The story actually starts at the beginning, when Gabriel is still a sighted San Francisco Police Department undercover agent. During his two years as undercover agent, but really even before, Gabriel, alias Giovanni, only allows himself one night stands and possibly well far from the circle he gravitates in: even if in San Francisco, mafia is not a word which match well with gay. And so when one of his one night stand, Miguel, reveals to be the lieutenant of the Mexican drug lord Gabriel's boss is dealing with, Gabriel is a bit disconcerted. How can he be so attracted by a villain? He should be the good guy and not mixing with the evil guys... But maybe Miguel is not so bad boy as he appears.
The first part of the book is good, I really like the way how Giovanni and Miguel met in a club and that first raw sex scene is almost an housemark for Laura Baumbach's books, but truth be told, I like much the second part; it's all over all pure hot romance, but also mushy feeling, and in some part it almost made me cry. How Antonio deals with a wounded Gabriel, how he manages to pull out all the protective layers of the man, to bare his soul... and how Gabriel leans on Antonio, without for this being weak or dependent: it takes a real man to understand when it's the case to call for help.
So sorry to the thriller lover, but I read this book more like a very good romance. Oh, don't worry, there are also the car racing scene, the shootings in the night, and also the classical scene in the warehouse, but I manage to read them in a bit to hurry to my romance scenes... instead, you, thriller lover, could linger on them as you want, you will have plenty.
As for the characters, Laura Baumbach confirms her love for a good Alpha male, Antonio is the classical type: it reminds me one of that chocolate with the dark and hard exterior but with a sweet and molten inside. Perhaps a bit different from the other Alpha males' mates I was used, is Gabriel, but not too much: it's true that Gabriel, as an agent, is independent and strong, but in his private life he prefers not to be the dominant side of the couple; he prefers to be dominate, he fights against his mate, but then, if the mate is worth of it, he surrenders with joy.
The book is the first in a new series with the same characters; good thing since they are both really worth of some more books. And then I still have to read about Christmas at Antonio's family.
Amazon: Mexican Heat #1 Crimes&Cocktails Series