Series: The Adrien English Mysteries #5
Published by Justjoshin on February 2nd 2013
Genres: LGBT, Adult
Source: I Bought It
When a half-century old skeleton tumbles out of the wall in the midst of the renovation of Cloak and Dagger Bookstore renovation, Adrien turns to hot and handsome ex-lover Jake Riordan -- now out-of-the closet and working as a private detective. Jake is only too happy to have reason to stay in close contact with Adrien, but there are more surprises in Adrien's past than either one of them expects -- and one of them may prove hazardous to Jake's own heart.
The Dark Tide, the fifth (and final book) in the Adrien English series, follows on directly from the events of the previous book Death of a Pirate King. While the previous book had my heart in a vice throughout, this book was much easier to get through, though it did have its fair share of angst.
Adrien is recovering from his open-heart surgery, after having gone into cardiac arrest when he was shot in the last book. Adrien faces the possibility that he may now in fact live a long and healthy life, something he never really dared to hope for previously, given the problems that have plagued him since a bout of pneumonia as a teenager left his heart in a weakened state. Adrien does not get much time to recuperate however.
After returning to his home above his bookshop Cloak and Dagger, Adrien stumbles upon a late-night intruder who seems determined to break in. As his shop is undergoing renovation to combine it with the building next door, it is all too easy for someone to gain access. When a skeleton is discovered in the floor boards of the building, Adrien knows he has unwittingly stumbled upon yet another mystery to be solved.
Not knowing where else to turn, Adrien turns to his former lover, Jake Riordan for help. Jake finally came out to his wife and family at the end of the previous book. He also left the police force and is now looking to set up business as a private detective. Jake is only too happy to help Adrien, hoping to rekindle their relationship now that he is ‘out’.
Adrien is less sure of this reconciliation as he is still nursing his hurts from the breakdown of their previous relationship. Not to mention the fact that two of his exes Guy and Mel have been in touch again. Adrien is unsure if he can take a chance with Jake again, given how much Jake hurt him in the past.
Nevertheless, although their relationship is up in the air throughout most of the novel, Jake is still willing to help Adrien solve his latest mystery and agrees for his services to be ‘hired’. The mystery plot was interesting enough, but given the fact that the murder happened over 50 years ago, it lacked a certain sense of urgency. Luckily, there was plenty drama in the relationship stakes to really propel the plot forward.
I have always sympathised with Jake, even when he made me want to start tearing my hair out in sheer frustration. Being in the closet made him so aggressive yet at the same time he was still so vulnerable. Now that his secret is out, we finally get to see another side of Jake. Still very alpha-male he is at the same time more relaxed and settled within himself, despite all the angst that his coming out has caused. It is finally clear just how much he loves Adrien and he is very supportive of him in this book, even though he is unsure if he still has a chance with him.
Adrien on the other hand, is full of indecision. He is still in love with Jake but he does not trust him with his heart. He needs time, which Jake is willing to give him. Working together again, all of the old feelings resurface once more but Adrien will need to let go of the past if he and Jake are to ever have a future together. When they finally come together, I had a big, happy grin on my face, especially when Jake finally tells Adrien those all important words:
“Why can’t you say it?” I hardened my voice. “Because I’m telling you, you never have. I’d have remembered.”
He stared at me with disbelief… “Love you? Of course I love you. Baby, I fucking worship you.”
The Dark Tide was truly an exceptional read. I feel as though I have gone through every gamut of emotion with Adrien and Jake so I was very happy with the resolution of this book. I am pleased that they get to have their HEA, as hard-fought as it was. Don’t get me wrong, you never get the sense that everything will be easy for these two and they still will have a lot to overcome, but after everything that is happened they deserve some happiness which I am hopeful they will get a chance to finally get. I will miss Adrien and Jake, but I am happy with the way their story ended and I already know this will be a series which I will re-read many, many times.