Review by Gloria Lakritz
Sr Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild
Rhys Ford is one of my favorite authors. From the moment I read her first book, Dirty Kiss, I noticed the scene she set for the reader in the first paragraph. It is always a gotcha! But always, these few words would draw you in immediately. Some of the scenes are tender, some are hilarious and some are this:
The taste of metal on the back of his throat tainted the loathing boiling in Jake’s belly. His tongue was numb to the acrid bitterness of the gun’s muzzle pressed into the spongy flesh, but the roof of his mouth smarted and bled from the barrel scraping along its soft membrane. A bit of powder and oil joined the specks of blood, floating on the spit pooling on his tongue, a peppery sharpness cut with a hint of razor blades and pain.
See what I mean? This is the start ofThere’s This Guy. With just those few words I was ‘all in’. There was a need to know more, as always with this author’s work I was not disappointed. This is how we meet Jake Moore. Jake’s pain radiates off the page. Of course, we want to know….why???
Jake Moore works as a welder in a neighborhood that has long since been in fashion. Described in the outskirts of WeHo section of Santa Monica, the business is across the street from a building Dallas Yates plans to buy and revive. Dallas comes in and talks to the owner about some iron work he would like and this is how the two men meet. Jake’s shy smile got Dallas’s attention. The rest is in this story.
This is one of the darkest novels Rhys has written in a standalone book. The Sinners series had some tough stories, but Jake, oh God Jake, it was so painful in his head. Raised by a tyrannical fatherfor whom he now provides cares in a nursing home—a promise to his dying mother— Jake lives a life of devastating aloneness. Fighting his desire to be with another man has kept Jake alone and detached from human touch and love. Dallas has to first reach out a hand of trust so he can be Jake’s life line.
This is quite a road we take on as Dallas tugs gently at the layers that make up Jake Moore and we hope they both have the strength to outlast the gun in the closet and let Jake come out without it.
As always Rhys has a secondary character to brighten the pages with comic relief giving the reader time to get a beverage and pick up new tissues.
Celeste Glory is what we needed! A Blonde Bombshell, Celeste emerged from the Jewish raised boy named Simon that Dallas met over ten years ago. Their interaction was the break we needed with her brash, bossy repartee. Celeste wanted the building painted Bubble Gum Pink for this business Dallas was acquiring. The building for his new enterprise, Bombshells and Bubblegum.
Rhys, as always, paints pictures with her words that I sometimes pause to relish and taste. I enjoyed the story, through many tears, but sometimes the pain makes it sweeter.
5 Stars Rhys!! 5*****Stars