Book Reviews

A Gentle Kind of Strength by Kendall McKenna at MLR Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Officers of the Law / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 06-January-2016

Book Blurb

A police K9 handler believes he's lucky when a romance starts with the local veterinarian, but then his canine partner is injured in the line of duty.


Sergeant Ray Lerner is a veteran sheriff's department K9 handler. Damien Federov is the veterinarian caring for Harley, Ray's canine partner. When taking a man as a lover, Ray's always been confident. Around Damien, Ray becomes uncharacteristically shy and tongue-tied. When Damien begins their romance, Ray knows he's lucky.


His obsession with a past tragedy blinds Ray to everything he has with Damien. When Harley is injured on duty, his life is in Damien's hands. As Ray sits vigil, he has one final chance to allow Damien in all the way, or risk losing everything important, in a single night.


Book Review

It felt like years since I'd read a book by Kendall McKenna, one of my favorite authors. Her writing is wonderful, the details are accurate, and in 'A Gentle Kind of Strength' she's focusing on two of my favorite things - military man turned cop and his K9. Not only did I need the distraction of the book this evening, but I needed the story I knew this author would bring me. Excitement, action, adventure, drama, a love story, and great sex.

Ray Lerner is a former Marine who now is a police K9 handler with Harley for the sheriff's department. Being the giant animal lover that I am, it was instant love for Harley and me. Ray has always been a confident man, spending eight years in the Marines as a dog handler and now eleven years with the sheriff's department. Something about Harley's vet, Dr. Damian Federov, makes Ray unaccountably tongue-tied and shy. Since Ray met him eighteen months earlier, Ray hasn't had a single date, or even hookup. But for some reason, Ray is convinced that Damian can't be gay, and if he is, he certainly wouldn't be interested in Ray.

It was rather funny when Ray and Damian finally fall into bed together to discover they both had been reading the other one wrong. Ah, what a little communication could have done. Life is going well until Ray and Harley are working one night, and in a scuffle with a suspect, Harley gets stabbed several times. Ray is in almost as much shock as Harley, as Ray replays what happened to him before in the Marines. Ray has to put his trust in Damian to save Harley, and maybe to save himself, too.

A really wonderful story that I enjoyed immensely. I liked watching Damian and Ray fall in love, but I loved watching Ray work with Harley. I've got to admit that the dog stole the show for me.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by MLR Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 57000 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-November-2015
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback
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