Title: Hit & Run
Author: Cassidy Ryan
Length: 18,800 words (42 pdf pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m contemporary mystery
After witnessing a horrific crime, Seth is placed in a safe house until he can testify before a Grand Jury. When the safe house is compromised and the two police officers protecting him are killed, Seth is forced to go on the run. In desperate need of help, Seth turns to Dixon, the adopted son of the man who was shot. Together they try to keep Seth alive long enough to testify, which is not easy when there are two hit men who seem to have an uncanny knack of finding them.
The attraction between Seth and Dixon sizzles, but they agree that they should put their feelings on hold until the timing is better. Avoiding their new feelings for each other is just as tough as keeping Seth safe. Before he and Dixon can be sure of a future together, Seth must fight for his life in a final showdown.
The strength of this story for me was Seth. He really was an appealing character. He’s working at his job as a bartender when hot guy Dixon seems to come on to him. Seth doesn’t play with customers but there is something here, so when Dixon asks to meet him in the alley he agrees. Then nearly dies of embarrassment when it seems Dixon only wanted to ask him about a missing man, not have a little mutual fun. However after a long night, he falls asleep in the break room, only to wake later to see his boss kill the man Dixon was searching for. When his boss sees him, he makes a run for it, only to find out the man survived and he’s compelled to go and find out if he’s okay. There he sees Dixon and agrees to tell the cops his story. (He had called 911 anonymously.)
He ends up in a safe house, and when the cops protecting him are killed he runs, only this time he turns to Dixon rather than the cops for help and they end up on the run as well when the damn killers seem to keep finding them. Of course underlying all this excitement is the simmering attraction between the two men.
What I enjoyed was the building relationship between Dixon and Seth. Both have baggage from awful childhoods, but both have put it mostly in the past and moved on. They banter back and forth, tease each other, call each other names, and generally have a good time together, when someone’s not trying to blow them away. I thought it was hilarious when Dixon is teasing Seth about looking like a rent boy and he embarrasses him in the diner by pretending he’s negotiating with Dixon, and gains the sympathy of the waitress, and free bacon.
The mystery itself and how the criminals keep finding him was not all that clever or unique, but I was enjoying the relationship between the two so much that I didn’t mind that the mystery was more a reason to bring Seth and Dixon together. There was a nice mix of adventure and being on the run, with lighter banter and budding friendship, with some wicked attraction with hot sex. I quite enjoyed the shot time I spent reading this one.