“Fire and Ice” by Andrew Grey is both a touching romance and a heartwrenching look at one of the heinous crimes that can be perpetrated against young innocents by those who are supposed to care and nurture them. Those with triggers should read with caution as the young secondary character has been through a lot in his short life, and it is saddening to read about his experiences. The delicate dance of attraction that the two men struggle to ignore is deliciously depicted, as the reasons each man is defensive are gradually revealed. I love that Carter is persistent and determined to ‘melt the Icicle’ even as his compassion and love is proffered to the young boy who has become attached to him. Carter’s family form a wonderful support system and it was delightful to see that his police brethren are there for him as well. This is an excellent addition to a series about a great group of guys who are part of a wonderful network but who each has his demons to overcome, a sometimes ongoing process. Each of these stories can be read as a stand-alone tale, but they’re kind of like potato chips, reading one makes you want to read the next one!
This contemporary m/m romance is the second book in the ‘Carlisle Cops’ series and depicts the events that bring Officer Carter Schunk and child services worker Donald Ickle back into close proximity after their brief affair in the past. A young abused boy acts as the catalyst to bring the two men together, and they must work their way through the challenges of helping the child find a better life and putting away those who abused him.
Carter Schunk is a dedicated police officer with a difficult past and a big heart. When he’s called to a domestic disturbance, he finds a fatally injured woman, and a child, Alex, who is in desperate need of care. Child Services is called, and the last man on earth Carter wants to see walks through the door. Carter had a fling with Donald a year ago and found him as cold as ice since it ended.
Donald (Ice) Ickle has had a hard life he shares with no one, and he’s closed his heart to all. It’s partly to keep himself from getting hurt and partly the way he deals with a job he’s good at, because he does what needs to be done without getting emotionally involved. When he meets Carter again, he maintains his usual distance, but Carter gets under his skin, and against his better judgment, Donald lets Carter guilt him into taking Alex when there isn’t other foster care available. Carter even offers to help care for the boy.
Donald has a past he doesn’t want to discuss with anyone, least of all Carter, who has his own past he’d just as soon keep to himself. But it’s Alex’s secrets that could either pull them together or rip them apart—secrets the boy isn’t able to tell them and yet could be the key to happiness for all of them.