“The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in.” ― W.H. Auden
Title: Holding Out for a Fairy Tale
Author: A.J. Thomas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 243 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: When his vicious cousin Alejandro makes a violent late-night visit, San Diego homicide detective Ray Delgado gets a brutal reminder of why he left his family behind. Alejandro wants Ray to find his sister, Sophia, who disappeared from the UC San Diego campus, before the FBI digs too deep into his business.
Special Agent Elliot Belkamp spent his entire life jumping from one place to another, but his new assignment assisting a FBI task force offers him a chance to settle down. When Elliot catches a missing person’s case as his first assignment, the last person he expects to find poking around the victim’s dorm room is Ray, a one-time hookup he’s more inclined to punch in the face than kiss hello. After discovering Sophia’s disappearance is linked to a massive computer-based theft that has two powerful crime families ready to declare war, Elliot focuses on his investigation and tries to ignore Ray. As the search for Sophia turns dangerous, Elliot and Ray discover that tackling organized crime might be easier than resisting the urge to tackle each other.
Review: Being such a HUGE fan of A Casual Weekend Thing, I simply couldn’t wait to tear into this book. I am so very happy to say that A.J. Thomas did not let me down. I loved Ray in the previous book of the series and it was wonderful to learn more about him and what makes him tick. I also enjoyed getting to know Elliot better at the same time.
After parting company months earlier, Elliot and Ray are reunited when Ray’s young cousin comes up missing. The investigation not only brings Ray and Elliot closer, but the view given to us of Ray’s family made most of Ray’s quirks much more understandable. When Sophia ends up becoming one of the main suspects in the investigation Ray has to realize that it may be time to pull away from his family completely.
Elliot has been enthralled with Ray, but the man is so set in his ways that Elliot doesn’t know if he should even bother with trying to work something out with the hot headed detective. Letting Ray help out with the case could cost Elliot his place in the new field office, and he is hoping to make this assignment last longer than one year this time.
Begrudgingly, Elliot includes Ray in the investigation and not only is there the possibility that Sophia is guilty, but they find out there is a leak in the FBI office. So, right as the case is coming to its conclusion Elliot and Ray are pulled out of the line of fire for their own safety. This situation gives the two men time to get to know one another better and surprisingly, they find they have more in common than they thought. Elliot just has to convince Ray that the Fairy Tale is worth fighting for, and that won’t be an easy feat.
I loved the direction that Ms. Thomas took in this book. There was very little of the fluff, rainbows and butterflies of the usual romance novel. This book deals with betrayal, drug cartels and has a very suspenseful ending. The change in Ray is gradual in this story, but it is very believable and his romantic gestures could have melted the heart of even the worst cynic. Ray and Elliot were very hot, but at the same time very sweet. I would highly recommend this title and the first book in the series.
You can buy Holding Out for a Fairy Tale here: