TBR Challenge Review: Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville

This month's TBR Challenge book suggestion was "All About the Hype" - a book that created so much chatter it was inescapable.   Now if I remember correctly this book did create a bit of hype in the m/m reading world when it first came out in 2009, didn't it? lol  I'm not sure, but it was definitely worth the read.

After witnessing a mob hit, surgeon Jack Francisco is put into protective custody to keep him safe until he can testify. A hit man known only as D is blackmailed into killing Jack, but when he tracks him down, his weary conscience won't allow him to murder an innocent man. Finding in each other an unlikely ally, Jack and D are soon on the run from shadowy enemies. Forced to work together to survive, the two men forge a bond that ripens into unexpected passion. Jack sees the wounded soul beneath D's cold, detached exterior, and D finds in Jack the person who can help him reclaim the man he once was. As the day of Jack's testimony approaches, he and D find themselves not only fighting for their lives... but also fighting for their future. A future together.

Jack is a surgeon leaving the hospital and minding his own business when he witnesses a murder. He agrees to testify but that means he leaves his life and his career behind in order to hide while waiting to testify – and then into the Witness Protection program. He’s not thrilled about any of it but he knows this is the right thing to do so he goes for it.

D is a contract killer who is blackmailed into taking the contract to kill Jack. D is very particular about who he kills and feels that the contracts he does take are people who deserve it. Obviously that’s up for debate but it’s how he lives with himself and what he does. He’s more than upset about the whole Jack sitch but he heads to Vegas to take care of it. Only when it comes down to it, he just can’t do it. Does he just walk away though? No, he doesn’t. He packs Jack up and takes him with him. D knows that the people who are after Jack aren’t gonna let sleeping dogs lie just because Jack didn’t do the killing and D needs to find out who’s out to get him and is willing to resort to blackmail to get to him.

With both men with their lives at stake they take off to try to hide themselves. They end up at a pretty secure location where Jack tries to get to know D and mostly hits a brick wall – but not entirely. Jack doesn’t quite know what to make of his growing feelings for someone who kills others for a living and D’s pretty sure he shouldn’t let Jack in but he seems to be telling him things (eventually) that he’s never told another.

The story takes us through Jack’s basic desire but D’s struggle to find out who he really is in the world. It took us through trials and errors of the couple as not everything was hunky dory just cuz they were sleeping together; it took us to the actual trial that Jack had to testify for and of course many other unexpected avenues. The book at times was incredibly exciting and other times it dragged for me but I loved seeing D and Jack finally moving toward each other. The ins and outs of D’s life, who he was connected to and who he knew was incredibly detailed which was wonderful as the author didn’t try to allude to things and make us figure it all out. We had enough of a time trying to figure out who was behind it all.

I really loved D. in this story. Yes, it was Jack and D.’s love story but I felt it was more D’s story than Jack’s. Yes, Jack has reservations at times about who he was involved with but at that point it almost seemed a little too late to be worrying about certain things. I was also pretty shocked at how well Jack accepted the fact that he couldn’t be a surgeon again after 14 years of schooling and training. If it was me, I woulda been raging mad. I was quite happy at the end of the last chapter and would have been thrilled had the books stopped there. The epilogue, imho, added almost nothing to the story and actually made me doubt the balance and longevity of their relationship when I hadn’t before.

In the end it was a very enjoyable book with a few hitches for me. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and hope to read more about D and Jack in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jane Seville


Hilcia said...

Oh boy, was this hyped up or what? LOL!

I absolutely agree, I had a huge problem with the never-ending ending to this story. What was up with that?

You liked it more than I did... I'm pretty sure. I need to check my grade again. Sometimes all the hype doesn't work for me. *g*

Chris said...

The hype and the controversy, since it's apparently Brokeback Mountain fanfic. Teh dramaz!!

Tracy said...

Hilcia - Unless it's something that I REALLY have been looking forward to I usually wait on hyped up books. I think that they get overblown and then the excitement just goes crazy. I think I liked this one better than you too if I remember your grade correctly. Yeah, don't get me started on the epilogue - wow. Just, wow.
I did think the writing was wonderful at times but then it almost seemed as if someone else's brain took over - it was odd. Anyway, one less long book in my TBR. :)

Chris - The Dramaz lol Funny. Yes, I vaguely remember it but I've tried to knock it out of my head. :)