Undercover Sins - Hayley B. James I found the plot idea appealing — an undercover cop reluctantly falling in love with the target of his investigation is a fascinating premise with loads of heavy conflicts both internal and external waiting to happen. Some of the characterizations were pretty good, first and foremost Demetrius. He’s like those Russian Matryoshka dolls, layer upon layer of different personalities and backstories. His character is to act out of character, make erratic moves and decisions, irrational and growingly conflicted. I found his inner disunity nicely done and comprehensible, although I couldn’t make myself like him. There was Lee, Demetrius’s cool and inshakeable bodyguard, and Lesley, Ty’s protective Sergeant, which were both well- drawn, likeable characters.I had problems with Ty/ Gabriel. From the very beginning, I couldn’t help stumbling upon inconsistencies that kept pulling me out of the story flow with wait, what? — moments. If there had been only a few, I could have just shrugged them off since this is fiction, after all, but it happened again and again, adding up to a serious bother.The fact that Ty’s supposed to be deep undercover, but obviously has broken cover early on to a fellow rent-boy, Jackson, and Ty’s contact officer meets with him in front of Ty’s pimp who’s obviously also in the know — seemed to me terribly bad police work. Demetrius, who is supposed to be a powerful kind of Mafia don in human trafficking, confronts Ty about stalking him and using a fake ID, and still Ty doesn’t fear unmasking when Demetrius hires him?The worst character was Arden. Admittedly Arden is The Villain, and he’s described as feared and hated, one who has no qualms putting a bullet between the eyes of everyone who steps into his way. Yet, Arden plays petty games, pouts if something doesn’t go according to his whims and doesn’t have himself under control. If he did so being merely the Don’s son, fine, but he’s supposed to be a big player himself and leading his own branch of business.What actually bothered me most with the writing in itself was the fact that time and again, inconsistencies were actually addressed, only to be wiped away as “that’s just the way it is”. It felt like the author noticed them, but didn’t feel like polishing them in order to clear them up. I couldn’t help feel cheated.With this story, the reader is drawn into a world which is supposed to be realistic, but reminds more of an urban fantasy setting which sometimes seems rather artificial. Nearly everything between Demetrius and his adversary, Arden, is about sex, and pretty soon about sex with Ty. This leads to some rather disturbing sex scenes outside the main pairing, some of which were non-con, precariously close to rape.Also, there were the so-called pets, kind of like sex slaves of either gender, who read like something right out of a not very realistic BDSM master/slave fantasy. While pets weren’t mentioned in the beginning, they later seemed to be a required accessory for every bigwig and wannabe in the world of human traffickers. I must admit that I wouldn’t know, since I don’t have in-depth knowledge about human trafficking. But for this, I had to seriously suspend disbelief.I didn’t hate this book at all, I “only” had to many issues too really enjoy it. Despite my reservations, I’d give a tentative recommendation. As I said above, it’s a very ambitious book with a challenging setting, dealing with equally daring topics, and I can very well fathom how people might overlook a lot of weaknesses for the emotional, unusual romance. Those who really hate over-explanation, repetitive telling and unlikeliness that pushes disbelief might rather want to wait for this author’s next offer.Read the full review at reviewsbyjessewave.com