In an undercover operation gone horribly wrong, Tate suffers brutal torture that would damage even the strongest of men. Haunted by nightmares, Tate takes what solace he can from Clay but it’s not enough when secrets he holds deep continue to plague him. Tate seeks catharsis in acting out, running away and holding at arm’s length anyone who would pierce the armor of shame and fear plaguing his nights and his days.
It doesn’t help that Clay is obsessively domineering and protective, and it seems at every turn his attempts at helping Tate drive a wedge in their still fledgling relationship. Though the truth could set both of them free, it’s not clear that either man is prepared for the kind of fallout that comes with full disclosure.
The journey Tate and Clay embark on is filled with passion, angst and terror, and is not always logical. When they connect, it seems that their primary mode of communication is through sex—sometimes rough, often tender and very frequent. It’s not often I say this, but in the case of Tate and Clay coming to terms with their feelings and their own individual hang-ups, less might be more. The scenes of affection became repetitious and I longed to know more about these men outside of their carnal attraction and deep drill into what makes them tick. There were hints at mutually shared interests in the kinkier side of each man, though nothing came of it. I wanted to see each man in his normal element, aside from the intensity and single focus on Tate’s PTSD and Clay’s overprotective nature.
When Tate re-connected with his graffiti artist past, events unfolding during that time seem to occur in isolation, divorcing his steps toward recovery from the larger context of his relationship with Clay. That made for a certain level of unevenness in the story telling and a hint of haste and “neatness” when all the storylines converged.
The denouement left me with questions about their future but not about their commitment to each other. It felt unfinished, yet that is not a bad thing. As with all of the author’s characters in this series, I became heavily invested in each one and look forward eagerly to the next installment in this excellent series.
For Feat of Clay, it is a solid Four Star read.