Grime and Punishment The Brothers Grime #1 Z.A. Maxfield
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First book I’ve read by this author – it won’t be the last, I really enjoyed this story. Its a M/M romance and a very tender love story. I love romance regardless of sexualities. Jack’s a super man, had a horrific accident which ended his fire-fighting career, but along with some long time friends starts up The Brothers Grime. Its a clean up firm for after disasters, deaths, accidents and allows him to still feel connected to helping people. His injuries limit his abilities on the physical side so he’s mostly doing the paperwork side, office stuff and visiting sites for quotes. When he gets asked to quote for the latest job though its a tough one, its a gun suicide of someone he had a relationship with a long time ago, and it ended very badly with Jack getting beaten up. He’s still carried feelings for Nick though all these years, and it’s left him unable or unwilling to open himself to a relationship, so he’s just done casual dates and friendships since then. He’s reached a point though where he thinks maybe its time for more, but his on – off partner isn’t out, says a Gay cop is not what he wants to be seen as. It’s clear Jacks beating affected his friends too and left them afraid of coming out. Jack’s a lovely man and its clear he’s lonely, even though he has a great group of friends and colleagues.
At the job site Jack meets Ryan, Nick’s cousin and owner of the house. He’s stunned at first by how alike they look, and it gives him a mental jar. Ryan’s a great guy, prone to picking up what he describes as “lost causes” though and has been badly let down in his choice of partners. Despite that he’s still so open and loving, I really felt he and Jack deserved each other and would just fit so right. The heat between him and Jack is pretty immediate, and the sexual tension steaming. There are some sex scenes but well written and fit the story exactly. Ryan doesn’t know Nick was gay – he had a wife and children, and kept it hidden from everyone, so has only Nick’s version of what happened which is far from the truth, and he initially looks at Jack as someone different, and with different motives to that which he has. Ryan’s lonely too, and as the two work together on the clean up (Ryan wants to do it himself but Jack persuades him its not a good idea, but he insists on helping) they learn more about each other. Ryan phones Jack the night after the clean up, early in the morning feeling very upset and not realising he’d feel that way, and he needs someone to talk to. Jack’s awake anyway, having similar feelings and the two chat for a long time. They quickly they get closer and become lovers. Jack’s stunned that Ryan is so open about showing how he feels about him in front of others, and they go out together to the memorial sevice and on a date. Jack’s always been kept in the background before, he’s out but never been with anyone for more than just sex. Its a new thing for him and he finds he likes it. He’s still hiding from Ryan though about the truth of him and Nick, and of course secrets have a way of being outed and causing problems…..
It’s a great love story, very tender and yet sizzling hot at times. I really enjoyed the story behind it, this novel is not just an excuse to write sex but a real tale worth reading, and one I’ll be happy to re read. The best stories always bear re reading, and I find things I missed first time round. Its priced at £3.97 for 166 pages so quite expensive on my VFM scale, but the re reading possibilities of course brings that down to a much better value. I’d rather pay more for a book I can re read than have a cheap one off read.
Stars: well, great story, lovely characters that I felt for and a HEA so a full five.