Thursday, July 13, 2017

Release Day Review: Hush by Tal Bauer

Hush by Tal Bauer

A federal judge running from the truth.

A U.S. marshal running from his past.

A trial that can plunge the world into war.

Federal Judge Tom Brewer is finally putting the pieces of his life back together. In the closet for twenty-five long years, he’s climbing out slowly, and, with the hope of finding a special relationship with the stunning Mike Lucciano, U.S. Marshal assigned to his D.C. courthouse. He wants to be out and proud, but he can’t erase his own past, and the lessons he learned long ago.

But a devastating terrorist attack in the heart of DC, and the subsequent capture and arrest of the terrorist, leads to a trial that threatens to expose the dark underbelly of America’s national security.

As Russia beats the drums of war, intent on seeking revenge, and the United States struggles to contain the storm before it races out of control, secrets and lies, past and present, collide in Judge Tom Brewer’s courtroom. With the world’s attention fixed on Tom and this case, he suddenly discovers he may be the only person who can put everything together in time to stop the spark of a new world war.

Goodreads  ~  

5 Stars!

A tale that will touch your heart, your mind and possibly your memories. It'll break you and remake you. LOVE Mike and Tom.

Anyone who's read any of my reviews of TB's books will know that I'm a massive fan and also lucky enough to be a beta. I've read this book about 4 times, and each time I've discovered something new that I'd read, found interesting but then had an eureka! moment and pieced together as being a DETAIL. Detail is huge in TB books, as you'll know from the Executive Office, and this is no different.

It's hard to review Hush without spoiling it as it's a complex tale and there's a lot going on - we get to see deep into both Tom and Mike, and they're very different guys, in the best possible way. Tom has been fashioned by events, lived history and people from his past, spending twenty-five years closeted and alone, and when he meets the vibrant, full-of-life, out and unashamed Mike, his awakening begins. These guys have had such different lives, but both have been searching for something that the other fulfills perfectly and their coming together is satisfyingly slow, stunningly beautiful, sensual and to be savoured. The love scenes, and they are love scenes, rather than sex scenes, are some of the best, some of the most authentic that I've read in gay fiction. They are love scenes written by a gay man who's happily married and in love, and it shows.

This is not only a love story with amazing characters who had me at the start of a 'Dear John' letter to my beloved Ethan and Jack from the Executive Office, my all-time fave MM series, but with a proper tale. One that works perfectly and that had me going off on various different tangents. Several times I thought that I had things sussed, only to find that I'd been taken in by a red herring. It's a tale that hit me, via Tom, with an emotional sledgehammer, and via Mike and his needs, his wants, his dreams and emotions, like a sledgehammer to my brain and heart, and via the plot, with an 'OMG!!! Really? Really? I totally did not see that coming. How did I not see that coming? TB is such a tease' impact.

The research that TB has done and the writing are superlative. The elements of the US justice system and the LGBT issues that TB writes about were a voyage of discovery, broadened my mind and hurt my heart, respectively. I had to pause in my reading to go and research things and to fact-check for TB, and I can tell you that he did not miss a trick - this tale will have you asking how much of this was fiction for TB, and how much of it he's lived.

All I can do right now is spew adjectives about it - Vivid. Emotional. Painful. Sad. Heart-wrenching. Heartwarming. Happy. Awakening. Complex. Detailed. Fascinating. A Keeper. Oh, and tell you to buy it and read it and think about the messages in it.

Author Bio:

Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of LGBT romantic thrillers, bringing together a career in law enforcement and international humanitarian aid to create dynamic characters, intriguing plots, and exotic locations. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.
Pronouns: They/them or he/him

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