by Cara Dee
Volume 3 of Auctioned
Posted in Book Reviews on January 29, 2023
Spoiler alert: If you haven't read the first two books of this series, this review of the third may disclose some of what has already happened.
Gray made a promise to Jonah, one of the other young me who had fallen prey to the human sex trafficking ring. As Jonah lay dying from a gunshot on the island where the men were hiding, Gray vowed to find Jonah's little brother Jayden and ensure he was safe. Once they're all back in the States, Gray has trouble coping with the feelings of helplessness, and even the family he once cherished is no comfort. Determined to prove himself, Gray steals away in the night to keep his promise, leaving Darius and his family behind. Fortunately, Darius recognized the signs that Gray might run and took steps to ensure he could find the young man.
The tension level is significantly lower in this third installment of the Auctioned series. Lower, but not zero, as Gray and Darius try to clear up unfinished business left over from their ordeal. Of course, one of the pieces of unfinished business is the relationship between the two men. Both try to convince themselves that it was a heat-of-the-moment thing and is best left behind as part of their recovery. At some level, even they know that's not true, and much of the plot in this book revolves around them working it out.
A significant new character is introduced in this volume. Jayden is the young boy Gray promised to keep safe, and the street-wise eight-year-old soon worms his way into both men's hearts. Of course, that further complicates the relationship between Darius and Gray. Jayden, and the new friend he makes in the shelter, Justin, are definitely an interesting pair. They're a big reason the tone of this installment is so much lighter.
It's been a hallmark of this series that the characters and situations they find themselves in are all too believable. Gray's feelings and reactions seem to fit all too well into the picture we've gotten of him over the arc of the series. Darius also seems to be a much more rounded character by the end of this story, as we now get to see him in his home environment.
“Deserted” is available from Amazon.