Title: Cover Up
Series: Toronto Tales, Book #2
Author: K.C. Burn
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: December 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
Detective Ivan Bekker has hit rock bottom. Not only is he recovering from a bad breakup with a cheating boyfriend, he’s also involved in a drug bust gone bad. Ivan had to kill a man, and his friend was shot and is now fighting for his life. Though Ivan is under investigation for his part in the shooting, his boss sends him on an off-the-books undercover operation to close the case. The timing is critical—this could be their chance to plug a leak in the department.
Off-balance and without backup, Ivan finds himself playing a recent divorcé and becoming Parker Wakefield’s roommate. He finds it hard to believe that sweet Parker could possibly be a criminal, much less have ties to a Russian mafia drug-trafficking operation, and Ivan lets down his guard. His affection is unprofessional, but Parker is irresistible.
When Ivan comes across clear evidence of Parker’s criminal involvement, he has to choose: protect their relationship, regardless of the consequences, or save his career and arrest the man he loves.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: I want to write a ‘Dear Author’ letter to every MM author and say please, please have full grown men as both leads. This is yet another example of that formula and it ruined an otherwise great story for me.
The Set Up: Ivan doesn’t have time to recover from a shooting at a drug bust before his boss mysteriously asks him to go undercover as the roommate of a college student suspected of being a pot grower. Parker is lonely so he advertised for a roommate. When he meets Ivan he’s immediately attracted but the sophisticated Ivan can’t possibly desire him, can he?
Why I Read this Book: I looooooved Cop Out (my review), book one of this series, and was eagerly awaiting the next as it was Ivan’s story, the only “out” cop in the precinct.
What I Liked: Ivan, sigh, Ivan. He’s a delicious character full of angst, honor and decency. His work as a police officer is nearly killing him but his desire to help others and be someone others can count on is forcing him to stick with his job at his own expense. His recent breakup with a partner who cheated on him adds a vulnerability to his otherwise stoic façade as a tough cop. I loved Ivan from book one when he supported the lead Kurt and I was giddy that he’d be one of the leads in this second book. His character was just as compelling in this book as book one so series readers will love him as I did.
What I Also Liked: I also liked the inclusion of Kurt and Davy from book one. Yes, they don’t appear until late in the novel but when they did my interest really piqued. It was lovely getting a glimpse at these two lovebirds as they’re one of my favorite MM couples of 2012.
What I Didn’t Like: <Begin Tirade> I wish I could send a mass email to MM authors: I am utterly sick of May-December relationships. Maybe some readers enjoy this innocence-worldly dichotomy but I’m tired of it. This formula reminds me of the early romance novels with the thirty year old duke and his virginal eighteen year old bride that were popular in the eighties and early- nineties. Please, MM authors, readers grew beyond that formula in MF romance and we’ll do it for MM romance as well! I want stories of men who are adults in similar places in life finding romance together. I’m not alone in this as the most popular MM romance series include adult men as both leads and I offer the Cut & Run series as an example. </End Tirade>
Here Ivan is a world-weary thirty-four year old whose had a live-in partner, a stressful job and a mortgage; then we have Parker, a twenty-two year old college student whose never had a boyfriend and lived in the same house his entire life. I didn’t hate Parker but his story is more in line with the New Adult genre that is growing in popularity. There is an inherent skewed power balance in these relationships that I don’t care for and Ivan and Parker’s is a prime example. The author must have worried this would be an issue because Ivan and Parker (and even Parker’s friends) are all obsessed with the age difference between the men. Parker’s best friend calls him “old geezer” and Ivan feels weird meeting Parker’s college friends. The ending attempts to illustrate Parker’s newfound maturity by having him claim Ivan in front of one of Ivan’s sex buddies but it just came off insecure.