Pick Up the Pieces
Title : Pick Up the Pieces
Series : Spy v Spook
Author : Tinnean
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 324 pages (e-book)
Published : February 21, 2014
Rating : ★★★★
The Light in Your Eyes: Book One
A Spy vs Spook Novel
Fifteen-year-old Theo Bascopolis longs for the man of his dreams. But his dreams are dashed when his conservative Greek father discovers Theo is gay and throws him out. Hopeless, he falls in with Fast Franky, a pimp who seduces Theo with the nickname “Sweetcheeks,” but abuses him and wants Theo to hustle. A bloody fight with Franky forces Sweetcheeks to run. Winding up in Washington, DC, he meets a group of rent boys who take care of each other. While he may not have the man of his dreams, Theo finally has a home and family of his own making.
When the boys take in mysterious tenant Mark Vincent, he seems a solid protector, until one of Sweetcheeks’s boys suffers a savage beating in his name. Vincent visits the boy in the hospital and introduces his equally enigmatic trainee, William Matheson. The instant attraction blindsides Sweetcheeks. In spite of knowing love isn’t for rent boys, Sweetcheeks hopes Matheson sees beyond the body he’s offered to so many. But Matheson has secrets of his own, and both will have to tear down their walls to find enduring love.
I’m a huge fan of the Spy vs Spook series. If you haven’t read it, I recommend reading it. Theo aka Sweetcheeks and Will are secondary characters in the that series.This is essentially a spin off telling their story. I guess it’s not necessary to read that series before this book but I think the crossover was my favorite part of this book. Either way you’re going to have some revelations about these characters no matter the order you read them in. I feel like there were three distinct parts to this story.
Part one of this book is finding out just how Sweetcheeks ended up being a rent boy. This part of the book was just as crushing as you’d think. A sweet teenage boy goes from a family life to being disowned because he admits he’s gay. From there he gets hooked up with the worst kind of man, forcing him into prostitution and then eventually fleeing his hometown. He hitches a ride to DC and that’s how he ends up with the group of teenage prostitutes. I thought this portion was a little tough to read but not as gut wrenching as it could have been thank goodness. It still had an impact without making me sick to my stomach.
Part two was the everyday life of teenage prostitutes and how they make it in the big bad city. You’d think this part would be disturbing but the guys just went about tricking like it was just the way it was. I guess you could say they were resolved to their lives. Parts of this section even made it sound almost cool which I DID find disturbing. There was even a rent boy year ball where they crowned a king! The way they made some of their Johns out to be such nice guys and yet they paid boys for sex? Really squicked me out honestly. I guess it’s nice somebody cared for them enough to help them. I was happy when Sweetcheeks finally started to realize prostitution wasn’t something he’d like to do forever.
Finally we get to the love story. This part was sweet and super angsty. Will has a secretive job that he never really tells Sweetcheeks, now known as Theo since he stops prostituting once he hooks up with Will. This coupled with Theo’s insecurities really created most of the tension this book had to offer. Their relationship ups and downs were frustrating but kept me interested. I think the insta lust and then love worked well here. Things were just so intense and new between the guys. Theo never really thought he’d find love. Especially not with a guy that knew he was a rent boy. Theo is Will’s first with a man. He’s fooled around but never taken it to the level he experiences with Theo. This makes for some really hot sex scenes. I mean a rent boy and a gay virgin?
I did think this book was too long. There were a few scenes that played out that never really went anywhere. Like they were just thrown in. Such as a family kitten being killed by a vicious Pit Bull? Personally I thought that part was a little cliché and served no purpose what so ever. AND I don’t agree with the stereotyping of the breed. The gay uncle stopping by to freak Theo out? Why? These scenes really slow the pace of the story for me and pulled me out because I couldn’t understand what the purpose was.
So if you’re a fan of the Spy v Spook series you will want to read this. I absolutely LOVED seeing Mark and how his actions were seen through Theo’s eyes. The entire book is from Theo’s POV. I think I would have enjoyed Will’s POV and what he does when he goes away. Maybe a short? It’s possible that may have changed the tone of the book because we know what Will does isn’t hearts and flowers. Again, my favorite part was how the stories overlap. I caught myself smiling and thinking of what was going on in those books, while everything played out from a different perspective in this book. If I had to compare the two series I’d say S.v.S is grittier and has more clever dialogue. The characters in that series demand it! They guys are spies after all. This book was more of a tragedy turned love story. I’m guessing by the #1 behind this book we’ll be getting more from these characters. Maybe even get to see Paul again soon?
Rated 4 stars by Whit