I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Burden by Annmarie McKenna
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2013-07-30
Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Reviewed by Cassie
There’s more than one way to guard a body. In the year since his car flew off a cliff, Detective Brennan McGuire has struggled to relearn the simplest tasks—like speaking without a stutter—and even more with trying to fill the gaping holes in his memory. But when his daily visit to a local coffee shop turns into a melee of flying bullets, Brennan’s instincts take control. So much for Keegan Monroe’s first day off after a long undercover assignment. One minute he’s relaxing over coffee, the next his cheek is kissing concrete. Question is, is the gorgeous man on top of him his savior, or the one who took a potshot at his head? As Keegan shepherds the too-quiet, too-skinny Brennan through the investigation, attraction flares into nights of white-hot passion. But with each scorching encounter, more and more of Brennan’s memories shake loose...and it becomes clear someone doesn’t want him putting those pieces together. With Keegan’s oath to protect and serve putting him squarely in the crosshairs of a murderer, now the question is, who is protecting whom? Warning: This book contains a good amount of stuttering, forgetting, remembering, danger, hot man love (cop style), and hordes of cuddly kittens.
Former detective Brennan McGuire is just trying to get his life back after a terrible car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury. Keegan Monroe is trying to relax after finishing up a long undercover assignment. The two men never should have met—except that someone’s taking potshots at a coffee shop they both happen to be visiting. Brennan shoves Keegan to the ground, saving his life, and ends up at the station for questioning.
It doesn’t take long for an attraction to spring up between the two of them. Despite the ongoing investigation, Keegan gives in to the feelings. The longer they’re together, however, the more Brennan remembers about the case he was investigating just before his “accident.” Will someone manage to get rid of Brennan and Keegan before they can act on his memories?
Burden has a great setup. Brennan is an instantly sympathetic character. He’s a good man who cared a great deal about his job, but that’s been ripped from him by his accident. Now he is just trying to regain some measure of independence in spite of a persistent stutter, trouble with everyday tasks like dealing with money, and memory gaps large enough to drive a Mack truck through. Keegan came across as a little less sympathetic. He’s arrogant, and I thought his willingness to get into a relationship with a guy who might still be a suspect in his attempted shooting was reckless at best. Still, he quickly comes to care for Brennan and his desire to protect the man is sincere.
Which leads me to another problem with Burden. The whole story takes place in a very short amount of time. Brennan and Keegan do go through a lot together, including some exciting action scenes, but that doesn’t make the insta-love entirely realistic. The mystery angle is solved pretty quickly and easily as well.
Overall, Burden is an interesting read with likable characters, but I felt like with a bit more emphasis on the mystery and a slower pace for the romance it could have been really great.