Book Review: Undercover Sins by Hayley B. James

Undercover Sins by Hayley B. JamesTitle: Undercover Sins
Author: Hayley B. James
Genre: Romantic Suspense, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Published: March 7, 2011 by Dreamspinner Press

Police officer Gabriel Carter refuses to walk away from an assignment without seeing it through. So when he goes into deep cover as a male prostitute named Ty, he intends to do everything in his power to see his case to an arrest. He seduces his mark, Demetrius Prado, the second most powerful man in Las Vegas and a human trafficker, but the man is nothing like he expected.

The more Gabriel learns about Demetrius, the more twists and turns are thrown his way in the convoluted case leading to Demetrius’s rival, Arden, and beyond. It’s a case of mistaken identities and layer after layer of trumped-up cover stories, and Gabriel is sure there’s no way he’ll ever be able to trust Demetrius with his life… much less with his heart.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Complex romantic suspense but with a high level of sexual manipulation that didn’t sit well with me.

The Set Up: Detective Gabriel Carter is deep undercover as a prostitute named Ty. His mark is mobster and human trafficker Demetrius Prado. Gabriel becomes Demetrius’s pet but neither Demetrius nor Gabriel are exactly who they say they are.

Why I Read this Book: I’m always searching out MM romance with men in uniform.

What I Liked: I like the suspense of Gabriel (Ty) first getting close to Demetrius and then figuring out what exactly Demetrius’s role is in the mob. This is a well written suspense story with twists and turns that even the most sophisticated mystery reader should enjoy. I especially like Lee, Demetrius’s mysterious bodyguard. His inclusion in both Gabriel and Demetrius’s relationship and in the mob is complex and kept my attention.

What I Also Liked: Gabriel and Demetrius have a very erotic relationship complete with voyeurism. Gabriel is willing to do whatever Demetrius wants sexually in order to keep close to Demetrius under the guise of a purchased prostitute. Fans of well written MM erotica will enjoy this book.

What I Didn’t Like: I just couldn’t get passed the sexual manipulation and power-differentials in this book. Gabriel has lived three months undercover actually being a prostitute to set his cover to lure Demetrius in. Then with Demetrius, Gabriel is willing to risk his life in unprotected sex and puts his physical well-being in Demetrius’s hands—a man that Gabriel is investigating as a human trafficker with no conscience. There was a distinct power differential between Gabriel and Demetrius where Demetrius could and did demand whatever pleased him, like Gabriel showering at his whim since Demetrius doesn’t like scented bath products. Sure, in some cases Demetrius’s will is benign but in others Gabriel could have been sincerely injured. But the worst for me was that Gabriel wanted this behavior for inexplicable reasons. He was just hot for Demetrius or just enthralled with his touch. Explaining Gabriel’s acceptance of this behavior by his physical desire didn’t do justice to the powerful police officer that Gabriel was. I wanted more inclusion of Gabriel’s emotional needs and that Demetrius was the only one who could do met them. Unfortunately, I kept waiting for this deeper exploration of Gabriel’s needs but I just didn’t get it.

IMO: This is a dark romance that made me a little uncomfortable and therefore I couldn’t enjoy it like I want to when I read. Some readers may not mind the power games Demetrius plays with Gabriel but I did and couldn’t get passed it, even for the good suspense and mystery of the novel.

J9’s Rating:
2 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.


  1. Is it fair to judge a book by it's cover, because if so, I'm not sure I would ever want to read this one.

    1. LOL, Ryan! What, you don't think the hint of pubes is sexy?! LOL, yeah, as much as I love Dreamspinner Press they publish some baaad covers!


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