Book Reviews

Chasing the Dragon by Kate Sherwood at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 07-September-2014

Book Blurb

When mercenary Jack Hunter stumbles upon Christian Manning servicing a client in a back alley, it stirs feelings he’s kept deeply buried. Hunter becomes Christian's knight in shining armor when he rescues him from an attack and takes him to his secluded cabin to heal.

Being stuck in the cabin over the winter gives both men a chance to get their lives in order. Christian is struggling to break his heroin addiction, and Hunter needs to get away from the organization he helped start years before—a group of people who don’t appreciate being told no. It’s a toss-up which goal is more difficult. Their new starts spark a relationship between them, but nothing good comes cheap. Despite the complications, Hunter wants more, but Christian is resistant to making that commitment. When Hunter’s private security company threatens them, only nurturing the fragile trust they formed at the beginning of their love affair will save them. But for two men with very dark pasts, relying on each other might be easier said than done.


Book Review

I'll be honest and admit that this is the first book I've ever read by Kate Sherwood. It came very highly recommended and the blurb basically sucked me in. Plus, as I started reading, I couldn't help but picture Hunter as Jason Bourne. Well, as Matt Damon, playing Jason Bourne, that is. Hello? Yum. Okay, that's not the only reason Hunter reminded me of him. It was more the situation and Hunter's personality that clinched the similarities for me. And, well, let's face it. I love a good action adventure. Throw in some hot man on man, plus an incendiary love story, and a little angst? Well, I hit the trifecta, for me!

As Hunter steps into an alley after a meeting with some clients, he sees a kid servicing a man. Hunter has no idea why this sight is so arousing, but the next day he sets off to find this street whore. He needs to understand why this kid suddenly made him look at himself differently. What he's going to do once he finds him, he's got no idea. It certainly doesn't turn out the way Hunter thought it would when he ends up offering the kid the opportunity to come to his cabin with him. In exchange for helping Hunter do repairs and work on the cabin and land, Hunter will pay him minimum wage less room and board.

Christian doesn't bother to tell Hunter that he's a heroin junkie until they're at the cabin. But Christian swears he wants off the drug and that's why he agreed to come all this way north into the province. Their first week together isn't exactly paradise, but Christian suffers through, and then they start working together during the days, and Hunter has Christian start exercising with him. By the time the first snowfall hits, they've got a good routine down. Everything is fine, and Hunter is starting to think he imagined his physical response to Christian that first night, until Hunter begins to teach Christian to spar and grapple. Getting up close with Christian throws Hunter's system into a total meltdown and he has no idea how to deal.

Now, here's where many books would have gone into predictability. I was thrilled to discover that this one didn't. Hunter is an adult, and a good man, so he's worrying about all the repercussions, particularly for Christian, if they begin a sexual relationship. Christian is twenty, and an addict, so he's still focused on what feels good for him, regardless of anything else. Big difference. I guess what I'm trying to show here, is that this author didn't take the easy road. She didn't just have them jump into anything, even sex, without the normal, and realistic, worries and concerns which would happen. Of course, they did jump into sex, but Hunter also made it clear, at least from his side, that it could definitely turn into something more. Which it does, for Hunter, anyway. When Hunter tells Christian he loves him, well…let me just say, I've seen better multiple car pile-ups, and then Christian is gone.

Now, it's three years later. Christian has stayed clean and supported himself working construction. When his latest job gets shut down, Christian is approached by two guys who say they've been watching him spar at the gym, for a job opportunity. Christian isn't stupid, not at all. It doesn't take much for him to realize this private security company might be the one Hunter had quit right before they met. Of course, Christian also knows he did the right thing by leaving before he could drag Hunter into anymore of his mess. But, he's never been able to get the man out of his head. So, now he's back in Vancouver attending a two month training course, stuck with a bunch of ex-military guys and since Christian's dad is a general in the Canadian Armed Forces, he's not really all about the "Sir. Yes, sir". He is, however, an absolute genius at responding to that type of authority in a dry, sarcastic, snarky manner. Which I loved!

Christian gets hired by the company but it's three months later and he still hasn't been put on a job, even though he continues his training and working as hard as he can. He goes to the company picnic in the hopes that one of the team leaders will see him and want to work with him. Instead, he finds Hunter, who tells him the real reason they recruited him was in hopes of keeping Hunter in line. For, you see, three years ago Hunter was planning on retiring and getting out altogether. But some of the other partners in this company they all started apparently weren't too keen on that. And when they found Christian, they figured they had leverage over Hunter. Huh. All the pieces from the last few months are falling into place for Christian. Although, he hates the cold way Hunter looks at him. When Hunter brings one of the few partners in that he mostly trusts, to get Christian out of the company, things take a different turn, one which puts Hunter and Christian in close proximity and pits them against an entire company of "private security" specialists.

One of the best books I've read in a long time, and that's saying a lot, because I read a ton of fabulous books. The writing is tight, the characters are extremely well developed, the action is an adventure, pun intended, the sex is off the charts, the intrigue and political machinations are intense, and the happy ever after is realistic. What's even better is that I really loved these guys. They were real people with strengths, vulnerabilities, weaknesses, faults, and messed up backgrounds and history. They hurt, they got angry, they felt like giving up or giving in. Hunter and Christian were real life people and I respected them and their struggle very much. They also had an amazing way of misunderstanding each other—frequently. Men.

I can't say enough good things about this novel. I recommend it very highly. It's definitely being added to my list of favorites. Great book!





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

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 230 pages/78272 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 04-August-2014
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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