Reviewed by JustJen
Title: Hostile Ground
Author: Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 362 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 12, 2014
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon & Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: . After the deaths of three undercover cops investigating a drug ring in a seedy strip club in Seattle, Detective Mahir Hussain has been sent to finish the job. He joins the club’s security team in the hopes of finding enough evidence to bust the operation before the men in charge find a reason to put him in a shallow grave.
To protect the strippers, only gay men can work the club. Ridley, the cold and intimidating head of security, knows exactly how to test potential new hires—including Mahir. From the minute they meet, Mahir and Ridley engage in a dangerous dance of sex and mind games. Mahir needs to find his evidence before Ridley figures out he’s a cop—and before they both grow too close to betray one another.
As the game goes on, Mahir burrows deeper into the operation, where he learns there’s much more happening than meets the eye . . . and why every cop who made it this far has been silenced with a bullet.
I love a good undercover story, one where the agent goes deep, for an undetermined amount of time, to the point that the lines where their two lives blur and they run the risk of truly becoming the person they are portraying, not unlike one of my favorite movies, Donnie Brasco.
Here, Mahir, being a single gay man (though not out to his colleagues) seems perfect for going undercover to bust the head of the illegal operations taking place in the club which only hires gay men. After the deaths of the three previous officers who attempted the same, Mahir takes on the persona of Saeed. His first obstacle, is passing the tests of the head of security, a dangerous, cold man known as Ridley. These guys play some pretty heavy head games and manipulations, but no question, the chemistry is there. Needless to say, after some edgy scenes, Saeed passes the tests and begins his employment.
As time goes on, Saeed learns there is much more to the investigation than previously assumed, and he is determined to get to the bottom of it. In the meantime, he and Ridley continue with their games. This is more than just some run-of-the-mill drug ring, as there are young boys involved as couriers that bring up many questions and eventually become the focus of the operation. The goal here is to make it long enough to take down the head of the crime ring, Lombardi, who is just an evil bastard.
To back up just a bit, Mahir has some other issues going on that pop up right in the beginning of his assignment, namely his young nephew showing up on his doorstep after being kicked out of his house for being gay. So, this puts even more stress on Mahir as he struggles with helping his nephew, trying to keep his two identities separate and keep his sanity about everything he is seeing and has invariably become involved in.
There is a lot going on in this story, and I was on the edge of my seat for most of it. The sex is super hot, almost always with the hint of danger spurring it on. The dialog and actions had me feeling as though I was undercover with Saeed. There are a few twists that change the story a bit, but it is fast-paced and edgy. All in all, a very exciting, well-written read.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*