Ben Diggs is an FBI Special Agent, based in Baltimore. His time serving in the armed forces in Iraq has left him traumatised and unable to get close to anyone, and the fact he’s still in the closet about his sexuality only adds another layer to his impermeable shell. An impulsive one-night stand with rancher Tanner Bagley in the small town of Middle Creek soothes his pain, and he feels no guilt about running out on Tanner without even a goodbye note the following morning. After all, he reckons, he’s never going to see the man again. What he hasn’t counted on is a series of murders that shake Middle Creek – all the victims being gay men who have some intimate connection to Tanner Bagley. As the investigation progresses, and the deaths become more vicious, suspicion falls on Tanner. Ben wants to believe in Tanner’s innocence as much as he wants to keep him safe from harm, and volunteers for a protective detail in Tanner’s home. Tanner, however, can’t forgive Ben for treating him so shabbily, and the two circle each other in an atmosphere of deep mistrust and growing desire. Will Ben lower his guard enough to let the caring, compassionate Tanner into his life, and in doing so will he irreparably compromise both the case and his job?
Compromised is an intense thriller that mixes the a serial killer on the loose and a broken man searching for the lover who can make him whole. It’s very melodramatic – there’s barely a chapter goes by where neither Ben nor Tanner is yelling and/or in tears – and unless you’re a serious fan of heavy hurt/comfort fiction that can become a little wearying. But there’s much to enjoy in Ben’s path to redemption, the sex scenes are tender and sensual, and even if you guess the identity of the murderer before the end, you won’t be expecting the chilling reasons for his behaviour. if you want a book to leave you feeling thoroughly wrung out, but still uplifted, Compromised is the one for you.
(A copy of this book was received in exchange for a honest review)