The Incident

Xavier Axelson
The Incident
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Release Date
October 2019
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ

Michael Carmac is a small-town cop on the verge of a breakdown. After a split-second decision leaves an innocent child dead, Michael's reality unravels. Suffering from PTSD, he finds comfort in a bottle while struggling to find forgiveness. Fellow officer Bertram Angel offers Michael support, and what starts as friendship turns into something deeper--two men looking to find love, forgiveness and acceptance while moving forward and healing wounds that don't always show.

Book Review by Valentina Heart (author,reviewer)
Sep 19, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
191 people found the following review helpful
Officer Michael Cormac is a man tormented by the past. A split of a second changed his life from the core and made him a broken man. He feels eyes on him everywhere he goes, he's afraid of comments and snide remarks, but even when he is alone in his home, where he should be safe, nightmares haunt him and alcohol numbs the pain.

He is dependent on his friend, Officer Bertram Angel, who is always by his side, willing to extend a helping hand. But even there Michael finds little solace, because when he looks at Angel he can't help it but see more than a friend, he sees a man who is everything Michael secretly wants.

I tried looking at this book from a few sides in my search for something deeper, but nothing changed my opinion in a drastic way. As a romance, this book didn't work for me. Michael and Angel were wonderful as friends, supportive and the love there was obvious. But add the romantic element to it and they were pretty much unconvincing. Their first serious sexual encounter filled me with disbelief, both because of their choice of the location as well as the jump they so suddenly took from closeted cops to exhibitionists. Their choice of words during intimacy didn't match their character and really clashed with what I knew of Michael and his past.

When it came to looking at this book as a story about a man fighting with his demons and trying to take back the control of his life, it had too many loose ends for me. Information was given in mere drops and it never quite satisfied my curiosity. But without looking at the book from this perspective, I never would have gotten over the image of Michael I had through the whole first half of the book where he was a drunk and a man in denial about everything important in his life. The resolution, or rather his road to recovery, came too abruptly and also left me wanting more, but some parts of his torment were raw enough that I've decided to overlook the lacking parts when it comes to my rating.

That said, I think it is best to accept this story as one about an individual rather than one about a couple. The transitions are easier that way and the story doesn't quite seem as if it is just all over the place.

As for my rating, I'm still confused as how to actually rate it. I want to give it two stars but I keep thinking there is more to this story that I just missed while reading and it deserves at least three stars. So I am going with the feeling, mostly because I hate giving lower ratings and partly because there was one part of the story I truly liked and it is somewhat worth going through all the pages to reach the last few.
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