Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Justin Allens was fourteen years old when his life was forever changed. He and his best friend, Adam, were tortured, raped and left to burn to death. After all was over and done, Justin was led to believe that Adam was dead. After years of therapy, he was approached by a man who offered him a way to protect his country and get revenge on the men who killed Adam and nearly killed him. He was also led to believe that his family would be in danger. Justin joined a black ops unit and was taught how to be a killer.
When Justin learned Adam was alive and that he had been lied to, he decided to leave. Before he left, he managed to kill two of the men in the unit, one of them the very man who taught him everything and acted as his protector. Now he knows he will be hunted and killed because you do not leave and live. Having been shot in the leg while leaving, he decides that he wants to die. The final blow will either be from the bullet or by his own hand, and he wants to die at home on Crooked Tree property but unseen.
Unfortunately for Justin, fate has something else in store for him when Sam the chef from Branches Restaurant on the ranch finds him. Sam comes from a wealthy family who disowned him when they discovered he was gay but he has found a family now on Crooked Tree. As many times as Justin asks him to leave, going so far as pointing a gun in Sam’s face and threatening to pull the trigger, Sam doesn’t leave. Justin is getting sicker and sicker, both from the infection from the bullet wound and a concussion. Feeling helpless Sam, calls in help. Before long, Justin’s friends and family all know he is home. It has been twelve years since he disappeared and everyone thought he was dead.
Justin knows there is a price on his head and he is putting his family in danger. However, their love for him is stronger than any fear they could have. Sam gives Justin strength from and both men begin to feel a bond with each other, but that doesn’t mean that Justin will stay once he is well. No one knows what happened to Justin and he refuses to reveal anything. Will Justin be found and killed? Will he finally tell his family and friends everything that happened since he was gone?
I loved Sam and hurt for everything that happened to Justin. I did not read the first two books, but it did not keep me from enjoying this one.