Then Delaurier breaks his pattern, leading Renaire into Russia to kill a reporter with no immoral background, and gives no explanation for his actions.
When Interpol contacts Renaire, he already has enough problems—keeping Delaurier alive, dealing with the shift in their relationship, and surviving the broken past that still haunts him. But when he learns what Interpol wants from him, Renaire must face the truth about Delaurier: that a noble man isn’t always a good one. He’s left with a choice no man should ever have to make—to follow his heart or his morals.
Listening Length: 9 hours and 29 minutes
Narrator: Will M. Watt
Renaire has spent the last two years following militant revolutionary Emile Delaurier on his quest for justice and equality. Occasionally, Renaire has helped Delaurier bring the corrupt to homicidal justice. Renaire doesn’t necessarily agree with all of Delaurier’s philosophies, but he’s captivated by the man. That is until Delaurier murders a Russian journalist who wasn’t corrupt.
When Delaurier reveals that he killed the journalist for him, Renaire doesn’t know what to do. Delaurier is finally reciprocating the feelings that Renaire has hidden for years. But Delaurier might not be as righteous and honourable as Renaire had thought he was. Things get even more complicated when Interpol gets involved, forcing Renaire to choose between the man he loves and doing the right thing.
I was a bit nervous going in, because this is my first audiobook by Will M. Watt. Fortunately, the narrator did a good job. Character voices were differentiated and the pacing wasn’t too slow. At times, especially during action scenes, the narrator’s cadence would get high-pitched, but even so the audiobook is pretty enjoyable.
I’ve got a soft spot for the slightly (or very) unhinged MCs. I don’t read many books with them, but chances are that I’m going to enjoy a book about globe-trotting assassins offing those they believe deserve it. Apparently I’m willing to turn a blind eye to terrorism, so long as it’s being performed by two French whackjob lovebirds.
The book is told from Renaire’s POV, so we get a front-row seat to the mental disassociation that allows him to love Delaurier without guilt. Renaire’s feelings for Delaurier are as much obsession as they are love. His story is told in bits here and there, so readers don’t find out what lead Renaire to be who he is until well into the book, which kept me captivated.
Delaurier is seen through Renaire’s eyes, which probably skews readers’ perception of him. He’s a man of principle, though those principles are violent. But I wouldn’t say Delaurier is amoral, as opposed to him thinking that the end justified the means, even if the means were murder and violence. I liked that the only thing that cracked through his armour and made him nervous was Renaire.
So yes, these two raise eyebrows. And so does their romance, which isn’t exactly of the sweet variety. Renaire and Delaurier constantly fight and argue, hurting each other and themselves in the process. They certainly aren’t poster-boys for a healthy and sane relationship, but they’re drawn to each other, and they’re confident in their crazy love.
What these two lack in sweetness, they definitely make up for in sexiness. Delaurier and Renaire were on fire once they dropped their pants, and were more than willing to make up for the two years of pining for each other.
The mystery/crime plot takes a while to get going, but it kept me entertained throughout the book. It wasn’t entirely believable, especially Interpol’s laid-back role, but I still found it engaging. It kept me guessing about the outcome, which could have gone a number of ways.
Overall, I really enjoyed ‘Gnomon’. It’s not a traditional MM romance, but Delaurier and Renaire clearly belong together, and are stronger together in all the crazy. Recommended if you’re looking a crime read, and don’t mind that the MCs have a host of psychological issues.
For more info on DSP Publications or Goodreads!