Book Review: A Casual Weekend Thing by A.J. Thomas

A Casual Weekend Thing by A.J. ThomasTitle: A Casual Weekend Thing
Author: A.J. Thomas
Genre: Romantic Suspense, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: May 2013 by Dreamspinner Press

Doug Heavy Runner left the life of an openly gay Miami police officer and returned to his home on the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother got sick. In the two years since she passed, he’s carved out an empty life as a small-town deputy, relying on out-of-town one-night stands to keep him sane. Then he meets Detective Christopher Hayes, and they share a wild night so incredible Doug breaks his own rule and allows a one-night stand to grow into a weekend of amazing sex.

When Christopher travels from San Diego to Montana to deal with his abusive brother’s suicide, he doesn’t expect to find the man he spent the weekend with to be handling his brother’s case. He certainly doesn’t mind spending more time with Doug—but then an arsonist destroys the house Christopher inherited from his brother, and Christopher and Doug discover they are the primary suspects.

As they investigate, they discover Christopher’s dead brother has set them on the trail of a psychotic pedophile who will stop at nothing to silence his last victim. However, the search for the victim goes horribly wrong, leaving Doug hospitalized and Christopher at the mercy of the killer…

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Great MM romantic suspense though with an ending I wish had a bit more relationship closure.

The Set Up: Detective Christopher Hayes is shot in the line of duty in San Diego and wrestling with his attraction to his straight partner. While on medical leave he receives notice that the brother he hasn’t seen in twenty years committed suicide in Montana. Hayes goes to identify the body and meets deputy sheriff Doug Heavy Runner. They share what should be a casual weekend of sex but the mysterious death of Hayes’ brother keeps the men together.

Why I Read this Book: The synopsis and unique cover both caught my attention.

What I Liked: I was captivated by this book from chapter one. The leads are both introduced in a stellar fashion, each with their own chapter. This lays out the characters beautifully. Hayes is the hardened detective who has no personal life but is haunted by his past and his desperate need to be a police officer. Doug Heavy Runner is the only Native American on his small Montana town police force and is isolated by his race with them and by his job from the others on the reservation. These two lonely men collide sexually and emotionally and I adored it. It would have been very easy for the author to let the men’s connection rest on the eroticism of their first weekend but it doesn’t. The men slowly develop an emotional connection that surprised me with its intensity. For instance, Doug notices that Hayes wears a smiling mask to hide his true thoughts and emotions and Doug uses one erotic interlude to show Hayes this won’t work in their relationship. I loved this combination of sexual and emotional intimacy and think it worked so well.

What I Also Liked: The mystery of Hayes’ brother’s suicide was creepy and powerful. The death brings the leads together and showcases both their personalities perfectly. Only Hayes is able to unravel the clues that his brother left as to the identity of a murdering pedophile. This isn’t a light mystery because it deals with pedophile and hidden identities but it was one that captured my attention. I absolutely had to see how it unravels.

I also liked the inclusion of Hayes detective partner, Ray. Hayes and Ray have unresolved issues in their relationship at the novel’s beginning and I so worried this would end when Hayes leaves for Montana but it doesn’t. This was stellar storytelling, in my opinion, and added depth to this wonderful romantic suspense.

Finally, I absolutely adored the place that running has in Hayes’ life.  I’m a runner, though no where near the caliber of this character, and I totally appreciate how important running is for Hayes.  I use running in a similar fashion to the character and totally adored this unique part of Hayes.

What I Didn’t Like: I simply wanted more relationship resolution between Doug and Hayes. The emotional resolution happened in one conversation and that wasn’t enough for me given that these men had an intense relationship. I wanted their resolution to offer the depth that their relationship deserved and I just didn’t feel the ending did it justice. Still, I hold out hope that this is book one in a series featuring the two stellar characters and their ongoing romance. *HINT, HINT*

IMO: Fans of MM romantic suspense should absolutely read this book because of its wonderful characters and strong romance, even if it’s not quite as resolved as I’d like it to be.

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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