Book Reviews

Burden (Love, Unexpected 2) by K.C. Wells at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Officers of the Law / Rent Boys/Escorts/Porn Stars / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 23-April-2019

Book Blurb

A hooker with a heart, falling for a Vice cop? This is no Hollywood movie, and if they want a happily ever after, it's not going to be easy.

 

Detective Randy Michaels is back with Vice, working to help NYC crack down on its prostitution problem. When he suspects Jesse Bryant of soliciting, Randy is torn between duty and his knowledge of what put Jesse on the streets. Jesse is clearly struggling, and he isn’t the only one. Recent events have forced Randy to question his sexuality, and a shocking encounter with Jesse plunges him into a crisis of conscience.

 

Jesse didn’t think his life could get any worse. His family cut all support, his education is on hold, and he’s surviving the only way he knows—selling himself on the streets. Of all the people who could have offered him a helping hand, why did it have to be Randy?

 

Two men carrying their own personal burdens: How long will it take them to realize that what they really need is each other?

 

Book Review

“There was a time when he’d loved this, but that was when he’d worked at the Black Lounge a couple of nights a week, more during vacation time, to have a bit more money in his pocket. It was an enjoyable way to make a buck. But times had changed. This was different. This was tougher. This was survival.” ~ Jesse

An undercover vice cop and a hooker sounds like a feel-good rom-com but this is no ‘Pretty Woman’ as Jesse often says. ‘Burden’ is the tough streets of New York City when your parents have cut off all of your funding, kicked you out of their lives, and you’re couch surfing with friends while hooking with escort services to try to just exist. ‘Burden’ is a cop who thought he always knew himself but eighteen months undercover in a brothel has not only made him doubt himself, but also how he looks at sex workers in general, knowing most of them have no choice and they have to do it in order to survive.

I have no concept of ever truly having to struggle to survive. I grew up in a wonderful family, always knowing I was loved, and when I screwed up, I knew it, took responsibility for it, and then it was done. As soon as Jesse’s parents found out he’d worked at the Black Lounge as a sex worker they were done with him as their son. There went the money for him to finish his master’s and to live on, leaving him with no choice except to do the one job he knows he can make enough money at to survive. Unfortunately, his growing friendship with Randy, the undercover cop who was at the Black Lounge, isn’t helping him feel any better about his decisions.

“Am I… evolving? He wasn’t sure. When it came to the crux, Randy thought it was less a matter of changing from one state into another, and more a case of acknowledging what he’d known for a while. All he had to do now was accept it.” ~ Randy

Randy has always loved his job as a vice cop but recently the way he views it has become conflicted. Before he went undercover at the Black Lounge, he thought he had a pretty good handle on sex workers – they were breaking the law and deserved to go to jail for it. Eighteen months is a long time, however, to get to know these men and learn their histories and why they do this for a living. Throw in Randy’s doubts about his own sexuality, at least in regards to one man, and Randy’s world is going through quite an upheaval.

Much like ‘Debt’, the first book in this series, ‘Burden’ is an unashamedly sweet, gentle, loving romance that holds nothing back. It’s a wee bit spicier than Mitch and Nikko’s story with Randy and Jesse exploring the limits of their relationship. Once again, I was very pleased to see the author not taking the easy way out nor the predictable one. Randy and Jesse had serious issues to confront and resolve before they could get to their happy ever after.

“Nothing’s perfect in this life, but you know what? We’ve got each other. I’ll help you carry your burdens because you’re there to carry mine.” ~ Jesse

‘Burden’ is an incredible follow-up to ‘Debt’. I loved seeing more of Mitch and Nikko but getting to know Randy and Jesse was truly wonderful. Their love story is a balm to any romantic’s soul and I’m so glad to have met them. I can’t wait to see what the author brings next in this world!

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 194 pages/63666 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-April-2019
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/burden-by-kc-wells-10399-b