Review: Cate Ashwood – A Forced Silence

1936940Author: Cate Ashwood
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher:DreamSpinner Press
ISBN: 9781634767408

Rating: ★★★★½ 

For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.

The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn’t gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn’t enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other’s arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.
When Adam Carson and his fellow paramedic are called to the scene of a gruesome crime, he not only sees his brother Jack, the detective in charge, he also sees Dr. Samuel McKenna, his high school nemesis. For some reason, Adam always enjoyed picking on Sam, primarily by calling him Dexter or Dex, after the cartoon. Now, seeing the doctor, the name Dex still comes naturally, but his annoyance has nothing to do with the man—it’s more about his own reaction to Dex.

Adam is not only attracted, he’s drawn to the personality of the adult Sam McKenna. Dex is gorgeous, smart, efficient, and seems willing to overlook the many times Adam picked on him in the past. When they run into each other again at the hospital, they begin to form a friendship, and after a while, the two find excuses to go out to eat or hang out together. They ultimately end up in bed and their whole situation would be ideal except that Adam has to stay in the closet—deeply in the closet. He’s fearful that his partner would not be accepting and might not have his back if they got into a difficult or dangerous situation.

There’s action and intrigue throughout the story with everything from the murder investigation to a rookie paramedic who goes off the deep end. Breaking up seems the only choice they can make when Adam’s job concerns continue to haunt him, but Adam might not have to decide when a disaster of epic proportions threatens to separate them forever.

I really enjoyed this story. The characters were well-developed and likeable; the story was interesting and well-paced; and the surprise ending was enough to make me want to come back for sequels. Yes, it was a cliffhanger, but not of the romance. The romance is strong and is definitely HFN with a strong leaning toward HEA as the story ends.

I definitely recommend this to all lovers of MM romance, especially to those who enjoy sexy paramedics, a little adventure mixed with some deep-closet angst, and two MC’s who definitely belong together forever.



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