Title: Free Hand (Irons & Works #1)
Author: E.M. Lindsey
Publisher: Amazon/EM Lindsey
Heat Level: 2 Flames
Overall Rating: 3 Hearts
Summary via GoodReads: Derek Osbourne’s life is mostly quiet. A routine that keeps him functioning, a job as a tattoo artist that keeps his rent paid and food in his belly, and if he’s alone through it well, there are worse things to be. With his complicated past, Derek is sure no one would ever want to deal with the struggle that comes along with loving someone who has severe PTSD. Especially since the man who spent years abusing him is now in hospice, and Derek has taken over his end-of-life care. Derek’s resigned himself to living and dying alone, and maybe that’s okay. Then one night, during a raging storm, Derek finds himself stuck in an ATM vestibule with a quiet stranger, and it’s in that moment his world begins to change.
Basil Shevach is new to Fairfield, taking over his dead aunt’s florist shop. He’s also Deaf in a small town, where he and his sister are the only ones not hearing. It’s not to say he hates it there, but he’s not sure Fairfield is the place for him. At least, not until one night, when a storm leaves him trapped inside the bank with a man quietly panicking against the glass door. He’s immediately intrigued by this unbelievably attractive stranger with bright tattoos covering his arms and haunted eyes, but he’s also bitter because he’s dated a hearing man before and it ended as badly as it could go for him. He had resolved years ago to never make that mistake again, but somehow, the frightened man trapped with him in that little room, crawls under his skin and no matter what he tries, he can’t seem to shake him.
Will the two of them be able to find their way together, or will their pasts prevent them from being able to find happiness and contentment when they need it most?
Free Hand is the first book in the Irons and Works series. Each book contains an individual storyline with no cheating and HEA.
Review: I attempted to read this once before and put it down because I don’t think I was in the mood for it. I couldn’t get into it and didn’t care for it at the time. Something made me pick it back up today and I’m glad I did. It’s a quiet, slow burn that I enjoyed. Plenty of h/c which is my jam.
The synopsis covers the plot pretty succinctly, so I don’t really feel it necessary to rehash it here. I’ll just cover some very brief points. This is very much a character-driven story and not a plot-driven one. When I say that it’s a quiet, slow burn type of story, I mean it. There’s very little plot or significant drama to move the story along, it’s more how Derek and eventually Sage, his brother, move on with their lives. He meets Basil at the beginning of the story during a PTSD episode, who calms him down and helps him through it.
It’s not quite insta-love, but it’s very instant-something. Which is…eh, sometimes annoying. I do think at times in our lives though, that we meet people that we can’t seem to shake one way or another. We think of them and either act on that or let it pass us by. I think that’s what the author was trying to depict here.
Basil is a sweet, confident character that helps Derek move on from a lifetime of heartache and abuse at the hands of his father. It had its flaws, (info dumps anyone?) but overall they were a sweet couple. ♥
Purchase Link | Amazon