Reviewed by Ami and Morgan
Title: A Forced Silence
Author: Cate Ashwood
Heroes: Adam Carson/Sam McKenna
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 200 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 11, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.
The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn’t gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn’t enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other’s arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.
Ami’s Review: First things first, I’m a little bit reluctant to call this a mystery/suspense romance – I guess being a HUGE mystery/suspense genre fan, I thought this one emphasized more on the romance part than the mystery part. Sure, we had a young man being a murder victim, however, it stayed pretty much in the background. Neither Sam nor Adam are in the front line of the investigation, although since Sam is the forensic pathologist, he does offer his findings to the detectives in charge.
Anyway, that set aside, I really enjoyed this. It’s only my third Cate Ashwood’s book, and it is definitely my favorite so far. Despite the animosity that happened between Sam and Adam during their high school years, the chemistry was definitely high this time around. While I might have skipped all the sex scenes, because, well, it’s my thing, I thought the sexuality was simmering between the pages and it was pretty alluring.
Another thing that I loved was that Sam never pushed Adam to come out of the closet for him. It has become one of my pet peeves in MM romance, whenever someone thinks that it’s for the best to push their lovers to just come out. Coming out is personal business and nobody has the right to tell one when or how they should come out. Although it isn’t fair for the lover involved, I believe this is where compromise comes in and the couple should work things out by communicating.
Anyway, I was rambling … but yes, I loved Sam for that. I thought the progress of them becoming lovers and later on when facing with the problem of Adam’s in-the-closet status, felt natural. I did wish that Adam kicked his homophobic partner to the curb much sooner, but I was enjoying Adam’s inner conflict too. So I couldn’t really be angry at him for making the story much believable for me (laugh).
There was quite a lot of action in the end, which amped up the thrill a bit. And the ending was … well, hopeful. No, not hopeful for our MCs … hopeful for a mystery fan like me. Because I’m hoping that there will be more investigations in the next book, and I want to be more ‘involved’ with finding out who is responsible for the murders.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
Morgan’s Review: Adam Carson and Sam “Dex” McKenna went to school together. They were both friends with Mason, but didn’t like each other. Well… Dex had a crush on Adam and Adam kept yanking Dex’s chain.
Now, as adults, they end up in the same circle at work. Dex is out and proud the new medical examiner at the hospital where Adam is a paramedic. Adam is gay but not out.
Adam is hot for Dex and Dex never got over Adam. They quickly start up a relationship but Adam forces them in the closet. Adam’s paranoia over being found out drives them apart eventually, even though they’re miserable.
When someone almost dies, the two realize that they can’t live apart like that and Adam is forced to make tough decisions.
Based on the ending, I’m thinking this is a beginning to a series and if so – YAY! The two MCs have some seriously hot chemistry and there are a few other gay boys involved who need their stories told too! (Caleb and Ford)
There is also a mystery surrounding a serial murderer that goes unsolved so I’m hoping it gets continued as well.
This is definitely one of those stories that grabs you right from the start and won’t let you put it down til it’s over. I loved seeing Adam open up and embrace this other side of himself and Dex was a sweetheart who definitely deserved love.
My only objection was that John, Adam’s partner, seemed to take a 180 – he went from only a little bit of a jerk to a homophobic asshole. I think if he’d been consistently a jerk, his role and Adam’s motivation would have seemed more realistic.
But… other than that, I really liked this and can’t wait for the next book!
Overall Impression: It was amazing
*We received copies of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*