Review: A Shot of J&B by Lou Sylvre

Six years ago, Brian Harrison helped save the life of Jackie Vasquez, and he’s never really forgotten him. After the rescue, Brian ended his employment with Jackie's uncle Luki and left the US for England, aiming to distance himself from the confused feelings—not lust, but not brotherly—that then sixteen-year-old Jackie engendered. Now Jackie has become a man, and when they meet again by chance, lust with a dose of D/s rope kink is definitely on the list of possibilities. As they get to know each other, though, lust shows every sign of growing into love, deep and true.

When Jackie moves to London for graduate studies in criminal psychology, he and Brian hope they’ll be able to enjoy each other's frequent company. But they haven't factored in the claim Brian's police job with Scotland Yard will make on his time, especially when the “Gaslighter crimes” sap investigative resources. An abandoned aide dog named Soldier leads to a breakthrough clue, and a chain of discoveries fall like dominoes. As Brian rushes to beat the criminal’s game before it escalates to true terror, he comes to an undeniable conclusion: Jackie Vasquez, the man he loves, is in mortal danger.

The framework of this story is good; it's the fleshing out bits that I took issue with. I chose this book for obvious reasons and those reasons played only a bit part which, I admit, was disappointing, though not my primary quibble. The redundancy and spoon feeding of minutiae is what sapped my enjoyment. I will say if I'd read this book as little as two years ago I likely would've had a very different reaction, so bear that in mind.

A Shot of J&B can be read as a stand alone, though it seemed to be a spin-off of an earlier series involving Luki Vasquez. Brian is living in London and working his way up the ranks of Scotland Yard. Jackie and he met when Jackie was still jailbait. Brian was involved in rescuing him from a sociopath and they both left lasting impressions on one another. They meet up again and carry on a brief long distance relationship prior to Jackie being accepted to a graduate program in London. The secondary thriller storyline involves two women teaming up to study the effects of fear on the human psyche through a series of malevolent "experiments". Both of these women are whackadoodles and it's clear early on who they are and what the end game is which when coupled with the too tidy ending left me wanting.

The good elements to this book are a long haired ginger MC, shibari, MANTIES, thriller aspects, sort of part of a series-all things I like. It came down to the writing style, a writing style I found mostly frustrating and had me skimming frequently. 

He followed his own instructions, took some deep breaths, got himself a glass of water and drank it down, stretched, then sat down with the letter and a pocket knife. He cut the envelope neatly on one end and extracted the paper inside.

There's telling and there's showing and then there's overkill, overkill that usually involved sentences that stretched into paragraphs akin to the above topped off with stilted dialogue.

I will say the sex was medium hot. I could've done with less labeling of power dynamics and I'm not a fan of the sub being cast as perpetually in need of rescue and meek despite protestations to the contrary, but there is no doubt they are hot for each other. Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to sustain my interest in the long run. 

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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1 comment:

  1. Lou Sylvre is so hit and miss read for me, this one looks like a miss - sorry.