Mexican Heat by Laura Baumbach and Josh Lanyon

998SFPD detective Gabriel Sandalini might as well have put a gun to his own head. One red-hot sexual encounter in a bar’s back room has put two years of deep undercover work in jeopardy-two years of danger and deception as he worked his way into crime boss Ricco Botelli’s inner circle. Gabriel can’t afford emotional entanglements. Hell, he can’t afford emotions. But that was before he had a name to pin on that anonymous one-off-Miguel Ortega.

Miguel Ortega doesn’t trust anyone, but tough, street-smart Gabriel brings out the conquistador in his Spanish blood. But distractions are nothing short of deadly right now, not with his boss’s impending marriage to Botelli’s sister, which will ensure peace-and massive drug profits-for both families.

On a trip to Mexico to set up drug supply lines, a violent confrontation proves they’ve got each other’s backs-to a degree.

Then one savage act changes everything, testing not only their fragile bond, but Gabriel’s will to live.
From Samhain Publishing.

A total shoot em up action adventure novel complete with buff heroes, bad guys and tequila shots off butts. I was so just waiting for someone to chime in with, ‘say hello to my little friend.’ It certainly did require a certain suspension of disbelief, but for all that I did enjoy it a great deal. And, it was such a long book! 

The novel is in two parts. While the 1st hooked into my undercover cop fiend and fascination with men and big guns, it was the 2nd part that appealed more. The wounded soldier with life changing injuries shtick just floats my boat.

What drew me in was how well the characters fit together. Gabriel was feisty and fiery with Miguel being a perfect conterpoint with his smooth and charming nature. It also made me laugh several times when Miguel is trying to be somewhat romantic and admittedly getting just a little dribbly and Gabriel just scoffs at him. Towards the end Gabriel has the most classic line, “Jesus, the shit you talk, Antonio. Go on.” It was so perfect and had me sniggering. Such a heavy moment and yet it was this ability to poke fun that made me feel that the novel had a lighter side and did not take itself too seriously. I think, that had it lacked these moments of levity the characters would not have been as diverting as they were and I would have been a little more dubious about the premise. 

As the book ended in such an interesting place with the characters still in the early stages of a relationship, I’ll be very keen to see what the authors do next. I think Gabriel has a lot more developing to do as a character and I am eager to see  the next installment. 

Check out the book here via MLRP, or you can get it in ebook from Samhain.

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