REVIEWED by Jen B.
TITLE: Second Shot
AUTHOR: Ali Atwood
LENGTH: 71 Pages
RELEASE DATE: December 8, 2016
Dillon McQueen has magic in his blood, but it’s untrained and hard to control. His spells don’t always hit the mark. He wishes there was someone he could turn to for guidance, but he was abandoned as an infant, and his heritage remains a mystery. Out in the everyday world, Dillon has a law degree from Harvard, but opted to work independently, on the investigative side of things.
Enter Nick Montana, former Army Ranger, still connected to Special Forces, presently working freelance. Six years ago, Dillon had a mad crush on the enigmatic Montana, but his feelings went unfulfilled, as Montana is straight. Now the ranger steps back into Dillon’s life to ask him to team-up and rescue a young boy who was kidnapped by human traffickers.
When the two men go undercover at a male strip club, to play the roles of gay men, Dillon inadvertently casts a spell that has interesting repercussions.
Dillon is reunited with Nick when they join forces to rescue a missing young boy believed to be soon auctioned into the sex trade. Dillon keeps his feelings for Nick under wraps for the sake of the mission still believing Nick to be straight. The lines get a little blurry once they take on their undercover roles and are in the club.
I love a good undercover story, especially one where people are rescued from sex trafficking. Throw in some hot romance brewing in the process, and it’s a win win for me. This story is very fast, especially once the guys go undercover. Before they can complete the mission, Dillon ends up using his magic skills out of a bit of a jealous fit. Unfortunately, his skills are not all that fine tuned, and his spells tend to bleed out in other directions. In this case, it has turned Nick into a sexed up man focused on Dillon. Dillon tries to resist, knowing it is the magic and not Nick’s true intentions, but he quickly gives in.
Meanwhile, back on the case, they are able to track down the missing boy and aside from a quick altercation, the rescue goes through without a hitch. There were a few things keeping me from really enjoying this story. One, Dillon and his magic were really glossed over, and with the exception of the one spell, and proving his skills to Nick, the story never really delved much into it. The rescue happened really fast, and I wish things were a bit more drawn out. I also would have liked to have known some more about Dillon and Nick’s initial time together. We were told about it, but I had a difficult time seeing them working so closely together after all that time had passed and wished the overall relationship and characters were a bit more developed.
The biggest niggle I had though was that Ms. Atwood uses both first and last names, mostly for Nick. So, it was constantly going from Nick to Montana, back to Nick. I kept thinking there was a third person I was missing which kept pulling me out of the story.
But, all in all, this was quite enjoyable. Dillon was really cute, and I loved the dynamic between him and Nick. I would love to see a future story about their new partnership, perhaps another case now that their dynamic has changed. Either way, I will definitely be looking out for more from Ms. Atwood.