REVIEW: Pins and Needles by AJ Thomas
The truth is rarely seen on the surface, and getting to it might mean digging deep….
After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most lawyers take one look at his tattoo-covered foster father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.
As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove—to his father, the world, and himself. Sean intrigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report—including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to protect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, becomes a lot more dangerous.
Dear AJ Thomas,
I never read your work, but I vaguely remembered book friends liking some stories that you wrote in the past. Maybe this was a reason why I decided to give your book a try even though the blurb stated that one of the characters was a trial lawyer. I swore off the m/m books about lawyers’ long time ago. I don’t like badly researched books on any topic, but it is true that when one intimately familiar with the topic, it is that much harder to swallow lazy writing.
Sean and Nate meet when Sean’s father comes to Nate’s father law firm where Nate works as well, trying to find a lawyer to represent Sean in the case where he is suing the company he worked for after a horrific accident he suffered. Actually Nate and Sean meet a little bit later in the hospital because Sean’s injuries were still keeping him there. Even though the partner in the law firm turned Sean’s father away, Nate decides to take the case especially since he just decided to leave the firm and strike on his own.
I was pleasantly surprised that the legal side of things was very well researched and came as close to being realistic as I ever saw in a m/m book. Okay sure, I can nitpick, but when I read Nate telling Sean that the lawsuit may last from one to three years instead of “boom”, there is one court room date where everything is resolved I was so happy. I suspect that the life of the case like the one described in the book may last even longer based on many factors and depending on how many times it will be adjourned, but I don’t want to nitpick. And we learn that documents exchange would have to be done (what is called discovery) and this takes a lot of time as well. We even briefly hear about depositions. In other words I was mostly a very happy reader in that regard. I think the legal profession was not shortchanged in this book, as much as it is possible to do in a romance book anyway.
One thing that raised my eyebrows was that I didn’t think that Nate could have had time to do all the leg work on such case without at least hiring an investigator – depositions AND court appearances AND going to interview witnesses in the informal setting, but this was small thing in comparison to how well everything else was done.
I do not think I will reveal a spoiler if I tell you that Nate and Sean end up being together and sleeping together – and Nate still was his lawyer at the time. Would I have preferred that they would have waited till the case was over? Yes of course, but those readers who read my reviews know how much I dislike “unprofessional professionals” and I actually thought that ethical issues (and of course there are huge ethical issues with that) of a lawyer sleeping with his client were addressed and also addressed much better than the issues of unprofessionalism of all kinds that were addressed in many other m/m books I have read before.
I think that here I will actually be revealing spoilers if I were describe in detail how the ethics played into decisions Nate made, so I will leave it up to you to find out, but I will say at least that he tried hard to bring another neutral lawyer to work on Sean’s case to prevent the appearance of bias. If you decide to read the book, I will be curious to hear whether you liked how ethical issues were resolved.
I liked Sean and Nate so much. Sean, a brilliant young man who is both a gifted tattoo artist and brilliant engineer whose career on the oil brig came to a screeching halt when it barely began because of the accident and because of the serious injuries he suffered . I am indifferent to the books about tattoo artists, but there was also so much detail about this art that even though I know nothing about it, I suspect that the author researched it a lot. And indifferent or not, Sean’s passion for it certainly came through.
Nate is a talented lawyer who wants to prove that he is capable to his father, but instead decides that he would be better off on his own. By the way I was also pleasantly surprised that Nate’ conflict with his parents went a bit off the beaten path as well.
These guys were just so good together and we actually got to see why they fell in love, because the writer showed it to us. Oh they are attracted to each other when they meet for the first time, but this is developing into something much bigger through the most of the story and I really liked that.
The story also has elements of suspense and mystery because while Sean’s lawsuit is moving along, somebody starts trying to kill him and they have to figure out who it was. I have to say that amongst limited number of suspects the writer still managed to surprise me a little bit. I mean main villains were obvious, but the addition of another one and the motive for one of them surprised me.