Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage - J.T. Cheyanne Review originally posted at Sinfully.

3.5 stars

J.T. Cheyanne is a new author to me and I had an awful lot of fun with this book even when it was making me crazy (I was actually yelling at my Kindle at one point). It has a little bit of everything, hurt/comfort, damaged alphas, a deranged killer, a small town golden boy about to come out and some unexpected twists. There are some dark elements to the story, but it is not a dark depressing tale. There are some fun scenes and plenty of sexy times as well to keep things moving along.

The story grabbed me from its chilling start with the killer’s point of view as he is about to perpetrate a gruesome murder. The story then moves forward and we meet Logan, fresh out of his career as Special Forces in the army, returning home to the small town in Mississippi where he grew up. He’s moved back to his family farm to care for his mother who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. Logan was never out in the town, but is at the point where he’s ready. On a night out he sees Trevor and a quick hook-up leads to him wanting more.

Trevor is a former undercover Miami police officer who has been working for the past six months in the town Sheriff’s department. It is obvious that he has been through a big trauma relating to the job and the ex he left behind 18 months prior. Logan is up-front with his attraction to Trevor, who fears coming out will cost him his job, but that’s the least of his concerns. The betrayal by his last lover has left deep wounds. Trevor is suffering from PTSD with panic attacks, and is unable to tolerate the slightest touch. He is shocked when Logan’s touch actually calms him.

As the two embark on a rocky relationship, with Trevor pushing Logan away even as he is eager to continue seeing him, it appears that Logan may be somehow involved with the murder Trevor is investigating.

While the set up left me with no doubt as to who the killer was, the story definitely had some unexpected twists and turns, some that worked for me and some that didn’t. The parts that had me yelling at my Kindle all really revolved around Trevor’s shoddy police work and a particularly sketchy arrest he makes. It’s not that the writing was unrealistic, even the characters point out that what’s happening isn’t exactly okay. Logan’s character is definitely more forgiving than me and I really disliked Trevor for a portion of this story.

Aside from murder and mayhem, these two damaged alphas do find time for romance and showing their softer sides. Both have past loves and relationships that went very wrong and have left them scarred and initially skeptical of getting too involved. There are flashback chapters that reveal what caused Logan’s damage 16 years prior. Trevor’s problems occurred more recently and take a while to reveal. What he suffered was horrific and Logan is determined to protect this man that he is surprised to be quickly falling for.

The writing style flowed nicely and it moved the story along. I sometimes found myself reading at a breakneck pace to find out what was about to happen. Logan and Trevor were very good together and gave off enough heat, but the relationship did move a bit fast for me, all things considered. I wouldn’t generally mention it, but there were some issues with name confusion in this book that should have been picked up. The reason I point it out here is that it did take me out of the flow of the story on a few occasions, especially at one point near the end of the book where something was thrown at me and I had to wonder if it was another case of name confusion or an unexpected twist.

Regardless of the minor issues I had, I would recommend this story. I liked the fact that I wasn’t sure what was going to happen from one moment to the other. Although not every twist worked for me, the author took chances that did work more often than not. If you’re looking for a mystery with a tight police procedural element, this might not work for you. I would say pick it up if you want an entertaining read with two alphas battling it out one moment while getting hot and heavy the next and with a plot that has a whole hell of a lot going on that will bring out a whole range of emotions.