Book Reviews

Grime and Punishment by Z.A. Maxfield at Loose Id

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 02-August-2013

Book Blurb

The Brothers Grime is Jack Masterson's way of helping people in crisis after disability ends his career as a firefighter. Jack's people get to a scene long after the physical trauma ends. They don't solve crime or rescue the victims. They help people move on. The new job is all Jack wants or needs, until he gets the call about old flame Nick Foasberg's suicide.

Ryan Halloran's cousin Nick has been on a downhill slide for a long time. Despite that, Ryan does everything he knows to help. Ryan only understands part of what happened between Nick and Jack in high school, but after Nick's suicide, Ryan agrees both he and Jack need closure. They work together to clean the scene and despite the situation, heat flares between them.

Jack is keeping a painful secret and fighting his attraction to Nick's lookalike cousin, Ryan. Ryan calls himself a magnet for lost causes and worries Jack might be the next in a long line of losers. Despite his misgivings, despite the past and the mistakes they've both made, Jack gives Ryan something to look forward to, and Ryan gives Jack a reason to stop looking back, in Grime And Punishment.


Book Review

I was so excited to read this new book in a new series by Z.A. Maxfield. I enjoy her work, but more than that, the description intrigued me and I thought the two main characters sounded very, very interesting. I am so glad I was not wrong! It had never really occurred to me how crime scenes get cleaned up. I mean, logically I know there are companies that specialize in it, but I hadn't ever thought about what that really meant. That part of the story was fascinating along with the very interesting secondary characters employed at Brothers Grime.

Jack Masterson is a sad, lonely man with too many secrets and not enough self-awareness to really understand that he's sad and lonely. He was injured very badly as a fire fighter and chose to open his own business with his cousin and a friend. Brothers Grime "Life is not a fairy tale" is a clean-up company. They'll handle crime scenes, sewage disasters, biohazard spills, and pretty much anything along those lines. Jack's motto on sex is basically nameless, alcohol-induced, get the job done, and go on your merry way. He had his heart shattered, broken and completely ripped apart in high school by his best friend and lover, Nick, and Jack decided then he was never giving his heart to anyone ever again.

Ryan Halloran is Nick's cousin and he was a few years behind Jack in high school. Ryan has been emotionally abandoned by his family except for the grandmother who saved him and Ryan has spent his life trying to fix other people. He's an ER nurse who also works with homeless and recovering addicts and, unfortunately, Ryan spends way too much time caring for everyone else instead of himself. He was never close to Nick but he gave him a place to live when Nick spiraled out of control and now Ryan feels guilty that he couldn't prevent his suicide.

This story works really well. There's humor mixed in with the sadness. There's life with death. There's angst and drama but it didn't suffocate me. I felt the pain and I could empathize with the characters' feelings but I wasn't overwhelmed to the point where all I could feel was the pain. Jack and Ryan seem so different and as if they could never make a relationship work, so it was heartening to watch how the author wove these two disparate characters together. Plus the story had definite moments of laugh-out-loud hilarious and extremely hot sexiness! I really loved this story and since it's the beginning of a new series I can look forward to future books!





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

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 166 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-May-2013
Price $5.99 ebook
Buy Link