Book Reviews

Night Watch (Burlington Inn 1) by AG Meiers at Painted Hearts Publishing

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Law Enforcement / Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 02-September-2021

Book Blurb

A romance at midnight, but happily ever after at dawn? Complicated…

Hunter Jones is stalling. One day, he’ll be a lawyer in his family’s prestigious firm, but just not yet. Instead he is working the nightshift at the Burlington Inn. It’s the perfect place to hide from everything that’s wrong with his life. Once—just once—he did something out of character and it has haunted him ever since. Romance is the last thing he needs. But then a tall, dark, and sexy stranger checks into the hotel...

Detective Cole Sawyer’s life is a complete clusterfuck of his own making. His lies have ruined his chances at a fresh start, and his anger and insomnia constantly get the better of him. Cole has no business getting involved with the honey-sweet night auditor. But with every late night encounter staying away gets more and more difficult.

When a dangerous stalker targets Hunter, Cole realizes just how far he’s willing to go to protect the man he never should’ve been with in the first place—and Hunter starts to wonder what it’ll take to rescue Cole from himself.


Book Review

This novel begins with a kick in the gut (or, maybe a little lower?) – Hunter Jones’s recollection of a traumatic attack he suffered in an alley behind a gay bar. It was a reckless moment on his part. His attacker’s concluding threat has been affecting Hunter’s life. Since then, Hunter has an eerie sense of being followed by this attacker, and the inability to share the trauma with no one but his best friend has exacerbated his psychological isolation.


Then Hunter meets Cole Sawyer, a transient guest of the Burlington Inn at which Hunter works part-time. Cole, too, is stressed. He is a deeply closeted cop and a loner, eschewing romantic relationships. “I never called another man sweetheart. Simply didn’t come up when f**king a random guy in the men’s room.” And Cole’s partner has just been seriously injured while they were on duty. All this has pushed Cole to a neurotic edge. But, as the ultimate professional with knowledge of the dangers posed by a stalker, he provides Hunter with solace, sympathy, and good advice.


Authors are fabricators, employing words and ideas as parts. AG Meiers has adeptly confected something delicious for any reader’s satisfaction: interesting characters (including the secondary ones) are introduced and delineated; a central mystery is presented, affecting them; and explicit sexual desire is added. Thus the plot is well spiced as it bakes.


This damaged pair meet: Hunter, a prep school simulacrum, who with dark framed glasses evokes the look of an owl; and Cole, ashen, unsaved, and with dark shadows under his bloodshot eyes. They are joined by fate (and by the author’s clever imagination). While each has an awareness of the other’s damage, their instant attraction is palpable. “My voice all of a sudden was a ragged whisper. Hunter closed the gap. His eyes fluttered shut and then his lips were on mine.” Here I would like to note that, beside f**king at the drop of a pair of drawers, so many gay heroes in light fiction are (…bring up the swell of a passionate soundtrack!) quite capable of romance. Then they usually drop their drawers! In ‘Night Watch’ the sex is prompt, passionate and, surprisingly, patiently replete with authorially splendid details.


Example: “But just to answer your question, if you don’t stop, I’ll f**k you right here on this table.” AG Meiers also manages to generate enough significant side conversations to enlighten us to the inner character of our principals. There are also truisms that resound, such as marking the inability of Hunter’s father to know what’s best for his son when Hunter never speaks up.


For those familiar with the wide olio of reviews by Bob-O-Link, my pseudo erudition will not be surprising. Here is further proof. “Denouement” is a writer’s device where, usually toward the final part of a written or visual narrative, the plot’s open threads are stitched together and everything is explained or rationalized. Think of it as a sort of Einstein’s Unified Theory for the Literati. But, of course, some intellectuals are never quite satisfied, and may go further. As an example, fans of classic music may note that the final movement of Brahms’s cello concerto seems to reach a perfect, strong, resolving conclusion – and yet, then goes on to attain an even better, more emotionally satisfying subsequent finale. Bless AG Meiers. Rather than weave all the loose threads to a mishmash of resolution, this author manages to provide two sequentially appropriate resolutions to the open issues of ‘Night Watch’. And it works quite nicely, much as would multiple orgasms. Who could possibly be disappointed? But, in contra point, something as a gay man I never thought I’d say, “Perhaps it’s a little too long.”


Alert: HEA – as Cole comes out and Hunter grows balls (or for the medical among you, perhaps they just finally descend!), one ultimate thread hangs unconnected – an open issue with Hunter’s BBF, Skyler. Should I gleefully anticipate another entertaining Burlington Inn issue from AG Meiers to deal with him?




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 via Other Worlds Ink for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel
Heat Level
Publication Date 02-September-2021
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link