By Degrees: Book One
New York City FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy lives for his immediate family and his job. After a marriage gone wrong, he sticks to a firm rule when it comes to relationships: he doesn’t have them. Sexually active and emotionally unavailable keeps him satisfied, especially now that he is in hot pursuit of a serial killer targeting gay men.
Former firefighter Machlan O’Bannon now manages a successful sports bar in Houston, and after years of waiting, he’s ready to stand up and be the man he always wanted to be: out, proud, and drama-free. His politically aligned family wants to keep him locked in the closet, but Mac just wants to meet the man of his dreams.
One man is as high-strung as the other is laid-back. A chance meeting brings them together, and one night of passion ignites a fire neither can fight. Their lives are not only miles apart, but as different as day and night. They don’t want to get involved, but they might not be able to keep apart.
Six Degrees of Lust by Taylor V. Donovan is a contemporary romantic suspense. Samuel Shaughnessy is a commitment-phobic FBI team leader who is hunting a serial killer. His search brings him to Houston, where he meets bar owner Machlan O’Bannon. The sparks – both good and bad – between Sam and Mac are intense, if slow to develop.
Donovan weaves an exciting story. The mystery/suspense portion of this story was top notch. The action seemed realistic (as far as I could tell from a non-law enforcement perspective). The romance was a little more difficult for me to buy into, however. Yes, the chemistry was hot, but it was difficult for me to totally root for them because of Sam’s “hard edges” from previous traumas. To be fair to the author, the blurb makes this pretty clear. I also wasn’t a fan of the cliffhanger ending, as I felt it left too much open.
All that being said, Six Degrees of Lust is a well-written, engaging story that just wasn’t for me. I’m sure many other readers will feel differently.