What could an undercover cop and a drug lord’s pet psychic have in common?
Brian Kerr has spent years hiding behind a facade of mental slowness. His brother and sister got all three of them off the streets and into a cushy life, under the protection of a dangerous criminal. But to keep that safety, Brian has to use his Finding talent to track down the boss’s enemies. Although he pretends not to know what he’s really doing, each Find takes its toll, and he’s trapped in a life he hates, losing touch with his true self.
Nick Rugo’s job is to protect and serve the people of Minneapolis as an undercover cop. He isn’t closeted, but he isn’t out at work, and there’s a wild, angry side to him that he’s managed to keep hidden until now. When he’s assigned to bring Brian’s boss to justice, he intends to use anything and anyone it takes to do that.
Nick initially sees Brian as a pawn to be played in his case, but he keeps getting glimpses of a different man behind the slow, simpleminded mask. As the two men get to know each other, it becomes clear they share secrets, some of which might get them both killed.
This story was wonderful. I loved reading every minute of this book. Seeing how the story winds and twists as you go and figuring out where Nick’s lines are of what’s “acceptable” or “too far”. Watching him worry about his own innocence and if he’s going the right thing no matter what choice he makes. You can feel his struggle as he goes back and forth. I love how developed Nick and Brian are. You can connect with them and really get into their heads.
I loved the scene where Brian Finds Keesha. It was so heart pounding! The writing is amazing and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was fascinating seeing Brian’s Finding as it happens. Brian breaks my heart with how he’s trapped Finding people when he doesn’t want to. He’s a total sweetheart and a good person deep down despite what he does. It’s wonderful watching him grow and blossom once he’s out from under Marston’s thumb. His joy comes through so loudly you can’t help but love it.
Damon does the best he can to take care of Brian. I think Damon means well even if he’s going about it the wrong way. I kind of dislike Lori throughout the story. She comes off as a materialistic airhead. However, she is quite smart and cunning so maybe she’s not as horrible as we are lead to believe. But holy moly Victoria’s baby! Totally unexpected plot twist there! I completely gasped out loud and told my Kindle “no” about five times before I could keep reading the scene!
I desperately hope there’s more coming about Nick’s past. There’s a bit of information given. But it’s just enough for me to have more questions than answers. I feel like there are clues in the story that we’re all going to go “OH MY GOSH NO WAY!” when we read where they’re important in the next books in the series. Ms. Harper’s writing is tight and well laid out. Things are in the story for a reason so you know things matter even if you haven’t figured out why yet. Brian’s talent is very interesting and I’d love more information on it. It’s light a slightly different type of psychic since he doesn’t see events. He just knows where people are. I love how he uses it for good when he has the opportunity. I want more from this world and series and cannot wait for the next book to be out.
Four and a half
Molly: What music, if any do you listen to when you write?
Kaje: I usually don’t listen to music, except incidentally if my husband or kid have it on. Mostly I don’t hear background sounds when I write – the side effect of having written for decades around all kinds of noise. So music is wasted on me if I’m in the zone. The only exception is when I was writing Nor Iron Bars a Cage – for some reason I had Mika’s “In Any Other World” on repeat for a while during that story.
Molly: Are you a full time writer, or part time writer?
Molly: Do you hope to one day be a full time writer?
Kaje: I have a biomedical day job that I enjoy and which pays the bills. I probably wouldn’t give it up, even if the books started making big money, because I think it keeps me in touch with people. I’m a total introvert, and it would be very easy to curl up in comfy clothes in front of my computer, and not see anyone but family for days, or weeks, on end. The job makes me be out with people, interacting and listening to them, which is good grounding. And it’s interesting. I love science.
Molly: Do you have a word count per day you try to hit?
Kaje: I’m totally erratic when I write. I’ll do nothing for days on end, then thousands in a day. My best day was over 15,000 words. If a story’s not flowing, I don’t push it. If it is, my husband has to pry me off the keyboard to eat a meal.
Molly: When you finish writing a book, how long before you begin writing the next one?
Kaje: That varies too. Sometimes the next book is clamoring to be written. For instance, right now I already did a bit at the beginning of the second Tracefinder book, even though I’m writing hard and just 5,000 words short of the ending of Hidden Wolves #4. Nick and Brian’s voices were too loud in my head to ignore. Other times I’ll putter around or just write short stuff for my Young Adult Goodreads group for a couple of weeks.
Usually I don’t have more than one book in active writing at a time, although I’m often writing one and editing one. Occasionally I’ll put one aside, half done, to ferment or rise or whatever half-written stories do. I’m a very instinctive writer, and at times, a story that was urgent at the beginning starts to get stuck. Since I don’t plot and plan ahead, the answer to that is to let my subconscious mull it over for a while, as I write something else. I have a sequel to Full Circle that’s at 50K, and has been sitting for a while, waiting for that spark.
And then sometimes I write a whole story and trunk it without publishing it, because it was fun but I don’t love it enough (or it’s not different enough) to take the time to polish it. I have a bunch of cop-hurt-comfort books on the shelf, just for the fun of writing them, that won’t see the light. But the drive to write definitely varies. It’s actually kind of cool, right now, to be as eager to get back to Tracefinder and Brian and Nick, as I am.
I live in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, the mosquito is the state bird, and where sometimes in winter it can be breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, the deepfreeze chill contributes to the breath-taking, but Minnesota’s a kindly, quiet place and it’s home to me now. I’ve been writing for far longer than I care to admit (*whispers – forty years*), mostly for my own entertainment, and currently am focused on M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, history, SciFi…) I also have a few Young Adult stories released under the pen name Kira Harp.
My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. My husband finally convinced me that after all that time writing, I really should submit something, somewhere. I was thrilled when it was accepted. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing the four novels and three freebie short stories in the series. I’ve been just delighted by the reception Mac and Tony have received.
My first free book became the first story that I actually released – I put it up a month before Life Lessons just for the fun of getting it out there. Lies and Consequences began as a reaction to the November 2010 election. It looked like the repeal of DADT might be derailed by the political shift and I put the insanity of that law into the book. Then as I was finishing the first draft in mid-December the repeal passed. Which was great, but prompted a rewrite to a lighter and more action/romance book. This was a solo effort and I learned a lot from writing and releasing it and from the reviews. Check Smashwords for that one and many of my other freebies.