SO VERY much better than the first book. (That was an anomaly because I have loved everything else by this author.) It's everything I want in a story: sympathetic characters that I love, damaged heroes, danger and deception, true love, no instalove (I think a month
is a reasonable amount of time.) Creepy evil bad guy who I actually felt sorry for at one point, and a crazy wonderful dog. I wish I had read the description first, though, because I was really confused thinking this was about Sinjin and Kane. It's not, although later in the book they are very much a part of the story.
I loved that one guy was beaten by his father repeatedly but once in a while there would be nurturing. He kept going back as a child hoping that this time there would be love. It is very realistic that a child would keep wanting a parent that abuses him. Children unconditionally love their parents. That can change as the child gets older, into his teens or adulthood, but before that, kids protect their parents and defend them and want to go back to them. (There are exceptions but they are rare.)
The characters won't have oral sex without a condom until they are both tested. Few books acknowledge that it's dangerous behavior not to do so.
Guy has a buzz cut in the beginning and three months later has hair to his shoulders. Hair grows at half an inch a month. While some may have slightly faster growing hair, that's ridiculous.
Guy is being stalked and there have been attempts on his life. Another guy who cares about him a great deal leaves him in a car alone. While it worked for the drama, it was just ridiculous because neither worried at all except the guy leaving says, "Don't let anyone steal you," and they both think it's funny.
I got really tired of the metaphors and flowery speech after a while.
4.5 stars rounded up because I love that damn obnoxious dog.
Happy ending? Yes, HEA.