Title: Six Degrees of Separation
Author: Taylor V. Donovan
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
FBI team leader Samuel Shaughnessy and bar manager Machlan O’Bannon are exploring a new phase in their non-relationship. The intention is to take it slowly, but power plays are still their favorite activity, and it isn’t long before lines begin blurring. After ending their friends with benefits agreement, no rules are left in place to guide them, and soon the only thing that’s clear is that neither man is fighting hard enough to reestablish the boundaries.
Their situations haven’t improved in the three months since their first encounter. Sam is still focused on his immediate family issues, and everything indicates Mac will have to go to war with his own family before he can reclaim his freedom. The last thing they need is additional complications.
But when the opening of a nightclub brings Mac to New York City and a break in the Leviticus investigation leads Sam to Houston, they discover how closely their worlds have been connected from the beginning. Hiding from the life-altering collision is not an option. They can take the easier road and go their separate ways or come to terms with their pasts and take a chance on each other.
Six Degrees of Separation is the second book in the By Degrees series by author Taylor V Donovan. This book is the second edition put out by a new publisher. A link to the first book can be found on the author’s website. This is a series that MUST be read in order, so if you have yet to read Six Degrees of Lust, then you may wish to bypass this review.
Six Degrees of Separation is a mystery/romance with Sam and Mac as the lead characters. Sam is a FBI agent, who with the help of his team, is on the hunt for a serial killer targeting young gay men. The way in which the men are killed is not for the faint of heart, and while the author does not go overboard with the description, there is enough to give the reader an idea of just how sick the killer is. Mac is a bartender who is more than what he seems. The connection between these two men was instantaneous, and one neither man was really looking for. Both men also have a lot of baggage that rolls over into their relationship. The men are surprised when their issues do not end up bringing an end to what they have found. While I can’t wait for these guys to finally get their HEA, I love that the author has given them problems that can play out for a long period of time, as this opens up a lot of opportunities for the author to follow.
As I stated earlier, this story is also a mystery. There are a lot of twists and turns, and just when you think you may have figured something out, the author throws in a curve ball. I love this part of the story, especially the OMG moments you don’t see coming! While some of the mystery is exposed, there is still a lot going on that is yet to be revealed.
Six Degrees of Separation is also full of wonderful secondary characters. I would love to see several of Sam’s team members get stories of their own, and while I know it will be a big time gap, I hope the author has plans to bring us the story of Sasha and ‘his Nikolai’ as well.
The By Degrees series is one of my favorites. I have read the both first editions many times and cannot wait until the third book is out. The stories are well written with characters and situations that hold your interest from the very first page. Both books would be excellent additions to the libraries of any mystery fan as well as those who love a good romance.
Reviewed by: Lydia
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