Title: Damage Control
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Genre(s): Murder / Mystery, Politics
Page Count: 74,000 words
Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5
Read book blurb here
Sigh ... while I like so darn many things about this book, there is one huge, major, massive, gigantic (okay, you get the idea) issue I have with the story. I hope this review provides a balanced view of the book, and I leave you to make your own determination.
Jackson and Parker met in college and were together for eight years - years where they deeply loved one another, went from inexperienced boys to men who knew how to draw the greatest pleasure and joy from one another, shared their home, friends and family and planned to share their lives together. Until Parker made a unilateral decision that changed everything and set them on their separate ways. They are brought back together when senatorial candidate Parker needs attorney Jackson's help in proving he is not a murderer.
Kate McMurray does a masterful job of showing the love and longing the men feels for one other and how they each struggle with the way their relationship ended. Jackson and Parker deeply love one another, and at times it's agonizing to see their separate lonely lives when they are so clearly meant to be together. And the reason they are apart?
Parker decides that he wants to enter New York state politics .... as a Republican. Parker makes his decision - without consulting Jackson in any way - and overnight their eight-year relationship is over. Jackson asks how Parker can support a party that wants to deny gay rights, etc. but Parker refuses to answer, other than to state he wants to bring about change from the inside. I really struggled with Parker's decision throughout the book, especially since he shoves himself back in the closet, complete with a beard/girlfriend and going out of his way to be noncommittal about social issues. In addition, Parker's advisers act like no one is ever going to learn of this relationship, despite their social imprint (family, friends, perhaps Facebook?), and the various legal documents they signed together (leases, etc.) This seemed overly optimistic and unrealistic IMHO.
While the personal relationship between Parker and Jackson really works for me (and their chemistry is outrageous hot), the murder/mystery element of this story seems unrealistic and the villain cartoonish. In conclusion, I liked Parker and Jackson, but the mystery element did not work for me, and I could not get past Parker's decision. My rating is 3.25 stars, but if my issues about the book are not yours, I think "your mileage may vary!"