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Conflict of Interest (Portland Police Bureau #1) by Jae


First off: trigger warning – this book has rape driven by homophobic hate as its central theme. Having said that, this book is extremely well written and gently handled.

Aiden Carlisle is a workaholic detective with the Portland Police Bureau in the sex crimes department. Dawn Kinsley, a psychologist works with victims of sex crimes. Their paths first cross during a seminar held of the police in which Dawn is one of the speakers. There is an interest on both sides, but it’s not followed on right then. They run into each other buying groceries and Dawn invites Aiden home for coffee. An acquaintanceship is thus struck. The next thing that Aiden knows is that a crime is reported at Dawn’s address. A concerned Aiden reaches there pronto though she is off duty only to find that Dawn has been raped. Aiden becomes the primary detective on the case but as they keep meeting each other, the attraction is harder and harder to ignore – which is against protocol.

Usually we aren’t great fans of the butch-femme trope, but this one is wonderfully written. The relationship is developed beautifully. Dawn’s struggles post-rape are realistically, but gently, handled. Jae has a special gift of writing rich relationships in which one partner supports the other through their inability to have sexual intimacy. The emotional connect between the MCs in such instances is so beautifully handled that the lack of sex becomes a side issue.

This is a great read. 


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