Hard Line tells the story of Tobias Benton and Sullivan Tate.
After reading Loose Cannon, the first in The Woodbury Boys series, Sidney Bell’s writing is one of my favourite kind. An instant-read. Her writing flows so well. Her characters and stories are unprecedented. Tobias and Sullivan are no exception. Sometimes when you read same-sex romances, it is hard to identify which characters the author is talking about, the issue with that is that the characters are not written distinctly enough.
That is not the issue with Sidney Bell’s characters. In the case of Hard Line, the characters have diverse personalities with unique inner voices.
Sullivan is a new character that we have not been introduced to before, but I love him. He is hyperactive, funny, caring, sexy as hell dominant detective trying to crack open a case of a missing person.
Tobias, on the other hand, is the polite one.
He listens to everyone. He is good.
He’s not sure that’s the person he wants to be though.
He’s just trying to find his best friend. When Sullivan and Tobias’ paths (and problems) intertwine, they have to work together to help each other. Working together means spending long hours together late into the night, leading to tense arguments and a kind of sexual tension that had me fanning myself.
Tobias was adopted into a strict but loving environment by a Haitian couple and has other adopted brothers and sisters who he loves very dearly. From a young age he believed that he had to become a doctor like his father did, but saying it as a child and then doing it as an adult is two very different things. Becoming overwhelmed with the pressure and keeping it all inside is what ends up being the cause of him having to go to Woodbury. After Woodbury, the pressure is still on and Tobias is no longer okay with his family deciding what’s best for him. Tobias decides that he can try to be the person he wants to be with Sullivan. With Sullivan, we get to see a side of Tobias we didn’t get to see in the first book of the Woodbury Boys series.
It was exciting to see his development of coming into the person he wanted to be all along. He’s more confident, assertive, puts his foot down and no longer agrees with what other people want. With Sullivan, he discovers a side of himself he desperately needs.
As you may except with two people who are spending every moment of their day together in enclosed spaces, things develop between the two quickly and the sexual tension explodes into something kinky. Tobias needs someone to take control of his needs and give him what he desires. Sullivan is more than willing to dominate Tobias when he shows signs of being a natural submissive. They both decide that while working on the case, there’s no issue with hooking up to release some stress, right? Sex between the two of them is hot, deep and surprisingly soothing. I love the way Sidney Bell wrote their sex scenes, they were intense and so focused on the feelings of the two characters. They both trust each other immensely and comfort each other when necessary. The sex is what helps them deal with the situation, but it helps lead to something more powerful in their relationship.
As well as the romance plot, the mystery was so good. I was on the edge of my seat while Tobias and Sullivan tried to figure out how everything added up together. Sometimes it took them a while to figure things out, sometimes it was much faster. It was realistic in the sense of how private investigating would happen in real life. I loved how authentic their lives where. It was so much fun reading about that besides their romance. Sometimes the mystery of a book isn’t as good, but absolutely not the case! I cannot wait to hear how the Mama situation is resolved in the third book. I cannot wait to read about Ghost 😀 interesting individual indeed.
Overall, Hard Lines is a wonderful book that keeps you on the edge of your seat with a huge smile on your face. The characters and plots are fleshed out so well. The relationship between Tobias and Sullivan is one of my absolute favourites. I hope they’re both happy forever.