Book Review: Sinner, Savior by Avril Ashton

Sinner, Savior by Avril AshtonTitle: Sinner, Savior
Series: Brooklyn Sinners, Book 2
Author: Avril Ashton
Genre: Romantic Suspense, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: December 2012 by Ellora’s Cave

Gun runner Pablo Castillo has cemented his reputation in the gun trade as callous and cold-hearted. Personal feelings no longer matter, not with everyone out to make him a sacrifice on their way to the top. He remains untouchable, until a meeting with a rival gang leader and a new deal brings him face-to-face with temptation.

Dev is the right hand to a sadistic bastard out for blood and glory. He hides his true feelings of distaste for his boss, not the least of his many secrets. He could’ve sworn those secrets were safe, but after meeting Pablo he’s not so sure. The two men come together in a heated affair neither can deny, battling themselves, each other and a deadly enemy bent on spilling blood. Pablo and Dev will have to stick together or walk away from a love neither man expected to find. The choice should be simple. It never is.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Intense character-based romance with plenty of action both in bed and out. I really appreciate how this author keeps the characters true to themselves while having them develop a meaningful relationship.

The Set Up: Pablo is the leader of a gang of gun runners. He’s in a meeting with a rival gang leader when he meets Dev, the right hand man of his rival. Dev has secrets but he can’t resist his intense attraction for Pablo. Pablo and Dev’s world doesn’t have a place for the men to be together but how can they be apart?

Why I Read this Book: I loved book one like a fat kid loves cake so to continue this series is a no brainer.

What I Liked: Dev and Pablo are fully developed characters who battle each other and the world to be together. I loved how the author shows readers who these two men are and then instead of them suddenly changing for the relationship, they remain true to themselves while figuring out how to be together. Pablo is especially hard-headed in accepting that his relationship with Dev is more than sex but his obvious pain at doing this is emotionally intense and therefore satisfying when he changes. Dev’s earnest acceptance of his feelings for Pablo was a bit painful for me to read because he’s so vulnerable to Pablo that I cringed a little when the relationship doesn’t go smoothly. Pablo’s attempts at pushing Dev aside, be they physically or emotionally violent, will be tough for readers but I felt like I knew why Pablo was behaving the way he did so it just ratcheted up the emotional intensity for me. Pablo and Dev have a very intense sexual relationship but it’s well balanced with the near frantic emotional intimacy the men struggle with.

What I Also Liked: Unlike a lot of MM romance, this book has just as much happening outside the bedroom as inside. Pablo’s business of gun running isn’t a glamorous one, or an easy one to read, but it certainly has action, intrigue and good plot twists. Dev has his own agenda for working with Pablo’s rival and how this unravels isn’t rocket science but it was good storytelling in my opinion.

The secondary characters are just as good here as book one where Pablo was the secondary character. In this one we revisit the leads from book one (yippee and yummy!) but are also introduced to Dev’s former lover, Pablo’s second-in-command and his love interest as well as the mysterious Syren, lead of book three. Even Pablo’s gang with their close friendships are good characters who round out this great novel.

What I Didn’t Like: This book has a lot of violence, both gang related and inter-personal. Pablo doesn’t hesitate to live the gangster’s lifestyle and Dev isn’t excluded from this violence. As much as violence troubles me, I never felt this was gratuitous or that it over took the book; instead, this book just doesn’t gloss over the violence inherent in a gangster’s life.

IMO: I really enjoyed this MM romance with its unique leads of not-quite-good-guys in an intense relationship.

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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