The story starts with Minneapolis police detective Mac put on a serial killer case. Mac, a big brawny guy of few words, might seem to be your typical tough cop – but he’s gay and deeply in the closet. This is causing increasing friction between him and his secret boyfriend Tony, a sensitive and handsome young schoolteacher whom he met while working a case in the previous book, Life Lessons.
Meanwhile, Mac and Tony each struggle to parent a small child. Mac’s daughter Anna from a previous marriage must live with his ultra-religious cousin while he works long hours. Tony is a surrogate dad for Ben whose biological father, now dead, was a close friend. Unfortunately, Ben’s mom is an irresponsible drunk who resents Tony. If Mac and Tony could put their kids and themselves under one roof, it would help. But first, Mac has to find the considerable courage necessary to come out on the job while chasing a serial killer whose crimes could put his family at risk.
Many of you readers already know about the acclaimed Life Lessons series (book 1 Life Lessons, book 2 Breaking Cover, plus two free seasonally themed short stories). For the rest of you, I’m pleased to recommend it as top pick. I read Breaking Cover first and I’m currently far enough into Life Lessons(which I’ve put on the reading list below) to know it is just as good.
Things I like include the length of both books (Life Lessons is 88,000 words and Breaking Cover is 103,000 words) combined with perfect pacing, which enables complex events such as Mac’s coming out and both men’s parenting to unfold with realism and three-dimensionality. The dialog rings true, especially what the kids say.
The solid mystery plot kept me guessing what would happen next. And, while I found Tony somewhat unforgiving toward Mac through the middle part of the book, I liked both men and wanted them to find happiness together. The blend of police procedural details (about 40 percent) and relationship details (about 60 percent) is a nice balance. Don’t miss this absorbing and romantic series.