Title: Feat of Clay (Men of London #4)
Author Name: Susan Mac Nicol
Publication Date & Length: August 25, 2015
Imprisoned and tortured, undercover cop Tate Williams will find redemption in the arms of his boyhood friend, now lover, former SAS soldier Clay Mortimer.
TORN. TORTURED. LOVED.
Though they went their separate ways, Tate Williams and Clay Mortimer have been crazy about each other since their school days. Clay went into the SAS. Tate became a cop. Neither mentioned their attraction to the other. Both sought out danger. Both found it.
Imprisoned and shot in an undercover assignment gone wrong, Tate somehow survived…and found his way back into Clay’s arms. His old friend is now the owner of an elite investigation agency and everything any man could want: patient, handsome, commanding. And Clay knows what it takes to survive. But Tate can’t bring himself to share all his secrets, nightmares that force him to rebel against everything. He finds solace from his past as a graffiti artist, a childhood passion, but his demons drive away all who might care for him. Only when he faces that past—and learns that everyone has tasted despair—can the two men truly be brothers-in-arms…and more.
This book is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone. I love this series and I loved this book. Clay owns his own PI business, Tate was an undercover cop until his last assignment almost killed him. These two men were friends and then after Tates ordeal they became more. Tate was tortured and left for dead on the side of the road, he still has flashbacks and nightmares. Clay wants nothing more than to have a life with Tate. Their love story is hot and fierce, the sex is amazingly hot and you can feel the love and passion. These two have their ups and downs and I found myself crying because I felt their emotions and pain. When Clay finds out that Tate didn’t tell him everything the crap hits the fan. These two have so much to work on and so much to get through at times you don’t think their going to make it. This was a great story and I enjoyed it when we got to briefly see the characters from previous books in the series.
There have been a number of military/paramilitary m/m series released recently. The attraction is obvious. Two highly trained alpha men in great shape with dark pasts? Perfect. But while this story contains most of the elements I love in an action-packed m/m, it just didn’t grip me as similar stories have.
I did love Tate. Rebuilding his life after being tortured in the line of duty, he is a beautiful, troubled character. His relationship with Jax and the Castaways children is very sweet. I wanted to love Clay, but I don’t feel I ever get to really know him. His paramilitary group is never really explained to readers. I wanted to know about his team and his cases but MacNichol only ever gives us snippets of Clay’s life.
Both Clay and Tate lacked the personality quirks that made me fall in love with Abigail Roux’s Ty and Zane, AE Via’s God and Day or Xavier Mayne’s Brandt and Donnelly. Their interactions as a couple are sexy, but lack the warmth, personality and humour I need to really believe in a relationship.
Deeply earnest couples’ therapy isn’t terribly sexy and neither are Tate’s tantrums. Clay’s role as the old man in the relationship was slightly odd. He’s a 36 year-old field agent in his prime. And for someone who had a career as an undercover detective, Tate reads as much younger than he could possibly be.
This book pushes the boundary between erotica and romance because most of the relationship building happens in the bedroom. The sex is pretty vanilla, but it’s hot and frequent.
The action sequences didn’t work for me at all. At one point Tate and Clay are involved in a car chase because of one of Clay’s cases. Readers don’t know much about the case, don’t know who is chasing them or why. In the UK, where even cops on active duty don’t carry guns routinely, the men engage in a deadly shootout on a motorway and are allowed to go home without much questioning. Really?
Once again, Susan MacNichol sets her book in London but litters her writing with Americanisms. Little things began to irk me. A small British child would eat strawberry laces, not a string of liquorice!
Tate needed no further urging. He lifted himself up, trying to ignore the pain in his battered body, and stared down at the man who half sat, half lay beneath him. Clay’s face was twisted in lust and want, and his cock jutted proudly from the thatch of dark curls at his groin. Tate bit his lip and then lowered himself down onto the hot, slick and eager dick waiting for him.
Clay’s deep gasp of satisfaction made his hole throb, as did the burn of Clay in his arse. Tate spread his legs to take Clay deeper then began to slowly move above him, his hips undulating and his inner muscles tightening around Clay’s cock.
The feeling of power he got from watching his lover slowly lose it was like nothing else. That Tate could take such control of this man he loved, that he could watch his self-control unravel like a skein of wool—that was something for a man to be proud of.
As Tate rose and fell, his hands resting behind him on Clay’s strong thighs, Clay’s cock sliding in and out of him, he revelled in the primal urge to be impaled and fucked to destruction. He was flying so high, the bruised ribs and plastered-up shoulder were of no consequence.
Huh. Sexual endorphins make for great painkillers.