Continental Divide (Separate Ways #1), Lisa Worrall, Laura Harner
Publisher: Hot Corner Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Mystery, Contemporary, Series, A HFN that Needs Book 2
Length: 225 pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
Good mystery, good pairing, good mix of British and American. Waiting for the sequel.
This book was just what I was looking for – M/M, more than a novella or short story, engaging characters, hot sex, crime, and something to make me emotionally invested and involved.
I know this is a co-write between Lisa Worrall and Laura Harner and, I must say, it was seamless. I have read Lisa Worrall before and I truly enjoy her writing style and I loved Continental Divide.
The two MC’s are hot independently and smoking together. Their combined chemistry had my Kindle melting. This, for me, is a big plus.
James (Jamie) Mainwaring is an Earl, 87th in line to the throne, and while he enjoys the finer things in life, like plush hotels and fine dining, he is not a snob. Much to his mother’s chagrin, he is a police officer, and gay, who has worked his way up to Inspector. He now has several baffling case files on young boys that have completely disappeared in London. Jamie is a fabulous character – sexy, worldly, comfortable with who he is, kind, communicative and professional.
Detective Remington is from Arizona – you don’t actually know whether Remington is his first or last name for some time throughout the book. Jamie comes up with some….inventive names for him throughout. Remy has been investigating the disappearance of local boys in and around Phoenix. He believes police or other officials may be involved and does not like, what he perceives as, the uncaring or incompetent behaviour of his peers/superiors. Remy does a check on the internet, bypassing his captain, to look into other similar cases on a global scale, thus attracting the attention of Interpol. Remy is gruff, painfully uncommunicative, sexy, has baggage and is slow to let people in but is loyal once they are.
Needless to say Detective Remington and Inspector Mainwaring are thrown together to investigate the missing boys. It seems there are more than those in their respective jurisdictions and they have been recruited to investigate further, as partners. I felt for Jamie when he had to develop a cover to join Interpol’s human trafficking team. In effect it isolates him from his mother because of his ‘scandalous’ public, gay, behaviour to make his, soon to be, undercover persona believable. Remy also has his own (private) demons to fight that the case digs up.
I liked the humour in this book, it was subtle, just right for the style/subject matter of the book. I liked the British-isms and the American-isms. They were appropriate for who was speaking, where they were and who they were with at the time. The fact that Jamie is an Earl gives him access to things that others could only dream of when required for the investigation, that was pitch perfect for the plot. I liked the subject matter, young boys disappearing, patterns emerging of disenfranchised youths whom no-one cared about, just gone. The fact that the characters took the investigation seriously, that it wasn’t just a vague plot to throw a lot of romance and sex around, was well done. Also, sadly, that human trafficking is a timely topic making the novel feel real and contemporary. I liked the (psychologically appropriate) misunderstandings between the MC’s, primarily because of Remy and his ‘secretive’ past. Plus, a few little jealousies came to the fore by way of both characters deepening feelings for one another. I had no problems with knowing, approximately half way through, who was involved in the disappearances. It was interesting watching how Jamie and Remy went about the case, whilst enjoying their burgeoning relationship and trying to get a handle on the enigmatic Remy. Plus, it was hot being a voyeur to Jamie and Remy’s sexual interplay. There were really interesting secondary characters galore, Miggy comes to mind first and foremost and let’s not forget quirky little Yardly.
I know some readers get peeved when there is no HEA. So…..please beware, this book does not end in a HEA, nor in a HFN. Not everything is left in limbo though. The case wraps up, the characters debrief and Jamie and Remy, sadly but necessarily, go their separate ways. Personally, I liked the way it ended it fit the book. Remy has a backstory that was, I’m gathering, purposely not fleshed out in this book and, I’m assuming, will continue into the next one. I hope so, because I will be righteously pissed if there is not a continuation of these wonderful characters. I want, nay must know more. Does Jamie sort out his family upheaval? Who is Remy talking to? What happens with Miggy and his case? For God’s sake…do my men get their HEA?
I very much recommend reading Continental Divide, it is well written, smart, timely and enjoyable from beginning to end. Although, I’m begging….please give me more.