Cops and Rubbers
Amber Allure, 2010
Goodreads link | ebook | 199 pages
Hell hath no fury like a pirated ebook author...
Jason Jagger has finally realized his dream. After years of struggling, he is a successful, multi-published author of gay erotic paranormal romance ebooks. His happiness, however, is shattered by rampant online piracy. He feels he’s in a constant cat-and-mouse game with pirates fond of uploading his books to multiple file-sharing sites. One flagrant, prolific pirate in particular seems to feel it’s his duty to illegally upload Jason’s books as fast as Jason can write them. Just who is this person with the nickname of Private Eye? And why has he targeted Jason?
With his obsession about e-piracy growing, Jason knows both sides of the argument, but he doesn’t see it as a victimless, faceless crime. He’s struggling to make ends meet as it is. Rumor has it that the theater where he works is on the verge of closure, and his lover, a recovered meth addict, is starting to act weird again.
Jason can’t help but wonder how the thieves would feel if he turned the tables on them. So with nothing to lose, he decides to track down Private Eye. But has he picked the wrong guy to mess with? This game may have long-lasting consequences, especially when, in the eyes of his quarry, it’s a game of Cops and Rubbers...
Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, Ebook Piracy, Cheating, Stealing
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2.5 out of 3 flames
Why I read it:
I’ve read The Bouncer from this author before and enjoyed his way of telling a story.
In Cops and Rubbers the author takes the time to introduce his heroes Jason and Darius during the first half of this book in separate, alternating story threads. It's only well into the second half of the book that they actually meet. I liked this extensive introduction a lot. We see both men struggle with their love lives and their daily routine which makes them three dimensional characters with whom you can easily empathize. If you’re not a fan of books that have the heroes have sex with other characters than their intended love interest, this book isn’t for you. However, in their defense, these scenes all take place before their acquaintance.
Before they meet, the heroes are 'connected' - without them knowing it - through ebook piracy. Jason is an author of gay erotic romance; Darius is one of the owners of a piracy site that causes Jason much grief. (btw the backblurb misleadingly mentions an uploader called Private Eye, but he doesn’t play an active role and he's NOT Darius. And Jason certainly didn’t track him down either.) This topic about the thievery of pirates was entertaining and something I'd never come across before in an ebook. It was kind of surreal, and I can only imagine how readers who illegally downloaded Cops and Rubbers themselves, had to have been flinching and cringing while reading certain scenes. Jason's hopelessness and passionate feelings on the topic were conveyed very well.
When the guys finally meet in real life sparks fly and things happen fast. They fall in lust (and love) head over heels but they have this Big Secret looming over their heads. I really liked this plot twist, although it was no surprise at all that things turned out the way they did of course, with the careful build-up we got with the first half of the book. Unfortunately, I felt that the pacing of this second half of the story was at odds with that of the first half though. Not only was the insta-love a bit too much, but the whole wrap-up of the Big Secret felt really rushed too. When the book ended I was almost flabbergasted that it had. The speed of the last pages was unreal and in the end I was left a bit unsatisfied, to be honest. But overall, Jason and Darius were engaging and likable heroes, who entertained me the entire time I spent with their story. I just would've liked them to have more 'on screen time' together to work things out between them and to give their HEA a more solid base, that's all. It's still a recommended read.