Read my reviews of previous books in the Irons and Works series:
Free Hand (#1) | Blank Canvas (#2) | American Traditional (#3) | Bio-Mechanical (#4) | Stick and Poke (#5) | Scarification (#6) | Scratcher (#7) | Ornamental (#8) | Snakebites (#9) | Fine Line (#10) | Heavy Hand (#11) | To Touch the Light (follow-up novella) | Last-Minute Walk-In (follow-up novella)
One of the overarching themes of this series, whether in the stories set back in Colorado or the newer ones in Florida, has been the concept of found/adopted family. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that all of the main characters have no family except those of the other book characters. In this title, there is plenty of family drama on both sides, which Lindsey nicely balances between family slipping away and attempting to cling too close.
I was immediately intrigued by the characters of Deimos and Felix when they were introduced previously in the series. I was only more interested in how their stories would unfold when I later found out Lindsey planned to make them a couple. Another way the author nicely contrasts these characters is the balance between brain and body issues and how visible versus invisible disabilities are interpreted and reacted to by the general public. The author, as always, portrays these elements with both knowledge and sensitivity, and one thing that always attracts me about Lindsey’s writing is how they incorporate disabilities without centering either the entire plot or complete characterization on them. Deimos and Felix are acquaintances first and already aware of each other’s general circumstances before the story begins; thus, their genuine friendship (and then more) develops naturally despite, instead of because, external issues.
The external family issues for both characters add interesting layers of external conflict but never detract from the heart of the relationship arc. The initial flirting as they grow more comfortable in each other presence is unexpectedly hot. Their honesty with each other is even hotter, when they lay their cards on the table before taking assumptions too far. At least until the dark moment, which isn’t about either man lacking in communication but instead having to adapt to someone in their corner who wants to be a supportive, equal partner.
This book is about how quiet victories can be as cathartic as dramatic showdowns, along with how physical and mental difficulties do not necessarily limit the possibility of a happily ever after. This romance was as satisfying as I could have wanted for these fascinating characters, and once again, I leave the Irons and Works family already looking forward to my next visit.
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.