Title: A Dangerous Game
Author Name & Publisher: Rick R. Reed (Dreamspinner Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 3, 2016 – 200 Pages
Sex can be a dangerous business. So can love.
On the worst day of his life, Wren Gallagher wants oblivion when he steps into Tricks for a drink. When a mysterious stranger steps up to pay his tab, he offers Wren the key to fulfilling his dreams of prosperity and true love.
But appearances are not always what they seem.
His savior owns the escort agency À Louer, and he wants the young and handsome Wren as part of his stable of men-for-hire. Down on his luck, Wren figures, why not? He needs the money. When he joins, though, he doesn’t count on meeting Rufus, another escort with whom he falls hopelessly in love.
But their love story will have to overcome the obstacles of not only trading love for money, but À Louer’s dark—and deadly—secrets.
This is a book full of suspense from almost the very beginning.
The old saying if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is was quoted in this book and I have to say there is no more of a fitting phrase then this for this book. Wren soon finds that that saying is truly correct.
Wren in my opinion felt as if he had no options when he took the job as a male escort. But there was two things that came from that job…. One : Wren met Rufus and two : after the first gig (which as it turns out was with Rufus) this job was not for him so he quit. The thing is I think that Wren realized that even though they had just met, Rufus is the one that changed his life. After meeting him he realized that he wanted more out of life then quick riches. He also realized that he wanted Rufus.
Rufus by all accounts has not had an easy life. He is an addict and he trades his addiction to cocaine to an addiction of being an escort. I believe that even though he felt the connection with Wren from the start he pushed him away because he is not ready for having feelings for someone. He is barely holding himself together in my opinion and has not held himself accountable for the actions he took as an addict. He let someone do it for him and that is not the way to truly beat an addiction. I think that he knows this but he is scared he is not strong enough to do it on his own so he is scared to try. But he is not given much choice when his fellow escorts are being murdered and the one keeping him for doing drugs (Dave) is murder also. So now the question is what will Rufus do??????
This was a good read with suspense and love interests in a profession that normally does not lead to love. I enjoyed this read. And cannot wait to read more by Rick Reed.
At what point is an MC just too naive to be likeable? That was my question about Wren all the way through his story. For the first half of this story, Wren’s feigned innocence, learned helplessness and gullible stupidity had me hating the MC. I found him more likeable and less passive by the second half of the story, but I was never able to fully invest in this character.
David Chillingsworth and the whole murder mystery aspect of the story was more interesting to me than the romance, but I guessed Chillingsworth’s motives (even his methods) the moment he greeted Wren at the bar. The serial killer storyline was exciting, but I felt that by flipping perspectives, too much of the whodunit was revealed too early.
And finally, Rufus. I really didn’t like the love at first sight storyline, but I enjoyed the way his character, initially quite suspect, was revealed through his online diary. Again, it is difficult for me to believe in an MC that I don’t trust and don’t completely like. Ultimately, I found it difficult to fully engage with the romance in this story because I didn’t really like Wren and I neither liked nor trusted Rufus completely.
I enjoyed the murder mystery storyline more than the romance in this book. It is an engaging story – I just failed to warm to the central couple.
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). His novel, Raining Men, won the Rainbow Award for Best Contemporary General Fiction. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”