Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beneath the Shield

Title: Beneath the Shield
Author: Diana DeRicci
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher URL: http://www.mlrbooks.com/
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
ISBN: 978-1-60820-308-5
Rating: 4 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Its three years after the death of his partner and Jack Torres is still suffering survivor’s guilt that he didn’t die the same night, even though he was struck by three bullets himself. Losing the most important man in his life has left him with a hardened heart, cutting him off from nearly everyone in his family and those he works with. His life changes when he allows his cousin to drag him to a local club, where he rescues Brant Teller from an incident before it turns violent.

After Brant and Jack part ways, Brant never expects to see Jack again but he can’t stop thinking of him. When the surly cop steps into his ER in response to a domestic violence call, Brant decides to take his chance. What begins as a friendly afternoon of watching football soon has the possibility of being much more. The only problem is that Jack is still mired in the past and unwilling to open his heart up to love.

Beneath the Shield is a well written and character driven book that caught my attention on the opening page and kept it until the end. Yes, Jack is surly but the author has done a nice job of giving out bits and pieces of his history to make us understand what made him into the man he’d become. He’s a pained and grief-stricken individual who needs to be prodded into living again and Brant is just the man for the job…ready to show him what he’s been missing by isolating himself. At times, his despair on thinking of his dead lover is almost palpable.

Despite being attracted to Jack from their first meeting, Brant knew he was skittish and started off their relationship as friends. I appreciated that he gave Jack the time he needed before taking that next step into the bedroom. Their passion is intense, the lovemaking tender and the need for understanding on both sides…Jack and Brant, is great. There are few secondary characters but watch for Trevi, Jack’s younger cousin, as he makes his appearances.

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