StarsSo we jumped right back into the angst and insecurities of the last book but this time there was a complete disconnect In the beginning Trent acted weird Isn t years a long term relatio
3.75 StarsSo we jumped right back into the angst and insecurities of the last book but this time there was a complete disconnect. In the beginning, Trent acted weird. Isn't 3 years a long term relationship for anyone? Not a long one but it certainly counts doesn't it? Regardless, I didn't think it made sense after all that had happened to them that one of them could possibly wonder if he wanted a long term relationship with the other. When asked, Trent said, "Yes, I think so." Which is ridiculous. If they made it through the crap in Jaded, they're in it for the long haul. But they're both so angsty, questioning everything they say and do and second guessing what the other says. Trent in particular was very moody. He would get mad at Reed at the slightest thing and then not talk to him. It was very immature but at least in character from previous books. Reed definitely loves and needs Trent more than the other way around which is why that whole sort of cheating thing in the last book was so wrong and aggravating. But after this initial stuff, the book was really about Reed and his relationships including how much he adored Trent. Such a wibbly wobbly Weebles fall down sort of change from the last book.But as far as relationships went, I really liked how Trent's family was real. They didn't immediately fall over themselves in apology when they found out Reed had a hard time with them. Nor did they just get mad. They had an appropriate and normal conversation about it. Then they fell over themselves--for a while, and then they began doing the same stuff again. But by that time it was okay. It was also nice to have really strong, intelligent and nice female characters who weren't family for a change. And two of them didn't even have to be female plot-wise. they just were because you know, women exist in even a gay man's world. That's particularly rare. "Istanbul not Constantinople..." I think everyone must know that song. :) I really appreciate how the author really tried to submerge the reader in the life of the country(ies) the stories take place in. Istanbul came alive for me, and I appreciated the small observations like that even though it's hailed as a Muslim country, no one stopped what they were doing to pray when the mosque tolled. Those are the kinds of things that make me feel like the author really knows a place. I appreciated that the author chose to set the book in a place where their relationship and behavior wouldn't have gotten them killed. The last two books were set in Thailand and Japan which also have a historical tradition of homosexuality. I'm not saying she painted it like the Castro District, but it certainly wasn't like some countries bordering it. I was impressed with a lot of the investigative techniques. There were things I never would have thought of, like not telling Trent the first name of the woman he was supposed to befriend so he wouldn't accidentally use it before he officially met her. But I also don't think the whole second half of the book would work like that. I don't think the US Army would allow the FBI to run an investigation on one of their bases. I think they would insist on taking over the investigation. (Baba ghanouj is one of my favorite foods!)I wasn't comfortable with how Reed's relationship with his family played out. I don't think Maya's arguments would sway a gay man and certainly not Trent. (view spoiler)[It didn't sway me as I think there were less cruel and offensive ways to accomplish the same things. It doesn't make me think any better of Reed's father. He started the behavior early on when he apparently decided having a military career was what Reed wanted and needed more than a love life. Then he could have just backed off without being cruel with DADT, he could have just told his son that he knew Reed did stuff in his youth but he didn't know anything now and didn't want to because he couldn't. Easy peasy. So her crap was all hogwash. They kind of danced back and forth about that, but in the end the father agreed he could have done stuff differently. (hide spoiler)] Still, I was annoyed at how easily Trent excused the behavior of people who hurt the love of his life.It's not true that only a spouse can report abuse. Someone else can report if if the person is seen as an at risk adult, but that's not even what I mean. Hitting someone else is illegal. You can call the police if you have evidence of a crime. In this state at least, it's not up to the spouse to press charges, either. The state presses charged whether the spouse wants to or not. It makes sense since spouse are often too scared to press charges. (Let me see if I can fit one more "presses charges" into this paragraph. Ah, there that did it.)Can you really break a golf club over your knee? That doesn't sound like a very sturdy club. There were times when they didn't sound like men, especially Trent. Such as when anything upsetting happened, he reacted like a fictional woman, not even like most women I know would act. I cry at the drop of a hat and I'm very emotional about violence against living beings, but even I wouldn't be saying, "Why would someone do such a thing?" I guess I'm just not naive enough. I know why people do those things. They had lots of sex but most of it was very fast or fade to black which worked fine for me. It would have been way too much otherwise. It was still very loving and fun. It showed that they really enjoyed being with each other sexually.The ending left a lot to be desired. The danger and fear and peril were mostly just shown to me through one of the MCs. I didn't have a chance to see much myself because of how it played out and how short it was. I didn't have much of a chance to worry so I basically had to take Reed's word for it so to speak. I'm glad it was that rather than the other way around but I would have preferred both a full robust scene along with the OMG he could have died moment. All in all, this was a good addition to the series, very emotional and touching. But the thriller part just wasn't there at all. I think that once again, the author had the things she wanted to tell by way of the story that ended up getting in the way of the story. There was a great plot running through the first half but the narrative had to be brought home to US soil to bring Reed's family into it and that just completely changed it. It really wasn't even the same story. The only thing connecting them aside from the MCs were Reed's boss and that the investigation involved the smuggling of goods looted from Iraq. It was so different that the original mystery was never even solved. It had ceased to be the primary plot point. They set out to find some objects which were never found. In one of the scenes at the end, it was just mentioned that they hadn't found them, almost as an afterthought. There just was nothing tying the two halves together. This was really more of a contemporary about love and family with investigative stuff thrown in--which isn't my thing. I did love the exploration of Reed's feelings for Trent. But most of the book was from Reed's perspective unless it was when Trent was angsting and being insecure. The end left me with the feeling (again actually, despite that nasty business in the last one) that Reed loves and needs Trent more than the other way around. I hope the next book will make it clear that Trent is just as head over heels. Each book leaves me either unsatisfied or angry or both, but at least I feel better about this one than the last. I will probably read the next one. If it sounds interesting...If anyone things I need spoiler tags in here anywhere, let me know.Bestseller 24-Karat Conspiracy By E.M. Lynley go inside Book Love is the only gold Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland s parents He s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves When he s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of BaLove is the only goldFormer Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland s parents He s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves When he s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.This time, Trent s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse Surprisingly, fastidious and ever fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.Their faux marriage leads Reed to appreciate Trent in ways he never expected, strengthening their bond until Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past his relationship with his estranged family.. EM Lynley writes gay erotic romance She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10 Her Precious Gems series is best described as Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone only gayer The Delectable series is Gay Romance with Taste A Rainbow Award winner and EPPIE finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she d rather be writing hot, romantic man on man action She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.She is the author of Sex, Lies Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others Her books are available in print and e book from other book distributors.. Popular Ebook 24-Karat Conspiracy Ah yes. Allllll of this was exactly where Trent and Reed needed to be and it was perfect. I loved the family stuff and Reed finally getting comfortable in his skin as far as being with Trent and TRULY getting his love for Trent. That moment was beautiful. What a wonderful (and surprise to me til I saw it on the coming soon page) chapter of Trent & Reed's story. All the warm happies but it fit too, and wasn't super easy. Def recommend this series, so much.