Series: The ADA Chronicles 01
Author: J.R. Loveless
Length: Novel (260 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (23rd November 2012)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 – 3 ½ Hearts
Blurb: In an attempt to atone for his sins and find some solace, ADA Agent Gabriel Romero helps other Deviants in need. But with threats from both sides—Normals and the Deviants who despise them—he finds it harder and harder to outrun his ghosts, especially after a difficult mission to rescue twin brothers held at an enemy compound, where Gabriel meets Alexander Ryker. Gabriel finds his new charge unexpectedly attractive, and that’s a complication he does not want—one he thinks he doesn’t deserve.
Despite the frosty reception from the stubborn agent who rescued him, sheltered telepath Alex feels an instant connection through the pain he sees in Gabriel’s eyes, and he does everything he can to gain his attention. The realities he must face while mastering his ability are hard, but failing to learn to defend himself is not an option. Soon he’ll need his newfound strength to convince Gabriel he deserves to live and love again.
Review: Gabriel is a Deviant, a human with special powers, to atone for sins in the past he rescues and helps other Deviants for the Agency for Deviant Assistance (ADA), but he finds it harder and harder to outrun a past that haunts him with their enemies consistently upping the stakes. Alex and his brother Jason have been captured by Deviants who are set on using them for their own needs, when rescue comes in the shape of Gabriel Alex finds himself drawn to the older man, but getting the man to open up to him is impossible. Alex works on getting Gabriel to forgive himself, while Gabriel teaches Alex how to survive. But, will either of them survive when Gabriel’s past comes to call?
This is a great paranormal story where being different will get you killed. When some humans began to develop special powers they became Deviant’s, the normal’s began to hunt them down and then the Government’s decided concentration camps would keep them safe… it just made them sitting ducks. One man created the Agency for Deviant Assistance after the murder of his wife and son and has dedicated his time and resources to saving Deviant’s… one such man was Gabriel. Gabriel’s power is strong, a group of Deviant’s captured him, and during his rescue, he lost the one person most precious to him. Gabriel has spent years fighting back and rescuing all the Deviants he can. This is how he comes to meet Alex. Alex is drawn to Gabriel but is resentful that he has to change to live in the world, cracking through Gabriel’s shell is harder than learning to defend himself but when Alex is in danger Gabriel finally accepts his feelings for the younger man.
I quite enjoyed this story and liked the world building; we are drawn into a world where there is no hiding if you are suspected of being a Deviant, there are no real repercussions from the Government for murdering a Deviant and the danger for being different is brutal and swift. There seem to be two groups of Deviant’s, those that want to be left alone and those that want revenge on the humans for the treatment of Deviant’s and the ADA is the former group. This shows humanity at its worse, destroying what they don’t understand in a bloody and brutal fashion and it doesn’t matter how old the Deviant is.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Alex and Gabriel’s relationship as Alex spends his time trying to get close to Gabriel, and Gabriel pushes Alex away with every breath, so I was beginning to think Alex was a glutton for punishment but finally you see Gabriel begin to soften. Gabriel is tortured by his past and Alex tries to heal him, and while there is an attraction between them, it gets pushed to the back a lot by the circumstances they find themselves in. We meet many characters in this story and with some of them. You get the feeling that there will be stories for them in the future. Although we do get a bit of a happy ending for Gabriel and Alex the ending isn’t really an ending, it’s left open for the next couple to continue the main storyline, so not really a cliffhanger but no real conclusion.
I recommend this to those who love paranormal stories, danger, a difficult relationship, letting go of the past and accepting a new fate.