Author: Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliot
Series: Unbreakable Bonds, #3
Release Date: October 25, 2016
Genre(s): M/M Romantic Suspense / Action / Bisexual / Demisexual
Page Count: 287
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Nine months ago, Rowan Ward thought he had it all. Now he’s fighting to pull his shredded life together, buried in work and battling the kind of grief that destroys a man’s soul. When fires spring up around Cincinnati threatening Rowe’s friends and clients, he’s thrilled to find his old Army buddy, Noah Keegan in town. They were a hell of a team when they served together, so in-sync, it was rumored they could read each other’s minds.
Noah thought devoting his life to the Army would be enough. Then he realized he had no family and only one friend he cared about. When his enlistment was up, he found himself standing on Rowe’s doorstep, looking only for friendship but secretly hoping for more. He needs to know if their one unbelievable night together years ago wasn’t a mistake.
Caught in a dangerous game of fire and bullets, neither expects the inferno of emotion that ignites between them. One Rowe isn’t prepared to accept. One that could break Noah
The Plot Thickens in Torch
Torch by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliot is book three in the Unbreakable Bonds series. These books, while they are technically “standalone” in that each story has an ending, they are NOT standalones meaning you can’t pick up book three and start the series there…you will be so lost with the details. This book focuses on Rowe – his story is heartbreaking and his world was shattered in book 2 of the series when his wife was killed in a car wreck. Now, the authors are bringing Rowe back to life and putting him and his broken pieces back together with the help of Lucas, Snow, Ian, Andrei, Jude and his old friend Noah Keegan.
There is a lot that happens in this story. First, we watch Rowe as he struggles with grief and moving on with his life. Does he dare give his heart away again…what if something happens to the person, will he survive another loss? This is what Rowe struggles with throughout a large part of the story and it is brought on by the arrival of his old Army buddy Noah Keegan and the resurfacing of his attraction to the man. The authors did a great job of revealing Rowe’s history and his sexuality – he is what I would describe as demisexual, he falls in love with the person – male or female.
“Rowe was into this and he wasn’t an idiot. It had everything to do with the man. Not just any man would make him feel this way.”
Noah Keegan is a man that we don’t really get a huge backstory on as he is introduced to us. He is someone that Rowe has known since his Army days, his best-friend outside of his family of friends, and someone that has been in love with Rowe for years. He happily stepped aside and never told Rowe his feelings when Rowe met and married Mel…but now, he is back and he isn’t denying his attraction and feelings any longer.
“Noah couldn’t think, didn’t want to think. He was so damn tired of fighting this when all he wanted was Rowe.”
These two are hot. Hot. HOT! Rowe takes to being with a man like he has been doing it his whole life. No shyness or hesitant touches.
“I’m working on instinct here, but I’m all in.” The wicked grin he got in return sent butterflies into his belly.
“Instinct is how we all do this at first.” Noah ran his hands down Rowe’s chest, scraping his short nails through the T-shirt.
“It takes practice to learn how to do it right. Practice with the same person.” He kissed him. “Over.” He kissed him again. “And over.”
“Lots of practice,” Rowe breathed before he spun Noah around, hooked his foot behind his knee, and sent him to his back on the bed.
Yeah, the sexual attraction between Rowe and Noah isn’t the issue these two have to get past, it’s the fear of the “what if…” and guilt that is eating Rowe alive that Noah is up against.
The “what if” game follows each of the guys in this story until finally…during Thanksgiving dinner, Ian sets them all straight!
“Enough! We’re done playing the fucking blame game. Andrei, you feel guilty for getting kidnapped and pushing Lucas into being reckless. Lucas is drowning in guilt, because he thinks what he did led to all this recent hell, including Mel’s death. Rowe has undoubtedly twisted the events in his head to feel guilty about Mel. Snow probably feels guilty for attacking Gratton all those year ago.”
“Nope,” Snow interjected and just flashed him a wicked grin. “Just guilty about not killing him the first time we met him.”
“Whatever,” Ian said with a roll of his eyes. “You want to get technical? This is my fault. If Snow, Lucas, and Rowe had never met me years ago, had never tried to help me, then Jagger would never have entered your world. But you know what? Fuck it! I love my life. And I love my family. And this entire shitstorm comes down to one man: Boris Jagger.”
Ian suddenly swung around to face Snow, poking him in the chest. “You want to get Lucas back here? You call him and tell him I’m going after Jagger. We are done with this bullshit and we are bringing Jagger down for what he’s done to this family and other families.”
Beyond the romance the plot around who is trying to kill this group of men and why gets pretty thick in this book. We learn of some new connections, some covert-ops in progress, and there are of course several attempts to kill our guys throughout the story. Trust me you will be flippin’ through the pages as fast as you can to see what happens next!
In addition to Rowe, we get glimpses into each of the characters lives.
Lucas & Andrei – it takes another catastrophe for Lucas to finally admit his feelings. While Andrei knew he loved him..Lucas has been a stubborn man in actually saying the words.
“I love you so fucking much. I should have told you that every day for the past year. God knows I’ve thought it a hundred times each and every one of those days, but I was too much of a coward to say it. Not anymore. You will never doubt how important you are to me.”
Snow & Jude – they are settling into couplehood and all seems well on the surface. Who knows if our authors have something brewing for them…
Ian & Hollis – There is actually a little progression in this book and I am sure we will get much more back story in the upcoming story, Devour
Overall, 5 amazing stars – now to see what our guys go up against in Devour and of course hopefully watch them all settle into happily ever after!
Review Copy of Torch purchased by reviewer.