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Long Time Gone

TITLE: Long Time Gone (Hell or High Water, #2)

AUTHOR: S.E. Jakes
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
YEAR: September 2013
PAGE/WORD COUNT: 300 pages
GENRE: M/M Contemporary Erotic Romance
HEAT LEVEL: Adults Only, Erotic Content
RATING: 5 out of 5

REVIEW: Long Time Gone is, simply, a wonderful book. My review of Dirty Deeds, by the same author, contains an overview of the Extreme Escapes, Ltd. universe, which I like to call the EEverse. This universe is populated by, complex men, some with downright psychotic tendencies, who can’t even begin to have functional relationships until they start to deal with some of the issues from their pasts that have made them the sort of men who can do the jobs that EE, Ltd. pays them to do. These aren’t the sort of guys who can find an HEA, or even much of an HFN, without overcoming decades’ worth of mistrust, betrayals, failed relationships of all sorts, and an understandable reluctance to hand their enemies a ready-made weapon to be used against them (i.e., a loved one), to quote myself.

Front and center among these men are Prophet and Tom. This is the second book centering on their romance. An easier way to think of the EE, Ltd. books is to put the traditional concept of a series out of your mind. Rather, substitute the EEverse, within which there are unique solar systems comprised of the separate relationships of Prophet and Tom, Blue and Mick, and Cillian and Mal. To understand any one story to the fullest, you really should read the entire series. Hell or High Water is the portion of the universe devoted to Prophet and Tom, while the Dirty Deeds series (of which Dirty Deeds the novel is the first installment), tells the story of Cillian and Mal. Clear? Hmm.

Back to Prophet and Tom. At the beginning of the book, the author places this quote: “We are all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours. Kind of sums it up, right there.” At this hefty page length, we get plenty of what we love most about these guys: passion, anguished memories, tragic pasts that bleed into the present, scorching hot sex, alligator wrestling, appearances by other guys we love, adventure, and sweaty, deliciously erotic moments that affirm that these two men are perfect together.

Long Time Gone is a great example of why so many people have S. E. Jakes on their auto-buy lists. As always, the characters drive the story, establishing a firm foothold in our hearts from page one. Literally. The opening scene involving Prophet is just one example of why we love this guy so much. He’s the toughest of the tough, and so desperately in need of the haven Tom represents for him that one just wants to hug him – even though he’d likely rip our arms off for the attempt. Definitely read Catch a Ghost first, if you haven’t already. Reading Free Falling would also enhance your enjoyment, because Blue and Mick make a couple of memorable appearances here.

Wholeheartedly recommended. A must-read.