Imprisoned and tortured, undercover cop Tate Williams will find redemption in the arms of his boyhood friend, now lover, former SAS soldier Clay Mortimer.
TORN. TORTURED. LOVED.
Though they went their separate ways, Tate Williams and Clay Mortimer have been crazy about each other since their school days. Clay went into the SAS. Tate became a cop. Neither mentioned their attraction to the other. Both sought out danger. Both found it.
Imprisoned and shot in an undercover assignment gone wrong, Tate somehow survived…and found his way back into Clay’s arms. His old friend is now the owner of an elite investigation agency and everything any man could want: patient, handsome, commanding. And Clay knows what it takes to survive. But Tate can’t bring himself to share all his secrets, nightmares that force him to rebel against everything. He finds solace from his past as a graffiti artist, a childhood passion, but his demons drive away all who might care for him. Only when he faces that past—and learns that everyone has tasted despair—can the two men truly be brothers-in-arms…and more.
Beneath the powerful beast roaring on Tate’s flesh lay the word Reino, carved out with a scalpel in Tate’s skin by the man who sixteen months ago had kept Clay’s lover prisoner for four days, tortured him, then shot him three times and left him for dead in a city street. A snarling twist of deception had left Tate the victim after his undercover drug sting had gone bad. The dragon covered up what Tate thought was a shameful scar, but Clay, who’d chosen the image for him, had always thought it reflected his lover’s inner strength and resilience.
Tate stirred and murmured sleepily and Clay hastily moved his fingers away so he didn’t wake Tate completely. He settled back in the bed and pulled the duvet up over them both.
I hope he manages to sleep, was Clay’s last conscious thought as he sank into darkness. I don’t know how long he can go on like this.
Tate Williams and Clay Mortimer have been friends since they were boys. Both have always longed to be more, but feared rejection so they never admitted those feelings to one another. When Clay gets a call that his best friend has been found shot, stabbed, seemingly tortured and left for dead, Clay decides it’s finally time to come clean about his feelings for Tate. Low and behold, the feelings are mutual. They can ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after now, cue the romantic music. Wait; hold that thought, not so fast. Tate is suffering from PTSD stemming from his four days in captivity. He has debilitating nightmares and flashbacks cause horrid mood swings. He loves Clay, that has never been the problem, the problem is Tate holding all the gory details of what happened during those four days inside, for fear Clay won’t understand or be able to deal with it, and it’s festering like an open wound.
Clay goes out of his way to protect his lover, to the point of suffocation. The one thing he isn’t doing is truly listening. After a series of ups and downs and Clay continuing to withdraw rather than talk about what it really is that’s bothering him, Clay finally gets to the root of the problem. But will he be able to get past the truth of what happened to Tate? And even if Clay can move forward once he knows everything, can Tate find his way out of the darkness? One thing is for sure, they can only survive it together.
I have been waiting for a very long time for Clay’s story. He’s always so secretive about his private life, and you learn why in this book. He’s accomplished, domineering and loyal to a fault, and he is exactly what Tate needs to bring him back from the edge of the cliff he’s teetering off of. I loved the chemistry these two shared, the way Clay would command Tate’s ‘full’ attention, and Tate would gladly give it. They were sexy, passionate, damaged and committed to each other.
You also get a little page time with all the other characters we’ve come to love from the Men of London series through dinners and various, brief conversations. But there are a few new faces introduced as well. I am especially excited to see if there will be a story in the future for Jax, I quite liked him. And with the addition of an outlet of sorts, a place for Tate to expend some energy and truly make a difference, it opens the door for some of the guys to perhaps expand their families.
One of my favorite contemporary series set in the heart of London with a variety of characters and storylines that all intersect. Recommended to those that enjoy contemporary, passionate romances, slightly domineering alpha males and a whole lot of skin.