Friday, December 11, 2015

ARC Review: A Forced Silence by Cate Ashwood

For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.

The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn't gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn't enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other's arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.

Dani's rating:


A Forced Silence is one intense read.

When I read a romance, I want just that: romance. Ashwood's focus never veers from the MCs. A murder investigation is present, yes, but it's secondary to the relationship.

At the scene of a gruesome homicide, Adam, a paramedic, confirms that the murder victim (a teenage boy) is dead, while forensic pathologist Sam (to everyone but Adam, who calls him "Dex," a teasing nickname from their high school days) puts together a report that includes identifying marks, toxicology results, and possible cause of death.

What happened to the victim is horrifying and heartbreaking, and both men want justice served. Sam especially wants to do right by this lost boy who died in such a terrible fashion.

As the investigation continues (Adam's brother is a detective who takes a lead on the case), the relationship between Sam and Adam takes a turn from casual friendship to passionate love affair.

Sam is out, but Adam is deeply in the closet. I was so frustrated with Adam for most of the book. His lies keep him bound and gagged, and he's more intent on pandering to his work partner, John, a vile homophobe, than building something long-lasting with Sam.

Sam is much more patient with Adam than I would have been!

It takes a near tragedy to make Adam realize what's really important, and when he goes after his man, it's sweetness and hard kisses and makeup sex (which is all gotta-have-you-so-sorry-can't-wait-FUCK-ME-NOW-please).

This book is SEXY (I am SO happy Cate is adding more steam to her books!) and well plotted. The MCs are real, with their ups & downs, fears, and personality quirks. The connection between Adam and Sam is so strong, it simmers and boils over.

I liked the secondary characters in the book, particularly Sam's best friend Ford, who's dealing with love life drama of his own.

When the book ends, the MCs are SOLID and have a HEA in the making. BUT the murder investigation ... well, that's another story.

Cate has confirmed that she's planning three more books in the series, which is just. Fucking. AWESOME.

To sum up: Former-frenemies-to-lovers; UST; closeted paramedic with a dominant streak; slightly geeky pathologist who's a freak in bed (it's always the quiet ones); background mystery; hotter-than-sin sex; unexpected tattoos that are ever so lickable; and a gripping climax leading to a HEA.

All that and men in TUXES too.


Get the book:


There is no friend as loyal as a book.
~Ernest Hemingway

An ARC of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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