Love the Sinner (Brooklyn Sinners #1) by Avril Ashton

13615101Title: Love the Sinner
Author: Avril Ashton
Length: 229 Pages
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Heat Level: 3 Moderate
Overall Rating: 2h 2 disappointed hearts

Synopsis: Detective Gabriel Ashby has never looked twice at another man, yet the criminal across from him, the man he’s interrogating, isn’t like any other. Gabe can’t deal with the sudden, intense need he has for one of NYPD’s Most Wanted. Everyone close to Angelo Pagan ends up dead, with the smug gang leader standing amid the rubble. Gabe would love nothing more than to bust Angelo’s ass and lock him up. So why is he seeing the bastard in his dreams at night?

Angelo Pagan knows attraction to Gabe is suicide. He’s resolute to ignore the chemistry…until a police raid goes wrong. He critically injures Gabe, changing the trajectory of both their lives. Now the two can’t get close enough. They settle into a forbidden affair threatened by lies and betrayal, living on different sides of the law with no way of breaching the gap between them. With the authorities looking to make an example of Angelo, Gabe has to decide if it’s really worth it to hate the sin but love the sinner.

Review: This book ended far better than it started, but considering the amount of whining I did at the beginning – that isn’t really high praise. Honestly, for about the first 30-40%, I pretty much hated it. The instalove concept annoys the hell out of me and this was instalove to the extreme. They only knew each other for literally five minutes after one conversation before they decided they were head over heels. Coming into this book felt like I missed the first half. There were all these intense emotions between them when they didn’t even know who they really were beyond known reputations. Additionally, one of them is straight without ever having questioned his sexuality before falling for the other. Not that that isn’t possible I guess, I just thought there should be more of an initial internal struggle. It didn’t seem very realistic.

Pretty much everything I hated stemmed from those things, but there was so much wrong with this book I can’t even list it all. Coming from a family of law enforcement, it was difficult to see a good cop barely struggle with the idea of falling in love with a known gang leader and all that would be associated, without a second glance. He just sticks his head in the sand and pretends it doesn’t exist until the 75% or so mark and then he suddenly grows a conscience.

And then there was the sex. Don’t get me wrong, parts of it were scorching, but then in the middle I’d hit a sentence referring to the prostate as a fluffy knot or some really bad porn dialogue that just ruined it and made me facepalm. I’ve been reading m/m for seven years, and I’ve never seen a fluffy knot anywhere. I literally started laughing. Not the reaction you’re going for in your readers at that specific time.

However, having said all that, after about the 50% the author seemed to find her stride and I stopped actively mocking the story and began to actually enjoy it a little more. The plot picks up, the characters develop a bit more and the relationship between the two deepens.

It’s not a bad story really, but it could really use a few more passes through an editor or three. I don’t think I could read it again, but I didn’t hate it by the end anymore. I don’t feel as if it ever reached it’s full potential as there is so much more that could’ve been done in this setting, but it was more character driven than a plot driven book. I’m still undecided on the sequels. They’re far too expensive for the writing quality at $7-8 as of this review.

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