Title: Losing Better
Author: Katey Hawthorne
Cover Artist: P.L. Nunn
Publisher: Loose Id
Buy Link: Amazon
Genre: Science Fiction & Space Opera, Fantasy & Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by jeayci
Review Summary: It took a while to warm up to the narrator, but once I decided I liked him, I ended up loving the story.
Blurb: Superpowered Special Agent Gabriel Genêt’s first solo mission: go to Hooperstown, North Carolina, find evidence that Andrew Wynne is operating as a vigilante, then bring him in. Ten years ago, Gabriel spent a summer alternately torturing and hooking up with Andrew as they tried to ignore their parents’ embarrassing affair. Of course Andrew, the big puppy dog, will be happy to see his old friend and never suspect a thing. Career-driven, cocky young Agent Genêt can hardly believe his luck.
A covert game of betrayals ensues. Things start out complicated, with Gabriel using Andrew’s open arms and attraction to him for all it’s worth. Gabriel tells himself he doesn’t reciprocate, and then that he can control it, but it’s too violent for either of them to deny. As he gets closer to the evidence he needs, a heady combination of nostalgia, genuine affection, and even understanding brings Andrew closer to him. Dangerously close, in every sense.
The stakes are much higher than just their livelihoods. Gabriel begins to fear it’ll come down to a choice between everything he’s ever believed in, wanted, and stood for–and the only love he’s ever known.
Review: It took a while for me to be sure if I liked Gabriel, and thus the story, but ultimately this turned out to be my favorite story in the series so far. Even when I was disliking Gabriel, I was still caught up in the story. Each time I had to set it down, I found myself thinking about it, eager to read more.
I liked Andrew all along, though a few things about his lifestyle and actions didn’t quite make sense to me. Still, for quite a while I was convinced he deserved someone better than Gabe. I wondered how this story could possibly work out in a way that would be satisfying as a romance. But, by the end, it was. The things I learned about the characters helped me to understand and appreciate them as a couple.
Gabriel clearly liked to think of himself as a rational, unemotional bad-ass. But, of course, how we like to think of ourselves doesn’t necessarily have much to do with how we really are. Some romance novels have me wishing that one or both characters were real (and straight, or at least bi) so I could have a HEA with them myself. This was not one of those stories; I wouldn’t want to be with either Gabriel or Andrew. But that’s okay, because by the end of the book I was delighted to see them together. I wouldn’t want to date either of them, but they worked for me as a couple.
It’s worth noting that there are a couple of M/M/M scenes, when Gabriel and Andrew have a third join them (including after they’re clearly an established couple). I found the sex hot, but I know that sort of thing may bother some people. I loved the guy they had their threesomes with, Kieran, and hope to see him get his own story soon.
The end is not necessarily HEA, but it’s a solid and humorous HFN. The title also makes sense by the end, and fits the story perfectly. Highly recommended.