TBR Challenge: A Taste of Midnight by Keira Andrews
Alex Ito has worked undercover for eight months--the longest stretch he's ever done. He's inhabited Nicky "Little Boy" Kimoto's life for long enough now that it's over, he's not sure about going home to husband Bruce Armadine. What if he's still more Nicky than Alex?
Walking along the street where they live, Alex sees a sexy, leather-clad, guyliner-eyed man coming out of their home and is taken aback. The shock doesn't get any easier when he realizes this sexy, ready-for-play man is Bruce. Running on instinct, he follows Bruce to Chains, a BDSM club where it turns out Bruce is tending bar.
Already unsure of his welcome home, Alex feels even more distanced from Bruce and flees the club before Bruce even knows he's there, retreating to a bad motel and the bottle, just like his undercover identity would.
When the two men finally come face to face, will Bruce be able to find Alex beneath his Nicky Kimoto skin or has this job sucked Alex into the underworld for good?
How can Sean Michael pack so much emotion into so few pages??? I loved this story, even when it was painful. The blurb does a great job of setting up the story so I'll begin my review with the day after Alex wakes up in the nasty motel wondering what Bruce has been doing while Alex was stuck undercover...
Alex has always had trouble shedding his undercover identity, but after eight months in hell as posing as a meth-addict, eating one meal every couple of days, spending sixteen hours getting tattoos he hates as part of a gang initiation...well, he's understandably confused when the stable husband he can't wait to get home to all of a sudden seems like someone else. He calls Bruce the morning after following him to Chains and the two agree to meet up for breakfast.
Bruce can't believe his husband is finally home...and he doesn't understand why he wants to meet for breakfast...why isn't he just coming on home? When he sees Alex, skeletal-thin and covered in hair and a beard, he knows it will take time for Alex to feel himself again. But Bruce knows that the man he loves more than anything is still there, he has only to look in Alex's eyes to know that. He gets Alex home and begins to pamper him and to bring his lover to the forefront.
Watching Alex and Bruce reconnect was beautiful and at times a bit painful as Alex is so lost. Bruce is so amazing; I don't know how you could stay as strong as he did when your spouse is undercover in dangerous situations that you can't control. He has enjoyed his job as a bartender at Chains--he was both intrigued by BDSM and needed a place with people so the long evenings with Alex didn't feel so lonely. As soon as Alex was home for good, Bruce was ready to quit his job, but he didn't want to quit going to Chains altogether. He has made friends there and believes that BDSM may be a way to get Alex out of his head and to let him forget about what happens to him while undercover. Beyond one sexual experience in a backroom at Chains, BDSM doesn't really play a part in The Job, but it definitely seems that Bruce would like to take himself and Alex in that direction. This book is the first in a series but I don't know if future books will revisit Bruce and Alex or other characters.
Overall, I enjoyed this one quite a bit, but that is not a surprise. I have long been a huge Sean Michael fan--he can pull huge emotions out of me with just a few words. I'm very glad I finally read this one, it has been sitting on my Kindle since it came out last October.