Book Reviews

Pins and Needles by A.J. Thomas

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 16-June-2021

Book Blurb

The truth is rarely seen on the surface, and getting to it might mean digging deep….

After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most lawyers take one look at his tattoo-covered foster father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.

As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove—to his father, the world, and himself. Sean intrigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report—including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to protect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, becomes a lot more dangerous.



First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, August 2017.


Book Review

From the start, when reading the blurb, I found the plot of this novel intriguing. Basically, a trial lawyer who’s been ignored and treated unfairly in his father’s firm decides to go to bat for a petroleum engineer who lost a leg and is not receiving the settlement he deserves from an oil company out for its own financial interests. That alone would have been enough for a great story, but the complex characters of Nate, who is a brilliant lawyer, and Sean, as good in his field as Nate is in his, added another layer of enjoyment to the suspense-filled will-Sean-get-justice scenario. Then there are three other elements that add to the complexity of this novel: a set of secondary players who range from utterly supportive to villainous to their core, an evil oil company out to cover up the mess they made, and a plot that twists and turns with the best of them to leave me breathless with anticipation more than once. The result is a spellbinding read that had me rooting for Nate and Sean and on the edge of my seat from page one.

Nate is a young, ambitious lawyer who has been treated pretty unjustly by his stern father. Nate has spent two years working practically day and night, supplying the partner assigned as his superior with everything needed to win case after case - yet Nate has not been rewarded with the kind of promotion his compatriots received. Now Nate has had enough. The way he quits and clarifies why is exemplary. As angry as he is, he stays cool and collected and manages to give both men a dose of their own medicine. And that is when Nate’s adventure starts. He takes an injury-on-the-job case the idiot partner refused and this is how he meets Sean.

Sean is a man of many talents: he is a brilliant petroleum engineer, has a couple of degrees, and can draw tattoo designs with the best of them. I really enjoyed learning about his many layers, and found his survival-driven need to show certain people only parts of his personality very interesting. It made sense for him to have learned a certain adaptability, and while it helped him in general, it also poses certain problems for him. He never denies Nate any part of who he is, but as much as he wants Nate, Sean also believes he is no longer desirable due to his missing leg and multiple injuries.

Both men are honorable in their own way, and it leads to many problems. Nate is determined not to get involved with a client, but Sean reads this as rejection. Without an explanation from Nate a relationship becomes impossible, and it takes quite some doing to get Nate to see this. By the time you add everything else that is going on with the case, Nate’s interfering father and Sean’s ex-employer, a very crooked oil company indeed, the prospective lovers have so many issues on their plate that I was wondering if they’d ever make it to their happy ending. Few love stories are this suspenseful, and I think this one is a prime example of a romance full of suspense inside and outside the building relationship.

If there is such a thing as a character-driven thriller, ‘Pins and Needles’ is one of the best I have ever read. If you’re looking for conspiracies and a fight against big money and selfish men obsessed with power, give this one a go. And if you’re looking for a read that is as much a tension-filled page-turner as a deeply emotional love story, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. Bravo!





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

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 302 pages/108234 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-October-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link