Title: Loose Cannon
Author: Sidney Bel
Series: The Woodbury Boys #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: 4/3/2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, M/M Coming Out, M/M Thriller/Suspense Romance
Page Count: 327
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Don’t miss this brand-new male/male romance series from Sidney Bell, author of Bad Judgment
Released after five years in the system for assault, streetwise Edgar-Allen Church is ready to leave the past behind and finally look to his future. In need of a place to crash, he’s leaning on Miller Quinn. A patient, solidly masculine pillar of strength and support, Miller has always been there for him—except in the one way Church has wanted the most.
With his staunchly conservative upbringing, Miller has been playing it straight his whole life. Now with Church so close again, it’s getting harder to keep his denial intact. As they fumble their way back to friendship after so many years apart, Miller struggles to find the courage to accept who he really is. What he has with Church could be more than desire—it could be love. But it could also mean trouble.
Church’s criminal connections are closing in on the both of them, and more than their hearts are at risk. This time, their very lives are on the line.
4.5 memorable stars
Loose Cannon was an emotionally taxing book for me. Clearly it resonated because I felt EVERYTHING, but not in a way I anticipated. This was very much along the lines of a hurt-comfort book, but kicked up a notch. The writing is fantastic. It’s hard to believe it’s only the author’s second release. The plot flows, the characters are flushed out and developed, the conflicts believable, and the resolutions satisfying. The pacing was steady. I wouldn’t consider this a fast read, but I don’t think I’d consider it heavy either. It was so emotionally involved I couldn’t rush through it and had to have time to process. Yet, it proved to be hard to step away for very long.
This book has a lot of moving parts to track, including secondary characters who play important roles and subplots that influence the relationship and character development. At first these seemed a bit overwhelming, but the author does a good job tying things in consistently so they weren’t superfluous details. That said, some of the past memories and interconnections are held back from the reader. I found this both frustrating and effective. I’m not a huge fan of secrets- whether they’re kept from the characters or reader- but it did keep me engaged and trying to connect the dots. In many ways this left me grasping to understand how things fit together much in the same way Church was.
Filled with flawed but likable characters whom I found interesting and complex, Loose Cannon had my full attention from start to finish. While some of the behavior and responses didn’t sit well with me, Miss Bell does a stellar job explaining the emotions fueling those moments. Even when I was frustrated, I couldn’t be irritated because I understood. This was especially true when it came to Miller’s feelings for Church. The hot and cold would typically turn me off, but the author took the time to explain all the emotions Miller experienced. So much so that I was pushed to the point of being uncomfortable with the disquiet in his brain. I don’t think I’ve ever read a coming-out romance that explained those emotions quite so well. Loose Cannon certainly made an impact on me and the secondary characters were so well developed that I’m eagerly anticipating the next book. If you’re a fan of the emotional journeys that leave you feeling wrung out and characters overcoming their pasts, this is a must read.