J'aime's Reviews > The Assignment

The Assignment by Evangeline Anderson
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Aug 03, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: m-m, romance, suspense-thriller
Read in September, 2008

Detectives Sean O’Brian and Nick Valenti have been partners for years. Affectionately dubbed “the Mick and the Spick” by their forward-thinking fellow officers, they are often teased for their close relationship. Just how close they are will be put to the test by a new assignment – undercover in a gay resort to catch a drug dealer. The only problem is that Valenti has been hiding a new desire for his friend, but he’s sure O’Brian is straight. Isn’t he?

This is a gay romance so it’s no surprise that these two become a couple. And their assignment doesn’t have much mystery either, though it is pivotal to the romance. What this novel does have is a fabulous dance between the two men. O’Brian really throws himself into the role of “boy toy” and Valenti convinces himself that Sean’s just a good actor. Since the story is told from Valenti’s point of view, the reader only sees Sean’s actions through his partner’s eyes. The men constantly misunderstand each other’s intentions and the pent up sexual frustration becomes palpable. Yum! What made the situation especially page turning is that it’s realistic. Generally, men do not communicate their feelings (about much of anything, let alone this) to each other the way women do (gay, straight, doesn’t matter). The author builds the tension so well that when it finally breaks, the scene is explosive. The dance and the assignment reach their peak at the same time. And the explicit sex is very satisfying. The resolution to the case was predictable, but not in a bad way. They’re after a drug dealer; in most mysteries the cops get their bad guy. Same here, readers just know who he is from the get go. The assignment is important in how it forces the guys to make their pretense believable, and engage in kissing and groping that both of them want to be real. What fun!

The book also includes a bonus short story that takes place a year later. Insecurity doesn’t simply go away after the men admit their feelings. Communication is still necessary, and still difficult, for our couple. Valenti is under mandatory desk duty after a justified shooting. And O’Brian is assigned a temporary partner. A young, good-looking temporary partner. When Sean handcuffs Nick to their bed to learn what’s eating him…no I won’t go there. That pun is way too easy, but you get the idea.

Overall this was an excellent, if somewhat short, romance. Though the characters aren’t given much background, they come alive with the promise of more “assignments” for these two detectives. Families are hinted at, and could easily take center stage in another book. I can’t wait to read more. And I love the sexy cover art!
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