Author: Sam Burns
Summary: Six years ago, Keegan Quinn was working for his father in the Irish Mob. When a shootout left him shattered in more ways than one, he left the family business and opened a bar in downtown Chicago. Now with his father sick and the FBI investigating the family, his old life is threatening to tear his new one apart.
The last thing FBI agent Jon Brookfield expected to find while investigating the mob was a kind, soft-spoken man like Keegan Quinn. Dating wasn’t in Jon’s plans, but he’s willing to make changes. When the Quinn family business and Keegan’s ex-boyfriend threaten to come between them, Jon has to decide just how important their newfound relationship is to him.
This novel is intended for adult audiences, and contains swearing, violence, and sex scenes.
Review: Although it could technically be read as a standalone, I’d highly recommend reading the first book in the series, Straight From the Heart. This is Keegan’s story, the son of an Irish mobster, who walked away from the business but still has a deep love and loyalty to his dad. He owns a restaurant with a staff that’s more like family, including Brigit, the front manager and Drew, the chef. Jon is an FBI agent, sent to do a follow-up interview from the case in book one. He’s so attracted to Keegan, he asks to be reassigned so they can date. At the same time, an ex of Keegan’s is showing up, and he’s putting everyone on edge.
While it was easy to follow and cleanly written, I felt the story meandered between different plot lines, making it hard to see much focus on any one event. There’s the romance, the dad’s illness, running the restaurant and discerning the motives of Phil, the ex. There were several secondary characters and family members in the mix, as well. It lacked development of the relationship and a connection to Jon and Keegan as romantic interests. Keep in mind that it’s minimal steam, if that’s a preference. Keegan didn’t seem to resemble his character from book one very much, either. The ending was also quite abrupt, resolved only one issue completely, leaving too many threads dangling. From the excerpt added from book three, at the end of the book, I don’t see it being a follow up for this one.
I can only surmise that the threads may eventually blend in future books of the series, and some characters may be subjects as well. I preferred book one and I’ll consider reading book three, just to find out where the series might be heading, so I am glad I read this.