I read and enjoyed the first book in this series, Faith & Fidelity, several months ago (my review here). I thought Love & Loyalty would be the same basic story, but it wasn't; it was different, but still enjoyable:
Love & Loyalty
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 412 KB
Print Length: 254 pages
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (September 8, 2009)
Detective James “Jim” Shea is a Seattle homicide detective who has never taken his work home with him – until now. A case has gotten under his skin and though it’s “over," it isn’t for Jim. The emotional toll has left him vulnerable and tied to the victim’s dying father. Meanwhile, Hollywood comes calling for a hot story, and screenwriter Griffin Drake sees the tragic case as his ticket to more serious fare than his usual action blockbusters. But to get the whole story he needs to win over the stoic and protective Detective Shea. Neither man has had much luck when it comes to romance or long-term relationships and neither is particularly looking but there's an attraction from their first meeting that can’t be denied. Their impromptu first date seems to have no end in sight – quickly becomes a barreling freight train of romance. Looming problems outside threaten their relationship – death, secrets and broken trust – and they'll have to learn loyalty to save their newfound love.
Jim Shea is an "out" police detective in Seattle. He's a workaholic, but a good guy; he's got a group of hetero friends that care about him and want him to be happy. He worked a murder case where the defendant was a high profile young man who allegedly killed a runaway girl, and he's gotten involved with her family during the trial. It's been a long, hard process and he's taken the verdict personally.
Griffin Drake is a Hollywood screenwriter. He's been doing action-packed movies that don't fulfill him and wants to tackle something that will make his career meaningful. He picks up on the trial and wants to do a story on the family, not the defendant. Ed, the dead girl's father, agrees to see Griffin, but asks Jim to be there for support.
After the initial meeting, Griffin flies home to Hollywood to work on the screenplay but gets writer's block. He asks Jim if he can come out and talk to him, to try to get focused on the case. The meeting turns into dinner and then more...
My thoughts: Love & Loyalty was a great read - Jim and Griffin were great together. Jim's gruff exterior was tempered by Griffin's more easygoing demeanor. Their relationship just kind of fell into place, and Jim was so cute when he realized he was falling for Griffin.
Griffin had problems of his own, and while I was frustrated he didn't share them with Jim, I understood why. His best friend Daisy made me crazy!! (Okay, is it weird that even though he doesn't have a nickname in the book, in my head I think of Griffin as Griff? Who gives a nickname to a fictional character?)
Loved the secondary characters - Jim's partner Terry was great. I liked the hetero "Cabal" and the fact that they loved and cared for Jim, even though he grumbled and complained. Ed made me cry, 'nuff said.
Ms. Michaels expertly maneuvered the story along so that both Jim and Griffin lose someone important to them and turn to each other. The ending was sweet, if a bit fanciful. I would definitely recommend this book if you're a newbie to the m/m genre - it's not very graphic but conveys the emotions well.