Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Solitary Man by Aisling Mancy & Shira Anthony: Review

A Solitary Man by Aisling Mancy & Shira Anthony

Pages: 304
Date: January 9, 2016
Kindle / Own

The blurb:

“Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare's Landing’s newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.

Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the eleven-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in the heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.”

My thoughts:

WOW! 2016 is off to a very good start with A Solitary Man. As you can see from the blurb, this is a romantic thriller, or a thrilling romance (or maybe both? J). However you want to label it, A Solitary Man is an engrossing, very well written and fascinating story.

Xav and Chance are intriguing main characters. Both men struggle with personal feelings and issues for very good reasons, yet neither of them allows those private problems to stop them from doing what needs to be done. Within two minutes of starting the book my heart had broken with and for Xav. It doesn’t happen very often that the prologue of a story leaves me so gutted I have to walk away from the story for a little while, but it happened with this book. Once I resumed reading I was as invested in the case as Xav was though, so the set-up definitely worked for me.

I think I fell in love with Xav the moment he was first introduced. He isn’t perfect, he has his faults and makes mistakes but his heart is clearly in the right place, his motives are noble and the cause he fights for is more than worthy.

Doing the right thing by Quinn and the other boys wouldn’t banish the past, but it might change the future.

And that’s before I realised he is a ‘take-no-shit-from-anyone’ sorta man with a wicked sense of humour.

It took me a little bit longer to fall for Chance. He has the walls around his heart build up so high even the reader can’t see around, over or through them at first. As Chance opens up a bit and his background becomes clearer he swiftly moves from easy to like to impossible not to love. And the two men together are funny, sweet and at times incredibly hot.

A Solitary Man deals with difficult issues. The book would have been touching and at times heartbreaking if it had all been make-believe. However, it isn’t. The author’s note, at the start of the book, states: “The drug trafficking, child abuse, and child sex trafficking described in this work of fiction are based on real events.” These are important issues that don’t get enough attention; not in this story before Xav steps in, and not in the real world. I’m amazed at how well the authors managed to strike a balance between getting the message across and giving the reader a riveting and unputdownable thriller. The details we get about child and drug trafficking are hard to digest and yet, they never feel preachy; the information fits the context of the story perfectly. And thus the reader is given one of those rare but wonderful experiences; an engrossing read combined with an unforgettable and valuable learning experience.

To sum it all up, A Solitary Man is what I would like to describe as a total reading experience. It is a heart-stopping thriller while dealing with difficult but important issues; it is a wonderful and at times very sexy love story and it is so well written it is at times deceptively easy to read, despite the hard-hitting issues it deals with. I am delighted that the very first book I read this year is one I’ll be adding to my ‘extra-special’ collection.


  1. This is an excellent synopsis & review of an Excellent book! This is what great storytelling is all about ... reality served in a way that you learn by osmosis ... not rote. I truly enjoyed this book! Thank you for educating about sex trade trafficking & the accompanying fallout. Don't miss this book!!

    1. Yes, Ann! It is indeed a not-to-be-missed book :)

  2. Helena, thank you so very much for the wonderful review. It is extremely difficult to strike a balance when "fictionalizing" non-fictional events/information. It goes without saying that I put my heart and soul into the write. Thank you again.

  3. Your heart and soul were visible in the words and sentences and touched me deeply.