Book Reviews

A Chosen Man (The Men of Halfway House 6) by Jaime Reese at Romandeavor

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Officers of the Law / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 08-October-2018

Book Blurb

For Wall McCormack, actions speak louder than words. He’s giving and protective, loyal to his friends, and devoted to his job. While confident and powerful enough to conquer any challenge, his greatest strength lies in his calm nature. Until an unexpected assignment sends his world into a loud and colorful chaos he never could have anticipated.

Rejection. It’s something Dylan Vaughn has known his entire life. But he’s a tough nut to crack and refuses to break. Armed with a sharp tongue and brutal honesty, he pushes through life and at anyone who attempts to take him on. Except for the quiet guardian who piques his interest and dares him to want…more.

When Dylan’s past comes back with a vengeance and jeopardizes their growing connection, Wall will stop at nothing to protect the younger man and remain by his side. But convincing Dylan that someone accepts the real man behind the cocky facade might prove to be Wall’s greatest challenge yet.

With his freedom on the line, Dylan must trust the strength of their bond and confront the forces threatening their future. Only then will he realize the dream of acceptance is real and finally have a place to call home.

Book Review

The consistently high quality of stories In this series – from the complex characters who face painful growth to an intriguing plot – keeps me coming back despite their emotionally draining nature. Or, to be more specific, because I know that the payoff at the end will be worth all the suffering the author "inflicts" on me throughout. ‘A Chosen Man’ was especially intriguing because it is the story of Wall, the enigmatically stoic teammate of one of the previous book’s main characters, Detective extraordinaire Aiden. Pairing him with Dylan, a sassy, computer-hacking brat who is thirteen years younger and has recently been released on parole was bound to lead to problems – I just had no idea how many when I started reading this tale. It’s compelling, suspenseful, and left me emotionally exhausted.

Wall is a man of action, a member of Aiden’s special taskforce, and the only thing he produces reliably when in a human interaction is profound silence. He has literal walls of emotional protection built around him that hide his feelings even from himself, and I doubted anyone would be able to break through them. Wall has experienced so much disappointment, betrayal, and deceit on a personal level that the only thing that can pull him out of his self-imposed isolation is brutal honesty. Anything less makes it impossible for him to ever trust someone with his heart. And boy, is Dylan the right guy to get Wall to open up!

Dylan’s parents dropped him off right after he was born with a note saying that he was a mistake, he was shunted from one foster home to the next until the people in charge would no longer even try to find foster parents for him, and the one man he tried to trust because he was desperate for a relationship betrayed him to the point where Dylan ended up in prison. Now he is out on parole, forbidden to use a computer, and convinced he won’t last more than a day because nobody likes him. He is extremely intelligent, has a photographic memory, and some of his coping behaviors make people feel uncomfortable. Dylan has been rejected so deeply and so often that he can only hope for a miracle to give him the acceptance he craves – but even when it happens with Wall, he has a very hard time believing it is the truth.

Rarely have I seen two men fight the attraction they feel for each other as hard as Wall and Dylan. It’s completely understandable with their respective backgrounds of previous disappointments in the relationship area that range from disastrous to catastrophic. Both men hide – Dylan behind being a brat, Wall by being silent, and both men are in pain that they are not willing to show to anyone. They only very gradually open up, and the small steps were very realistic. Dylan and Wall are capable of suppressing their physical desire (to a point) because they both know that giving in to what they want and need with the wrong man will crush them. I was on the edge of my seat while they tried to figure out what was okay and how far to go mentally and emotionally. The physical side of their relationship is late to bloom, but that made perfect sense. And once it does? Hold on to your hats!

Most of this book focuses on Dylan and Wall getting to know each other, figuring out who is after Dylan and why, and planning how to make sure he is safe. Once they have a plan, the action explodes onto the pages and some very suspenseful chapters follow as Dylan fights to do the right thing and bring the villain to justice. The resulting character growth for both men is phenomenal. The strength of the love Dylan and Wall feel for each other impressed me, and I adored seeing them get what they had both longed for. The supporting characters play an important role as well – especially Wall’s mother who is a total hoot. Aiden, Matt, and Julian are back as well and I was happy to see they are doing well.

If you prefer your characters deeply flawed and full of internal issues, if you like seeing broken men fighting for happiness, and if you’re looking for a compelling, intensely touching read that is as much a fascinating character study as it is a love story, then you will probably love this novel as much as I do. It is truly impressive and I highly recommend it!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 470 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-September-2018
Price $4.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback
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