Reviewed by Jen B.
TITLE: Drawn In
AUTHOR: Barbara Elsborg
LENGTH: 262 Pages
RELEASE DATE: October 15, 2016
Undercover police officer Kell has crossed the line. He’s become trapped in an abusive relationship with his violent thug of a boss and sees no way back without wrecking months of work. The hope of ever being involved with someone who respects him seems a distant dream.
Private investigator Gethin is depressed that the bulk of his work involves following unfaithful partners. He knows just what it’s like to be cheated on. Even worse, his relationship with his ex is complicated and Gethin can see no way of breaking free of a guy who so desperately needs him.
A chance encounter brings Kell and Gethin together, entwining their lives with secrets and danger. They both have reasons to keep things casual. But there are consequences to zipless fucks. Not only do they have to survive people trying to kill them, they need to trust each other and keep their wits about them, while ensuring their hearts stay intact.
Kell is in a bit of a bad place. He’s undercover and after his last mission didn’t pan out, he needs to really come through with the goods on this one. Unfortunately, that has led him to cross the line in a major way. He is basically the play thing for the second in command, who is never gentle nor caring. He succumbs to it all for the good of the job, biding his time until he has enough important information to take it all down.
Gethin is a PI who crosses paths with Kell, and the two share a pretty big attraction. Both men are hiding big secrets, and both agree to a no-strings attached sexual relationship that they think will work perfectly for each of them. Of course, it doesn’t take long for things to go beyond the it’s-only-sex stage. But, Kell is tied to his job and all that entails, and Gethin has a pretty sticky situation of his own.
Gethin has committed himself to his ex who is now a paraplegic. The two had been musicians in the same band but had broken up after Jonnie cheated on him. Unfortunately, Jonnie has no memory of that part and still believes they are boyfriends. With his parents giving up contact, as well as all of Jonnie’s other friends, Gethin feels he has little choice but to be there for Johnnie. It is the foundation of a heapload of guilt on Gethin’s side, and it plays a pretty important role in the story. This was a very emotional side plot that softened up the rest of the harshness for me.
There were a lot of things that never quite added up for me and some that felt unnecessary and over the top. Namely, Kell’s brother, who apparently tried multiple times over the years (since birth) to kill Kell. There were a few others, but that stood out the most. There are quite a few characters to not like, but also a few to love, like Gethin’s friend Angel and his husband.
This was not a light and fluffy read, as expected and indeed was hoping for, from Ms. Elsborg. She definitely delivered on that front. It was interesting with a few twists and turns and lots of things connecting that had me turning pages quickly. It was hot and heavy at times, and emotional and heartbreaking at others. It was full of angst and pain but there was light at the end of the tunnel. I would have enjoyed seeing a bit more of the guys together, as opposed to their being separated by their side stories, but all in all, this was a satisfying and enjoyable read.