When your past closes in, running isn’t always an option
The jobs Marcus Lowry works for at Phoenix, Inc. Investigations are quick and easy, and they don’t give him the nightmares his days as a CIA operative did. That is, until he gets involved in a case that grabs him by the throat and won’t let go.
Cole Jacobs left behind his old life on the streets to make a name for himself rebuilding high-end and vintage cars and bikes. But when a stalker threatens to kill him—and to hurt anyone who stands in his way—his past closes in on him, and he’s not sure where to turn.
The last thing Marcus wants to do is take on a charity case, and to say that he and Cole don’t see eye to eye at first is putting things mildly. But when the first attempt on Cole’s life nearly kills them both, Marcus realizes that Cole is in real danger, and Cole is forced to reveal everything. Almost everything. Because Cole’s deepest secrets could destroy them both.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I’ve really liked Jakes books in the past, especially the Men of Honor series. I was looking forward to more sexy, high-intensity books from her. While I think this series has potential, I was not a big fan of Marcus or Cole.
Marcus uses his job of Phoenix, Inc to try and right some of the wrongs that he felt working as a CIA agent caused. He protects people, keeps them safe, and can feel good about himself when he goes home at night. But when he meets Cole, that all changes. Marcus can’t control the way his past keeps creeping in and taking over his feelings toward Cole, despite the intense attraction between them.
Cole left behind a life that was ugly and difficult to live in. He started fresh and loves the simple life he’s made for himself as a mechanic. But when he starts getting threatening notes from a stalker, Cole has no choice but to accept help from Phoenix, Inc. Marcus is exactly Cole’s type, but the animosity between them is almost too much for either to overcome. And as Cole’s stalker gets closer and closer, the stakes get higher than ever.
Let me start by saying that the one thing that really made this book bearable for me was the fact that Styx, Law, and Paulo play an integral part in the story overall. They are just as much the main characters as Cole and Marcus, and without them, I think I would have given up on the book long before it ended. I just never felt the connection between Cole and Marcus, and as individual characters, I thought Marcus was a bit of a tool.
I did like Cole to an extent. He lived through an impossible situation when he was younger, but despite it all, he made something of himself. He was determined to make it on his own, and although he was hesitant to accept free help when he should have been grateful for it, I could understand why Cole reacted to Styx’s offer the way he did. Without Styx’s help, I think Cole would have ventured into TSTL territory, and my enjoyment of his character would have gone out the window.
Like I said earlier, I thought Marcus was a bit of a tool. I really didn’t like the way he was so critical of Cole, and so hesitant to trust the other man. I get that his background colored his perception of Cole, but even after Cole proved himself over and over again to not be in the relationship for Marcus’s money, Marcus still couldn’t see past his history and separate Cole from his former lovers. It got to be a little ridiculous, IMO.
The romance between Cole and Marcus didn’t work for me, mainly because I never really understood why Marcus was IN the relationship. There was an obvious attraction between them, but other than that the emotional connect I look for was nonexistent. I just couldn’t commit to them as a couple, because I never saw them committing to each other. It was a major letdown for me.
All in all, I was pretty disappointed in the newest from Jakes. I desperately wanted to enjoy this book, especially since it’s a spinoff from the Men of Honor series, but it just didn’t work for me with these two heroes. I’m definitely willing to give the next book a try though, because, if nothing else, I have high hopes for more sexy moments between Styx, Law, and Paulo.
I give No Boundaries a D