Published by Dreamspinner Press
Copy obtained from author for review.
Daniel “Deke” Kane is a broken man, facing the end of his career in the FBI. He’s on desk duty after a botched drug raid left the suspects and two children dead. He’s got one chance to prove himself, or the only thing he’ll be investigating is the Help Wanted ads.
Ryan Griffiths has been on the run for ten years. Forced onto the streets when his father kicked him out, Ryan earns his living in other men’s beds. Finding his john dead in a hotel room drives him under the radar until a favorite client gives him a chance at a safe, clean life. But Ryan’s relatively stable new world shatters when Deke Kane catches up with him.
When Deke’s tasked to take down a drug dealer with terrorist ties and a taste for the dark side of BDSM, his only chance to get close is the suspect’s interest in Ryan, and he convinces Ryan to become a confidential informant. In return, Deke offers Ryan immunity from his past. As Ryan falls under the drug lord’s domination, Deke finds himself falling for Ryan.
Bound for Trouble is a tangled web of suspense and lies. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense and drama that EM Lynley built around the Petrov case. It felt more realistic because the cops/FBI were always a few steps behind Petrov and his accomplices. The FBI higher-ups also had a blasé attitude toward the CI, Ryan, from the start. Had it not been for the connection that Deke felt with Ryan, I could totally see the FBI taking this same attitude and letting the ball drop when it came to keeping their informant safe for potential information.
One common thread was that no one was who they seemed. Deke was a top-level FBI agent but throughout the story he is down trodden and second guessing himself due to a past case mistake. He takes on a huge amount of guilt from that case and is struggling to regain the career he once had. Aside from that, he is still sharp. We see fleeting moments where he seems to be making connections in the case but they are just slightly out of reach and pushed aside. His training and keen perception come out when everything goes bad and that’s when I feel we see the side of Deke that was more him before everything in his life took a turn.
Ryan is the true chameleon of the story. He is everything everyone wants him to be. His is the trusted CI for the FBI. He is a rent boy. He is a sub. He is a good friend and hard worker. He is reliable. He is giving of himself 100% to the case and putting a killer behind bars. He is also very lost. I think he is a rather sad individual. Ryan has been what everyone else wants for so long that he doesn’t even know what he desires in life. Happiness and love have eluded Ryan so he is unsure when he experiences it with Deke. It is actually upsetting and throws him off his game.
Ryan also can’t distinguish real love from the love of control and self-preservation, like what he experiences under Petrov. It is mentioned in the beginning that Ryan is in therapy for sex addiction. It is no surprise that he is sucked into the game with Petrov, at Dungeon 69, so easily. He cannot resist the attention and feeling of being wanted and desired the moment he walks on stage or through club doors.
Throughout the book Ryan is with Petrov a lot more than he is with Deke so the ending was perfect. I felt it was a bit open ended so we could think about all the things Deke ad Ryan would be able to do after starting over, from scratch. It was an optimistic, happy ending.
RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS