You don't greet your new boss dressed like an underage rent boy. But when Jack Horwood - ace hacker and ex-MI6 operative - opens the door to Gareth Flynn, he's too busy to worry over details like that. And anyway, his potential new boss is his former commanding officer - the same guy Jack has had a crush on since he was 17. So he should understand, right?
When he applied for the job in Nancarrow Mining's corporate security division, Jack had hoped for peaceful days repelling cyber-attacks. Maybe a bit of corporate espionage on the side. His plans didn't include rescuing abused children, hunting pimps, or dealing with his overly protective and hot-as-hell boss, Gareth Flynn.
Walking away is not an option. Jack never takes the easy way out. More than that, meeting Gareth raises old ghosts that Jack needs to put to rest. Rescuing kids. Taking risks. Saving the day. Jack can do all that - but deciding what to do about his attraction to Gareth isn't the sort of cloak-and-dagger game Jack plays well. Yet Gareth, strong and smart and always on hand when needed, might be Jack's salvation.
©2015 Jackie Keswick (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
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"Truly. Truly Aweful"
A poorly written story outshone by the worst narration I have heard yet. I have no idea how this got positive reviews. Please don't.
"Intense and gripping."
Narration: If it weren't for the long pauses between section breaks (audio editing stylistic I think) I'd have said this was a perfect narration. Fox Ballard beautifully voiced all the characters, and this book has quite a few important secondary characters so you can't get away with a job-lot voice for them. My only quibble was that the audio had too long pauses between what are the sectional breaks in the written book... I suspect an editing stylistic choice and shoŕtening those would be that last piece required for me to rate this 5 stars across the board.
For the story: Given the subject matter I should not have been able to read this, let alone read it in one sitting. The writing is gritty, intense, and poignant. Jack and Gareth are amazing.
I will warn any that the plot covers pedophilia and the selling of young boys. This is not a story of fluffy bunnies and butterflies but the subject matter is treated (at least in my opinion) with a high degree of tact; this is not written to titilate but does not ignore the subject matter nor gloss over it.
I like that Jack is also smart in a way that I understand. He's believeable as a man with mad skills.
I'm off to read the sequel.
Whoever said this book was awful obviously did not like the content because, in fact, this book was awesome! It was well written, it was intriguing, it was fascinating, and I am hopeful there will be a sequel. Truly a great story which will stay with me for a long time.
"Sort of "James Bond- in a gay story""
Jack left the army when he couldn’t keep the love he had for his superior officer – Gareth – a secret anymore. Now both men are out of the military and Gareth seeks Jack out to work with him and hopefully more.
The bulk of this story is devoted to the spy/mystery portion of the plot with some struggling by the two MCs to find a time and place to make a connection. The main hurdle for them is that they get interrupted over and over every time they try to get intimate.
I’d place this book in the romantic thriller rather than romance category – if that’s what you’re looking for this is a great book for you. If you want a book focusing on the relationship I think you’ll be disappointed.
I thought having their sex interrupted time and again was frustrating and unnecessary – the sexual tension had been broken early on in the story and it was only “penetrative sex” that they lacked at this point. There wasn’t a lot of emotional attachment gained when they do finally get around to “doing it” and I was disappointed.
Jack tells Gareth he loves him early on in the story and then emotions and feelings are never really discussed again.
3 of 5 stars
Fox Ballard does a GREAT job with lots of nice accents, some special effects when there’s a phone call, a fair job with women’s voices, good emotion – overall a fantastic way to experience the story. I can’t judge the relative “accuracy” of his various British accents but to my untrained ear they sound authentic (enough) for the sake of enjoyment.
The editing of my audible version is off in that the chapters in the book number to 24 and an epilogue but in the audiobook there are 113– so the story is a bit more disjointed than I think it’s meant to be.
From listening to this story (after having had read it) I’d say the audio version adds to the overall enjoyment tremendously (minus the technical issues) and I’d definitely listen to it rather than read it as the narrator adds so much character and flavor to the story.
Narration 5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
"stunning debut author and narrator"
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO version of this book.
Jack applies to a company that will benefit from his considerable talents. He never expected to run into his old commanding officer. Never expected that Gareth might harbour the same feelings that Jack did, even after all this time. Jack and Gareth face a testing time, there is something very wrong at Nancarrow Mining. And Jack has managed to find himself slap bang in the middle of a child prostitution investigation too.
What we have here, are basically two stories intertwined into a larger one: the one at Jack's job, at Nancarrow Mining and the one with the child prostitution ring. The two tales are seemlessly joined, and at more than one point, did I think that they might actually merge, that the culprit at work, might be something to do with the police operation. I'm still on the fence about that one, I've yet been told otherwise!
It is, as far as I can tell, a first time author. And it is a first in series. And it is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I loved the way we got into Jack's mind, when he is working, the way he calms his very busy mind; the way he lets so little of himself out to Gareth in the beginning, and how he lets it all out, eventually. How Jack deals with his own past, while trying to help the boys they rescued. How we get into Gareth's head, with his feelings for the brat, for Jack, how he just wants to look after Jack. How he felt he never really knew Jack, before, but how much he really needs to know him now.
The situation with the boys is difficult, and made for some painful listening, we hear from a couple of them, and its hard, you know? To hear what those boys went through, are STILL going through.
You are also left a bit....cliffhanger...ish. While Jack and Gareth get their happy for now, there are more problems ahead for them. That epilogue leaves you wondering just what the hell is going on!
Fox Ballard narrates. This is, after looking on Audible, the only book I can find narrated by him. I hope he does more. Its so nice to hear an English accent in narration, and Ballard's voices for all the characters, but Jack and Gareth especially are excellent. I had no trouble defining the voices from each other, and Ballard's reading voice is deep and even. He portrays everyone brilliantly, and I do hope he gets to continue on with this series. I'll certain look to finding other books read by Ballard.
5 stars for the narration
5 stars for the book
5 stars overall.
**same worded review will appear on Goodreads, Audible.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble,**
"Don't bother if you're British"
Could be a good story with some work, poor continuation and research and really needs a narrator who knows how to pronounce the names of major landmarks.
Well - the book's terribly researched; if you're looking for an even vaguely feasible depiction of police or undercover work then don't go here!
The story however is entertaining and the depiction of the relationship is engaging enough.
I like the voices done by Fox Ballard and he does a half convincing London east-end accent – although the dropped consonants are over the top and just sounds sloppy. There's no excuse however even for an American not to know how to pronounce "The Thames" or "Twickenham” – it’s cringing every time you hear “The’Ames” and “TwickenHAM” ! Why isn’t this covered in the preparation?
I've read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it so I bought the audiobook as it would be an easy listen. I got more and more irritated as I listened. The narration is awful. A British narrator would have been best but an American narrator would have been fine if British names and places were pronounced correctly. Also, the different London areas accents made me cringe.
A very strong storyline with interesting characters. You get two tales in one.There is the thread of a m/m relationship and it is evolving but the thriller is the thing.A tale to make you think and be thankful for your blessings and not to forget those we might leave behind.Not for the faint hearted.
Fox made Jack and Gareth's relationship believable but less so for some of the minor characters.Occasionally, pronunciation was off e.g. when speaking of the river 'Thames'. Being a Brit, English and a Londoner it irritated me.
Quite a few. Can't say without spoiling the plot.
I await Jack's next adventure.
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