Reviewed by Ami and Morgan
Title: Trust & Confidence
Author: Megan Linden
Series: D.C. Files #2
Heroes: Michael Lorne/Adam Davis
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 190 Pages
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: November 13, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: It’s been ten years, they’re supposed to be over this.
Michael Lorne has worked for years to be where he is right now – on a protection detail for the White House Chief of Staff. But then his whole world gets shaken up the moment he meets the one person he thought he would never see again. His childhood best friend, his first love, the one who got away.
After a stint of working on presidential campaign, Adam Davis is back where he belongs – writing for his political commentary blog, DC College. Life is good. He’s comfortable. He’s doing what he loves. He’s… not prepared to see Michael walking back into his life.
Nothing can be the same now that they have met, but what will happen next? Is their past truly behind them or are there some things that were never meant to end?
Ami’s Review: I enjoyed Serve & Protect – the first book in this series – and when I read the summary for this one, I just knew that I had to read it. Second-chance romance is like a catnip for me. Dangle it in front of me and I usually will be very tempted to read it. Plus the cover promises interracial couple, which I always welcome as part of romance-diversity.
Well, I will say that this is my favorite Linden book so far. It’s not without flaws though – and for me, thy name is Adam Davis. I am very certain that Adam will not be most reader’s favorite boyfriend of the year. Actually, he’s not mine either. He clearly hurts Michael not once but twice. He sabotages his relationship with Michael over personal fears that sound both unfounded and weak. He doesn’t do enough groveling and maybe, just maybe, Michael deserves a lot better.
BUT, I cannot deny that I loved this book despite Adam’s misgivings. I thought that Linden had written a quite convincing second-chance story. I believed in the awkwardness and tentativeness of their first meeting after ten years. I believed in the progress of becoming friends again after all these years. I also thought that Linden wrote the past and present time – for us to see how Adam and Michael became best friends during their childhood – quite seamlessly. It didn’t disrupt the story for me, in fact, it gave me understanding towards both characters and how they arrived as they were right now.
And I LOVED, LOVED Michael Lorne. I loved him when he was just a ten-year-old boy with broken arm who found a best friend one summer. I loved him when he was teenager coming out as gay to Adam and his parents. I loved him when he fell in love with Adam and navigated that first intimate moment. I loved him when he was heartbroken. I loved him when he was an adult man who was still in love with his best friend. I simply loved his heart and his soul. Somehow, my love for Michael helped me throughout the book when Adam reacting like an ass. I know that it should’ve actually made me hate Adam more – but I couldn’t dislike the book overall because I loved Michael too much. Does that even make sense?
So I thought this was a good second-chance romance. I liked that the steam level was also moderate – so this was a story driven by the plot and characters rather than the sex. My love towards Michael elevated my reading experience too. I was somehow convinced that Adam would treat Michael like his precious from there on. Or his grandfather would probably swat his bum *laugh*. Oh, yes, Adam’s grandfather is probably another favorite character of mine here.
In addition to all that, I also need to state my appreciation towards the setting. I usually avoid politics in my romance. Politics is usually messy and manipulative, and for LGBT romance, tends to be, well homophobic. But the political situation in this series seemed to stay on the positive side. Nobody raised a ruckus over the fact that both the Chief of Staff and his Secret Service agent are gay. The political issue that is front and center in this one is more about budget problems and none about the sexuality of the political players. I really, really, like that.
One more thing, while Megan Linden herself has reassured readers that all these titles are stand-alone, I kindly advise that you try the first book prior reading this one. There are recurring characters making appearances, and I’m sure characters in this book will probably be the main couple in the third book. It is always nice to be with familiar faces when you read series from beginning to end, I think.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I purchased a copy of this book for my review.*
Morgan’s Review: Michael and Adam were friends and first “loves” when they were in high school. They broke up when high school ended and each went in a different direction. Now they’ve met again – 10 years later. Michael works for Sam as security and Adam is a political journalist on a blog.
The two try dating again and the sexual chemistry is hotter than ever. But Adam’s priorities need to be revisited and he ends up hurting Michael again and again.
Adam eventually pulls his head out and figures out what’s really important in life and we get a well-deserved HEA for our boys.
I think that this book will appeal to fans of “second chance” romances, politics and to a degree, fans of book one. Megan Linden is a great writer and she does a nice job of showcasing the “bad” side of Adam – I’m just not sure she went far enough to redeem him.
I’m not a huge fan of “reunion” love stories and admit I was mostly hoping for more of Blake and Sam and a similar story to theirs – but… while it didn’t appeal to me nearly as much as book one, it was well written.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*