Monday, October 17, 2016

ARC Review: Drawn In by Barbara Elsborg

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.

Jewel's rating:

​Delicious, delicious angst. You will gorge on it, in Drawn In. I love this author's writing. Her stories never fail to ​engage me, and Drawn In was no different. It is dark, though, and angsty, through and through, so do be prepared.​ Maybe have a teddy bear handy for cuddles.​

​Gethin Jones is a fairly new private investigator, generally called in to follow spouses suspected of cheating.​ He's not really a happy guy and his relationship with an ex, Jonnie, is nothing but complicated and filled with feelings of guilt that really don't belong to him. I felt bad for Jonnie's situation, but at the same time, he was selfish and manipulative and I wanted Gethin to move on. I think Jonnie asked too much of Gethin, not really caring that the whole situation was killing Gethin, piece by piece. At the same time, though, Jonnie needed someone and Gethin was too good of a guy walk away. He didn't want to abandon Jonnie like everyone else had. So he hung on and did the best he could with a bad situation. ​

Kell DeMornay became a cop to help people and to put bad guys away.​ Part of what motivated him was his sociopath of a brother who never stopped trying to make Kell pay for being born. ​So Kell wants to help protect other people who may not be able to protect themselves. For the past several months, Kell has been undercover and stuck in a very bad relationship with an abusive guy and there is little he can do about it until the case is over. Kell was dedicated and even though his job was taking a huge toll on him, he wouldn't walk away. I can't imagine living that kind of a life.

Though they meet somewhere outside their jobs, ​Gethin and Kell find that the threads of their lives keep intersecting and soon they go from 'strings-free sex' to really depending on each other. They are each other's oasis in Drawn In and without having each other, I don't think either would have made it through.

​Barbara Elsborg's characters are always​ just so​ well drawn, and there are no exceptions here. Both Gethin and Kell just felt so real to me. Both of them were stuck in situations that were killing them slowly. Guilt, paired with the desire to make the world a better place, drove ​their actions.

​And there are a lot of story threads in Drawn In that, while I didn't see it at first, were all tied together in a very believable way. Be patient, though, because their commonality isn't readily seen, at first. I loved that nothing got left out, in the end. Everything tied up, but never felt trite.​​

​I would definitely recommend Drawn In with caution, because there isn't a lot of light in this story and there are things that might trigger some readers, such as
. Our guys do get their happy ending, though.


ARC of Drawn In was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

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Happy reading (and don't forget your teddy bear)!

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