Reviewed by Dan
Strong Content Warning:
Rape and Severe Beatings
TITLE: Undercover Love
AUTHOR: Brenda Cothern
PUBLISHER: Wench Publishing, Inc.
LENGTH: 353 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 18, 2016
ICE Agent Ryan “Brew” Brewster finally got the break he was looking for in his human trafficking case. But to follow the lead, he would need to go undercover into the world of the gay leather community. A world he is very familiar with; a world that would require a partner for the undercover sting.
Vice Cop Rick Kendry did not look twenty eight when he was out on the streets of Tampa luring in the Johns for the Tampa Police Department. He barely looked eighteen, but that was why he was stuck in vice. That and the fact that he was openly gay made him the best candidate for the job and luckily for him, he loved undercover work.
When Agent Brewster recruits him for the deep undercover Homeland Security op, Rick couldn’t have been more thrilled. Little did he know that he would soon be immersed into the intricate world of leather, kink, BDSM, and human trafficking.
This book contains adult sexual situations, including m/m, BDSM practices, and non-con. It is intended for readers of legal age in the country in which they reside.
I grabbed this book because it had characters in it that I met while reading I.N.E.T. 2 by this author. I thought it would be some background leading up to the events and the undercover operation in that other book, but that is what I get for thinking! This book is instead about another undercover operation with those characters. I’ll be honest up front and tell you this is the first book by this author that I haven’t loved, and I’ll tell you why below.
Rick Kendry is a Tampa police officer who works undercover on the Vice Squad, primarily busting “johns” looking to pick up male prostitutes. He is twenty-eight, but looks much younger, plus he is gay, so the perfect fit for his position. His Lieutenant is a homophobic douche, which seems to be a standard in Ms. Cothern’s tales of the Tampa PD. I’m not sure if this man is the same one she mentions elsewhere in her stories, but I’m sure he wouldn’t be a great guy to work for if you were gay.
At the beginning of the story, an ICE agent named Ryan “Brew” Brewster shows up and Rick’s boss informs him he has been temporarily assigned to work with the agent on an undercover operation. The boss is pissed, because the case is need to know…and it turns out Rick’s boss doesn’t ‘need to know.’
There begins a tale of an undercover operation to bust the Russian Mafia’s male sex slave human trafficking operations in Florida. I enjoyed the tale and the details of the slave trade operation, even though some details seemed a bit far-fetched at times.
OK, now to what I personally didn’t enjoy, which involves huge swaths of the book. As I said above, I love Ms. Cothern’s books, and usually rave about them…but this one was way outside my interests and overall comfort level in spots. I’m not a huge reader of fetish type books, and boy was this one ever one of those. There are a lot of sections that I just plain didn’t like in this book. That is not to say that others might not love these sections. From Masters and Slaves, to Sirs and Boys, to Puppies, to rope play, to heavy BDSM, to non-consensual sex scenes involving beatings, to human trafficking and slave auctions…this one had it all. The non-consensual sex that is mentioned in the blurb is outright man on man rape in my opinion. Supposedly the male victim who was raped “enjoyed” it because he had gotten into the pain of it, but that read as hugely unbelievable to me. If I’ve been drugged and kidnapped, then severely beaten…to the point of unconsciousness at least once, kept in a cage, and then you hold me down with your knees on my biceps and force feed me your dick with a knife to my throat, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to enjoy it…and I didn’t enjoy at all reading it. Then there is the rapist. When we find out late in the book who he actually is, and his backstory, some of the events near the end of book just become over the top bizarre in my opinion, particularly the rapist/victim chat over tea.
The book was well written, and might be of interest to those of you who enjoy those items I detailed in the paragraph above. But in my opinion, I was totally the wrong type of reader for this particular book. I look forward to future works from this author, but not if it is a continuation of these particular characters. I’m going to rate this one Good/Average even though I personally didn’t enjoy some of it because I think the book is good…just not my style.