Review: Zero at the Bone (Zero at the Bone 01) by Jane Seville

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

After witnessing an ugly mob execution in a hospital’s underground parking garage, surgeon Jack Francisco is put into protective custody until he can testify. All of a sudden his entire life and career is frozen but still it doesn’t mean 100% safety. The mobsters blackmail a very efficient hitman known only as D into killing Jack. When he tracks him down, his weary conscience won’t allow him to murder an innocent man who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Finding in each other an unlikely ally, Jack and D are soon on the run from shadowy enemies. Forced to work together and trust each other to survive, the two men forge a bond that ripens into unexpected passion. Jack sees the wounded soul beneath D’s cold, detached exterior, and D finds in Jack the person who can help him reclaim the better man he once was. As the day of Jack’s testimony approaches, he and D find themselves not only fighting for their lives but also fighting for their future. A future together. Is it possibile, though?

My impressions:

“Several of Nature’s People/ I know, and they know me—

I feel for them a transport/Of Cordiality—

But never met this Fellow/Attended or alone

Without a tighter Breathing/And zero at the bone.”

—Emily Dickinson

How many m/m romance books you know start with a lovely and haunting poem of Emily Dickinson?  How many of them don’t feature insta-love or insta-lust? I admit those two features alone would make me read any kind of romance – I love Emily Dickinson and my feelings concerning insta-anything (with an exception of, understandably, insta-hate) are quite opposite.

I started reading this one and at first everything went fine. I got a deep characterization of the main leads almost from the very beginning (a cheer), I  had a plot which, while not being very original, was at least logical and pretty tight (a double cheer) and I had a romance which wasn’t so horribly romantic at all (unless you would like to be wooed at a gun point). Overall the first half of the novel left me very optimistic indeed. The second half, though…I wish it didn’t exist. Or at least I wish it was used in a different way, edited and polished some more and presented as a separate book.

My problem? Right after Jack managed to testify in the court and was supposed to disappear in the WitSec program (those abbreviations *rolleye*) the author lost me completely, throwing at me one romantic cliché after another cliché. No, Jack and D couldn’t live without each other one second longer. Yes, all the obstacles, even the most serious ones, kept disappearing mysteriously like soap bubbles. It seemed to me the author didn’t want to get rid of her two protagonists pretty badly – to a point where she sacrificed every good idea from the first part. The ending was very happy and left me completely miserable, go figure. All of it started so lovely, with a great poem and ended in the gutter. Oh well.

Final verdict:

I would like to say: if you like good romances (m/m or otherwise) read the first half of this novel only. Ditch it as soon as Jack testifies and you’ll be ok. If you are an obsessive-compulsive reader, like me, and you have to crawl to the very end no matter what, be warned: you’ll suffer for your obstinacy.

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10 Responses to Review: Zero at the Bone (Zero at the Bone 01) by Jane Seville

  1. blodeuedd says:

    Lol, only half…I would have to read the rest after

  2. xaurianx says:

    Lol M/M is not my thing, but I am sorry the story suffered from a HEA that was never meant to be.

  3. heidenkind says:

    Lol you just can’t win 😉

  4. rameau says:

    Sounds like the romance part of the story would have benefitted from being a longer series instead of a one book thing. Think of them meeting, being torn apart, moving on, only to find each other again later. Oh, so *romantic*.

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