Holding Out for a Fairytale

A. J. Thomas
Holding Out for a Fairytale
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Publisher
Dreamspinner
Release Date
May 2014
ISBN
9781627987059
Series
Book 2 of Least Likely Partnership
Genre
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

SUMMARY
When his vicious cousin Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, San Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado gets a brutal reminder of why he left his family behind. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, before the FBI digs too deep into his business.

Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, but his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down. When Elliot catches a missing person's case as his first assignment, the last person he expects to find poking around the victim's dorm room is Ray, a one-time hookup he's more inclined to punch in the face than kiss hello. After discovering Sophia's disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray. As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the urge to tackle each other.

Book Review by Pat Henshaw (author,reviewer)
Jul 17, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
158 people found the following review helpful
A.J. Thomas carefully explores the unlikely relationship between two law enforcement officers--one with family ties to an organized crime group that the other's agency is trying to shut down--in this riveting police procedural.

When drug lord Alejandro Munoz visits his gay cousin Ray Delgado, asking him to look into the disappearance of Alejandro's sister Sophie, Ray knows something bigger is up. A police detective, Ray discovers that college computer science major Sophie has stolen a big chunk of Alejandro's ill-gotten gains, money he needs to pay an even bigger drug lord.

As he's trying to figure out where Sophie is and with whom she's staying, Ray runs into federal agent Elliot Belkamp, with whom he had a fling in the previous book, A Casual Weekend Thing. The sparks between them are still flying, and even though they try to resist, they cross paths so often that they end up together much of the time.

While Elliot is out to anyone who asks, Ray, because of his Hispanic background and his family ties to organized crime, is still deeply in the closet and declaring he's straight, not gay. But as he and Elliot often end up having sex, Ray is forced to admit to himself he's bisexual and hope that if his sister, his closest sibling, finds out, she won't abandon him.

Readers with families who don't understand them will empathize with Ray, but they may not admire him. Ray, like many Latino men, spends a lot of time posturing and pretending to be sexier, fiercer, and more unafraid than he really is. His bluster is a shield to cover his vulnerable underbelly of familial love and his growing attachment to Elliot.

More understandable for readers will be Elliot, who's tired of Ray's on-again/off-again attentions. Elliot's finally in a place in his life and career where he'd like to settle down and find one man to come home to every evening. Hook-ups have gotten old and he wants more than what Ray is offering.

As they work the case together and both nearly get killed, Elliot begins to understand Ray's tumultuous background, and Ray begins to understand himself.

A.J. Thomas' quirky writing style, which keeps readers constantly off balance and the story moving, is solidly in place here. Just as in her previous books, relationships aren't clearly cut, and love and family bind relationships tighter than characters would sometimes like.

All in all, this is an excellent addition to the author's Least Likely Partnership series.
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