Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ARC Review: A Healing Man (Men of Manhattan 5) by Sandrine Gasq-Dion


Dario Ramos thought he’d left the fighting behind in the war zone when a life-threatening injury sent him home. But a certain Irishman crossing his path everywhere he went convinced him that his biggest battle might be ahead. Tiernan Callahan is a bigoted jerk. Ramos finds himself constantly in the man’s orbit, even in a city as big as New York. The wounded warrior knows all about pain and loss — and that sometimes anger is the only form of release. When Tiernan once again crowds Ramos’ space, his eyes are opened to the possibility of other forms of release.

Tough NYC cop Tiernan Callahan is still mourning the death of his beloved youngest brother, Mason. Fearing his close-minded family’s reaction, the young soldier never got to tell them his secret — that he was gay and engaged to the love of his life. Tiernan is surviving on anger and guilt. When he continues to run into Dario Ramos, who continues to push his buttons, something inside him snaps. Suddenly, anger isn’t the only emotion he feels.

Two very different men, still trying to heal: Can they come to an understanding and heal each other?

Dani's rating:

This book was hilarious and exactly what I wanted: sweet, romantic fluff with a heavy dose of smex. DELICIOUS.

“Just tell me one thing. Is he exaggerating about his dick?”

I rubbed my jaw and then stretched my mouth wide open, rubbing my chin. “Damn, I’m sore.”

“Oh, fuck off!”

I’ve liked every book in this series, but this one might be my favorite.

I dig the enemies-to-lovers trope, and Dario Ramos and Tiernan Callahan are the ultimate I-hate-you-so-much-I want-to-fuck-you couple. Since we get both their first-person POVs, it’s easy to see the annoyance to lust turn.

Dario, a veteran cum model, doesn’t care about labels, never has. And Tiernan, who lives and breathes NYPD? Well, he has a few secrets of his own.

“What the hell is it about you?” I whispered, pulling him closer, my hands delving into the back of his jeans. Warm, taut flesh met my callused fingers, and I groaned into Tiernan’s neck. “This is definitely homosexual behavior.”

Maybe Tiernan’s conversion to total (and I mean, TOTAL) gay acceptance came too easily? Then again, we haven’t been in his head since his younger brother Mason (Casper’s fiancé) died.

Tiernan was terribly hurt and angry that Mason didn’t trust him enough to tell him he was gay and had an entire secret life to which Tiernan and their older brother Michael weren’t privy.

If you’ve read book 3 (this book really shouldn’t be read as a standalone), you’ll remember the Callahan brothers and their run-in with Slater, Casper’s boyfriend, at the cemetery. They came across as insufferable bigots. But it turns out it’s their zealously religious mother’s who’s a hatemonger, and they were only trying to please her.

In this book, we get to know Tiernan much better. We learn more about his brother Michael and Ryan (Drakon’s friend from book 4); new characters, including Tiernan’s partner Danny and a sweet but lonely twink named Bobby, are introduced.

I want their stories. NOW.

We get a couple heart-pounding moments (a bit over-the-top, but I had my this-is-fucking-fiction shades on), and a lot of tenderness.

I loved Tiernan and Dario together. The gentleness Tiernan shows Dario, the way he SEES Dario, prosthetic leg and all, is lovely.

Plus, Dario’s mother is fucking awesome!

Also, the lovin’ was scorch-your-eyeballs-smokin’ HAWT!

“Wow,” Tiernan rasped.

“I know! Who knew gay sex could be so hot?”

We knew, Dario. We ALL KNEW.

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