Spiritual healing and a brutal murder intersect in this look at two men’s journey to love. If this sounds very touchy-feely, it should because the story is partly a police procedural and partly an elegant journey into the world of the unexplainable.
Daka Shepherd Bucknam is not only rich and handsome – except for three red circular growths on his neck – but he’s also perfectly content helping men reach their full sexual potential – and thereby happiness – in his practice. He’s particularly pleased with his protege Stef, an Oklahoma farm boy, who’s showing great progress.
When Stef’s brutally murdered and Shepherd becomes a prime suspect, however, his world crashes around him, particularly since he’s attracted to LAPD Detective Marco Fidanza who views Shepherd’s profession through skeptical eyes.
Because he doesn’t think that Marco is doing enough to solve Stef’s murder and he is convinced Marco is looking in all the wrong places, Shepherd sets out to find the killer despite having no police training and suffering from nightmares predicting his own death.
Meeker skillfully intertwines an interesting love story between two totally different kinds of men and the sordid crime investigation while delving into the murky waters of past lives and reincarnation as well as fortune telling and auras. The spiritual as personified by Shepherd and the material in Marco can only be whole when they come together.
Shepherd, an interesting mix of certainty and uncertainty, must peel away his misconceptions of the past before he can accept himself and move into the future. As a rich man who thinks he’s been raised without love, he thinks that helping others is his calling until he realizes he must help himself before he can help anyone else.
Marco, on the other hand, raised in a loud, loving Italian family, doesn’t know what to do with Shepherd and tries to meld him into the chaos of love that’s always surrounded him. Understandably, he’s annoyed when Shepherd takes matters into his own hands and tries to talk his lover out of putting himself in danger.
Adding the spiritual and mystical elements as Shepherd works through the shock of Stef’s death and the unknown territory of love with Marco, Meeker elevates what could have been a run-of-the-mill police investigation to the level of an exciting and unique romance.
Meeker has put himself on my list of new authors to watch in the future.