Friday, January 30, 2015
Jaded by EM Lynley
Synopsis From Publisher:
Gay-romance writer Trent Copeland finds his life in a rut while his boyfriend, Special Agent Reed Acton, is away on an undercover mission. After attending a special course at FBI headquarters in Quanitco, Trent's eager for another challenge. He jumps at the opportunity for a trip to Japan to oversee appraisals of two art collections to be sold at the gallery he co-owns. But the trip isn't all cherry blossoms and Hello Kitty. When one of the collectors he meets - rumored to be the head of a Yakuza gang - turns up dead, Trent is accused of the murder and thrown in jail.
Reed drops everything to help find out who really committed the crime. He's in unknown territory in Japan, forced to navigate Tokyo's sex underworld to unravel the truth and save Trent. He poses as a "host" at a seedy late-night club. When Reed's undercover activities place him at a ruthless Yakuza leader's sex party, he must be willing to go to any lengths to secure Trent's safety and freedom. But trusting the wrong people brings both Reed and Trent to the Yakuza leader's attention. If they're ever to have a happy ever after, they'll first have to call on every skill just to stay alive.
This is really going to be more or a rant, than a review. If you have read my reviews for the previous two books in the series, Rarer than Rubies and Italian Ice, you already know that I really like this author, and that I adore these two men. Trent and Reed, despite all the issues that have come up between them, are a solid couple, and it's very easy to imagine them still together in 50 years. The sex is hot, the mystery is well written, and the action is tenser than it's ever been.
My issue with this one, is the same issue I have with quite a few other romance novels. I don't like when an author relies upon the idea of infidelity to cause tension in a story. If a couple is solid, as are Trent and Reed, putting one of them in a position to cheat, regardless of the reasons, seems like such a cheap way to cause tension in a story. It happened in Italian Ice, even though nothing ever happened, and the idea was dragged out even further with Jaded. The lines are pretty blurred here, and while I can't say full fledged cheating happened, it came pretty damn close. Whether it's a physical cheating, or an emotional one, the trope is used all to often, then glossed over by the end of the book. I still really enjoy reading them, but I think I would enjoy the books so much more if the authors could come up with something else to cause temporary tension in a relationship.
Challenges: Men In Uniform
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It's a shame the plot went in that direction! There are so many more subtle, potentially interesting ways to create tension in a fictional relationship.
I love it when an author creates a couple with a strong relationship and doesn't cheapen it in any way! So far, the Dallas series by JD Robb is the only one that comes to mind. Wish that idea was more popular!
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