Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Free Hand (Irons and Works, #1)” as Want to Read:
Free Hand (Irons and Works, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Free Hand

(Irons and Works #1)

by
4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,656 ratings  ·  193 reviews
Derek Osbourne’s life is mostly quiet. A routine that keeps him functioning, a job as a tattoo artist that keeps his rent paid and food in his belly, and if he’s alone through it well, there are worse things to be. With his complicated past, Derek is sure no one would ever want to deal with the struggle that comes along with loving someone who has severe PTSD. Especially ...more
Kindle Edition
Published September 18th 2019 (first published March 31st 2019)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Free Hand, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Free Hand

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,656 ratings  ·  193 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Free Hand (Irons and Works, #1)
Chris
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq
I really enjoyed this book. Two men struggling with mainstream - one is deaf and has lost trust in the “hearing” world while the other suffers PTSD after abuse and neglect as a child. The bond is instant, but it’s not instalove ! A slow friendship develops as trust is given. I adored the family / friends and look forward to their stories.
Fabi
I enjoy reading stories about characters who overcome odds and obstacles to find their HEA. In this book almost every character has a mental or physical disability. Overall they're portrayed as happy and living life to the fullest. It seems that each book in the series will highlight a particular character's individual struggle.

Book 1 focuses on a young man sufferering from PTSD from childhood abuse and his love interest who is Deaf. I enjoyed watching their spark develop into cautious
...more
Susan
2.5 stars

I had hoped this would be an amazing story with lots of hurt/comfort, but two things really bothered me. One was that I felt as if the author put too much emphasize on Basil being deaf. I totally get that it’s quite difficult to communicate with people if you can’t read lips and can only sign. And I thought that part was very well done actually. Not all deaf or HOH people like to read lips and talk out loud, or find it difficult like Basil did. But I did feel as if the story
...more
~Volha~
This book is about two men who, while struggling with the acceptance from outside world, slowly find love and built a powerful bond of trust. Men and women of Iron and Works don't judge, they accept people for who they are. They care and protect those they consider family.

Derek is a man with painful past. His many issues don't allow him to enjoy many things but he keeps trying to live his life the best he can. But unexpected storm puts him in the path of a man who will see more than just
...more
Kaila
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, mental-illness, m-m
2.5/5 stars

I haven’t been having the best luck with romance books this year, and this just added to that. There was nothing blatantly wrong with it. I just didn’t really buy into the romance, which just ruins a romance book for me. I really don’t have much to say about it, I just didn’t feel like I got to know or care about the characters enough. I did appreciate the representation of mental illness, hard of hearing characters and physically disabled characters, but it wasn’t enough to save the
...more
Ula'ndi Hart
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ula'ndi by: KitKat
Overall book rating: 4
Audio Book: N/A
Book Cover: 3.5


This is a super “lazy” review as I’m just back from holiday and I have loads of work to catch up on. Please forgive me.

I really liked the idea of these books. Of all the guys here having to deal with one or another “disability” in their own way.

I would have liked Derick's PTSD to have a little more of a prominent role in the story maybe? But I could still enjoy the book with all the little things given to us about both Derick and Basil.

Now
...more
Bo
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.
~nikki the recovering book addict
4 silent stars!

Honestly, EM Lindsey is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. I love it when the MCs are flawed. But I love it even more when the MCs are flawed and have the world stacked against them. Not that I’m a sadist or anything but I find that I learn so much about people who aren’t like me and come to realise, there really isn’t a “normal” way to be. And more than anything, I appreciate the strength I witness in these characters. In that, it takes more strength to be vulnerable and
...more
AussieMum
DNF 56%
This was too slow for me. The MC are still dating other people and are only just tentative friends. It doesn’t help that the author has started “summing up” the time they’re spending together offpage and then telling us how important it is in establishing their connection, not showing. PET PEEVE RIGHT THERE
Add in the info dumps about all the secondary characters that likely have books written about them I’ve never read, or are plot bunnies for further ones in this series...and you get a
...more
Alexander
Apr 02, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF.
*No flow to the style
*Information dump every other paragraph, which simply makes you lose your patience
*Same insta attraction in the first five pages
*The characters lack personality and apparently their disabilities / issues are all there is to them (especially in the first half, 'cuz it's totally going in the DNF pile).
*Overall, this book is trying to hard
Tamara
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
The book was cute. The romance was sweet (a little too sweet for my taste). The best part of the book was everything else, the extended family, the Deaf Community, and etc.
Heather Martin
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I’ve listened to (or read) from this author and I really enjoyed it! I’m impatient so I’ll have to read the rest of the series.
Nat ReadingAllNite
4.5 Stars

This author has become one I look for to find quality writing and some gentle education on what it takes to live and love with various disabilities. Derek and Basil share a moment of support but end up going their separate ways. After that, their individual attempts at dating after bad experiences in the past was eye-opening. Both have less than satisfactory experiences showing how people can be unwittingly judgmental or sometimes deliberately cruel. It’s not heavy handed, just part and
...more
Coco.V
Apr 05, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
FREE on Amazon today (4/5/2019)!

Blurb:
Derek Osbourne’s life is mostly quiet. A routine that keeps him functioning, a job as a tattoo artist that keeps his rent paid and food in his belly, and if he’s alone through it well, there are worse things to be. With his complicated past, Derek is sure no one would ever want to deal with the struggle that comes along with loving someone who has severe PTSD. Especially since the man who spent years abusing him is now in hospice, and Derek has taken over
...more
Kyuteepie
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-4.5 stars
John Altman
Free Hand!

Rating Review Rollout:
(1) Attention Keeper: 2
(2) Digging deep in Character Development: 3
(3) Danger-Drama-Friction-Suspense Fulfillment?: 2
(4) Edit to Perfection!: 3
(5) Feeling the Words: 2
(6) Give me more please factor: 3
(7) Going with the Flow of the Story: 3
(8) Grammar Police: 3
(9) It's all about the Chemistry, baby: 2
(10) Laugh out loud funny: N/A
(11) Love connection: 3
(12) Plot Worthy: 2
(13) Show me Entertainment: 3
(14) Super-Duper-Natural feels: N/A
(15) The Writing
...more
Elin
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb and the cover of this book pulled me in immediately, peaking my interest with the promise of angst.

We meet Derek after he's started mending from his fathers abuse, he goes to therapy, have made a family with the people he works with. And he have routines in his days to handle his PTSD.
Basil is much like a wounded fox after having been treated badly by an earlier relationship, leaving him unable to trust most people that isn't part of his own community.

With both their anxieties this
...more
Lori
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in a row that I have read that dealt with PTSD even though the trauma was very different in both. I was as impressed with this one as I was with the last one in how it was dealt with. No one was cured by a magic dick and they still struggled at the end of the book. One of the MCs was also deaf and I have zero knowledge or experience with the deaf community but it seemed to be treated with the respect that it deserved.

The love story was sweet and didn't have a whole lot of
...more
Teri
This was really cute. Loved the slow burn, watching them try to move on in whatever way (usually to make their friends/family feel better) but all the while they were thinking of each other and wishing. Loved the moments of tattooing. Sweetness and awesome friends/secondary characters...looking forward to their books as well.
♥️Victoria ♥️ ♥️love books♥️
Really enjoyed this book.
Kirk
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aww man did I love this book. It got to the point where I was reading just a few pages and (reluctantly) putting it down because I didn't want it to end. Basil and Derek were such interesting men, both with a load of baggage and scared to trust but the attraction and respect building between them was hard to ignore. I learned quite a bit about the deaf community and some of the obstacles they face from 'hearies' and that's being aurally impaired isn't does not mean that you're lacking in any ...more
Chris MacDonald-Dennis
Could not finish and that makes me mad. I wanted to like this book so much. I appreciated the research the author did about the Deaf community and the dynamics within it. But there was so much there that Derek's PTSD really got short shrifted. The romance was meh and sex...what sex? I kept waiting and waiting...and waiting until IT happened. That was all there was?

I may give the next book a chance because I like where the author is going. But will they ever get there?
Jaime
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf, mental-illness
I DNF at 48%

I really enjoy slow burns, but this book was TOO slow. At 48% the characters have barely interacted with each other and the interactions they did have were so awkward it made me cringe. It made me wonder where their natural chemistry is and how that's going to ever be believable.

Basil, simply put, is an asshole with a chip on his shoulder, in my opinion. I completely understand being frustrated with the hearing community because of their lack of knowledge and understanding in
...more
Kelsie
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: like-not-love
Cute, but a large majority of the book the MCs barely even talked, and that’s kind of a no go for me. It’s hard to invest in them too much just because they’re pining.

I did really enjoy learning more about the Deaf community and ASL though. I’ve read a few books featuring deaf or HOH characters in the past, but it’s definitely underrepresented.

In fact, it seems like all the MCs in this series will have some kind of “disability” (for lack of a better word) and I’m excited for that
...more
Sali
Love it.
Felt true, genuine. It's refreshing to read a story that don't feel forced, don't feel it's written that way because romance book.
Both character are excellent in their representation and characterisation.
It's beautiful to read.
Vfields Don't touch my happy!
I read a lot of stories with deaf characters and this is the first time a character, thinks like the deaf folks I know. Interesting. Overall I liked Basil and his sister.
Derek and his brother Sage had good reasons to have the problems they had. Both were interesting enough.
The self-made family gave this and future installments in this series a firm foundation.
My one big complaint was how dark and gloomy everything felt. Sam’s daughter Maisy was the only bright, fun, uplifting character in the
...more
Claudia
I'm absolutely, totally, completely head over hills in love by Derek and Basil
I love how the huge, scary looking tattooed guy is the one traumatized, fragile and in need of understanding...
Basil snd Derek are such wonderful mcs!!! I didn't want this book to end!
now i'm dying to read Sam story!!!
...more
MT
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow

This book was really, really impressive. I am going to fail to adequately explain this but... Somehow, the author manages to make the reader experience the silent communication of ASL. There are verbally spoken parts of the book... But something about how the author describes the deaf characters and their interactions, makes the reader believe they are also experiencing those things. I felt as though my ears “turned off” when reading those portions, even though it was written, so not
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Always Mine (Love in Eden #1)
  • Rocket Science
  • Firm Hand (Perfect Hands, #1)
  • Endless Stretch of Blue
  • Forgotten: Luca (The Four, #1)
  • Whiskey Throttle (Fever Falls, #3)
  • The Hate You Drink
  • Unspoken Vow (Steele Brothers, #2)
  • King Me (Forever Wilde, #7)
  • Tallowwood
  • The Last Text
  • Thirst for You (Beyond the Cove, #2)
  • Gideon (Finding Home, #3)
  • Best Man (Close Proximity #1)
  • The Hitman's Guide to Making Friends and Finding Love (The Hitman's Guide, #1)
  • Wilde Love (Forever Wilde #6)
  • Heart Strain (Interlocking Fragments #1)
  • Vengeful Lover (Exit Strategy #2)
See similar books…
259 followers
E.M. Lindsey is currently living in the United States. In the very little free time she has, she reads, has Netflix binges, and writes-- in that order. E.M. Lindsey's works can be found exclusively published on amazon.

Other books in the series

Irons and Works (6 books)
  • Blank Canvas (Irons and Works, #2)
  • American Traditional (Irons and Works, #3)
  • Bio-Mechanical (Irons and Works, #4)
  • Stick and Poke (Irons and Works, #5)
  • Scarification (Irons and Works #6)
“that people who are abused aren’t obligated to forgive their abusers, and that it’s not true that the only way to live a healthy life is if you can bring yourself to do that.” 3 likes
More quotes…