Saturday, March 7, 2015

Breaking Cover by Kaje Harper

Synopsis From Publisher:

For homicide detective Mac, it's been a good year.  Having Tony to go home to makes him a better cop and a better person.  For Tony, it's been hard being n love with a man he can't touch in public.  Evasions and outright lying to friends and family take a little of the shine off his relationship with Mac, but Tony is determined to make it work. 

As the Minneapolis Police Department moves into a hot, humid summer, Mac is faced with a different challenge.  A killer has murdered two blond women, an the police have no real clues.  Mac hates to think that another murder may be the only way they'll make progress with the case.  but when that murder happens, it hits close to home for Tony.  And suddenly Mac faces an ultimatum; come out into the sunshine and stand beside Tony as his lover, or walk away and live without a piece of his heart. 

This is the second book in the Life Lessons series, and it was even better than the first.  There was not one aspect of the book that failed to keep my interest, and in the case of the mystery aspect of it, it kept me on the edge of my seat for the vast majority of the time.

It's been about a year since the happenings of the first book, and the two men have fallen into a pretty complacent, but happy relationship. Yeah, Tony isn't all that happy about Mac's refusal to come out of the closet, but he understands Mac's reasoning behind it.  Mac has never been happier, but he is scared to death of coming out.  He doesn't think his colleagues will take it very well, and he's scared about what would happen with his daughter's primary caregiver, a very uptight and conservative cousin.  Mac still has his own place, but has a key to Tony's.

Their personal life comes to a head when the mother of the young boy he has been helping to raise, the son of a best friend who dies before the series ever started, is the third victim in a horrible fashion, with the young boy in the other room.  Tony, while named as guardian in the will, finds himself in a custody battle with the boy's grandparents, who feel Tony is a horrible choice to raise their grandson.  Now who cares that those same grandparents threw their daughter out and have had nothing to do with the child, but they can't have a homosexual raise the kid.  Tony panics, and does everything he can to make sure he is granted custody.  And sadly for the relationship, he understands with Mac being unable to come out, their relationship could be a stumbling block.

At this point in time, as much as I like Mac, I can't help but think he's being a coward and hurting himself in the process.  When Tony gives Mac a chance, bet it a small one, to come out i the open, Mac shuts down, and Tony is forced to walk away.  Neither is happy with the situation, but neither man can see around his own needs given the circumstances they find themselves in.

Through a few agonizing weeks leading up to the custody hearing, both men are miserable, and the impasse holds.  And this is where I fall in love with Mac all over again.  In order to make sure Tony is granted custody, he comes out, though not with a lot of forethought.    It's a wonderful scene, and it's written with such honesty, that I couldn't' help but smile the entire way through it.   Some of the issues he was scared of start coming true, especially some of the reactions from his coworkers.  The interactions are written honestly and with such detail, that you can't help but feel a bit sorry for the guy, and have a lot of pride in him at the same time.  It's a long painful process for him to go through, especially since it means he's really having to come to a place within himself where is is fully comfortable as a gay man.   Their relationship isn't fixed fully right away, but you know that they, along with the two kids, are on a strong road to forming a family they can all be proud of.

The mystery itself is a grand adventure, and it's obvious that the author has done her homework.  The investigation is plodding and tedious at times, but the men and women involved are dedicated to their jobs and they slog through it all.  There is a lot of police procedural details in the book, and it makes the story that much richer.  There is nothing far fetched about the details, or the solution, and it reads like a well scripted show on the ID channel.

The solution, and the final confrontation are brilliantly written and at times I really wasn't sure how it was all going to end.  I know it's a romance mystery, so the ending has to be happy, but the standoff is so full of tension, that I was afraid things were about to go horribly wrong.

Challenges: Men in Uniform 


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Great review Ryan, it sounds like a good read! And set in Minnesota? Double points :)

Alexia561 said...

Enjoyed your review! I'm not much for romances right now, but love how you described the relationship between Mac and Tony! So glad that Mac doesn't walk away from Tony, even though it takes him awhile to come to his senses!