and protect his new lover, we meet his friends, Wick, Chance, Archer and Zachary, and get a taste of the grief that still haunts him. Marcus is not the only one feeling pain, though. Because of three little words uttered by Marcus, Ben flees into the night, feeling he is unworthy and damaged even though he wants to be loved so badly. When Ben’s past comes crashing in, Marcus shows how growly, possessive and fiercely protective he is. Their last love scene was so charged, so passionate. I love these guys together and want all the best for them, but their hardships are not yet through with them.
After the difficulties faced by Marcus and Ben in the previous two stories, I was relieved that this story tied up some loose ends and showed some growth in Ben’s and Marcus’ relationship. At times, though, it felt cluttered with too many visits from Marcus’ friends while he was recovering from his wound. A little more background on his friends may have helped me to enjoy this one more. I found myself skimming to get back to Ben and Marcus.
Just when I thought this series was starting to lose steam, new plots and characters are introduced. Ben and Marcus are happy together, but they have not forgotten about the young men selling their bodies who need their help. There is more tension, tears and heartbreak as they search for a missing rent boy. I enjoyed learning more about Marcus’ background and the touching reunion with his brother. No cliffhanger, just a sad ending and a gentle hook leading to a mystery that needs to be solved.
Marcus and Ben are a couple I won’t forget anytime soon. Though Ben is still dealing with anxiety from his assault, he and Marcus are as solid as granite. They continue to learn about each other, disclose painful memories and work together to find a killer with Ben as bait. This story concluded with a few loose ends, so I’m hoping there will be new installments.
Each of these riveting and suspenseful short stories explores sorrow, love, friendship, human degradation, and the good we are all capable of. I’m a little unhappy that this collection is loosely connected with another set of stories by different authors. I probably won’t seek them out, but I’ll happily read anything T.A. Webb writes.