Tuesday, January 8, 2019

ARC Review: Rough Trade by Sidney Bell

Rough Trade (Woodbury Boys #3)Blurb:

Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

My rating:

When I first read Loose Cannon and met Ghost in its pages, I fell in love with that character and begged for Ghost to get his own book. In the 2nd book of this trilogy, we instead got Tobias' story, and there was very little of Ghost in that book. And then finally, book 3 arrived, and it was all about Ghost.

I went in knowing that I would likely find heartbreak within, that I would be on the edge of my seat more often than not, and that finding out Ghost's true backstory would be painful.

I wasn't wrong.

But I wasn't ready for the magic of Duncan Rook. I wasn't ready for the man who would finally give Ghost a safe haven, who would see the man behind the rentboy mask, who would take the time to tamper the fight or flight response that has kept Ghost alive for so long.

This book was everything I had hoped for, and then some. I'm not going to tell you the plot - you should read this so you can find out for yourself - but I will tell you that this book is perfect and exactly how it should be, and there's not a single thing I would change about it. It gets five shiny stars, because that's all I can give here, but I would give it more if I could.

What struck me most about this book is how little sex there's in it. Stay with me here, so I can explain... because you may have expected there to be a lot of hot and heavy stuff happening, seeing how this is Ghost, but I can tell you that the relationship between Duncan and Ghost isn't based on sex. Nor is there any kind of physical relationship for a long while. And that's how it had to be. There's a scene that made me cry my eyes out, because... no. You read this yourself. I was moved to tears more than once, because Duncan, while not perfect as a character (yeah, he has flaws too), was perfect for Ghost. He understood him. He watched him and his reactions so carefully, so closely, and then adjusted his actions accordingly. He learned who Ghost truly is, not the face he presents to most of the people in his life.

And Ghost, OMG. Ghost, despite his upbringing, despite the abuse he's suffered (oh how I cried), despite the life he's led so far, only relying on himself, knowing that he can't trust anyone... Ghost learns to trust Duncan. It's slow, so slow, but as time passes, and as Duncan passes test after test, Ghost learns to trust. And the person that emerges from behind the mile-high walls he's built around himself - gah. I can't even tell you what that did to me.

So, this book. Read it. You have to read the other two first, because this isn't a standalone, and the trilogy must be read in order. But read it, you must.

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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