Book Reviews

Take the Edge Off by TA Moore at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 11-June-2019

Book Blurb

You don’t end up an ex-car thief and ex-con because you’re good at resisting temptation… and Cal Tate’s rich new boss is very tempting. 


Cal has always been the bad boy lovers don’t bring home to Mom, but now he’d like someone other than a debt collector waiting for him at home. He has a legit job as a driver with his brother’s company, he’s got a doctor on the hook, and he still can’t help crawling into bed with Joseph Bailey. 


Joe has never met anyone as easy in their own skin as his new driver. Or as ridiculously beautiful. He’s in London to downsize the family business… and to investigate the abusive emails that imply a dark secret around his mother’s death. But unpicking the lies he’s been told makes Joe realize he isn’t sure who is without them. 


When his life falls apart, the only person he can be himself with is Cal. But with the anonymous stalker’s threats increasing, Joe worries that someone will finish the job they started over two decades ago—and end any chance for a happy future between him and Cal.


Book Review

“He’d quit the two vices most likely to kill him—smoking and stealing cars—so could anyone really hold it against him if he fell off the dangerous-men bandwagon every now and again?” ~ Cal Tate

Two men who seem very different at first but share a lot of similarities are at the heart of ‘Take the Edge Off’ by TA Moore. Cal is an ex-con who hides his tender heart beneath an arrogant, sly outer layer while Joe is a rich a**hole who isn’t sure he even has a heart. Both men have insecurities and vulnerabilities although neither is truly willing to admit to them. Add a little suspenseful mystery to their hotter-than-hot romance and this book had me hooked.

Cal’s only family is his brother El – at least the only family that wants anything to do with him – since their mom remarried and moved on leaving them to fend for themselves with their grandad. He’s the one who left the business to El, and Cal has worked for his brother since getting out of prison. A year in jail made Cal realize that trying to stay clean was really in his best interests but boy is it hard sometimes. Taking the job as driver for Joe doesn’t make it any easier – especially when they jump into the physical side on the first night.

“Sometimes Joe wondered if there was something a little wrong with him, deep down where the emotional connective tissue was. He wasn’t the first to consider that.” ~ Joe Bailey

Joe is rich with a more than distant father and a legacy of a family business that has been known to deal with some shady characters. His dad isn’t a truthful man and Joe has grown up to be a bit of a liar and manipulator when the situation calls for it. He’s in England to shut down the company’s holdings there and look into the death of his mother. Joe’s dad has never told him the story other than she died, and Joe is pretty sure there’s more to it than that. Add in a stalker trying to kill him, an ex-fiancée positive she’s the love of his life, a gorgeous driver with a sarcastic sense of humor, and his life is fairly interesting.

The mystery portion was written well although none of it was particularly surprising. For me this book was all about these two men and the love they found. Both had difficult childhoods, both have expectations they’ve tried to live up to, neither man believes he’s a good person, nor do they think they deserve finding a love to last. Much to their surprise, Cal and Joe are perfect for each other – after they wade through the guff, anyway. I enjoyed this book, the romance is lovely, and I can easily recommend it.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 194 pages/71882 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 11-June-2019
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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